Friday, 30 December 2016

An Anointed Man

Proverbs 21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

      What can an anointed man do? It is incredible what God can do with an ordinary man who is walking in God's favor and anointing. An anointed man can scale the city of the mighty and bring down the stronghold. Samson was a judge in Israel and the Holy Spirit came upon him to help him defeat the Philistines. Judges 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 
      Think about it. The jawbone of a donkey was lying there in the dust. With that jawbone Samson kills a thousand men. Most importantly the power of the Holy Spirit's anointing was upon him. Samson took a most unlikely thing and with it destroyed those who tied him up, the persecutors of Israel. What is in your grasp right now that could be used to defeat the enemy of your soul?
      An anointed man can make the bitter things of life sweet and victorious. Elisha was approached by the men of Jericho who said the land was barren and the water was not good. Elisha, with the anointing of God in his life, took some salt and put it in the water and healed the water. 2 Kings 2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. 
      Wow, an anointed man with the Holy Spirit was able to heal the land and give the people healthy drinking water. Elisha was able to take a bitter situation and make it a blessing for all. What could you do with the anointing of God in your life? What bitterness out there in the world could you bring life to and bring a healing touch to? As Jesus said in Matt. 5:13a You are the salt of the earth.
      An anointed man with God's direction can heal the sick and cast out devils tormenting people's lives. Paul had the favor of God and was ministering healing by sending forth the healing with a handkerchief that had been touched by Paul. The handkerchief was laid on a sick person who would be healed. Acts 19:11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled. 
      What can an anointed man of God do? With God in control there is plenty an anointed man can do. Nothing is impossible for those who believe God and the love He has for us. Matt. 19:26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."
      We all have the blessing of God's anointing available to us because of what Jesus did. The finished work of the cross has given us a gift that is beyond understanding. Christ made us, who have received Him as Lord, the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are walking containers of God's blessings and power. Jesus Christ lives within us ministering His anointing through our lives. What an honor and blessing the Lord has given us. That is who we are, anointed man and woman of God, loved and blessed by Him. With that anointing in us, we can and are able to bring down the strongholds of our life. Thank you, Lord, for your anointing.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Much More

Proverbs 15:11: Death and Destruction are before the LORD - how much more the hearts of humans!

      Everything about God is much more. He has always been and will always be that way because of His infinite nature. We humans sometimes think we can come up with grandiose ideas or intelligent thought that is bigger and better than God's way of thinking, but there is always much more in God because He knows everything and intimately knows our hearts.
      Some people think, "If I can just do enough to get by in life and maybe make it to some kind of place of reward it should be good enough. However, God is thinking much more as He wants us all saved and justified within a full relationship in Him. Rom. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. God is always so much more. Human beings are often ready to settle where they are, but God wants us to move forward toward much more in Him.

      I heard a geologist say, "The reason rivers are crooked, is because water makes its way through land, rock, and field finding the least amount of resistance to make its way to the ocean." I see this same trait in the human condition. A lot of people do the same thing in life as they meander their way through life looking for the least amount of resistance and never grow to their full potential, thus becoming crooked in character and purpose. 
      When God wants to stretch the capacity of our heart, we pull back and coast along not rising to the potential God has put within us. I'm not saying this is a law, but only a personal observation. God has much more for us than just existing and grazing our way through an insipid life. He is the God of more than enough. He is the God who gives us our heart's desires and a healthy desire for much more of what God has for us. Psalm 20:4 May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
      I have a good friend, Miss Carolyn. Nothing irks her more than seeing someone with a Godly gift and inspired potential floundering away with no purpose wasting their time and lives not using what God has given them for the kingdom of God. Sometimes Carolyn turns a few shades of red, not out of anger, but rather bewildering frustration at the lack of effort being put forth by a gifted person in God. 
      She will say with emphasis. "You have to take these gifts you have been given by God and be intentional with what you have. You cannot keep using the same old worn out excuses you have been using for years to not get more of God. You have gifts, You have potential. You must be intentional with your faith!" I have to agree with her. There is so much more that God has for us. However, a lazy soul and spirit will not have the capacity to receive the much more God has stored up for our lives.
      We sometimes feel like our faith walk is a struggle and a battle. Well, it is, because it is a growing state of being every moment of the day. We were saved and we are being saved and we will be saved. This is a living, thriving, God activated life-giving force going on in us twenty-four-seven every day of our lives. The trial of our faith brings out the much more needed in us and the much more coming from God to us. 1 Pet. 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
      We can ask God with confidence for much more of Him to be revealed in us. We can ask for more because God has much more then we could even ask or think. Eph. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Let's stop fretting and start praying for much more in our lives so we can be and do what God intended us to accomplish while we are on His green earth. As Carolyn says, "Be more intentional and the blessings will flow." Amen.

