Monday, October 31, 2011

Godly relationships that last

I have been thinking a lot about relationships and how we ( as humans) interact with each other. I can't help but wonder why some relationships fizzle down the drain after they have previously flourished. Why do families fight and separate? Why do friends get mad at each other and dissipate? Why do Christians fight and bicker? People who once loved and cherish each other are now worse enemies. People who once thought highly of each other are now gossiping behind each other backs and putting each other down. Why? How does it come to this? I have seen it where Christians, who were once friends, break off and start praying against each other. Um, I don't think God is going to answer those prayers from either side. Even if one is right ( so to speak)  That is the other thing. Human beings have to be right about everything. The only thing in this world that is right and never goes wrong is the WORD OF THE LIVING GOD.  If I am quoting and living by His word , I can never go wrong.  Oh another thought, I know I am being random but it has a purpose. We use the word of God against each other when we break off our relationships. Now I am not talking about obvious sins. I am talking about finding a verse that makes us feel right about the situation. It is funny and sad to see at times. I believe we have all done it one time or another. As human beings, we seem to gravitate to those who agree with us. We surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear and make us feel good inside. This is a sign of immaturity plus low self-esteem. Trust me I have been there. This is also a sign of a shallow relationship. People want shallow relationships because they can keep all their hurts and pains that they are accustomed too.  Ouch, I just touched a nerve from one of you readers didn't I? Well don't feel bad. It hit me too.

I believe there is a higher plain we should be going in our relationships with each other. Guess what? God designed for us to be closer than what we really are. Family is supposed to be close and the friends we inhabit are supposed to be just as close. There is a bond that Holy Spirit desires to bring between us. This bond can send demons to flight. It can overcome any obstacle. It can direct the angels of God for our behalf, and it brings an unshakable unity among the body of Christ.  It sounds to good to be true right? I sound like a late night infomercial. " If you call now within the next few minutes not only will you get one unbreakable relationship bond for $9.99 but we will throw in a second unbreakable relationship bond for free."  Well I am here to say that there is something more going on than an infomercial on your TV.  God created us to be relational but relational in a godly sense not a human sense.


Genesis 4:6-10  Then the LORD asked Cain, "Why are you angry, and why do you look disappointed?  (7)  If you do well, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it."  (8)  Cain talked to his brother Abel. Later, when they were in the fields, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.  (9)  The LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he answered. "Am I supposed to take care of my brother?"  (10)  The LORD asked, "What have you done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.

The human idea of relationship is " If you don't agree with me then you are out of my life or if I am jealous over you then I will just kill you." Look at the first relationship spat in the Bible. Able was following the Lord with his whole heart. Cain was just a slacker Christian. Able seemed to have a great relationship with God and Cain did not. Cain got jealous over his brother and decided to remove the competition from the equation. One day, he simply killed his brother in cold blood and tried to cover up the crime scene. He forgot that Daddy God is the original CSI expert. This is the fleshy , sinful answer for people in relationships. If I think you are against me then see ya! Wow how shallow is that!

I have tried , over the years, to surround myself with people who challenge me. I have some who will call me out on things. My youth pastor and I were close but he was also the first one to call me out if I was doing something wrong. My boss at work calls me out sometimes and I am grateful for his honesty. I do the same to him. It is funny to watch. My past relationship with my mentor and Friend Glenn was this way to. I am forever grateful to his love and insight. We don't always have to agree. In fact this is what makes a healthy and strong relationship. Who wants a bunch of  " YES" men around them?  
( Obama, Senators, Congressmen and women, some bosses, people who don't want to face their own short comings, me sometimes when I don't want to face my own closet skeletons,  oh wait a minute my inside voice accidental transferred onto this blog. Argggggg!) I think you get the point.

Jonathan and David were a biblical example of a godly relationship. They were very close during a time where Jonathan could be killed for just being seen with David. (  If loving you is wrong , I don't want to be right.... [ Sorry song in my head]) Jonathan was the son of the first King of Israel Saul. He was a warrior and loved his countrymen. Jonathan and David's relationship kicks off right after David finished killing Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:56-58  The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is."  (57)  When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner brought him to Saul. David had the Philistine's head in his hand.  (58)  Saul asked him, "Whose son are you, young man?" "The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem," David answered.
1 Samuel 18:1-5  David finished talking to Saul. After that, Jonathan became David's closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself.  (2)  (From that day on Saul kept David as his servant and didn't let him go back to his family.)  (3)  So Jonathan made a pledge of mutual loyalty with David because he loved him as much as he loved himself.  (4)  Jonathan took off the coat he had on and gave it to David along with his battle tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.  (5)  David was successful wherever Saul sent him. Saul put him in charge of the fighting men. This pleased all the people, including Saul's officials.


Jonathan and David had a mutual understanding with each other. They both loved their nation and were willing to die for it. They both were chosen by God for a purpose. Do you know how close they became? They became like brothers. Blood brothers even.  The Native Americans have a history of following Blood Brother rituals. The two men would cut the palm of their hands and mix the blood together by shaking each others hands. This meant that their two families would forever be indebted to each. My childhood friend Rob Taylor and I did this when we were kids. Except we were too chicken to cut each other. We just spit on each others hands and shook. Funny I know but I consider Rob to be a brother to me and his mom is my second mom. My friends Billy Threatt, Tom Kalianov and Brian Norton are probably the next people I would say who come close to this type of relationship.

Jonathan and David became close brothers even though they were not actual family members. Jonathan became like a mentor to David as well considering David was about 16 at this time and Jonathan was about 40. Their relationship lasted even into their descendants. Look at what David did after he became king and Jonathan had already passed away.

