Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crossing Over

All they did was sin even more, rebel in the desert against the High God. Psalm78:17

There lived a young woman who lived on the border of two countries. Her country consisted of peace and purity. The mountains ran as far as the eye could see and the valleys were filled with lush meadows. Her country had godly standards that most desired to live by. Just across the border was a different kind of country. It had the appearance of total freedom. The inhabitants obeyed no laws and participated in all manner of internal desires. The young woman would stand on one of here country's mountain tops and look across to the other nation.

Each day she would reminisce about what life was like on the other side. She would walk the border and tempt her feet to cross over onto the other side. Finally one day the young woman crosses over to unfamiliar country. She wanders into one of their cities and discovers riot living in the streets. The people appear to be having fun. They seemed so happy drinking their drinks and dancing closely to each others bodies. The young woman finds herself joining in with the fun. She goes deeper and deeper into the abyss of this new life. Years pass by and she finds herself tired of the lifestyle. She begins to reminisce about her old country. She day dreams about the eternal presence she would always feel. She would remember the times of laughter and peacefulness. Days went by and she would stand on the hills of her new country looking into her old. " How did I get here from there?" ,she thought. Then she remembered and answered her very own question. " I crossed the border. I simply crossed over."

How far or how long does it take to cross over to the ungodly things? What gets us to the other side? The answer is simple. We cross over. We simply leave the beauty in the Lord for something that has the appearance of beauty and joy. We live our lives so close to the border and tempt life each day. It is a slow fade when you give yourself away but once the decision has been made. The course of your life is forever changed.

Regardless of who you are. You might be a minister or an average Christian . It does not manner If you live your life at the border; you are bound to crossover eventually.

We must be careful in this hour. The enemy would wish for us all to fall for his slippery trap. We must step away from the border and move more inland. Enjoy the mountain tops of the Lord. Enjoy the valleys full of his richness. Never wander off from his goodness but stay in his presence. For if you don't you might find yourself crossing over.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beautiful Things

Genesis 2:7  Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.

God is the only one I know who can take the dust from the ground and turn it into something beautiful. He is the only one I know who can take a huge lump of ice and turn it into a planet. He makes all things new and this is the beauty of our salvation. When we come to Him, and repent, He makes all things new within us. Everything that was once tainted with sin is now brand new. Every ugly stain has been removed and the clothing made beautiful again.

When you look at yourself, you must realize that the Living God does not make junk. He has created a beautiful thing. He will take the nothing in your life and turn it into something. Regardless of your situation know that the Living God is there to beautify your ugly mess. Hold on to Him and know that He makes beautiful things.

blessings,





Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not Ashamed

Romans 1:16  I'm not ashamed of the Good News. It is God's power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well.

This good news is powerful enough to change lives. It is something not to be ashamed of but to shout it upon roof tops. The message of Christ has forever changed my life. There is nothing more I could ever need but the Love of my God.  I want to declare this Good news even until my death. What about You? Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus? Are you afraid of what people might think?

Declare the good news to the world and see the world change. There is still hope, yes Jesus is returning, but until that time occurs. We must share what we know to be true. The Good News we have cannot be locked up in a box or a Sunday Morning structure. It has to be declared to others by every person who is born again. It is up to us to herald the TRUTH to all mankind.

Be not ashamed of the Good new but declare it for all to hear.

blessings,

Johnny

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Because He Lives

1 Corinthians 15:1-4  Brothers and sisters, I'm making known to you the Good News which I already told you, which you received, and on which your faith is based.  (2)  In addition, you are saved by this Good News if you hold on to the doctrine I taught you, unless you believed it without thinking it over.  (3)  I passed on to you the most important points of doctrine that I had received: Christ died to take away our sins as the Scriptures predicted.  (4)  He was placed in a tomb. He was brought back to life on the third day as the Scriptures predicted.

Bill and Gloria Gaither have written hundreds of beautiful Gospel songs over the years. Many churches today still sing their songs. Their music is truly inspirational and has touched many hearts over the years. Their songs will never die out.
One beautiful and inspiring song that they wrote is called Because He Lives.

Bill and Gloria were expecting a child again and they were going through some difficulties times. Gloria was worried about raising a child in an evil world, but God spoke to them one day and gave them the words to this song.

