Monday, December 28, 2009

Get out there and preach the Word!

We all know the passage from Scripture, John 3:16 "For God loved the world in this way; He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." (Holman CSB) Most Christians and Theologians alike live-out Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." (Holman CSB) At a very young age, I could recite from memory the 23rd Psalm. And almost every church service uses passages from books of the Pentateuch (Genesis--Deuteronomy which were authored by Moses) integrated into their sermons. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, from the Kings to the Prophets, believers, as a culture, all know of Scripture in some form or another. But do we know what the Word is really saying? Do we possess true understanding of the meaning of those all-to-familiar passages which are ingrained into our spiritual lives? I know that I don't always get the intended goal of every message or every passage. This is why we must make time to study the Word and meditate on it. This is why we must make time instead of excuses and find the truth versus imitations. We must not replace God's holy Word with our own vices. It is a decision we must make but the reward is eternal!

Have you noticed how the authors and writers utilized metaphors in most Biblical stories and autobiographies to portray the message. How the Bible is packed with similes and hidden meanings. How the Prophets used laymen terms and layman level descriptions in their interpretations of the prophecies given them by God..................................and how symbolism is a norm of Scripture, both Old and New Testament. Jesus himself used parables to tell His stories and give His lessons to the masses. He used realistic examples of actual events to engage the crowds. He never used sugar-coated terms or politically-correct sentences. He never beat around-the-bush with his sermons, but was always direct and to-the-point. He saw a need and provided the solution. Saw spiritual hunger and provided the food. He observed the audience and noticed every detail about them. He even "felt" healing power leave Him as a woman (who had been bleeding for 12 years) touched His clothing as He passed by. He stopped to heal the blind, deaf, and lame. He cast out demons using the very spiritual power and influence that we also have as Christians. We are entitled to the same privileges and given the same authority to heal, save, and teach. We have the ability to carry out ministry wherever we are and with whoever we are with. We all have the same spiritual weapons as Christ to wage spiritual warfare against the Devil. We were given these abilities by God and we were given Christ to show us how to utilize them. Being a Christian was made relitively easy for all of us and following in the footsteps of Jesus is not too much to acomplish. It is not the level of difficulty which impedes our faith increasing, rather the ability to conform to godly principles and rules. We are given everything we need to fight the good fight and run the race, its up to us to see it through.

Jesus lived as himself, not putting on a face in public or pretending to be someone else when around other people. He was honest, authentic, and sincere. He was man, but God. He was just as tempted and targeted by Satan as we all are, He just faced the temptations down and returned the accusations with spirit-lead rebuttals. He never argued, but always discussed. He was never offensive in tone but never coward from a challenge to His authority lodged either by man or Satan.........................He was perfect! We, as Christians, are constantly striving to reach this perfection in Christ. We are always on the mission of progression in our relationship with God. We will always make mistakes and will never be without temptations while here on earth but, God will forgive us our mistakes and He always provides a way out of temptations. For every wrong there is a right. For every problem a solution. Every down an up and for every bump in the road there is a path around that bump. God has pre-planned our lives but He has given us the freedom to make choices. This is were we get lost.............were we go off the straight path.............were we fall off the wagon. It is our ability to make these choices which decide our fate.

We are entitled to direct time with the Father through the blood sacrifice and atonement for our sins by the Christ. We can go to God directly with our requests, our problems, and our interests. We can approach the Throne of Grace with boldness. This is something which was once impossible and, in-fact, very dangerous. It was a very lengthy and nerve-racking process only performed by the most knowledgeable Priests who were separated by birth from the rest of the Israelites and raised in a very secluded lifestyle much different from ordinary citizens. This was necessary to be able to approach God with a blood (animal) sacrifice to atone the sins of the people. After the last breath of Jesus was breathed and His spirit was surrendered up to God while on the cross, the curtain in the Holy of Holy's in the Temple was torn in two thereby symbolizing the New Covenant between God and His people. At that moment, after the tearing of the curtain, we were once and for all able to approach God on a personal level and at any time we desired. This is huge given the very time-consuming and formerly difficult process of going to God for sin atonement.

If we read Romans 8:12-17, "So then brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. All those led by God's Spirit are God's sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children, and if children, also heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ--seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." (Holman CSB), then we read Hebrews 6:1-3, "Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead. and eternal punishment. And we will do this if God permits." (Holman CSB), we will clearly see that we are to move forward towards the goal. We must not become stagnate in our faith and callous to our beliefs, so much so that we began to regress to our former state of sin or our old selves! We were given a mandate by God to spread the Good News and tell others about Jesus Christ, so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. That is the key word, abundantly. Having a relationship with God Almighty is living with meaning. Being a Christian is a state-of-mind and a lifestyle not a religion. It is about living the good life here on earth so we can live the good life in the fast-approaching New Kingdom!