2 Samuel 9:1-13  David asked, "Is there anyone left in Saul's family to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"  (2)  Now, Saul's family had a servant whose name was Ziba. He was summoned to come to David. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked him. "Yes, I am," he answered.  (3)  David asked, "Is there someone left in Saul's family to whom I can show God's kindness?" "Jonathan has a son who is disabled," Ziba answered.  (4)  "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba replied, "He is at the home of Machir, Ammiel's son, in Lo Debar."  (5)  So King David sent men to get him from the home of Ammiel's son Machir in Lo Debar.  (6)  When Mephibosheth (son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul) came to David, he quickly bowed down with his face touching the ground. "Mephibosheth!" David said to him. "Yes, sir," he answered.  (7)  "Don't be afraid," David told him, "I will certainly show you kindness for your father Jonathan's sake. I will give back to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."  (8)  Mephibosheth bowed down again and answered, "Who am I that you would look at a dead dog like me?"  (9)  Then the king called for Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.  (10)  You, your sons, and your servants should farm the land for him and harvest the crops so that your master's family will have food to eat. However, your master's grandson Mephibosheth will always eat at my table." (Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants.)  (11)  Ziba responded, "I will do everything you've commanded, Your Majesty." From then on, Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons.  (12)  Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. Everyone who lived at Ziba's home became Mephibosheth's servant.  (13)  However, Mephibosheth, who was disabled, lived in Jerusalem. He always ate at the king's table.


This is a true bond ladies and gentlemen! Two men who loved each other in God's way. Two men who were closer than brothers. Two men who had a bond of friendship which was passed on to their descendants.Two men who had a godly relationship which was not perverted by sin.  This is the purpose of God!!! This is the true meaning of relationships! We are called to this!!! I said we are called to this!!!!  So how can we obtain it?


Getting a godly relationship that lasts:

1. Don't surround yourself with "YES MEN"
2. Find common ground
3. Understand that there are different levels of relationships ( Jesus had the 70, the 12, and the 3)
4. Be loyal to each other
5. Make a blood covenant. ( Don't cut yourself but make a covenant with each other)
6. Be brutally honest with each other.
7. Work past differences ( not sin differences, don't ever make an excuse for blantant sin)
8. Fight beside each other through the tough times.
9. Stand up for each other.
10. Put God in the center.
11. Share the ugliest secrets with each other. ( This is something men don't do today)
12. Understand that relationship building is risky but worth it.
13. Forgive each other
14. Pray together
15. Allow Holy Spirit to lead it and sustain it.
16. Pass it on to the descandants.
17. Take care of one another. ( Give your resources to each other)
18. Keep the bond alive and make it organic for others to see.

We can have godly relationships with our family members or friends if we so desire. It is up to us. Now I am talking about relationships that are God directed. We are not called to be friends or have this type of relationship with everyone on the planet. However, I would say Christians should be the example to the world of how to have these type of relationships. We should be close with each other in our churches. We should birth godly relationships with those who come within our sphere of influence. It is the GOD-WAY!!!!


Blessing to all!!!

Johnny

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Masks We Wear

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
              We Wear the Mask

    WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.
    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
            We wear the mask.
    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
            We wear the mask!
 
We wear masks each and ever day and hide our true intentions. They show the fake smiles and familiar greetings. Masks cover up our true impressions and our deep emotions. Sometimes we figure if we can cover them up no one will notice and no one will see our true selves. We hide our hurts and sorrows behind the masks and never see the damage inside. The emptiness is hidden behind the masks but never goes away.

God sees the heart of men no matter how good we get at hiding behind the masks.

1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD told Samuel, "Don't look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart."

Humans look at the outward appearances of each other. The best looking man or woman usually gets the promotion. The richer or well off kids are the most popular ones at school or church. We see the outward and make our judgments or assumptions.  God sees us for who we are and loves us no matter what. He gave his Son for all of our deepest hurts and pains. He desires to reveal them to us, so we don't stay bound to the hidden things.

Masks are not good. They prevent the world for seeing our true intentions. Why do we so readily hide behind them? Many people don't want to let others in fully into their world. They are afraid for people to see their true hearts or of their secret skeletons.

 We never truly find healing when we hide behind the self made masks. We are never free until we allow the Lord to free us.

Isaiah 53:5  He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds.

Jesus loves being the mask crusher. He loves healing us from our hidden secrets and making us free.

Masks keep our relationships on the surface. God is calling us to deeper relationships. The Gospel is about building stronger relationships and lifting each other up. We need each other. We were not created to have just shallow acquaintances. We were meant to take off the masks and really get to know each other. Our spiritual DNA was instilled inside of us to be closer and more real with each other.

Holy relationships help spread the Message like wild fire. This is why we don't need masks. Masks prevent the Message from spreading and from infiltrating the hearts of mankind.

Remove the masks and allow the Lord to bring healing. Allow your relationships to go deeper and beyond the surface. Take the risks  and allow your heart to be revealed to the right people. God is faithful. He stands right there with us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Atheist Agenda

There is an atheist movement that is trying to eradicate religion from our planet. Don't worry they are not doing it by physical force.( YET!) Richard Dawkins ( bless his heart) has started a ministry that reaches out to ex-ministers and ex-believers in religion. ( The focus is more on Christians from what I can tell but what do I know. I am not as smart as Mr. Dawkins.)  Read the article below

