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Revival: What It Is and Isn’t

By on September 27, 2016

Revival: What do you think of when you hear that word? lf you’re like me, you might think of an old circus tent, with folding chairs and a poorly dressed evangelist running back and forth across the stage shouting and hollering. Other people might think of a series of meetings held at a church, with a guest speaker. Or maybe a week of meetings held at the Holiday lnn, where several churches join up and listen to a guest speaker.

Guess what? None of these things are revival. What IS revival? We’re going to spend some time exploring this area of the things of God.

I guess l was about 18 when l first ran across a book called, “Revival Lectures.” lt was written in the mid 1800’s by Charles Finney, Mr. Finney had been an attorney, and he gave his heart to the Lord, when he was 27. Within days, the Lord called him into the ministry, and he began speaking. Not in the churches, because they wouldn’t have him. He spoke in homes, schools, town halls, factories and anywhere else he could get a group of people together.

Under Charles Finney’s speaking and preaching, frequently entire towns would come to the Lord. I want to share with you some of the truths that he shared that brought such moves of God. He begins with helping us to understand what a revival is, and isn’t.

“O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habbakuk 3:2). Habbakuk was crying out to God to spare his nation from the judgments that were speedily coming down on his nation.

The prophet was asking God to influence His people, to move on the hearts of the people, so that they would obey God. He knew that people on their own wouldn’t obey God fully, and needed the influence of the Holy Spirit if they were ever going to obey Gods commands.

The word “revive,” means “to bring life back to; to restore to a lively condition; to energize or stir up. So, revival, by definition means there’s been a backing down from your earlier life with God, a losing of your lively condition and you need to be energized or stirred up. lt means that at some point you were closer to God than you are now. You need reviving. You’re in an inactive state that resembles death!

People are so spiritually sluggish, and there are so many things that take their minds off of the things of God, that He needs to intervene from time to time. Then the obstacles to true spirituality are swept away and people begin to obey God once again.

People need to FEEL, before they are willing to OBEY. This is why so many people who know they ought to be serving God fervently don’t. They’re afraid they’ll be laughed at by their friends. Many are married to their possessions; others put off repenting until they’ve secured some worldly measure of success. People like this will never give up their false shame or give up their personal agendas until they FEEL the senses of danger their soul is in and can’t hold back any longer.

First off, spiritual revival always includes the church realizing it isn’t doing its job. lt begins with a spiritual housecleaning among God’s people. They feel the seriousness of their own sins and find it impossible to keep living the life of a phony. People who have grown cold in their devotion recommit themselves to the Lord.

Secondly, Christians have their faith renewed in a time of real revival. When you’re slipping away from God, your heart gets hard as marble. The truths of the Bible seem like fantasies. You admit that it’s all true, but the burning realities of eternity don’t move you.

When God begins to move in your heart, you no longer “see men as trees walking,” but you see things in that strong light that renews the love of God in your heart. You’ll begin to FEEL for other people, and want them to be able to love Jesus like you do. You’ll be longing for your friends, your relatives and even your enemies to give their hearts to God.

You won’t just be speaking to them about their souls, but you’ll find yourself praying for them sincerely and earnestly, asking God to move on their hearts.

Third, real revival breaks the power of those sins and habits that have gotten hold of you and drag you down, destroying your hopes for future happiness. It brings you to such a high ground in God that you feel a fresh impulse towards Heaven. You have a new sense of belonging to the Kingdom of Heaven and you get new desires to be in communion with God. This is how the pull of the world is broken and the power of the enemy is broken in your life.

What God Uses to Bring Revival. Mr. Finney mentions three things God uses to bring true revival The first is simply the way God moves in the events in a person`s life.

God arranges things to happen that bring your mind into contact with the truth. He brings you to where the truth reaches your eyes, ears and thoughts. God might use the weather, the political situation, social ills or anything else that might turn your attention towards Him. Then, He sends along a minister or other Christian just at the right time. And, that person will bring out a specific truth just at the time you’re ready to hear it.

Knowing your mind, your heart, feelings and your whole personal history, God will use the right truth in the way that’s best adapted to your particular case. He gives it such strength, vividness and power that it causes you to stop in your tracks and turn to the Lord.

See, if people were inclined to obey God, they would get all the truth they need from the Bible. But, because people are totally disinclined to obey the truth, God makes it clear through their minds and pours it onto their souls in a blaze of light that they can’t withstand. That’s what causes people to yield to the truth, obey God and be saved.

Next, God uses other people to reach you. People aren’t mere instruments in the hands of God. Instruments have no choice. People have a choice whether or not they will be used by God. What instrument does God use? He uses the truth. People are agents that God uses.

You’re probably aware that people can read your state of mind by looking into your eyes. lf your eyes are full of silliness, fear, anxiety or hypocrisy, anyone can read it. lf your eyes are full of the Spirit of God, they read that, too. Just the look on your face can be enough to bring a person to face their spiritual condition.

lf you have a deep feeling towards the things of God, you’ll produce deep feelings wherever you go. And, if you’re cold, or frivolous, or trifling, you’ll inevitably destroy all deep feeling, even in people who are concerned about their souls`.

We want to spend some time together learning about how God revives His people. The purpose isn’t to spend our time and strength just receiving instructions, or to give you something to talk about. lt’s not so you can say, “We’ve learned all about how God revives His people,” while you do nothing.

At the end of his first Revival Lecture, Mr. Finney asks, “Will you follow the instructions I shall give you from the Word of God, and put them into practice in your own lives? Will you bring them to bear upon your families, your acquaintances, neighbors, and through the city? Or will you spend your time learning about revivals, and do nothing FOR them?

“l want you as fast as you learn anything on the subject of revival to put it into practice, and go to work… you ought to decide NOW whether you will do this or not.”

You know we call people to decide on the spot whether THEY will obey the Gospel. And we have no more authority to let YOU take the time to think about whether you will obey God, than we do to let lost people “think about it.”

We call on you to make a promise to God that you will do your duty as fast as you learn what it is, and to pray that He will pour out His Spirit upon this church and this city.”

When the churches are awakened out of their sleep by God, changed lives will follow. Peoples’ hearts will be broken down and changed. Even the “worst” people in society, the crack addicts, prostitutes, drunkards and atheists will be awakened and converted. The worst of human beings will be softened and reclaimed, and transformed into beautiful and renewed citizens of Heaven!

the-truth-that-sets-you-free

The Truth That Sets You Free

By on September 20, 2016

Truth – On July 4, 1776, here is what Britain’s King George lll wrote in his diary: “July 4, 1776. Nothing happened today.” That’s the truth. The truth as far as what he wrote. But, he was wrong! That’s the TRUTH! He was wrong! A nation was born that day!

lt’s easy to laugh about him thinking nothing was going on. But, he just didn’t know what was really happening. Just like a lot of people. On any given Sunday, 1000’s of people drive by this church, and past several others. They think nothing’s happening – but they’re wrong.

In 1776, the greatest event on the planet was taking place in a meeting hall in Philadelphia. Today, the greatest thing that is happening on the planet is what God is doing through this church and other ministries like it.

People’s lives are being touched. Marriages are being strengthened, and put back together. Families are learning how to function. Inept parents are learning how to raise their children in godly, stable homes. Kids are being saved from destroying their lives with immorality, the occult, alcohol and drugs.

