Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Is It Odd or Is It God? As Many Times As I Have Read This Verse, I Missed This. I Wonder How Many Others Missed It As Well?
There is a probability that some of you such as myself had not really paid attention to the word in the center of this verse: John 3:16. Many people are celebrating Valentine's Day on today with friend's, husband/wives, couples as the list goes on. Flowers , candy and gifts are given in expression of Love. But God gave us a greater Gift, His Son and within this verse we find the Word: VALENTINE. Is It Odd or Is It God? This verse is the true meaning of Love; God's Love. Marinate on it, inhale it, exhale it, can you feel the Love in this verse, there is no greater love or Gift known to man than that of One who suffered, bled, died and rose again so that we may live. Jesus; the Son of God who walked the earth as God in human form to save a world lost in sin. Jesus, the One whom John is writing about in John 3:16. Jesus Christ is the true expression of Love.
The Ancient Greeks came up with Four Types of Love:
AGAPE, the unconditional love that Jesus demonstrates for us.
PHILEO: The phileo love refers to an affectionate, it is how you feel about someone. It is a committed and chosen love.
STORGE: It is a kind of family and friendship love.
EROS: Eros is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it is the kind that often triggers “high” feelings in a new relationship and makes you say, “I love him/her”. It is simply an emotional and sexual love
In all that we do on this day, let us remember the Son of God who lives today. Let us demonstrate His Love to mankind, to each other. Let us give thanks to the Giver for the ultimate Gift. This is true love, this is what Love represents. John 3:16. There is a sweet aroma, when we call on the name of Jesus.
"The first Valentine was posted around 1806. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers. Therefore, Claudius banned soldiers from being married. One version of the story is that Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and Claudius had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer's daughter. Valentine sent her a card and signed it, "Love, your Valentine." Another version is that Valentine defied Claudius by helping Christians escape the torture of the Romans."
"Valentine died in approximately A.D. 270. Others claim the church may have decided to celebrate in mid February to "Christianize" the pagan Roman celebration Lupercalia. The first Valentine sent in the United States was in the 1840's by Esther Howgald. Most of us enjoy "spoiling" a loved one on Valentine's Day. Sending gifts and cards conveys love, affection, and friendship."
There is no biblical reason why Christians should not celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving their loved ones flowers, candy and/or cards. Some people feel very strongly that observing any secular holiday is wrong, while others see it as harmless. The important thing to remember is that celebrating or not celebrating holidays should not be a cause for pride or division among Christians.
When we are confused on what to do or not to do, go to the Word of God for understanding. Let us remember John 3:16 because it is in this verse where we see and experience the magnitude of Love that God has shown each of us through His Son Jesus Christ "that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life." It's just doesn't get any better than that.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Faith Defeats All Opposition. Jesus Has Promised That Our Requests Get God's Personal Attention! In my trials I know that the Comforter walks with me while I talk with my God. The Master Builder (God) can pull out the original plan and restore it! There's no pit so deep that Jesus love cannot go deeper. Whatever the need of the moment, the answer can be found in scripture if we take the time to search for it. Be patient, wait for Him to tell you where to move and what to do, He will never lead you where He has not already been.
In all circumstances we can give thanks that God has not left us on our own. Pain and problems are a part of life but there’s also purpose and promise in it too. Exercise your faith. When all else fails grab your Bible and read your instructions. Father I come to You today with faith in my heart and praise on my lips. I praise You Father for the gift of life. Only Christ the Living Bread can satisfy our spiritual hunger.
It's Time to Cry Out. YOU SEE, TROUBLE NOT ONLY PLACES A DEMAND ON YOUR FAITH, BUT REVEALS THE DEPTH OF IT! Truth is, you don’t really know much about your faith when your bills are paid, your body is healthy, your children are acting right, and your marriage is intact! BUT WHEN ALL IN YOUR LIFE IS BREAKING LOOSE AND YOU TRUST GOD TO BRING YOU THROUGH IT, YOU KNOW YOU’VE GOT GENUINE FAITH! Storms come and go and Jesus is always there though it all. Become firm and established in Jesus love, firm in your faith and understanding.
The enemy is attacking your mind, your rest, your peace, your emotions and your thought life! So what can you do? Lift up the shield of faith and stop his flaming arrows: Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” and use it to drive him back! (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV). Put Your Faith To Work because It's time to cry out.
