JESUS ANSWERED…

By on July 25, 2017

Something stirs in my spirit every time I read these words. And, when I read my newspaper, and watch the news, there is a part of me that just want to “do something” about the world we live in. So, I pray. I pray for my leaders and those in authority. I talk to men and women about their relationship with Jesus. Quite a few of them give their hearts and lives to Him. But what I do doesn’t seem fast enough. I get impatient. I wish I
could do more and do it faster.

I guess that’s sort of what Jesus’ disciples felt when they saw how the world was treating Jesus. They wanted to pick up their swords and fight. Then, I realize that Jesus spoke these words to a politician – a government official. One who had the power to make drastic changes in the course of history! Jesus had SUCH an opportunity. And notice how He used it. He didn’t even make an attempt to reform the laws of that death – dealing society. WHEN I READ THINGS LIKE THIS, IT MAKES ME WANT TO WEEP FOR HOW LITTLE I KNOW JESUS AND HIS WAYS OF DOING THE FATHER’S WORK!

Early in Jesus’ ministry, Satan tried unsuccessfully to bring about the downfall of Jesus Christ by offering Him all the kingdoms of this world. Jesus spurned Satan’s offer flat out. Satan never again was foolish enough to try to get Jesus to use this world’s systems and methods to accomplish the Father’s work.

But, Satan knows enough about the rest of the human race to know that WE have a built-in weakness to want to wield power and influence in the halls of the politicians, even at the expense of personal prayer and our devotional lives before the throne of God.

Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world as the arena for doing His spiritual work; the work of bringing salvation to the lost. Satan actually WANTED Jesus to have access to the kingdoms of this world. To be able to use political and financial power to accomplish Jesus’ mission from the Father. And Jesus didn’t even have to think twice. He didn’t blink nor flinch. Jesus knew that there is nothing worth fighting for in this world’s kingdom. What Jesus saw in this world’s system revolted Him. He wanted no part of it…in any form!

Jesus saw what those in the flesh can’t see. He saw that even at its best, this world’s system is corrupted and beyond redemption. Only the INHABITANTS of this world are redeemable. So, Jesus spent His ministry reaching out to the lost and the dying inhabitants of the world. He loved them.

Jesus didn’t spend even five minutes drafting legislation, organizing a protest or trying to shut down the bard and the taverns. He simply spent Himself in showing them the lostness of being lost, and offering them eternal salvation. And, HE DIED for them. He didn’t want their corrupt system at all…not even in a cleaned up, polished and polite form. He just wanted people to come to the Father and be saved.

Jesus saw that even at it’s best, this world and it’s systems are corrupt, condemned and decaying. And, somehow, even with the Bible as a guidebook and the records of history for our admonition, the church in every generation has been allured by the kingdoms of this world. Each generation wants to turn from spiritual reform to legislative reform. Jumping right in with this world’s barterers of power and influence, God’s spokesmen have clamored for positions of worldly recognition. These misguided shepherds have tried in vain to clean up a hog and turn it into a sheep; To turn the world into a church… “for the glory of God,” as long as they get the recognition and credit!

God tells His people to pray for their leaders and those in authority. We so readily criticize our leaders and those in authority. We forget that promotion cometh from the Lord and that the government is upon His shoulders. Elected officials do not direct the destiny of a nation. They never have. God Almighty in Heaven directs the affairs of the sons of men – He is sovereign.

Instead of using the God-given methods of prayer, intercession and evangelism we’ve been suckered into trying to do God’s spiritual work by avoiding the spiritual…and turning to carnal means. We’ve tried voting, having boycotts, picketed, chanted, sued and even threatened. And still, revival hasn’t ONCE in history been brought about by such things. We’re guilty of going after Goliath with pea shooters. And we wonder why the God of Heaven hasn’t responded to our pressure groups and legislation.

And, like in every previous generation, the church is once again sidetracked and distracted from it’s primary job: prayer, evangelism, discipleship and worship. We focus on what the devil is doing and minimize what God has done. We concentrate on the works of darkness and we are blinded to the Light. We try to control instead convert men and women to the Way, the truth and the Light.

The world system that Jesus refused involvement in is now being hotly pursued by His followers, as though worldly power is a prize to be valued and admired. Even men of God are charmed by every of offer of worldly power, glory and influence. What Jesus coldly rejected without more than a sentence, multitudes of His ministers lust to get a chance to have an audience in.

Even if we have to pretend that it has always been this way, we don’t mind playing the game. We’ll exalt as model Christians men and women from other generations whom we KNOW from history were not godly. It doesn’t seem to trouble us one bit to identify with slave holders, adulterers and members of secret societies. We’ll call them born again servants of Jesus Christ. And challenge the world to follow our lead as we follow in the footsteps of these unregenerate politicians.