Dr. Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus and Founder of Recovering from Religion has selected former evangelical minister Jerry DeWitt as its new Executive Director.
Kansas City, Mo, October 20, 2011: Recovering from Religion was in founded in 2009 by Dr. Darrel Ray. It is dedicated to helping people navigate the path out of religion.
We are pleased to announce a new Executive Director for Recovering from Religion. Three years after founding RR, Dr. Darrel Ray, is handing the reins over to someone who can devote much more time to the effort. “I simply have too much on my plate to do justice to this important movement.” Dr. Ray said. “Jerry brings experience, excitement and enthusiasm which will help us grow RR into a safe haven for thousands who are exchanging religion for a faith free life. RR as a key portal into the Freethinker movement. Many who leave religion need emotional support. They have no idea where they can find Freethinker resources. They may not even know what the word Freethinker means. RR provides that link. There are thousands of groups trying to get you into religion, we are the only one helping you get out.”
With over Twenty-five years of ministerial experience Jerry DeWitt brings to RR a broad understanding of the religious lifestyle and its effects on personal wellbeing. He also holds the distinction of being the first graduate of, and spokesman for, The Clergy Project, a private, invitation-only “safe house” community of current and former ministers who no longer hold the supernatural beliefs of their religious traditions. The Clergy Project was started by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, philosopher Daniel Dennett, researcher Linda LaScola and former minister Dan Barker.
Jerry will take over the day-to-day operations of RR and manage the development of the new local groups as well as strategic cooperation with secular organizations. Dr. Ray will remain as Chairman of the Board and Chief Advisor.
The RR mission
After publishing his book, The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, Dr. Darrel Ray found a huge need for some kind of support group to help people deal with the aftermath of leaving their religion. Such a move often causes problems with family, spouses, children, even employers in some cases. RR is dedicated to helping people, not reindoctrinating them. RR doesn’t care if someone has a god belief, what we are concerned about is the religion part of it. The RR mission is to coordinate and facilitate face-to-face meeting for those who desire support in leaving their religion.
RR also facilitates on-line forums and resources in cooperation with other secular organizations and groups. It tries to connect those in need with secular therapists in their local community. RR encourages people to live a faith-free rational life, without superstition and fear of the supernatural thus becoming Recovering Religionists. For more information visit
www.recoveringreligionists.com

Muslim Agenda

I usually don't write on other religions but I feel the need to now. I believe the Muslim agenda is growing around the world and Christians and Jews will be the ones paying the price for it.  I have provided a link to a news story about Lybia.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/10/23/calls-for-investigation-as-autopsy-reveals-qaddafi-died-from-gunshot-to-head/

Mr. Gadhafi is now dead and the transitional government is already moving in. Not for democracy but for an unholy theocracy. They are calling for Sharia Law. Sharia Law allows for great persecution for Jews and Christians. It calls for the killing and beheading of the infidels.  Parts of Sharia Law is the worse kind of human rights violations known to man, but many in the world turn a deaf ear to the cries of those who suffer under its pain. If you have a voice or speak out against it; you are quickly hauled off and put to death. This is not the justice of the living God! This is not what the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob intended for mankind.  Sin brings it own judgment, and we need not to help it along. If you have to kill people who are not of your faith then your faith is shallow and you really don't believe in it.

Look at the link below. I warn there are some graphic images.

http://www.therightscoop.com/the-horror-of-sharia-law/

I have met some pretty nice Muslims during my travels. Some even listened to the message of Christ. We had a Muslim on my last trip out of  the States who was a very nice taxi driver.( No Stereotype intended)  He took us where we needed to be and was very generous in speech and mannerisms. I have to believe that most Muslims don't agree with this type of extreme within the Sharia Law. Someone once said, " All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to sit back and do nothing..." 

Lybia just got free from a horrorable dictator. A man who killed his own people and robbed them of their humanity, but now they are getting something worse. Now Christians will be severly presucted even more.  We are seeing this in Eygpt and other nations who have overthrown their governements and replaced it with Islam. Syria will be the next country that will meet that fate.

We helped to free Iraq and Afghanistan from horrible dictators and Islamic extremists to only see those countries replace their freedom with bondage. Christians have suffered worse under the new leadership of those countries than they did in the previous. Afghanistan has officially no christian churches in it's country any longer. No Schools, no churches, they have all been wiped out on an official level. The the church of the living God is still present but not recognized by the government. This country ranks third on the Open Doors World Watch List. ( A list stating the worst countries that persecute Christians. )

Christians we need to pray more than ever. The Muslim agenda is growing. I read a story from Charisma Magazine which talked about a teenage Christian who was beheaded in Somalia just because of his faith.  The Muslims there have vowed to eradicate any Christians left in their nation. The parents of this young man had to flee for their lives and could not even give him a proper burial.  We desperately need to pray for the revelation of Jesus to be present in all countries around the world.

Matthew 16:13-17  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  (14)  They answered, "Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."  (15)  He asked them, "But who do you say I am?"  (16)  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!"  (17)  Jesus replied, "Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you.

Peter caught the revelation of who Jesus was and is. The world needs this revelation more and more today. 

Sharia Law is trying to hit even my country in places like Detroit and other stronghold Muslim cities. No country is immune.

I personally love the Muslim people. I don't agree with their faith obliviously but they have a right to believe what they want to believe.  Muslims have contributed in a good way to modern society today and we can honor this truth. I admire the devotion the Muslims have in their faith something that is sometimes lacked in the Christian faith. They pray 5 times a day, we can't even get Christians to pray for 5 minutes. I know in my heart that some Muslims are not evil or destructive but the interpretation from some over the Sharia Law is very dangerous. I have personally read some of the KORAN. There are some similarities of what we believe in the word of God that are good.

We must be careful. We must pray more than ever. We must share our faith with those who desire to listen  and respect those who don't agree with us.I don't agree with the Muslims faith as a whole but that does not mean I am going to kill them for it. That is ridiculous and ludicrous. My Faith has a stronger foundation than that.

