September 19, 2007
As I was reading the 42nd and 43rd book of Psalms, I noticed King David made reference to the same scripture twice, and anytime someone repeats the same statement over again you should pay close attention to it, because it is obviously important to them. What David said was “Why art thou cast down, o my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance and my God” (Psalms 42:11-43:5). What we see here is David is depressed, he is troubled, and he may even be stressed out. However, he doesn’t stay in that state of mind very long, he has hope in God. In other words, he expects God to move and bring him out of this situation, this state of mind at anytime. You see, though he is down, he is not hopeless; though he is God’s man, he still finds himself in a state of real discouragement. Thus, in the midst of his stressed state of mind, he said, “my hope is in God, and I will praise Him”.
What we learn from David is Christians can and will get stressed, distressed and discouraged sometime. We also learn in the life of the believer your situation is never hopeless. Finally, we learn you don’t have to stay in that state of mind long, because your praise of God and your hope in God can provide deliverance for you right in the midst of your situation. Thus, for the Christian, deliverance is available to you.
God Bless You.
September 18, 2007
Many people get saved for one or two reasons; either to go to heaven when they die, or to receive the blessings of God they’ve heard about. Thus, if you obey Gods word, both of those outcomes are true. There is no doubt that everyone wants the goodness and blessings of God because there is enough preaching and teaching on the blessings of God by now. However, what’s not being taught in many ministries today (especially the mega-church) is the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of the believer which goes along with receiving Jesus as Lord and savior. Oh yes, many pastors’ don’t mind talking about the goodness, the wealth, and the prosperity of God, because that gets the saints excited, it may even make them want to give more with the hope that they will receive some pie in the sky blessing. However, as believers and leaders in the body of Christ, we must tell them about the suffering as well. In fact, (Phil 1:29) says “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Thus, if we are going to reign with him, we will experience some suffering on earth. Yes we will be lied on and talked about, yes we will face financial difficulties and manifold temptations; and yes the world will be unfair to you because for now it is operating on the devils system. But it’s all part of the process of growing up in the Lord and getting to heaven. Hopefully, none of us will have to suffer on the level which Jesus did, but He did say we would have our share. Therefore, if I must suffer, I would rather do it with Jesus than to do it alone.
God Bless You.
September 17, 2007
(Prov 14:26) says “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge”
Christians who fear the Lord (those who have a healthy respect for the Lord, those who love the Lord, those who obey His commandments) are those who have confidence in the Lord. In fact, they not only have confidence, but they have strong confidence. You see there is a difference between the two; to be confident as a Christian I may believe that God is able to take me through another day. However, strong confidence in the Lord says, no matter what happens today I will start my day in the Lord and I will finish my day in the lord; strong confidence in the Lord causes you not to break or splinter under the pressures of the world or the devil; strong confidence causes you not to give up when everyone else is telling you to quit because there must be an easier way; strong confidence in the Lord says there is hope when it looks like hope is gone. Thus, strong confidence in Jesus encourages you not to run from the storm, but to understand that in the midst of the storm you have a place of refuge. A place of refuge would be a shelter, a covering, a place of safety right in the middle of the storm you’re facing in your life. Thus, the hurricane can be wreaking havoc all around you, however, Jesus has you standing right in the eye of the storm, and in the eye of the storm is peace. Finally, your peace in the midst of the storm is dependent upon how confident you are that the Lord can take you through the storm, because the storms will come, otherwise, why would you need a place of refuge.
God Bless You.
September 14, 2007
There is a recurring theme flowing through the account of the crucifixion of Jesus in (Matt 27:39-44), the theme is “Come down from the cross”. As Jesus was hanging on the cross He was continually encouraged to come down from the cross. Those who passed by encouraged Him to do so, the chief priests, scribes and elders spoke the same thing, though mockingly. Even the thieves who were hanging from the cross on either side of Jesus said the same. We know He had the power to do so if He wanted too, but I’m so glad He stayed on that cross; I’m so glad He finished the work. As I read this passage I had to ask myself if I had the power to come off that cross and relieve myself of that pain and suffering would I have done it, especially after being encouraged to do so continually. However, because Jesus made Himself of no reputation He stayed on the cross; because Jesus had a will to obey the Father to the fullest He stayed on the cross; because Jesus was selfless He stayed on the cross; because Jesus loved sinful man so much, with an understanding that they needed a savior He stayed on the cross. In fact, (Rom 5:8) says “But God commended His love toward us in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. I thank God that Jesus didn’t make His life and death about Him, but He made it about you and me. Thus, I would hate to think about where I would be if Jesus would have come down from the cross. Yea, you too ah; therefore, go ahead, you can give him some praise.
