Friday, July 11, 2014

In Need of A Blessing

"Blessed are those who transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them."  Romans 4:7-8

There are so many times we in Christ are looking for the blessing.  We look to our circumstances to see what they are.  When we put our hope in our circumstances, we are then led by the happenings.  If they are good, then we are rejoicing.  If they are bad, we can end up in disappointment, disillusionment and discouragement.  If our target is off, then we will be riding the waves of ups and downs.  Satan understands that if we are moved by the natural things of man rather than being led by the Spirit of God, we can easily be deceived.  He desires that we walk by the flesh and not by the Spirit because he knows that faith in God and what his son has done will conquer his strategies.

We are already a blessed.  How do we have assurance of this?  We are told in Romans 4:7-8 "Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered.  Blessed is the one who sin the Lord will never count against them."  We are blessed because we put our faith and hope in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose from the dead and who now sits on the right hand of God the Father.  We are blessed despite our circumstances here on earth. We have an eternal destination and life everlasting.  We have a promise of having assurance of our salvation as we put our hope and trust in him.  We know that when trials come and they will, that God will be with us through the fire and he will proof our faith much more richer than gold.  He will make known to us the glories riches in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes our mountains are big, but when we put our hope in Jesus Christ and trust in the eternal blessing of the forgiveness of our sins, then we know that we will succeed.  It may not be according to the world's standard, but it will be one that will bring everlasting glory, assurance, peace and joy.  

May you experience the goodness of God today as you see his wonderful blessing in your life.  You are forgiven and the greatest debt you could of owed anyone is paid in full.  You now can stand before a most holy God and be in his presence.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Anger, The Devil's Foothold

"In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."  Ephesians 4:26

Anger is a very strong emotion and is rooted in unforgiveness.  It we are not careful in how we handle anger, we will find that we will end up in sin allowing Satan to have a foothold in our lives.  Anger is defined as to become angry.  It is interesting to see that other related words include annoy, embitter, provoke, antagonize and vex. When we are walking in anger, our soul will be vexed and the Satan will antagonize and provoke us mentally, physically and emotionally.  

Matthew 18:23-35 tells us a story about a man who owed a great debt.  The king wanted to settle the accounts with his servants and the servant did not have the money to repay.  The king ordered for this man and his family to be sold for the debt to be repaid which was huge.  The man begged and out of mercy the king forgave the man's debt.  As the man left, he found someone along the way who owed him a very small debt.  The man who owed him begged for mercy, however, he refused to show him any.  He threw the man in prison until he could pay his debt.  When those around him saw the great mercy extended to him and how he would not show mercy to this one who owed him little, they went to the king and shared the story.  The king called the servant and confronted him.  He reminded him of the cancellation of his debt and that he should have shown mercy he received.  So the king then turned him over to the jailer to be tortured until he paid back what he owed.  This is not where we want to end up.  Anger is strong emotion and if we are not careful it will rule our emotions. If we don't forgive and are not quick to resolve our anger, we too will find out we will be tortured.  

God desires that we have mercy.  He tells us that mercy triumphs over judgement.  His desire is that we forgive as we have been forgiven.  Jesus told us also in Matthew 18 that we are to forgive 70 times 7 in a day and he also gives us guidance and wisdom by telling us that if our brother sins against us to go to tell him privately.  We are to talk first to the one who offended us so that we may try to resolve it this way.  

God does not tell us to deny our anger.  Jesus too at times became angry, but he did not abide there.  He became angry and addressed the situation.  He moved on and did not let the enemy take control of his mind, will or emotions.  He chose to do what God called him to do.  He laid down his life for us so that we may receive the ultimate debt cancellation, the forgiveness of sins.  When we fully understand how great a gift this is, we truly will understand the love of God and desire to fulfill his purpose to love God and to love others.  

Don't give in to anger and allow the devil to gain a foothold!!     

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strength Comes Through Surrender

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Luke 22:42

In the journey of life there will be times of suffering. It reminds me of Luke 22:42, Jesus was praying to the Father that if he was willing for him to take this cup away from him, but in the same sentence he finished by saying "nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done." The cross and the suffering to come to save and bring many to God was difficult, but when he submitted to the will of the Father, we see that "an Angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him." In those moments where we are afraid of the suffering and pain, when we submit to the will of God he will sends his angels to strengthen you through the journey. Surrender all in the Precious Name of Jesus!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unbelief, The Enemy's Tactic

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end."  Hebrews 3:12-14

God's plan of salvation can only come through faith in Him.  The enemy seeks to lie, steal and kill.  In the process of this, his number one goal and objective is to roar like a lion seeking to devour us.  The main way he does this is by attacking our minds with lies and deception and by getting us to focus on our situation and circumstances.  If Satan can get you to believe in the lies, then you become defeated and lose through unbelief.

