November 22, 2013 - Friday Morning
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.2 We ... have access by one Spirit unto the Father.3
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.4
The Spirit ... helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.5 This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.6 When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.7
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication.8
1Jud 1:20; 2Joh 4:24; 3Eph 2:18; 4Mat 26:39; 5Rom 8:26,27; 61Jo 5:14; 7Joh 16:13; 8Eph 6:18
So what about the outcome of the election...? It is clearly evident America has made a choice. In this choice America has stated what she wants and what she is willing to give up in order to get it. We are living in a dangerous day when people knowingly turn from the Word of God. In my view.... this election wasn't about a political party but about whether or not America would stand on the principles that has made us different and stronger than any nation on earth.
So who is to blame..?? We don't have to look any further than our churches.... We have failed to instill and instruct godly values into individuals who can then adequately hold office and govern our land. Pastors shy away from the thoughts of mentioning "politics" from the pulpit and then we complain when the ballot is void of a Christian candidate to vote for. There will never be another Christian on the ballot if we continue to fail our Country, our Children, and our Congregations and continue to neglect our call. We, as Pastors, must shoulder the God-given responsibility to educate and equip our congregations to be leaders. Leaders with Biblical convictions concerning abortion, homosexuality, family values, and ethics. If the church continues to ignore its failures, America will be no different than Sodom and Gomorrah.
2 Chronicles 29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,
5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.
8 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.
9 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
10 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
Hezehiah called for repentance and rebuilding. He called on God's people to restore what had previously been rejected. We need to hear the same call today... Notice the results...
2 Chronicles 29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.
19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
The Promise God has made to His people...
II Chronicles 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
God, forgive us of our neglect, be merciful on America and may our hearts turn again unto You... Amen
October 23, 2012 - Tuesday Morning
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.2 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.3 Godliness with contentment is great gain. Having food and raiment let us be therewith content.4
Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.5 Give us this day our daily bread.6
Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?7 When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.8 Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.9
1Luk 12:15; 2Psa 37:16; 3Pro 15:16; 41Ti 6:6,8; 5Pro 30:8,9; 6Mat 6:11,25; 7Luk 22:35; 8Heb 13:5; BibleWorks8
Isn't it amazing when God begins to use certain individuals some become offended? Take for example David. David brothers didn't have a problem with him while he was obscurely tending sheep but trouble begin when Samuel showed up. The brothers were brought before Samuel and God rejected them. One would think the older, stronger, or maybe even wiser brother would be the finest choice but God had other plans. Jesse didn't even consider David but Samuel ask if there were any of his house. God knew where David was positioned. Can you see David? Out on the backside of the farm; out of sight, lonely, in a laborious job and defending the father's sheep even if it meant his life.
Again his brothers didn't mind David following them to battle in I Samuel 17... Notice what takes place in this chapter.
1. David's Work was Unnoticed... in the first 11 verses of chapter 17 David isn't mentioned. Our work and service sometimes goes unnoticed and we tend to feel our service doesn't matter to anyone. Don't be hoodwinked by the devil's tactics. Your service is very important.
2. David's Help was Unwanted... when david showed up with the bread and cheese Goliath appeared and began to blaspheme David's God. David took offense and ask the question "who is this uncircumcised Philistine"? When David initiated action his eldest brother turns on him and even Saul tells him he wasn't ABLE to face Goliath. The word "ABLE" used by the Holy Spirit in verse 33 means to prevail, overcome, endure, or accomplish. Saul wasn't much of a cheerleader. He is telling David he can't overcome or prevail over his giant. Thank God he didn't give up because his help wasn't wanted. Many of you may feel the same way but be encouraged your help is needed.
3. David's Heart was Unwavering... with all the disappointments and discouragements David wasn't deterred in his quest to please God. He was strengthened by past victories where one would see as inevitable defeat. Don't allow the giant in your life to hinder you. Don't allow disappointments from friends or family to discourage you. Remember God had already chosen and anointed David and God was placing David in a training session that he might be well equipped for future engagements.
I'm all for a good education. I am currently studying at West Lenoir Baptist School of Ministry for my Master's degree. Extended learning is good and it is productive in the life of a pastor but when the paper on the wall gets more attention than does the pages in the Word of God we have missed it.
