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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Proverbs 8:32-36

"Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door. For whoever finds me finds life. And obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; and those who hate me love death."

Good instruction is always found in God's word. Some points to ponder;

Blessings comes to the person who listens to Jesus' voice and His obey His word. Jesus told his disciples to be careful how you hear! Are we listening and if so why. Is it to obey and follow Him. This is the source of the blessing, listening and obeying. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice. The 23 Pslam speaks of the Good Shepherd bringing the sheep into green pasture, restoring their souls, and bringing them to the still waters. InLk 6 Jesus asked His disciples why do you call me Lord and do not do the things that I say? He then tells them about the person who hear and does His sayings. He will be like the man who built His foundation on a solid foundation so that when the storms of life come the house remains standing.

Watching daily at His gates and waiting at the posts of my door. Jesus called Himself the door of the sheep. He also said narrow is the gate that leads to everlasting life. Jesus and His way's is the door and the gate that leads to everlasting life. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the father but through me. His way is the narrow way.

The Holy Spirit is our helper. In Jn 16:13 Jesus said the helper will guide you to all truth. We will speak whatever He hears. The Holy Spirit lives inside the heart of a Christian and He is there to speak, empower and to lead us into the will of God for our lives. May we learn to hear His voice and to obey Him in all things.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Letter From Bienvenue




Greetings in the Precious name of Jesus Christ!

I would like to share with you a story of Eric Hakizimana, one of the
lives the Lord has impacted through our ministry this month!

Eric Hakizimana was born in 1978. He never knew his father because his
father died right before he was born. 2 years later, Eric was left by
his mother at his grandmother when she went to live with another
husband who did not want Eric.

A few years later, Eric grandmother took him to roman catholic sisters
because she couldn't afford caring for him. She got a place in there
because she was a faithful member of catholic charismatic group and
was greatly appreciated for her devotion.

The catholic sisters received him and cared for him for 13 years.
Right after completing his primary school, his host family was sent to
serve upcountry and did not want to go with him because Eric openly
told them that he will never adhere catholic religion. His decision
forfeited his financial support which led him to drop school with no
where to go because both his grandmother and his mother had passed
away by that time.

With no diploma or job skill, Eric resolved to beg down street for his
survival and like most street boys, Eric sold to robbery and drug
addiction. Worst, Eric joined a group of murderers during Burundi
ethnic war of 1993 – 2005 when he was 15 years old.

Earlier this year, I saw Eric came to me with a couple of his friends
asking to be taught the way to eternal life because he wanted to
please his Creator and escape eternal fire! I shared the gospel with
him and he repented with cries asking God to save them. Months later,
he asked for water baptism which I gladly offered him.

He sleeps down streets, verandas or unfinished houses fleeing
policemen because since coupe of months ago, it is not lawful to sleep
down street. Last night, Eric and his friends (new disciples) were
mercilessly beaten by soldiers who found them sleeping outside late in
the evening.

Eric told me with great joy that since he repented of his sins he
doesn't see anymore the faces of people he willingly killed.

Thanks for helping me reach people like Eric, too.
Bienv
This is the brother I met in Burundi that has started over 700 house churches. He is on fire with the gospel and he goes for the worst of society.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weak In Him

2 C0r 13:4 - "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward You".

To be weak is to be void of strength. In the world, the strength of man is celebrated and even worshipped. From the gladiators during Roman rule to the football teams of the modern era, men have always been praised and glorified due to their strength and human accomplishments.
Jesus Christ was crucified in weakness. What does this statement mean? Jesus stripped or emptied Himself of his strength, wisdom and will. Then He submitted Himself totally to the strength, wisdom and will of God which was the Crucifixion or the death of the cross. This is how He became weak in the Crucifixion. In the garden, He asked the Father to take this cup from me. He prayed earnestly as He was approaching the day of His betrayal and ultimately his death. He resolved in His prayer for God's will to be done in His life no matter the cost. And after the prayer He submitted and obeyed the will of God for His life.

Yet He lives by the power of God. Jesus is not dead He is currently alive. The Crucifixion brought the death of Jesus but the Spirit gave Him life and resurrected Him from the dead. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in the life of the person that is weak in Him. We are weak in Him when we strip ourselves of our human strength, wisdom and will and submit to Jesus' strength, wisdom and will for our lives. This is the live of faith and not fear. Fear comes as a result of living in our own strength, wisdom and will. The power of God comes through the person who is weak in Him and is living by the faith of the Son of God. This is the crucified life. Jesus said unless you take up your cross daily and follow me you cannot be my disciple. Disciples of Christ have become weak in Him. Paul said I am crucified with Christ and its no longer I that live but Christ lives in me. Disciples of Christ live by Christ living through them. Christ can only live through us when we are weak in Him. He is our source of strength. The Holy Spirit is Christ living in and through us. The Holy Spirit is the power of God!!!! That same Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Jesus was God with us (Emanuel), the Holy Spirit is God in us. Christianity is not a powerless religion where we are weak against sin. Christianity is full of power to defeat sin, self and the devil. We must be weak in Him. We cannot be strong in our on strength. This is pride and sin. He must be our source. God demands total dependency on Him and nothing else will do. By the way Christ also has a body, the Body of Christ. We must be weak in Him through depending on our brothers and sisters in Christ. Submit to one another in the fear of the Lord is what the scripture teaches. We will see the power of God as we lay down our lives for one another in true sacrificial love. Praise His Holy Name!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Judgement To Come

Acts 24:15-16 - I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

Acts 24:25 - Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self control, and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you".

Theses are some of the statements Paul answered to the religious Jews who were accusing him creating dissension among the people. He proclaimed the resurrection to come and the judgement that would follow. Because there would be a resurrection and judgement of all men, both the just and the unjust, Paul lived his life accordingly. Here is some more verses from Paul along those same lines. What life did he strive to live? A life that did not offend God and man. In the study of the word strive (exercise in the KJV), I found that it meant living a life in such a way that others looking at or following your life would not have an opportunity to stumble or sin.

2 Cor 5: 9-11 - Therefore we make it our aim, whether absent or present, to be well pleasing to Him, For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body , according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men: but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well know in your conscience.

Lets look at another preacher in the new testament, John The Baptist.

Mt 3:7-12 - John the Baptist in his preaching to the religious leaders of his day - But when he saw many of the Pharisees and the Sadducee's coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of vipers who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? And do not say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from theses stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier that I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. We will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Proper biblical preaching prepares us for the resurrection from the dead and the judgement to come. It challenges us to prepare for the after life by living in such away as to not offend God and men. Have you ever asked yourself the question - Is my life offending God? See that God that alot of people believe in today is a God that has been made up by man. The God man has made up is a God that won't judge. How many times have you heard the statement "you can't judge me". Well many live their lives as if to be saying this to God. You can't judge me. Well folks the God of the bible will judge us for how we lived on the earth. We will Judge us according to the fruit we produce. His judgement will not be based on our idea of what is right and wrong or good or bad. It won't be based on what we think is good fruit or bad fruit. It will based on His word and on the example of His son Jesus Christ. Why do you think Felix was afraid after Paul talked to him about righteousness, self control and the judgement to come. Why would Paul describe the coming Judgement as the terror of the Lord. These are not descriptions we hear today of the God that has been made up by man. These men didn't proclaim how much God loved them and how much He wanted them to have better lives. But this is what you hear predominantly from the pulpits of America. The prevailing thought today is that everybody is going to heaven because God is a God of love. If you will be honest you know I'm right.

