Follow by Email

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

If You're A Fisherman, You're Apparently Jesus' Kind Of Person. Fish Aren’t Cleaned Until They’re Caught First! Remember: You Catch, Let God Clean!



Luke 5:10, “And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon (Peter). And Jesus said to Simon, Have no fear; from now on you will be CATCHING MEN!” (AMPC)

If You're A Fisherman, You're Apparently Jesus' Kind Of Person. Four of the twelve disciples He called were fishermen by trade. When He summoned them to His service, He said, "…Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men" (Mark 1:17 AMP). He told Simon Peter, "…Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men." (Luke 5:10 NKJV).

So the business of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus Christ apparently has some things in common with fishing. For example, you don't try to attract the fish with what you're interested in, but what they're interested in. For example, I like pop corn. I don't like worms. But if I put pop corn on my hook, I'm going home with an empty bucket. I've got to offer what will be interesting to the fish that I'm trying to attract and catch. And so it is in reaching people for Jesus Christ.

Think about it, if all you offer is religious bait, coming to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject in a religious place, you probably won't attract many of the lost men who need Christ so desperately. But if you’re talking about needs they care about in a place where they feel comfortable, in words they can understand, you have a far better chance of getting them within hearing distance of the Gospel.

Now, there's another very important fishing principle we need to keep in mind as we present Jesus to the people around us. It's a principle it seems many believers have never thought about. And here it is: Fish Aren’t Cleaned Until They’re Caught First!

See, far too many times, lost people feel judged by us rather than loved by us, because we're attacking the things they do. And they do those things because they're lost, and instead we should be leading them to the One who will take them from lost to found! This is hard to do because we’re too busy trying to get them in “proper church attire”; trying to change their habits; their mindset; their speech. Before they get in the church good, we have 5 auxiliaries to put them on; and want to cram tithes and offerings down their throat. Now, let’s be real, how would you feel about a group of people telling you Jesus loves you, now all you have to do is give Him 10% of the paycheck you worked hard to earn, and the one that barely covers your bills as it is? As church folks, we have a tendency of going too far, too soon!

Think about this: No fishermen goes to the water, sticks his hand in the water, snatches out a fish, cleans it, cooks it and eats it. There is a process to fishing, and one of the greatest parts to that process is waiting! It doesn’t happen in an instant. And most people aren’t going to just pour into the church like a floodgate has opened either.  A fisherman knows that he can sit out there for hours and catch absolutely nothing; or just one or two. If only we could learn to be that patient with catching people!

And more importantly, it’s vital that you remember: You catch them, and then Jesus cleans them!

Take a brief walk with me through Luke 19 beginning with verse 5. The whole town is shocked when Jesus says to Zacchaeus, of all people - the town crook, "I must stay at your house today." As stunned as anyone, the Bible says Zacchaeus "welcomed him gladly. The people started muttering, 'He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'" But after meeting Jesus and experiencing His unconditional love, Zacchaeus can't stand his sin anymore. He announces he's going to make right the dishonest wrongs he has done, "If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus announced, "Today salvation has come to this house."

Zacchaeus got clean, but he got caught first! The problem with the lost people you know is not their profanity or their dishonesty or their immorality – truth of the matter, they're lost and they're living like it! Their real problem is they need a Savior! Yes, they must repent, but that's part of being rescued by Jesus from their sin! Don't make their lifestyle the issue. Make Jesus the issue.
See people of God; simple is best! One righteous man (Jesus) went to an unrighteous man (Zacchaeus) and his life was made the better because of being in the company of a man who didn’t judge him, didn’t try to change him, didn’t bring up his past, his mistakes, his failures, his sins, his habits. No, you simply had one short, unrighteous man that went to great lengths to see Jesus. Jesus looked up, saw him, and talked to him (not about him). The man (Jesus) let the man (Zacchaeus) know I’m your uninvited guest today, and Zacchaeus is delighted to have Him.

Now, I must note this, as soon as the righteous starts talking to the unrighteous, the so-called righteous start gossiping! Luke 19:7, “And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner.” (AMP) Now, you would think the “church folks” would be happy to see someone unrighteous come into contact with someone righteous. And not to simply visit a church service, but to receive salvation! You would think this was a good thing! Sad as it is to say, you will experience some of the very same behavior. But remember, you have to catch them, before He can clean them. So, if that means going to their house, instead of the House of Worship, just to have a conversation that may bring about salvation, it's worth it, don’t you think?