Who doesn’t remember from high school History class that Ben Franklin died of syphilis; or that Thomas Jefferson was a slave holder who fathered six illegitimate children by his black mistress? Do we forget that Jefferson said that a Black American was only 3/5 of a person? Five Black votes under his system would equal three votes of white people. Do we think that the rest of the public forgets that the public school system was never intended for Black Americans? That it was a punishable crime to teach a Black American to read or write?

Many of us teach that it’s incompatible for a born again Believer to hold memberships in secret societies like the Masons. Yet, a majority of the founding fathers were high ranking members of their Masonic temples. What could be wrong with us, that we openly hold up before the world’s people and say, “We want to have America return to the values that these men espoused?”

Yet, we unashamedly do this very thing. We don’t seem to let the whole truth trouble us, as long as there’s a chance that people will reward us with titles and recognition. The problem with dishonesty is that it’s contagious. It’s the reason we present ourselves as being a bigger group than we really are. We’ll speak of our large constituency. Even though we KNOW we’re being less than honest.

The old deception that Jesus shunned is being lusted after by evangelical church leaders today. The same Christian soldiers who can see the enemy so clearly when he’s to them in Christian “politically correct” attire – to lure them onto his own playing field. He knows that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of the Light. And, he knows how badly we crave acceptance and worldly power. We’re willing to commit moral, intellectual and spiritual suicide to get it.

We’re willing to fight a war to accomplish that which Jesus Christ Himself never felt was a pursuit worthy of His time or interest. It isn’t that what we’re fighting for doesn’t seem noble. At first glance, it DOES seem noble. And right. Plus, it IS challenging…and offers more ego-gratification than does winning genuine victories by prayer and intercession. The sad thing is that we don’t see the hollowness of thinking that the world system can be made uncorrupted by legislative changes and restrictions imposed on worldly business practices.

We can so easily become blind leaders of the blind who believe that the world could be o.k., if we could just clean it up a little bit. We can feel like Christians shouldn’t be of this world, unless we can make it a little more respectable, and a lot more under our control.

The very system that Jesus scorned is now being mixed in with (and in some cases replacing) the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the pulpits of those who feel compelled to preach the social Gospel. Instead of ministering to lost men and women, too many of us as ministers of Jesus Christ are attempting to save a corrupt and irredeemable world system. The exact system that Jesus held in contempt is now being preached from His pulpits.

Ministers once were content to preach the life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. We left the social and political commentating to socialites and politicians. Now, we want to bask in the limelight, too. Even if it means that we spend more time in the newspapers than we do in the Word of God. Even if it means that our sermons become a sociopolitical commentary with an alter call at the end…if there’s enough time!

We act as though Jesus needed someone in a high position to represent Him to the systems of the World – someone to whisper a reforming word into the ears of Pontius Pilate on Jesus’ behalf. We enjoy thinking that Jesus is pathetically searching for some well-written letters, or perhaps some cleverly worded legislation that can accomplish what His inspired Word hasn’t been able to do. We apparently doubt His ability to transform society by transforming individual lives; so we feel compelled to devote as much time as possible to learn the ins and outs of this world’s system, so we can sanctify what our Master expressed total disdain for.

Jesus spurned this world’s methods. We think He would like for us to clean them up so He can start using them to win His war against the prince of this world. The truth about our relationship to this world is this: We LOVE it. So, we try to educate it, inject it with middle-class values, and harness it for our own sense of power. We’re desperate for a sense of control and security in this world.

We want so badly to “Christianize” and make presentable the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. If we could just get swine to bleat like sheep! If we could just get hogs to live like sheep. Then, we wouldn’t feel so much like they’re not sheep at all. We wouldn’t feel like our mandate from the Lord to go into all the world and preach the GOSPEL was being neglected. (And, we wouldn’t sense the need to represent ourselves as something other than what we really are: miserable, wretched, poor and blind.)

We pray for revival, and wonder why God doesn’t just pour it out on us. But we’re forgetting that attempting to spiritualize something that is inherently opposed to spirituality is an attempt and has just as repeatedly failed demonstrably throughout the history of the church. Societal reform has never been a substitute for genuine Heaven-sent revival. God is still a jealous God. And it’s quite possible that He’s becoming more and more jealous as we grow more and more in touch with Washington’s way of doing things and more and more OUT of touch with Heaven’s ways.

Jesus never called or commissioned us to the ministry of converting the systems and politics of this world. He never sent His disciples to fight the battles of this world. He hasn’t commanded us to go into all the world preaching political reform. He never admonished us to do His spiritual work by linking arms with unbelievers and picketing the institutions of this world. We don’t win the world to Jesus Christ by trying to reform it. It’s spiritual work and it’s done in the spiritual realm, by spiritual men and women using spiritual weapons.

