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Monday, December 14, 2009

Ministering The Gift

1 Pet 4:10 - As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

I thought this verse was appropriated considering the season we are in. The King James states "as each one has received the gift". The greatest gift of all is the Gift of Christ. God gave His only begotten son to the world so that the world might be saved. The gift of God saves man from their sin. We are not just forgiven but delivered from Sins nature and power.

As we have received the Gift of Christ we are commanded in this verse to minister it to one another. Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving. When we receive Jesus and become His disciple, He keeps filling us with gift. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit that in turn gifts us His gifts such as the nine gifts listed in 1 Cor 12. One of the things I love about Christmas is the excitement that comes with giving and receiving gifts. Shouldn't we as Christians be just as excited everyday to give the Gift of Christ to others.

Minister - to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon.

Every Christian is called to minister. Through tradition ministry has been limited to professional people (Minister). Every one who has received the Gift of Christ has the ability and responsibility to turn around a minister the Gift to others. As each part of Christs body (the members) minister Him and His gifts to others God's manifold grace is spread and experienced by others.

Stewards - a steward, manager, superintendent (whether free-born or as was usually the case, a freed-man or a slave) to whom the head of the house or proprietor has intrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age.

The scripture says it is required in stewardship that one be found faithful. We must be good stewards of the Gift that God has given us. God has given us stewardship over the Gift of His Son. We are called to administer Him to others. May we be found faithful today in doing what God has called us all to do. May we give and experience the true gift of Christmas by giving and receiving Jesus Christ!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Those You have Given Me Part 2

Verse 12a - While I was with them in this world, I kept them in Your Name; Those you have given me I have kept - the definition of kept is to attend to carefully, to take care of, to guard. What a picture of what relationships should be all about. We are to watch and keep guard over those God has given to us. The word keep is used many times in Jn 14 and 15 in the context of keeping God's commandments. We are to watch to make sure the people God has given us are keeping His commandments.

Verse 18 - As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. Jesus was making disciples that followed and kept all His commands. Just like God the Father sent Jesus into the world to make disciples of those God had given Him, Jesus was sending His disciples into the world to do the same for those God would give them. This pattern is too take place until Jesus comes back.

Verse 20-21 - I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may be one, as You Father are in Me, and I in you; that they also may be one with Us, that the world may believe that You sent me. - The last portion of the chapter deals with oneness or unity. The greatest thing that's brings unity is sacrificial love. The greatest example of this type of love is found in Jesus life with His disciples and ultimately His death on the cross. Laying down ones life for his or her friends is the greatest act of love. Vs 24 - You loved me before the foundation of the world. The bible says in another place that the lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. The world was built on the sacrificial love of God and His Son. Just think about of God would have created the world without the foreknowledge that He would sacrifice His son for the sins of the world. What kind of world would we have today if Jesus wouldn't have died two thousand years ago. All Godly relationships must have as it's foundation sacrificial love. If it's anything else it will fall because the foundation is faulty.

May we all today follow the example of Jesus and give our lives sacrificially for those God has given us.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Those You Have Given Me

I was reading John 17 the other day and this phrase kept standing out to me - "Those You have given me". Jesus was praying to His Father in sort of a farwell prayer and the course of His prayer Jesus kept refering to the people that God had given Him during His life on earth. During Jesus' ministry on earth He ministerd to thousands and saw them healed from sickness, delivered from demonic possesion, raised from the dead, etc. However there were 12 men that were specifically close to Him, the 12 disciples. These were men that Jesus shared His life with for three years. Look at some of the verses concerning Jesus' relationship to those God Had given Him out of the world. The principle and truth that is revealed in this chapter is that God gives us people out of this world too disciple and we should look at Jesus' and His relationship to His disciples as a pattern for our lives.

Verse 2-3 - That He (Jesus) should give eternal life to as many as He had given Him. (3) And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus whom You have sent.
The way to Eternal life was given by Jesus to his disciples. Notice Jesus equated eternal life to knowing the one true God and Jesus whom He had sent. How did the disciples find eternal life? - Through Jesus sharing and living His life with them in relationship. Notice something Jesus didn't do in showing His disciples the way to eternal life. He didn't get them to recite a sinners prayer and because they recited said sinners prayer ensured them that they had eternal life.

Verse 6 - I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You have them to Me and they have kept Your word. Jesus considered the men that God had given Him as the personal property of God Himself. Notice the end result of Jesus relationship to His disciples - they have kept your word. Our responsibility to those God has given us is to teach them to keep and obey God's word. Jesus didn't do this from a pulpit. He did it everyday as He walked together with those God had given Him. He shared His life with them and they shared their life with Him.

Verse 7-8 - Now they know that all things which You have given Me are from You, for I have given to them the words which You have given Me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You, and they have believed that You sent Me. Jesus gave the things that were given to Him by God (freely He received, freely He gave). The thing that Jesus gave were not just Gods word but His life. Jesus gave His way before He gave it on the cross. Through Jesus laying down His life, the disciples could see that Jesus was from God and that God had sent Him.

Vere 9 - I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me. for they are Yours. Jesus prayed for those God had given Him

Tomorrow I will look at the rest of the chapter. Needless to say we should look at people that are in our lives differently. We have a huge responsibility to look at the people God has given us. Jesus was a disciple who was making disciples. The great commission is to go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus has given us the pattern we have the responsibility to obey!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Knit Together

Today I was reading in Colosians 2 and verses 2 and 19 stood out to me. The thought of being knit together is spoken of in these verses.

Verse 2 "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.

Verse 19 - "and not holding fast to the Head from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Eph 4: 15-16 - but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Jesus Christ is the head of His body the church. The church is not a building or a place it is a living organism made up of people. We as a people are attached to the Head, Jesus Christ. In a human body the joints and ligaments help keep the body together. Remember the old song we used to sing when we were kids in school. The ankle bone connected to the leg bone, the leg bones connected to the hip bone etc. etc. etc.. Joints and ligaments are the connectors that join these bones together. What a picture of the church. Each bone in the human body has a function that helps the rest of the body to move and to be healthy. They help give the body structure and mobility. Just like in the human body, the people that makes up Christs body has a function that helps give His body structure and mobility. In verse 2, 19 and Eph 4:16, the joints and ligaments that keeps the body joined together is love. The greatest function of each part of the body too keep the whole body functioning is love, agape love. Love is the more excellent way as described in 1 Cor 13. To love one another by laying down our lives for our friends causes His body to come together in unity. The members of the Body of Christ will experience the fullness of Christ's love when every part of His Body is laying down their lives for one another in love. His Body will never lack when this is taking place but in fact will increase with the increase that is from God. The Bible often talks of perfection. Perfection is the maturity of the believers in love. Love covers a multitude of Sins. Gal 6:1-2 "Brethren if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ". Spiritual people are people that are led and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Love is shown as we walk together in this life. Love teaches and speaks the truth. Love nourishes, rebukes, encourages, and supports. Love restores and bears the burdens of another. Love knits together and causes God's love to be realized to and through His body, the church. What we call church today is a far cry from what the Bible calls the church. May we ask ourselves today the hard questions. Am I knit together with His Body (the Church)? Am I actively laying down my life for his Body (other members of His Body). If not you are probably just going to church and not being the church. Notice how much emphasis is put on going to church in America. Well is time to stop going to church and start being the Church so we can all experience the fullness of who Christ is!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Washing Of Water By The Word

