Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stretching Our Faith in 2015

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.(Ephesians 3:14-21)
We need to set goals because they are statements of faith. However, if we as believers in Jesus Christ set goals based upon His Word and His will, we’re saying, that we believe that God wants us to do this or that and we are seeking to please Him by accomplishing the task. These kinds of goals or resolutions are not simply statements of faith, but they stretch our faith! The bigger our goals, the more our faith will be stretched. This pleases God! It causes others to take notice of His work in our lives as well.
Plans fail without good advice. But they succeed when there are many advisers. (Proverbs 15:22)
Let's not be traditional like many others and make resolutions that are forgotten by the second week of the New Year. Let's seek God and His Word for our lives and then allow Him to stretch our faith beyond our own belief in 2015! If we truly believe He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11) then let's live it out boldly.
To God be the glory . . . not us!!!!
Happy 2015 . . . Maranatha!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The "Other" CHRISTmas Story

As you deal with one another, you should think and act as Jesus did. In his very nature he was God. Jesus was equal with God. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of that fact. Instead, he made himself nothing. He did this by taking on the nature of a servant. He was made just like human beings. He appeared as a man. He was humble and obeyed God completely. He did this even though it led to his death. Even worse, he died on a cross! So God lifted him up to the highest place. God gave him the name that is above every name. When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship him. Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will kneel down to worship him. Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.(Philippians 2:5-11)
As we deal with family, friends, and even strangers this CHRISTmas Season, let's be reminded to act as Jesus did, as Paul writes to the Philippians above in the "other" CHRISTmas story. We all like to read from Luke or Matthew this time of year, but let's read this version from Philippians more closely. Jesus agreed to come to earth to save us . . . true. However, it was more that that! He left a perfect paradise in heaven to live among the vile, filthy, sin-filled world just so we could have an "eternal relationship" with Him one day. He offered Himself up to a viscious gang of Roman soldiers to take the beating of all eternity so that we could live in a peaceful relationship with Him for eternity!
So as thanks, we need to live is such a way that honors Him. Every word from our mouth . . . every thought from our minds . . . every action we take part in . . . should bring glory to the One who did so much for us to be with Him! Eveyone will acknowledge CHRIST as Lord one day, but we are obligated to do it here and now!
Our gift to the Savior . . . to the baby born to a virgin in Bethlehem . . . to the One who suffered so brutally for us to know Him? Our gift is our life!
The "other" CHRISTmas story is being written right now in and through us. What is it saying to the world?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Real Gift must be RECEIVED, OPENED, and ENJOYED! (Why I Write)

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong,and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:12-17)
The apostle John wrote so that we may believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and live with Him eternally. It was a two-part message; belief and a life honoring the Savior. You see,Christ did not leave heaven, come into this vile world, die a violent death and rise from the grave simply so would stay out of hell! One buys fire insurance for a house, not for a life!
Jesus went through it all so we may have a relationship with Him . . . an eternal relationship with Him!
John felt the need to explain why he was writing. I do as well. People often ask why I write nearly every day and share my thoughts. Some think I am doing it for attention. Others may believe it is for pity or support for ministry work. However, I do it because God has compelled me to do so. He has gifted me to share His Word and apply it. I have a burden for souls; lost souls, confused souls, souls which have been duped, young souls in particular!
Yet this is what CHRISTmas is all about! A gift is no good if it is left under the tree. It is useless if it is opened and then left in a closet or a toy box. No . . . a REAL GIFT is received with joy, opened with excitement, and then enjoyed day after day and year after year!
Jesus said it best when speaking to the Pharisees. He explained the difference between religion and relationship. Anyone can go through the motions of church. Anyone can look good on the surface and do the ritualistic Christian activities. However, a true follower of Jesus Christ will desire an intimate relationship with Him day after day and year after year. It will be cherished more than anything we have ever received!
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."(John 10:10)
Have you received Christ? Have you opened up to Him? Do you enjoy the relationship? Merry CHRISTmas . . . enjoy THE GIFT!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Have We Been Scrooged?

Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished.” (Luke 2:8-18)
Imagine the spirit among the shepherds when the heard the original “GOOD NEWS!” Today . . . right in your hometown . . .the Savior is born! The sky lit up like never before! The angels sang! The shepherds ran to tell everyone they knew! Wow, what excitement. The excitement of Christmas past…...... What does Christmas present look like? Hustle, bustle, rushing here and there, working overtime to pay for things we can’t afford, and being so tired and irritable by the end of the day that we don’t even realize it’s about our Savior.
Are we giving gifts just to give gifts, or to spread the love of Christ?
Love came down from heaven in the form of a baby and love returned to heaven as a victorious Savior and sacrifice for our sin! Love is returning from heaven one day as a conquering and roaring lion riding upon a white horse (Revelation 19:11). So why aren’t we excited? Why aren’t we singing? Why aren’t we seeing the light? Why aren’t we telling everyone we know?
The god of this world would have us believe that we live in a hopeless world. What a lie! I have hope!
Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”(1 Corinthians 13:7-8)
We must allow love to live through us today and into CHRISTmas future. The baby was born. The Savior completed His task on earth. The Spirit lives within every confessed believer.
Question is this: Is your CHRISTmas future assured? Is love secured? Do we rejoice with the angels and say “GLORY”…..or HAVE WE BEEN SCROOGED?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Give . . . All year 'Round . . . as God has Equipped Each of Us!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:8-11)
Every believer, each one of us has something to give. God the Holy Spirit has equipped each of us with at least one spiritual gift with which to serve. It's up to us to use it!
CHRISTmas is a wonderful time to serve others. It's a time to show appreciation for all others have done for us throughout the year. But we of the Body of Christ have the mandate to serve and to give year 'round!
The best way to honor our Lord and Savior is to use the gifts He has given to us. What is yours? Is it hospitality, teaching, empathy, administration, shepherding????? If we do nothing else this CHRISTmas we can share the gift of Jesus. Be sure to drop His name whenever we can. Sing of the baby born and the Savior to come. Share JOY with the world because the Lord has indeed come! Tell of the Silent Night, the Holy Night, but also the Day of the Lord that's on the way! Thank you for giving . . . Keep it up!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Seekers or Speculators . . . or just Spectators?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
Pastor Rick Warren says this about the "wise men": Among other lessons from the Wise Men, we learn to be seekers of the truth. Wise people aren’t happy with guesses or speculation. They want to know the truth about God, their past, and their future. The Wise Men asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews?” Speculators love to argue and discuss God, but they’re just guessing — because they don’t really want to know the truth. They only want to talk about him. On the other hand, God loves those who take the time to find the truth.
We also have another group concerning the King . . . SPECTATORS!
What group do we identify most closely with today? Are we diligently seeking God? Are we simply speculating, or guessing about Him and His truths? Are we hovering around as spectators on the perimeter looking in . . . being entertained by all this Christianese around us?
Wise men and women still seek the Savior. Some have found Him and worship Him as the philosophers and scientists of Jesus' day. Others are guessing. Still others applaud the show. Where are you in this real-life drama?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Perfect Opportunities

Fools say to themselves, “There is no God."They sin and commit evil deeds; of them does what is right. The LORD looks down from heaven at the human race,to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God."(Psalm 14:1-2)
Eleven months out of the year all we hear is “remove that Scripture from the wall”; “you are not allowed say that”; “no prayers allowed”; “your Bible can’t be on your desk”; “you can’t play that music out loud”; and other various comments. Most people sit idly by and graciously go along with the program, politically correct, squashing God and squashing His Word. But now it is December. People are celebrating the holidays, winter festivals, and sounds of the season! But wait…….
Are you hearing what people are singing? Better yet, are they hearing? The same people who want to remove prayer from the public and God from the dollar bill are singing “O Come O Come Immanuel” and “Joy to the World, the Savior’s Born”! The same co-workers who asked you to turn your Gospel music down are now singing, “Silent Night” and “Little Drummer Boy”. Are these merely cute songs of the season or an opening to be led to know Christ personally?
Oh, how foolish we can be, even as believers. We are missing such a great opportunity to share the Gospel, even if it’s in a song. What will happen? Will they turn off the CHRISTmas music? Will they take down the decorations? Will they ban gift–giving? So what if they do! We need to take advantage of every opportunity we have to share Christ before it too late. CHRISTmas has already come. Easter (Resurrection Day) has already come. JESUS is coming back to claim what is His, but we must claim Him to be our own first! Let’s not be foolish. People are being misled. However, wise men and wise women, boys and girls, still seek Him!
Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!” (Galatians 6:7 New Living Translation)
Let's take every opportunity to share CHRIST while we are able! DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Giving . . .