I pray that I can live the good life or godly life that I was purposed to have. I pray that I may come to an understanding of cosmic proportions which far surpasses all other earthly understanding. I pray that I may be the man God wants me to be and that I may die to myself daily so I can live for Christ more. Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live." (Holman CSB), Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord." (Holman CSB). This speaks volumes of books unwritten and words unspoken. Nothing more be said about what need be done. We know what we are to do and how we are to do it............................The rest is up to you??? Amen!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Why I am what I am!

I am a born-again Christian! I am a free man! I am finally free..........................

I was a lost and now I am found, was blind and now I see! Those words ring so true to me. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to find satisfaction in grace, completion in love. I am grateful for Jesus Christ for His earthly sacrifice of atonement for OUR sins!

I realize that as a human, I am so pathetic standing alone, but of so much worth as a child of God. I am the most important me to God. To think that God created me in His own image, an image of the most awesome beauty and exotic and mysterious wonder. I am a CHILD of God. I am His own replica.....................I cannot feel sad when I think about this. I find it increasingly difficult to be selfish when faced with Christ's sacrifice on my behalf.

What a huge and very impacting placement of value to be a child of God! I mean little to the world but the world to God. I hold His affection close and love divine. I am different than His angelic host, higher than the rest of creation. It is so humbling to just attempt to comprehend my place in the Kingdom of God and my level of worth in His echelon of value. What a wonderful feeling to know that even though I was born into sin, I am free of it if I choose.

It is so very awesome but also so very confusing to try and understand the what, where, why, when, & how of divinity while being so human in nature? It is somewhat surreal to humanize the realization of God's unlimited power and sovereignty. Irrational to try and replicate His knowledge of the universe's very workings. Why can't we just let it be so? Why can't we just allow life to be? Why can't we just accept it?

I am finding my personal spiritual value or worth far outweighs my fleshly desire to know more. I now realize that to live is to conform to God's laws and commands. I find it increasingly easy to surrender my self to my God. To give me to Him. To let God be God and stop trying to determine the why of everything and everyone. I understand that I am only human and carry the burden only if I cause it to be so. To surrender myself to God is to give Him my burdens and problems. To ask Him for assistance and receive His love. Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Let me continue to love you Lord God Almighty and be the person you want to see me be. Let me do your will and live according to your precepts. Let me never fall into sin, but if I am tempted, let me use my knowledge of your Word and wisdom from your Holy Spirit. Let me be constantly thankful and let my light shine to the world so that they may see and believe in you. Let nothing cover my light, to stop it from shining or cause it to dim. But let my light become stronger and stronger until it is a flame oh God! I love you God and I lift my voice to worship you. I live to praise you and love you more and more each day............................Amen!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Being all that I can be!

We were instructed by Jesus Christ himself to go out and be disciples for The Kingdom of God. The basic fundamentals of Christianity are: To gain a more intimate relationship with the Father here on earth, To live as Christians (as we are instructed in God's Word), and To Spread the Good News! We can choose to have a life as a born-again Christian, or to live as a born-again Christian! What do you choose? What will your legacy be as a Christian while you lived here in earth awaiting the New Kingdom of God?

I know of many ways to be of good cheer. I know how to try and "convert" someone to Christianity. I know of ways to help out the poor and provide relief to the widows. But do I know the true meaning of being a Christian or soldier for Christ. Do I really know what it means to give up everything for the Kingdom of God? Would I do this? How would I react if told to do this by Jesus Christ to my face?

I have to stop and think about this within its context. We have a mandate from God's own standing orders, His Word, the Scriptures, the Bible, and the Truth. Without slipping into legalism, this is something I need to take a closer look at. Those were the instructions of Jesus Christ before ascending into the Heavens to be with the Father. He gave us instructions on what we were to do and how we were to do it. Then God told us earlier through His prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, ....................) that we are to take care of the poor, widows, and needy. That we are to spread the Good News. Jesus just confirms this mandate to ensure our understanding of it and then gave us additional guidance before leaving us physically to be with the Father.

We know this to be true. We read this every time we open the Word. We hear this being preached. We see this being done by others on television and through other modern communication channels. We meditate on this. But, I can truly say that I haven't really done everything within my limitations to accomplish this.

I am holding myself accountable through the means of this blog to be more attentive to what the Holy Spirit is telling me in concert with the Scriptures. I read the Scriptures every day, I pray even more, and I am constantly communicating with God. I need to hit my knees more in complete humility towards God. I need to act more and say less. I need to be that shining light before all men and not that flickering spark. I need to apply what God says in His Word to every situation I find myself in, every problem I encounter, and every relationship I establish. Let the words of my mouth be edifying to God and let my actions be approved. Let me be that servant that He wants us to be and has called us to be. Let me actualize my Faith and be a true Christian! Amen!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Praise God!

