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Category Archives: Christian Living

Clear The Room

What I’m about to share is very transparent but I sense that there are others who are struggling with the same thing and so, I pray that my coming out and just saying this really helps someone.
On a daily basis, I have come to realize that when I spend “alone” time with the Lord, I’m not really alone. Yes, physically maybe but in every other sense, the room is crowded. Crowded with standards I can’t keep, quotes I’ve read, status updates that give me a check in my spirit, the people who give those same status updates a thumbs up of agreement, opinions of others, obvious hypocrisy, disappointments, etc.
The list could go on and on but I think it’s clear enough that the room is so crowded that God can get nowhere near me and I can get no where near Him. Sure, He can speak to me over the crowd but He’s hard pressed to get His arms around me or for me to press my ear to His heart.
Today, as I was praying, I heard the Lord say to me very clearly, “It’s time to clear the room!” and He reminded me of this, referenced in Matthew 9:23-26
And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. BUT WHEN THE PEOPLE WERE PUT FORTH, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
He told me that when I clear the room, that’s when life flows!
So, this is what I’m committing to do. I’m clearing the room because quite honestly, the crowd mocks and laughs and scorns. So I say, GET OUT! This 2017, I want to arise from this slumber that I’ve been in because with so many contradictions, it has been easier to just lay down and …go to sleep.  But He insists that I’m not dead! That the Word He has for my life is still in full force. Resurrection power is at hand! The Kingdom is at hand!
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for this one reading this who is lost in the crowd. I ask Lord that You would clear the room and bring deliverance from people, places, and things.  Clear the room of the voices of doubt, scorn and any influence that hinders.  Let life flow through their very being and let them arise and awaken to You in a way they never have before! Let their relationship with You and what You are doing become famous in the land so that souls can be saved and people set free! Thank You Lord! Amen & Amen.  
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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Christian Living, Jesus, Life, Relationship, Yes

 

The Valedictorian Church

Misalignment of the spine can cause any number of problems in the human body and can affect not only the skeletal system but major organ function as well.  Studies show that heart, lung, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach, kidney, bladder, prostrate and uterus issues can be directly influenced by the spine.  Furthermore, nerve fibers stem from the spine into every major immune system organ.

In the spiritual terms, misalignment can be just as detrimental to the Body of Christ.  When we fail to come under the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ and those He has set in authority, things become out-of-order.  As children of God and necessary parts of the body, our function can be hindered and our immunity weak.

For the remainder of this post, I want to call the misalignment, a “spiritual learning curve”.   To spare you the more in-depth and wordy definition of “learning curve”… here it is in short form.  The learning curve averages everything out.  In other words, new skills or knowledge can be quickly acquired initially, but subsequent learning becomes much slower. At first, a minimal investment of resources yields significant results, but the payback from continuing effort is smaller.

This is daunting in the world we live in of bigger, better and limitless upgrades.

At first it’s easy to make progress and our efforts are rewarded quickly but as time passes, the efforts we’re making do not garner the same results.  Just as when much is given, much is required, there are times when more is asked of us, with seemingly little to no increase.  This is when we are in real danger of settling for less in terms of spiritual gain if we fail to rise to the challenge. The average Christian walk, with a letter grade C and without challenge can begin to look rather appealing. It’s still passing right?  Yet, God wants us to excel in the call upon our life, walk worthy of it and increase more and more.  Come up higher and get an A!

I do believe God wants us to be straight A students… studying to show ourselves approved by Him, regardless of the applaud of men or the immediate result.  He is interested in our commitment and our longevity in our faithfulness to Him, the church, our leaders, fellow believers and the duty assigned to us.  We should be nothing less than valedictorian in the Spirit as we serve from scrubbing toilets to preaching to the multitudes.  Every season of our life comes with its own report card.

How are we faring?

“Average is just as close to failure as it is to success.”-Dr. John Polis

 

God’s Love…Does It Save Us?

Recently, I was talking with a friend about a church billboard sign that said something to this effect, “You are gay, you are welcome. God loves you.”   As I was hashing that concept out, several thoughts surfaced.

First of all, without  argument, the latter part of that statement is true.  God does love us, relentlessly, passionately, eternally.