People driving by and thinking nothing is going on here are, like King George III, wrong. But, there is an even MORE misinformed person, even more out of touch than the 1000’s who drive by. That’s the person who can came in, worshiped in song, listened to the Word of God and still thinks there’s nothing going on!

Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. “The first truth is the truth about Jesus. That He loves you, cares for you, and died on Calvary to purchase eternal life for you here and forever.

The second truth is about sin. Your sins. That you have missed the target, sinned, in so many areas. And, only Jesus can cover those sins. You can’t “undo” them. Only through Jesus is there forgiveness for sins.

The third truth is about your life right now. It’s about “what are you becoming?” Not just what do you know. Or, what can you do. But, what are you becoming? What are you letting yourself become?

Most people come to church wanting to learn, grow and get to know God. Everything is a mystery at first, and they want to just devour everything they can, to learn more about walking with God. But then, after they’ve hung around a while, laziness kicks in.

They know a little theology, have a few Bible verses memorized; they’ve bought a decent quality leather bound Bible. They know a few songs and choruses. So, they kick back and take it easy spiritually. Some even pick up their old habits, figuring they know enough Bible and spiritual stuff, that they can always find their way back.

Jesus was dealing with the religious people of His day, the Pharisees. They were the same way. They figured they knew enough Scripture, knew how to pray and had all the rules memorized, so they were O.K.

They figured they were walking in the light, and had plenty of vision in life, because of how much they knew. Jesus told them in John 9:41 something that He would say to people today.

“lf you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore, your sin remains.” In other words, if you never heard the Gospel, if you weren’t claiming to know Jesus, if you were not claiming to be a Christian, you wouldn’t be held as responsible.

But, since you say you know Him, and STILL live like somebody who doesn’t know Him, you’ll be held accountable in a way that someone who never knew the Gospel wouldn’t. “To whom much is given, much is required.”

You don’t want to be like the Pharisees. The worst kind of bondage is religious bondage. They thought they had all the answers, but they didn’t know Jesus in a real and loving way. They were kept back by their pride, stubbornness and inflexibility.

In that same passage, the Pharisees were getting mad at Jesus because He was trying to help them change. He said, “lf you abide (live, dwell on) My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. “They got MAD at Him for that! For telling the TRUTH!

They said that they had never been in bondage to anyone, so how could Jesus talk to them about being made free. Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is the slave of sin, “and the slave doesn’t have any inheritance.

Missing the target in life will not only rule over you, but it will rob you of your inheritance in God. Whatever area you let sin dominate you will ultimately be the area you will lose out in. That’s just the way it works.

In John 15:14, Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” To walk in God’s blessing, to walk in the Spirit; to continue in the Word means to cooper ate with Jesus. In everything. lt’s letting His expertise direct you, Allowing His wisdom to be applied in all that you put your hand to.

The idea is entering a partnership with Jesus, with Him as the senior partner. He has all the experience, wisdom and solutions. The junior partner (that’s you) learns from the senior one, and follows His direction. But, they BOTH profit from the partnership.

The more you listen to Jesus, the more fruitful your life will be. The more vision you’ll have. The better results you’ll get, in any area you make Him Lord. He has the ideas and the power to bring to pass whatever you need in any situation in life.

Your job is to listen and act. Your life is the area where Jesus’ ideas come to pass. Let his Word get into your mind, your spirit and permeate every nook and cranny in your life. Then, you can live the Life that God has designed for you from the beginning.

Are you living so you can hear Jesus’ thoughts? Are His words free to come out of your lips? Is he free to respond through you during the day?

When you make a decision to let Him live through you, you’re making a decision to become like Jesus – Understanding, loving, cheerful, caring and prayerful.

Here’s something pretty neat. In Luke 12:8, Jesus said, “Whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.” This means that the more you acknowledge Jesus before people, the more YOU will be acknowledged before God! When you acknowledge Him in the natural realm, you will be acknowledged in the spiritual realm.

Then, there’s prayer. “Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.” That’s 1 Peter 5:7. Put everything you care about in His hands. All your fears. All your worries. Then, TRUST Him with it. Trust Jesus to bring you the solutions. A lot of times, the first day you don’t see a change, or don’t feel any better, you take matters into your own hands and feel like quitting. But, if you’ll keep in faith, you’ll slowly see your life becoming more harmonious, more directed.

Every time you pray, you and Jesus get closer and the more comfortable you get with Him. Sometimes, you’ll just like to be in His presence – no requests, no questions, just sitting there enjoying being with Him.

That’s the freedom that everybody is searching for. That’s the kind of life that’s yours; He paid the price for it. You have to reach out and take it. Today is the day that something terrific can happen in your life – the day that the truth set you free!

Bless You,
Pastor Steve

breaking-down-the-walls-that-hinder-your-life

Breaking Down The Walls That Hinder Your Life

By on September 13, 2016

God has a place for you in life. Why aren’t you there yet? Because there are “walls” that keep you out. You’re saved, blessed, cleansed, forgiven and called of God, but there is still a work that God is doing and things that have to happen before the walls are broken down.
It’s like the Children of Israel when being led by Moses and then by Joshua. God had called Moses to take the Children of Israel into the Promise Land, the land of Cana. That was one of the Covenant blessings of keeping the Ten Commandments.

God had promised that if His children kept His word, He would drive out all their enemies and they would possess that land. But guess what? They didn’t get into that land during Moses’ lifetime. They let doubt and unbelief keep them out.

Well into their journey, Joshua and Caleb, had spied out the Promise Land and said, “We can make it, because our God is with us.” But the people kept saying they couldn’t make it. So, it was the peoples’ doubt and unbelief that kept them out.

Instead of entering into what God had provided for them, they spent their lives wandering around in the wilderness because of unbelief.
God has shown me that many of His people are spending their lives wandering in the wilderness, missing out on what God has prepared for them, because of unbelief. Good people, Christian people who really want to serve God, are missing God’s plan for their lives because they’ve gotten in the palace where they can’t believe God could bless them anymore.

After Moses died, God raised up Joshua to lead His people into the land of Promise. He brought them to the city of Jericho. The word, “Jericho” means “fragrant, or sweet-smelling aroma”. Jericho represents that sweet place in life for you, or the good thing that God has prepared for you.
In Joshua 6:2, “the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.” God HAS given you that desire He has put in your heart, but you HAVE to look beyond the walls and the forces that are trying to keep you out.

God KNOWS there are walls that separate you from your Jericho, from your place of good things coming in your life. Hebrews 9:11 says that Jesus Christ has become the “High Priest of Good Things to come.”

God has given you that calling, that gift, that desire, and you have to keep your eyes off the walls and on God, on Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of your faith. And, those walls, if you’re going to enter in, have to be torn down by acting and speaking in faith! That’s the lesson here.

There are LOTS of walls that keep people from ever entering into their place of Something Good.

A Wall of Sin can keep you out. Many times, God has already prepared that place of good and blessing for you, but the enemy keeps you indulging in some form of sin or another. It might not seem like a big or glaring sin to you, but it is enough that it keeps you weak, and in no condition to pull down the walls.