Eph 5:25-26 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

I wanted to talk more about what I believe the Lord has shown me concerning true authority and how it is to operate. Previously I wrote concerning the picture of Eph 5 as it concerned the Husband and taking up his authority by laying down his life for his wife through lovingly serving her as Christ loved and served the church through His death on the cross. Just a quick thought about this, men many have forfeited their authority in their home and the proof of this is that there is not order. Your wife is living like a widow and your kids are begging bread and living as vagabonds spiritually. Church service nor your demanding your position as head will not remedy this. It's time to look at yourself and not at those you are leading. Who have you given your authority too. Well you can get it back by receiving your authority from Jesus and by exercising this authority in your home. Remember what true authority is. It's giving yourself and laying down your life for your wife and kids. Getting under and in their lives to support them and to show them who Jesus is through your life. Wow!!! Find out whats in their hearts and give them yours. Wash your wife and kids with the water by speaking, teaching and living the word of God. You are the pastor of your home!!!!

The christian marriage is a picture of the body of Christ where Jesus is head or chief. Jesus is supreme authority and His authority is to flow down through His body from the head down through the fingers and toes. This authority is available for those part that seem to be important like the eyes and ears, and for those parts that seem to be less important like the finger and toes. Every part of His body has a function and a role for His body to fully operate. How is Jesus body operate or to be fully functional. Well this verse gives one of the basic functions of His body. His Body is to be clean from sin and to be sanctified from the world (vs 26). How does this happen? Well it happens through the washing of water by the word. The Church of Jesus Christ is to be set apart from the world and She is to be clean of the stain and controlling power of sin. This is not the case because the body of Christ has forfeited Her authority and is not properly functioning as a body. To regain His authority and to properly function The Body we give our lives for one another by washing one another through the water of the word. This is done through loving relationships not in church attendance and church run bible studies, programs, Sunday school, etc. It's done as we walk in this life with the the shod feet of the Gospel to make disciples of all nations.
Please take time and read John 13

Verse 3 - Jesus knew that the father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God. Jesus was secure in who He was and what His purpose was. God had given all things into His hands - Jesus was about to go to the cross and everything He needed to do this His father had given Him. He had taken up His full authority and knew that He was from God and was going back to God after He finished His life of serving. Wow this speaks so loudly of knowing who we are in Christ and our purpose to represent Him in the earth and through His authority go and make disciples of all nations. Remember Jesus gave His authority to His disciples. Only disciples of Jesus walk in His authority.

Vs 5-7 - Jesus began to wash the disciples feet and Peter didn't understand. Feet are the parts of the body that touch the world the most. They represent progression or walking through life. They represent our lives. What caused Peter not to understand. How could Jesus being His leader wash his feet. He understood worldly authority where leaders are not to denigrate there position by doing something so beneath them. Peter protests the fact and says in verse 8 you shall never wash my feet. Peters misunderstanding is not unlike the church of Jesus Christ who have been taught worldly positional authority where the leaders rule and lead from their places of position but never wash or teach the people to wash one anothers feet. Oh you say that's not my pastor. Whens the last time your pastor was in your house after supper talking to you personally about your life and sharing with you about his. When is the last time he showed you that what he is doing for you is what you should be doing for others. Preaching sermons on Sundays and coordinating programs is not washing feet. These are parts of a religious system and structure that has failed to cleanse the Church from sin and sanctify Her from the world. Four years ago I refused to participate in this system another day. Rather I am choosing to wash the feet of Christ (The Body of Christ) and to have my feet washed by Him through His body.

Jesus response to Peter's protest was if you don't let me wash your feet than you shall not have a part with me. By the way Peter was always protesting. Does that make Him the first protestant. Before you protestants get exited, Peter's protests usually were against the will God and came out of fleshly positions of understanding.

Part - a position or place assigned to one. One of the constituent parts of a whole.

Jesus was telling Peter if you want let me wash your feet, you cannot be a part of my body. Also if you don't get the proper understanding on authority than you cannot be a part of my body. Jesus washed our lives in His blood when He died on the cross. He is continually washing our lives with His word as we commune with Him. This brings us into His body. Now what is our function as part of His body. We are to do the same to the other parts of the body. We are to knell down (speaks of humility) and wash the feet of Jesus by washing each other with the water of the word. We are to serve one another through loving relationships. We are to allow this to happen to our lives and we are to do it to others. If we will not we are not a part of His body. This is the criteria for being a part of His body. Wow no wonder the body of Christ is so dysfunctional and confused. It's time for the Church of Jesus Christ to step up and function as His body.

Vs 13- 15 - Jesus asked them Do you know what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord, and you say well for so I am. If i then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, we also ought to wash one anothers feet, For I have given you and example that you should follow.

Vs 16 - Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent.

Another has taken His office (see previous post) and it's time to put Jesus back as the head of His body through each part taking up his and her authority. Hallelujah!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Proverbs 20:28

Reading this morning Proverbs 20:28 stood out to me in the light of authority.

"Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy", in the New Living translation it says "Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love".

A king is a person of authority and he represents a place of authority. Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He's above all authority in heaven and on earth. Other English words used in the bible for this Hebrew word is goodness, kindness, faithfulness and again the New Living translates the word to be unfailing love. Truth is faithfulness, firmness, reliability, stability, continuance. These are all words that describe King Jesus and who He is. The verse says that these attributes preserve the king. Jesus throne and authority is established and preserved through mercy and truth. He has the right to rule because He is and does these things as He rules His subjects. The last part of the verse says his throne is upheld by mercy or loving kindness. Jesus throne or place of authority is upheld through love. Godly authority rules by and through love. The sacrificial love of the cross upholds Jesus place of authority. Jesus has the right to rule because of His death on the cross which represents the greatest act of love, laying down ones life for His friend.

We can judge our lives by this word. Does the words mercy, love, faithfulness, kindness, etc. describe who you are in your relationships. Jesus must first rule us before we will see these attributes become a part of who we are. The great thing is that as we come under the Lordship of Jesus we will begin to do what He does. We will establish His rule in the earth through our living out mercy, truth and loving kindness to those who are around us. May the throne of Jesus be established and may it continue as His people walk in the authority of Jesus the King of King and Lord of Lords.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marriage the picture Of Christ and His Church

The last part of Eph 5 begins in verse 22 and Paul speaks of the proper order in marriage which is a picture of how Jesus is to be head or chief of His body the church. The husband is to be head of the wife. This statement alone has caused much abuse and sorrow in marriages for centuries. Paul calls the husband the head of the wife. The husband, if he is to operate or function in the authority of Jesus is to follow the same example as Jesus the head of the church. Well as I wrote yesterday, in true Godly authority the those who desire to be chief or head must become last and become the servant of all. This is why this verse has been misunderstood because most people view this verse in the context of worldly authority which is top down rule and lording over people because of our position. Again the reason christian husbands have misunderstood this verse is because the leadership and authority in the church is worldly.

Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. Well this can be rightfully understood when we apply this is the context of the previous verse "submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord". The husband and the wife are submitting to one another because they are part of the Body of Christ. The husbands response to his wife in true authority is that he gives his life for his wife just like Christ did for the church. Again Jesus is the example of true authority and He gave His life for the church. This is how husbands are to relate to his wife and this is how the wife is to relate to her husband. Each giving their life for one another in serving and sacrificial love. Remember this is a picture of the church not just marriage. Christ the chief gave His life for the church well for Christ to remain as chief and not man, each person in His Body has to do the same for one another. When this is not taking place worldly authority creeps in and man becomes the chief and not Jesus. One thought I have not said but need to introduce now, true authority can been seen and demonstrated in loving relationships. This is why I believe Paul would talk about the strongest relationship outside of our relationship with Christ, the relationship of marriage. Loving relationships is where people are giving themselves for the other is where true authority is lived out and experienced. Again the reason this has been misunderstood is because relationships are not the norm in the church today. We've replaced relationships with church attendance and church programs. Ungodly authority is the result or the fruit of the lack of Godly relationships.

There is a beautiful picture of how Christ and the church is supposed to relate to one another in verses 25-27. The loving authority that flows in the church operates again through the example of Christ and what He does and did for the church. He gave himself that He might sanctify or set apart the church for the purpose of cleansing her. The church of Jesus Christ is to be set apart from the world and the way she is set apart and cleansed is through the washing of the water of the word. Husbands are to wash their wives to set her apart and to cleanse her from the world. This is done by speaking and living the word of God. The bible says to not only be hearers of the word but to be doers of the word. Speaking the word of God which is true authority and living it out through relationships is how we as the church are set apart. The church of Jesus Christ must follow His example. Wash each other through speaking and living the word. We are all dirty and get dirty by touching and going through the filth of this world. Be filled with the Spirit and speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Walking in the authority of the Spirit and the authority of His word is how we are to relate to one another. Tomorrow - washing feet!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Imitators of God - True Authority

Something that God has been showing me over the past few days comes from Eph 5:21. "Submitting to one another in the fear of God". Submission means to bring oneself under another. This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden". I think this also speaks of the authority that is to be found in the body of Christ. This speaks so clearly to how we are to relate to one another in the body of Christ. We are to get under and support one another through serving and love. This was God's reaction toward man and mans sin. He being God would subject himself to man (Jesus) by becoming a servant and laying down His sinless life for the sins of man. Phil 2:5-8 describes what Jesus did for us and we are to have the same mind or we are think the same way. Jesus who is God and the supreme authority, laid down his position of authority and became a slave to man. All of us may feel like we have positions of authority or we have a right to rule our lives or the lives of others. Well who has more right to rule than Jesus. To imitate Jesus is to follow Him. Look at this verse that Jesus said;

Jn 12:26 - If anyone serves me, let him follow me, and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me him my father will honor.

We should be servants of Jesus if we are following God. To serve Jesus means that we are serving others. Jesus laid down His life for others we should as followers of Jesus be doing the same. This is true submission and is how the church should operate. Unfortunately tradition has blinded God's people to this. Worldly authority is the norm in the body of Christ where top down positional authority is practiced and instead of getting under people to support and serve, man gets over people and makes them submit through fear and man made rules and regulations. True honor comes from God and he only honors those who are serving Jesus and others. Verses 9-11 in Phil 2 gives us the results of Jesus' submission. God highly exalted him and have Him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Jesus is lord means Jesus is supreme authority. Remember Jesus having obtained supreme authority gave it to His disciples in Mt 1o, Lk 10 and Mt 28. This authority is not top down leadership but bottom up serving. Sacrificial love that costs something. It costs us our lives. This authority was given so that His disciples could go out and make other disciples that do the same thing and walk in the same authority. Judge yourself today in all your positions or roles in life. Which one of these ways describe your parenting, employment, friendships, etc. May we be found imitating God today and walking in His authority.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be Imitators of God

Eph 5:1-2 says "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma". Another word for imitator is a follower. Paul describes how we are to follow or imitate God. It's by walking in love. What kind of love should we be walking in. The kind of love Jesus demonstrated while he followed God. He gave himself for us. Jesus would say it this way in another verse "greater love has no one than this, than he lay down his life for his friend." A follower of Christ lays down his or her life for friends. The rest of the chapter goes on to say what I believe are some actions of walking in love or laying down our lives for others. I would like to speak on these things over the next few days. But before than imitate God today. Imitate Him every where you go. Remember it costs you something to follow God. It costs our lives!!! Loose your life today and find the life that is filled with Gods love!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Prov 11:24-25 NLT

I haven't been able post in the past two days because of school but I was so blessed by these two verses he other day. These verses describe the operation of the New Testament Church. Jesus told his disciples as he sent them out to freely give what they have freely received. This is my mission to give freely and to refresh others. This is the true riches or the abundant life that Christ has promised to His disciples. Enjoy the verses today and may they give you vision as to what your life could become in following Jesus as His disciple.

"It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything. The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed".

Also the Lord has been showing me so much more on Authority I will share it later as I get time to put it all together. Blessings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Regaining Lost Authority

Yesterday I talked about authority and the results of lost authority as I saw it in Ps 109:8-13. The question I pose today is if you have lost your God given authority how do you get it back, can it be gotten back if it has been forfeited? I think the answer to the last part of the question is yes you can regain Gods authority in your life.

The three most important times I see in the bible where Jesus gave authority is in Mt 10: 1 (Lk 9:1), Lk 10:1, and Mt 28: 16-20. In these verses Jesus gave authority not to everybody or anybody but to His disciples. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus. Well in the case of the original 12 disciples these were men who left all to follow and learn all that Jesus commanded. They left and laid down everything that would hinder them from learning from and following Jesus. Peter would tell Jesus in Mrk 10: 28 - "See, we have left all and followed You". Also in Lk 5:27 Jesus called to Levi (Matthew) "Follow me" and Levi's reaction in verse 28 was "So he left all, rose up, and followed Him". These verse give us examples of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. You must hear the call to follow Jesus and you must rise up leave all and follow Him.

In Lk 14:25 while talking with the great multitudes, Jesus gives two reasons one cannot be His disciple. "If anyone comes to Me (hears my call to come and follow me) and does not hate his father or mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Wow! Jesus could not be telling someone to hate those in his or her own families but at the very minimum the requirement to be his disciple was that you could not love them more than you love Him. This verse makes more since when you put it into the context of who he was talking to. To convert to following Jesus would mean that someone would have to renounce their Family religion, in this case Judaism or paganism. To renounce your family religion often and in most cases meant renouncing your family or your family renouncing you as part of the family. We have recently seen an example of this in the case of the Muslim girl who had to flee from her family to Florida because she converted to Christianity. She knew that her life was now in jeopardy because converting to Christianity from Islam is an offense punishable by death. So she loved Jesus more than loosing her place in her earthly family. Did she loose her love for her family, no. But given the choice to follow the family tradition and religion or the choice to follow and be a disciple of Jesus, she chose Jesus.

Verse 27 - "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple" and in verse 33 - "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple."