If you want the world to stay the same, then sit back and do nothing. If you want to make some minute difference then rise up and take a stand. There is still hope. Yes, Christ is returning soon. Yes, the world is heading in the wrong direction, but where in God's word our we commanded to quit? We have a revelation that no other religion in the world can lay claim to. Our Savior came to earth fulfilling generations of prophecies about him. He lived, died, rose again from the grave and declared His definite return. His body is not in a glass case or on display in some historical museum. He is alive and sitting on the right hand side of the Father! We serve a Living Savior who will one day come back to this planet and overcome the diseased growth of evil. Rejoice brothers and sisters! And look to the heavens for our redemption draws nigh. Until that time we must be diligent. We must be about our Father's business. We must be seekers and be those who obtain his kingdom.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sacrifice for His message

The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572 ended in assassinations and Catholic Mob violence which were directed towards the Huguenots. Thousands of Huguenots were killed on this depressing day of French History.  The Huguenots were French Protestants. The Huguenots were literate and could read scriptures themselves which was a Catholic no no. The Catholic church of the day wanted the people illiterate and bound to their articulation of Scripture. Prior to the Massacre, the Huguenots endured countless episodes of harassments, property seizures, tortures, executions, and slaughters. The motto of the day was one law, one king, and one faith. The Catholic church had complete control over the region.
The Huguenots wanted to know God personally and they wanted to read his word in their own language. In 1520, the word of God was translated into French and reading of the word was given to the common man. The Catholic church persecuted the saints even to the point of burning some at the stake and calling Christian heretics. These actions did not stop the Huguenots and the word of God fell into the hands of many who hungered for it.
The Day of the Massacre over 10,000 Christians were killed and their bodies dumped into the river. Within a week over 100,000 Christians were massacred. All because believers hungered for the word of God and wanted to know him personally. It was Christians like these which helped spread the word of God for all to read. Reformers cause reformation from the things which are wrong and untruthful. If it were not for  Reformers like these we would be unable to read God's word in our own language for today.

How important is the message to us? Is it something worth dying for? We are called to be reformers today and to stand up for the truth. Jesus said unless we are willing to take up the cross and follow Him; we are not really his followers.

Matthew 10:38  Whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow me doesn't deserve to be my disciple.

Where is the passion for the word of God today? The Huguenots endure hardships and death in order for the word of God to be given to average people. The word of God is powerful and worth dying for.

Psalm 33:4  The word of the LORD is correct, and everything he does is trustworthy.
Psalm 119:16  Your laws make me happy. I never forget your word.
Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. 

God's word is so important it is worth the sacrifice. We are willing to lay down all for His truth and to see it spread throughout the world. I hope we can learn from ancestry brothers and sisters in Christ and surrender all for the call.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lessons In Leadership Part 8 " Frustration"

Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.
Bo Bennett

I was an accomplice in my own frustration.
Peter Shaffer

It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail.
Lech Walesa

Every leader goes through periods of frustration. Frustration in the ministry. Frustration with the job position. Frustration with how life is presently. It is a common thread which runs among leaders and pastors. Some of those frustrations are warranted and some are self inflicted. Either or can send you and I down a wrong path in regards to poor leadership. 

When you are frustrated there is the tendency to lead by your emotions or become a soulish leader. A soulish leader leads with thick emotion and makes poor decisions for the people of God.   Moses was a leader who became frustrated with the ones he led. Although Moses was a great leader; he allowed his frustration to be channeled into the wrong direction. His mistake costed him the entrance into the holy land. 

Numbers 20:7-13  The LORD said to Moses,  (8)  "Take your staff, then you and your brother Aaron gather the community. Right before their eyes, tell the rock to give up its water. In this way you will give the community water from the rock for them and their animals to drink."  (9)  Moses took his staff out of the tent in the LORD'S presence as he had been commanded.  (10)  Then Moses and Aaron assembled the community in front of the rock and said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring water out of this rock for you?"  (11)  Moses raised his hand and hit the rock twice with the staff. Water came pouring out, and all the people and their animals drank.  (12)  But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "You didn't trust me! You didn't show the Israelites how holy I am! So you will not bring this congregation into the land I'm giving them."  (13)  This was the oasis of Meribah [Complaining], where the Israelites complained about the LORD and where he showed them he was holy.
 
Now Moses had the right to be frustrated at the people of Israel. They were self-centered, complaining, back-biting, never maturing believers who simply wondered around in circles for 40 years.  Sounds like some of the people in your congregation huh? Moses allowed the immature beleivers to get to him, and it hinder his relationship with the Father. He should have spoken to the rock instead of hitting it two times. Moses' frustration caused him to disobey God's command and brought judgement from the Living God himself. 

Frustration can be a catalyst that pushes you to ahead in your leadership development or it could be the very thing which ruins your influence over others. To be frank, no one is worth being a hindrance in your relationship with the Father or hindering your leadership development. You or I cannot grow or build the things of God  if we are shackled to frustration. It is human nature for people to strike out when they feel like they were hurt. We MUST resist the temptation.


Frustration trigger points.
There are trigger points which increase our frustration. We must be careful not to allow these to overwhelm us. Below are some examples.


1. Immature followers who refuse to grow or see the big picture. 
2.  Finances in the church or business not always appearing.
3. Family not living God's word or seeing the call as important as you.
4. Other leaders in the church not rising up and maturing like they should.
5. Followers taking but never giving back.
6. Changes in the business procedure or church direction.
7. Ex-followers or external people talking behind your back or gossiping about you.


All of the above are wrong for those committing those acts and God will bring swift judgement to them. However, the actions from others should never give us the excuse of leading through our frustrations and emotions. God's people are God's people even if they are stubborn and immature at times. We should never,  under any circumstances, return evil for evil. This does not mean that you should not address their lives but do so through the Word of God and with no emotional attachment to their actions.  This is hard to do at times and I can't say that I have personally always been faitfhul in it. I will say this, there is a thin line between holy anger and anger in it's original form.  Moses was so steemed by the immaturity  of his people that he missed the voice of God.  Loved ones, we must be careful.


Overcoming Frustration:


1. Develop a thick hide.  Don't let what others say about you effect you.
2. Stay humble.
3.Allow disappointments to build your faith and develop your leadership. 
4. Learn the difference between holy anger and just plain anger.
5. Pray for those who are trigger points for your frustration. 


Never allow your frustration to get the best of  you.