We all need to judge ourselves and the way we are living by the word of God. Please may we all wake up and began to live lives that are pleasing to God. We must all appear before God to give an account of how we have lived on this earth. Don't run to the excuse of "I'm not perfect". This is not how Paul thought or lived. Religion won't save you from the wrath to come. If so the Sadducee's and Pharisees had it made. Only a life that is pleasing to God by living and following His Son Jesus Christ and the leading and power of His Holy Spirit transforming and changing our lives to bear fruit worthy of repentance.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good Morning

Mrk 1:35 "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place and there He prayed".

Reading about Jesus and His life gives me so much understanding as to how I can live my life. Jesus started His day seeking and praying to God. Wow!! Many people have a routine every morning and in that routine usually there's something that you have to have to get your day going. A kick start if you will. For many it's a cup of coffee or breakfast. Some have to get in the shower right away to awaken them. Jesus rose up before daylight and prayed. Jesus had to be with His Father before He was with any one else. We cannot imagine the time issues and pressures that Jesus faced on a daily basis. Jesus found His strength to go through His day by spending the first part of the day in prayer. Prayer is more than a one way conversation. Prayer is the time when we pray to God and He speaks to us. It's a time of reflection and meditation on the word of God. It's a time of direction and empowerment. It's a time where we seek and and declare our total dependency on God and His leading, Time is a precious thing to most people. Most people never have enough time in their day. We never have enough time to do the things that are important in life so they never get done. The bible tells us to redeem the time. Redeeming the time is to buy back the time that is wasted or spent on frivolous things. I see early morning prayer as the starting point of redeeming the time. A lot of our time during the day is spent on our will, doing our thing. Jesus showed us in His prayer in the garden how to pray when He prayed "Father not my will but yours be done". In Jn 15:5 Jesus said "I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing". To abide is to remain or not to depart. We must not depart from our starting point or from our foundation. Everything that is built that lasts has a starting point or a solid foundation. Everyday has a staring point and everyday starts with someting or starts somewhere. Jesus' day started with His Father in prayer. Jesus is saying I am the starting point or I am the foundation of your life. With me you can do anything but without me you can do nothing. May we see our need to begin our day with Jesus.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Judges 3:10 "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he Judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim".

Some thoughts I had while reading this morning;

1. How important is the topic of judgement that God gave a whole book of the bible with the title of "Judges".

2. Israel's lack of proper Judgement led them into captivity and instead of waring against ungodliness they accepted it and joined themselves to it. Lack of proper or righteous judgement will always lead one into captivity.

The new testament has alot to say about war and the war we are in. Gal 5:17 states that the flesh wars against the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit against the flesh. It's interesting to note that in the beginning of Ch 3 we read where God left some of the tribes of the land in Israels promised land so that the new generation of Israelites would know war. We have a responsibility to fight or war. It's a Spiritual battle now God has given us the victory but we must fight in the Lord and the Power of His might. To not know war or how to fight in a war will lead to defeat. The weapons of our warfare are mighty in God but we must take up these weapons of God and go to war against the flesh and everything in our lives that God has judged as sin and unrighteousness.

3. The Spirit of the Lord led or was the catalyst to proper judgement. The Holy Spirit will always lead us into God's judgement. People make judgements everyday but only when our judgement lines up with or agrees with God's judgement will we truly judge righteously. The Holy Spirit, as part of the triune nature of God, represents Gods nature, will, etc. Our following Him will always bring us into God's judgement.

1 Cor 2:9-11. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.

4. When a man of God led by the Spirit of God, Judged Israel, Israel was set free from bondage and captivity. A man has risen up to bring deliverance to all who are held captive and His name is Jesus.

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord".

5. 1 Pet 4:17 " For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God. And if it begins with us first what will the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God". This verse is written in the context of suffering at the hands of the world for obeying Christ. When you walk in proper judgement you often times will suffer persecution from the world. We should judge our lives today. Are we being persecuted by the world because of our judgement. There will come a day when God's final judgement will be given to those who do not walk according to God's judgement. And a loving God, because He is a just and righteous judge, will condemn all who do not obey His gospel to an eternal hell.

6. The hand of the man prevailed against his enemy. I will say this again, we will always prevail against the enemies of our soul as we walk and use God's judgement. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Be Found In Him

Phil 3: 7-9-"I once thought these things were so very important but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done, yes everything else is worthless when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ. And become one with Him (be found in Him KJV). I no longer count on my own goodness or my own ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith"(NLT).

I've been thinking about how easy it is to get lost. In this world where there is some much confusion regarding right and wrong. In this age of tolerance we see where people are doing whatever is right in their own eyes and what used to be wrong is now right and what use to be right is now wrong. We have lost our way as a society. In this chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippine Church, he is admonishing the believers not to put confidence in their religious works to make them right with God. He list his religious pedigree and states that all of that was worthless to him when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ. People it's so easy to get lost today. Paul was lost in the strictest of religious life. Many are lost in the philosophies of humanism and humanistic psycology. Jesus Christ and being in a faith relationship with Him is the only way to be found. To be found in Him is to be right with God. The NLT states "to become one with Him". Are you becoming one with Jesus. Are you filled with His Spirit and seeking to obey His every command. Are you so thankful for what He has done for you on the cross. Is your life hidden in Him, or in other words, is the life you now live for and about Jesus and His glory. Do you know Him or just know about Him. I don't think there is anyone left in America who doesn't know about Him but do you know Him. Jesus said my sheep hear and know my voice. Do you know the voice of Jesus. Are you hearing and obeying it on a consistent basis. Jesus is the root and the vine of the plant. He is the source by which all things from God flow. In Him is hidden the wisdom from God that confounds the wisdom of this world. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Jesus is the good and perfect gift from God. He is God's very best so what else do you need. Are you becoming one with Jesus today. It's time get back to the simplicity of knowing and following Jesus. You may be going to church every Sunday but you have lost your way. How would you know? I think you can know by being honest with yourself. Ask yourself the simple question, does my life reflect or prove that I am becoming one with Jesus. One of the great institutions that God has given mankind is marriage. Isn't it amazing how the bible describes the marriage as the two becoming one flesh. You can look at a marriage to see if the two are actually becoming one flesh. So many marriages never get to this point, they never become one. For two people to become one both have to die to their own agendas and desire and to live for a common goal. They have to totally 100% give themselves for the other person. Well Christ has already died and has given Himself for us. What about you have you died with Christ and now you are totally giving your life to and for Him. May we all today ask ourselves these questions and judge ourselves according to the word of God. And if Jesus chose to come back today may we be found in Him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Establish The Work Of Our hands For Us

I was reading Pslam 90 this morning and the last verse (17) stood out to me. Psalm 90is a prayer of Moses.