Satan did this to the Israelites when they left Egypt.  He got all of them to rebel and fall into unbelief. Although they saw many signs, wonders and miracles they could not look beyond their circumstances.  Each time a problem arose, all they could see was defeat and fear.  God parted the Red Sea, gave them a cloud by night and day to protect them, provided water in the middle of the desert and food from heaven, yet they still did not enter into a trusting relationship with God.  Each time the situation got tough, they stumbled because they did not hold onto what God promised them.  They were not willing to listen to his voice but chose to harden their hearts.

Unbelief is sin.  God has many great and mighty promises.  He did not tell us that we would not have problems in this world, but that he would be with us through the problem and give us victory.  Each trial that comes is a trying and proving of your faith.  He is into circumcising your heart and trials are the area of where your weaknesses arise and shows you where your loyalty is.  That is why when trials come, we need to count it as joy because God is doing a new work in us and through us.  Trials bring us into intimacy with God because it is a place where we can seek him for help, healing and deliverance.  Our prayer should be Lord help me come to the other side because you said you are the author and finisher of my faith.  My hope today for all of you is that you will hold firm to the conviction and belief in what God promised you through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Different Gifts According to Grace

 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."  Romans 12:6-8

God has a perfect plan for our lives.  Many of us try to fulfill God's will and be pleasing to him.  However, we must function according to the grace given to us to fulfill the plan that God has for us.  Many today are trying to serve him, but may be doing so without the grace of God.  

Paul tells us that we are all members of one body and that we do not all have the same function.  When we try to walk in a gift God has not designated for us, we will find that there is not enough grace to do the task at hand.  We find ourselves running short of supply with regards to our ability to do it.  We will then find ourselves in our own works abiding outside of our relationship with Christ Jesus.  

In Ephesians 2, we are given salvation through the gift of grace that God has given us.  We are told "it is not by works lest anyone should boast."  If Christ is not in the work you are doing, then it is outside the will of God.  Ephesians 2 verse 10 tells us:  "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Only when we are found in Christ are we able to perform the tasks at hand to meet the needs of God's kingdom.  

Over the last 14 years of ministry that I have been in, I have found that we have to be careful between what is a good thing and what is a God thing.  Once the grace is lifted, then you will clearly be outside of the will of God.  It is a place where you are not supplied to do the work any longer.  I have found that place and I desire not to go back to it.  

My hope is that you will find the gift that God has for you and you will do it according to the wonderful grace that God has given you!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Guarding Your Heart

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  Proverbs 4:23

Solomon was providing spiritual wisdom and insight into what was necessary to walk in peace and to find that abiding relationship with Christ.  Proverbs 4 describes what was needed to remain there, guard your heart.  But before we get to this verse, we read in verse 20-22 "pay attention to what I say; listen to my words.   Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart."  Part of walking in faith is hearing the word of God, meditating on it and allowing the word to wash and cleanse your mind and renew it.

What I have learned is that if you are not careful to guard your heart and hold onto the faith, you will find yourselves in the midst of struggling..  As you look around and see those who surround you, do you find those who build you up or those who tear you down?  Are you consistently hanging out with those who criticize you and find fault with you?  Are you the one who always is listening to the latest problems of your friend who is going through trial after trial?  Are you hanging out with the grumblers and complainers?  If you are not careful, you may find yourself in the midst of the mire and the mud.  You may find that they may be sucking the life out of you.  When they leave you find yourself tired and now frustrated.  That is why we are told, "above all else, guard your hearts."  If we are not careful, we may find ourselves in the midst of struggling with our own faith.  The greatest blessing you can bestow upon any individual is to preach the gospel which is the power of God.  If they are saved, then the best thing you can do is to share the word of truth and God's promises with those who are in need of reassurance, edifying and building up.

Yes, it is still important to listen to those who are hurting and in need.  It is important to show love to them. Sometimes we need to just say we are sorry this happened to you and hug them.  But part of loving them is by sharing the truth.  The truth is what sets people free and leads them back to the paths of life. If they choose not to follow, then it is important to pray for them and respect their will not to follow.  God does not force his will upon our lives, so we need to rest in the fact that God can do miracles and help this person in due season and due time.  If they do listen, then you have won back your brother or sister.

In Luke 6:45 Jesus tells us:  "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his hear.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."  By a person's speaking we can gauge where they are coming from and where they have spent their time.  We are told in Philippians to dwell on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything excellent or praiseworthy."  Paul experienced being whipped 39 times, being shipwrecked when it could have been avoided, being thrown in jail unjustly and being betrayed.  In all that he praised the Lord despite his circumstances.  He looked beyond and saw the greater glory.

May we remember to guard our hearts and keep fighting the good fight of faith.