And even if it is done in the midst of muttering church folks!
Well, in spite of those who should have been spreading the gospel, and not the gossip, neither Jesus nor Zacchaeus pays them any attention, nor verbally responds to them! Take note: There will be some folks who don’t think you should be around such people, even if you are trying to win them to Christ. But don’t you get distracted, you have the right bait available and over the process of time, they will be caught by you, and cleaned by Him, and the naysayers can do nothing about it! After all, is the soul about them, or Him?
Remember Paul’s words:

"You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 MSG).
If you want the same results, follow the same regime: Keep it simple, meet them on their terms, use the right bait, and once they’ve been caught, let Jesus clean them (after all, if you had the power to clean them, you would’ve been able to clean you years ago!)

But just as you needed someone to reach out to you, and you needed time to come to Him, and more time to let Him clean you after you were caught, give your sisters and brothers the same courtesy. Don’t get caught up in protocols, programs, and positions. There simply needs to be one brother telling another brother how they can become family. Don’t complicate the matter with rules, regulations, laws, do’s and don’t. Do your part, and let God do His. You catch, let Him clean!

Psalm 51:10, “CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.” (AMPC)

Now, in all of that WASHING; CLEANSING; and PURIFYING, did you note that the One who was doing it was: “...GOD…”! Not, “James, Edward, Jeffrey, Joseph, John, Mark or Derrick”! Nor was it, “Apostle, Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Evangelist, Minister, Deacon, Missionary, Brother or Sister”! NO, It Was, “…GOD…”! Because that’s the Only One Who Can Clean!

It is simple directives, you catch, and He cleans! And as soon as we stop playing God and stay in character with the only role we were cast in, the sooner we can fill the pews.

Don’t let any more people be left out floating aimlessly in this world, when you have the bait to catch them, and you have the means of getting them to your God so He can clean them! Don’t complicate such a simple process by attempting to be grand. The goal is to make sure your Name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life, not your Accomplishments or Head Count!

Remember: You Catch, Let God Clean!


J.P. Olson

Tonight is our Tuesday Bible Study. If you missed last Tuesday, then you have time to catch this woman of God on fire with the word of God. Pastor Jackie Trought. I tell you we were taught, inspired and rejuvenated. She will be back again tonight. People are busy working or other responsibilities that prevent them from attending Bible Study. We are now bringing our Bible Study into your home or while you are on the road you can join us in learning more of the Word of God taught by some of our best Bible teachers throughout the U.S. Our Bible Study Teacher this Tuesday is  Pastor Jackie Trought. You are welcome to join in our Bible Study each Tuesday. Hours: (CST) 7:00 PM- 8:00 PM. From your cell phone you can call the new free toll number 1-302-202-1106, access conference code, 738510 for U.S. & Canada. Calling from your land line the number is 1-800-780-8834, access code is 206-5245. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

So, Why Are You Doubting? Why Are You Fearful? Why Are You Not Moving Forward? Why Are You Not Trying It? Why Are You Scared? Why Are You Not Taking The Risk?


Numbers 13:30, “Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land – now. We can do it.” (MSG)

So, what rewards are you missing out on in life, because you’re too afraid to take the risk?  

Truth is, anything worth having is worth the risk to get! And yes, that risk will include putting you in situations that can be dangerous (after all, you may fall on your face in front of everybody); the risk can cause injury and harm (especially to your ego, conceit, arrogance, high-mindedness and pride); something unpleasant can happen (you can forget the words, freeze up, stutter, faint, be talked about, gossiped about); you may even encounter loss (especially of the security you had in your comfy, comfort zone); it may be hazardous (because you just may find out that those in your circle were the very ones keeping you boxed in); you may even come across a pitfall (which is defined as ‘a hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty; a covered pit for use as a trap.’ Yep, the very ones who give you the opportunity may actually be setting you up for a great, unsuspected fall); you may actually experience threats (especially if you happen to become better than the others who just knew you’d try, fail and give up…but you didn’t! And so you will have to deal with the oppression that comes with every opportunity.); and lastly, you will have some trouble (after all, did you really think you’d achieve something great without it?) Yes, my friend, you will have to risk it to get it, but once you do, you’ll realize it was worth it!