“A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NIrV)
As we celebrate the GIVING OF A SAVIOR by our gracious God, it calls to mind how we give at this season of CHRISTmas. Many give for that very reason…because God gave and we in turn are moved to give. Some give because they see a need and simply want to help. Others give out of obligation, guilt, or to repay a debt to society. There are some who give to get back in return. Some give for the mere reason of a year-end tax break. Giving as most of you know is much more than tax brackets and charitable deductions. Your charitable gifts to The Sparrows’ Nest Ministries make an important difference in the lives of children and families who are seeking answers. What we do at TSN is prayerfully attempt to provide those answers based on God’s truths, to bring healing and restoration. We’re simply instruments for the Holy Spirit to do a work, but we ask for your financial partnership to continue this work. Whether taxes are an issue for you or not, we’re looking for your partnership as this year comes to a close. I know most of align with the heart of God. Children are hurting. Families are disintegrating. God’s Word is disappearing from society. Children can’t pray in school. Politicians won’t mention Jesus’ name. People are suing to have every mention of God removed from eyesight and ear shot.
How will the hurting teen feel His love? How will a desperate parent receive His grace? How will a neighborhood see Light in such darkness? We’ll go…send us Lord.
In the past few months along with our teen group, we have visited a local farm, served the homeless in Baltimore, and attended a classical CHRISTmas play. Lord willing, in the coming weeks and months we have plans to attend a college weekend in Lynchburg, VA, offer etiquette training, and serve on a mission team. All this while focusing the teens on their relationship with Christ, their educational goals, and family responsibilities.
In the GIVING OF A SAVIOR, God gave all He could give. We pledge to do the same. Until God calls us home or shuts us down, we’ll do whatever we can for as long as we can. Will you pledge to help? Check out our web pages ( and read our story and view the pictures on the media events page. Then decide how much you can partner per month to keep God’s work thriving. I realized a while ago that I have nothing of my own. My prayer is that as we work, God will provide our needs. He will…He does. What about you?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Do YOU Believe?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Simple verse . . . everyone has heard it before. However, this time of year it must mean more! John was a simple writer . . . he stuck with a basic theme in his writing . . . believe and live. He in this oft-quoted but seldom lived out verse, we hear the basic message of CHRISTmas . . . God so loved us all! The question is posed to us as it was to Niciodemus (John 3:3). . .
Do You Believe?
It is a too-simple process: All one must do is believe? That's it? It does not cost me? Yes it does cost . . .LIVE it out! The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.(Isaiah 9:6-7)
Among all the hustle and bustle of CHRISTmas it remains simple. Is He our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Prince of Peace? Does He rule our lives? Do we live for justice and righteousness?
Do we believe?
This CHRISTmas, let's live out the love of the King and share His gift . . . of love!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Anybody feel the need for a REVIVAL?

I doubt if many will read this or even respond . . .
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25)
I have been struggling lately seeing and hearing so many (young and old)"believers" compromising the Word of God. It really hurts my heart! Many will absolutely argue that sin is not only accepted by God but that God is actually rejoicing over it! UGH!
Do they know what they are doing? Who has fooled them into believing the lies? How can someone "exchange the truth" for so many absolutely false (and STUPID) philosophies and opinions?
No, I am not perfect! Yes, I sin . . . way too much in fact! But I do believe that God's Word is STILL His Word and we cannot say it is not! It is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of Almighty God! C'mon man . . . So why do I stay on this subject? Why is it such a burden? Listen to Paul . . .
Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.(2 Corinthians 11:11-16)
As I asked before: Anybody feel the need for a REVIVAL? Let's go!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't Expect People to Understand!

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory . . . In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8,11-16)
Dr. Charles Stanley says the following: "Many people say they believe in God yet may not have a correct understanding of Him because their perceptions are based on their own thoughts and ideas. It's easier to custom-design a god to fit our preferences than to make the required adjustments that worship of the one true God demands."
We all must be careful not to fit God into our circumstances. We cannot hand pick Scripture to fit our needs. We must consider the "whole counsel of God"!(Acts 20:26-31) God's love, forgiveness, and His commandments are ALL still true. Nothing has changed. Grace is grace and sin is sin!
Many have been and are being deceived. Be on the lookout! The enemy is prowling!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Perhaps we may change a life . . .

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. (The Lord’s Answer) Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
This s such an awesome message for us today! WHY?, you might ask? It is a simple conversation with God! Habakkuk says he will wait to hear from God and then he does! Then he simply writes down what God said not just for himself, but for anyone to read and hear. It's journaling . . . something we all should be doing in our journey with God!
This is how we received the bible! People prayed, pleaded and talked with God. They listened intently and searched out for God's reply. When they heard, they wrote it down!
Who knows what may happen when we purposely seek after God and His direction? Perhaps we may change a life . . . perhaps we may change the world!
Seek God. Listen for His reply. Write it down. Live it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

So Much to Discern . . . So Much Confusion . . . Trust Truth!