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessons In Leadership Part 7 " Self Leadership"

"Learning to lead yourself well is one of the most important things you’ll ever do as a leader.  For almost forty years I’ve served others as a leader, and for more than two and a half decades of that time I was the senior pastor of a church.  My years working with people have taught me an important truth: people seldom see themselves realistically. Human nature seems to endow us with the ability to size up everybody in the world except ourselves. That’s why my book Winning with People begins with the Mirror Principle: “The first person we must examine is ourselves.” If you don’t look at yourself realistically, you will never understand where your personal difficulties are coming from"------ John Maxwell

You can't lead others if you can't lead yourself. Some of the best leaders in the world are those who are able to personally lead every area of their lives. I must say that I am not there fully yet. That is why John Maxwell also talks about different levels of leadership but that is another lesson. Going from being a good leader to a great leader is a process. Good to Great leaders know how to lead internally first. People will follow you when they see the internal strength that you or I might  release.

You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself."
— Jim Whittaker


"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways."
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Author
"It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them."
— La Rochefoucauld



"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else."
— Henry Ward Beecher

Being a leader means holding yourself to the highest standard. You are never satisfied within. You always are learning. You always are searching for the next thing. You  always desire more from the Lord. Self leadership means never making excuses for yourself, never getting on a pity party, and always being hard on yourself and lenient to others. It takes a lot to look deep within yourself. Self leadership is important but self-deception is a slippery serpent. Self-deception can cripple a leader for a long time if he or she does not address it immediately. There is not one person on the planet that can not succumb to self-deception.

"So we really deceive ourselves and make emotional decisions and when we end up where those decisions take us, we are just baffled as to how this can happen to us. Well, it is the direction we chose."--------Andy Stanley 

When you are leading yourself; you can not afford to be led by your emotions. Leading emotions can bring you down an uncertain path. Sometimes you have to step away from the situation and sometimes you have to choose to not make any decisions at all until things settle.

The bible has a plethora of verses which give us direction into the realm of self leadership.

Romans 12:8  If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.

Titus 1:8  Instead, he must be hospitable, love what is good, use good judgment, be fair and moral, and have self-control. 

1Peter 4:7  The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.

Proverbs 1:2 - "for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair..."


Self-leadership must come from within; it is birthed from the spiritual trait called Self- Control. How you lead yourself can determine how you lead others efficiently. God is looking for those who are willing to lay down all for others. Being a leader is not about getting your name out there for all to see. It is not about being at the front or being the most talked about. It is something more trivial than that. If you have never been in godly leadership; you are clueless of what I am talking about. Leadership is about serving others and laying down your life for them. Sometimes those you lead will be grateful and sometimes some will develop ambenisha of the great things you have done for them. It does not matter either way. You are a leader because you love the Lord and you love serving his people.


How should we develop a life of self-leadership?

1. Keep a broken spirit.
2.  Be brutally honest with yourself.
3.  Consider all accusations even those which come from the people who despise you.
4.  Surround yourself with those who will not tell you what you want to hear.
5. Keep your emotions in check when making decisions.
6. Never see yourself greater than what you are.
7. Always learn. Keep learning in life this is a good key to being a Great leader.
8. Build the character of Christ within you.
9. Set goals for your life. If you don't know how to get to the waterhole; you can lead others for a drink.
10. Be a person of change.

As we lead the people of God, we must always remember to lead ourselves first.


Blessings,

Johnny


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Measure of Success

How do we find success in life? What does success in ministry look like? Who are the people who rank the ideal success for people's lives?  As usual what does the Bible say about success? Many come up with their own ideas. In the business world success is measured by the amount of money is made and the expansion of the business. In the church world we measure success by how many people we have on Sunday Mornings or by how many satetillite churches we can have. Is this really success? As individuals we measure success by the size of our house, the expensiveness of our car, and the neighborhood we live in. All the while, in reality, no one can really afford those things.

Jesus had a different take on success. One that should make us rethink where we stand in today's world.  "He said the last shall be first and the first shall be last." Now what is that suppose to mean?

Matthew 19:29-30  And everyone who gave up homes, brothers or sisters, father, mother, children, or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life.  (30)  However, many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Being successful in the kingdom of God means giving up everything that exists in our realm and storing up treasures in the Realm of Christ. Now what does that mean? Did Jesus say we need to disown our family? No he did not. Did he say we have to be poor and live on the streets? No he did not. Did he say we should never work and have a job that supports our family? No he did not.  What he did say was that those things should not be our source of life or means of gauging success.  In other words, we can have things but things should never have us. We can have relationships but those relationships should never draw us away from living and serving the Lord.  No one in my family or in the relationships I keep will draw me away from serving and loving my Savior. I am sorry. I love them all deeply but not one of them have done for me what my Lord has done for me.  I love my job but if my job started to tare me away from my godly principles. I would chose Christ each time. I love having a car, a house, and things but if those things become more of a substance for me than serving the Lord. I will get rid of those things. This is what Jesus was saying and this is the true measure of Success.  What has you? What owns you? What stops you from being you?

Jesus told us to labor not for the things of this world, but to store up treasures in heaven.

John 6:27 (KJV) 
    Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 



Matthew 6:19-21  "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.  (20)  Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don't destroy and thieves don't break in and steal.  (21)  Your heart will be where your treasure is.


We are forever making deposits and withdrawals in our heavenly account. This is where the true riches lie and this is where true success is sustained. Our measure of success will not be gauged on how many churches we built,how many people we baptized, how many religious statements we made and so forth. It will be gauged on how we lived like Jesus and how our character became his character. As believers our idea of success can not be the same as the worlds. Success in the world will come and go. There have been business which were once on the top of their game and are now no more. Nothing on this planet lasts forever. Our success lies in the Lord and in serving Him.

So what is Success to Jesus?

1. Giving your heart and life to Him.
2. Hating the things of this world.
3. Laying up treasures in Heaven.
4. Having a relationship with Father God.
5. Living the Character of Christ through your life.
6. Forsaking all and following him.
7. Living free from sin.
8. Seeking after the eternal not the finite.
9. Fighting the good fight of faith.
10. Enduring temptations.
11. Loving everyone.
12. Obeying his word no matter what.