Verse 1 - God sent his son,
They called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive,
He bled and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Chorus - Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Verse 2 - How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Verse 3 - And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I know he lives.

Paul the apostle said the Good News is this. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was put in a tomb and was brought back to life by the power of the living God.  This is the Good News!!! This is the Message of Christ!!! We have a blessed hope because our Lord lives. And BECAUSE HE LIVES. We can face any circumstance. We can overcome any obstacle. We can leap over any wall. We are the head and not the tail.  We blessed with overflowing and light of God shines within us. All BECAUSE HE LIVES!!!!!  Cheer up be of great Joy because your Savior Lives and he is here with us today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

LOVE IS

1 Corinthians 13

The Way of Love
 1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.  8-10Love never dies.

Only if you are in the will of the Living God and serving Him faithfully can you understand His love and walk in it. The World's love is conditional. " If you agree with me then I love you, if you don't then I hate you."  This is not the Love of Christ who operates within us.  The Love of God within us transcends our human abilities and draws us closer to His heart. We express His love to each other; we release the God scent into our enviroment. His presence begins to become more tangiable and alive. Where His love is flowing His glory is shining.  Read this passage and see if His love is in you. See which aspect of his love you need to work on. This week make it a point to express His love to others in some unique and powerful way.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cheating God

 James 4:4-10 ( Message Bible)
4-6You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."
 7-10So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. 

Much of the world is about their own way and made up direction. They have denied the living God and moved in the opposite direction of Him. They think He will not bring justice or that He has left us to waddle in our sin.  The truth is that our God is alive today and He cares about the direction of His creation. Many Christians try to live their lives with one foot planted in the world and the other in God's. This can not be!!! We are cheating God. We are cheating his destiny for us and we are cheating His will for our lives. Why do we think we know more than He does? Why do we think we can run our lives better than He can?

God goes against those who are willfully proud.( Those who think they are above God and His ways.) He gives grace to the humble. He shows his unmerited favor on those who stay humble and recognizes His will for their lives.

How can we not cheat the Lord God who loves us so?

1. Let God work His will for you.
2. Yell at the Devil and get him out of your life.
3. Quit Dabbling in Sin.
4. Purify your inner life.
5. Quit playing the field. ( Don't put one foot in the world and one foot in the world of Christ. Totally surrender to the Lord.)
6. Be humble and cry out to the Lord.
7. Get Serious with the Living God


May we not cheat God any longer but press forward to His purpose and will for our lives.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Stain

Psalms 51:1-12  For the choir director; a psalm by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David's adultery with Bathsheba. Have pity on me, O God, in keeping with your mercy. In keeping with your unlimited compassion, wipe out my rebellious acts.  (2)  Wash me thoroughly from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.  (3)  I admit that I am rebellious. My sin is always in front of me.  (4)  I have sinned against you, especially you. I have done what you consider evil. So you hand down justice when you speak, and you are blameless when you judge.  (5)  Indeed, I was born guilty. I was a sinner when my mother conceived me.  (6)  Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom.  (7)  Purify me from sin with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  (8)  Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness. Let the bones that you have broken dance.  (9)  Hide your face from my sins, and wipe out all that I have done wrong.  (10)  Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me.  (11)  Do not force me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.  (12)  Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience.

There I was getting ready for my uniform and barracks inspection from the Colonel over our Military Base. I had many other inspections before while being in the military but this one seemed more important. Everyone was rushing around and getting ready. Every solider was making last minute presses to their uniforms. I think I ironed 200 pairs of pants that day, and I seemed to be the sucker that could actually use an iron. I knew how to get the creases just right on the pants legs. I guess.

