One blessing at a time


Is this how you approach God or do you really want the flow to pour into your life? Many of us say that we want His blessings to flow into our lives but then we put conditions on the flow. We begin telling God exactly what we want and how we want it and when we want it, but have you ever noticed that God doesn’t answer prayers like that? God knows what you need and when you need it. Notice the difference in those two sentences.

In one sentence we are telling God what WE want and when and how we want it, but God knows what we need and He knows when to bless us with it and how much of a blessing to give because He knows exactly how we will use it and for what!

We multitask in our daily lives and we want Him to do His work in our lives the same way. For example, do you notice that many of us are trying to do many things every day and even though we think we are “multitasking” we actually get very little done? Unless…we concentrate on one thing at a time. Such as wash the towels, get them started in the washer, then move on to the dishes and hopefully finish them by the time the towels are done, then get the towels in the dryer, etc. Each task which we begin as just one task and them move on to the next gets done.

But when you are trying to call someone and get put on hold while you are washing the dishes and needing to wash the towels and the clothes, then very little will get done until at least one of those tasks is complete. Many of us try to do too much in our lives when God has told us exactly how to live and how to complete your tasks in this life easily. Focus on the Kingdom of God and His righteousness every day, learning from His Word and His Wisdom, then those other “things” will fall in place behind the most important One of all, Jesus.

Even when we know this, we tend to impose our ideas or our thoughts about how God is supposed to work in our lives. Don’t we? When we pray about a problem or about something which we want Him to do or accomplish in our lives, we impose our ideas and our wants on God and in the prayer that we are praying. God does not work on your specific ways of thinking because our ideas tend to limit God’s power and His miracle. God does answer prayer in His way and on His time and with His blessing for you even though His answer may not line up with your ideas about how He was supposed to do it!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”.  Matthew 6:33

GodGaveusEverythingBegin each day by reading His Word, maybe a chapter or so, then pray about what you have read and ask Him to help you incorporate His Wisdom into your day. Then your day will follow Him instead of the other way around. Always begin a decision or a day with Jesus, no matter what the day may bring and when God comes first in your day and in your life then your other priorities will be in their proper order.

May the Lord bless you…


Numbers 6: 22-27

22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. 27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

This is the blessing which God commanded Moses to give to Aaron which he spoke to Israel as a blessing from God. Since we are adopted into God’s family through the blood of Jesus, we can also claim this blessing as we go about our lives following the Lord and serving Him in our daily living.

God will be with us and bless us as we do those things which are pleasing to Him but if we turn away from Him and go our own way do things in our own strength and our counsel then God will not bless those things which we are doing. He is a loving God but He is also jealous of our service and our devotion to Him. Which is why Christians are put to the test when we think we are doing what is right for Him but it is only right because we are doing it in our strength and not under His direction.

God loves each of us and He will test us and try our faith in Him to prove it and make it stronger. We will not be killed or hurt in this, but we may go through trials and pain because of our walking the path without Him. Being obedient to Jesus and to His teachings, just as His disciples and followers were, is a requirement which has not changed and because He hasn’t changed our obedience to Him should not change either. Although there are times when we think we are hearing His voice when it is a demon or Satan speaking in our mind and convincing us that it is from the Lord. Our enemy is very subtle and crafty and he has had time to perfect his ways to fool even those who know the Lord and His voice.

We must try these words which come to us and make sure that they are from our Lord before we act upon them. A word from the Lord can come to us in a time of meditation on His Word but even then we should test it to make sure of its meaning and where it comes from. Making sure of the words and their meaning and whether they actually come from God’s Word as well. This is the only way to prove them before we act upon them and carry them to others by writing or by proclamation (preaching).

God wants to bless us for our obedience and our loyalty to Him but we must be careful to test any leading that we have and make sure that it is from God and doesn’t contradict His Word or even may be similar to His Word but is changed just enough to make it of none effect.