But you see, the problem with that billboard statement is not that God loves us but that it implies that

1. God’s love saves us.

2. God’s love overlooks sin.

3. God’s love justifies sin.

4. There is no consequence for sin.

The honest truth here is that the very same God that loves us with all of His being will forever be apart from many that He loves for one reason and one reason only.  Sin.

The very thing that sign says is welcome IS NOT welcome in the presence of God.  Yes, He is love but love hates many things…all of which are born of sin.

Here’s the kicker.  That sign specifically says “gay” but it could just as easily read a liar, an adulteress, a thief, a gossip, a murderer, a glutton, covetous, rebellious, serving other gods, etc.

The misconception here is that being “gay” isn’t sin, when, yes it is.

And again, the greater misconception here is that God’s love saves us, when it doesn’t.  Yes, John 3:16 does say, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”   

Looking closely, we understand that His love isn’t the key to our salvation but rather our belief in His love.  His love for us birthed a Savior but in order to be saved, we must believe in Him, Jesus. And Jesus is the Word (the bible) that was made flesh, and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth.  And the Word that says, “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.”  (Leviticus 18:22)…that’s Jesus.

And furthermore…

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

(Disclaimer: the above list is inconclusive.)

Romans 8:9 tells us, that Jesus was the first-born among many sons and daughters but in order for that to happen, we must receive Him.  John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

We must be born again…of God, through Jesus.  Knowing God loves us is not enough.  We must respond to His love.

Love is like the interstate to salvation but our belief (our faith) in Jesus, the vehicle.  No one comes to Father except through the Son.

But what about 1 Peter 4:8?  “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 

Well, James 5:20 makes the same statement.  “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

 

In both passages, we see love in action.  The God kind of love doesn’t hide our sin but seeks to turn us from it (that’s what repentance is), saving us from death and covering over a multitude of sins.

At first glance, we might think that to cover over sin means to shield it from judgment or to keep it from view.  But it doesn’t.  Covering over a multitude of sin in no way allows us to “keep our sin” or to “continue” in it, making it a lifestyle that God is OK with.  That word cover actually comes from the word “klepto”, meaning to steal away or to take away by theft.

Our Jesus, a thief? Well, yes.

A thief takes what isn’t rightfully theirs, correct?  Did Jesus sin?  No…yet He desired to bear our sin, taking it from us and all of the consequences that come with it.

Matthew 24:43, “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”

We can either repent now, giving up our sin willingly or later, when He comes, He will find it and as Matthew says, our house will be broken up.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:18

All of us are guilty and none of us are worthy to stand in His presence.  (Ezra 9:15)

Being accepted socially and a warm welcome to a church doesn’t make us nearer to God.  There is only one way to come near to Him.

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13

 

Generic Christians

There is a delima we are facing as Christians.  The term “Christian” has become watered down, denominate, and trite. We’ve compartmentalized God’s power by our divisiveness.  When we say we are Christians, yet cannot agree with one another, something gets lost in translation.  We are painting so many different pictures that it’s coming to the place where “anything goes”.  The thread of the common integrity of God is laid bare and the fibers of Godly character worn.  The line between right and wrong is clouded.

Christianity has become not so much about Jesus as it has about our preferences. I’ve said this before and I think it bears repeating that we can have as much of God or as little of Him as we want.  And here lies the real delima… in this, we run the risk of becoming generic.

To say “I believe in God.” simply isn’t enough anymore, especially when saying it demands nothing of us.

After the elections, I was driving to work after having been up most of the night.  I admit, I wrestled with God over the outcome and I was grieving a loss on many fronts.

I found myself asking God out loud, “What would Christianity look like if words alone could not prove that we serve You God?  What if we didn’t have words but merely action?  What if what we say has no bearing but only what we do?”

For the first time, the reality settled in that the Lord had come to draw the sword. (Matthew 10:34) I felt a swift cut and nothing would be exempt from circumcision. Not my home, my family or my friendships.  I was left with an awareness that He meant it when He said “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” (Matthew 10:37)

The sword of the Lord is being released in this hour and it is this very sword that will bring a distinction and if we will allow it, it will cut ties that have been binding us, cords of limitation and will most certainly release us into our destiny.