Another wall that keeps people out is the Wall of Strife. Strife comes when pride arrives on the scene. You feel like you’re not loved enough, listened to enough, and that maybe some other person is receiving the attention, or credit praise that is due to you. So, strife comes. How does it keep you from entering in? Because it causes you to have your faith in the undependability of man rather than the promises of God.

Then, there’s the Wall of Lack. Where you just can’t seem to get ahead enough financially to do or be what God has called you to do. Lack seems to be the one thing that keeps you from entering into God’s place of something good. You’d do what God put in your heart, but there just doesn’t seem to be the resources.

There are also walls of failure, walls of sickness, walls of worry, walls of confusion, walls of misunderstanding: all these keep people from entering into God’s part, then you’ll be my God. Sure, Jacob had believed in God before, but he had never given his HEART to God. And, the minute he gave heart to God, he knew God would bless him, and he also promised to bless God, by giving God ten percent of everything God gave him.
That’s something that gets you started right. When you first come to God, make a vow, make a decision, a commitment, a promise that you’re going to give God ten percent of everything God gives you.

Remember, Jacob was broke when he made his covenant to God. He didn’t have anything. This isn’t for rich people. No, you don’t have to be rich to be a blessing to God. But being a blessing to God can MAKE you rich! And, when you’re rich in God, you don’t keep it all to yourself, you have enough faith to give it, and be a blessing to others!

Jacob’s most important decision was to serve God. Then, he decided he was going to use whatever money God blessed him with to honor and bless God.
By the 32nd chapter, verse 9, it that after many years, he came back. And he had so many cows, camels, sheep, and employees that he spread out over the land. He was a very rich man, and Gold told him to go back to Bethel.

Jacob realized that all his wealth wasn’t the result of his own cleverness, but it came from the blessings of God on his life. He knew that being blessed and prospered was part of God’s eternal mercy.

That’s right, being prospered is a part of God’s mercy! Jacob said, “Oh Lord God…You said for me to return unto my country and to my relatives and You would deal well with me. But, I am not worthy of the least of Your mercies.”
God shows mercy to those who are faithful tithers!

In Genesis 32:10 Jacob says, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shown unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.”

I’m not worthy of the least of your mercies and of all the truth which you have shown unto me. God gives inspired ideas to those who honor Him with their money. You can’t BUY inspired ideas, God GIVES them to the faithful.

That’s what God wants to happen in YOUR life. You may have nothing now. But God wants you to make Him a promise to be faithful with all He gives you.

Jacob based his promise on God taking care of him. He said, “Lord if you will surely be with me, if you’ll take care of me, then I’m going to tithe, I’m going to give You ten percent.

When I think about what God’s done for me, I realize why I owe Him even more than a tenth! I owe Him my very life! But all God asks for is my heart and ten percent of my income. Why? To reach other people, to establish God’s covenant to save the lost. And, to give Him seed to bless me with.

God’s people are the ones whom He’s trusting to finance the spreading of the gospel. Why? Because God doesn’t promise to bless and prosper His people. And if His people love money and lose their vision, they just won’t be prospered, that’s what! It’s weird to steal from God on your way to Heaven, but some people do it!

But, like Jacob, God loves you and wants to fill your heart with the reality of Heaven in your life. When you are broke, unclean, alone and scared. He wants you to know that TODAY can be a day of new beginnings for you.

you have more influence than you think

You Have More Influence Than You Think!

By on September 6, 2016

You might be a nobody, and still be someone’s hero. For example, Ernie Perkins (just a guy), tells about when he was in seventh grade he had a hero right there in his school. This guy was a senior, and didn’t even know Ernie existed. Ernie wanted to be just like him.

Was Ernie’s hero a football star or something? A bulked up weight lifter. Nope. He had just ONE trait that set him apart from everybody else, as far as Ernie was concerned: what made him a hero to young Ernie Perkins was that he had the same first name. They were both named Ernest.

This guy, the senior, never knew that a seventh grader wanted to be just like him. To walk like he walked, to talk like he talked, to be as self-assured as he seemed to be.

One day, the senior Ernie did something without even thinking – and it became little Ernie’s goal! Senior Ernie was rushing out the school door with some of his friends and jumped up and touched the light bulb in the ceiling over the exit door!

Little Ernie says, “His one spontaneous act became my goal! Ernie the Senior influenced my life for years, for no other reason than he had my name.”

People are very susceptible to those around them. Have you ever had a friend move to another part of the country for a few years and then return home, talking like the people where’s he or she’s been living?

People easily become like those around them. They “rub off” on us. One reason the people around you get so negative, jaded and cynical is because of what they are bombarded with each day. Friends, school and work mates, family, TV shows, radio, books, magazines – all these touch people. Thoughts, feelings, and actions are constantly shaped by those we listen to, watch and live with.

The matter of your influencing other people is dealt with in Philippians 2:15. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Among whom ye shine as lights in the world. “Never under- estimate the power of your influence.

Your influence on those around you is so powerful, so subtle, so gradual that sometimes even WE don’t realize how the other person has changed, or what affect our lives are having.

Think about it. lf you’re around people who are negative, critical and gossipy, chances are, you’ll become negative, critical and gossipy. On the other hand, if you’re around people who are generous, caring and compassionate, you’re likely to become more like that yourself. That’s the way of peer pressure.

That’s where you come in, allowing the Holy Spirit to use your life as a way of reaching people who are lost in life and hurting. You want to make sure you’re walking close to Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit and prayed up.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Remember, YOU can’t do it in your own strength. But, Jesus IN you CAN. You need to, use wisdom around the other people in your life, and don’t be doing damage to the Kingdom of God by your talk and your behavior. That’s what this verse means.

The people around you usually ARE hurting. Some of them have obvious pains. Problems at home. Financial problems, health problems, job and career woes. Fears, phobias and disappointments. For many of them, it’s not just the problem itself, it’s knowing that they contributed to their own pain.

You’ve probably heard the story about the little sparrow crying, while covering one eye. An owl flew by and said, “Little sparrow, what’s wrong?” The sparrow carefully pulled away it’s wing and revealed a slit where it’s eye used to be. “A crow pecked out my eye.” “Now, l understand,” said the owl.

“You’re crying because you miss your eyesight.” “Not so much THAT,” said the little sparrow. “l’m crying because l LET him.”

They let someone peck away at their vision. And, now they’re hurting, and filled with regrets at things they can’t change now. That’s why they need to know that God forgives and isn’t going to beat them over the head for their past sins and mistakes.

Having Jesus in your life means that your life DOES influence people around you, on a daily basis. You want to make specific efforts to be positive, spiritual, Godly and caring. You want to draw as much strength and benefit as you can from the other people here at the Worship Center. Make it a point to be with them as much as possible, so you and they can influence each other!

Not surprisingly, people who spend their money lavishly hang out with friends that do the same thing. Successful people hang with successful friends, poor people hang with poor friends, spiritual people hang with spiritual friends.

What if they can’t FIND spiritual friends? They MAKE them! They get filled with faith and zeal by availing themselves of the friendships at church, and then they begin to influence those in their families, jobs and neighborhoods.

True story. On page 5 of the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of Servant magazine, there’s a story about a Christian couple who did just that. lt was near Thanksgiving, and this New York couple prayed in their apartment for “the loneliest person in New York City.”