The sole purpose of man's existence is to Glorify and Praise God. We live and breath to give God the glory He so rightly deserves. I personally give God praise and glory daily and, even hourly. I praise Him from when the Sun comes up to when it goes down!

Our praise to our Father and Creator should be something woven into the fabric of our spiritual garment which we put on and cleave close to throughout our daily walk with God. We should always give our Lord praise, whether it be on an important occassion or simply in everyday tasks.

Praise originated long before mankind was created and therefore, is part of God's plan. He says in His Word that if we won't praise Him, than the rest of His creation will. "Let everything that has breath or life praise the Lord!" Can you imagine watching animal and agriculture alike praising God in our place. What a huge humility check! I would find a very secluded corner to ball up in out of shame, nothing more, just pure and unadulterated shame!

Praise is:
1) Mandatory-God requires it,
2) Necessary-We need to do it,
3) Wonderful-The feeling is spiritual empowerment,
4) Enjoyable-Praise is a healthy and satisfying spiritual exercise,
5) Encouraging-We always come away from praise more mature in our relationship with God,
6) Renewing-Praise gives our spirit and soul new energy& strength,
7) Refreshing-Praise solidifies our appreciation & respect for God,
8) Influencial-Praise causes our general demeanor to change, becoming as a shining beacon to the world,
9) Cancerous-The results of praise show our absolute dedication to our Gracious God and the spiritual maturity and feeling of security in life,
10) Positive-Praise pleases God, pleases the one giving the praise, and exposes our true love for our Creator and Father!

It starts with praise and ends with praise. Praise for who God is, what God has done, how many people God loves, why we are worthy to come before God ourselves, and when we will see Him soon. So, praise God in everything you do and everything you say! Amen!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Awareness!

Satan, the Great Deceiver, has one purpose and one goal here on Earth! To gain our souls which is his deceptive way of trying to gain a leg up on God. This is why Lucifer, God's former Chief of Angels, the Morning Star, now known as Satan, the Master Deceiver. This jealousy and envy is the very heart of his demise and downfall . No one is exempt from this trap of sin, no one! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)

We must stop downplaying the importance of the dangerous and deadly nature of the Deceiver. We must never think we cannot be influenced by the same sins. We must always pray that we do not fall into temptation just as our Savior, Jesus Christ, has instructed us to do. As we learn from our past and we should learn from our past, we will see a pattern of repetitive attacks launched by Satan and his followers against man. We were forewarned by Jesus of this because He was also tempted by Satan. He knows how strong of a pull Satan can have on the human spirit. He knows what tactics Satan uses to deceive man. Jesus knows because Jesus was tempted. He knows the capabilities of Satan's tactics and he knows the manipulating and deceptive powers Satan has. After all, he deceived man from the very beginning. It was the serpent who tempted Eve then Adam and convinced them that they could sin against God. Jesus knows what Satan is, what he stands for, what he wants, and how he intends on accomplishing his evil goals. This is why Jesus took our sins and bore them on the cross to free us from sin and bind the serpent.

We know about Satan. We know about his trickery and deception. We know about his intent. We have established what Satan wants and what he is willing to do to get what he wants, so why can't we learn how to avoid his relentless attacks? Why are we not using more, advanced spiritual warfare when we fight him? When are we going to take accountability to each other as believers and responsibility to ourselves and our families regarding our spiritual state-of-mind? When? The answer is actually so simple its almost ironic! Now! We must start taking control of the spiritual battlefield now! Because this is our duty as Christians and this is the only way we will prevail against the dark forces of Satan and his followers. He was already beaten at the Cross. We already have stomped his head underneath our feet by the Sacrifice of our Savior. We just need to keep his head under our feet until Jesus comes back to bring a New Kingdom. I am giving every believer their marching orders......................We cannot sit by idle any longer! God is our power and authority and we just need to exercise it through Him to keep the Deceiver where he belongs, beneath our feet. Trampled beneath our feet like the Lamb at Calvary! Amen!

We fall short of your Glory Oh God!