This isn’t a popular message, and isn’t intended to make me popular. It is simply an outpouring from my heart, after many hours of soul searching and after much time in tears and repentance before the throne of God. It isn’t intended as a denunciation, but as a fuel for meditation and reflection. In no way is it an attack on any individual, but it IS an attack on a hellish distraction that is so very attractive yet is so deadly.
If it helps even one of my brothers or sisters in the ministry of the Gospel to repent and return to our first love, any misunderstanding or rejection I face will have been worth it.

How would you like your life to be? Without limitations, What would you be? Is it happening for you?

By on July 11, 2017

For most people, the answer to these questions would be, “NO”. Most of us have dreams and aspirations on the inside of us that have never even had a chance to get started.

Things that we imagined we would do. Things we always WISHED we could do. Things that God put in our hearts and whispered in our spirits.
You and I have dreams that have been planted in our hearts by the Father. Like a gardener, He planted them there – now these dreams need to be nursed and made to grow. Because, if we don’t nurture them, they’ll shrink and shrivel.

It’s so easy to let your dreams shrink. To allow them to be choked by the weeds of your everyday hassles and responsibilities. And, since the ordinary and everyday pressures get the major part of our time and energy, that’s what grows. Meanwhile, our dreams wither.

I know what it’s like to be standing in the flowers while watering the weeds. I know it’s easier to make excuses than it is to make a life. I also know that you can’t live on excuses. And it’s hard to live with yourself when you KNOW that there’s something you SHOULD be doing and you’re not.

When Jesus called Peter, He told Peter something that I think Peter already knew on the inside: Peter was made to do more than just catch fish.
Peter KNEW it…He’d probably spent hours out in his boat thinking about what he’d REALLY like to do with his life. Then Jesus spoke to him, and said that it’s time to DO something.

And that scared Peter. What was it that Peter was afraid of? The same thing that scares you. And me. the same thing that stops MOST people in their tracks. The same thing that makes MOST of us settle for the weeds while we’re dreaming about the flowers.

See, it’s soothing to dream; but to launch out and start LIVING the dream – that’s scary. And that’s why Jesus had to tell Peter something that He also would tell you: DON’T BE AFRAID – YOU WON’T FAIL!

He said, “Fear not; from henceforth thou SHALT catch men.” Peter, God MADE you to catch things. But not just fish…you’re made to do something greater than that: PETER, YOU’RE MADE TO CATCH MEN!

You’ve probably tried a time or two to do what’s been put in your heart. Maybe you tried to tell someone, and they didn’t take you seriously; or they laughed at you. Told you to forget it. And you wish you COULD forget it, but you can’t. It’s still there smoldering in your heart.

I’ve experienced that, too. The GOOD news is this: Even though it’s painful to follow the dream that God put in your heart, but it’s MORE painful NOT to. I’ve experienced failure. More than once. But what matters isn’t failures, it’s the successes. All you need is ONE successful attempt. You only need for it to work out THIS time. And, like Jesus said to Peter, “THIS time, don’t be afraid – it WILL happen for you!

Most people want to do something special with their lives. They’re just looking for the right opportunity, the right vehicle to take them there. And, if they can find it, they’ll get on board.

That’s why I don’t need to pressure anybody. I don’t try to get you to make decisions you don’t mean to make. I let you see what’s available, ask a few questions and make up your mind. I like to offer people the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. To make a difference.

The Worship Center exists for that express purpose: to help the maximum number of people possible reach as many of their goals as possible. And to help them to make a difference in the lives of other people.

You know what’s smoldering deep in your heart. You KNOW where you want to be in God. Can you think of any vehicle that can take you there quicker than what’s available here? I can’t. It’s working for other people and I can’t think of any reason it wouldn’t work as well for you.

The 3 Spiritual Laws that will Empower YOU to Live the dream God put into your heart!

By on July 6, 2017

You know that God is a God who has a plan…and a dream, a fervent hope for each of us. Something that’s in HIS heart for you. He’s also put it into YOUR heart to do certain things with your life.

He has put it into you to have a clear understanding about what would truly make your life meaningful, really make you feel ALIVE and what, to you, would be abundant life. That’s what Jesus came to GIVE you, the OPPORTUNITY to live a life that’s rich with significance, purpose and direction.

The thief, the devil comes, Jesus says to take that kind of life AWAY from you, to steal it, to snuff out your dream, to kill and to destroy your hopes.