Since the U.S. had just bombed Libya, they prayed for the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations. Getting up from their knees, they decided to invite him to their apartment for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Guess what? He agreed to come! They were nervous, having never entertained VIP’s before. But, they had a wonderful time together. Part way into the weekend, the ambassador asked, “Could l ask you a question? Why did you invite me?”

They replied, “We were praying for the loneliest person in the city, and you came to mind. So, we decided to invite you.” Nothing more was said about it.

A letter of thanks soon came from the ambassador. Then, to their astonishment, a letter from Muam- mar Khadafy thanking them for their kindness and inviting them on an all-expense paid trip to Libya as his guests!

While there, the American asked if he could pray for Mr. Khadafy. After he finished, the Libyan president had tears in his eyes and asked if the American would do it again. “Of course, l’ll pray for you every day,” he said.

“No,” said Mr. Kadafy. “l mean, will you do this again on national television?” The American then had the opportunity to pray in front of cameras that broadcast throughout the nation of Libya as he prayed for the salvation of their president and his country.

See, you need to spend more time seeking out people who are responsive and open to at least listen to you. Search for people who spend time reflecting on the meaning of life, and who have a desire for l more quality, more discipline in their lives. Then, reach out to them.

An old man was walking on the beach at dawn, and noticed a teenager ahead of him, picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. When he caught up with the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The boy replied, saying that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and miles,“ the old man said. How can your effort make any difference?”

The teenager looked at the star- fish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. He said, “lt makes a difference to THAT one

Maybe you can’t help everybody in your circle of friends. Maybe you can’t change the world. But, in the same way a huge building is built one brick at a time, the Kingdom of God is built saving one life at a time. You have more influence than you think.

Because of your name, as a Christian, you can expect your life to change the walk, talk and character of those who are watching you. Live so they’ll leap for the light, following your footsteps!

what would jesus do

What Would Jesus Do?

By on September 1, 2016

Ok so everybody’s wearing WWJD hats, t-shirts, key rings, necklaces, wristbands, wallets, (Wearing wallets?) Earrings. Well. Guess what? WWJD isn’t even the question. Everybody knows what Jesus would do. We all know EXACTLY what He would do. He wouldn’t do half the stuff people who wear WWJD are doing. Not everybody, just some.

But we KNOW what I would do. And wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t lie. Wouldn’t steal. Wouldn’t cuss and talk dirty. Wouldn’t do drugs. Wouldn’t catch Him drunk. Would He have sex with people He’s not married to? Nope. Never. Ever. He wouldn’t be a hypocrite. He wouldn’t be making fun of people because they’re too fat, too skinny, too rich, too poor, too ugly, too geeky, too tall, too short. He wouldn’t dis people because of their skin color either.

So what’s the big deal about what would Jesus do? He already did what He’s going to do. He pleased the Father and died for you so you won’t have to live like a lost person rose from the dead and is now praying for you so you don’t have to go to hell.

WYGD? What YOU Gonna Do? Buy a bunch of WWJD stuff and hang it all over yourself so you look like a walking WWJD Christmas tree? Yeah. That’ll how come the most often stolen things in Christian bookstores are the WWJD things! Serious Number 1 stolen thing nationwide in Christian bookstores? WWJD wrist bands. Stealing for the guy who said “thou shalt not steal.”

Cop picked up a girl for stealing at the mall. Was wearing WWJD paraphernalia. Got her for shoplifting. Should have gotten her for impersonating a Christian. Another guy got in trouble for having sex with an underage girl. Met her at a Christian activity. Both had WWJD stuff on. One problem. They didn’t have J in their hearts. Just on their T shirts, hats, keyrings and jewelry. Pathetic.

Jesus said, “Why do you call Me “Lord, Lord” but you don’t do the things that I say?” First John says, “the person that says “I know Him” Pretty scary because it also says that all liars (even “saved” ones????) have a place in the lake of fire. By the way, so do all fornicators (people who have sex with people they’re not married to), thieves, drunks, covetous people and a bunch of others who are disobedient. Jesus said it’s not the ones who says the wrath of God is on all those who are disobedient. Jesus said it’s not the ones who say “Lord, Lord” who go to Heaven but the ones who do the will of the Father in Heaven.

The Father in Heaven knows everything you do too. Sees everything hears everything Bible says “there is NOTHING that is hidden from Him with whom we have to do.” J says “You’ll have to give account for EVERY idle word you’ve spoken on the day of Judgment. He said that in Matthew 12:36.
So, He sees everything, hears everything will make you give account Him for everything. He doesn’t take excuses either not interested. Said “to whom much is given (that’s you) much is required.”

Nothing wrong with wearing “WWJD” stuff. Better than wearing a lot of other stuff. But don’t wear stuff if you’re not living the life. Proves you’re just a poser.

Here's the thing to seek

Here’s The Thing To Seek

By on August 23, 2016

What are you seeking? In the natural realm of your life, there are many things that you can and should seek. Things like solid friendships with quality people, a happy and close knit family. Then, there’s maintaining a positive wholesome environment where each member is growing in God’s will.

On the job, you should seek to be excellent at what you do; to be hardworking and capable, as well as a pleasant person to have onboard. These are worth seeking because they give you credibility when you’re talking to others about being a servant of God. If you’re an incompetent whiner who is chronically lazy, you won’t be able to convince anybody that Jesus is Lord of your life.

How about spiritually? First off, the number one priority has to be seeking a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Without Him, there IS no true spirituality.

You have to seek Him in the right place and at the right time. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” That’s in Isaiah 55:6. And, like the angels said in Luke 24:5- 6, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here …”

After Jesus what do you seek? Having the kingdom of God at work in your life. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:33. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto thee.”

You seek to put Him first, and to live righteously. You want to have your heart full of the love of the Lord and to be full of the Holy Spirit. Then, those other goals, the ones we talked about earlier, the ones at home, and work, will be taken care of.

There’s a whole other area of seeking that most Christians totally ignore. Even Christians who are diligent at seeking the Lord in their personal prayer times. Even Christians who seek to be full of the Holy Spirit. Even Christians who like to operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

Yep. There’s still a major area that God tells all Christians, especially Christians who are zealous for spiritual gifts, to seek. Many Christians feel it’s not their job. Or, that they’re so “spiritual” that it doesn’t pertain to them. However, God doesn’t see it that way.

What is this neglected, ignored and disobeyed command to seek something from God? It’s in 1 Corinthians 14:12. “Since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”

What’s “edify?” Edify means to build up, or strengthen; to make stronger; to cause to become greater.

God’s saying, since you’re zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel at building the church up. At making it stronger. At making it grow. At increasing the number of people coming to church and experiencing Jesus Christ. That’s what God says.

We want to be used in praying, intercession or praise. But God has bigger plans for his people. Most Christians have more interest in edifying themselves and being entertained when they come to church. Worse than that, if they come and the emphasis isn’t on their own personal edification, they get mad and leave!

The Holy Spirit is very clear about what the purpose of the church is. It’s to build up the Body of Christ, so believers can become more like Jesus. Evangelism, reaching other people for Jesus is ONE aspect of edifying the Body of Christ. A major one. But, it’s not the only one.