The first question we have to ask ourselves especially if we have lost our authority, or in a majority of cases never had it, is are we disciples of Jesus? Judge yourself by the word of God not by your own beliefs and religious upbringing. Look at the examples of the disciples in the bible. Most of the original disciples lost their lives, literally, because they were followers or disciples of Jesus. Contrary to most of the preaching today, being a disciple of Jesus costs you something. We cannot have our lives and Jesus too. He didn't come so we can have a better life but so that we could loose our lives. And in loosing our lives we will find true abundant live that can only be found in serving Jesus as His disciple and we will regain the authority we have forfeited through following and living our own way. Becoming religious is also not the answer either. Is not time to go to church its time to become disciples of Jesus so that we can be the church. Jesus never asked the original twelve disciples to come or go to church. He said follow me......... So i am saying to you follow Jesus and learn from Him and walk with and learn from others who are doing the same thing.

One last thought, the reason Jesus gave His disciples authority was to go and make other disciples or followers of Jesus. And there was power that would go with them. In Mt 10 some of the results of having Jesus' authority was that unclean spirits would be cast out of people and sickness and diseases would be healed. When we all become disciples of Jesus and lay hold of His given authority we will see these power again in the church. I look forward to seeing this again as the Church of Jesus Christ once again regains it's true authority and it's true mission. May it start in you and spread to others.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let Another Take His Office

As I was reading Ps 108 today verse 8 stood out to me. "Let his days be few and let another take his office". In this chapter of Psalms David is basically venting to God about people that have wronged him and what he desired would happen to them. Verse 8 has a star by it in my bible which means the publisher thought that this verse would be fulfilled during the time of the Jesus. Well this verse and the verse that follow it speak of Judas and what happened to him after he would betray Jesus.

Let his days be few - well he killed himself shortly after betraying Jesus
Let another take his office - well we know that another person took his place as one of the apostles. Matthias was chosen to take his place.

Here is the wisdom I received from these verses and the story of Judas? When I think of the word office I think of a place or a position of authority that is given to you by God. I'm not going to list all the positions of authority that we see everyday. Granted some are man made authority and some are God given authority. Authority can be defined as the right to do something. Believe it or not Judas was chosen by Jesus to be one of His disciples and later became an Apostle. Jesus chose and gave Judas the right do represent Him, on earth and later when He would return to heaven after His death. Wow what a powerful office! When I think of the Apostles and what they did while Jesus was one earth I think about Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also and sent them two by two before His face into every city where He Himself was about to go." Also after His death we See that the apostles would plant and built the structure of the church that Jesus said He would build in Mt 16.

The tragedy is that Judas forfeited his authority for 30 pieces of silver. We see this throughout the Bible in the stories of Sampson, King Saul, and Esau who sold his birthright for a morsel of meat.

How do we loose our God given authority or the right to do something? Well just like Judas, the way we loose or forfeit our authority is by betraying Jesus. Betraying Jesus is to sell out our relationship to Him by choosing to quit following Him and His way and to follow our own way. We sell out by going back to a lifestyle of sin and self seeking. We leave and quite being a disciple that is seeking to learn and follow all that Jesus commanded. I think of the places of authority or offices that are dearest to me and that I respect the most, The Church of Jesus Christ, Ministers and Father (parents). In Mt 28:18-20 Jesus said "all authority has been given unto me in haven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey all the things that i have commanded and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age. As Christians we have been given authority to go and do something and that is to make disciples that are learning to obey all that Jesus commanded. What happens when we sell out and not doing what Jesus commanded us to do. Just like Judas we loose our office and it is given to another. Ask yourself an a honest question are you walking in life with the authority that Jesus gave his disciples in Mt 28. If your not than maybe your not a disciple of Christ but a follower of Religion or the traditions of Man. Fathers do you have authority in your kids life or has it been given to another? Are they following you as you follow Christ? Lets look at the results mentioned in the next verse in Ps 109 that speak of someone who has betrayed Jesus and lost his or her office.

Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow- Children can be fatherless even when a father is present in the home. This is epidemic in the church and in the world. What about the father son relationships in the church where older men are fathering younger men how to be godly? See Eph 5 of how a husband is to treat his wife. Again although husbands are present in the home the wives feel like and are basically widows. Results of Forfeited authority.

Let his children continually be vagabonds and beg, let them seek their bread from desolate places - a vagabond is someone that is tossed about or tottering. Eph 4 talks about when Gods ministers properly equip Gods people that they would no longer be tossed about by every wave and wind of doctrine. How stable and established are those God has given you charge over. A picture of a beggar should be self explanatory. Are we giving fresh bread (the word of God, see Jn 6) or are they beggars sitting is desolate places.

Let the creditors seize all that he has and let strangers punder his labor - what a picture of the most of the church world - in credit up to their eyeballs buying stuff that will never fulfill, stressed out and selling out our flocks and families so that we can pay the next bill. Husbands think about
another man or woman coming into your family because of divorce and neglect and plundering all that you worked for. Raising your children and sleeping in your bed.

Let there be none to extend mercy to him, let there be any to favor his fatherless children

Let his posterity be cut off, and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. - Posterity is the end of ones life -
Being cut off is being gone or remembered no more. This is the greatest result in my opinion - the generation after you is lost or gone. Thousands and thousands every year of the next generation are leaving Christianity all over the world.

May you examine yourself to see if you have lost your authority in your family and in your life. We all need to examine the church and began to ask the honest questions and what can bee seen clearly that the church has become something that God never intended it to be and she has lost her authority in this world. Yea I'm talking to your church and your denomination. The church that Jesus is building is not built on or by man's authority but its built on Jesus Christ and His word, It's filled with His Spirit, and is filled with His love and it is going and making disciples that follow and obey all that Jesus commanded. It's is submitted to His authority and the authority of each person in His body. My spirit this morning in not ON of arrogance or finger pointing but of humility and compassion asking all who read this blog to examine yourself and ask the hard questions. And if you find yourself having lost God's authority REPENT or change and start by seeking Jesus and his commandments and following them and asking God to have mercy on your soul and to change your heart. He will because He did it and is doing it for me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jesus Paid It All - Kristian Stanfill

I heard this song yesterday and was so moved by the words of this old Hymn of the faith. May the words bring revelation and freedom to know and understand that Jesus paid the price for our sin and through His death and resurrection he broke the power that sin hold in our life. We are free from the bondage of sin because Jesus paid it all!!


Verse 1
I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."

Chorus
’Cause Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Verse 2
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow'r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots,
And melt the heart of stone.

Verse 3
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
Jesus died my soul to save
my lips shall still repeat.

Bridge
Oh, praise the One who paid my debt,
And raised this life up from the dead.

Jesus Paid It All - Kristian Stanfill

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be Still and Know That I Am God

Ps 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth!!!

What a wonderful verse to ponder and consider. Be still - this means you. Does this describe your life today. Most people are sooooo busy with life we don't have time to be still. There's to much to do in our fast paced society and so Little time to do it. God is calling us to be still and to know that He is God. I was looking up some of the meanings of still and the words that stood out to me were to let drop, to be quite, relax, withdraw, refrain, etc. Wow this is how i want to be in my life. Think about all the world running around stressed out no peace or rest for their souls.