Truth or Lies


How many times have you looked at a picture of a woman or a girl with lust in your heart or your mind? In our world today with the Internet making pornography so easy to obtain and keep as a “hidden sin” there are many more who fall into this practice than most people would think. The really sad fact is that most of those who do fall “victim” to engaging in watching pornography on the web or looking at pictures from these sites are supposed to be leaders in our churches. Youth ministers and Lead pastors of churches which keep their habits on personal laptops and hopefully not on the church computer.

Why do I bring this up? Because I read an article about it in the AFA Journal that I get each month. It is a very disturbing statistic and it actually funds sex trafficking in a big way as well. This type of sin, which is exactly what it is, is known in the Bible as fornication. This word in the Bible encompasses just a glance, to a touch or anything beyond that but the Bible makes it clear that “fornicators will not inherit eternal life”. The Bible uses the words “sexually immoral” in place of fornicators but it means the same thing.

We are supposed to be better than this! Jesus didn’t call you into any ministry to fall victim to Satan’s temptations to sin! But…in the news, we hear of pastors committing adultery and bishops molesting children. Why aren’t we taking our calling from God more seriously? What has happened to our being a dedicated disciple of Jesus and a servant of God? These are good questions and they deserve answers but I don’t have any answers. God’s Word gives us the answers and it tells us to run from even the idea of these sins, yet there are still people in the church who are being caught in these sins and casting a dark stain on the church as a whole.

Prayer is needed because the statistics are staggering in their implications of how many may be involved in these practices. Much prayer is needed in the church as a whole, not just one denomination but the entire body of the church, the Body of Christ here to serve those who believe. Pastors, ministers, and teachers in the church are supposed to be dedicated to their service to God and to those who look to them for guidance.  We are not supposed to exploit anyone, regardless of their age, sex, or in any way which could be looked at as predatory in its nature. If there is anyone who is doing this in any way, they should be prayed for and confronted about it and at the very least try to get them some professional help!

This type of sin is easy to fall into but, if it continues long enough, it is very hard to get out of. Without therapy and professional help and much prayer, I don’t think that anyone could get out of it. It would take a person to be convicted spiritually and personally to know that their sin had been noticed and it needs to be expunged from their lives. I pray that anyone who reads this might use any of these suggestions to either get help or provide help to someone who really needs this.

Thank you for your attention and may God bless the outcome of any good that might come from this. Amen

Frustration


What frustrates you? It actually sounds like a question of your pet peeves and it could be. Does frustration cause you to get upset or angry, some days my frustration meter is set very low. Then there are other days when I can get a lot done and frustration never even enters the picture at all.

So, why am I concentrating on this emotion of frustration? Well, it could be that there are many more people in our everyday lives who are frustrated and either they don’t recognize it or they just refer to it another way like “I’m pissed off!!!!”.

It manifests itself as many things do in our lives. By hiding or disguising itself as something else. But, why am I bringing this up on this site? Because Jesus was frustrated too. It frustrated Him to find the priests and the scribes who knew the Scriptures intimately and yet they didn’t recognize Him. They didn’t pay attention to the signs which pointed to His birth or that He knew so much about Scripture when He was only 12 years old. They were amazed by His knowledge but they never investigated the particulars of His birth or His family.

They weren’t looking for a Messiah from a family who wasn’t connected or wealthy, so even if they heard and saw the signs they just ignored them. Don’t you think He would’ve been frustrated about this? I do. This is probably why He ran the money changers and those selling animals out of the Temple, not only were they using God’s house as a market but they were doing it without honoring God in reverence.

Frustration can be the spark which lights the fire of anger and then anger turns to rage which can lead to some very nasty consequences today. Even deadly ones if you can’t get control of it. But…what can we do about it? That’s where this gets tricky. Most of us just ignore our frustrations or at least try to, but sometimes the feelings which are brought to the surface with them don’t go away so easily.

That is why we need to keep our minds and our hearts focused on Jesus and His Word. I know this is asking a lot since most of us have a lot on our plates with work and bills and family and school and….the list could go on and on. My point is this: focus on Jesus and your relationship with Him first every day, then much of what comes up during the day both of you can handle it together!