There’s also helping to feed those people spiritually when they come in. That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said to Peter, “Feed My sheep,” in John 21:17. The theme of the conversation was Jesus saying, “Peter, if you really love Me, feed, take care of, work for, tend to My sheep.” So, when you really love Jesus, what He’s looking for and exposing is for you to feed, or serve His sheep in some capacity or another.

You, of course have the responsibility to reach your friends and family. But, what else does the Lord expect from His people, in the area of edifying the church?

First, to seek to edify it. To make it a matter of personal prayer before the Lord. Ask, “Lord, You know me. You also know my heart. What would you have ME to do to edify the church?”

Then, be silent before Him and listen for His “still small voice.” He’ll speak, if you’ll listen. He’ll give you an area to use your talents so the Holy Spirit can use you to edify the church.

See, WE want to be used by God in the spectacular – or not at all. We might imagine getting up front and prophesying the future . . . or waving our hand and healing every sick person in the county or speaking a word that will cast all demons out of the Federal Government.

And, if God doesn’t use us in THIS way, we feel like we’re off the hook. But, what good is it to feel this way, when God is wanting to build up the church through you – and you’re only available on YOUR terms, not His???

God You Can Use ME Any Way You Want.
Just Don’t Let It Involve Work

Part of edifying the church, in a VERY real way is maintenance and upkeep of the building itself. When the early church in Acts met in houses, they had to maintain the houses. By the time Corinthians was written, they were meeting in church buildings; they had outgrown the houses, but we’re still under the Lord’s mandate to reach the lost. So, they met in larger meeting places. Church buildings came as a result of obeying God (More on that, Sunday!)

If the building is dirty, smelly, under – maintained, and “shop-worn,” how do you think God wants people with those skills to edify his church? By singing? Singing praise choruses while the building is falling down? Of course not!

There’s also teaching, discipling. New believers especially need discipling by older believers. lf you’ve know the Lord a few years, what do you think God might let you find, when you seek to edify the church? Probably an opportunity to disciple others on a steady ongoing basis.

It’ll develop discipline in you, as well as stability. It will give you fruit for eternity. It will help new believers to have an easier start in their Christian life than they would have had if you hadn’t sought to edify the church. Plus, God will open more of himself to you, as He finds that you’re faithful in the little things. Luke 16:10 teaches that.

Are you pretty good at organizing? Be zealous to seek how you can build up the church through your organizing. This is an aspect of the gift of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8). God wants you to USE that giftedness. He gave it to you so you could do more than just organize your closets!

God wants to edify the church through people who can type, visit, or make phone calls. These are all given to profit the members of the church. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says so.

God has gifted some people with the ability to ASK. These people feel comfortable approaching others and asking them to do things or to give, to build up the Kingdom. They are willing to consecrate that talent to the Lord and ask businesses, and individuals for donations and help. What a gift! It’s a part of the gift of faith, in 1 Corinthians 12:9. Are you an Asker?

Do you like babies and small children? Jesus said, ‘let the little children come unto me. ” You can edify the church by letting the little children come to Jesus, so their parents can be discipled and taught. All it takes is to do it during one service, and then you can edify yourself during some of the other ones each week.

Acts 20:28 tells us to “take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God which He has purchased with his own blood. ”

My commission from the Lord is in Colossians 1:28, where as a minister of Jesus Christ, it says, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Whereunto l also labor; striving according to lhs working, which worketh in me mightily.”

My passion is to stir you to become the person you’ll be pleased to be, on the day that you stand before the Lord. That nothing was left undone that He set before you.

When you seek to strengthen what God is doing in your Church, he will bless you with more ideas, blessings and answers to prayer than you can even imagine. Seek to EDIFY the church!

Spending the summer in the Psalms

Spending the Summer in The Psalms

By on August 18, 2016

We’ve been spending the Summer in the Psalms. On Sunday nights at 6:30 and Wednesday evenings at 7:30, we are going through the Psalms and listening to the good things that God has for us in them. It is an exciting time, and always a blessing as we interact and different ones contribute their thoughts and experiences. This past Sunday night we were in Psalm 103.

Psalm 103: 1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies
5 Who satisfies you with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

With old age comes wisdom, but there is something special about the outlook of a youthful person. When you’re young, each day is exciting, the world is a sensational place, the future is bright. You’re anxious to get the day started, because it’s a first start on your exciting future filled with opportunities, challenges, victories, new people, new ideas, new experiences – like David said, ”This is the day [today IS special] that the Lord has made [today is a personal gift to you from God], I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Notice that he says, “I WILL rejoice and be glad in it,” meaning that it is a CHOICE to rejoice, a choice to be glad TODAY. Before today is over, I will have rejoiced and I will have been glad – at least once!

It’s easy for younger people to be hopeful and optimistic. But it takes real work to stay that way! As the years pass, we all face incredible attacks on our dreams, our hopes and our aspirations. Without a daily specific decision, a daily determination to maintain that youthful outlook, you’ll lose your excitement about life.

This joy, which is from God, is so valuable that it’s a tragedy to lose it. It’s what gives meaning to everything else in life.
The enemy knows that the “joy of the Lord is your strength,” so his greatest way to make you weak is find ways to take away your joy. The joyous Believer is a strong believer. A downcast Believer is a weak believer.

When Satan steals the thrill and enthusiasm from your life, your high hopes drop to the ground and everything loses meaning. That’s how the enemy sets you up to fall.
Some people start spending money like it’s going out of style. Others go after every sensation their flesh craves. Some just sit in front of their computers or TV. Others try to live their lives through their kids – and all of them find that none of these things work.
Outside solutions can’t cure inside problems. So may Christians settle for what isn’t even life; rushing through the day to get to the evening. Killing the evening online and in front of TV till they go to bed. Tossing and turning in bed till they get up to go to school or work again and get to the weekend. But God didn’t give us this life just so we can rush through it!
Here are some ways to get that vigor and strength of your youth back:

Come apart and rest for a while. Jesus said that in Mark 6:31. My Pastor used to say that if you don’t come apart and rest awhile, you’ll end up just coming apart. Lazy people are to be pitied, but those who never take a break, who never slow down and just enjoy their lives are just as pitiful. God designed us not to be machines going through endless activity and soaking up more and more meaningless information.
He didn’t create us to wear out our bodies and stress out our nervous systems through endless work and activity. We are designed to spend quiet time alone with God, in the Word of God, in prayer and meditation. Without it, we begin to lose our strength, zeal and vision.

Feed your soul with God’s bread. You have to eat Heaven’s food if you want Heaven’s strength. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we can’t live by earthly bread alone, but we need to feed on the Word of God. There are so many books, lessons, teachings, programs available that most of us settle for living on the processed junk food that man produces rather than the pure word of God, the Bible. We need to READ the Word of God, not what someone else says about the Word of God, and we need to internalize it, make it part of us, draw our strength from it.

The strength that you have in your body today is from the food that you ate yesterday, the day before, last week and before. The spiritual strength that you have today is from the bread from Heaven that you fed on yesterday, the day before, last week and before.
Make good, supportive friends. Even Jesus had friends. He said in John 15:14, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” Make good friends, and then invest the time needed to maintain those friendships and build them. People regularly ask me, “Where do I find good friends?” You don’t find good friends. You have to make them, cultivate them. Not everybody has the potential to be a good close friend. But many people do!

