Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

God won’t let you down!

February 13, 2012

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Hitting On All Cylinders!

April 28, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE  

Exo. 2:11 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

Why do we recognize some people as being good in their “craft”? Take a singer for instance; if he mumbles in a monosyllabic, monotonic manner, we’ll probably not be impressed. If the next singer doesn’t mumble, he’ll probably be considered better than the first one. If the third singer doesn’t mumble and has a nicer “flow”, he’ll probably beat the first two. Finally, if the fourth singer can also add melody to his voice in addition to the other two skills, he might get “4 STARS!” from the judges. As the winner, this singer could go on to bigger and better things including fame and fortune. This last singer, more so than the others, is “hitting on all cylinders”, and exhibits a higher degree of excellence.

Receiving “greater blessings” may sometime require us to overcome “insurmountable” odds, and even TERRIBLE mistakes! A young couple indulges in pre-marital sex which produces a child before they themselves were able to finish high school. This conception was not planned, and yet this child grows up and makes an impressive mark on the world! While this is only a fictional account, let’s look at the story of Anthony A. Williams (1951-) an African-American politician, this being BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

Williams was born in Los Angeles and was adopted by Virginia and Lewis Williams, one of eight children in the family. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale and went on to get a doctorate in law from Harvard and masters in public policy from Harvard. His career has been mostly in financial administration, but he also served in the US Air Force and as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He entered the administration of the District of Columbia and rose to become its chief financial officer in 1995, before being elected mayor in 1998 (http://www.dil.aber.ac.uk/dils/Research/RFocus9/html_a_k.htm#ltrD).  

Slave mentality tries to prevent us from achieving our purpose to be “fruitful and multiply” beyond a nominal level, and may be induced by breeding. However, another obstacle to faith in the ability to generate prosperity in every area of life stems from the lack of recognition of successful members of your ilk. To see Mr. Williams reach such a high level in his education and career has to be inspirational to other disadvantaged African-Americans. Beyond that, an adoptee shouldn’t feel that life will necessarily result in disenfranchisement, poverty, or criminality. Hopefully, this story may also inspire Blacks to adopt more.

To reach parity with White & Hispanics, Blacks would have to adopt 44 kids per 10,000 families to their 6. 

Referring to Exodus 2 we find the birth of Moses (drawn out of the water) and the favor which allows his life to be spared. “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord 

 

 

(Prv. 8:35).” This verse extols the virtue of wisdom, which would truly be demonstrated in the life of this baby who was found by Pharaoh’s daughter! Remarkably, his mother is able to become his nurse for his adoptive mother. For us to appreciate the exposure he received from his moms, especially as it relates to leadership, let’s consider the following example.

While playing alone, Lil’ Johnny was approached by another kid who said, “I know how much two plus two is.” Lil’ Johnny asked, “how much?” The kid replied, “four!” An awe-struck Lil’ Johnny then asked, “for real?!” A second child joins in and says, “I know how much two plus two plus two is.” Lil’ Johnny asked, “how much?” The second child said “six”, to which Lil’ Johnny asked again, “for real?!” Another kid said, “I know how much two plus two plus two plus two is.” Once again Lil’ Johnny asked “how much?” to a response of “eight”. And again Lil’ Johnny asked, “for real?” That’s when a slightly older child approached their group and stated, “I can show you how to get eight with just three two’s.” As the other little kids argued back and forth that it couldn‘t be done, all Lil’ Johnny could do was watch intently. The older kid then put a small three on top of the two, and explained that it means to multiply two times two times two. Upon realizing that the older child had told them the truth, the younger children exclaimed, “awesome”, except for Lil’ Johnny who could only use both his hands to hold his head in amazement.

Soon Lil’ Johnny starts school, and the teacher asks, “class, how much is two plus two?”. Only he knows. In the next grade the teacher asks “how much is two times two?”, and only he knows the correct answer. Eventually he reaches a grade where the question is “what is the logarithm of two?” None of the other students bother to raise their hand, they just look to Lil’ Johnny who answered “.301029996”! The whole class went, “WOW!” By being in “good company” Lil’ Johnny was much more advanced than his class.