Seminaries are building men to stand in a pulpit and lead a congregation of people. The only problem is we are seeking the tangible without ever longing for the touch of God. Far too many men stand in the pulpit and deliver an alliterated sermon and feel they have fed God's people. God's people don't need a perfectly prepared sermon, they need God's man to receive God's message and deliver to them in power, authority, and compassion.
I Thessalonians 1:5... For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were amount you for your sakes.
(1)Notice the gospel came to them also not in word only, but in power; they not only heard the sound of it, but submitted to the power of it. It did not merely tickle the ear and please the fancy, not merely fill their heads with notions and amuse their minds for awhile, but it affected their hearts: a divine power went along with it for convincing their consciences and amending their lives. Note, By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God by rote as parrots, but feel the influence of these things in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things.
(2.) It came in the Holy Ghost, that is, with the powerful energy of the divine Spirit. Note, Wherever the gospel comes in power, it is to be attributed to the operation of the Holy Ghost; and unless the Spirit of God accompany the word of God, to render it effectual by his power, it will be to us but as a dead letter; and the letter killeth, it is the Spirit that giveth life.
(3.) The gospel came to them in much assurance. Thus did they entertain it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be easily shaken in mind by objections and doubts; they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the verity of the gospel revelation. The word was not to them, like the sentiments of some philosophers about matters of opinion and doubtful speculation, but the object of their faith and assurance. Their faith was the evidence of things not seen; and the Thessalonians thus knew what manner of men the apostle and his fellow-labourers were among them, and what they did for their sake, and with what good success.
One thing every Pastor loves to see is the spiritual growth of his people. We pray and ask God to touch and speak to the people. We preach and encourage the people to have an intimate relationship with Jesus and it is an overwhelming joy when growth is evident. However not everyone will grow. You see in order for a person to grow they will have to change and some people refuse change.
John Maxwell says "change is inevitable. Everybody has to deal with change in their lives. On the other hand GROWTH is OPTIONAL. You can choose to grow or to fight it. But know this: people unwilling to grow will never reach their full potential".
Are you fighting the change? Are you resisting growth? All change is not bad. Matthew was a tax collector before the Lord called him as a disciple and I was a lost sinner before the Lord saved me. I'm not afraid a change but what I am afraid of is WHAT is changing us.
Open the Word of God today and allow the power of His Word to change and mature your life.
I like to distinguish between a "goal mindset" and a "growth mindset." A church leader with a "goal mindset" has very tangible, numerical goals to achieve over a specific period of time. Nothing is wrong with clearly defined goals, but there's a better way of thinking that I call a "growth mindset." A growth mindset recognizes goals on the journey, but only as part of a process—not as the end results.
Leaders of successful churches are tempted to stop working on themselves, but when the pastor doesn't grow, the people don't grow. It's the Law of the Lid: a stagnant church leader stunts the growth of the church. I hope these thoughts on leadership will inspire you to maintain this “growth mindset,” for your personal benefit and for the benefit of those you lead.
Luke 18:8 - “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”
I believe with all my heart that the call needs to go out today more clearly than ever before for Christians to keep the faith.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell.”
We are but one generation away from paganism. If this generation doesn’t keep the faith and pass it to the next, there will be no faith.
Are you passing the faith to the next generation? Here is your commission from the Lord: “Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (Adrian Rogers)
As David records this portion of God's word we should remember he is the King and as the King he would have access to the best of his day. However as he pens down these word we find there is no mention of his material possessions as being good or being pleasant.
Notice what David writes:
Psalms 133:1.... Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
The word good has the meaning of "beneficial".
The word pleasant has the meaning of "beauty".
The word dwell has the meaning of "a relationship as in marriage".
David recording words for eternity writes of the benefit, the beauty, and the relationship found only in unity of the believers. Just think... if David is this excited in seeing God's people in unity think how this must please our Lord.
May we all, as believers, strive to dwell together in unity.
WHAT'S AN INFIDEL ?
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes,is a well-known leader in prison ministry.
The man who walks with God always gets to his destination.If you have a pulse you have a purpose.
The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races!!
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prisonsecurity clearance.
During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths,who each explained their beliefs.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic had to say. The Muslim gave a great presentationof the basics of Islam, complete with a video.
After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked:'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against theinfidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims)they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'
I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'
He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'
I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr.Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!' The Muslim was speechless!
I continued, 'I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah,who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants youto be there with me?'
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.
Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President!
I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us get involved!