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands for us.

The part of this verse that stood out to me was the "establish the work of our hands". When something is established it is settled, firm and reoccurring. Eph 2:10 sates that we are His workmanship (created by his hands) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". The beauty of the Lord mentioned in Psalm 90 is the reflection that comes from a life that has been created by God through or in Jesus Christ. The beauty of the Lord shines out by the works that we do. We were all created in our mothers womb by God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are the works of His hands. As the works of His hands we were created to do good works or to continue the works of His hands through the works of our hands. Just like God created us in our mothers womb, He also created works that we all should walk or be established in. The key to being established in the works that God has established for all Christians to walk in is to be recreated in Christ Jesus. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things pass away behold all things become new. To be in Christ is to be in unity with Him. He lives in You and you live in Him. Your life no longer belongs to you but to Him.

Gal 3:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ. Its no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son Of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me".

Col 3:3 - "For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God".

Paul said that the life that he now lives he lives by faith in the Son Of God. Paul's new life of faith in the Son of God was shown by his works or the works of his hands. The works of His hands came out of his faith in the Son of God. To be found in Christ is to be crucified with Him. Christians died and our old life of works died with us. Our life is now hidden with Christ in God. The new life that we are to live is the life of faith. Faith is trusting, believing and obeying Christ. Christ has given us His Holy Spirit who lives in us and creates in us the will and the power to perform the will of God. I see the will of God in this earth as being the redemption of man. Christ was crucified before the foundation of the world so that man could be redeemed. The entirety of the old testament pointed to the redeemer. The New Testament gives us the redeemer and the Acts of the Apostles was telling the world that the redeemer had come.

James 2:17-18 - Faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.


What works are you established in today? To put it another way, what are you working for? Do your works point to the redemption of mankind? Are you working to see men to be redeemed through God's only way of redemption, The Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I believe we should all judge what and who we are working for. May the Lord establish the works of our hands and may that work be to lay our hands on man to get them to God. May we with our hands, cloth the naked, heal the sick, cast out devils, freely give what we have been given!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They Did Not Ask Counsel Of The Lord

Joshua 9:18 - Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.

The nation of Israel was in the process of going into the promised land and the inhabitants of Gibeon heard they were coming. They schemed up a plan to deceive Israel into making a covenant with them. They put on old clothes and put moldy bread in their sacks to make it look like they had traveled from a far away place. They met the Israelites as they were coming toward their city. The Gibeonites told their story to Joshua and deceived him into making a Covenant with them. Joshua and the children of God were deceived because they did not ask God before they took provisions from the Gibeonites and before they made a covenant with them. I believe they wanted the provisions and to be in covenant with the Gibeonites more than they wanted to obey God. This condition will always open us up to deception or to be deceived. When we really want something bad enough most of the time we will do whatever it takes to get it. This includes not asking God if it's His will. The scripture talks of people who's god is their belly or their fleshly appetites. Eve never asked God before she ate of the apple. She wanted the apple because it was appealing to her flesh. There was something appealing about the Gibeonites to the children of Israel. Remember there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is destruction. Thee are many things that come our way in life that feel, look, taste or smell right but they are deceptive and will lead to death.

Deception is a big topic in the Bible. Lets look at another verse.

2 Thel 9-10 - The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and wonders, and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.

The lawless one is Satan and he is seeking whom he may devour and to cause people to perish. The lawless one is also our flesh or sinful nature. Rms 8:7 says the fleshly or carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be. Those who live according to their flesh cannot please God. In the above verse, people will be deceived because they loved not the truth. When you don't love the truth you open yourself up for a lie. The verse would go onto say that God sent them strong delusion that they would believe a lie. The problem with believing a lie is that those who believe a lie think they are believing the truth.

Finally Rm 1:24-26 - "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lust of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural for what is against nature". When we choose to live our lives without seeking the truth of God and seeking His counsel for our lives we are worshipping ourselves rather than God. Many today live their lives like this and yet say they worship God because they follow some religious creed or go to a religious service. Please don't be deceived. Women and men doing what is against nature is homosexuality and is a result of God giving them over because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. Everyday people are being led down the path of deception because they have a truth they fits the way they want to live and have even changed God's word to condone their beliefs. I know this rubs people the wrong way in our culture of tolerance, but God's word is God's word.

God is the only one who can keep us from being deceived. We must consult Him and depend on His truth in every part of our lives. The Holy Spirit is our helper from God to lead is into all truth. Jesus is our truth. Seek council from God everyday and in all things. Make His word a priority in your life. Pray and be filled with His Spirit everyday and don't make decisions apart from His council. be led by the Spirit and not by your flesh. Follow and learn His every word. Remember Jesus said as he rebuked Satan that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let Your Conduct be without covetousness

Heb 13:5 - Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said I will never leave you nor forsake you.

We discussed being content yesterday in church from Phil 4:11. Contentment is a state of being and Paul states in Phil that he had learned to be content in all things and in every place. Are you content today? Contentment can be defined as the experience of satisfaction and being at ease with one's situation. In the above verse the writer of Hebrews is encouraging the believer to be content with such things as you have. As a Christian we should live our lives in a state of contentment because God is our provider and He is in control of our lives. The verse also shows the exact opposite of contentment which is to covet or be covetous. Covetousness is a greedy desire to have more or to not be content in what you have. The 1oth commandment is thou shalt not covet. Covetousness is a state of being and a result of a life that is controlled by the flesh and it's appetites. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were not content with all that God had provided for them in the Garden, they had to have more. The Devil tempted Eve by getting her to look at the things that she didn't have instead of what she did have. She began to covet the thing that was forbidden by God. She began to covet the thing that her flesh told her would bring her satisfaction but ultimately would bring her destruction. The children of Israel did the same thing in the wilderness. God provided Manna from heaven and water from a rock but they craved the food that they didn't have. Their cravings caused them to doubt God and His provision and they began to look back into the place of bondage rather than enjoy the place of freedom. God has provided a garden and manna from heaven that will satisfy every soul. His name is Jesus Christ.

In John 6:35 Jesus said "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst". Jesus is God's provision for contentment. No matter what the circumstance is in your life He will never leave you nor forsake you. This is what the end of verse 5 says. To be filled with Jesus is to be content and to not be covetous. Everyday he is the manna from heaven. God has filled us up wit the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are filled with contentment and peace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the flesh that covets is crucified. The question today is what are you being satisfied with. If it is Jesus than Hallelujah. If it's everything but Jesus than you will never be satisfied and in the end your covetousness will send you to hell. May we all be found being satisfied with Jesus and not our circumstances in life.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Walk In The Spirit

Gal 5:16 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. What a promise from God's word. Walking is not just what we do to get from one place to the other. It is how we live our life from day to day. It's how we progress through life or make our way through life. Through the New Covenant and God's great gift of grace, God has given us His promise, the Helper who helps us progress through life in victory over the dictates of the sinful nature. The contrast here is walking in the Spirit or fulfilling the lust of the flesh (our old sinful nature). There are two masters competing for our life.