Listen to another example, the Syrian army had surrounded the city of Samaria and its population was dying of starvation. Having lived off scraps of bread that folks threw over the wall each day, four lepers quickly assessed that they were in trouble. They said, “WHY SIT HERE UNTIL WE DIE?” (2 Kings 7:3 TLB). So they went into the city, only to discover God had worked a miracle, causing the Syrians to flee in terror, leaving behind them food, water, and riches! What do we learn from these four lepers? REFUSE TO SIT THERE AND DIE! WHEN YOU PUT YOUR FAITH INTO ACTION, GOD WILL GO TO WORK ON YOUR BEHALF! BUT YOU HAVE TO RISE UP AND SAY: I Will Live and Not Die, I Will Survive, I Will Rise Above My problem and this situation.
You see, I’ve learned from personal experience, when you get DESPERATE enough you won’t care who God uses to fuel your faith, you’ll be willing to receive any help He sends your way! Just ask Naaman! Naaman the leper, a five-star general in the Syrian army, humbled himself and eventually became willing to listen to a girl who washed dishes and made beds in his house!
(Listen: When somebody has an answer from God to deliver to you, you won’t care who the messenger is, what they look like, what they do or what they've got on, just as long as they deliver your message of healing!) Naaman was even willing to finally dip seven times in the dirtiest river around, in order to come up clean (2 Kings 5:1-19). Genuine faith says: “I don’t care where I have to go, what I have to do, or who I have to listen to, whatever God says, I’ll do it!” Why live with a disease when you can simply believe God, trust what He says, and put your faith to work?!
Real faith in action needs no explanation in order to act! Sometimes God will give you “a Word” and it looks like it’s not even working – but it is – yes, even when it doesn’t look like it! The faith that God responds to does not require understanding of the orders given, just obedience in carrying them out! And when you do, you’ll be amazed at what He does in the meantime! The more you walk by faith, God is restoring, resurrecting, returning, reviving, regenerating, reestablishing, and in the end you’ll do the rejoicing when all of the broken pieces are finally brought back together again! And all it takes is faith!
Saturday, February 11, 2017
That May Be Exactly What’s Happening In Your Life Right Now! It Doesn’t Feel Good, But It Is Good! God Is Lovingly Removing Things & People You Think You Need.
“I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and REPEATEDLY PRUNES every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” (John 15:1-2 AMP).
“Better to be pruned to grow than cut up to burn.” (John Trapp).
We all really need to understand this pruning process, especially since it’s one of God’s Most Important Methods In Growing Us! In fact, some of the difficulty and loss that you’re experiencing right now May Actually Be Your Heavenly Father Cutting You Back to Help You Grow Up! And the results are going to be far greater than they ever could have been if He left what He has been taking away! In short, HE LEAVES YOU WITH LESS, SO YOU CAN BE AVAILABLE FOR MORE!
Jesus went on to explain that all the things we do for Him have to flow from our deep relationship with Him – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man REMAINS in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; APART from Me you can do nothing…If you REMAIN in Me and My words REMAIN in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” If you keep loading up on Jesus and getting ever closer to Him, your life is going to be Abundantly Fruitful! You’re going to make a Greater Difference with your life than you’ve ever made before! You’re going to be More Spiritually Magnetic, and having you around is going to be more and more like actually having Jesus around! You are going to attract more people into the Fruitful Kingdom of God!
BUT before the fruit, COMES THE PRUNING!
I imagine if a vine could talk, he’d say to the pruner, “You’re killing me, man!” And the gardener would reply, “I know this hurts, but I’m actually removing things you don’t really need so you can explode with greater fruit.” THAT MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW! IT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD, BUT IT IS GOOD! GOD IS LOVINGLY REMOVING THINGS (AND PEOPLE) YOU THINK YOU NEED, BUT THINGS (AND PEOPLE) THAT MAY BE HOLDING YOU DOWN, HOLDING YOU BACK, OR HOLDING YOU CAPTIVE! THE CUTBACKS ARE COSTLY BUT WORTH IT! THE PRUNING IS PAINFUL, BUT ESSENTIAL TO YOUR POTENTIAL, PRODUCTIVITY AND PROSPERITY!
I actually learned that there are a few types of pruning methods:
FIRST, THERE’S “THINNING”: This is a drastic form of pruning, a thinning out cut is the removal of an entire shoot, limb, or branch AT ITS POINT OF ORIGIN! When performed correctly, thinning encourages the formation of new growth that will more readily bear fruit and flowers!