Ps 4:4 - Stand in awe and sin not, commune with your own heart on your bed, and be still

The greatest way to be still according to this verse is to commune with your heart with God. This is how we get still by communing with God. Commune in the Hebrew means to speak and in this context to speak with God. In true communion their is a two way relationship, you speak with God and God speaks to you. Adam in the cool of the day talked or communed with God. What a picture of how we should be with God. On your bed to me speaks of when ever you wake and when ever you go to sleep we should be still. In the morning we speak so we can make it through the day in the evening we speak because of what went on during the day. When we are still and commune with God, we will get to know God and God will be exalted among the heathen and in the earth.

The other way to commune with God besides your personal time with Him is to commune with other believers or with the Body of Christ. What a way to know God in a greater way as we share our lives with one another. So be still today!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keep Your Heart with all diligence

Prov 4:23 - Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

I spoke on this verse last week in our father daughter banquet. As parents, espically fathers, we should keep watch over the hearts of our children because what is planted in their hearts will come out in the way they live. Jesus said out of the abundance or overflow of the heart the mouth will speek. In Mt 15:19 Jesus said - For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are issues that people are dealing with everyday. Well where did they start and where did they come from. Well proverbs tells us where they come from, our heart.

Verse 25 of Prov 4 gives what I think is one of the avenues by which things get into our heart. The verse says let your eyes look straight ahead and your eyelids look right before you. Verse 26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. What we see speaks of what our focus is on. For example Eve looked at the apple before she began to think about eating it. Her focus was on how good it looked and how good it would taste for her. Her eyes cause her to think about herself rather than obeying the commands of God. Her eyes brought in the seeds of rebellion and disobedience that were planted in her heart thus the issue of her life was rebellion and disobedience to God and his word. I would like to ask the question today to all who read this blog, who do you see Jesus as. The scripture says in Heb 12:2 to look to Jesus. Who is the Jesus you are looking at today. Is he the Jesus of the bible or another Jesus that man has created. The scripture says that in the last days many would say here is Jesus or there is Jesus. But who do you say that Jesus is. In Mt 28:18 - Jesus says about Himself that "all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth". The world authority here is the greek word exousia or the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed). This is who Jesus said He was and represents all power and authority and because of this He must be submitted too. Do you see Jesus as someone who must be obeyed or is it optional. Jesus is called Lord over 600 times in the new testament while He is called savior only 15 times. Many people see Jesus as savior which means that they see Jesus as a way to be saved from that bad place called hell and a means to get to the good place called heaven. This is such a distortion of who Jesus is and what He has saved us from. Jesus the Lord of the universe has saved us from our sins which means He has provided a way for us to become free from the bondage of sin (disobedience to God) to that we can obey God and Jesus can become the Lord or supreme authority over our lives. As we look to the Jesus of the bible our hearts change from a heart of rebellion against God to a heart of submission and loving obedience to God. Out of a heart that now has gratitde and thankfulness because we've been saved from sin, we become loving disciples of Christ. Remember the eyes are the gateway to our hearts and also are things that sets the pathway or direction for our feet. AS we look to and our focus is on serving the Jesus of the Bible our feet will be established to go and to tell others that Jesus is supreme authority and that he must be submitted too at all cost.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Wilderness Will Show You Your Heart

Ps 106: 14 - "But they lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tested God in their hearts". I was reading Psalm 106 this morning and I was drawn to verses 13-15. Starting in verse 6 the psalmist begins to recount the history of the Nation of Israel in their journey from Egypt to the promised land. The verses tell of how God was faithful even when Israel sinned against Him and rebelled against Him in the journey. The journey of Israel through the wilderness is such a picture of someone who is unconverted and uncomitted to God but yet wants all His benefits. It tells of the ups and downs of a people that God called His own but yet they didn't belong to God in their hearts. The tradgedy about Israel is that as a nation they never really changed throughout their history and to this day have rejected God's redemtive plan for them and for all of mankind, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. They were never converted in their hearts to be Gods people although they were called God's people by name. Your actions or works will always prove where your heart is. Your works prove the real condition of your heart not what you or others call you.

They soon forgot his works - God had just delivered them through the Red Sea but yet they were fretting and complaining about God providing for them in the wilderness. A uncoverted person always worries and frets about his or her present situation or the future never resting in the past provision and works of God.

They did not wait for His counsel - An unconverted person never waits to hear from the counsel of God. To me this speaks of not relying or seeking Gods word but relying and doing what your flesh dictates. The scripture that Jesus quoted while in His trial in the wilderness was "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Deu 8:3) The devil had tempted Jesus to use His flesh to turn the rocks into bread. Jesus was probably exceedingly hungry but He would not let his fleshly appetites and carnal mind dictate to Him how to act. He knew that every converted man, in His temptation and trial, must wait for the council of God. Man must live by the council and words that God speaks not by his fleshly wisdom and council.

But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tested God in their hearts - As mentioned in the previous verse, there are two things that will lead you in the wilderness - your lust and your flesh or Gods word which is his council. The hotter the trial the greater the flesh will lust. The bigger the circumstance the more your carnal mind will race and worry and scheme. A converted person has learned through trials to wait on the Lord and to bring his fleshly mind into the obedience of God's word. The sword of the spirit is the Word of God and the peaceful mind in the times of trials is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind of a person. Remember Romans 8:6 "To be carnally minded (Fleshly controlled) is death or brings death, but to be spiritually minded (or controlled by the word and Holy Spirit)is life and peace". Verse 5 - For those who live according to the flesh (they are led by and controlled by there fleshly mind not by Gods Spirit and His word) set their minds on the things of the Flesh (They are exceedingly lustful in their mind and thus in their actions) but those who live acording to the Spirit the things oif the Spirit (their mind and live is controlled by the Holy Spirit and thier words or actions prove this out, See the works of the Spirit in Gal 5:22 and the works of the flesh in Gal 5:19-21). To test God in your heart is to say that God cannot or will not provide due to HIs lack of power or love.

He have them their request but sent leaness into their souls - God will give us what we are lusting for. We can and do get what our flesh desires and often call it a blessing from God. But we will soon find out that the end result of what our flesh has aquired and asked for will bring leanness to our soul. Our soul becomes barren of the life of God although our flesh was satisfied. The perceived blessing becomes a curse in our lives.

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Is There Not A Cause"

Reading Job 29 this morning I was encouraged as Job began to describe how he lived his life. His character describes what I think the church and the people of God should look like. Here are some of the things that stood out to me.

He delivered the poor, the fatherless and the ones who had no helper when they cried out - (verse 12)

The blessing of the perishing man came upon him and he cause the widows heart to sing (sounds like pure and undefiled religion spoken of in James)

His clothes were the clothes of righteousness and Justice was like a robe and turban

I was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, and I was a father to the poor. And I searched out the cause that i did not know.

I broke the fangs of the wicked and plucked the victim from its teeth.