Verse 17 in the NLT says The old sinful nature loves to do wrong, which is just the opposite of what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

The flesh is every man's master at birth. He controls and dictates our walk from the time we are born until we die unless we are bought by another master. The flesh will always make us to be against God or make us contrary to God's way. The word contrary means to be against or opposite. The Holy Spirit is the master to all who believe and follow Christ. The promise in God's word today is that the flesh or old sinful nature, our old ruler and king is defeated. The Holy Spirit of God has been sent to us and given us the means to victory over the sinful nature. May we all be found walking in this truth today. The means to victory has been provided for all men.

Rms 8: 1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

All people who walk or live their lives by following the dictates of the flesh (sinful nature) are condemned. The sinful nature dictates that we sin. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. All men are condemned to death or eternal judgment. But those who are in Christ are delivered from the sentence of eternal judgment. To be in Christ means that we are living or walking according to or by the Spirit.

Rm's 8: 12-14 (NLT) So my dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by it's dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Children of God are those who put to death the deeds of the flesh by being led by the Spirit of God. Wow!!! What a concept in a day of religious confusion. Another verse I've been thinking about that goes along these lines is Jn 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name. Jesus gives power to those who receive Him and believe in His name. That power is to be sons and daughters of God. And the proof that we are sons and daughters of God is that we are putting to death the deeds of our sinful nature. 1 John Ch 3 is a great chapter about Sons of God and Sons of the Devil.

1 Jn 3:10 (NLT) - So we can tell who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

To live righteously is to depart from sin and to quit sinning as a practice.

1 Jn 3: 9 (NLT) - Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they don't keep on sinning, because they are the children of God.

May we receive and walk as Children of God today. Let Gods word be true and every mans word that does not line up with his word a liar.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Exhort and Strengthen

Im my reading yesterday this verse really stood out to me. Acts 15:32 -"Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words". What encouraged me about this verse was the result of two men using their God given gifts to exhort and strengthen the brethren. The spoken word can have such a powerful effect on people. Here we see not only did these two brothers read the letter from the Jerusalem church but they spoke many words to exhort and strengthen the brethren. Prov 18:21a -"Life and death are in the power of the tongue". Jesus said in Jn 6:63b "the words that I speak to you they are spirit and they are life". One of the most spiritual things we can do every day is to speak words. Our words just like Jesus' words can bring life or death. The words that these men spoke did something for the church in Antioch.

Exhort - to encourage, comfort, admonish through speaking or teaching.

Strengthen - to render more firm or to confirm. To give more strength.

I don't think they used just any words to accomplish these things. I think they brought and spoke the words of Jesus. They spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The words of Jesus or words inspired by Jesus bring life it's that simple. This is how the church and family of God should operate. We are to speak to one another. According to the scripture we are to speak to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. By the gifts and inspiration of the Holy Spirit we are to use prophecy. We are to speak in other tongues with interpretation so that the body of Christ can be edified. In Mark 16 one of the distinguishing marks of the people that believe in Jesus would be that they spoke with new tongues. What a powerful understanding that the believer in Christ should speak with other tongues. I believe in speaking with and in other tongues. What about the tongue that you spoke with before you became a believer. How about the tongues that are being spoken everyday around you. Are you speaking with other tongues or using the same tongue of the world.

I am so concerned with the condition of our nation today. Listen to the words that are being spoken around you in conversations. Many are bitter, hateful, angry, etc. concerning other people. As Christians we have the power through the spoken word and the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring light in the midst of darkness, peace in the midst of turmoil, and life in the midst of death. Folks Jesus and His gospel message is the only thing that will save this world. Not conservative or liberal politics. As Christians are we being caught up in the fervor of the times. If so we cannot bring Jesus to a lost a dying world. May we be found today exhorting and strengthening each other with the words of Jesus.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grace Flows Down

Wanted to share a video with everyone. His grace is so wondeful and amazing but it cost Him so much. Thank You Jesus for the cross!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzat9dx6v8k&sns=em#watch-main-area

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fear Not, Neither Be Dismayed

I was reading a sermon from Carter Conlon this week and it encouraged me and the title of it was fear not and neither be dismayed. I won't go through it point by point but will use the first of it in this post. To read the entire message you can go to the web site tscny.org and look under Sermon Newletters.

Deu 31: 6-8 - Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes before you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of a good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord He is the One who goes before you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed".

Mr. Conlon wrote, "Fear and dismay! The devil will always come against the children of God with these two weapons. But if we recognize them for what they are and understand that God has given us a remedy to defeat them they will never take us down". He goes on to define fear and dismay and I will include these definitions here. "Fear is the anticipation that we may suffer harm or that things might go wrong. Dismay is discouragement. Fear comes when we are opposed by something of strength superior to our own. Dismay comes when we consider our own resources. We look inside ourselves and come to the conclusion that we are not strong enough to fight the battle that is before us." This is so true and is something the child of God is fighting on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

The children of Israel given an inheritance, the promised land. As Christians we also are given the promise of an inheritance and that inheritance is Jesus. He is our promised land. Our lives are being plunged deeper into Christ, His word and His Spirit. Everything in his word that He has promised is ours. Every fruit of the Spirit belongs to to the child of God. He has given us His Holy Spirit as a downpayment to that inheritance and through the power of the Spirit brings us into our inheritance. 2 Pet 1: 3-4 " As 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 by which have been given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust". Man what a promise. Our promise form God is that through the His divine power (the Holy Spirit) we become partakers of His Divine Nature which is the means by which we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. The deeper we go into our promised land (deeper into knowing and loving Christ) the more we become like Him. But on the other hand the deeper we go the more we see ourselves and our fallen nature. We see a besetting sin that we didn't see before. It could be a sickness or circumstance that has caused fear to rise up and that fear has turned to dismay. I've heard this statement so many times when people describe their failures - well that just who I am and I cannot change. This is a similar statement the ten spies gave to the children of Israel just before they were to go into the promised land. Num 13:31 "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger then we." The people were the giants in the land of their inheritance. They saw their inability to conquer these giants and it caused them to fear which turned to dismay (they cried all night and refused to cross over). Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We cannot gain our inheritance in our own strength. The only way we can inter into this promise is to go deeper into Christ. As we go deeper with and into Christ the more He drives out the giants and the things that are impossible for us to fight and win. The Lord goes before you to drive them out. We will fight but it will not be in our own strength or with our own weapons. Jesus has and will conquer and disarm every foe in our inheritance as we, by faith lay, hold of his promises and His word. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Fear and dismay is not a part of our inheritance in Christ. We must press through our fear by faith and lay hold of that which Christ has laid hold of for us. We must know the bigger the giant, the bigger our God is. We must not accept any ting other than the display of the divine nature in our lives. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Faiths Endurance