NOW FOR THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION OF “THINNING”: in order for many of us to grow properly, we have to be pruned to the extent that we remove, entirely, people, places and things that helped us get to this damaged place we’re in now! Remember: thinning removes the entire shoot, limb or branch at its origin! In other words, where it all started! Don’t be afraid or ashamed to thin some folks and some stuff out! Remove him, her or them, if they dare to compromise your potential to prosper! If you do, you’ll then be in the position to formulate (healthy people, places and things) so that new growth can transpire, more readily for bearing fruit!
SECOND, THERE’S “TOPPING”: Topping is a very severe form of pruning which involves removing all branches and growths down to a few large branches or to the trunk of the tree. When performed correctly IT IS USED ON VERY YOUNG TREES TO TRAIN THEM TO GROW INTO SPECIFIC SHAPES!
NOW FOR THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION OF “TOPPING”: When used correctly, topping is used on young trees to train them to grow in specific shapes or in specific directions! When you see those beautiful trees, with all their unique twists and turns to them in various shapes and designs, THEY ARE THE RESULT OF TOPPING! But in order for that to take place IT HAS TO START YOUNG! Now it would be very easy for me to pick on our YOUNG PEOPLE (Which the Church Does Far Too Often), but instead we’re going to go in a different direction, and speak of “YOUNG” in terms of “immaturity!” people of God, if you’re ever going to finally grow up, and come to full maturity, you’ve got to surrender yourself to topping! It means bringing all your immature issues before the gardener for him to prune, so you can finally grow up into the specific shape and design that he had in mind long before your birth! The good news is that you can’t do this for old trees, they’re already set in their ways and hardened, so if you’re still an “immature saint”, there’s help and hope for you yet! You’re in the best possible position to be re-directed for the destiny you’ve been designed for!
THIRD, THERE’S “RAISING”: This removes the lower branches from a tree in order to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas!
Now for the spiritual application of “Raising”: this type of pruning is of a necessity, not for you, but for those around you! “Raising” is a form of pruning that moves you out of the way, so others can get by and get through! I hate to say it like this, but this level of pruning is often for those who have been doing something so long that they’ve perfected it and can’t nobody else on planet earth do it like them or better than them as long as they’re still alive! You have to be pruned to make room for others! After 30 years, you shouldn’t see all the same preachers in the same pulpit; the same choir members, the same musicians, the same deacons, the same members! Moses is dead and so is Joshua…but there is a new generation! Let us not block them with our old set ways!
FOURTH AND FINAL, THERE’S “REDUCTION”: this reduces the size of a tree, often for clearance for utility lines! Reducing the height or spread of a tree is best accomplished by pruning back the leaders and branch terminals to lateral branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles! Compared to ‘topping’, ‘reduction’ helps maintain the form and structural integrity of the tree!
Now for the spiritual application of “Reduction”: this type of pruning hurts leadership! Because reduction removes branches that are high up by the power lines, cuts them back so that room for those underneath them can assume their role! In actuality, this shouldn’t be all that hard at all, since the leader branch that is being cut back, is only making room for the lateral branch to come up and take its place!
“Every Living Thing Needs to be Pruned, So It Can Reach Its Fullest Potential – Including You and Me.” (Author Unknown)
“God Prunes Us When He is About to Take Us Into a New Season of Growth and Expansion.” (Christine Caine)
“Every Experience is Part of God’s Pruning Process. You’ve Been Picked Out to be Picked On. He Cuts Off Fruitless Branches and Prunes Fruitful Ones.” (Author Unknown)
“For Me, Slowing Down Was Simply Another Way to Prune the Bush. To Force Myself Into Cutting Away Certain Parts of My Life So That I Don’t Wake Up Next February, Blooming Roses I Don’t Like.” (Erin Loechner)
“Pruning is a Necessary Part of Life. In Order to Move Forward, You Must Let Go.” (Cheryl Richardson)
“When God Has You in a Place of Waiting, He’s Preparing You For Greater. He’s Sifting, Pruning, Refining, and Shaping You For the Best That is to Come.” (Author Unknown)
If the dark cloud you’re under doesn’t move, then you move.” And that’s something I’m encouraging you to do today. Move! Albert Einstein says it like this: “Nothing Happens Until Something Moves”.
