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.
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.