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|Posted on 4 April, 2016 at 22:43||comments (1)|
|Posted on 11 March, 2016 at 15:53||comments (0)|
A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”
A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”
A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”
All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”
“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.
”How often has the Lord sent us the answers we needed, but because it did not come in the way we expected it to come, we missed it? We think God isn’t answering our prayers, when the problem isn’t God, but our ability to discern and accept what He has for us. To receive what the Lord has, may require us to step out of our preconceived ideals, fears, and do what we have never done before. The opportunity of a lifetime begins with letting go. Let go of your past sins, let go of that relationship, let go of the pain, This may be your divine appointment, divine connection or an opportunity to help you transition into your God given destiny.
Luke 19:1-3 says, “1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature."
These three verses tell us a lot about Zacchaeus. Most people names are not mentioned in the gospels, but his was. He was a real person who lived a life that most people judged and hated him for. Zacchaeus collected taxes for the Roman government from his own people. That in and of it self isn’t wrong someone had to collect the taxes—it was just a job. We have tax and bill collectors today; we simply avoid them or hang the phone up on them. But, you couldn’t do that in Rome, you either paid what was owed or asked, or go to jail. There was no payment plan, no debt consolation, or bankruptcy.
However, if we read further he was rich and chief among the publicans. Zacchaeus was rich because he most likely taxed the people more than he should have and kept a portion for himself. He was chief publicans, and rich at other people’s expense.
Zacchaeus was little in stature, and may have been ridiculed and the brunt of most childhood pranks or jokes. He at this point in his life didn’t care what they thought of him. He was rich and admired by friends who were thieves and rejected by the multitudes— just like him.
One day an opportunity arose that would change Zacchaeus life forever. This was a divine opportunity for something better. Scripture says he sought to see who Jesus was. Perhaps Zacchaeus heard of the miracles of healings that Jesus did, or the feeding the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Could he have heard Jesus say to others, go and sin no more? Maybe he too could be forgiven and healed. If only he could get a closer look at Jesus he just might be given an opportunity to change, not just his lifestyle, but his heart. Healed of a lifetime of pain, rejection, and ridicule from his own people.
Christians today are wounded and rejected just like Zacchaeus was. Jesus is more than our Savior, He is also our Healer, Deliverer, Restorer, and so much more. Sadly, many stop at the Son of God, who took our sins on the cross, paid the price for our redemption. We stare at the empty cross, and fail to see the Resurrected Christ who has fulfilled all things, and has become all things to us. Surely Zacchaeus must of heard that Jesus was a great teacher, a mighty prophet, a miracle worker, could Jesus be the Messiah? The only way to find out who Jesus was is to get a closer look at Him. This has not changed; we must still seek Him, to know Him...To be continued
|Posted on 4 February, 2016 at 11:46||comments (0)|
Mohammed Ali, Sunny Liston, Sugar Ray Lenard were all name synonymous to boxing champions in a different era. I used to watch and cheer them on in the comfort of my home.
A boxing match consisted of twelve rounds that last three minutes. The break was only one minute long. To the one loosing three minutes in the ring must seem like an eternity. The fans would cheer for their favorite boxer even if he were loosing the match. The lively crowd would instruct the boxer what he should do and yell words of encouragement at the battered boxer. The upper cuts and blow to his body was much more forceful then any words being spoken from the crowd or the boxer’s manager during the one minute break. The fans weren’t in the ring, they weren’t receiving the painful blows, but they all knew what he should do to win from the protective sidelines.The one minute break, to tend the cuts, hydrate, and instruct them wasn’t long enough break if they are loosing the fight. Why do they continue? What make a battered and bloody boxer get up and continue to fight? They do it for the prize, the championship belt, and the title.
The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We too are in a battle for a bigger prize, that we would be found in Christ and finish our course. Like the boxer we sometimes find ourselves feeling the onslaught of the battle. It appears we are loosing and barely can hold on. The blows of disappointment, and upper cuts of trials seem to wear down and weaken our faith.
Our well meaning Christian friends try to encourage us with scriptures verses like “You are the head, and not the tail; above and not beneath;..” (Deut. 28:13). Also “You can do all things through Christ which strengthened you.” Philippians 4:13 Then they solidify the charge with the words, “I’m praying for you,” as they practically throw you back into the lion’s den. Unfortunately they are doing what they have been taught. We as pastors, and teachers have taught them the fundamentals of fighting without teaching them how to win.