Hope you everybody is well this morning. To continue some of my thoughts on Faith I would like to introduce the aspect of endurance. Faith can be described as enduring. Mt 24:13 - He that endures to the end will be saved. This statement is mentioned throughout the New Testament. Endure - to remain under. To persevere, sustain, bear up under, suffer. It refers to ones response toward circumstances, denoting perseverance in the face of difficulties. As Christians we will face circumstances that are very difficult to bear. In my study of this word I found that endurance was mentioned mostly in the context of suffering or hardships. Mt 24 speaks of some very difficult times that will come upon the earth and for the people of God. Jesus disciples wanted to know when the end would come and Jesus begins to explain what would happen before the end would come. Nations would rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom. Famines, earthquakes and pestilences would come. They will deliver you up to tribulation, and kill you, you will be hated by all nations for My names sake. Many will be offended will betray one another and will hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold. I will not bring in all the scriptures on enduring and hardship because as I was typing these verse the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the last few verses. Many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. And in verse 12 because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold. He who endures to the end will be saved. Enduring through what? Offenses, betrayal, and hatred. Another place in scripture mentions brother delivering over brother to death and a father his child (Mt 10:21). Wow its one thing when the world betrays or offends you but it's entirely another thing when those who are the closest to you do it. Husbands betraying wives and vise versa. How many have quit the faith because of adultery, molestation, physical abuse, etc. Maybe someone you gave an opportunity too or poured your life into has betrayed you. Just thinking of the mess our world is in and you wonder how the end must be near. This is the lawlessness that is abounding. So many who have found themselves betrayed and offended have ran to the nearest church building to find answers and remedies for their problem and wind up more betrayed and offended than when they came in. What a mess!!! Hw who endures to the end shall be saved. Wow are you enduring today. Is your faith growing or have you lost it. Has your love grown cold. Maybe you are on the verge of loosing your faith today. Jesus is calling you to Him. Endurance means to remain under and some of us have gone under. Where are we to remain or stay during these hard circumstances in life. Where are we to look to get back the faith that we have lost because of betrayal and offense. Jesus is our answer. Remain in Jesus. Jesus is the shelter from from the storm. He came to heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives. So many are captive or prisoners to their betrayal and offense. He came to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Four your faith to endure and to not quit it has to be pointed to or focused on Jesus. Jesus is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He said He would never leave your or forsake you. His seed will endure. (Ps 89:29,36) Being found in Christ will cause us to keep going, to keep living and to keep loving. Heb 12:1-2 Therefore we also since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. 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 sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Look to Jesus for your endurance. Our race is not a 40 yard dash it's a marathon. We need endurance that we can only get from Jesus. He endured the cross and the shame that came with it. Some many have let the shame of whats has happened to them cause their eyes to get of of Jesus. Get your eyes off the cause of the shame and get them onto Jesus. He will restore you and give you the stamina to go through and finish the race. May we today be found in Christ to get the endurance we need to finish this race.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Faiths Persistence

Hey everybody, I know its been awhile, but I've been writing in my notebook instead of this blog. I wanted to share some of the things the Lords been showing me about Faith. James 2:18b "I will show you my faith by my works". The fact that someone is living by faith can be seen through their works. Mt 15:21-28 is the story of Canaanite woman who came to Jesus looking for help for a demon possessed daughter but Jesus answered her not a word (verse 23). Notice the object of this woman's faith was Jesus as it should be for all who follow Christ. How often do we come to Jesus in prayer in our time of need it seems that Jesus dosn't answer or even hear us. Also notice the reaction of His disciples to the woman's request, Jesus send her away for she cries out after us. This woman had a choice at this point. Walk away shamed and unfulfilled or persist until her request was granted. She chose the later. When Jesus finally answers her He tells her that He was not sent to her (a gentile) but to the house of Israel (Jews). How many people never get a hold of Jesus due to their race or their past. They may have thoughts like this - "Jesus is not answering me because I'm black or poor. Or maybe I've gone to far in my life, I've sinned to much etc. etc.. Throughout the gospels we see people, Jews and gentiles alike, who pressed pass these type issues in their life and layed hold of Jesus and received their miracle. Prostitutes, adulterers, the blind, etc. were the ones who showed greater faith than the religious of the day. Persistence can be defined as perseverance or continuation despite the shame that this would bring. In other words getting a hold of something despite shame. She came and worshipped Him after Jesus spoke these words to her. She didn't quit or go back to her problem. She pressed in to Jesus. She pressed through the shame of being a Gentile, of Jesus not answering her a word, and of the rejection of her request by Jesus and His disciples. On a side note, how many people have quit living by faith because of what Jesus disciples have done to them. You were once on fire but someone hurt you in church. In verse 27 this woman answers Jesus by saying "Yes Lord but even the little dogs get the crumbs from the masters table". Jesus had told her that he couldn't give His bread to the dogs. How insulting this must have been for this woman. Her response to this insulting words was not to get mad or quit but she agreed with Jesus and identified herself as a dog. This speaks to me of humility. To press through the obstacles of shame and insults we must humble ourself. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up. How many of us would have stayed humble through this whole process. Jesus finally answers her with these words (28) "Oh woman great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed in that very hour. Wow!! Today I hope you would judge your faith today. Or you being persistence in your seeking of Jesus or have you quit and just going through the religious motions. Without Faith it's impossible to please God. How pleasing must this woman's faith been to God. She didn't let anything else become her object of faith but kept her faith in Jesus until her request was granted.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

They Looked to Him And Were Radiant

Ps 34:5 - "They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed". Sara pointed out this verse to me as we were reading this morning. There are a lot of scriptures that say or imply look to Jesus. Heb 12:1-2a - "Therefore we also since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." I like the verse in Jn 3:14 - "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." The serpent was the remedy for the poison and death that the children had received from the bites of the snakes that were loosed into their camp as a judgement. Those who were bitten were to look to the bronze snake that Moses lifted up so all who were bitten could see. All of mankind has been bitten and injected with the poison and death of sin and the Sin Nature. Jesus was lifted up on a pole so all that would look to him would be healed and saved from the poison and death of sin. Fix your eyes on Jesus!!!!! Look to Him He is your remedy for all that ails you!!! Put your trust and faith in the cross for your deliverance is there and only there can it be found. I like what this verse points out about about those who look to Jesus, they were radiant and their faces were not ashamed. Radiant is the Hebrew word "nahar" which means to to shine, beam, light, burn. It also has a meaning of a stream or something that flows. This is what describes a Christian. Their life shines, beams, lights and burns with the image of Christ. From their life flows a stream or a river that touches everybody around them. Their faces change from being downcast to one that looks up because their shame has been removed. Rev 22:1 "And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb". Ezk 47: 1 -"Then He brought me to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east". Ezk 47:9 - "And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there, for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes". When we look to Jesus out of our lives will flow the river of God which is the Holy Spirit. The throne of God in this earth is the heart of a Christian who is looking to Jesus not only for healing but looking to hear every command. Also the temple of God is not a building but people. Christians are the temple of God and from His throne and from His temple flows His Holy Spirit. And wherever the Holy Spirit flows people will live and be healed. This is the radiance that flows from the life of a Christian. The most radiant thing in the universe is not the sun but the Church of the Living God. Those who are looking to the Son and out of them flows the beams and light of the Son. We are the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. We are the light of the world. Can you see what God has called us to. The sun gives so much to the earth in the way of bringing life. How much more should the Church of the Living God bring life to this earth and to all those around you everywhere you go. Jesus told his disciples "i will make you fishers of Men". According to Ezk 47 and the vision that Ezekiel saw, the river that flows from the temple of God heals fish. May we come to the understanding of who we are and what we are called to be in and through Christ. May you be blessed today and may Jesus radiate through your life today!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

God's Amazing Grace

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relived. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed." My sin has gone I've been set free my God my Savior has rescued me. And like a flood His mercy reigns amazing love amazing grace".

