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God Has No Gray Areas/ Part 2

April 17, 2012

There’s a lot of talk about God today.  It’s all over the place.  There is not a lot of talk about Jesus Christ.  It’s under His Name that every knee shall bow. 

 It wasn’t like that in the early Church. “…we preach Christ crucified…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (Paul in 1 Cor. 1:23b, 24)   Peter, after being baptized in the Holy Spirit, went out and preached about Jesus, his miracles, his death and resurrection.  He exhorted them to “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  The Lord added to their number day by day (Acts 2).

 The early church preached about Jesus, about the Kingdom of God.  People believed in Him and were baptized with water and then filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and became bold and evangelized.  God blessed them by adding to their number and multiplying them.  They became such a great power that Rome was afraid of them.

 The power is in Christ.  God has given to Him “all authority in heaven and on earth.”  He, Jesus, commissioned us to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them all that He (Jesus) commanded.  That is what the Apostles and their disciples did, with boldness and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

 Are we preaching Christ crucified?  Or some other gospel.

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GOD HAS NO GRAY AREAS/ Part 1

April 16, 2012

            “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.”  (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 3, verse 15)  The rest of the verse says “I could wish you were cold or hot.”  Verse 16 says “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”  Jesus, as the Risen Lord, the “Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last” spoke these words to John and asked him to write it down and send the letter to the churches.           

            Jesus asked if He would find faith on the earth when He returns.  Will He? 

            I’ve been reading the Gospels and the Book of Acts.  There is power, signs, and miracles following believers in the first century church.  Why have we pulled the plug?  These things were written, as Luke says in his Gospel (Luke 1:4) “that you many know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”  The certainty of what things?  Those things about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, the Lamb of God, God’s one and only Son who came not to condemn the world, but to save it. (John 3:17) 

            We have become complacent, lazy and “lukewarm”.  I speak for myself also.  Where is the fire that burned when Christ first make Himself known to us?  Where is the power?  Where are the signs?  Where are the miracles?  Where are the gifts of the Spirit which so freely flowed in the beginning, the gifts…yes, including speaking in tongues, which were not only flowing, but expected.  Where is the boldness?  

            We may or may not go to church.  We sit in a seat, listen and look at our watches, yawn, and then say like the Pharisee in Luke’s Gospel “Look at me, I am so righteous and obedient” and outside the world perishes for lack of knowledge.  (Hos. 4:6)

            We hold the keys to the Kingdom and will be held accountable.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  We have choice.  Who will we serve, God or Mammon?  His kingdom or Satan’s. 

            “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  (2 Chron. 7:14).  “Today if you hear my voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:15). 

            I pray for myself and you “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, that we may know what is the hope of His calling…”  (Ephesians 1:15-18a). 

            I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” when I stand before Him.

 

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Negligence

March 17, 2012

When God created Adam, He gave the entire planet to him and everything that is on it.  God created this world for man, for man to subdue it, to care for it and enjoy it.  When Adam fell, the Lease was turned over to Satan who continues to attempt to destroy everything on it and in it.

 When Jesus died and rose again, He bought back the planet and tore up the Lease.  He returned it to those who believe in Him and gave them all the authority that Adam had.  This time, the authority that was given to those who believe in Jesus is over a damaged and degraded world. 

 The power that is in us, however, is the power of the Holy Spirit…the power of God Himself.  We have authority over the earth, over Satan and his prior dominion, and the power given to us to accomplish the retaking of the land for we are more than conquerors through Christ.  We have been given the tools, the weapons, and the guidance of God to retake everything.  How?  By the authority in His Name, by prayer both in our minds and in the Spirit, by action in faith as we fight the war.  Just like Hezekiah, we dress for battle and enter the field trusting and believing God. 

 “I go to church,” some say.  “I pray,” some say.  “Those gifts were only for the Apostles,” some say.  Well, we can let this world speak for itself as to how powerful and correct those beliefs are.