I am not saying that this will end our anger and frustration issues immediately, but having Jesus and His Word present in your daily life every day will give you strength and mostly His strength to get through whatever comes. Whether it is good or bad, it won’t matter because you are walking with Jesus through your day with its trouble and with its triumphs as well.

Do this for a week and see how your week progressed, then do it again and again until walking through life’s ups and downs with Jesus will be second nature and the downs will be fewer than the ups I imagine. Give it a try. I have tried my best to do this ever since I was called to be a preacher, some days I succeed and some I don’t. But it has gotten easier and in the last seven years, it gets easier every day. I don’t mean that I can perfectly do this every day, all the time but I do work at it and I am getting better at it. But…it is a job. As Jesus said: “Then Jesus said His to disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Where is your treasure?


Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Have you ever wondered exactly what you are doing in this life or why you are doing it? Many people seem to be attempting to buy anything and everything that they can afford as if they truly believe the saying “he who dies with the mostest wins the prize”. How do you figure that? When you die your children will inherit what you had and if there are no children then those “things” which you bought with your money will be sold or given to someone else.

Why do we use up our lives chasing after things which can’t possibly give us any fulfillment or joy in this life, other than bragging rights…maybe? The problem with this kind of living is that when your life is over, what will people say or think about you and who you were? Will they remember you as someone who tried to help those who were in need? Will they remember you as a businessman or woman who chased after as much wealth as you could possibly attain?

RaiseyourstandardofGivingHave you ever considered the eternal consequences of your life? What will your life be worth in eternity? Did your wealth, regardless of the amount, do any spiritual good in this world? Was it used for the spreading of God’s Word and His message to those who didn’t know Him?

All of these questions should be answered while you are still living so that you can try to make good use of the time that you have left until you enter into eternity. The larger question and the one which will make the most difference to you is: Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? God placed each of us here for the sole purpose of truly getting to know Him and being useful to Him in this life. Regardless of the amount of money or influence you may have in your business or in your life and the lives around you.

Everyone seems to wonder, what is my purpose or the meaning in my life, and we think about it almost from the time that they are old enough to know what a purpose is. The reality of the question is this: your life’s meaning and purpose are to be found in Jesus and serving Him and His purpose in your life. Anything which is outside of that is fluff and nonsense. Although I am sure that many will wonder exactly how am I supposed to pay my bills or save up for retirement by doing that? To that I would say lay up treasure in Heaven with what you do with your money here and now. Pay your bills but IF there is anything left put it in God’s Hands and in His Kingdom!

God did not say that we had to be preachers or evangelists. We are to use the gifts and talents which we have been given to serve the Lord in our lives and in our business, whatever it may be. God mentions many different craftsmen in the Old Testament from woodworkers and carvers to engravers and those who can make jewelry out of gold as well as shepherds and kings and priests.

Your life and mine can be useful to God in many ways and it doesn’t matter what your vocation may be. If you are a nurse then be the best one that you can be and use your talents to serve God while you are at it. If you are a police person, do that as if you were working for the Lord. Whatever occupation you are in, do it as if you were working for Jesus and make sure that your tithes go to charities which actually help people. If you can’t find a charity which does this in your town, then start one which will!

Pray about it, seek God’s wisdom for whatever you are considering and if you feel Him leading you in that direction with your money and your time then go for it! Saturate your charity or foundation with prayer and fasting if you have to but make sure that it is doing work which Jesus would be proud of. If your business isn’t one which He would be happy with then invest your profits in something which will honor God and His Kingdom.

We are sinners saved by His Grace!


Not one of us is any more than a sinner who has been saved by Jesus and His Grace from God the Father! Whether you are a bishop or a pastor with a doctorate in theology or you are a pastor who is ordained to preach but has no degree, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Even if you are a member of the church and have been studying the Bible for many years, God truly has a plan for your life!

When you feel the Spirit speaking to your spirit and telling you that you need to be saved, don’t turn away from Him. There is nothing that you can do in any way to “help” God to bring you to salvation except by believing in Jesus for your salvation! It is God’s gift to you through faith in Jesus for your salvation.

