Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just sharing a concerned heart!

You know, sometimes you just need to share your heart. As a Pastor I sometimes, well most times, write with a lot of scripture or write what I have gained from life and shared what scripture matches that story. Well today I felt let's just to share my heart. Just share some things I have on my mind without making anyone work to hard to understand.

When a Pastor writes anything I do feel he needs to show where he is coming from, yet not to the point that causes people to feel inadequate or intimidated. When we write or speak it definitely needs to be truth, backed by the word, and challenging! Yet never should the word be used as a battering ram to get our way or to intimidate anyone to gain anything.

We need to make sure when we speak it is God lead and God speaking, by that I mean prayerfully seeking God when we study and prepare, to insure it is not about us and all about Him! If we remain genuine, and committed, and truly just trust God and His word, His word will do the work intended, not having us help it along.

You see, we as Pastor's do not last forever, but His word does, and that is the seed that needs planting and less our opinion of things. When we start to impose our will on matters of sin and wrong, what are we telling people about God's word? Our responsibility to the body of Christ is to preach the word as spoken it 2 Timothy where Paul was used by God to give Pastoral instruction.

2 Timothy 4:1-5,"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill you ministry.

Simply put God does not need our help or gimmicks, He just needs us to preach His word faithfully, truthfully and purely! We should never, somehow water down the word and try and give people loopholes to sin and convince them it is alright because Jesus loves then where there are. Well He does loves us where we are, but He loves us to much to leave us there! Preach the word, just sharing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Burden or Blessing?

Is it hard to care for someone who can no longer care for themselves? Yes it is if you look at it as a burden, and not an opportunity God has given you to be a blessing! Sometime we lose sight of family and how important they are because we get caught up in what we are doing, and how important we are! Life never, just, revolves around us, it always involves us!

In some way someones life touches us, how we perceive that it how we will receive it either as a blessing or a curse! It is not punishment that we are called upon to care for, or look after anyone. It is a honor and a blessing that we are seen as that person. It is never a mistake that it falls on you, if you truly look at your capabilities alone it may seem that way, but you are never on your own, as much as it may seem!

God is there, He promises this, He is there His presence is all around. He tells us He will never leave us of forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) He promises that. We just have to call on Him in our time of need. When we do this we will come to the place, to serve others will never be a burden, but always a blessing!

Psalm 50:15-"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me. (NKJV)

1 Timothy 6:8-"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (NKJV)

Hebrews 13:5-"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, ''I will never leave you nor forsake you." (NKJV)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

When the church fails to stand!

When the church stops taking stands, it won't be long before it cannot stand! I have always loved the quote, "if you won't stand for something, you will fall for anything." I have read many views on how Christians should behave, and how they should conduct themselves. How we have freedoms, and how we have the choice to do what we feel in Christ.

Yes we have freedom, the freedom not to sin or to be like the world, yet the church today makes more excuse to follow the world. We can drink, we can smoke, we can eat the way we want, then wonder why there is so much sickness in the church, Alcoholism, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, the list goes on. Wonder if the church would stop and think, hmm, wonder if these freedoms we have are not truly freedoms but bondage in disguise?

In I Peter 2:11-12 it says, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation." NKJV

When we feel it's alright to drink, smoke, or whatever suites our fancy, what are we saying about our faith in God? What are we saying to a world that struggles with drugs, alcohol, tobacco,  eating problems, etc.? I feel when we fail to stand on the word of God we fall very short of extending His grace. People are looking for a way out of addictions, and the church is making excuse for them to stay right where they are!

They continue to struggle, we continue to pray, yet wonder what is happening when we see no results. God desires obedience rather than sacrifice, humility rather than self-centeredness, yes we do have freedoms, but these freedoms are not to be stumbling blocks, and the church has become just that! When we express our freedom are we really taking a stand or Christ? Or are we really creating a type of excuse for the world to continue in sin?

1 Corinthians 8:9 (AMP)
Only be careful that thos power of choice (this permission and liberty to do as you please) which is your, does not [somehow] become a hinderance (cause of stumbling) to the weak or over-scrupulous [ giving them the impulse to sin]

Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Living down or living up?

You know, sometimes we just live down to what people expect of us instead of living up to who we truly are! I always say, if you know who you are, you don't have to prove who you are! As a young child my dad used words like stupid, failure, you will never amount to anything, just quit school and get a job! All encouraging remarks huh?

Well you know something? I grew up living down to those expectations and my life was a mess. I have read books by Max Lucado, and Pat Williams, Facing your Giants and Coach Woodens 7 principles to live by. Both these books, and of course many others out there are very encouraging, yet before I had these books in my life I needed to make a decision.

That decision was not to allow what people think of me determine who I am and what I will become. The first step was getting saved, asking Jesus into my life put me on the road to a life more victorious than I have ever experienced. The next step for me was developing a spirit of forgiveness, I had read in God's word that if I do not forgive, or how I forgive will be how I am forgiven. (Matthew 6:14-15)

I began my journey toward victory when I could forgive those who hurt me, without expectation they would change and be different. I was the one who needed victory over defeat, I was the one who carried my past into my future. What I came to realize was this, I was carrying their past into my future too! I needed to be set free and only Jesus could do that.

I had been set free, I was no longer carrying their baggage with me, but what about my future encounters with those who would be adversaries? We will always have them in our life, but it is what we do, and how we accept what they say to and about us. Reading books like Facing you Giants, and 7 principles to live by remind us that others have had to face obstacles in their lives, yet remained true to themselves and God.

Never placing these books and authors above the Bible and Gods principles, but using them as tools along side and being reminded, how we can continue to live victoriously in this world of adversity! The word of God is not the back up book, it is the book that these authors encourage us from, yet with illustrations of life experiences, and how people turn to God's word and to Jesus to make the difference needed.

Victory is just a choice away, you can live down to the world's expectation, or live up to what God has created you to be, a child of the King! The choice is yours, Jesus is waiting, call to Him, ask Him to be the Lord of your life, you will not be disappointed! (Romans 8:15-17, 9:33, 10:9-13)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

If not Jesus, then who?

If Jesus, does not come first in your life, where does that put you? 

That is always something to think about in our Christian walk, don't you think? Many of us profess to be saved, yet when it comes to where, and what priority we put Christ, that is where the rubber meets the road! Even as being saved we still put Jesus on a shelf, we want to do things our way, and then question why we have no power in our lives, and prayer does not seem to be answered.

We forget so easily how we were transformed and set free, how we were forgiven and peace overwhelmed us. As we grow in the Lord we seem to get farther from Him, how does that happen? It is called complacency, we get lazy, we stop reading the Bible, we don't pray as we ought. And even when we do these things, we do them on our terms and in our time frame, and we expect the same results!

If Jesus is not first, than who is? If we do not start are day with Jesus than who? I personally have learned this lesson the hard way, doing less for the Lord and expecting the same results. Well it does not work that way. When excuses, are what mostly come from us, why we have no time for the Lord, no time for prayer, no time for study. What are we telling God? We have no time for Him!

We do only those things that we enjoy, what we find most fulfilling and base all that on how good it feels instead of how right it is! Feelings alone should never drive us in our walk with the Lord. If our relationship with Him is struggling, even our feelings will begin to fail us. So what do we do you ask? Turn your hearts back home, back to Jesus.

As you lay your head down at night, as you awake in the morning, think about Jesus and what He has done for you. Do not let excuses become the controller of your life, Jesus never used them so why should we? He could have made excuse but He did not, He always had our best interests in His heart, all the way to the cross! 

Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, "You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Romans 12:1-2, " I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect.   

 I Peter 4:1-2, "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.