Never overlook the opportunity to make a new friend or cultivate an old friendship again. God made us to interact and fellowship with others, instead of being isolated and alone. I had to learn to enjoy meeting and learning more about all sorts of people, of all ages and backgrounds. No one is boring if you get to know them well enough. No two people are alike! And, everyone is fascinating in some unique way!
Look for opportunities every day to do good. Acts 10:38 talks about “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil …” Life gets interesting and intriguing again when we get involved with other people; helping them, listening to them, doing good for them.

People who lose the thrill and excitement of being alive are those who are mostly preoccupied with their own troubles, their own interests, their own pleasures. When we get in the habit of giving joy to the people nearest us, the Holy Spirit in us gives us such a sense of joy and wellbeing that it almost makes you high!

Be awake, alert, observant, listening. Be determined not to miss what’s in our own situation and circumstance, in our own life, family, job and friends. There’s so much pleasure on so many levels if we will just expand our interests to the many things and people that are around us! Interests in the books we bought but never finished reading, in old pictures we took but haven’t looked at in a while, even the sky above us and all the nature around us – if we’re not in a hurry and are awake and listening.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He designed it all for us to appreciate, enjoy and take care of. It is designed to give you joy.

Remember the many benefits that the Lord has blessed you with: Forgiveness, healing, salvation and protection, His love, His mercies and just the many day to day small blessings and tokens of His love for you. As you do this, you’ll get back that joy of your early days!

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Making godly choices & recieving heavenly blessings

Making Godly Choices & Receiving Heavenly Blessings

By on August 9, 2016

Jesus talked a lot about what we value, or think is important in life. I How you and I live shows what we I ally think is important and also what I we don’t think is worth paying attention to.

Jesus said that you have to make a decision, actually a lot of decisions, sometimes several a day, as to what is most important to you. That’s why I He said to make up your mind who, you’re going to serve.

When you’re with your Godly friends, it brings out the best in you. Then, you have those friends, those family members I that bring out the RAW you. When you’re around THAT bunch, you’re a I whole different person. You talk I differently, act differently, you do different things that just aren’t LIKE you. You need to decide today which one is the real you!

In Mark 8:36, Jesus asked, “What good is it, if you gain the whole world, and yet lose your own soul”? And, once you lose your soul, what could you give to get it back? What could you give in exchange for your soul?”

If you gain the world, THIS world, you’ll lose your soul. You cannot have it both ways. Jesus knows that whenever you gain in one area, you’re I doing without in another. So the MAIN question might be, what are you willing to do without, in order to get something else? Some people are willing to do without close friends and family, in order to chase money.

Other people are willing to do without money, family and jobs, in order to get drunk or high. That’s how a person makes the choices that make him or her end up in a gutter, homeless, broke and diseased.

What are you willing to do without, in order to gain God.

Jesus here was warning you to consider the pain of making decisions based on fear, loneliness, depression, anger or bitterness. He taught us that we’re always TRADING giving one thing for another. He says, “Make sure you’re going to be HAPPY with what you GOT for what you TRADED.”

Here, He was talking about trading your soul for the things of this world . . . and then finding out it isn’t even what you wanted.

Psalms 39.4 says it like this, “Lord, make me know my end, the result, how my life is going. Also make me know how little time I have on earth, so I can realize how frail, or easily hurt, I am.”

What you do, the choices you make AFFECT you. Also, you aren’t going to live on earth forever. You’re going to die one day, and stand before God, with Jesus and the saints of God, or to live in Hell forever with the devil and his followers.

Knowing this, God says in Job 28:28 will HELP us to be wiser and do better. He says, “Behold the fear of the Lord; that is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.” If you really fear God, you’ll conduct yourself wisely. AND, if we UNDERSTAND life and how it works, we’ll depart from evil, you’ll get out of that evil situation.

Why does he say, “Fear God?” Because most people fear poverty or they fear rejection, or maybe loneliness, or maybe even its sickness you fear, or death. But, you’re GOING to fear something. Fear God and you won‘t be afraid of I anything else. Then, you can get I focused on getting your life back on track. In Psalm 27:1 it says, “The Lord is My Light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?”

God is also talking to me about how some people TEMPT Him. They almost CHALLENGE Him to do something about the way they I live and act. Don’t mess with God. God has power to crush you anytime, like a bug. Sometimes we feel like He owes us. Or, that we can go out and sin and live those lifestyles like the world does and God owes it to us to W cover for us. He MIGHT cover for you I for a while, but then there comes a time when He might just decide to pour out a little judgement on you.

If you have godly understanding, God says, you will depart from evil. You’ll| get away from it, and you will put it away from you. Notice, it’s not fear that gets you to depart from evil, it’s UNDERSTANDING. When you have understanding, you recognize that everything we do brings a result. Every action you and I do has consequences. That’s the good news! Good news if you understand that doing good brings good consequences.

The Bible says that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). What that means is God will bless YOU just like He will bless the most spiritual and most godly and wisest person on earth – if you will live and act according to God’s Word, the Bible. Good results, good relationships come from doing the good will of God, consistently.

God gives you the power to choose a major part of your future. lf you plan on going to Heaven, then you need to ACT on that desire, that plan NOW. Successful people make good long term decisions. They think about not only what they FEEL right now, but also where they are headed – where they want to be. You’ve GOT to make decisions with the Judgment Seat of Christ taken into account- with “how will this pan out on the Judgment Day?”

The enemy steals from you by having you think only of how you feel, or what you desire RIGHT NOW. He gets you into the pattern of making impulsive decisions – and he blinds you to the consequences. That’s how he gets many people to get their credit cards charged to the point that they can never pay them off. lt’s how he cons people into getting upset and going out drinking or drugging. lt’s the same strategy he uses to get people to give into their lusts and into illicit behavior. Wherever you find good people doing bad things, you’ll know that the enemy has deceived them – which they’ve ALLOWED themselves to be deceived by the enemy for short term pleasure and long term pain.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” He saying, “Yes, you HAVE to make sacrifices here, in the day-to-day decisions if you’re going to follow Me and be my disciple.” You have to make sacrifices today, so you can reap God’s blessing the rest of your life and in Heaven.

The devil wants you to put off serving God with your body as a living sacrifice until later. He’s saying, “next week” or, after l get married, THEN I’ll get a grip on my lust problem.” Then, if you fall because you gave occasion to the flesh, the enemy tells you to just stay down there – that you’ve already blown it, so you might as well enjoy it.” That is the devil’s lie.

Then you pray, ask for forgiveness and strength and make the change now. Now is the accepted time. God says so. Today is your day of new beginnings; your day of making a promise to God to serve Him faithfully starting right now. NOW is the accepted time to start over. People who end up blessed, people who are full of joy, people who are able to stay happy people learn to put the flesh under and to walk in the Spirit.

Do the right thing because it’s right. lt will put you in the place where God can release His mighty blessings in your life. Jesus wants to HELP you get first things first. To get your life in order. ln Matthew 6:33, He said, “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness- and then all these other things will be added unto you. ”

Problems in life come from being out of God’s order. Buying without the income to pay. Having sex when you aren’t married to that person. Having children and not being married. lt’s what we call ‘having dessert before dinner.” God is telling you to have dinner before dessert. There’s nothing wrong with dessert. But, it has a specific place in the meal: AFTER dinner.