Eph 2:8 - "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith not of ourselves it's the gift of God".

God's grace is truly amazing. Grace can be defines as God's Devine influence that changes the heart of man reflected through the appearance of man. His grace was given to us by the means of the cross. At the cross God's judgement against our sin and His love and mercy for us met. Through what Jesus did on the cross we have the means by which we are saved from sin and thus saved from hell. Hell on earth and eternal hell. This is God's grace. All men must access or bring God's grace to themselves by the act or means of your faith. Faith also is given to us by God. We receive faith to receive grace by hearing the message of the cross through men and women who have received the message of the cross. The means of grace or grace was given at the cross and what Jesus did there for us. The way we attain this grace for ourselves is through the act of faith. Faith is hearing, believing and obeying the word. Jesus is the word made flesh. So we must hear, believe and obey Jesus. The agent that brings grace into the life of the one who has acted on the gift of Faith is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings into reality the Grace of God. Grace is not just forgiveness of sins its deliverance from sin. The Holy Spirit sets us apart, saves, protects, and delivers us from sin and changes us to be like God. He changes us from the inside out. He starts with our hearts which because of Sin is wicked and dark and a rebel against God and his way. The wicked heart of man has no faith nor any means by which to get faith. When our inside is changed then our outside appearance will follow. Our words will change. Our minds and the way we think will change. Our actions will change. This is what grace does for the believer. May the message of grace and faith bring you to saving grace and faith. God's grace is truly amazing!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Childeren and Parents

Eph 6: 1-4 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord".

We had a lot of discussion Sunday morning about the family, and in particular, children obeying their parents. The verses for today start with a command for children to obey their parents, which is the right thing to do. Also children are to honor their parents which is the first command with a promise. The promise to the children that honor their parents is that they would live long on the earth. The last verse today is a command for fathers (parents) not to provoke your children to wrath, but to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. My charge today is to parents myself included. Are we being disobedient to Gods word while at the same time demanding that our children be obedient to us. Although Paul addresses the children first in his commands of how the family should operate, the chain of authority starts with the parents first and then comes the children. Unfortunately this has gotten backwards in many homes where the children are the authority and the parents are the children. The roles have reversed which is why our homes are being destroyed everyday. If that's the case for you it's not to late to cry out to God and to begin to put things back it order in your home. When homes are out of order, there is all kinds of confusion, anger and frustration. Many homes are ticking time bombs waiting to go off at any moment. Parents listen to Gods word for you today.

If we expect our kids to honor us, my first question to you is are you an honorable person. Are you someone that is worthy of honor. This is something to think about. To honor someone is to revere or to show respect. Do you live a life that demands respect. Are you demanding respect from your kids and yet not living a respectable life. Jesus Christ deserves the greatest honor because he lived an honorable life by laying down His life for others. 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. Jesus states that if anyone serves me Him will my father honor. Serving Jesus is the fastest way to get honor because God himself will honor you.

Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath! Could it be that our children cannot honor or obey us due to them living a provoked life that is full of wrath. Father here can be the male figure in the home or in the case of no male being present it could also mean mother or the parent that is in the place of authority. The term here points to a position of honor. We call God our father and this is how Jesus taught us to pray by addressing God as our father. Provoke means to arouse or exasperate. To annoy or irritate to anger or wrath. How often do we see kids walking around with chips on their shoulders and looking annoyed or irritated. Some kids live this way. We are quick to judge the kid but not so fast. Could it be the condition is being caused by the parents provocation. We must look at the word and let the word be our mirror as to what may be really going on. The word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. We've already established where some of cause of provocation comes from. It comes from parents who are not living lives that are honorable in front of their kids. The next verse gives us some more details as to where provocation comes from.

Fathers bring up your children in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord. Have you every looked at the words "bring up". Well we are to bring our children up from a place of adolescence, immaturity, and infancy to a place of being mature and molded into what God has called them to be. Bring them up is to bring them to a standard that you have set and that they have not yet attained. What kind of standard are you bringing them up to. The standard that you have set for them or that God has set is in the person of Jesus Christ and His word. The standard that you have set for them better be the standard that you live for yourself. As Christians our standard or pattern is Jesus Christ. We should never settle for less than Jesus in ourselves or in them. The way we bring them up to the standard is to train and admonish. How frustrated it one day you woke up and you were placed in a job that required you to know calculus. Your sitting at your desk with this project that is needed by the end of the day and you are staring at a problem that involves you to have a knowledge of calculus. Think about what you would do as you set there looking at this problem. How would you feel as the end of the day approaches and the fact that you would be found to be a failure and the consequences that come with that. Depending on your nature you would do one of two things, you would run around like a mad man trying frantically to learn calculus, etc., or you would simply lay down and sink into a deep depression. This is often where our children are. They wake up everyday to life and like the person in our example above they have no training in how to deal with life and the impending deadlines that they are pressured to meet. We are called to train our children to reach the standard of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do. Training is hard work and takes consistency. The scripture commands us to exercise ourselves to godliness. In training there is a trainer. How motivated would you be to go to the gym and exercise if your trainer was about 200 pounds over weight, sloppily dressed, etc. Is that what kind of trainer we are to our kids. We expect them to come up to a certain standard that we are not setting ourselves. Are we demanding our kids to submit to authority when we are not submitted ourselves. Well you are setting the pattern and you are bringing them up it. The other way we bring them up is to admonish them. Training and admonishment are very similar words but to admonish means to exhort or encourage. Sometimes admonishment takes on the form of a rebuke. To encourage means to give courage or bring to courage. Again this is our responsibility as parents. Encourage your child to the standard of Jesus Christ.