 

Moses was exposed to royalty and slavery, which to some degree prepared him to be Israel’s first Pastor. However, in the KEY SCRIPTURE Moses kills an Egyptian, and thought erroneously that he had got away with it. Sometimes we think that we are hiding our inequities without realizing that in a lot of cases that’s simply isn’t the case. This certainly portrays the situation Moses was in, but more importantly, it causes him to flee in humility – another necessary trait to becoming a good leader. Surely this experience taught him to have compassion, which would certainly make him a more complete leader. He must have carried himself like a man of great stature to be asked, “who made thee a prince and a judge over us? ” in verse 14

Moses was exposed to royalty and slavery, which to some degree prepared him to be Israel’s first Pastor. However, in the KEY SCRIPTURE Moses kills an Egyptian, and thought erroneously that he had got away with it. Sometimes we think that we are hiding our inequities without realizing that in a lot of cases that’s simply isn’t the case. This certainly portrays the situation Moses was in, but more importantly, it causes him to flee in humility – another necessary trait to becoming a good leader. Surely this experience taught him to have compassion, which would certainly make him a more complete leader. He must have carried himself like a man of great stature to be asked, “who made thee a prince and a judge over us? ” in verse 14

 

 

He probably had the kind of physical presence that commands respect. In short, it appears that he indeed was hitting on all cylinders!”

Another strong point to consider in the analogy of the singers deals with how well we identify with them. It is most likely that the singer we choose will be the one we feel we can, or would like to, relate to the most. Like all of us Moses made a mistake (albeit his mishap resulted in the death of a human being; this incident was of course pre-Law). He had to deal with being an adopted kid, who are usually unaware of their origin, uncertain of their purpose, and unknowing of their destiny! Even today we can identify with him as confusion plays a role in the life of everyone of us. From the beginning God had “ordered the steps of a good man (Psa. 37:23)”, Moses in this case. To just view his humble start it would have been impossible to see him becoming what he became – a highly venerable (esteemed) servant of the Lord.  

Why don’t blind people skydive? Because it scares their dogs! Seriously, they don’t have the required ocular gift of sight. God blesses us with gifts to help our fellow man out of their bondage. Sometimes that may very well mean leaving our comfort zone. Moses was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but he showed a compassion by intervening in a fight between two slaves in 

 

 

verse 13 of the KEY SCRIPTURE. On another level, the story of Moses and how he delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, is replicated in the story of Jesus and how He delivers from the bondage of sin. However, those of us who profess to have faith in Christ have also been commissioned to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…(Mat. 28:19).” 

Imagine how effective you could be in making disciples as God’s servant “hitting on all cylinders”. Perhaps you were the last one picked for the team, or you weren’t the homecoming queen at you school. One thing we can clearly see from this story is that your beginning is NOT a hindrance to your future!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characteristics of a Good person!

December 3, 2007

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Mat. 19:16 A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?17 Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask Me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey His commandments (Contemporary English Version).”

It is significant that we understand that THE standard for good is God Himself, and this criterion entails belief in “the King, eternal, immortal, invisible (I Tim 1:17)!” Jesus said, “God is a Spirit (Jhn. 4:24), to which the Apostle Paul adds in Gal. 5:22,”God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23 gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.” Therefore, by concentrating on these nine attributes of the Good Spirit we are emulating the Standard for good.

Why don’t we readily jump at the chance to be a god-like person? There are some impediments which trip us up including: Anger, Lust, Greed, Attachments, and Ego (other obstacles include envy and laziness). Again, Paul says in Gal. 5:19people’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. 20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.”

What the Apostle is saying is that our desires for attributes that are contrary to God’s Spirit is what get us in trouble! When tempted we have strength through Christ (Php. 4:13) to enforce godliness (Mat. 4:10) “go away Satan!” This  Scripture says: “worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.” The Standard for good says to us, “I am the LORD your God, and you must dedicate yourselves to Me and be holy, just as I am holy (Lev. 11:44).” Why should we try to be a god-like person? Well, in Act. 17:28 we are informed that “He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are. We are His children,’ just as some of your poets have said.” By being god-like we are given the power to live and move eternally because we follow God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:14)!

What about all the people who are rebellious, cantankerous, and/or animalistic? “The LORD protects everyone who lives right, but He destroys anyone who does wrong (Prv. 10:29).” Peter, a disciple, states, “God is patient, because He wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost (II Pet. 3:9).” Obviously sin is not god-like and can not make one a good person. Rom. 6:16 asks, “don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to Him.”