I remember helping so many friends that I started getting behind on my stuff. The time was drawing closer and closer to the Colonel's arrival. I finished making my bed ( The quarter bounced liked a tennis ball dropped from the Empire State building.) and I started to get my clothes ready. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed and pulling out my black shoe polish. This polish was the best stuff to use. It was like black ink one could rub on the shoes to make them shine. The shiner the shoe the better one had a chance of passing the inspection. I went to get up from my bed, and I forgot that the shoe polish was still sitting on it. As I rose up the movement caused the shoe polish bottle to tip over. Lying on my bed was my pair of Dress A pants. Guess what? The polish spilled all over the bottom of my right pants leg. It left this big, black spot. I went into panic mode. One of the Sergeant's started to yell through the barracks that the Colonel was on his way. I had about 10 minutes to get my mess cleaned up. I had another pair of pants but I had procrastinated and never got the legs hemmed up to my height. All I had was this stain filled pants. I got some soap and a rag and started to scrub my pants leg vigorously. Now I had a bigger black spot which was surrounded by water. I took my iron and started to dry the pants leg. I was able to get the black spot to look faded. One could not see the spot at just a first glance.

Finally I got dressed and the shout was given from one of our sergeants. " Attent Hut!" All of the soldiers stood in attention as the Colonel walked by bunk bed. He meticulously looked at each solider and their living areas. I was so nervous and was almost at the point of shaking my skin off. I was afraid that the Colonel was going to see my faded spot. The Colonel gets to me and my little area of living. He congratulates me and tells me a job well done. He walks by and moves towards the next solider. Inside of my mind , I was rejoicing and thanking God that the Colonel did not see my spot. Well I celebrated prematurely. As the Colonel walked by the corner of his eye caught a glimpse of something unusual. He did a double take look and discovered my faded spot. I was busted!!! What could I have done? He stepped back over to me and asked , in a gentle voice, " What happen to your pants solider?" In a shivering voice, I replied " I spilt ink on it , Sir." He told me to get it fixed and not to let it happen again. I have to believe that the Colonel probably did the same thing when he was younger or he knew someone who did. He was very merciful to me which was a big surprise.

How many times have we tried to hide our stains from the Lord? When he comes to inspect our heart, we simply try to cover up our iniquities. But our Lord has a keen eye just like this Colonel did for my situation. Jesus sees and knows about it all. He is just waiting for us to admit to the sin in our life.

David had discovered this truth. He had first denied and covered up his sin with Bathsheba. He had rationalized that his sin was OK, but the Lord had sent his prophet to say otherwise. David had two choices. 1. Continue to deny the reality of his sin or 2. Fully confess all to the Lord and repent.  David humbly chose the latter. Let's look at his confession.

The Confession to the Stain:

1. Wipe out the rebellious stain.
2. Wash me thoroughly from the guilt stain.
3.  Cleanse me from the stain.
4.  Purify me from the stain.

 God desires to wash away our sins and cleanse us from our stains. He is forever the generous and loving God. His mercy is there for those who desire to receive it. I want to live my life stain free which means there will be times where I will need to confess my sins openly to the Father.


Love you all,

Johnny





Friday, August 12, 2011

True Wisdom

1 Corinthians 1:17-25  Christ didn't send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn't use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.  (18)  The message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved.  (19)  Scripture says, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people."  (20)  Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the persuasive speaker of our time? Hasn't God turned the wisdom of the world into nonsense?  (21)  The world with its wisdom was unable to recognize God in terms of his own wisdom. So God decided to use the nonsense of the Good News we speak to save those who believe.  (22)  Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom,  (23)  but our message is that Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish.  (24)  But to those Jews and Greeks who are called, he is Christ, God's power and God's wisdom.  (25)  God's nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.



Mankind has been on this spiraling free fall away from God for centuries. The more they know and discover the less they desire of God. Many people don't understand the wisdom of God because they think too highly of their own wisdom. The message of the living God is nonsense to those who are leading destructive lives.  Why do you think that so many people around the world hate Christians. Why do communists want to stomp out the christian heart? Why do Muslims desire to brutally kill believers? Why do sinners get so angrily at the message and do everything they can to shut it up or change its meaning? The Message is powerful. The Wisdom of God is undeniable. His word is simply and it is straight to the heart. This passage says "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will reject the intelligence of intelligent people." God's wisdom, the True wisdom for mankind, will always stand the test of time. This passage does not mean that the living God desires for us to be zombies with snot hanging out of our noses. It means he expects that our wisdom comes from him and our thoughts are aligned with his thoughts. There is a creepy thing entering into our church world today. It is this worldly wisdom, that is considered stupidity to the ways of God, which is hinder God's spirit. We need to ensure that we are following whole- heartedly after the things of God. We need not use our own intelligence without first aligning it with the intelligence of God. This is an humbling thing, but remember the last two people who thought they were wiser than God? They ended up ushering in Satan's deceptive ways and help give birth to the disease called sin.