I remember as a child watching the Mickey Mouse Club. At the end of the program they would sing to their special guest “Here’s your hat, here's your ears, you're an honorary Mouseketeer.” We have done that with Christians saying here’s your shield, here’s your helmet, and your sword, you are a Christian. Now fight! (Ephesians 6:15-18)
I want you to understand we are not alone in our fears and struggles. Let’s look at a few people from the bible and know how they felt in the midst of a battle. What did these men of God have in common?
David Psalm 142:4-6 4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Jeremiah 20:14, 18 “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.”18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
Elijah 1 King 19:1-4 “1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”
Paul 2 Timothy 4:16-18 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;..."
What did these men have in common? It appears that they all were discouraged,
Merriam-Webster defines disappointment, discouragement and wearyness as;
Disappointment: someone or something that fails to satisfy hopes or expectations. Another words when what we expect to happen doesn’t happen then we become disappointed.
Discouragement: A feeling of having lost hope or confidence. When we continue to be disappointed we lose hope and become discouraged.
Wearyness: lacking strength, energy, or freshness because of a need for rest. Another words you have no strength left to endure, you are tired of the same thing without the desired results.
These men where past being disappoint and discourage, they were all weary in well doing. Many in the body of Christ have become weary in well doing. This is why Apostle Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9
These men had something else in common. They all over came their situation because They had learned to lean. David said it best when he said, in Ps.143: 6 “ I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah”
Unfortunately we have placed our emphasis on how to fight, but we have not taught God’s people how to rest in the midst of the storm…to be continued.
|Posted on 11 January, 2016 at 16:31||comments (0)|
|Posted on 29 December, 2015 at 20:40||comments (0)|
|Posted on 3 November, 2015 at 12:47||comments (1)|
|Posted on 24 September, 2015 at 10:38||comments (0)|
Jesus revealed to Nicodemus what man must do in order to see or plainly put, enter the kingdom of God. Eventually Nicodemus did believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and why Jesus, not sacrificial animal offerings was the only way to redeem mankind.
John 3:1-3 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus himself said, “Except a man (woman) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Mankind cannot enter heaven on religious traditions or good deeds.
Nicodemus was a good man, a leader in the Jewish religious sector, a Pharisee. He kept the traditions of the Jewish people. Yet, Jesus told Nicodemus you must be born again or you will not see the Kingdom of God.
Why is it so important to be born again or saved? Why, because the other alternative is hell and damnation.
I am reminded of a story of a farmer who was told by an old evangelist that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, left His kingdom in heaven and came to earth as a man to save humanity from eternal damnation. The farmer could not understand the reason why the Son of God, would have to be born of a virgin, become a man, and die for our sins on a cross that we might be saved. Why was this the only way to save humanity?
One day the farmer noticed a storm brewing, so he hurried to put his animals in a secure barn. When the farmer attempted to rally the ducks into the barn they scattered in different directions. The sky now filled with a foreboding darkness, the hollowing wind picked up indiscriminative objects scattering them in different directions. The farmer frantically yelled to his ducks to follow him. Couldn’t they see the danger, didn’t they understand he was there to save them from ultimate destruction. He knew he had to do something, but what? He yelled at them, running frantically toward them, as they seem to quacked in unison “Go away.” The ducks escapes the farmer futile attempts and pleas to following him to a place of safety from the emanate danger. As the farmer wondered what to do, it hit him, he remembered what an old evangelist had told him, about the Son of God.
The only way he could reach these ducks, and save them, was to become one of them, and show them the way. He stooped down almost in a fetal position, flapping his arms, and quacking like a duck, as he headed for the barn. The ducks quickly followed suit, and were saved.
Jesus had to be born of the flesh, so we could be born again of the spirit. He had to come in the form of man, take our sins upon himself at the cross, to show man the way back to our Heavenly Father and away from eternal damnation, because of sin.
Sin, is like the perfect storm, reaping havoc wherever it is, destroying lives, and souls. Like the duck we think we are ok, when we really are headed in the wrong direction.
Isaiah 53: 5-6 says “5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”Sin separates us from God. Although God is a loving and merciful God, he is also a Righteous and Holy God. He has made provisions for us to be reconciled back to him since the fall of man (Adam) through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
John 1:10-13 “10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
”Isaiah 53:1 “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” What does it mean to believe?