Remember this: You Can’t Get What You Don’t Go After! And when what you’re going after is Big, you’ll always be tempted to let Small stumbles stop you dead in your tracks! Don’t You Dare Let Them!

You press forward no matter what! Even if the risk means you have to change your circle of friends; you have to try something new or do something different. It’s worth the risk to get all God has for you and to become all that God has called you to be!

Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a career, a ministry, a church, a business, you will encounter risk before reward! This is what we learn from in our lesson today.

In Numbers 13, the conquest was not a mountain; it was the taking of the Promised Land that God Himself had promised. And if you take a moment to think about that alone, you’ll realize just how ridiculous we can be when it comes to taking a risk. God Himself promised them the Promised Land! So, how could they allow risk to scare them from what God promised them?

“God is not a man; he will not lie. God is not a human being; his decisions will not change. If he says he will do something, then he will do it. If he makes a promise, then he will do what he promised.” (ERV);

Now, how could anyone with this level of Character and Integrity be doubted? How can anyone who serves this God, be fearful enough to forfeit a fruit-full future that was guaranteed to be theirs?

But can we be honest? Are we really any different? That job would have been ours, if we didn’t talk ourselves out of going for it. Didn’t think we were qualified (and sometimes we weren’t, however, if God says go for it, not even that should stop you)! Who knows the house you would already own if you weren’t so sure that your credit score alone was the guarantee deal breaker. God doesn’t need your credit score to get you to the goal! Who knows what you’d be driving if only you would have trusted God. Who knows who you would be married to, if you only trusted God, heard and heeded His voice, instead of the internal clock in your head telling you to grab Bubba over there because at 30 he’s the best shot you’ve got left. Who knows the grants and scholarships that passed you by because you didn’t think you had what it took for them to come your way. Who knows how well that business would be doing today if only you would have trusted God with the blueprints instead of handing them over to your fears to redesign? Who knows where the church or ministry would be if only you would have believed God when the battle raged instead of retreating and running away.

People of God please commit this to memory: God doesn’t make promises He can’t keep! So if He said it’s yours, it’s yours! And that holds true no matter what you see, what you hear, or what they say or what they look like! God keeps His promises; He keeps His Word; He fulfills it and makes it come true, So, Why Are You Doubting? Why Are You Stagnant? Why Are You Fearful? Why Are You Not Moving Forward? Why Are You Not Trying It? Why Are You Scared? Why Are You Not Taking The Risk?

Listen: They were guaranteed the promise of the Promised Land! There was a problem: It was currently inhabited by fierce people who, of course, didn't plan to hand it over. And whether or not they would ever experience all God had for them depended on whether or not they would trust Him enough to take some big risks. Now whether or not you experience all God has for you may depend on that same thing.

So, are you willing to trust God with what He promised you even if you’ll have to take some big risks in the process? Are you willing to risk being talked about, walked away from, and laughed at? Are you willing to risk having to endure the uncommon, the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable? Are you willing to take the risk that small minds will attempt to shake your confidence and faith in achieving the big dreams that God said can and will become your reality? Are you willing to risk having to go alone? Are you willing to risk going without the full insight to how God is going to make this thing happen? Are you willing to take the risk to go to the bank, to walk into the dealership, to meet with the loan officer, to apply to the school, to show up for the interview, to write the book, to buy that property or that land? Are you willing to take the risk of being mocked and misunderstood? Are you willing to take the risk of looking misplaced for the moment? Are you willing to take the risk?