We are going to be challenged in the coming days to love God like never before.  We are on the path to discovery.  “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”, Matthew 10:39

 

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Lord, If You Are Willing

Matthew 8:2-3, A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

There’s this question that creeps into my thinking.  It’s subliminal in nature but it’s no less there.

I know God’s promises are true.  I believe His Word.  I trust He will do what He has said. I have seen His faithfulness day in and day out.  He never fails.  Never.

But when it comes to the things that aren’t in black and white. The decisions that need to be made…navigating the road less taken (or in some cases…never taken)…setting sail on unchartered waters…the unknowns of my life.  I hear it.

Is He willing?

I’m like that leprous man.  You may not see it on the outside but inside, I know.  I know my faults and my failures.  I know all of the blemishes on my integrity and character.  I know my shortcomings and inadequacies. I know my inability.

Without Him.

And that’s why the question comes.  Because, unless He is willing to touch my fault and my failure.  Unless He is wiling to touch my blemishes. Unless, unless, unless….

What I love about this passage, is that the man said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me…..”

Despite the above list… The Lord can make me ___________________!  More than I ever imagined!

And every time the question rises up, I have to cling to, cleave to, make a covenant with His Word, “I am willing! Be  ___________________!” 

 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Christian Living, Faith

 

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Let God Be Magnified

Psalm 35:27, …Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Poverty undermines, belittles and causes us to shrink back from truly seeing the magnitude of our God!

The problem is, if we don’t truly understand what it is to be prosperous, we will never see God in His vastness.  His greatness will escape us.

We’ve got it all wrong folks.  Merriam Webster defines poverty this way,

the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

In light of that, the truest sense of prosperity is defined by the Word of God this way…

Completeness, soundness, welfare and peace.

Completeness in number.

Safety and soundness in body.

Health

Quiet, tranquility, contentment.

Human friendship and the utmost friendship with God especially in a covenant relationship.

The prosperity of God encompasses so much more than material good or monetary gain.

The prosperity of God is an eternal guarantee and a revenue that is withdrawn directly from His glory.

Philippians 4:19, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ
Jesus.

To the extent that we magnify and exalt our God, the wealthier we become!

You cannot magnify God and lack peace!  For that matter, you cannot magnify God and lack any thing.

You cannot lift up the name of Jesus and be disappointed!

You cannot glorify the King of kings and suffer discontent!

You cannot make God big and remain small no matter the size of your bank account or social status!

 
 

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Lifetime Warranty

Deuteronomy 29:5, For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals
did not wear out.

The shoes that were upon the Israelites feet were representative of the those spoken of in Ephesians 6:15, For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

I’ve studied and meditated on this passage often in recent days.

Tonight in church, we were having a great discussion about prophesy and how every spoken word of prophesy over our lives is tested by the written Word of God.

One scripture in the teaching that really hit home for so many of us was Psalm 105:17-19, He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

Another words, every word must bear witness with the Word of God. Just like our paper money is (or at least should be) backed by gold.  Otherwise, it holds no value and will profit us nothing.  It’s the same with a spoken prayer or word of prophesy.  Unless it’s backed by the Word of God, it will produce nothing in our lives.

This question arose in the midst of conversation.  What about those words that God spoke years ago?  Words that we haven’t seen come to pass yet? Is it too late?  Will they ever come or did we miss it?

Those are valid questions and as we were praying, a word of edification emerged in my heart and I wanted to share it for your encouragement.

The spoken word of prophesy, when backed by the Word of God, does not wear out! Just like the children of Israel, with the shoes that did not wear out,  we can walk for many, many years and it will not fail us. We can trust it to bring us to the promise.

In fact, we must remember, just as Ephesian 6:15 tells us, to put on those shoes, the written Word of God, again and again. There is a peace that can only come from the Good News.  If we go shoeless, we are unprepared.  Without these shoes, we are not ready.

So, if God has spoken something to us, either directly or through another, we must go to the Word and research. Find out what the Word says about it and keep those Words on our feet, so that we are ready to tread on the promised land when we get to it!! Praise God!

The Word of God concerning you has a lifetime warranty. It never wears out!  Put it on.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Christian Living, Prophecy

 

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