These are just a few but you get the point. This is our success in life. Once again, you can have things. You can have a company or work at a Plant. You can get married and have children. You can do all those things that this finite world does in respect to keeping holy. However, you can not allow the actions or the living in the world stop you from following the hope of Glory. Remember we are aliens, strangers in this world. We are just passing through. Your roots can not be in the soil which the wind will one day blow away. It must be in that heavenly soil where it will prosper for eternity.

Love you all,

Johnny

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lessons in Leadership part 6 " Scapegoating"

Scapegoating is the act of singling out any person or persons for unmerited negative treatment or blame.  A scapegoat could be a child, a peer, an employee, religious group, or any other person or thing that can become a source of  blame.

In the story " Whipping Boy" by Sid Fleischman, we read the story about Prince Hoarce who is a spoiled young prince which craves attention from his father the king. The prince does a lot of mischievous actions but no one can lay a finger on him. Therefore, a solution was devised to give the young prince a " Whipping Boy". There was an orphan named Jemmy who became the princes' " Whipping Boy." Every time Prince Hoarce would do something wrong orphan Jemmy was beaten. Jemmy was beaten daily and longed to find freedom. The story ends with the Prince and Jemmy becoming best friends but  there is a lesson we can derive from this story.


As leaders, we have to face it that sometimes we will be a Prince to the people and sometimes we will become the " Whipping Boy." or scapegoat.  Most of the time we become the scapegoat for religious and prideful believers. Some Christians don't want to grow up or mature in the things of God although they will tell you that they are " blossoming in God" or " they are maturing in Christ". If you have to say it you..... ain't it.

In the business world, I see this kind of behavior all the time. The Corporate office makes a decision of change and sends it down through the ranks. The local leadership makes the change and ( hopefully) takes ownership of the Corporate change. The local employees ( who hate change.) blame the local leadership and start spreading words of conspiracy. " They are out to get me fired!" It is funny to watch but sad to see the ignorance of some people at the same time.

Some people have to blame all their problems on someone. Why do we do that as humans? Why do we find a scapegoat in life? Jesus became the Scapegoat for all man kind because the human race needed a way out from their sinfulness.

The term scapegoat actually came from the Bible. On the Day of Atonement , the people of Israel would slaughter a goat for the remission of sins.

Leviticus 16:7-10  He must take the two male goats and bring them into the LORD'S presence at the entrance to the tent of meeting.  (8)  Then Aaron must throw lots for the two goats. One lot will be for the LORD and the other for Azazel.  (9)  Aaron must sacrifice the goat chosen by lot for the LORD as an offering for sin.  (10)  But he must bring the goat chosen by lot for Azazel into the LORD'S presence. He will release it in the desert to Azazel in order to make peace with the LORD for himself and his family.

The Old Testament ritual was a foreshadow of what Jesus would do for us thousands of years later. Jesus became the ultimate scapegoat for all of mankind but mankind still does not get it.

It is hard being some one's scapegoat or " Whipping Boy". Number 1 it hurts and Number 2 it is unfair but it comes with the territory. Immature people will make immature decisions in life. People make scapegoats because it keeps them from owning up to their own mistakes or failures. Many people do not like to see their own failures. Hey, who does? I don't like seeing my own failures a lot of times but I have to come face to face with them. If I don't I can't never really move forward in my life nor do I ever really mature as a believer and a human being.

I have been people's scapegoat and " whipping boy" throughout my life. Many have betrayed, gossipped about, and even try to physically harm me all due their belief " I am at fault for their screwed up life."  It use to bother me because I am a man that desires justice and rightness, but I have learned over the years to take the insults in stride. It is not always easy but you must. You can not allow the actions of some stop you from pressing forward with the plans of God for your life. Now I am not saying that you or I should live a life that " We are always right and the world is always wrong." That is a dangerous place to be in. What I am saying is to move forward despite the attacks and whippings you might sometimes get as leaders. Push back the need to retaliate and just trust God. Trust me, God is the avenger for his people.  I have seen it time and time again. Those who use you as their scapegoat typically end up having to face their own demons.

So why do people use you as a scapegoat?

1. They find it easy to blame others for their messed up lives.
2. Many don't want to face their own bad behaviors and admit them before God.
3. The leader is the easiest target because he or she are at the front of the line.
4. Many don't want to mature in their walk with God and base their walk solely on the leaders walk with God.
5. People, including me at times, are just plain ignorant. Most don't try to look beyond themselves. Selfishness is a reoccurring disease within the human race.

How many times have you seen it or heard it where people blame others for the way their life is currently. Below are some statements I have personally heard from others through witnessing.

1. " I am not going to church because they are a bunch of hypocrites..."
2. " I don't trust people because of my childhood..."
3. " You stopped me from achieving in life; you held me be back..."
4. " My parents were religious and made me go to church when I was young..."
5. " I can't make my production at work because the company keeps changing everything..."
6. " The pastor fell into sin, so why should I serve the Lord."

These are just few. I am sure you have heard more as well. The truth of the matter is this. " The only person that stops you is YOU." Scapegoating holds people back and keeps them in a child like state. This is why many never achieve anything in life.

So how can you and I handle scapegoating in our lifes?

1. Be humble and honest with yourself.
2. Don't let harsh words or actions hinder your walk with the Lord.
3. Pray for those that despitefully use you and say all manner of evil about you. Wait a minute that is a bible verse. LOL!!!!   Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
4. Allow the scapegoating situations to mature you and to build you up in your faith before the Lord.
5. Don't let the scapegoating turn you into a scapegoater. ( I know this is not a word but bare with me.) It is easy to allow the actions from others to hinder your progression as a person. Be a leader and don't allow it to happen. I have had some good leaders in my life and I have had some bad ones. I would not go back in time and change a thing. Even the bad leaders have taught me a lot in life and I owe them my gratitude.