Twelve scouts had explored the land of Canaan, and they reported back on the fabulous beauty and bounty they found there. But ten of those scouts chose to focus on the risks, and two on the Lord who had promised them this land. It boiled down to an exchange like this, recorded in Numbers 13, beginning with verse 27, "This was their report: “We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country—a land ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ Here is some fruit we have brought as proof. But the people living there are powerful, and their cities are fortified and very large; and what’s more, we saw Anakim giants there!  The Amalekites live in the south, while in the hill country there are the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites; down along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and in the Jordan River Valley are the Canaanites.” But Caleb reassured the people as they stood before Moses. “Let us go up at once and possess it,” he said, “for we are well able to conquer it!” “Not against people as strong as they are!” the other spies said. “They would crush us!” So the majority report of the spies was negative: “The land is full of warriors, the people are powerfully built, and we saw some of the Anakim there, descendants of the ancient race of giants. We felt like grasshoppers before them, they were so tall!” (TLB)

Keep in mind, anytime you’re about to make a positive change, someone will come with a negative report. The choice is yours to believe it, or believe God. My suggestion? Believe God!

When God sends His Word on Assignment it has no other option but to Fulfill it! Therefore, you have nothing and no one to worry about when God gives you a Promise! Not the naysayers, not the negative report, not the disapproving stares, or the discouraging words. Nothing can stop what God starts!

J.P. Olson

The Devil Has A Word He Doesn't Want To Hear Used, And It’s "JESUS", Because The Power Of That Name Will Destroy All His Plans! That’s Why He Works So Hard To Muzzle Your Mouth.