There are real monsters that a lot of people have locked in a closet somewhere in their heart: the secret pain, the secret sin, the secret darkness of that unforgiving heart. They're like vampires. They live in the darkness. But as you become older, you discover that they start to lose their power when you drag them into the light.
In my experience counseling people, when it comes to life’s experiences with pain, many people have found that getting rid of ‘monsters’ isn’t as easy or as simple as turning on a flashlight. The monsters of molestation, rape, domestic violence, health battles, homelessness, and the like didn’t exactly go away as quickly as the flip of a light switch for many. Nor did they for my friend Linda.
Linda, was abandoned, often physically abused by a drunken father, and cocaine addicted mother. Then she was horribly betrayed by her sister’s boyfriend. She trusted him so much as the brother she never had, and yet he sexually violated her. It was the final chapter in a story that told her a cruel lie, "Linda, you're worthless." A story line that brought her to the brink of suicide not once but three times. She took pills the first time, slit her wrists the second, and the third time she held a gun to her own head literally.
Thank God, Linda came across some wonderful people who led her to Jesus who did what no one and nothing else could do, He saved her. However, there was a few monsters left living in her closet; bitterness, anger, mistrust, fear of rejection, not to mention, hatred that she harbored in her heart. Now, all of her feelings and emotions were understandable. But unforgiveness never hurts the person we refuse to forgive.
No, instead it eats us alive and, strangely, it ties us to the very person we can't stand.
Like so many who have had to endure mistreatment in whatever form, many did like Linda and stuffed it in the closet. But it's there where it grows into a monster of ungrieved grief, unrepented sin, and unforgiven hurt; a monster that morphs into all kinds of anger, rage, depression and self-loathing.
John 8:12, “Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows Me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” (MSG)
Once You Start Living in the Light, You’ll Stop Letting Darkness Visit! Jesus provides plenty of light to live in, what better motivation than that to move out of darkness? Why live in that darkness a moment longer than you have to.
Listen, truth is, sometimes you can move IT, and sometimes you simply have to move YOU. Which may require a great deal of separation; like moving from those old contacts, connections, phone calls, text messages, pictures and emails. Move from that place, from that thing, from that person. Move from re-imagining memories in a prettier light than they actually were. Move from those feelings, that conversation, move from repetitive bad decisions and choices. Move your dark into His light.
Today: Take all of your monsters out of your past closet, and into your prayer closet.
Take the regret, the remorse, the bitterness, the anger, the hatred, the revenge, the unforgiveness. Take the broken heart and the broken spirit. Take the fractured mind and the bruised ego. Take what they said and what they did. Even take the part you played in your own self-inflicted painful drama. Take it all to Him. There is no greater Light than the Lord!
Stop allowing hurt to hang around in your closet! Packed it up and put it out! God Himself Called You Out of Darkness, So Why Are You Still Trying to Live There? Don’t you see that in spite of where you’ve been, what you’ve done and what was done to you, He yet calls you chosen; a royal priesthood; a consecrated nation; a special people; His own possession. As dark as you were, He still called you out of darkness!
He Called You OUT…So Why Are You Allowing Your Past to Keep You IN?! Despite the Mess, you have since received Mercy, so why not live in it?
Listen, you’ve been under that dark cloud long enough. You’ve been scared of those monsters in that dark closet long enough. Today is a new day, and one in which you need not give old days the opportunity to rob you of. Whatever happened, happened.
You can’t undo it; you can’t change it; you can’t go back and alter some of the details of it. But you can decide today, that I’m not going to give another moment to those monsters. My body, soul, spirit, heart, mind and emotions all deserve to live in light. I deserve peace, joy, laughter, unconditional love and complete healing and wholeness, and I’ve decided it will start today.
Now, sometimes that will require you to delete the photos, messages and contact information. It may require you to stop talking to that person, or going back to that place. Listen: You can’t ask God to bring you into the light while you bring darkness with you, still clutched tightly in your hands. You have to make the deliberate decision to let darkness go and leave it in the hands of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “…How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?...” (MSG) The answer, NO! So you cannot ask God to bring you out of darkness, when you refuse to let darkness go. Know today that you can’t take that darkness with you into a bright future!
Whatever your ‘monsters’ are, bring them out of your past closet of darkness and into your present prayer closet of light. You’ve dealt with enough torment, torture, self-doubt and self-pity. You’ve been under that dark cloud far too long. You’ve cried enough; been depressed and discouraged enough; you’ve been lonely, angry and bitter enough you’ve replayed their role in your drama enough; you’ve renewed the issues to your past publications of pain long enough. You’ve complained and talked about it enough.