Scapegoating comes with being a leader. You must rise above the harsh words and evil incidents. The enemy will use anything and anyone to stop you from obtaining the prize from the Lord. Be the " whipping boy" when you need to be and move on in your life. The lashes might sting for awhile but trust that our God will bring healing.  If you are the scapegoater, then stop!!!! Stop allowing everything around you from maturing in the Lord. Own up to your own mistakes and trust God to bring deliverance for them.

humbly,

Johnny


Monday, October 10, 2011

Lessons in Leadership Part 5 " Trust"

Luke 2:51-52  Then he returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.  (52)  Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor from God and people.

Trust simply means confidence. When trust is in a person or persons ; it means you have confidence in his or hers abilities and integrity. What is the opposite of trust? You guessed it! It is suspicion. When you don't have trust in someone; you doubt their abilities and integrity.  The trust that is built must come from a track record of committed tasks presented to those you are in relationship with. Trust without results will never stand on its on. The results we produce as leaders helps those who follow us trust our decisions and actions we take for the gospel.

Jesus built trust with his parents and those he lived with. The bible says he grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor or trust from the living God and people. People knew that Jesus was dependable, friendly, and able to get the job done. He was a carpenter and a craftsman. Jesus had valued customers because of the trust he built with them. When he was given jobs to do; he was faithful to finish them in a timely manner and do each request with a heart of excellence.

Trust is so important as leaders. We need it with those we build relationship with and we need it for those we raise up to be leaders underneath our direction.

" Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him."  ---Booker T. Washington.


" Leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust. It's maximizing both your current contribution and your ability to contribute in the future by establishing the trust that makes it possible."  --- Stephen Covey

Many people who seek the chair of leadership want people to follow them without building the trust first. People only follow those they can trust. Now some of that trust is based off of the title from a position and some of it is based off of the fruit. True leaders have a track record which validates who they set out to be. Jesus had followers because he produced results; he did not just rely on words. Any one can stand behind a pulpit and mumble off words. Even a monkey can do that. Trust me I have seen some monkeys behind the pulpit. I  have ministered to some people who simply wanted the position without the sacrifice. I would tell folks that preaching a message behind a pulpit is one part knowing the word of God and one part having the experiences to go with the message. The word of God is so powerful because every word is validated by the power of Holy Spirit.

Steps to take in building trust:

1. Be honest: Be honest with the people you lead. Talk straight and tell them how you feel.
2.  Give Respect and get respect. If you give respect to the people you lead then you will earn it back.
3. Be real:  If you are going to build trust the people have to see the real you. Don't be afraid to let your hair down.
4. Fix the wrongs: Don't be afraid to say you are sorry when you have done something wrong. It takes a good leader to admit mistakes and not blame others. A senior leader will take ownership of a mistake even if it was not his mistake. There is an old saying. A leaders gives credit to his teams success and takes credit for his teams mistakes.
5.  Produce:  The people you lead need to see results. They need to see God use you in a mighty way which mean your faith has to always be built and your humility has to always be in check.
6. Loyalty: People will give loyalty back to their leader when they see how loyal you are to them.

In any ministry and in any business there has to be trust. Trust can produce greater results in the long run. When we trust each other; God's kingdom is advance exponentially.

Give trust a try and see your ministry and life changed.

blessings,

Johnny



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not a Fan but a Follower

Luke 9:23  He said to all of them, "Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me.

I was not brought up in church life and did not see my parents worship the living God. Now my mom taught us prayers as little kids that we had to pray each night before we went to bed, but there was nothing really solid. There was nothing that pointed me to the living God. Growing up godless was interesting. I did come to Christ when I was 13, but understand I was the only Christian in my house-hold at the time. My parents sent us to church but never really went themselves.

Before coming to Jesus as a teenager , I had what I call "God experiences" when I was a child. I had a physical touch of God save my life from self affliction. I had two experiences where the living God spoke to me audibly. I had angelic and demonic visitations and I had many experiences where God would just speak to me. I know it sounds strange and I usually don't talk about such things, but they were actual experiences. I can't not prove them to the average person nor can I make someone believe my story. For me it does not matter because I was there and I  knew what happened. Now these experiences don't validate me as a Christian or follower of Christ. They do not declare me as some great Holy Man who has been visited by the Living God. However, the experiences did draw me to the Lord at age 13. They were used to help my faith stay strong even when the world was against me. I was and have been tempted with so many things from the great tempter. There are times where I have fallen to the temptations because of my lustful flesh and there are many times where the living God has prevailed within me.

Before I came to Christ, I had spent a month or more studying his word. I read passages about salvation and about the Love of Christ for my life. I read scriptures about sin and the destruction of that sin in my life. At the end of my month or more search, I went to a little Baptist church one August Sunday night down in the south of the United States and surrendered my life to Christ. I had made a decision that I was not just going to be a regular Christian who goes through the motions but I wanted to be a committed follower to Jesus.

What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? Please understand for those of us who have had the privilege growing up in the United States can not fully answer this question. American Christians have an easy faith. Western Christianity is woven together with liberal and conservative views. It's messages go from the extreme of hell fire and brimstone to flower power love. ( Let's just love each other mannnnn!) It has followers who wear their Christian T-shirts proudly and have their Christian bumper stickers on their cars. Many think going to church makes them a christian or saying a little prayer before a consumption of a meal. This notion is ludicrous. If I stand in the middle of a garage does this make me a Car? Lol. We see this taking place all over the world today especially in modern countries who have pushed God to the back seat of the spiritual car. I often wonder if we are truly following the word of God or are we following a social gospel. The Social Gospel changes to fit the ideas of the secular world. So many are calling things good where God's word clearly says is an offense against His truth. Secularism and relativism is replacing the basic truths of our Lord. We went from hearing a gospel that challenges and places the fear of Lord in our lives to a feel good gospel where truth is false and false is the new truth.  We have to rise up and stop being spectators and start being committed followers of His truth.