What does it mean to be an obedient slave? It means to be righteous, which denotes that one follows the commands of God. “Obey Me, and you will live! Let My instructions be your greatest treasure (Prv. 7:2).” To be a good person involves righteously following God’s commandments – particularly The Great Commandments. Mat. 22:36Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Why is love so important to be a good person, or god-like? Once again referring to the Bible we learn that “…God is love(I Jhn. 4:8, 16),” and “that no one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands (Rom. 13:10).” Furthermore, we find in I Cor. 13:4 that “love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5 rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. 6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. 8 Love never fails!

The question we’re now faced with is should we believe in God? Some people believe that they can be a good person without being godly, however that’s metaphysically erroneous (Psa. 14:1, 53:1). To be a good person we automatically project God’s Spirit (see above), and as Christians we are to follow His commandments with our whole heart (Psa. 119:10). Ultimately, it is our heart that determines whether we are, or are not, a good person or morally defiled (Mat. 15:11)! Are we living to just enjoy the pleasures of this materialistic world, or are we interested in becoming a truly “Good Person” in order to receive the gift of eternal life?

Jesus said “you can not serve God and mammon (Mat. 6:24).” To be a good person the focal point of our lives can not be greed, ambition, and/or money. We should be more apt to think qualitatively than quantitatively; more concerned with living righteously than being rich. We should think in terms of the infinite and not just the finite! Mat. 6:19 reads, “don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. 20 Instead, store up your treasures in Heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will always be where your treasure is.”

Being a good person requires us to value the treasures of our God more than earthly “booty”. Why? Because Heavenly treasures are endless! However, why should we believe in God? Why not be a materialist who only believe in what we see? If you understand that the universe is only about 14 billion years old, than you’re faced with the question of what Entity existed during the period prior to the beginning of time and space? How do you explain the concept of how “something” came from “nothing”? “Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God’s command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen (Heb. 11:3).”

Those who consider themselves to be a “Good Person” as in being god-like may easily accept this verse; however, non-believers may still have a huge problem with it, so let’s take a scientific approach. The belief in atoms, though commonplace now, was initially met with a gargantuan amount of skepticism until Albert Einstein made his discovery in the early 1900’s. Of course since then smaller and smaller particles have been discovered, leading some in the scientific community to surmise the possibility of “something” resulting from nothing! This is significant because there are some who are entertaining the notion of the infinitude of the material plane.

By overcoming our rebellious nature we can admit that there is an existence beyond that of the physical world, and it is where the Spirit of God dwells for all eternity. Just as sure as He is able to create this plane of existence, He is able to convey to us what we must do to be a good person since He is The Standard. The following Five Steps will give us an idea of His expectations.

1. “But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what He wants. Then the other things will be yours as well (Mat. 6:33).”

2. “So you will be saved, if you honestly say, Jesus is Lord,’ and if you believe with all your heart that God raised Him from death (Rom. 10:9).”

3. “Do your best to win God’s approval as a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed and who teaches only the true message (II Tim. 2:15).”

4. Mrk. 16:15 “Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world.” 16 “Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe Me will be condemned.”

5. “God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city (Rev. 22:14).”

So, what are the characteristics of a good person? According to the Bible, we must be Christ-like! Php. 2:5 instructs us to “think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.” We must be ready to put the needs of others – even before ours sometimes. More importantly, to be a good person we must do the things which pleases the Father.” The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a Slave who will give His life to rescue many people (Mat.20:28).” “Father, if You will, please don’t make Me suffer by having Me drink from this cup. But do what You want, and not what I want (Luk. 22:42).” To truly be a good person we must submit to our Heavenly Father, who is the Standard, and be willing to serve people! I challenge you to take those Five Steps so that you can reap the everlasting rewards for being a Good Person!

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

December 3, 2007

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Don’t question a gift’s value. When given a present, be grateful for your good fortune and don’t look for more by examining it to assess its value. Additionally, this proverb refers to the practice of figuring the age of a horse by looking at its teeth, and is also origin of the expression “long in the tooth” (meaning old).

 http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings.117000.html

Let’s examine the first example.

Who ordains ministers?

First off, let us define a minister as a member of the clergy; one who helps. Whether you’re clergy or not, you are capable of giving help, caring for strangers, and enduring more stress! I’m sure you can recall doing a service with no thought of reward though some sacrifice by you was required. Even in the beginning Man was expected to be his brother’s keeper (Gen. 4:9).