What a powerful description of who the church should be and what the church should be doing. In my post yesterday I talked about the eye being the lamp of the body. Can you see what God has called us to be. Can you see yourself as Job saw himself. Look at Gods word today and began to open your eyes to what God has called us to be! As Job stated he searched out the cause that he did not know. God has a cause that is worth searching out. It's to bring people into the Kingdom Of God and to build His Church!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Lift Up Your Eyes and Look at the the Fields"

Jn 4: 35 - Do you not say, "There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look to the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

Jesus commanded His disciples to lift up their eyes to look at the fields. Jesus said in another place that the eyes are the lamp of the body. If your eye is good than your body will be good but if your eye is bad your body will be evil and full of darkness. In another place Jesus in speaking about the eye said if your eye causes you to sin than pluck it out. What we look at are see determines what we treasure or what gets planted in our hearts. Jesus was saying put your eyes and the fields because now is the time for harvest. The disciples obviously had their eyes focused or looking at something else. There were looking at getting something to eat. Their eyes were fixed on themselves and their fleshly appetites. Today we must ask ourselves were our eyes are and what are they looking at. Are our eyes fixed on the Fields or on souls that are lost and perishing. Some fields are already ready to harvest because someone has labored in preparing the ground and sowing the seed of the word. While other fields are not ready because no one has labored in plowing the ground and sowing seed. The churches eyes should be on the fields and we should be harvesting are preparing for a harvest. What are you looking at today. Is it anything else besides the fields that God wants the church to harvest. Lift up your eyes to the fields!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Freely You've Received Freely Give

Jesus gave these instructions as He sent His disciples out to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. The mandate of New Testament Christianity is we must freely give what we have freely received. The question should be asked what have you received from Christ. Well the first thing we must receive is Christ as Lord and Savior. He must be Lord before He can be your savior. Who is your Lord today? There are many lords in the world today. Even for those who claim Christianity. When Jesus is Lord You are committed to be His disciple and to following Him wherever He would go. The Cost does not matter and obedience is not an option. To have Jesus as Lord is to serve Him and to lay down our lives for Him, for His Body (the church) and for the world. All of this is out of Love and devotion for what He has done for us. When Jesus is Lord of your life the proof of this is that are giving your life to Him, His body (the Church) and to the world that it might be saved. I love the story of the woman in Lk 7:47 who the bible described as a sinner. It seems that she must have been a prostitute. She is the woman that broke the costly oil at anointed Jesus' feet with it. She rinsed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. At the end of the story the religious Pharisees were wondering why Jesus allowed this woman who was a sinner to do this to Him. They were very uncomfortable with this show of love and affection. It's still the same today. Religious and people who claim Christianity but have not received Christ as Lord are very uncomfortable with this type of devotion. He explained that she was doing this because her sins were great and she was showing her love because her sins, though many, were forgiven. He who has been forgiven much loves much. Wow what a picture of what every forgiven soul should be doing. She was giving what she had received. We have been forgiven much so we should be giving much. Scholars say that the oil that she used was very costly but cost didn't stop this woman from loving. What we have been given in Christ is very costly it was given at a very high price. But once we have been forgiven it all belongs to Jesus. In the great throne of Judgement our proof that we were His sheep will be that we freely did things for the least of these. Jesus said as much as you have done it to the least of these my brethren you've done it unto me. As we give to the least of this world, those in prison, the sick,
and the poor and broken we have done it to Jesus we have anointed His feet with the costly oil of our lives and our loving devotion. Hallelujah!!!! Please judge your life by the word of God and not by what you have justified yourself with. Does what I am saying describe your life? Are you giving and pouring out your life to Christ and for Christ? Is it out of a loving gratitude because your sins are forgiven and you've been set free? Jesus said you will know a tree by the fruit it produces? Is this the fruit of your life? Please Judge yourself harshly by the word of God. If it is not than begin to seek Jesus and his word and pray that He will become the Lord of Your life. Become His disciple and follower and He will give you the same devotion and love that this woman had!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alive in Christ

Eph 2:1 - "And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sin" One of the definitions I found for the word dead is to be destitute of a life that recognises and is devoted to God, because of being given up to trespasses and sins. I can remember being dead to the things of God. Growing up I knew about God but I never knew them. When I think of the word destitute I get a picture of the desert. This is how I was in my sin, barren and dry a place where no life existed. The problem with being dead is that those who are dead don't even know it. I was dead to the life of God. I couldn't see it, taste it, smell it or hear it. Dead men are just that they are dead to life. One of the wonderful things about God and His grace is that in our dead state He is calling out to us so that we can be made alive. God is the only one that can speak to dead men. Somewhere is our dead state God calls out too us. Man throughout his history has used Religion to try to make himself alive. Your or my religion cannot bring life only Jesus can. Spiritual dead men can go to church, synagogue, start doing good things, turn over a new leaf but they are still dead. Jesus Christ is the only means by which spiritually dead men can be made alive. Jesus said if any man believe in me though he were dead yet shall he live. Jesus died and rose from the dead so that we who are dead can rise from the dead. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord. Please do not resist those times when God is calling out to you. He is calling you out of your death. The time when you begin to think about the meaning of life and what is life all about. This is God calling out to you don't resist or let His voice go away. Don't allow other things to give you a sudo-life. Seek Jesus and His word. Start reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Ask God to show you the way to true life. Jesus said that His words are spirit and they are life. Thank God that He lets dead men find true life!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seeing What God Sees!!!

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen then afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and Pilgrims on the earth" Heb 11:13.

This morning as I read and meditated on this verse I got a glimpse of how important sight is. There are two realms of sight talked about in the scripture. Physical sight and spiritual sight. People that live by faith have spiritual sight. They see through the eyes of faith. The scripture says we walk by faith and not by sight!!!! God's promises to us is what God sees for our life. The reason these people died in faith is because they saw and embraced what God had promised them. They embraced what God saw for their life. When our physical eyes sees an impossibility faith sees the God that does the impossible. Assurance is being sure that something will happen. The one thing I am sure of is that no matter what is going on in my physical circumstance, God sees something bigger and the bigger is given to us through His promises. For me to overcome the circumstance in my life I must see what God sees and walk accordingly. When I assured and embrace what God sees I will speak and say what God would speak and say. Rm 10: 9 states that "if we will confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". I believe what we say is what we believe. When we believe in our heart what God has promised than we will confess it through our words. The scripture says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. People around you can see what you believe by what you say. Parents can you see what God sees for your children if you can than you are probably speaking it to them on a regular basis. Praise God for His promises and we must diligently seek them out for our selves so that we can see what God sees.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Therefore from one Man

Heb 11:12 - "Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitudes - innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore".