American Christians in History have become the greatest missionaries to the nations and still hold the number one position as givers to Gospel around the world. Unfortantely our faith is becoming less of a committment but more of a spectatorship.

Following Jesus is surrendering all to him. It is following the word of God and living out His commandments. This is what Jesus meant when He said take up your cross and follow me. Following Jesus means to die to yourself. It means to lay down your life for His truth.

I read some books a few months ago that really left me with questions about my walk with the Lord. One was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I am actually watching his DVD series for his book right now as I am writing this blog. Below is a clip about  Crazy Love for Jesus.



The other book  is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Below is a clip of Kyle talking about not being a Fan of  Jesus but a follower.



I can't speak for everyone but I can speak for myself.  I wonder how much of a follower have I been lately for the Lord? How sincere is my love for the Lord? Does it have that Crazy Love for the Lord? Have I spent my life trying to build something here on this planet where it is not my home? Have I allowed my finances to go on a tangent to where I  can't give to the Lord? Have I allowed my job to  consume me to the point where I am missing what the Lord has called me to do? What kind of legacy am I leaving behind?

I can be honest. I would love to say that my walk has always been this clean , prestigous, righteous, walk before my first Love, but it hasn't.  I have let my physical body go to the point where I am starting to possibly have medical issues. ( too chicken to go back to the Doctor). This year I feel like my life and soul was sold to my place of employment. ( Pharoah, Pharoah, let me people go.) I have not always been the perfect Christian example to my family,  peers and people around me. I have allowed the events of the past few years drive me instead of allowing the Lord to draw me closer to Him. I sometimes feel like I just go with the motions. For those who truly know me. You understand that this is not kosher for me. I have a drive and passion to do right for Christ even when those around me chose not too.

I don't know about you but I want to be Crazy in Love with my Lord. I want to be this committed follower who goes to the ends of the world for His message. To the spectator looking in this is " CRAZZZY TALK!" but that is OK. I am crazy! I am different!  I chose not to make this place my HOME. I chose to follow God's word and speak his truth with love, compassion, correction, and  edification. Guess What? His word is not always easy to swallow but it is simple and straight to the point. There are no gray areas.

Be a follower of the Lord today and not a spectator.! 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Pointless

Ecclesiastes 1:2-4  "Absolutely pointless!" says the spokesman. "Absolutely pointless! Everything is pointless."  (3)  What do people gain from all their hard work under the sun?  (4)  Generations come, and generations go, but the earth lasts forever.

Ecclesiastes 1:14-18  I have seen everything that is done under the sun. Look at it! It's all pointless. It's like trying to catch the wind.  (15)  No one can straighten what is bent. No one can count what is not there.  (16)  I thought to myself, "I have grown wiser than anyone who has ruled Jerusalem before me. I've had a lot of experience with wisdom and knowledge."  (17)  I've used my mind to understand wisdom and knowledge as well as madness and stupidity. Now I know that this is like trying to catch the wind.  (18)  With a lot of wisdom comes a lot of heartache. The greater your knowledge, the greater your pain.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3  I thought to myself, "Now I want to experiment with pleasure and enjoy myself." But even this was pointless.  (2)  I thought, "Laughter doesn't make any sense. What does pleasure accomplish?"  (3)  I explored ways to make myself feel better by drinking wine. I also explored ways to do some foolish things. During all that time, wisdom continued to control my mind. I was able to determine whether this was good for mortals to do during their brief lives under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-26  What do people get from all of their hard work and struggles under the sun?  (23)  Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don't rest. Even this is pointless.  (24)  There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God.  (25)  Who can eat or enjoy themselves without God?  (26)  God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to anyone who pleases him. But to the person who continues to sin, he gives the job of gathering and collecting wealth. The sinner must turn his wealth over to the person who pleases God. Even this is pointless. It's like trying to catch the wind.

What do people gain from their hard work? What have you gained from living in this world? Do you sometimes feel like you are slipping away? Do you wonder what is the use in serving the Lord? Do wonder why so many people have rejected the Lord and you remain? Is life truly pointless? Is there a purpose with or without God?

What was King Solomon saying about life? Was he saying that living this life is useless and we should just sin our butts off? Was he declaring that life should be just ended as soon as possible?

King Solomon forgot that all wisdom and knowledge in the world is useless without the influence from the Lord. Solomon tried the world's way and entered into sinful pleasures. He married over 300 women and had over 700 concubines. He tried to fill his void by consuming himself with evil things instead of turning to the Lord. Solomon came to the conclusion that life is POINTLESS WITHOUT SERVING THE LORD.

Look what Solomon discovered " Who can eat or enjoy themselves without God?   God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to anyone who pleases him. But to the person who continues to sin, he gives the job of gathering and collecting wealth. The sinner must turn his wealth over to the person who pleases God. Even this is pointless. It's like trying to catch the wind."

Life is meaningless without the ever presence of our God. Those who have left his presence must admit they are miserable and unfulfilled. That is why they have to fill the void with alcohol, sex, and other worldly pleasures. Worldly Pleasures only last for a season. They never fully satisfy. Others try to become self-enlightened and make themselves greater than the living God. It is all pointless. It is pointless to separate yourself from the Truth of God. It is pointless to serve worldly pleasures and to turn to the deceptions from the enemy. For one day, all those who have turn their backs towards the truth of the Lord will one day lose everything. They will one day have to stand before His presence and declare His majesty. It is POINTLESS TO SERVE YOURSELF and not the living God. IT IS POINTLESS to turn to evil instead of surrendering to the Lord. 

Why do you want to live a pointless life? Why do you want to live a life that is unfulfilled? Why do you want to be deceived and bound to the sins of this world? All of it is POINTLESS.  All we need and will ever need is the Living God!!!!!