See, Jesus didn’t just save you FROM something, but He saved you FOR something…to do something that would bring joy to the heart of God, and so that His joy would be in YOU and that YOUR joy would be full.

God isn’t a God who stopped speaking back in the Bible days. He STILL speaks…is still calling people and still planting dreams, goals, visions, hopes and aspirations in peoples’ lives. And, when you begin to ACT on these dreams that God has put into your heart, a CHANGE begins to come into your life.

It’s the ACTING on these dreams that makes them come into fruition. Like it says in Ecclesiastes, through a multitude of BUSINESS (BUSY – NESS) the dream is established. Or, by many actions in faith, the dream that you have will come to pass into your life.

A phrase in the 3rd chapter of Hebrews says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”

A couple of things gripped me in this short phrase. And, I think they will just encourage you today and make you feel terrific…
First, it says that you and I are partakers, those who TAKE PART in a calling…a purpose, a job to do…from Heaven. You DO have a function, something you’re supposed to DO with your life here on earth. When God was making His plans for this part of the 20th century, there were certain things that He wanted to get done – things that wouldn’t get done unless YOU were here to do them; lives that wouldn’t get touched unless YOU were here to touch them…People who needed an influence in their lives and who wouldn’t be influenced unless YOU influenced them. You definitely have a calling in life. Heaven is CALLING for you to do several things in life.

OK, so you have a calling and a purpose. Fine. So, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT MAKING SURE YOU DO WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE?
Here’s how: “CONSIDER…think on, analyze, pay attention to, look at JESUS.

What we do, then is to follow the example of Jesus…let Him be our Trainer, our Instructor, our Hero, our Advisor, our Manager.
Do you see the Word, “APOSTLE?” It means “a sent one, one who is sent as a representative, one who is sent to train and explain…and to establish…”
Jesus was one Who was SENT to represent the Father, to TRAIN and EXPLAIN to you and to ESTABLISH you in the purpose and role that God created you for.

Jesus was one Who was (sent One) and High Priest (He’s at the top) of OUR PROFESSION.

To “profess” something is to talk about it…to have it in your heart. The mouth speaks out of the fullness of your heart. That’s the basis of the word we use for what you do for your livelihood, what you do in order to live – your “profession”.

Your PROFESSION is WHAT YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR LIVING. It’s what you are PROFICIENT at. To PROFESS something means to talk about it. To have it in your heart. (In college, you are taught in your PROFESSION by PROFESSORS, those who have a full knowledge of it in their heart, and TALK ABOUT IT, so YOU can DO it.)

Do you see it? YOU FULFILL THE DREAM THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU BY PAYING ATTENTION TO JESUS, THE HIGHEST ONE UP, IN OUR PROFESSION!

There are THREE SPIRITUAL LAWS you will find that Jesus operated in, that enabled Him to fulfill the plan of the Father in His life. THESE ARE THE SAME THREE SPIRITUAL LAWS THAT THE FATHER PROVIDED FOR YOU AND ME TO USE…so WE could live the dream that God put in our hearts. So WE could say like Jesus said to the Father, “I have finished the work that thou gavest me to do.” So WE can say like the Apostle Paul, “I have FINISHED my course, I have kept the faith, and henceforth a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, and not for me only, but for ALL them who love His appearing!” I just LOVE it when Jesus appears in situations in my life, don’t you?

The three simple spiritual laws that operated in Jesus’ life, operate in my life, and in the lives of people who are going somewhere in life are really pretty basic. Once you know them.

See, when Jesus saves you He doesn’t just save you FROM SIN, but He saves you TO something, as well. A lot of people have been saved FROM something, and they know it. They talk about it, preach about it and some, even PREACH about it. It’s wonderful to be saved from something. Praise God for saving us from something. But being saved from something isn’t going to fulfill the plan of God in your life. It won’t give you a full and “meaning full” life.

Jesus came to save us from sin, and the He says in John 10 that he also came that we would have a HIGH QUALITY, FULL, EFFECTIVE LIFE. He said in the 10th verse that the devil comes to take away your life, but that He came to give peoples’ lives BACK to them! HE HAD A REASON TO GIVE YOU LIFE! MEANING IN LIFE ISN’T SOMETHING YOU MAKE UP, OR HAVE TO COME UP WITH – IT’S SOMETHING YOU DISCOVER!

Many people live small, empty, pale ho-hum lives. That’s so pathetic, when the Author of life can live right inside of them and can fill them up. YOU’LL FIND THAT MEANING IN YOUR LIFE COMES THROUGH TWO, AND ONLY TWO AREAS…areas that you are involved in RIGHT now. They just might not be providing you with the meaning that they COULD be…no, WILL be, after you ACT on them.