Every Christian is a sinner saved by God’s grace through Jesus our Savior. But there are some who think that because they are blessed with much in the way of worldly blessings, that God has favored them more than others. It is possible that God has given you these blessings but are you using them for His glory or your own? Some of us have managed to be blessed with some wealth and other “blessings” which may have come to you before you were known or touched by God. Then when you become a Christian what are you supposed to do with your wealth? Use it for the increase of God’s kingdom.

In today’s world, giving your wealth away is a sign of charity toward others, but I still wonder exactly who is being exalted when you do this? Are you giving the glory to God or is it being focused on you? We are loved by God and we should try to reflect His love back into the world in whatever we do regardless of how much you might give or what you may do with your life!

When you pray to God and maybe use the model prayer which Jesus gave us, does the first line mean anything to you inside or are they just words?

“Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name”

The word “Father” is Abba in Aramaic. As stated from Dictionary.com, “Abba” is the defining term for father in the Aramaic language, spoken by Jesus and Paul as an intimate term to characterize their personal relationships with God.

So, do you revere or hallow God’s name? Do you think of Him as a close friend or as a stern and cold Father? In many ways, our relationship with our own father will characterize how we view God.

The second line is even more prophetic: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. This line point toward the Kingdom which Jesus will establish on Earth when He takes the throne of David.

The rest of that prayer asks God to forgive us of our sins and lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. God never leads us into temptation but will always give us the strength to get out of it IF we will depend upon Him for our strength. The last couple of lines bring a prophetic view to our prayer life; “for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen”.

All that we do for Him in this life will be rewarded in the next life with Him because we have done these things for His glory and honor and not for our own. Seek Him First while you live in His strength in this life. Be useful to Him in every little thing that you do, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Differences


In the church, there are many differences. Differences of doctrine and belief and differences of procedure in the order of service and other things related to our worship of God and His Son, Jesus the Messiah. But…why are there such drastic differences? We are all worshiping the same risen Lord, we mostly share the same Bible, so why are there so many things which are different between churches? This is something which I have wondered about for most of my life and now that I have been a pastor for most of the last decade, I still can’t see a reason for them.

Yes, there are doctrinal differences between Baptists and Methodists and all of the variations of those two denominations. There are differences between Lutheran and Episcopal and Catholic churches as well as differences between Presbyterian and Church of God and ……, the list could go on for a long, long while. My point is this: Why exactly are we so different?

In my opinion, it is because of Satan. He has gotten into church administration business meetings and sown seeds of dissent and anger and strife to the point of splitting churches because of small things which could be resolved but usually aren’t. These little splinters grow into huge logs which split the church into another doctrine or discipline and the church is weakened because of it.

Remember, at first the church had all things in common. Their belief and their doctrine were that which was taught to the disciples and then to the churches and this carried on for a couple of centuries and then the church began splitting off because of disagreements and ideas about how the church should be run. Of course, it is too late to reorganize the Body of Christ into a cohesive whole today but it was never supposed to be split up like it is now.

That is why there are so many “non-denominational” churches today. These people just want to worship God and learn from His Word and put away all of the bickering and petty squabbles which split the unity of the church. We are supposed to be sharing our life with Christ and with each other and our congregations who are unified as believers in Jesus our Savior. Why are we still divided in our worship practices today?

I don’t think an answer that will be satisfactory for the church will be found until Jesus comes back and begins His reign on Earth. This is a sad reflection on our unity as a church but it is likely that we cannot put our differences aside until Jesus is King.

How much longer, Lord?


It has been nearly 2,000 years since the crucifixion of Jesus, yet God is still giving the world more time. Time to turn to Jesus and be saved, time to realize Who He was and Who He is and time for more to come to know Him as their Savior. When you look at all of the prophecies in the Bible you will notice that there are no more which are necessary to be fulfilled before the Trumpet calls those who have died in Christ and those who are living for Him now. We are living at the edge of history and its ending and yet more are still to come to know Him, so we wait for God’s timing.

the-great-tribulation-beginsWe don’t know what else needs doing nor do we know how many more haven’t been written down in the Book of Life but are destined to. But God knows who and when and it is very likely that it will be soon. We won’t know it until it happens and when that happens the rest of the world will know it too. For many, it will be too late, if they cared about it at all.  So what are we supposed to do in the meantime?