Unhappy people usually have dessert before dinner. Happy and blessed people have dessert AFTER dinner. We’re learning walk in the Spirit, and to please Jesus instead of pleasing our desires. We’re offering ourselves, our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to the Lord, which is our reasonable service. And, with that service, comes God’s unspeakable benefits and blessings!

Sober, vigilant and not devoured

Sober, Vigilant and Not Devoured

By on August 2, 2016

The guy was obviously drunk. He was talking to himself, shaking his fist and cussing at imaginary adversaries; bumping into mail- boxes and fire hydrants, and occasionally stumbling on the cracks in the sidewalk. Then, without warning, he walked straight out in front of a car, without even seeing it! When the driver skidded and veered into the other lane, our man broke into a broad grin and waved, slurring in a loud voice, “Howyadoooin, man?!!”

l thought, “Amazing!” He cusses at the air, tries to pick a fight with a mailbox, and then gleefully waves at a car that almost creamed him!

Suddenly, the Lord brought l Peter 5:8 to me. “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary; the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking who he may devour.” The Holy Spirit told me, “Son, that pitiful man is living no differently than MANY of God’s people! Just with him, it’s obvious!”

l had to go meditate on that one. l started thinking about the traits of an “alcohol besotted, chemically inconvenienced, sobriety derived” individual. (In this message, I’ll use the term “drunk” for short, and stick to the male gender for convenience.)

The drunk walks unsteadily. He stumbles at the smallest things and falls easily. He veers first to the right, then to the left, and might just fall down if the wind blows past.

He sees and hears enemies where there aren’t any. He might pick a fight with his closest friends, family members or loved ones. And, it’s just as likely he’d happily go out with people he wouldn’t be caught dead with, if he were sober!

He might be so easily offended and angered that the slightest thing sets him off. Or, he might be so jovial and silly that he thinks everything’s a joke even when the police try to arrest him!

Of course, people who really know him just don’t take him seriously. They write off his tirades and threats as, “He’s drunk. Don’t pay any attention to him.” When he decides he’s the world’s most charming and sophisticated man, it’s the same thing: “He’s drunk. Don’t pay any attention to him.”

Then there’s the area of vision. The drunk typically has blurred vision. He can’t see like he should. He sees what isn’t there, and doesn’t see what plainly is in front of him.

He just can’t perform in any area like a sober person could and should. Why? Because he is intoxicated.

Intoxicated. What’s it really mean? Something that’s toxic is poison. A drunk person is one who has taken in poison. “ln-toxic-ated.” ln a poisoned state. That’s why God says in Eph. 5:18, “Be not drunk… but be ye filled with the Spirit.” If you want to feel better, change your state, celebrate, relax with friends, the way to do it is to be Spirit-filled, not toxin filled.

So, I Peter 5:8 begins by telling us to be vigilant. Keep an eye out. Pay attention. Be on the lookout. Get focused with seeing.

When one of Linda’s contact lenses pops out, she gets “occupied with seeing.” She begins crawling on the carpet, looking, examining every speck of dust that looks shiny, obsessed with not missing that lens.

Or, when she’s gone for a few days and the kids and l straighten up the house before she comes back. We think it’s spotless! But she can walk three feet in the door and be convinced that we didn’t lift a finger while she was one! Why? Because she knows what to look for! Like a Customs agent at an international airport, she knows what to look for and sees what we would never catch! Vigilant.

Next, it does not say the devil is the adversary. No, he’s not “the” adversary. He is YOUR adversary. Out to get YOU personally, to push YOUR personal buttons. To discourage YOU. To get YOU to grow cold towards the things of God. To get YOU to mess up your life. To get YOU to miss God. There is a devil and the battle is personal. He wants to destroy YOU.

An adversary is one who is against you. Pushing you, pulling you, hitting you, driving you in the way that you do not want to go. An adversary makes contact in an effort to thwart your efforts and destroy your dreams.

Notice that the adversary is NOT flesh and blood. Not people. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that. No, your adversary is the devil. A spiritual enemy who is an old hand at lying, cheating, conning, setting people up; people smarter than you, people stronger than you and people better connected than you are. That’s all he’s been doing for centuries.

He’s like a roaring lion. Not like a yapping, prancing Chihuahua! When a lion roars, you have a warning. You know WHAT your enemy is, and you have a pretty good idea what his plans are! You know it’s a lion roaring and not a frog croaking! You know that lion is fully capable of overpowering just about anyone or anything he goes after.

He walketh about. He is actively going around trying to find your weak spot, or the way he can trip you up. He doesn’t stay in one place waiting for you to waltz by. Nope. He’s going over your life like an IRS agent going over your financial records! He’s seeking, the Bible says.

But, notice, thank God, that he’s seeking WHOM he may devour. That means he can’t devour everyone. He can only devour those who are in the wrong place, and are too “drunk,” too oblivious to what is actually happening in their lives and hearts.

As a born again child of God, you need to recognize and walk in the fact that through Jesus, God has pulled us out of the jungle! He’s gotten us out of the lion’s domain.

l thank God that the Bible says in Colossians 1:13-I4 that God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath (past tense) translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” We’re not like chickens thrown into the lion’s cage for supper anymore!

Jesus has stripped Satan of his power. God says in Colossians 2:15 that Jesus “spoiled (or stripped) principalities and powers (remember that phrase from Ephesians 6:12?) And made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

That’s why you want to walk in obedience to the Word of God. When you walk in the Spirit, you have victory over the enemy and all power of the enemy. Listen to what God says in Hebrews 2:14. “He brought NOTHING to the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

So, the only power the enemy has over you is the power you GIVE him! He operates in the area of your life that you won’t let Jesus be Lord over. Some of us have given the enemy all he needs to wipe us out by walking in the flesh, or in the vanity of our own minds. I’m so glad that there is a Jesus who will disarm the enemy when we turn to Him and ask His strength and help.

When Jesus was about to be crucified, He said that the prince of this world, the devil, came to Him, but found nothing in Him. The enemy had no power over Jesus because there was not one thing in Jesus’ life that the enemy could point to and say, “that’s mine.” Jesus had totally committed Himself to pleasing the father.

When you give place to the devil, he then has a RIGHT to operate in that area . . . and he’ll steal, kill and destroy.

When l was a little unsaved kid, the man up the road had a grove of apple trees. He didn’t want any of us on his property; because he knew we’d be stealing his apples. Of course, they were sweeter and juicier than any apples in the store! So, we would throw a baseball or basketball over his fence. Then we’d run in there and grab the ball and as many apples as possible! When he’d yell at us, we would hold up the ball and say, “l was just here getting my ball!”

That’s why Colossians 4:27 says “Give no place to the devil.” Don’t let him throw, his ball in your orchard! He’ll steal your fruit and destroy your efforts! That might be the reason you’re hurting. Maybe you’ve given the enemy a little room here, and just a little space there, and now he’s just tearing you up. There are so many hurting people nowadays who have lost jobs, their families, their children, all because they gave the enemy a little room to get in… and he ended up devouring them.

I want you to know that Jesus is here to offer forgiveness, strength and hope. He speaks to me about the hurts that people have so l can bring the Word and bring healing to hurting lives.