Love you all,

Johnny

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Needing each other ( I can do all things part 4)

Philippians 4:18-19  You have paid me in full, and I have more than enough. Now that Epaphroditus has brought me your gifts, you have filled my needs. Your gifts are a soothing aroma, a sacrifice that God accepts and with which he is pleased.  (19)  My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.

We have taken the simple verse of  " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me " and broken it down for review.  Doing things through Christ has such a wide spectrum.

I know that I could not and would not be where I am at today if it were not for certain people that the living God has placed in my life. No one can be an island to themselves. We NEED EACH OTHER!!!!! I personally think I could survive on a deserted island for a few days but then after the third day I would seek companionship. Can you say Wilson? (  Little joke from the movie Castaway.)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me but how does he strengthen me? What or who does he use to strengthen me? He uses the people around me. The people who really take the time to build a relationship with me and I with them. People who really know my heart and my intent.

The Philippian church loved Paul dearly and helped support him in time of need even when he did not ask for it or require it. They had his heart and had a true relationship with him. Overcoming does not have to be alone. We can stand together. I  want all of you to know that I love you and truly want to be there for you. It is important that we stick together and lift each other up in time of need.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us through each other.

Love you all,

Johnny

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Victim or Victor ( I can do all things part 3)

Philippians 4:11-12  I'm not saying this because I'm in any need. I've learned to be content in whatever situation I'm in.  (12)  I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little.

Paul the Apostle had learned a valuable secret in life. He learned to be content or happy in whatever situation he was in. It did not mean that during the hard times he was oblivious to the situations. It simply meant he learned to adapt and overcome through the power of Christ. Instead of being the VICTIM, he became the VICTOR.

Many people live their lives in a VICTIM state. " I have this bad thing happening to me or my past was so bad you would not believe." And for some their situations are truly horrific like the story of the 14 year old Muslim girl who converted to Christianity. She lived in one of the Mid-Eastern countries of today. When she was persecuted for her new found faith; she simply smiled and pressed forward. She was beaten and abused by her own family but instead of being the victim she remained the victor. Finally , her father had her killed by means of beheading her.  This young girl had the right to be the VICTIM; she truly had horrific things happen to her. She chose not to let her situations in life stop her pursuit of the one true God. She had found the truth and gave her life for it. This was what Paul was talking about. This is what it means to truly overcome and to do all things through Christ.

Many believers go around allowing their circumstances to dictate their life. Trust me I know more than most the trials of life. I have been through some pretty horrific things myself, but I also know that Christ is my answer. He is the anchor that holds. I refuse to be the VICTIM.  You and I have the power to overcome any situation in life. We can truly do all things through Christ. I am not telling you that you current situation is not bad or hard to deal with. I am just giving the truth of God's word of how to overcome it. It is OK to admit what the situation is but never allow the situation to dictate to you your current faith.

Be the VICTOR not the VICTIM!!!!

blessings,


Johnny

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Can do all things part 2


Luke 10:18-20  Jesus said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning.  (19)  I have given you the authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to destroy the enemy's power. Nothing will hurt you.  (20)  However, don't be happy that evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven."





The 70 Disciples just came back to Jesus from a Mission trip that he sent them on. They were pumped up because they saw the Lord do great things through their hands. 


Jesus presented a key of truth to the disciples on that day. He declared something powerful and so amazing which left the disciples with a different persepective.  He gave us a glimpse into his God state while in heaven. He remembered when Satan was kicked out of heaven and he was kicked so hard that he fell down like a lighting bolt. I am thinking that being kick by the foot of God is not a good experience. Oh slue foot , the devil, has that experience. He is such a loser. 

Jesus was making a statement to his disciples. " Hey guys, I am here to tell you the enemy is defeated. I have given you the authority to overcome him and his minions. You have the power to crushed the enemy's power. Trust me when I tell you that he is powerless."


Jesus gave his  disciples a different perspective on life. He had the advantage of knowing just how powerless the enemy really was and is. Just for those brief moments the disciples were allowed to look through the eyes of Christ. 