Use this Winter to do some Spring cleaning in advance! Clean all that old junk out of your closet! All of it! The lies, the truth, the rumors, gossip, fornication, adultery, substance abuses, stealing, back-stabbing, rejection, abandonment...All Of It, Whatever Your IT Is! Stop allowing hurt to hang around in your closet! Pack it up and put it out!
Today, Bring Your Monsters From Your Past Closet to Your Prayer Closet and Meet God There! You'll Go in Dark, But You'll Come Out Light and Lighter!
Thursday, February 9, 2017
When Is The Last Time You Wept In The Presence Of The Lord? Seek Protection From The One Who Cannot Be Moved. Invite the Comforter to comfort you in your time of need! God is more patient with us than we are with ourselves. Heavenly Father, in these quiet moments of my day I love feeling Your love, talking to You and hearing Your answers. I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you. -John 11:22. As long as you can see just one beautiful thing, there's a reason to live, life is beauty. May Jesus always be the standard for truth in our life. Pursue more than just pleasure in life, the flesh will always want something and lead you down the wrong path. No matter how hard we try we cannot save ourselves but Jesus can!
Jesus wept over us; He wept over those that were lost, and even all His friends. It’s a part of who we are too; crying out for others. It was so very special, to kneel at His feet, as the woman did, and tell Him all about our shortcomings; confessing our human weaknesses, and then feeling the deep cleansing of His forgiveness. But, there is another part to this; just weeping in His presence; feeling the deep awesome presence of God. You see, the Holy Ghost, cannot settle on a child of God, without it having a visual affect; we have to respond in some way.
“Tears are a language, God understands.” I weep because of all He has done for me. It is my heart and soul, communicating with His.
When you embrace Jesus love you feel differently about yourself because you become someone new.
Your faith can unlock powers you didn't even know you had! An important part of becoming a mature Christian is learning to worry less and trust more. No one ever said it would be easy but God will equip you for the task. If your faith in God is strong and trusting then the first step to victory can be wonderful. If you're a believer, you have plenty of reasons to be joyful! Sometimes we have to be in the fiery furnace in order to reach just one person when we witness how good God is!
Jesus's Walk Was Hard But He Kept On... You Can Keep On Too!
God isn’t the source of all our problems; He is the source of all our answers! Through Christ and repentance I am forgiven! God answering our prayers when we are not living right would be like condoning our disobedience. The Lord should always be on our minds. Christ transforms human suffering - into something of value and service to God. When things are falling down around you... call Jesus... He will answer.
Thank You Lord, for loving me the way only You can do. Hold your head high knowing our Father has the best of everything for us! Have faith and hold on!! There is no safer place than to be in the center of God’s will and walking in His light. God sees us where we are as well as where we are going, trust Him to lead the way!
Father let me demonstrate my love for You by obeying Your commandments.
All experiences can become blessings if you let it. Lord, open my mind today so I may hear You. Lord, I need You in my life. Light my path in the way You would like me to go and I’ll go! Sometimes, we need to do more than just dance, sing and shout, sometimes we need to turn the music and monitors off and just weep in Your presence. Cry out in the presence of the most Holy and High God.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
What Blessings Are You Missing Out On because you’re Still In the Same Place?! What Blessings Are You Missing Out On Because You Didn’t Listen When God Spoke?! God’s Plan For Your Life Is Always Connected To A PLACE:
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the TURN” (Author Unknown)
During a famine God said to the prophet Elijah, “And the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Leave here and TURN east. Hide yourself by the river Cherith, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the river. And I have told the ravens to bring food to you there.” So he went and did what he was told by the Word of the Lord. He went and lived by the river Cherith, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening. And he drank from the river.” (1 Kings 17:2-6 NLV).
“You have traveled around this mountain long enough. Now TURN NORTH”; (Deuteronomy 2:3 TLB);
“The Lord said, “Ezekiel, son of man, TURN TOWARD THE SOUTH…” (Ezekiel 20:45-46 CEV);
From all 4 corners of the Earth (East, North, South, West), God’s people are charged and challenged to make a TURN! Likewise, it’s vital for your life and calling that you are always in the Right Place at the Right Time!
