Posts Tagged ‘God’

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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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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.

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Ephesians 1:1,2 CALLED FOR HIS PURPOSE

October 1, 2011

            Today I begin reading Ephesians on my journey with my Lord.  He first took me through 1st and 2nd Timothy, then Romans and now we begin to unwrap the treasures in Ephesians.  I am excited to find out what the Holy Spirit has in store for me.

            The book begins with Paul qualifying himself.  He says that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.  God’s word proves itself.  We can look back through the book of Acts to see Paul’s story.  It is unique, but then so is mine and so is yours.  The emphasis in this book is to the church, to the “saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus”.  We are the saints.  It begins with a blessing of grace and peace to us from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

            The first thing that jumped out to me was “by the will of God”.  We have all been chosen by the will of God   (John 6:44).  We have all been called for His purpose (Romans 8:28).

            Paul was called to be an Apostle.  His calling came after Jesus rose from the dead.  So did mine.  God placed him in is position.  God placed me in my position.  He spent time learning from those who had already been called; however his ministry began immediately. (Acts 9: 19:20).

            Look at your life.  What are you doing?  Looking for purpose?  You already have one.  God chose you, enabled you, and equipped you to do certain things.  What are you good at; what is your passion?  Those things are not a mistake or just a part of your personality.  It is your calling.   Do it unto the Lord, do it well, learn to do it better from those in Christ who have gone before you.  Submit your ways to God and let him lead you down His path, ask him to open your eyes just like He did for Paul.  God bless.

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Romans 15:1 TRUE LEADERSHIP

September 15, 2011

  Yesterday, I had to go and meet someone who had gotten lost on her way to my home in order to show her the way.  As I drove ahead of her, I kept the space between my car and hers measured so that she could stay behind me.  She was driving slowly and I would have to slow down to maintain the distance.  We were on our way when I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how to lead.” 

   In today’s verse, we are told that “We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak. — We ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others — and not to please ourselves.” (Amplified).

   Yesterday, we were told in the end of Romans 14 that although we are no longer under the law, we must be careful that our freedom does not cause another person to sin and we were reminded that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

   So, the Lord showed me how I am supposed to lead:  by gauging the needs of the one being taught, and accommodating my guidance to their level.   I cannot teach a six year old the same thing I could share with a 20 year old.  It works the same in the Kingdom.  Jesus spent three years with his disciples, He lived with them, taught them, showed them, loved them and He knew who they were inside and out. 

   I must take the time to discern what the failings, frailties or tender scruples are in the person God has entrusted me to help.  I must take care not to be puffed up or pompous when I share with them.  I must take the time to know them and love them and only then can I be an effective leader.  In all of that, I must rely upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and take care to hear Him instead of me. 

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Owe No One Anything Except to Love One Another

August 11, 2011

Romans 13:8 & 10

             Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor fulfills the law…love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

             In looking up what it means to “owe” the cross references refer both to debts and to collateral, to holding a security deposit.  I think here that Paul is not referring to a monetary debt, rather a spiritual or moral debt.  We are not to hold back from doing something good for one another.  When we love someone, we will withhold nothing from them.  We will go out of our way to please them, to help them, even to the setting aside of our own personal needs at times.

             I believe that we are not to let an opportunity to show our love to one another slip by.  God considers that a debt.  The Catholic Church calls it a “sin of omission”.

             I pray that my eyes may be opened to see what my brothers and sisters need and, if it is possible, that I might provide for that need.  Many in the church are hurting or in need of help.  If we would help one another the way we are taught by the Word, this present world situation would be of no consequence to believers.