We can truly do all things through Christ. Whenever we are faced with an impossible situation all we have to do is look through the eyes of Christ and see that the enemy is powerless. All we have to do is remember that Jesus has given us HIS AUTHORITY. Do you get that? He has given us HIS AUTHORITY. How powerful is that?  Through Holy Spirit we can walk in the authority of Christ allowing us to overcome any situation. This stuff is too amazing to make up. This is the word of God!  Know that you are an overcomer and that you can do all things through Christ.



blessings,

Johnny



 











Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Bridegroom's Chamber


 Note: I felt led to submit this. This is from my journal entry I made last September. I felt like the Lord wanted me to release it now.

September 25, 2010  11:44 PM

Dear Journal,

THE BRIDEGROOM'S CHAMBER

John 3:29-31  The bridegroom is the one to whom the bride belongs; but the bridegroom's friend, who stands by and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This is how my own happiness is made complete.  (30)  He must become more important while I become less important."  (31)  He who comes from above is greater than all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly matters, but he who comes from heaven is above all.


Today as I was worshiping. I just saw this bedroom chamber. It was lavished with fine linens and plush pillows. On the mantle was a picture of the King and His bride. There was joy upon their faces. I kept hearing the Lord say. :-) " Come and stay in my chamber, wait for me."  :-) In my vision, I felt such peace and happiness. I did not want to leave to say the least. I also heard the Lord say "  :-) The bride belongs to me and her happiness is through me." " Stay and wait for me. Many don't want to wait upon me any more. Those who wait will receive the reward. Those who leave will miss my entrance. Don't grow wearing in the waiting for the waiting is where the faith lies. The waiting is where the true heart endures. The waiting is not for the weak but the strong in me. Tell my bride to wait for me. Tell them to practice entering in my chamber and receiving my joy. Tell them to wait in the Chamber. The chamber is my place of rest and my place of release. It is where I commune with my Bride. Many are afraid to simply come and sit at my feet. You all must decrease in order to find the increase. In my chamber I hold the secrets to your heart and my passion is transferable there." :-)

While in this vision, I kept singing to the Lord for his passion and his wisdom. I kept longing for something more. The chamber left me in a place of longing for something more in Him. It was as if I had been missing something or I over looked an aspect of His glory.

I like what John the Baptist discovered about the chamber of the Lord. :-) " This is how my own happiness is made complete. He must become more important while I become less important."  :-) The surrendered life in Christ is just that. A surrendered Life!!!! All things are turned over to Him. Every anger, bitterness, pain, and sin is given to him. The surrendered life means that our lives must be put to death. Christians are DEAD SINNERS. We are crucified people who no longer desire the lusts of our flesh. Our desires are of Him and through Him. Our God is not from this planet , He is above it and the creator of it. He deserves our attention and He deserves our gratitude. Without His influence there would be no moral code or righteous way to live. One thing I discovered this morning and I already knew but just have forgotten sometimes is that He ( the Infinite , glorious, beautiful, and wonderful God) wanted to spend time with me. Time without strings attached. Time without conditions or needs. He just wanted me to wait in His chambers until he arrived with his glory and splendor. Our God is truly marvelous.




I love you all,

In His chamber ( DO NOT DISTURB SIGN IS HANGING)

Johnny

Friday, August 5, 2011

Victory in all DIfficulties.

Romans 8:37-39  The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.  (38)  I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can't be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces  (39)  or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.





Regardless of where your life is right now, there is a God who loves you. For those who follow Him passionately; we have a glorious promise of VICTORY in our lives!!! VICTORY over SIN!!! VICTORY over TRIALS!!! VICTORY over CIRCUMSTANCES!!!



The ONE ( JESUS) who loves us gives us AN OVERWHELMING VICTORY IN ALL DIFFICULTIES!!!. How powerful is that!!! Now the victories are not always in our way of thinking, but victories nonetheless.


The living God is a live and is moving across this planet with great power. Maybe you are in the middle of some difficult circumstances right now or maybe you find yourself battling a reoccurring sin. God is faithful. The Victory for your circumstances have already been given. Do we believe his word or simply quote it for a good dramatic effect?