Acts 4:15-17, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (MSG)
We're reading about a confrontation between the early apostles and the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling group of that day. Here's what they said to the apostles, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (Acts 4:15-17 MSG)
Well, believe it or not: The devil has a word he doesn't want to hear used, and it’s "JESUS", Because The Power of That Name Will Destroy All his Plans! So, for over two thousand years, the devil has tried to make the name of Jesus the issue; the dividing point. It was over two thousand years ago when the Sanhedrin said, "You can talk about God, you can talk about religion, you can do anything, just don't mention that Name!”
And sadly enough, that’s still the issue today, isn't it? Truth is, people don't mind if you talk about religion, or even God, or the Bible, or morality, or family values, or your church, but don't mention the Name Jesus.
All too often we fall right into the devil's trap to censor the name of Jesus in our conversation. We don't want to be offensive; we don't want to turn anyone off. And there's this little voice that says, "Well, just talk about God. You know, most everybody would accept that." So we talk about God in our lives, but we avoid the name of Jesus.
Christian musicians will write songs that talk vaguely about Him with a capitol H, but too often they avoid the Name Jesus, so their music can cross over to the secular world. We no longer sing Gospel music about salvation, the blood, the cross, the resurrection, and the Name of Jesus. No, today the church has become quite “inspirational.” If you listen to the music, the prayers or even the lessons and sermons, it’s hard to know exactly who the church is talking, teaching, preaching about, or praying to!
Even Christian leaders try to avoid conflict by watering down the Name: “In His name we pray.
But Acts 4:11-12 says, "This JESUS is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP). The power is in the Name of JESUS! The devil knows the power in that Name that’s why he works so hard to muzzle your mouth!  Don’t let him do it!
The Scripture tells us, “…FOR GOD HAS PROVIDED THE WORLD NO ALTERNATIVE FOR SALVATION…” That word “alternative” is defined as “of one or more things available as another possibility; expressing a choice; offering of options; something that can be chosen instead of something else. But, when it concerns salvation, there is nothing else available, no other possibility, no other choice or option, and absolutely nothing and no one else you can use instead of, ONLY THE NAME OF JESUS!
So, how can we possibly be silent about the Only Name that brings Salvation, the Name OF JESUS!
Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in CHRIST AS SAVIOR], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (AMP)
People of God this is where your boldness kicks into high gear! You have nothing to be ashamed of when talking about the Name of JESUS CHRIST! It is your (and everyone else’s) only means of Salvation from eternal death, damnation and hell! So, don’t murmur it, don’t whisper it, and don’t utilize politically correct names for it. His Name is JESUS!
I’ve even been with people while witnessing during outreach and listening to them talk about Jesus, without mentioning His Name! How is that even possible? You have to say the Name, because there is no other Name whereby they can be saved, except the Name JESUS!
How can you as a believer possibility be ashamed to say the Name JESUS?!
After all, it is by the Name JESUS where you received salvation, healing, wholeness, peace, joy, unconditional love, restoration, renewal, revival, forgiveness…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!
It is the Name JESUS that kept your marriage together; that brought your children back to their senses; that saved your household; that healed your mother; that delivered your father; that got you that job; that carried you through school…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!
But you see that's the 2,000-year-old editor from hell saying, "Edit out Jesus. How dare you mention that Name." But how did Peter and John feel about that? Let’s see:
Acts 4:18-20, “They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. AS FOR US, THERE’S NO QUESTION—WE CAN’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT WHAT WE’VE SEEN AND HEARD.” (MSG)
And truthfully, neither can you! I mean as you look back over the course of your life, and see what JESUS has brought you through can you honestly be quiet about the Name of Jesus?! Think about it: The addictions; the habits; the bad friendships, relationships, marriages; choices; consequences; health challenges; family troubles; financial disasters; loss of employment; repetitive failures…can you look at all of that and be quiet about the Name of Jesus?
After all you’ve seen what JESUS did for you and your loved ones, after all the praise reports you’ve heard about what He’s done for others, can you really remain quiet about the Name of JESUS?!
Now Peter and John were facing some seriously life or death decisions in mentioning or not mentioning the Name of JESUS. After all, listen to the Bible: 
“…The religious leaders renewed their threats…”
So, their attackers weren’t about to let up on this. They came back at them and renewed their threats. They were going to do whatever it took to silence these boys, however, let’s read some more…
“…but then they released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.”
Listen, what you do and what you don’t do, affects more than just you. The people were standing around, they also saw and heard what Peter and John had seen, heard and done. And likewise, people are watching you, listening to you and imitating you. Do you really want to set the example of being a coward for Christ?
Husband and wives are watching and listening; your sons and daughters are watching and listening; your ministries and churches are watching and listening; your schools, jobs, businesses and communities are watching and listening. And if that’s not enough, the unsaved and even the devil is watching and listening! Don’t Destroy Your Witness By Playing Games With the Name of JESUS!
Don’t play games with the Name of Jesus, even the devil knows that Name and knows His Followers! The real ones at that! Don’t let the devil embarrass you! Make sure your name comes up on his radar when the Name of Jesus is mentioned! Let the devil know, you know the Name and aren’t afraid to use it either! Don’t let him muzzle your mouth by mumbling some “in His name”, prayer. No, open your mouth and declare “IN JESUS NAME!”
John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask IN MY NAME [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything IN MY NAME [as My representative], I will do it.” (AMP)
With a promise like that, how can you possibly be silent about the Name of JESUS?!
Now, in closing, you would think after dealing with all of that, Peter and John might rethink this whole mentioning the Name of Jesus thing, but nope that wasn’t the case at all! Listen to the remainder of the chapter:
“As soon as Peter and John were let go, they went to their friends and told them what the high priests and religious leaders had said. Hearing the report, they lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony in prayer: “Strong God, you made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit you spoke through the mouth of your servant and our father, David: Why the big noise nations? Why the mean plots and peoples? Earth’s leaders push for position, Potentates meet for summit talks, The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers! “For in fact they did meet—Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against Your holy Son JESUS, the One You made Messiah, to carry out the plans You long ago set in motion. “And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give Your servants fearless confidence in preaching Your Message, as You stretch out Your hand to us in healing and miracles and wonders done in the name of Your holy servant JESUS.” While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master JESUS, and grace was on all of them. And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need. Joseph, called by the apostles “Barnabas” (which means “Son of Comfort”), a Levite born in Cyprus, sold a field that he owned, brought the money, and made an offering of it to the apostles.” (vss. 23-37 MSG)
Isn’t it amazing what God does through His servants that aren’t afraid to publicly serve Him?!
Not only did Peter and John continue to preach in the Name of Jesus, but they were all endowed with power from the Holy Ghost, the other believers joined them in prayer, praise and worship and the furtherance of the Message of Jesus Christ! Even the church grew and there wasn’t a selfish bone in the Body of Christ, for they all met the needs of the entire church!
Two men decided to stand by the Name of Jesus, and to mention it out loud! The results was they were blessed, and all the people, and all the church.
Peter and John are passed away. However, you are still here! Will you dare to continue their discipleship work and say and share the Name of JESUS?! Or, will you let the devil have the final say as he muzzles your mouth?
In the end, the choice is yours!