I have learned certain and all-to-common lessons from life which have only served to strengthen my intimate relationship with the Almighty God. I have been through very difficult and trying times with the good blessing of always coming out a better me. This is only because of God's mercy and continual grace which is in His nature. He is such an awesome God. I am awestruck by the immensity of His wonderful and intricate creation and divine designs and inner workings of His intended plan for mankind. I am perplexed by His delicate and detailed patterns which everyday life follows as it progresses forward through the space of time. The simple yet complicated human mind is a wonder all its own. The human body, impossible to replicate yet perfectly fitted, work of His super powerful omnipotence. All of creation designed with a purpose in mind, a part to play in the wonderful cycle of life. And to think, we are the icing on the cake so-to-say of all His creation. We, us human beings, so important that even the angels are in awe. What an awesome God. What a merciful Creator. He created the very anatomy of life for His benefit. We are here to worship and please Him. We are here to make Him well pleased. We are here to develop an intimate relationship with Him with the expectation of an even better future when He comes back to reclaim His children and take away all of the pain and suffering that the human race has so immensely caused on ourselves. God's creation is so beautiful if you stop to absorb the reality of the beauty. It reveals so much of God's nature if you pause to actually appreciate it. He has given so much to each one of us, His children. We all have an inheritance awaiting us which, by spiritual comparison, minimizes even the most wealthy of people on our planet. Our future reward for absolute obedience to and love of God is life everlasting with our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and all His heavenly host. 24/7/365 infinite fellowship, laughing, loving, rejoicing, spiritual ecstasy, music so rich to our ears, and the awe inspiring glory of our loving Father, God.

We mean so much to God. This is so evident, not only by His son, Jesus Christ, but also by His perpetual grace which He constantly shows to us in every different and unique way. It is amazing to realize that I have a Father who, not only created me, but also loves me regardless of how I am towards Him. He does not care about what we do wrong, He only cares that we continue to seek forgiveness for our wrongs and that we make a constant attempt to stop the behavior that He has instructed us to avoid and abstain from it in the future. You see, God's forgiveness is guaranteed. Can you say the same for your forgiveness? I know that I find it very difficult to forgive if someone has done something that really hurt me or damaged my personal reputation.

But, the reward to me far outweighs the journey! I am thrilled that I call myself a child of my God, the One and only True God. The Lord God Almighty! My Savior and Hero. I could literally fill an entire book with ways to worship you, God! I could sing wonders to your Holy name all the day long. There are not enough words to describe your splendor and wonders. I am infatuated by your creation and awestruck by your designs. Your nature continues to show itself in every thing every day. Your grace continues to save me from myself. Your mercy gives me hope and your love keeps me safe. Your kindness is every where and runs through me and seeps out my body like sweat through my pores. Your love shows through me like a landscape through a window. I cannot stop reading your Word and meditating on your law. Your lessons for your chosen people teach me how to live and your Holy Spirit teaches me how to speak. Your Son has left me with an example of how to act and most importantly how to love. I have learned true compassion from your awesome Son and how to treat my earthly brothers and sisters. I find the comfort of your Word to be my rock and I cannot stop the feeling of intensity in love that I have for you. I take your Word with me everywhere. I read it daily and dream about it nightly. You fill my thoughts and I bath in your love. I long for the day when I can meet you face-to-face. I dream of seeing your glory and being close to you. I greatly anticipate being together with you, your Son, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ. I cannot comprehend the intensity of your glory as you describe in your Word. But, I look forward to being in your presence every day for evermore. Lord, I am not afraid of anything except being away from you. I pray daily for your constant love and grace in my worthless earthly endeavors and only wish that I can grow closer to you by the day. Let me not fall into temptation but always be strong in your Word as you have instructed me to do. Let me be a bright and shining beacon to the world of your awesome and inspiring Glory and Love. Let me bring others to your love so they may also enjoy a life filled with your Glory and Love. If I may fall, pick me up, If I fail, help me succeed, and If I die, may I live! All praise and glory be to you my God, my Father of all creation. Amen!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spiritual Awareness!

Too many times we tend to use our faith to condemn or judge unbelievers and other believers. By pushing our faith and our own slanted doctrines, we are negating God's true intent for us, which is to free us from the shackles of sin through Grace and His son, Jesus Christ! Mark 7:13 (NKJV)

We curse ourselves to the point of death by taking the Truth and poisoning it through; legalism, holding stedfast to the traditions of men and not God, and by allowing Satan to twist and manipulate God's great message to us.

We need to step in and take back control of our intimate life with God by doing what He says in His Word and listening and obeying the Holy Spirit! We must strengthen our faith, engage our spiritual armor to always be prepared for Satans next attack, and equip ourselves with the proper and necessary tools needed to defend ourselves from Satan; knowledge of and in the Word of God, to grow much closer to God through the Holy Spirit so we will be able to understand and acknowledge when the Holy Spirit is talking to us.

This is what we are to do because Satan is so relentless in his attacks on us (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV), and his influence is cancerous to our relationship with God if we are not prepared both spiritually and mentally. The Deciever will swoop in and take from us whatever we leave available to him to the point of taking of our very souls. We must first recognize that Satan is always on duty and he never sleeps, not even for one moment.

Understand your enemy and you have just taken the first step to winning the war. We were endowed with choice and we should use this choice to choose God! He will always give us what we need if we will give Him what He requires from us................Amen!