 Father, I pray that our eyes may be opened, that our ears may hear, that we turn from our sins and earnestly seek your face, that we humble ourselves and pray so that you will hear from heaven and heal our land.  I pray that we be strengthened in our inner beings with power through your spirit and that we have the power to comprehend the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.  Give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know you more and to know the greatness of your power in us, according to the working of your great power and give us the boldness to carry it out in Jesus’ Name.

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THE GREAT FORGETTER!

March 15, 2012

            I was thinking, in the beginning in Jerusalem, after the Resurrection, when Peter and the other Apostles began preaching and teaching, many miraculous signs and wonders followed them. The people brought the sick and impaired to them and everyone was healed. I was thinking how marvelous it would have been had they been allowed to continue with full backing of the Jewish ruling class. What a different world it would now be. By now, there would be no sick, no lame, no blind, and no unbelievers. 

            Before Jesus left this planet, he told us that we would do the same things he did. He even told us we would do greater things. The apostles believed him and did those greater things. Somewhere down the line we forgot what Jesus said. We forgot that he empowered us, that the Holy Spirit has enabled us to heal the sick, raise the dead, and bind the broken hearted and proclaim the gospel. That was all he commanded us to do, except for his commandment to love God and love one another. It seems we’ve forgotten that too.

So much for the Great Commission.

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The Dance

February 7, 2012

During my prayer time this morning, I was overwhelmed by the sense of freedom I have in Christ. I saw myself dancing and floating and spinning and twirling in sheer joy and happiness with my Lord. I could have stayed there forever just basking in His presence, in gratitude and fullness of life. What a wonderful gift I have been given.

This gift is available to everyone! I can fly, dance, run, play and be safe in Him. I pray that I will have opportunity to let others know that this is for them too. Those who don’t know Jesus Christ cannot understand freedom in its purest sense. Those who have invited Him into their lives find themselves finally whole, finally filled, finally secure inside. We find that empty place in ourselves empty no longer. It is easy to enter into this permanent, eternal freedom…just ask Him to come into your life; He’ll take care of the rest. See you at the dance.

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Ephesians 1:2

October 19, 2011

            What a great way to start a letter, or a conversation, or a prayer for another person:  “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  We have a heavenly father; one who has called us, who wants to fellowship with us, who has adopted us into His family.  We have a Lord, a Savior, an intercessor who sits at the right hand of God the Father and is constantly aware of us and pleading our cause.  He understands us and loves us regardless of our failings.

             The grace brought us to Him, and it has resulted in the peace that passes understanding.  That unmerited favor bestowed upon us at the cost of Jesus’ very life and suffering has produced peace for us.

             Oh, we must remember that great gift, the wonder of it, that the One through whom the universe was created set aside everything, became mortal, so that we could live today in peace if we so choose, and then to live eternally with Him filled with His love.

            Oh yes, grace and peace, the precious gifts that the world cannot know outside of God, are ours.  Don’t take them for granted, but remember the wonder of it and walk in it today.

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Ephesians 1:1 CALLED

October 17, 2011

   Ephesians begins with Paul qualifying himself as an Apostle.  God chose him and he had a personal encounter with Jesus on the road toDamascus.  The other Apostles knew Jesus before he died, but Paul did not.  God had a special purpose for Paul and He has a special purpose for us.  We all have had our road to  Damascus. 

   The Message Bible states “by the divine will—the purpose and the choice of God”.  That goes for us too.  Jesus told us that no one can come to Him unless the Father calls him.  The Father called me and you.  Whether or not we respond to Him is on us. 

    There is a job for each of us to do.  We were called according to His purpose and set on a path to bring others into the kingdom.  We are given specific spiritual gifts to enable us to do the work set before us.  We were not saved to just go to heaven.

    Just as Paul was chosen to serve the risen Christ, so are we.  We are called “saints”, set apart ones.  We are called to be “faithful, loyal and steadfast” in Christ (Message Bible).

Nothing should be more important than our call and no purpose should be higher than God’s purpose for us.   If we keep the Kingdom first, all the rest is gravy.