I like the way the Amplified version expounds of the word BELIEVE; for it clearly puts the word believe in a clearer perspective. To believe means to adhere to, trust and rely on Jesus and the word of God.
Amplified says “12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—“
To believe means to put into practice what the word of God says. It is one thing to hear the word, and another to obey it.
A person born again has been Born Again of the spirit. Christians are those who have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, they have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as Savior, and Lord.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
”John 14:6 6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
No other religions speak of a need to be set free from our sins. They only speak of doing good deeds to feel good about our selves. These so call religions or cults offer no solution for sin, just restitution, while our sins are magnified and out of control in our lives. The bible speaks of a Divine God, who created man and women in His image, and placed them in paradise. In a perfect environment Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, and sinned. Now we who live in an imperfect environment can choose to live righteous because of Jesus Christ.
Satan and hell is not a symbol, both are real. We can believe it doesn’t exist but that doesn’t make it so.
Isaiah 5:14 says, “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” Hell is not a symbol, but a real place of torment and punishment for the Devil, and all those who choose to follow him, instead of following Jesus Christ.Do you want to gamble with your soul and hope I’m wrong? Death is not the end, for your spirit lives for eternity, either in heaven or hell according to the choice you make. Eternity is too long to make the wrong choice.
If you want to receive the gift of eternal life and be set free from the bondages of sin, fear and torment then pray:
Heavenly Father I acknowledge my sins before you. I believe your son Jesus Christ paid the full price on the cross for all of my sins. I ask you to forgive me of my sins, cleanse, and deliver me from all my iniquities and strongholds. I ask Jesus Christ to come to my heart and life. I acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I ask to receive the Holy Spirit who will equip and teach me the word of God, and lead me in the path of righteousness. I ask this in the Name Of Jesus Christ.
|Posted on 31 May, 2015 at 18:44||comments (0)|
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God. 34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
Peter began to sink because he took his eyes off of the Lord. Matthew 14:30 says, “That when he saw the wind boisterous he began to sink, he was afraid;” Every time I took my eyes off the Lord and focus on the storms raging in my life I found myself begin to sink into a pit of discouragement, and fear. Discourage because my prayers seem to fall on death ears, and fearful that God wouldn’t come through. The more I focus on the storm the more discourage I became. The sense of helplessness does bring fear.
I was loosing faith in God’s word, as the enemy seemed to scream into my thoughts, “God doesn’t care, you are not right with God.” The biggest question was with everything already falling apart in my life, what was I afraid of? I believe I was afraid of losing control, although I wasn’t in control in the first place, God was. Like Peter we are not alone in the storm, Jesus walks with us in the midst of the storm. It was Jesus, not Peter that supernaturally enabled him and divinely helps us to walk through a storm.
The other friends or companions in that boat, could only speak words of encouragement to Peter, but not one of Peter’s friend threw him a rope or a helpful hand. Some may have been fearful and all seemed incapable of helping Peter in this waging storm. Some of these men were fishermen like Peter and was familiar on how to respond during a storm. However, Peter friends like ours may have our best interest at heart, but telling us what we should do, giving direction or advise, is futile when you are going through a storm in your life, only God can guide us through the storm. Even Peter’s ability to tread water and swim couldn’t help him, no more than our abilities can help us in the storm. Then what does help? Faith!
Remember Peter asked to come to Jesus in verse twenty-eight. Whenever we ask to come to Jesus, to draw near Him, to walk in supernatural faith there will always be opposition. Opposition is an opportunity to receive a blessing and an increase our faith.Peter cried out saying, “Lord save me.” When Jesus saw him frantically attempting to save himself, Jesus did nothing. But, as soon as Peter realize he couldn’t save himself, no more than we can, Peter said, “Lord save me” (Matt. 14:30).
In Matt: 14:31 the scripture says immediately Jesus stretched forth his hands, and caught him. It wasn’t until Peter asked, that Jesus responded. Jesus said to Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Storms come to keep us from getting to where God wants us to be. We can give up, and turn back to the things of the world, we can be angry with God, or we can walk to Jesus in the midst of the storm, trusting His word and keeping our eyes on him, knowing that this storm shall cease, and our faith shall be increase.
What was waiting for them on the other side of the storm? A great opportunity to minister to them that was diseased and afflicted. In the place God has for you after the storm is a place of restoration and healing.
|Posted on 14 May, 2015 at 9:58||comments (0)|
|Posted on 18 February, 2015 at 19:53||comments (0)|