I have seen time and time again my God wield victory in my life's circumstances. He has always been faithful and He will always be faithful even when we doubt. His love runs so deep for us more than we could ever know. We try to explain his love or capitalize on it, but we don't fully understand. One thing we can understand or know to be true is that HE LOVES. That love carries the power of Victory for our circumstances.


Stand tall today!!!! Don't fret or have regrets. Don't worry about tomorrow or even today. You have no control over either. Trust in the one who brings VICTORY IN ALL DIFFICULT TIMES.

Please use the comment section and write in your prayer request so I can pray for you more effectively.

Blessings,

Johnny



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Outstanding Believers

Acts 2:41-47  Those who accepted what Peter said were baptized. That day about 3,000 people were added to the group.  (42)  The disciples were devoted to the teachings of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.  (43)  A feeling of fear came over everyone as many amazing things and miraculous signs happened through the apostles.  (44)  All the believers kept meeting together, and they shared everything with each other.  (45)  From time to time, they sold their property and other possessions and distributed the money to anyone who needed it.  (46)  The believers had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They were joyful and humble as they ate at each other's homes and shared their food.  (47)  At the same time, they praised God and had the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord saved people, and they were added to the group.

What makes us unique to the world? What makes us believers that passionately follow our Lord? We don't belong to a blind faith. We follow a real and present Savior; who loves us unconditionally. When Peter finished preaching the message of Christ on that fine day. 3,000 people came to the knowledge and salvation of Christ. In an instance, their whole way of thinking was changed to God's way of thinking. They wanted nothing more but to please their living God.


What makes us the " OUTSTANDING BELIEVERS" of today?  I believe the above passage can give us some clues.

1. Acceptance : The Outstanding believers mentioned in this passage firstly accepted the word that was spoken to them by Peter. They message was revealed as truth to them and they chose to follow. Outstanding believers accept and live the Message of Hope to the world. We believe it strongly to our core and nothing can waver us from it.
2. Devotion: The Outstanding believers were devoted to the teachings, to relationships, to prayer, to communion, and every way of Christian living.
3. Reverence:  The Fear of the Lord was present and out of the fear of the Lord miraculous things would constantly happen. When we lose our total reverence to God; we lose the miraculous. Outstanding believers recognize and honor their God.
4. Unification:  The Outstanding believers kept meeting together. They would encourage each other and strategize about the spreading of the Good news.They all walked in one purpose.
5. Collaboration: The Outstanding believers shared all of their resources with each other. When one was in need; the others would sale land or excess and give it to the person in need. Where is this at today among the believers? We American Christians support our missionaries which is great but what about supporting native leaders or ministers in foreign countries. They will have the greater impact. Outstanding Believers share their resources with each other so the kingdom of God can be advanced.
6. Adoration: They worshiped and praised the Lord together. They wanted the world to know about their love and devotion to their living God. Outstanding believers declare their praise to their God.
7. Multiplication: The Outstanding believers reproduced. They shared their faith and many others came to the truth. This is what we are called to do.  When you have the truth; you have to share it with everyone.

What are we doing to become these " Outstanding Believer."?  I want to be the difference in the world today. What about you?

Blessings,

Johnny

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Jesus' House

Luke 5:17-26  One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and experts in Moses' Teachings were present. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. Jesus had the power of the Lord to heal.  (18)  Some men brought a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They tried to take him into the house and put him in front of Jesus.  (19)  But they could not find a way to get him into the house because of the crowd. So they went up on the roof. They made an opening in the tiles and let the man down on his stretcher among the people. (They lowered him in front of Jesus.)  (20)  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Sir, your sins are forgiven."  (21)  The scribes and the Pharisees thought, "Who is this man? He's dishonoring God! Who besides God can forgive sins?"  (22)  Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, "What are you thinking?  (23)  Is it easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?  (24)  I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Then he said to the paralyzed man, "Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home."  (25)  The man immediately stood up in front of them and picked up the stretcher he had been lying on. Praising God, he went home.  (26)  Everyone was amazed and praised God. They were filled with awe and said, "We've seen things today we can hardly believe!"