Beyond that, God intended for Man’s relationship with Him to be maintained for eternity. Even though we, as the progeny (offspring) of Adam, are born into sin – God has made a way for us to be redeemed! Since the LORD is eternal, His offspring is therefore eternal. Rom. 8:14 states, “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” It would be unfortunate for anyone to think that without a title they can’t be a minister as that would hamper them from performing their most sacred duty. What duty? To be led by the Spirit of God (or Word of God – Eph. 6:17), and to help others to do the same!

Our duty is to learn the Word so that we can follow His holy commandments and enjoy life for ever, and then to help our fellow Man follow suit! Who ordained this? God did! “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer. 1:5).” The only real question is will you, like Isaiah, accept His call? “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, Here am I; send me (Isa. 6:8).” Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Mat. 9:37). Have no fear, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7).”

What about qualifications?

Dr. Fitzpatrick, a pastor from Chicago, says, “favor ain’t fair, but it looks good on you.” Even though two workers may look quite similar, one is favored more because of his productivity! Mat. 25:29 states, “for unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” Ministers who do God’s work are kings.“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter (Prv. 25:2 – my favorite verse!).” It stands to reason that to be favored you must be led by the Spirit, be free of fear, and be a student of the Bible in order to get the concealed truths (revelations) in which to minister to God’s people. Then by studying, ministers become approved by God (II Tim. 2:15)!

So, is being a good minister about numbers? Well, while we want God’s Word to reach as many people as possible, we don’t want to subscribe to a win-at-any-cost attitude. Children of God, particularly those who use their talents for people (ministry), must realize the importance of “…how you play the game.” Prv. 31:4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” Clearly this passage indicates the level of favor for kings, princes, and the miserable and invokes temperance (read Gal. 5:22-23) that leads to life. Temperance is one of the nine “fruits of the Spirit”, and the Spirit gives us life! “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (Jhn. 6:63)”.

Ministers’ do’s and don’t’s! (I Tim. 3)

1. Bishops (overseers) DO desire to do God’s will.2. DO be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, kind, apt to teach.

3. DON’T be given to wine, be a striker, be greedy of dirty cash; be impatient, be a brawler, nor covetous.

4. DO rule your own house, having children in subjection with all gravity.

5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6. DON’T be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride you fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7. DO have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8. Deacons must also be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9. Deacons must hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10. Deacons must be proven, found blameless.

11. Deacons’ wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12. Deacons must be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13. Deacons that use their office well purchase great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

NOTE: Bishop/deacon relates to king/prince in Prv. 31:4-5.

Reward for serving God.

Deu. 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: 14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Stop scoffing, complaining.

Psa. 1:22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh…” This passage illustrates God’s dislike of scornfulness, however, to see how He views “cry babies” please read what happened to the dissenting Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 14). By attempting to obfuscate the mission of the minister the LORD gifted them with (Moses), they didn’t get the chance to experience God’s blessings in (The Promise Land) Jsh. 1:2! If you don’t won’t to miss out – DON’T LOOK YOUR GIFTHORSE IN THE MOUTH!

ACKNOWLEDGE/APPRECIATE GOD’S PROCESS

November 30, 2007

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Christian studies, activities 

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”- Mat.13:30.

To get an idea of God’s Process we should have some understanding of who He is. Those of the Judeo-Christian faith know God by many names. Here are some examples:

a. El, Elohim (plural) – (Creator – Gen. 1);

b. Jehovah-jireh (The LORD will provideGen. 22:13-14);

c. Jehovah-rapha (The LORD healsExo. 15:26);

d. Jehovah-nissi (The LORD is our BannerExo. 17:8-16);

e. Jehovah-shalom (The LORD is peaceJud. 6:24);

f. Jehovah-tsidkenu (The LORD our RighteousnessJer. 23:6);

g. Jehovah-shammah (The LORD is thereEze. 48:35).

While these and other names give us an idea of His capabilities, we should understand that His nature is Love (I Jhn. 4:8, 16), and that these names describe Acts of Love! Remember Jhn. 3:16? Moreover, Moses called Him I AM THAT I AM in Exo. 3:14 to let us know that He is all we’ll ever need.

The Will of God (from which we were created – Rev. 4:11) is threefold: Sovereign, Permissive, and Pleasure. Although His Sovereign Will determines how we are made and His Pleasure Will defines our duty, it is His Permissive Will that allows us to make the decision to obey Him. The Bible says Adam decided not to obey Him and thus relinquished his immortality (Gen. 3:24), along with the idyllic life he was afforded in the Garden of Eden (it was so serenely beautiful and happy, or blessed). However, Jehovah has a Plan of Salvation to redeem Man back to Himself, and it involves an Act of Love!

