Monday, February 28, 2011

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign . . . .

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.(Mark 16:17-18)

They will know we are Christians by our _______________________.

How do others know we are Christians? It should be by the things we do, the things we say, and the way we generally conduct ourselves. There should be signs! People should recognize a peculiarity about us. We should not run like the pack. We should not be doing as others do. We should be unique to the culture . . .different from the rest . . . .extra-ordinary if you will.

It is not really about snakes and demons. it is everyday life. The believer should not be afraid to stand for their beliefs. A Christian should not back down from an intelligent argument. A son or daughter of the Living God should be bold and confident in Whom they believe and who they are!

What signs do others see in us?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bad to the Bone?

"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Here in this passage, the apostle Paul shares a quote from the Greek writer Menander when he writes, “bad company corrupts good morals”. This is the first quotation from Greek literature recorded in the New Testament. The concept, however, was not a new one. In fact, we see the same caution being offered over 1,400 years earlier by Joshua.

Joshua 23, reflects the words of an aging, courageous leader who challenges the Israelites to faithfully complete the task at hand of removing the nations from their land, the good land the Lord had given them. In the meantime, they are to be careful not to align with these unbelieving nations, intermarry with them, or worship their false gods.

Many times young folks try to explain to me that they can change a person; they can be the one to lead them to the Lord or improve their relationsgip with Him. What they see is a cute guy or attractive girl that they perceive as good catch, but they are not spiritually where they need to be.

We are warned in Scripture:"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." (2 Corinthians 6:14). Partnerships, especially marriage, must be among believers.I have rarely seen a believer strengthened by a relationship with one who does not know the Lord. Sadly, many tmes the believer is led down a spiraling path away from intamacy with God.

Evil is bad to the bone . . . to the core, and it rots to the heart. We need to guard our hearts. Leave spiritual things to the Holy Spirit, especially in close personal relationships. Listen to wise counsel and not simply what you want to hear. God's word (and mother's advice) is always best!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.(Isaiah 54:14)

These are challenging times: bank failures, automobile industries bailed out by the government, trillions of dollars in National debt, unemployment . . . people live in fear. People are terrified for their future and their children's future.

Yet those who put their trust in the Lord have their feet on solid ground! Knowing and doing the will of God, especially in lean times brings a peace that goes beyond human understanding (Philippians 4:7)Yes, even Christians face these hardships, some more, some less. But through it all, God has a plan for every one of His children to succeed (Jeremiah 29:11). No weapon, whether physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional that is formed against God's child shall prosper in the end.(Isaiah 54:17)Final victory lies with Christ!

As Daniel learned in the lions' den (Daniel 6:16-23), we must stay focused on the Lord, not the circumstances surrounding us!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm a Nobody . . . but for Christ

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.(John 14:12-14)

It blows my mind that Jesus said that I (we) can do even greater things than He did! Then I get to thinking: He only had the Old Testament, the things He would do (whether people believed or not, thinking he was an evil spirit), and His followers (who doubted themselves at times). Until He rose from the dead . . . .

But since His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God the Father, Jesus now has left behind evidence , eyewitnesses, and prophecies fulfilled and still coming to fruition today! We also have the written Word (Old and New Testament) in just about every language . . . even comic books!

We can now reach more people than the original believers by way of internet,cell phone, and printed publication. We have proven testimony of everyone since Christ and even our very own testimony . . . the most effective witnessing tool!

So I take the challenge seriously and strive to be just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, about somebody who can save anybody (William's Bros.,Blessed, 2005).

How many can we lead to Christ with what we have? Will we take this challenge seriously?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hypocritical Lives

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

I often wonder why believers are looked upon with such disdain and disgust. Yes, the world hates God and the things of God. Yes, evil is rampant and the world is getting worse awaiting Christ's return. But I wonder how often my attitude causes the unbelievr to turn from God rather than to God!

Many times I may come across as holier than though . . . perfect and without sin. What a hypocrite! I am the worse sinner! God saved me from so much much and mire . . . disgusting stuff . . . I do not deserve to live, yet I act so righteous at times!

May God teach me and others in the Body to be more humble . . . reaching out to the sinner as someone reached out to me (us). The only reason I live is because of the blood of Jesus and the grace of God toward me! God is faithful to forgive me and anyone else who calls upon His name! I am nothing without Christ!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.(James 1:19-20)

Why do I have two ears Lord and only one mouth? The better to hear with my son!

As I have gotten older and I hope wiser, I have learned to listen more before I speak. More times than not, I gain wisdom from the one speaking. If I need to speak at all, it's better to wait for the proper timing: it keeps my foot out of my mouth!My pastor reminds us often that God has given us a cage (our teeth) around our tongue, just in case our lips cannot keep closed.

Speak wisdom today . . . and if you have to, use words!!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Whole Truth

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.(2 Timothy 3:16)

This is the basis of our belief: if the Word of God is not true, than we cannot believe what God says! All of it is true . . . no lies, no fairy tales! What God says about Himself and this world is the TRUTH!

We have to be careful of compromise and the dummying-down of the Gospel message. It is what it is and folks need to know there is no other TRUTH . . . only one!Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:1-8).

Live out HIS truths today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways,so that sinners will turn back to you. (Psalm 51:12-13)

The blood removes sin;
the blood re-assigns guilt;
the blood renews the Spiriti within;
the blood restores life!

Times like this cause me to go back to the time I first believed. Every once in a while we need a removal, a refreshing, or perhaps a reversing of our ways. As I have been observing life in general, among young and old believers, I sense a lack of urgency! Is it just me?

Take me back Lord . . . to that intamacy with you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19)

Jesus had just been questioned by the Jewish leaders and now asked His followers: "Who do people say the Son of man is?" Peter asnwered, "You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God!"

This is the key to the Kingdom of heaven:Jesus Christ is Messiah . . . Emmanuel . . . Savior . . . . Redeemer . . . He IS God!

Faith in Christ is the only way to the Father.he alone can forgive sin and grant everlasting life. This is the incarnate One, God in the flesh, the gift of God to redeem all mankind . . . if we repent and believe! (Acts 2:38)

Do you believe?

Friday, February 11, 2011

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)

This is a COMMAND: we must sacrifice for one another, put aside our will for the good of others, and as CHRIST did, make our own desires secondary. if we truly love the Lord, we will live sacrificail lives and trust God with our needs.

It is NOT an option to put others first . . . it is a command. What a BODY the Church would be if we as individuals would live in such a way!

Have a sacrificial day . . . obedience . . . living life as a sacrifice unto the Lord, is our minimal offering to HIM!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Been a While . . .

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Prov 3:11-12 (NIV))

As I have been busy with ministry, completing my Master's Program at Liberty University, and now teaching at our church school for a year and a half, I was here at school and was moved to "post".

Over the past two years, I must admit God has had His hand upon my life and my family. His discipline, His rebuke, and His rewards have been needed! As I have worked closely with the youth however, I am saddened to see it's the parents who need the Father's discipline mor than the chidren need their parents' rebuke and guidance! Many of our youth suffer from lack of parental guidance at home and the needed example of what real Christianity is. Many times as I have counseled a student only to find his or her parents allow the activity or simply have no idea what the child is doing!

Parents, take time to be with your children: play video games with them (kid games, not adult mayure games!); watch cartoons, play ball, play board games, help with homework, pray with yoru family! Time is wasting away and our next generation is seeking a model to follow.

How will we answer God when He inquires of our parental involvement? Are we to blame for this generation's failures????

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...