I pray that we are all found to be striving for the standard that has been given to us by the word of God. Don't settle for anything less. By faith lay hold of the promises of God. Like Noah did in his day build a boat to the saving of your household. Our boat is the standard of Jeus Christ. Set the standard in your own life first by seeking and serving Jesus with all your heart. Then bring your children to it through training and admonishment. Our pattern is Jesus Christ and His word. By the power of the Spirit and His Word we can all attain and reach the goal of being and looking like Christ in this lifetime. God Bless you as you build your boat!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hearing The Call

Heb 11:8 "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going". I like that this verse starts with the words "by faith Abraham". Everything after that describes what he did by faith. James points out to us that faith without works is dead being alone. Abraham obeyed!!! Obedience is part of the work of faith. To say that you have faith and not obedience is to say that you have no faith at all. Before he could by faith obey he had to hear he call of God. God called Abraham to get out of his country and from his family to a place that he would show him (Gen 12:1). Abraham heard the call of God and obeyed the call! Faith is all about hearing Gods call. Have you ever been in a conversation and heard the other person talking but when they asked you what you said you could not tell them. You heard that they were talking but you were not listening to what they were saying. How many times have you sat in church and heard the preacher but could not relay what was said after the sermon was over. You were hearing but not listening. Listening is being attentive and engaged in what is being said. How many people could actually say that they are listening for God say. Jesus quoted an old testament verse in Mt 4 when he said Man shall not live by bread alone by by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. A man or woman of faith lives by listening to God and His words and obeying them not matter the consequence. One of the key elements of good relationships and communication is to be a good listener. Abraham had a relationship with God by and through faith. Faith comes by hearing hearing by the word of God. Are you actively listening to and for God to speak to you. Jesus said my sheep hear and know my voice. There is such an inheritance awaiting those who hear God's call and obey it. Abraham would have never received his inheritance had he not heard and obeyed the call of God. What words will follow your declaration of faith. By faith _________, did not obey because he or she was not listening to God and did not go to the place God had for them as an inheritance. What place are you in today. Maybe it's a place God has not called you to go or to be in. It's not to late to seek God and to actively hear His voice so you can get back to the place where God has called you too. It's not to late to begin a life of faith and to hear the call of God for yourself!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

"By Faith"

Just read a wonderful verse this morning. I've been studying faith the past few day's and while reading Hebrews Ch 11 this morning verse 20 stood out to me. This is a verse I have never seen before but it's so powerful. "By Faith Issac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come". One of the common themes of Ch 11 of Hebrews is that those who live "By Faith" saw into the future. What did they see? They saw God's promises. Faith sees into the future regardless of whats may be seen in the present. Vs 13 sums up this thought "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth". Now back to our verse. Issac was the son of Abraham "the Father of Faith". Issac was the son that God promised to Abraham when he and Sara were to old to have children. Gen 11:3b "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed". In you means in your seed or through your lineage all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Notice how the first son in the lineage blessed not just the families of the earth but his family, Esau and Jacob. Before the earth can be blessed our family needs to receive the blessing. Issac learned faith and how to bless from his father. Abraham blessed Issac and Issac blessed Jacob and Esau. What was the blessing according to this verse? Issac spoke to them concerning the things to come. Following the example stated in vs 13 Issac saw the promises of God afar off, was assured of them, embraced them and confessed that he was a pilgrim and stranger in the earth. Parents bless your children everyday by first seeing God's promises for yourself and then relaying them to your children. Can you see God's promises being fulfilled in your child. What about the ultimate promise that God has given us all. To be blessed by receiving Jesus and walking in His love and power. Seeing them be a blessing to others through serving and giving away Christ to those around them. We must bless our children and help them embrace what God has promised. Look at the words used in verse 13 again concerning the people that died in faith and their reaction to Gods unfulfilled promises;

Assured or Persuaded (King James); - to induce one by words to believe. To trust or to have confidence. Faith is to be firmly persuaded. We are persuaded through words. Gods word persuades us or build our faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We can build our Faith and the Faith of our children through speaking to them and helping them to learn Gods word. Also our word to our children must be consistent and true. If we say something do it!! We grow in faith but we must see what faith grows us into. One of my favorite verses is in 2 cor 3:18 "but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of God". The mirror is Jesus and His word. We look into the mirror by reading His word. Jesus was the word of God made flesh and He dwelt among us. We see Jesus and what His word says we are or should be. The Spirit transforms us or brings us into what we see in the mirror. This is done by the Spirit through our faith or firm persuasion. We are being transformed to look and act like Jesus!!!!!

Embraced-to draw to ones self. To receive joyfully. What we embrace is what we will become. Parents help your kids through speaking Gods promises and then help them to embrace them.

Confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims. - People of Faith through their walking by faith will show through their life that they are strangers and pilgrims to this earth. Again they saw another earth or kingdom. They saw God's Kingdom and they sought to live in this kingdom. People of Faith are strange. What do you think the Noah's neighbors thought about him when he began to built a boat because God promised it was going to rain. Nut!! Religious freak!!! Holy roller!!! I can hear the jeers now. Noah didn't get caught up in earthly things nor was he moved by the words of his neighbors. He was a stranger and a pilgrim to the earth. He was firmly persuaded and for 120 years he was a preacher of righteousness and built an ark for the saving of his household. Noah blessed his family concerning things to come. Not only did he speak what God had promised but he lived it by preparing himself and doing what God to him to do to prepare him to receive the promise.

May you be found blessing your children whether they are spiritual childfren or physical ones.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"How can I Do This Great Wickedness and Sin Against God"

In Gen 39 there is the story about Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Potiphar's wife looked longingly at Joseph and tried to get him to commit adultery with her. She tried on several occasions but to no avail. Josephs would not betray his friend Potiphar nor would he betray God through his sin. Joseph who was a faithful servant to Potiphar and to God had the right perspective about sin. His sin would be against someone. In other words his sin would betray Potiphar and ultimately God. The greatest commandment was summed up in the new testament, Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart Soul mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. Joseph knew that to betray Potiphar would break this two commandments. Sin is betrayl! Verse 2 says the Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man. Potiphar saw this favor on Joseph and made him master of all that he had. Joseph had the trust of God and man and when time came for that trust to be tested Joseph stood and rejected the temptation to sin. He remain loyal and faithful to God and to man. This particular part of Joseph's life does not end well because he was accused anyway by Potiphar's wife and was thrown in prison for something he did not do. Yet in all that was done to him for remaing loyal he did not accuse God or grow bitter, he remained faithful and ultimately he became the master of Pharoah's house. Wow!!! To remain faithful to God and man no matter what happens starts with the same attitude about sin as Joseph had. We must hate sin and all that it does to those around us and ultimately to God. A child of God does not see how close he can get to sin he runs from it. Joseph ran from the advances of Potiphar's wife. We must do the same!! Think about all the destruction adultry and affairs causes to those involved. Sin seems pleasureable for a season but it will ultimately bring death. What would our world be like if the men of our age would be like Joseph and stand and flee adultry. Maybe we would see revival!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Contentions

I was reading proverbs 21 this morning and verse 9 and 19 talks about a contentious woman. Better to dwell in a corner of a roof top or in the wilderness that with an angry contentious woman. Contentious means to be quarrelsome are one who causes strife. Contention is an argument or dispute. Proverbs has alot to say about contention. Lets look at a few more verses;

Prov 18:19 - "A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle". Offense is the result of having contentions in a relationship. When someone is offended they build bars. Bars of a castle are for protection or prison - no one gets in or no one gets out. Another picture is burglar bars on a house. Think about all the relationships and people that are offended due to contentions.