PASSAGE #1: GOD IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA

Rev. 21:6And He said unto me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son‘.”

                 PASSAGE #2: JESUS IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA

Rev. 1:7Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” 8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,” saith the Lord, “which is and which was , and which is to come, the Almighty.”

The name of Jesus also denotes a capability of God, and it is also a name we should indeed cherish because of Rom. 5:8 – “but God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s stated in I Cor. 15:45And so it is written, ‘the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit.”

Due to the disobedience of the first Man sin was introduced into the world, and now a life (“which is the blood” – Gen. 9:4) is required for our iniquities. God certainly didn’t want to kill off the only Man (Adam), so animal sacrifice became necessary; however, the glory of animals is not rated the same as the glory of Man (Gen. 3:21: I Cor. 15:39).

And yet, it’s said in Heb. 3:9but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” In other words, and it must be stated unequivocally, it took the glory of God to redeem Man through the sacrifice of Jesus (Jehovah savesMat. 1:21)! Now Man only has to “take up his cross and follow Me” to attain God’s salvation (Mrk. 8:34-35)! What does this entail? For starters…

Heb. 11:6 says, “but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Additionally, our glorious Redeemer tells us to, “…. seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” – Mat. 6:33. Also, Psa. 100: 3 reads “know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.” To complete this point, add also I Cor. 3:16 which reads, “know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit dwelleth in you?

So, to get into God’s kingdom we need faith (to please God), the highest standards of morality (God’s righteousness), and be willing to give Him thanks and praise (to worship God)! Moreover, we must look within ourselves to find His Spirit of  love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) – NOT in the world with its various temptations. Realize, though, kingdom-mindedness aspires to reach the pinnacle in its endeavors, be it in the Physical, Mental, of Spiritual Realm! To reach that plateau spiritually, you also need to know…  

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Rom. 10:9).”

Did you notice that even before our personal salvation, we must seek God’s kingdom first! As important as salvation is, God expects us to emulate His Spirit before we are concerned with ANYTHING else! A God “who is not willing that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9)” will surely take care of ALL of our needs (Php. 4:19). Don’t act like the rebellious Children of Israel who, after God used signs and wonders to free them from Pharaoh, complained when they thought Pharaoh would recapture them. Know that our God is able to deliver us from any affliction, any addiction, and any circumstance that causes us undue stress (II Pet. 2:9)! The grace that gives salvation (Eph. 2:8) is the grace which keeps us until we realize that “…no Man cometh to the Father but by Me (Jhn. 14:6)!” Thirdly…

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15)”.

We must learn His commandments (Prv. 7:2), the First and Second being 37 thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Mat. 22:26-40).”

Find a Bible-teaching church to get a strong spiritual foundation, and stick with it so that God can take you through His process in the most efficient manner. Many times people are either too busy church-hopping, or too inconsistent in their attendance for the Word to develop properly. They get a ”seed ” and before it can be “watered” (let alone grow), they’re gone! We need to “be still, and know that I am God(Prv. 46:10)” Read Mat. 11:28.

Wouldn’t you like to be with your loved ones for all eternity? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see them grow into the type of people that live according to the Fruits of the Spirit?! You may be the only person who can reach them. That’s probably why you are together with them. So, after you have been able to lead them to Christ, you will develop the skill to help other people who are lost and without a clue. Then, you will be able to…

“GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE (Mrk. 16:15).

Understand, if we:

(1) seek God’s kingdom first;

(2) if we believe that God raised Jesus from the grave;

(3) if we study His Word;

(4) if we testify of His Good News; then

(5) we will be blessed because…

blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (Rev. 22:14).”

The ultimate blessing is that our name is written in the “Book of Life(Luk. 10:20). It is truly unfortunate that too many of us seek so many things, and not the gift of eternal life. So I, a lowly pastor, asked that you remember to put God first; that your thoughts, words, and actions are holy (Lev. 11:44), so that on the last day He will see fit to breathe His Holy Spirit into your soul (Gen. 2:7).

Proverbs 3:5-6 says to, “5 trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Please understand that the LORD is leading us to salvation, deliverance, and His eternal providence because of His great unfathomable love for us. If you haven’t ask God to forgive your sins, why not do it now. My prayers are with you all!  Amen, Amen, Amen.

POLITICALLY CORRECT, AND FOOLISH!