God Bless You.
September 13, 2007
Jesus understood the power of unity. He understood what would happen if at least two believers came together in His name. In fact, He said in (Matt 18:20) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” When Jesus made this statement He wasn’t talking about the saints coming together to sale chicken dinners; He wasn’t talking about the saints coming together to sale Krispy Kremes donuts, although I’m not against it at all. However, Jesus was saying if Christians would get in agreement with His word in prayer, there would be nothing they couldn’t accomplish together. You see the truth is we can get more done together in Jesus name, than we can by ourselves. One Hundred and twenty believers got in agreement with God in the upper room and the Holy Ghost fell and the new testament church was birthed (Acts 2); twelve disciples got in agreement with God and turned the world upside down and one of them had a devil; the Father-Son and the Holy Spirit came together in (Gen 1:26) and said “Let us make man” and said it was “very good”. Therefore, if we as Christians want to see our school system change, if we want to take our communities back from the thug; if we want to see our African American sons’ stop killing one another over the colors they wear, we must come together as one and break the power of the devil in the heavenlies first through prayer and intercession, then we must be willing to become visible in our neighborhoods. However, we must do it together; this won’t be a problem our police department can solve, Gods people must be willing to eradicate this problem.
God Bless You.
September 12, 2007
Matthew 26:69-74 gives us the account of Peter denying that he ever knew Jesus. As Jesus was being tried before the religious leaders there were those who were pointing at Peter saying “Oh thou was with Jesus of Galilee”, and his response was “I know not the man”. It would be easy for us to sit here today and say we would not have done that, however, many Christians today deny Jesus on a daily basis. Every-time you operate in a willful act of sin and disobedience you deny knowing Jesus. As a Christian when you tell a lie purposefully you deny Jesus; when you gossip openly and freely about your brother or sister you deny Jesus; when you are at home fighting with your spouse you deny Jesus. Oh, you may never verbally deny Jesus, but your actions speak loud and clear of what you think about Jesus, and actions often speak louder than any words we could ever say. Thus, a Christian that operates in willful sin tramples or denies the sacrifice which Jesus made for us over and over again. Remember, (Heb. 10:26) says “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”. Therefore, we must understand that Jesus only died for the sins which you committed before you received salvation; all sins committed after you received salvation, Jesus will not die for again. Thus, you must repent and make it right with God, or you are in a state of denying the Lord.
God Bless You.
September 11, 2007
(Gal 6:1) says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thy also be tempted”.
When our brothers’ and sisters’ in Christ fall into sin, it is up to those who are spiritual (that would be those who have a genuine relationship with God) to restore them (which means to bring the brother/sister that has fallen, back into a right relationship with God). It is never our responsibility to judge hypocritically (to judge those that have fallen into a sin which you have fallen prey too or which you are presently in); neither are we to judge from a self-righteous standpoint (as if it couldn’t happen to you). However, as God has called us to be our brothers’ keeper we are to judge the sin itself. As Christians we must call sin as it is. This means if my brother or sister in Christ has fallen into sin, I can’t overlook it, because God will hold me accountable for overlooking known sin in the life of a believer whom I am acquainted with. (James 4:17) says “To him that know to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin”. Are you your brothers’ keeper? Of course you are. Conversely, he should be yours as well. We must have men /women of God in our lives, that will hold us accountable and tell us the truth whether we like it or not, to keep us from falling. Thus, if your brother/sister in Christ falls into sin, help them get the counseling and healing they need to be restored(provided they want it) back to their rightful position in Christ; don’t look down on them or beat them up too bad because it could have been you.
God Bless You.