Maybe you’ve been a little like the drunk man. Not watching, not paying attention. Maybe your walk hasn’t exactly been straight. You might’ve fallen and you aren’t strong enough to get back up. When you call out for the Lord to help you, I’m telling you, He’ll hear your cry and reach down and touch you. l know that because He did it for me when l was 16 years old. He’s done it for dozens and dozens of people here at the Worship Center, and He’ll do it for you.

Why not bow your head and pray: “Lord Jesus, the enemy has come like a roaring lion and has been trying to devour me. But I call out to You to save me and deliver me. I ask you to be my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart and life. Cleanse me of my sins and lead me in the path that I should go. Open my eyes so I will be vigilant. Open my spirit so I will be sober and able to make the right decisions. Use me to bring glory to You. I ask this in Your Name, Amen.”

Bless You,
Pastor Steve

Persevere and Receive

Persevere and Receive the Reward!

By on July 26, 2016

We’ve been talking about receiving good things from God in this life. First, we asked, the main question, How Serious Are You? First, it was on making Jesus Lord over your whole life. If you want what God has, you have to give Him what you have. Now, we’re moving on to Persistence, or not giving up.

We’re looking at Luke 11:5-10, where Jesus says, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say unto him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; For a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him?’ And will answer from within and say, “Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children, like me are in bed; I cannot get up and give to you?”

I say unto you, though he will not get up and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

So, I say unto you, Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.

God has good things in life for you. Once you give your heart to Him, and are walking in obedience, living in the Spirit, by faith, He promises to open the windows of Heaven to you, or to pour out Heaven’s blessings in your life.

Jesus told us this story about being persistent, because it’s so easy to try a little bit here, and pray a little bit there, and then when nothing seems to be happening, to give up on our faith and quit. We get hurt, we get tired, and we get worn down by life’s circumstances. That’s when we just feel like going back to our old ways.

God planted it in your heart to want to be successful and to receive the blessings of God! Jesus came to bring the riches of Heaven to you, here, in this life, and eternal life with God forever in Heaven. ln the same way that salvation is by faith, receiving God’s best in your life is by faith. But, there’s also something else you need.

ln Hebrews lU:35-36, God says, Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great recompense (or payback) for reward. But you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

lt takes more than just faith and actions in faith for you to fulfill the will God. You have to KEEP on being confident in what God has called you to do, and then do it in faith. He says that we have need of patience. So that AFTER we have done the will of God, we will receive what he has promised us.

What is God searching for? An opportunity to ACT on behalf of the Believer who will go after God 100% When He sees you’re not going to give up, He’s going to do something for you!

A lot of people are great at starting things! They start out all gung-ho and full of vision. Faith comes and they commit themselves to what the Spirit of God has put in their hearts. Then, the time comes for patience!

God’s promise doesn’t happen right away! The saddest thing is that the promise comes AFTER doing the will of God. ln other words, you can tire yourself out serving, praying obeying and doing what the Word of God says, and then give up, or walk away just before God brings you the recompense of reward! lt breaks my heart for people who are good people – but they haven’t learned yet how to receive from God!

God has called me to teach you what the Bible says, so you can be filled with faith, and be one of those who receives from the Spirit of God. lf you’re walking according to how things look, or how they sound, or how you feel in your flesh, you’ll never receive the things of the Spirit of God. 1 Cor. 2:4 says, the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.

To your flesh, the things God is doing just don’t make sense. They don’t make sense to MY carnal mind either. That’s why l have to walk in the Spirit!

God is doing a new and great thing here at the Worship Center, and we don’t want you to miss it. He’s sending us quality people, leaders, ministers, laborers. People are being spoken to, who haven’t been here in years, and God is telling them to come back here, to receive what He has for them. Last week, a man from Oklahoma told me he had pulled up in front of another church here in town, and the Spirit of God told him,” leave, l will direct you where to go. Then, as he was driving by, the Spirit said, Pull in here, this is where l will bless you.” That has been happening to people for the last five or six weeks now! God is doing a work here, and those who plug in will receive the blessing of God.

You have to persevere, or hang in there. Many people want a lot of things, but they don’t want to sacrifice. They want it if it’s quick, cheap and easy. But, when it looks like it’s going to cost them a little sleep, or a few dollars, or if they get misunderstood by a couple of people, they want to quit. Well, guess what? That’s why you have to persevere! Otherwise, you’ll do all the work, and reap none of the rewards.

Jesus told about an unexpected demand being placed on someone at midnight. In the middle of the night, he received a visitor passing through that way while taking a trip. The man just wasn’t prepared for this extra demand! Do you ever feel like that? You’re already overworked, overwhelmed, overtired and under supplied. And, it’s midnight! Nothing is open and no one can help you – they’re fast asleep, just like YOU would like to be!

Jesus said this man didn’t have what he needed, so he went to where he knew he could get bread. He committed himself to coming back with bread.

He began to beat on the door. He woke up his neighbor who looked out the upstairs window. He said, “What do you want down there? It’s midnight!” The guy said, “A friend of mine has come unexpectedly. l don’t have any bread and l know you can help me. Please get up and give me some bread!” The neighbor said, “Listen, my children are already in bed. l was, too. l can’t get up and give you anything! It’s too late!”

He’s finally gotten his kids to bed. You know how hard THAT is! First one, then another, then the first one gets back up. But now, its midnight and they’re finally asleep! He said, “I’m not going to get out of bed and wake the kids up and give you bread! Go away!” But the guy just kept on knocking after he closed the window! And, HE RECEIVED!

Jesus said the man didn’t receive because he was so nice. But because of his persistence! He wouldn’t back down! He refused to be a quitter! He went over there to get bread, he’d made a commitment to come back with bread, and he wasn’t going to come back empty handed! I made a commitment to serve God as a Pastor, and, no matter how hard it gets, l refuse to come back to Heaven empty handed!

This is what Jesus is talking about. He said ask and keep on asking; seek and keep on seeking; knock and keep on knocking. Jesus said, “Everyone that asks and keeps on asking; seeks and keeps on seeking; knocks and keeps on knocking, will receive!” Every one, Jesus said. Do you believe that? God is no respecter of persons, and whatever He’s done for anybody else, He’ll do for YOU, too. But, you have to be persistent.

God wants you to be fruitful in this life. That’s what glorifies the Father. He gave you His promises in the Word of God, so you could take them, release your faith, act on them and receive those promises… IF you’ll dare to not give up. lf you’ll dare to take the promises of God and knock on the door of Heaven and keep on knocking, asking and seeking!

How bad do you want God’s will in your life? How strong is your desire for happiness, for soul satisfaction? How great is your desire to please Jesus? How great is your desire to be a faithful, strong member of the Body of Christ? Not a whining, murmurer, but a strong soldier of Jesus Christ?

Jesus is telling you to persevere! Winners never quit and quitters never win. You know, it’s a joy to teach the Word of God. l want to be a blessing to you. I’m a Pastor. I challenge. I exhort. I encourage. If you’ll persevere in obedience to what God told you to do, you can have the desires of your heart. The Bible says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Bless You,
Pastor Steve

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45 6 Restart of Ladies Bible Study 78910
1112131415 16 3rd Friday Ladies Bible 17
181920212223 24 Ladies Tea
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