This week is a good time to take a look around at the people, places and things in your life, and see where you need to make a Beneficial TURN for yourself! Think about it: Elijah would’ve missed his provision in the East if he didn’t TURN; Israel would’ve missed the Promised Land if they didn’t TURN to the North; Ezekiel would’ve missed his ministry opportunity to deliver a prophetic word if he didn’t TURN to the South; and Moses would’ve missed the burning bush if he didn’t TURN to the West! What are you missing out on because you have yet to TURN in the direction God has commanded?!
Even Jesus “…HAD to go through Samaria…” (John 4:4 NIV). The Message Bible says it like this, “TO GET THERE, HE HAD TO PASS THROUGH SAMARIA…” (MSG). In order to get THERE, you have to leave HERE! And why did Jesus have to go through Samaria? To meet a woman who was destined to reach that city with the Gospel. Can you imagine, a whole city would’ve missed out on hearing the Good News of the Gospel, if Jesus didn’t go through Samaria?!
Believe it or not, but you being in the right place at the right time, is not just about you! There are some people who won’t receive what they need to until you get there! Some people won’t make a turn for the better until you’ve finally decided to make a turn from the worse! Some won’t get a turn, until you make a turn! And do you really want to be held responsible for a whole city missing God because you missed your turn?!
Now, will all of your turns feel good? Absolutely not! However, you can’t just go where you like, God honors you when you’re where HE wants you to be! “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey Him.” (1 Samuel 15:22 CEV). So whether you’re being sent to the North, South, East or West is irrelevant! What’s important is that you obey the direction of the Lord when He tells you it’s time to make a TURN!
God has promised to bless you, but sometimes He has to reposition you in order for you to receive His blessing! Just ask Peter. He went from I’ll live and die with you Jesus, to being warmed by strange fire, with strange people, and lying about his identity to Jesus. However, it’s never too late to make a TURN, because he’s later restored, repositioned and preaching redemption to thousands! Paul went from killing Christians to speaking life and resurrecting them! It’s amazing what just a little TURN in the right direction can accomplish! In other words, it’s not too late for you either! So, MAKE THE TURN…BEFORE YOU MISS YOUR TURN!
Think about this as well: It was when Ruth moved to Bethlehem that she met Boaz and married him; it was when Bartimaeus went to where Jesus was that he received his sight!
Make sure you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right thing! After all, to miss God, is just wrong!
In closing, can you imagine how Abraham’s story would’ve read had he missed his turn in Genesis 12:1? “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. Abram had to leave some people, places and things BEHIND HIM and FOR HIS OWN ADVANTAGE, TURNS IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION ALTOGETHER! And what was the blessing for his obedient turn? “If you do, I will cause you to become the father of a great nation; I will bless you and make your name famous, and you will be a blessing to many others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and the entire world will be blessed because of you.” (Genesis 12:2-3 TLB). And All Because He Refused to Miss His Turn By Missing His Turn! Verse 4, is the bonus, “SO ABRAM LEFT JUST AS GOD SAID…” (MSG).
And was this the only time Abram would have to make a TURN? Absolutely Not! He would eventually have to TURN away from Lot, who was originally granted permission by Abram to go with him! However, Once Again, Do to Making Another Timely TURN, God says to Abram: “After Lot separated from him, God said to Abram, “Open your eyes, look around. Look NORTH, SOUTH, EAST and WEST. Everything you see, the whole land spread out before you, I will give to you and your children forever. I’ll make your descendants like dust—counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. So—on your feet, GET MOVING! Walk through the country, its length and breadth; I’m giving it all to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17 MSG)
Abram Made a Timely Turn, and God Made Abram a Timeless Promise!
If You Don’t Want to Miss Yours As Well, Today, Determine to MAKE A TURN!
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
What A Mess That The House Of God Has Become. When Did Pollution Enter Our Praise And Repentance Exit Our Prayers?
Where do we start? That’s usually the first question that comes to mind. And if we would dare look at the Mount Mess that the House of God has become, we would have to ask ourselves that very same question. I mean, how did we allow so much of the world to get into our worship? What happened to our pure motives and intentions? What happened to living right, clean, godly and holy? What happened to sacred garments and sacred music? When did pollution enter our praise and repentance exit our prayers? When did it become acceptable to dress any kind of way, talk any kind of way, act any kind of way and live any kind of way? When did it become okay to curse, steal and lie in the House of God? When did we start justifying fornication and adultery as “strongholds and struggles”? When did pride, arrogance, conceit, comparisons and competition become the order of the day? When did slander, mockery, rumors, gossip, belittling, and backbiting get approved in the House? When did taking money out of the House become more important than sowing tithe and offering in it? Who gave the green light for the preachers to be posted and propped up on pedestals, with cushioned strategically placed seating? When did God become a visitor in His own House, while pomp and circumstance moved permanently in? When did the House of God become so filthy? And who will be the ones to clean it up?