Before Jesus entered the ministry, he was the earthly son of a carpenter.  Jesus was able financially and physically to have his own house. There is no proof to say that the passage above was about Jesus' house or wasn't  about Jesus' house. For our study, lets say that this was indeed Jesus' house.Before Jesus went into the ministry, he could have very well had his own house. He was 30 years old.. There was something significant about being 30. According to 12th century commentator, Rashbam, it meant the person was worthy of Leadership.  Here is a clip from a writing I found on the Internet about the subject. " The Code of Jewish Law (O.C. 581:1) instructs congregations to seek certain qualities when choosing a cantor to lead the services on the High Holidays. One of these qualities is that he should be at least 30 years old. Why? The Mishna Brura explains that it is because a 30-year-old is humble and broken hearted, and can thus sincerely "pray from the heart.""
Then in the Torah we find that someone who has reached the age of 30 has discovered the " Moment of Truth." This means that the individual has discovered the certain realities of life and humbly uses them for leadership. Age 30 was also the time when the Jewish man prepared his home for his future bride. Are you getting the big picture yet?


Now let's look at what took place in Jesus' house. We can apply it today for our lives. What should be taking place in the House of Christ today in our time?

1. Teaching:  Jesus was teaching the religious people and average person in his house. He was explaining the word of God with great authority and understanding. The word of God is a living organism. It is life to anyone who hears it and believes it. In the House of God today , we should be hearing and doing the word of God. His word is a two-edged sword and many try to corrupt it for their benefit. Jesus taught the word "AS IS" There were no hidden messages or twisted meanings. It was the pure unadulterated word of God. This is why the religious people of the day would get upset with Him. In the House of God, the teaching of God's word should be so strong and so adored that the hearer is deeply changed and renewed by it. His word is life changing!!!!
2.  The Power of God:  Vs. 17 says that Jesus has the Power to Heal. The Power of God was present in the House of Jesus. People came from all over because of this power. In the House of God today, there should be a constant flow of God's power flowing. It should be like a continuous pipeline pumping the power of God through every believer. We are the House of God. We are the carriers of His glorious power to the nations.
3. Stirring of Faith:  Vs 19. We see the faith of the four men. They believed so strongly that Jesus could heal their friend.  Their faith was so stirred that nothing was going to stop them from seeing their friend from being  healed. In the House of God today, the faith of his people is limited. What are we willing to do to see our God do great things? How far will we go in our faith? We are the people of God and our faith much reach out to the world. Are we willing to rip off the roof of Jesus to see a miracle take place? We claim we want revival but we are never willing to put our faith where our mouth is. Faith is the belief in the impossible. When you believe in the impossible nothing stops you from pressing forward. We need this faith in the House of God today.
4.  Sins are forgiven
5. Revealing of hearts:  Vs. 22  Jesus discerned the hearts of the religious and of the people who were there. He knew what they were thinking. He revealed their hearts before everyone and spoke out what they were thinking. In the House of God today, we should have this kind of discernment flowing. We should create an atmosphere were the hearts of all are revealed. This is the only way UNITY will be able to survive. This will usher in the fear of the Lord and it will humble God's people. Oh Lord come and reveal my heart in your presence!!!!
6. Changed lives: 25-26.  Jesus commanded the man to rise up and walk. The man stood up, took up his mat, and left for home Praising the living God. In the House of God, there should be changed lives. People should be walking in freedom. This man stood up and took up the very thing he was accustom to. He was use to the mat. It had became a part of his life, and he was bound to it. When Jesus touched his life that mat was needed no longer. When we are changed by the power of God; we should never turn back to the familiar that once kept us bound. We should leave the house of God changed and renewed.
7.  Praise through Amazement: Vs. 26. In the house of Christ people praised the living God because of the amazement of what they just saw.  Sometimes our praise before the Lord is done in routine and ritual. What if we kept a sense of amazement beating in our hearts for Jesus, and we praised Him from those hearts? What would our worship look like? What would our praise look like?

We are the house of God and all these things should be happening within our gatherings and within our individual lives. We are the Body of Christ. It is more than just a title it is a position. We should see these things happening in our lives, in some measure, on a daily basis. The only reason we don't see them is because we get caught up in the cares of this world. I know I do at times, but I want to see my Lord glorified more and more. I want to see Him transforming the lives of so many around me. It is time that we act and live like the House of God should act and live. Oh may the Living God be glorified in our lives today!!!!!!