Prov 19:13b - "The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping". You ever tried to go to sleep with a faucet that is dripping. It drives you crazy.

Prov 26:21- "As charcoal is to a burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife". Contention is the coals and wood that keep strife, fighting, etc., going in relationships. At any time the fire will blaze.

Prov 27:15 - "A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike".

Contentiousness is a horrible thing. Are you forever in a quarrel with someone you are in a relationship with. Did you ever stop to consider that you are the cause of it. Maybe that you are the contentious woman or man. Look at what others are dealing with that are living with you and that are around you. Does fighting seem to be spring up everywhere you go. Hello here. Maybe its not the other person who is at fault. Maybe it's you. The root word for contentious is to contend. Think of a boxing match where two people are contending for a belt. What are you contending for? Your way. Well this is the root of all contentions. I have to have it my way so I will fight to get it. Have you ever considered that it not about you? Jesus never contended for His way. He always lived His life for God's will and God's way. He lived and gave His life for others. He humbled Himself and carried the cross. James 4:1 "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members"? Wars and fights come from people who lust and desire to have it their way. People that are living to serve Christ should not be striving against one another but with one another against the work of the devil and the forces of evil and sin. I will close with this verse;

Prov 22:10 - Cast out the scoffer and contentions will leave. Yes strife and reproach will leave.
A scoffer is a mocker. Boastful, prideful and arrogant. A scoffer never shuts up and mocks with his or her tongue. Cast out the scoffer. Maybe the scoffer in you needs to be cast out. What if you wife or husband came home from work today and the scoffer was gone. Wow!!! What a pleasant surprise that would be. Scoffer be cast out by bringing yourself to the cross and nailing your tongue and heart there. Remember the problem is not your tongue but your heart. Out of the heart flows your words. Your tongue is attached to your heart. Let Jesus, His words, and His Holy Spirit cast out and do heart surgery on your rebellious and sinful heart. Thant contentions will leave and peace will come. May God perform this work in me.!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God

Hebrews 10 is the chapter I have taken a lot of the scriptures about Jesus being God's offering for sin. Today's blog title is taken from Heb 10:31 and to get the full context we need to read the previous verses; .

Heb 10:26-30 - For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. [And again, "The LORD will judge His people".

The scripture is admonishing all people who have come to the knowledge of the truth. What truth? The truth about Jesus and what He did on the cross for man. To know something is to come to a full understanding and to experience something. Adam knew his wife which means he knew her intimately. Heb 6:4 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame". Wow!! God will demand a high price for those who hear the truth and come to know it for themselves and still decide to Sin willfully. Read the words that describe what a person does when he or she knows about Jesus being our sin offering and yet deciding to sin anyway. The progression of this verse (Heb 6) speaks of coming to a knowledge of Jesus, His word and His Spirit. We crucify Jesus again and put Him to an open shame when we fall away from Christ by willfully turning again to the sin life. Look at the verses in Heb 10 - willful sin tramples the Son Of God underfoot and treats the blood of the covenant as a common thing and insults the Spirit of Grace. Now look at the words that describe God's reaction to those who choose to willfully sin against Him and His son. Vengeance is mine, I will repay!! The Lord will judge His people!! Fearful expectation of Judgement and fiery indignation which shall devour His adversaries!! You mean God will Judge and take out vengeance on those who have known Him and His son and have chosen the life of sin over the life of grace and obedience given to us freely by God through the Gift of His Son. According to the scriptures, Yes!!! This may be the time that some of you reading this blog will begin to discount the bible and say well it's imperfect or written by man etc.... Surely a loving God would never take vengeance or fiery judgement on people. Well God is loving and through His merciful love He has given everyone the way out of this fiery judgement and it is through the offering of His Son in the place of sinners like you and me. But God is also a God of Justice and righteousness. God cannot by His nature give man away to follow and not judge those who by their willful choice choose to go another way. If He did He would not be righteous and just. I know this may not be the God you believe in but please open your hearts to receive the scriptures and turn away from the God you have created in your own mind. What is your attitude about your sin. Do you have the attitude that oh I can do that or live this way and God will forgive men. After all I believe in Jesus and that He died on the cross. This attitude and way of thinking is what treads Jesus and His blood underfoot. This attitude and way of thinking insults God and His Spirit of Grace. What fiery judgement awaits those who believe like this? Hell!! Again Hell is not talked about much in our churches or our society. Every bodies going to heaven right. Well again we have to look at the scriptures and not to our made of doctrines. Please let this word sober up your mind!!! Sin is a killer, it always brings death and God will judge it and those who choose to follow it!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

He who Knew no sin became a sin offering for us

2 Cor 5:22 -For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus Christ was sinless. He never sinned one time. He was righteous before God. He had to be this way because God required a perfect sacrifice, a sinless spotless lamb. Heb 4:15 declares that He was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Jesus is the pattern or the perfect image of righteousness. Rms 8:29 says He has predestined those He foreknew to be conformed to the image of His Son. 2 Cor 3:18 say we are being transformed into His image by the Holy Spirit. Righteousness simply means to be made right. We all are made wrong with God if you will the day that we sin. We become unrighteous before God. 1 Cor 6:9 says do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. The unrighteous shall not inherit or receive heaven. He was made sin does not mean that He became a sinner that would contradict the scriptures. It means that He became a sin offering. 1 Pet 2:24 - He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Gal 3: 13- in talking of Jesus redeeming His people from the curse of the law Paul quotes an Old Testament verse "cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree". People we are made righteous before God only through the sin offering that God made of His son on the tree of the cross. I am right with God because I have put my faith in what Jesus did at the cross. My standing before God is that I am right with Him. The verse from yesterday sums it up "for by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified" But folks the wonderful news is that it don't ever stop until we leave this earth and these fleshly bodies that are decaying. We are made right and everyday through our faith in Christ and His offering we are being conformed into the image of Christ. We are being sanctified or set apart from sin and the world too God and His image of righteousness. We are being transformed by the power of God's Spirit to bear the Fruit of Righteousness. Jesus said you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. Well a righteous tree will bear the fruit of righteousness. There is a wonderful liberty in knowing just what Jesus did for us and all that is available through His offering on the cross. We need to repent or change the way we think and quit living in defeat. Jesus Christ has made a way to abundant life. A life free from the guilt and power of sin. We can have peace with God everyday as we live righteous before God through our relationship with Jesus and His Spirit. What is your faith in today. Is it in the deception of "well i believe in Jesus but you know I'm going to sin". This is error and the wrong way to think. Rms 6:12 - Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in it's lust. Rms 6:14 - "Sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace" The two words reign and dominion are words used when we speak of Kings or rulers. The Sin nature is the king and ruler over all who have sinned and not made Jesus King, Lord and Ruler. Jesus defeated or dethroned The Sin Nature when He offered Himself on the cross and on the third day rose again. Rms 8:37 - "yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us", Praise God!!!!!