Its amazing to see the results of Sara and Abraham's faith. The verse gives us a glimpse of what God can do through the faith of one man or the faith of one man and one woman in this case. From the fruit of Sara's faith was born innumerable numbers of descendants. What a encouraging word for us today. If God could bring about His purpose through two peoples faith why can't he use you. This verse also brings up the physical limitaions of Abraham - he was as good as dead in his ability to produce children. We are all dead and limited in our ability to produce the purposes and fruit of God in our lives. This is whats so wonderful about Faith and the power of God. With man its impossible but with God everything is possible. Rms 4: 17-25, Paul tells the story of Abraham and Sara's faith for the sole purpose of teaching the Romans about imputed righteousness. Through one man's faith and obedience, the way to righteouness or right standing with God was given. Jesus is this one man that lived and gave His life by faith and through His act of faith all men are given the way to become righteouness. Through this one act of obedience many children have been and are still being birthed into the Kingdom of God. It would be safe to say that the numbers of children that are and will be birthed into the Kindom will be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand is on the sea shore. Righteousness is the child that is born through our faith in the way to righteousness as given by what Jesus did at the cross. The fruits of being righteous before God is innumerable but it can be clearly seen by you and by others. We can literally see the result of Sara and Abraham's faith as we look at physical Israel and also at the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the seed of Abraham that would be the blessing to all nations and that through Him would come the innumerable desendents. Remember the verse from yesterday talked of Sara receiving strength to conceive through her faith. Well that same strength or power is the same power that we receive through the person of the Holy Spirit. He produces righteouness in our lives. Remember faith can be seen and touched, it is tangible or evident. Many say that they believe in Jesus but the evidence or fruit of this is not being born or produced in their lives. Don't loose hope today. Repent which means to change the way you think and put your faith in Jesus. Start living by faith in who He is and what He has done for you on the cross. Remember just like Abraham you are past dead in your ability to produce the fruit of God in your life. But also Just like Abraham God will do a miracle in your life just like He did in his.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking At Faith

"By faith Sara herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised" Heb 11:11

I had a thought yesterday that people of faith do extraordinary things. It should be noted that the faith that I write about is the faith that has it's object as God and His Word as given to man in the Bible. In this verse Sara gives us a glimpse of what can happen through proper placed faith. Through her faith, Sara received strength to conceive a seed. Strength here is the Greek word Dynamis, the word we get the English word Dynamite from. It is the power given by the Holy Spirit that produces miracles. Notice that faith produced power to conceive a seed that gave birth to a child. Giving birth to a child was Sara's desire but she was limited by her age and her physical circumstance. Sara judged or considered in her mind that what God had promised her would come to pass because God is faithful. This is called repentance. Repentance is changing the way we think. Repentance and faith Faith depends, trusts and looks to God's promises which are found in His word and the faithfulness of God to do what He said He would do. God produced the miracle through the power of His Spirit but Sara's repentance and faith was the foundation and catalyst by which the miracle came. One of the greatest promises that God has given man is that He would save His people from their sin. Our Sin seperates us from a God and the penalty for sin is eternal judgement or hell. God in His love has provided a payment for our sin and it was the death of His son. His death and eventual resurrection is the means by which we are forgiven for our sin and by which we are delievered from the power of sin in our lives. The sin nature controls every mans life. It is the thing that enslaves us and controls us to disobey and sin against God. When we place our faith in what Jesus did at the cross we will receive the same power that Sara received to conceive and give birth to a child. This is a miracle of the same magnitude as what Sara experienced. There is a birth here also, it is the birth of a new creation or creature. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things pass away behold all things become new. God has given you the same promises he gave Sara and he has given to all men. Have you considered them. Let Gods word change the way you think and then put your faith in What God has said he will do. Its the only way to live!!!!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Looking Unto Jesus


Heb 12: 2 is a very familiar scripture for those who have been around Christianity for any amount of time. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God". Why do we need to look on Jesus? Well, according to verse one, we all have a race that is set before us and we need to finish it. The race is not a forty yard dash but a marathon which lasts until we die or until Jesus comes back. It's the race of Faith which is clearly defined and displayed in chapter 11 of Hebrews. The word looking in the Greek text means to turn your eyes away from other things and fix them on something else. The object that the verse is exhorting us to fix our eyes upon is Jesus. The Jesus that is the author and finisher of our faith. A faith that required a cross to die upon. A faith that required suffering and hostility from others. A faith that required obedience even unto the point of death. Fix your eyes on the Jesus of the Bible not another Jesus that has been created from fleshly minds. In life it's so easy to fix your eyes on other things. I get discouraged when I fix my eyes on the condition of our nation. I get discouraged when I fix my eyes on the "church" and what it's turned into in our nation and around the world. I get discouraged when I look at my circumstances or when I keep looking at what happened in the past. Just like in a natural race when we lose sight if the object (the finish line) we began to slow down and may even come to a stop. We lose our endurance which is the very thing we need to keep running and to finish the race. Mt 10:22 "And you will be hated by all for my names sake but he who endures to the end shall be saved." Wow, not a common memory verse but one that gets the point across. Endurance means to remain steadfast and to overcome a foe. To finish my thought this morning I would write the following verse. 2 Cor 3:18 - "But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord (Jesus), are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." The end of the race of faith is for the one who is fixing his eyes to be transformed into the image of Christ. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, His character, His works, His words we will by the power of the Spirit be changed into His image. Hallelujah.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Going Through the Motions....

Last week we talked about just going through the motins, which to us means to just go through life without much meaning. Wake up, got to school/work, come home, go to sleep. Nothing you do really has any meaning. We played this song called Goining Through the Motions by Matthew West and I just wanted to share it.



This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

Chorus

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming
passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

Chorus

'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,instead of going through the motions?"
take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way ('cause I don't wanna go through the motions)
take me all the way (I know I'm finally feeling something real)
take me all the way
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming
passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,instead of going through the motions?"
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,instead of going through the motions?"
take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way (I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go)
take me all the way (through the motions)
take me all the way
I don't wanna go through the motions........

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Generation That Did Not Know God

Judges 2: 10 - "When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers (died), another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel." This theme is repeated throughout the old testament and especially in the book of Judges. Why couldn't the knowledge of God be passed to the next generation? My hearts desire is that I would raise up a generation after me that will know and Follow God even more than I do. Two things I noticed in the reading of Israel as they took the promised land God gave them. The first is that the generation that proceeded the generation that didn't know God was always in a battle. They were fighting to take what God had given them as a result of His covenant with them. Was the next generation involved in the fighting or were they spectators that never experienced a fight nor were they taught to fight. We as the first generation can get so caught up in fighting spiritual battles that we forget to teach the next how to fight. The next generation never learned to know God in the midst of battle. They never experienced His faithfulness to drive out the enemy before His people. They never experienced these things for themselves but were benefactors of the blessing God was given there fathers. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the captivity to the obedience of Christ. We as Christians are in a warfare and God has given us spiritual weapons that we can and will win with. Are we giving these weapons to the next generation and teaching them to use them or are they sitting back and watching us fight. The other thing I saw is that the first generation didn't fully obey God in that they did not fully drive out the inhabitants of the promised land. One generations disobedience can be the cause of the next generations curse. Future generations will suffer the consequences of the prior generations wrongs. The first generation disobeyed God and consequently began to take on the idolatry of the people they did not drive out. When we become friends with the world through sin and compromise we cause the next generations vision to be cloudy. We introduce them to another god and instead of knowing and experiencing the true God they are introduced and began to know a god we have made with our own hands and imaginations. Rms 1 clearly points this out. Rm 1:21 -"because although they knew God, they did not glorify His as God (did not fully obey Him) nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed animals and creeping things." When one generation does not fully glorify God through their lives the progression begins as mentioned in the verse. Futile thoughts and foolish hearts become darkened so that in this condition another god is made that is full of corruption. What is left for the next generation is a god that has been made up from minds that became futile and hearts that were darkened. We must get back to knowing the God of the bible and teach Him and His ways to the next generation. As Christians we have been given the Holy Spirit who will bring revelation to us all as we follow Christ. We must pray as Paul prayed for the generation that would follow him (Eph 1:15-19). Father give us and the next generation the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. Amen!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wisdom Speaks