Since we learn by repetition, let’s take a look at our text shall we? John 2:13-17, “When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants; “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when His disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for Your house consumes me.” (MSG)
Notice what Jesus first act is. It's not a miracle, it's not a healing, and it's not a sermon. It's an attack against what's being done in God's House!
Now, you and I are living in a world that morally resembles an un-cleaned garage – it’s a spiritual mess! But it's not the world that's supposed to have a clean standard, it's the church! So, when do we start cleaning, and where are we going to start cleaning?
Well, being that Jesus’ reaction was so extreme, might I suggest we Start By Cleaning Up Our Father’s House First? After all, that's where Jesus started! And according to the Word of God, that’s where it will always start!
Listen to 1 Peter 4:17, "For the time has come for judgment to BEGIN at THE HOUSE OF GOD…" (NKJV)
Now, I know there are a great deal we as believers can do to help to improve this world and make it a better place. But we can’t clean the outside of the cup and leave the inside dirty; nor can we clean up the world while the House of God is filthy! Our God has Set the Standard, and the Standard is Order!
1 Corinthians 14:33, “For…God is NOT a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and ORDER. AS [IS THE PRACTICE] IN ALL THE CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS (GOD’S PEOPLE)” (AMPC)
Haven’t we been holding on to this “form” long enough? Looking regal on the outside while rotting on the inside. Trying to build up the world while the House of God is demolished by our own hands. Propping up the world, while the Standards of the House of God fall down.
See, we've become amazingly casual about sin. Oh, we're against it, but we flirt with it and we see how close we can get to it. We read about it, we watch it being portrayed, we laugh about it, and we allow creeping compromise to erode what was once a much higher standard in our lives just a short time ago. But Jesus however, takes a whip to what should not be tolerated in His Father’s House, and guess what? Just as the physical building we go to, to attend church; WE are also the Temple of God! We are also His House! So while we’re cleaning up the building, let us not forget to also clean our temple too!
THE WHOLE WORKS. SO LET PEOPLE SEE GOD IN AND THROUGH YOUR BODY.” (MSG)
Sounds like we’ve got a lot of cleaning to do! The House of God (the building) and the Temple of God (us) both need some serious cleaning up and out!
The performance needs to be whipped out of the House of God and the perverseness needs to be whipped out of the Temple of God! Bad attitudes; poor communication; vengefulness; spitefulness; anger; deceit; bitterness; resentment and the like all need to be whipped out of the House of God! Bad decisions; ungodliness; addictions; habits; unhealthy thoughts; disrespectful speech; dishonoring conduct; wrongful emotions; unforgiveness; illicit sexual behavior all need to be whipped out of the Temple of God…Us!
The House of God needs to look like the House of God, and not one that Rents out Rooms to the World to live in!
Jesus didn’t tell them to just stop what they were doing, but listen: “…He told the dove merchants “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” They Were Put Out the House! And men, you need to be just as diligent about your Father’s House. Don’t let anyone come in the House of God and think they can do anything they please. Let them know as soon as they cross over the threshold, you can come as you are, but you can’t stay that way! Lift the standards in the House that compromise will not be tolerated; disrespect will not be tolerated; dressing any kind of way will not be tolerated; talking and acting and living any kind of way will not be tolerated.
Remember, He’s coming back for ONE Body, ONE House, ONE Church, and anything or anyone Unclean and Unholy Will Not Be in the Number!
It's time we get clean and stay clean! His Standard is Order; Therefore, Our Standard is Order! And Cleaning House Begins With His House! We Need to Clean From the INSIDE…Out!
Will you take on the responsibility for raising the standards in the House of God, and making sure that no one comes in to lower them? Will you be the one to set the example of proper leadership in the House (even if you don’t receive a title)? Will you be the one to call sin, sin? Will you be the one to address those who are out of order in the House? Will you be bold enough to confront, correct, and chastise? Will you be the Body of Christ that lends its Members to the Housework of Cleaning Up the House of God?
Let today be the day that we Clean House, and watch what happens when Order becomes the Order of the Day again!