Why do I ask this question now? Because there are many on the Earth who are asking it as well. God is not short in His time and He knows when the Tribulation will take place. It is our job as Christians to live in obedience to His command and tell others about the gift that we have been given by grace through faith in Him. This cannot be worked for or bought and it cannot be bargained for because it is the gift of God to each of us who will accept it and believe.

Many wonder about this today if or when Jesus is coming back. You can be assured that He is because God doesn’t lie and it is told and foretold in the Bible that there will come a time of retribution and trials and that Jesus will come back to the Earth and reign for a thousand years from the throne of David. I pray that all who read this or who have heard a sermon about the return of Jesus the Christ will seek Him out and give your life and your heart to Him now before these things begin.

Some teachers are saying that the antichrist will come before we are taken up to be in Heaven. I don’t believe this. It seems that the book of Revelation is set up in order for us to discern His coming and the timing of His coming. The end of the age is near and we shouldn’t discount any prophecy in God’s Word. There is no exact date but with all of the upheaval going on in the world and all of the distress which is happening because of wars and drought and fires and natural disasters like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions…I don’t believe that the time is very far off at all.

Tell others about Jesus and His love for them. Seek Him out if you haven’t done so already because when the church leaves, the Holy Spirit will likely be gone from the Earth as well. Then the end will begin and that time is supposed to be so horrendous that all of life would end if this time is not cut short by the return of Jesus. Tell others and make sure that you are teaching from God’s Word during this time because that is the purpose of the church until God calls us home.

Why the decrease?


According to a poll done recently, of the nearly seventy percent of Christians who identify as Christians in the United States, only forty to fifty-nine percent of those attend church weekly. The article was on Faithwire so I am giving you the link to it if you want to read it. The United States came in as an outlier in the statistical realm because of our less involved Christians.

Why have participation and participants gone down in the past fifty years in America? I think it is because we have moved away from teaching our children about the moral absolutes found in the Bible. The schools are not allowed to teach it anymore, we don’t have a copy of the Ten Commandments in schools anymore for fear of offending someone. We have taken prayer, compulsory or voluntary, out of schools because of “political correctness” and trying not to offend people.

You know, Jesus offended His people while He was teaching and preaching! He would heal a person on the Sabbath or clear the porch of the Temple because of all the business transactions going on in a worship setting. He ate with sinners of all things! What a disgrace!

Really? Those who are sinners, which we all are by the way, need to hear the message of love and forgiveness more than the people who have been in the church for forty years. Many of those who have been in the church the longest are more like the Pharisees than the tax collector. They may not pray like he did, essentially telling God that He was lucky to have him as a teacher and that he wasn’t like these sinners or this tax collector, but they have ears which have grown calloused to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Many of them are spiritually deaf!

Then, when they go home their children and grandchildren don’t hear any more about Jesus and His teachings until next Sunday for about thirty minutes or so. If you aren’t teaching your children about Jesus during the week then they are listening to those at school about what exactly? Football, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, all of the religions of America which push Jesus into the locker room and shut the door.

Then during the fall there is hunting and more football and its an endless cycle every year. We are letting our children down into a well where Jesus is not and if they don’t find out about Him in time, they will drown in the world’s “religions” and may never darken the door of a church after they graduate. We have allowed this to happen to our children and to society in general. It isn’t some plot from some other religious group or some computer or console game! The blame for this lies directly in the laps of our families because we have failed in our duty to teach the next generation.

If we don’t turn this around and begin teaching our grandchildren and children now, in another generation there won’t be a church in America or the UK. Many are closing their doors each month as it is because no one attends and there is no money to keep the church open, let alone pay a pastor. We are living in the time just before the return of Jesus and the world is running away from belief in Him as fast as possible and it breaks my heart. I know it is breaking God’s heart too watching those that Jesus died for turn away and leave.

“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 1:3