Over the past few days I have been writing from the topic of treasuring Jesus and His words. Through reading Proverbs 7-9 I have noticed a reoccurring word, wisdom. Wisdom seems to come as a result of having Jesus and His word as your treasure. According to 1 Cor 1:30 Jesus is to us the wisdom from God. As Christ and His word are the center of our lives we can know wisdom. Wisdom is a person. Go through and read Proverbs 8 and 9 and place Jesus in the place of the word wisdom. Prov 8:1 Does not Jesus cry out. We know in Mt 11:30 Jesus cried out come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. We know that he cried from the hill of Calvary "it is finished". (Vs 2) He takes his stand on top of the high hill beside the way where the paths meet. Jesus talked about two paths in the scriptures (Mt 7:14), the broad way that leads to death and the narrow way that leads to life everlasting. He stands at the point of the two paths choose Him and His ways and you choose the narrow way that leads to everlasting life. Reject Him and His ways and you choose the broad way that leads to death. (Vs 3) Jesus is at the door knocking (Rev 3:20), to him that opens that door and knock, if any man hears my voice and opens that door Jesus will come in and commune with him. Wow that is powerful. But we must hear His voice and open the door. Our responsibility is to hear His voice and open the door by following and obeying His voice. Fellowship with Jesus awaits all who will hear his voice and obey Him. (Vs 6-9) Listen, for I will speak excellent things and from the opening of my lips will come right things; For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips all the words of My mouth are with righteousness nothing crooked are perverse is in them, they are plain to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge. What a wonderfact that wisdom speaks and what He speaks is always truth never crooked or perverse only righteous. So will be the man who follows the words of wisdom. He will be a man of righteousness, truth and no perverse way. Lord may we be filled with wisdom by being filled with the wisdom from above, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Seductress

Yesterday I shared a word on treasuring The words of Jesus in our hearts. My inspiration came from Prv 7:1. The rest of Prv 7 gives the reason we should treasure and obey His word. Verse 4 say to wisdom, You are my sister and call understanding your nearest kin. Verse 5 - That they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words. When we put the most value in hearing, keeping and obeying His word understanding and wisdom become a part of who we are. True understanding and wisdom can only come from treasuring His word. Now this verse could apply literally to a immoral woman wanting to catch someone in adultery. But I think the meaning is deeper than that because there are things in this world that are continually calling out to us to seduce us into committing adultery against Christ. Seduce means to entice lead astray. Verse 12 At times outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner. The immoral woman can be openly apparent or she can be subtly hidden. Col 2:8 - Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit: according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. This verse describes the things that will seduce us into leaving our relationship with Christ. We should beware and make sure we are not being led astray by other voices that seem right and are very attractive but the end of following them is death. Jesus is the only way to life and peace. There is no other way to abundant life but through hearing and obeying Jesus. In verse 7 of Col 2 we are encourages to be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as we have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Roots come out of a seed and are the foundation of a plant. The words of Christ are seeds that are planted in out hearts. As these words are planted in our hearts they become nourished and watered by the Holy Spirit and become plants that produce the fruit of Christ in our lives. These words abound inthe life of a faithful christian. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God (Rms 10:17). Lord I pray that we may be rooted and grounded in You and Your words and keep us from the immoral woman. Amen!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where Your Treasure Is There Your Heart Will Be

In Mt 6:21 Jesus states "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also". Jesus said alot about treasures in the scripture. A treasure could be defined as something that you value the most. I was reading this morning in Prov. 7:1 "My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you." Solomon is instructing his son to make sure that he treasures keeping his words and commands within him (his heart). This principle is repeated throughout the bible. The foundation of all Christianity is that we are to put the most value in keeping and obeying the words of Jesus. Its the proof that Jesus is Lord of your life. In Lk 6:46--49 Jesus would explain to all that hearing and obeying His words is the paramount way to proof that He is Lord and that we are built on Him as our foundation. The words of Jesus are more valuable than gold that will perish. They give riches that money can never give. His word will never fade away but endures forever (1 Pet 1:25). Jesus said that what you treasure the most is where your heart will be. Mt 6:19-20, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moths nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal". To lay up treasures in heaven is to first treasure His words and His commands and as we obey and follow them we are laying up treasures in heaven. Lord help me to put your word as my greatest treasure on earth. May hearing and obeying it be the center of my heart. Amen!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

At the Allen's
















































This week we met at the Allen's house. We had a wonderful lunch of ham, baked potato casserole, white beans, and two different desserts; a raspberry torte and a pound cake with strawberries. We talked about hearing the Voice of the Lord. Sara red the children a story that taught them about Jesus's death, burial, and Resurrection.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Church at Penny's

Dalton was Joseph, and the others were his brothers.

Hannah and Ashton.

Danny is aways trying to steal peoples food...






Ava




Two weeks ago we met at Penny's house. Penny made some Chinese beef that was heavenly. Sara has been teaching the children about love from 1Cor. 13:4. This week we were on love does not hold a grudge. The kids preformed a play about Joseph and his brothers to teach the grown ups about love.










Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 1, 2009

The church that met at Darren and Kandi's house had a good time of fellowship. It was so good to hear what the Lord was saying through His body. To start our gathering we played a song from Casting Crowns called "The Voice of Truth". The words of this song are so powerful. It speaks of giants and waves that come up in our lives. Often times these trials and storms can cause us to doubt and live in fear or even fail in our faith. But the voice of truth tell a different story. The words of Jesus speak truth and faith and as we hear and obey them, they cause us to stand in the midst of the storms and overcome the waves. They empower us to slay the Gaint and to see the mountains move. Hallelujah!!!! One of the younger girls in the church read Jer 29:11-13. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find [Me], when you search for Me with all your heart." This word prompted a lot of discussion. A lot of the talk centered on seeking God with all of our heart. What a promise - If we seek Him, we will find Him if we seek with our whole heart. Even in the midst of fiery trials we must seek Him because He has a future and a hope for us all. Heb 11: 13, 24-26 was read and we talked about the perseverance of and action of Faith. Faith is more than just believing with your head; it's obeying with your heart. Faith obeys even when the promise is long in coming. Faith keeps believing thus keeps obeying. One of the last scriptures read was 2 Pet 1:1-11. The high points touched on by the reader was vs. 3 which states "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." She began to proclaim that Jesus has given us everything we need to live in this life to live godly through his divine power. She also pointed out that we as born again Christians have taken on His divine nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit. And that because of these facts we should be adding to our Faith, virtue (moral excellence), to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self- control, to self-control perserverance, to perserverence godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. Through our Faith in Christ, and because of what He has supplied to us, we should see these things abounding in our lives. This is the new nature being lived out through our lives. These characteristics are a result of our faith. They are the fruit of our faith. They are the actions of our faith. Hallelujah!!!! We prayed for one another and finished off the day eating Kandi's famous spaghetti.

Monday, February 16, 2009

80's Valentine Party!!











Saturday night we had an 80's Valentine's Party at our house.... Danny had no idea that we were dressing up. He was very surprised! We ate P.F. Changs...it was great! Paul Michael Fryday and April Denham won the 80's trivia and won Reese's heart and bath stuff!