But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. . . Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:10-12,16-17)
"Why is the sky blue?" "Why do flowers bloom in summer?" "If kids grow up , do old people grow down?"
These are just some of the questions kids ask parents as they grow and mature. One thing is true, they trust the answers they receive . . . at least for a while anyway until they have more . . .
Today there are so many questions . . . so much for us to discern as believers. Many, even from our pulpits, are making claims that in no way can be of God, yet folks are contemplating belief.
God has not changed. His Word will remain for eternity. Jesus is the ever-living Word! Trust Truth! You will be blessed for persevering under all the trials!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Still . . . Be Patient . . . WAIT!

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart . . . Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.(Psalm 37:3-4,7)
Over and over again I am hearing the message . . . "WAIT!" Are you too a bit confused by all that is going on? Are you a bit frazzled by the reactions of people, or even the non-reaction of people? I must admit that I have been asking God this question lately:
"When are we all going to get it?"
Even this morning I receive the message: "WAIT!" Wait upon the Lord. Be of good courage. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Just as I was with Moses and the others, I will be with you . . .
God is good. He is able. He is in control! Trust in Him . . . His timing . . .WE MUST!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A TIME to Pray?

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:5-8)
Many today, like in Jesus' day, believe prayer is some sort of public production or planned out and scripted recitation. While there is a place for public prayer and corporate prayer, it is NEVER for the applause of men. It is ALWAYS a form of worship to our great and awesome God! Many times we simply try to fit God into our daily routine; as we drive, as we eat, as we take a work break, etc. However, we need that planned time simply to spend with God! Prayer is a personal, intimate communication with our Creator. While we can now boldly come before God's throne of grace, we still come humbly and respectfully. It needs to be a place of quiet and stillness so we can not only pour out our hearts to God, but we can also hear Him pour out His heart to us! Communication requires speaking and listening, and as James reminds us, we are to listen more than we speak . . . even when it comes to prayer.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry . . . (James 1:19)
Let's ask ourselves these simple questions: • How much of your day is spent in silence? • What do you need to help your family understand so that they can support you in and not distract from your quiet time? • What effect will your consistent quiet time have not only on you but on those around you?
Is God NOT important enough to have some special moments of our day?

Friday, December 5, 2014

So Is It From God?

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God . . . (1 John 4:1-3)
Those who work for the U.S. Mint know what an original bill looks like. They do not need to see a counterfiet! They study the authentic bill to know it througuh and through. When a counterfeit bill is presented, they notice it not the authentic copy. This is how we must be with God's Word. Believers need to study the Word of God and know where to go to prove what they hear is correct. We simply cannot believe anything we hear just because it sounds good.
So is it from God? We must know the original!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

An Appetitie for Jesus?

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12)
Can't wait for the CHRISTmas Holydays? Neither can I! Tasty treats . . . succulent pies . . . fresh from the oven goodies! Nothing like one of the old family recipes filling up the home with a scent of years past . . .
But are we seeking to be filled just as much with our Lord as we are with the delicious cakes, cookies, and pies from Grandma's house? Do we have such an appetite for Jesus?
The psalmist writes;
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)
He is good. Once we have tatse His goodnes, we should NEVER leave the table! Unlike Grandma's cooking, this stuff is good for us!
Eat up CHRIST-FOLLOWERS! No leftovers please . . . There is planty more of Jesus to go around!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Surrender!

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:15-20)
Simple challenge today . . . I surrender to Christ! I cannot do it alone!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

True Identity

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. . . God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.(1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
What actually is a Christ-follower? Who is a CHRISTian? What or Whom defines us?
Many Christians are experiencing an identity crisis. They know they’re saved, but they don’t really know what to think about themselves. Let’s take a little test. Do you consider yourself a sinner saved by grace or a saint who occasionally sins? Both statements are true, but the first one dwells on your past identity, whereas the second focuses on the Lord’s perception of you(Dr. Charles Stanley).
Way too many believers excuse sin. We take it too lightly. God hates sin. We too should learn to hate it. It keeps us from a closer relationship with our Father. It keeps us from experiencing all He has for us. It keeps us from knowing Him more deeply.
If His grace is sufficient, then why do we not use it more often? God, help us to hate sin and flee from it! help us to live out our true identity in You!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Simple Instructions for The CHRISTmas Season and Beyond

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:19-27)
Simple instruction for believers as we enter into the CHRISTmas Season . . . if He is the REASON, it makes sense that we live out His guidelines!
Listen more than we speak; Keep a check on anger; Clean up the filth and dirt, don't just decorate around it; live out the Word of God . . . don't fake it!
"Religion" in God's perspective requires transparancy and real action, not just window decorations and fancy accesories.
Live out CHRIST if we truly know Him!

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...