November 26, 2007

sunset.jpg

Christian studies, activities 

“Why do ye also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘honor thy father and mother; and, he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ But ye say, ‘whosoever shall say to his father or his mother ‘it is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;’ and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free.’ Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” – Mat. 15:9.

Political Correctness can be viewed as conforming with the ideology of those in power. In the Jewish tradition, people were required to financially support their aged parents. However, Jesus pointed out it was politically correct for the Pharisees and scribes to accept this support as a gift to God. How did political correctness evolve? At the core of this process is disobedience, and it involves the need of the spiritual destitutes (i.e. those lacking spirituality) to rid society of God. This truly is the goal of any secularist worth his salt. If you’re blessed without following God, why regard His commandments?

Many people have arrived at the pinnacle (or highest degree) of success without giving God glory. Although Godly principles were used to acquire their wealth, a true seculaist will refuse to admit that (Gen. 4). Just as the Pharisees and scribes circumvented (counteracted) God’s commandment at the top of this paragraph, certain people want to create and maintain traditions that tolerate laxity in obeying God’s law.

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” – Isa. 14:13-14. The Evil One wants to be “like the Most High”, and so does his children, thinking that such an achievement is possible without divinity!

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of itJhn. 8:44. The devil’s big lie involves faith in sense perception rather than faith in God (Jam. 3:15). This of course lead the spiritually blind to believe that they don’t have to really follow the directives of a Spirit, thus these souls won’t ever seek salvation! 

Possibly, being a secularist, you think being a “good” person is our only requirement, or that it’s “cool” or “fair” to be godlike – to a point. However, Heb. 12:14 reads, “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” To be holy is to be sacred, saintly, pure, consecrated, and awe-inspiring. When you’re holy you don’t want to just be godly to a point – you want to be pure. You don’t want to be just a “good” person – you want to be saintly. You don’t want to be just “trying to make it” – you want to be inspiring!  

You don’t put profits over prophets (Prv. 8:11). You make it a habit to thank and praise God so that you can be blessed in His presence (Psa. 100:4). You don’t seek loopholes in God’s authority because you’re a soldier ready for “the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14)!” So, why then is our Father so patient with “tolerant” people’s disrespect of His righteous commandments?

“Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn” – Mat. 13:30.

ARE YOU SAVED? Then you are more than just a secularist who only politically correctness, which only makes you “good” for a particular region on earth. In fact you are part of “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a pecular people; that you  should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Pet. 2:9).”

A HEADBANGER!

November 23, 2007

The cheetah lies low watching the herd of antelope as they cautiously graze the grass. Knowing that there is a possibility of danger, they eat fast and then move. Some of the weaker, and younger ones aren’t able to keep up, and become separated from the pack. This is the opportunity the cheetah has been waiting for – the chance to pick off one of the antelopes who can’t defend himself.

As in the above illustration, Satan attempts to get us in isolation so that he can strike us more effectively! God wants to be our Protector, and wants us to be His people.

“…This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,” says the LORD, “that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear Jer. 13:1-11.

Isa. 59:2 reads,but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear. Prv. 1:25-26 states, because you disdained all My counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes…”

The Law gave Man a basis for understanding why the sacrificial death of Christ grants us salvation! “…For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law (Gal. 3:21).” After failing to prevent God’s pronouncement in Gen. 3:15 with the death of Abel; The Flood; The Tower; The Enslavement; The Captivity; and the Massacre of the 144,00, Satan wants to confuse us of the need of God’s salvation through Jesus alone (Jhn. 14:6) by undermining the 1st Coming (IJhn. 4:1-6).

By doctrinally dividing those who seek righteousness, The Enemy is able to pick us off (Mat. 12:24-30), and in order to accomplish this, one of his main goals is to keep us froward (Prv. 2:12-15). Now instead of us moving FORWARD in the Lord, the devil tries to keep us stuck in “the good ol’ days.” He wants to convince us that our life was better BEFORE we converted to Christ! God gives us new mercies everyday; Satan tries to trick us into pursuing “old snares” (old habits, philosophies, etc.) in hope of a better result (fulfillment, salvation, etc.). Insanity is when you try to escape a predicament by banging your head on the wall expecting to get through even though all you have to show for your efforts is a bloody head!

You may get through (Heaven) – if Someone (Jesus) opens the door (salvation) and lets you back inside (reconciled) where you can get washed (baptized), bandaged (delivered), and fed (Fruit of the Spirit). “…For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin death (Rom. 8:1-11)…” Are you still banging your head?