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Pursuit Of Happiness

Proverbs 29:18 Without prophetic vision, people abandon restraint, but those who obey the Law are happy.

       "I just want to be happy. What's wrong with that?" How often have you heard someone say those words just before the person saying it walked off the proverbial cliff so to speak. They wanted happiness but got heartbreak. They wanted happy times and got jail time. They wanted happy relationships but ended up in a no-win cycle of abuse. 
      The word of God tells us who the happy people are. They are the ones who have no sin controlling their lives or any sin weighing them down. The happy ones are the people who have a clear and clean conscience with God and man. The happiest people are the ones who have been forgiven for their sins. Rom. 4:7 Happy are they whose lawless deeds are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  
      Every product and advertisement promises happy living and a lifetime of perfect sunsets for the low price of a few dollars and some easy payments. However, many have come to know this is advertising fluff and empty promises with no substantial truth. Happiness is most often circumstantial when it comes to being and living our lives. 
      A person can lose their happiness within minutes of receiving great news about a desired event being fulfilled. It can be as simple as finding a parking ticket on your windshield or standing in a long line-up in a grocery store. The happiness that was so wonderful just minutes earlier has been overshadowed by a small irksome event. This type of happiness that the world offers is circumstantial and tentative at best. It does not have a lasting affect on our heart or soul. Job 20:5 The wicked triumph only briefly; the joy of the godless is momentary.
      The word of God says that those who obey the law are happy. Prov. 29:18 Without prophetic vision, people abandon restraint, but those who obey the Law are happy. This is such a different way of looking at happiness, because the world promotes breaking laws in life as fun and full of happy times. Our jails are full of people who followed this worldly advice and sit in their cells regretting the so-called happy times. 
      True happiness comes from obeying God and not walking with the ungodly, the sinner, or the scoffer. Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
      God instructs us to pursue happiness by first seeking Him and seeking the kingdom of God, then all these things that bring happiness to our lives will follow us in life as we follow God and His love. Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 
      The pursuit of happiness is going on twenty-four-seven. Yet, the world is full of misery and unhappy people who are grasping at anything that might bring a momentary rest from the unhappiness that rules their lives. How many more hits of drugs or shots of alcohol will it take to finally be happy? These addictions are only temporary relief at best and resulting in death at worst. No saints. God's saying is true. Happy is the man who obeys the law of God and who lives without sin in his life under God's righteous forgiveness and grace. Happy is that man!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Sour Grapes

Proverbs 20:14 "It's no good, it's no good!" says the buyer-- then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

      Why am I not being blessed like brother Barry? Doesn't God know I needed that blessing more than he did? Why did God give that house to that family and not us? I have been begging God for a house for our family. Why did Mary get that job and I didn't? Surely God knows Mary has more money than I do. Why don't I get the blessings I need and everyone else is getting theirs? Why did Carolyn get healed? She only goes to church once a month. I go every Sunday and I'm still sick. 
      It almost sounds petulant and childish when hearing these complaints but nonetheless, they are voiced every day by God-fearing people who are stuck in the frustration of their faith. God's answer to all these sour grape prayers is get the covetousness out of our talk and start believing God for real answers to faith-filled prayer. Heb. 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Saints, this life is not a reality show; it is reality.
      We live in a braggadocious and a one-up society where scamming and getting popular because of the art of that particular scam is applauded. This type of acceptable living is becoming our morning water-cooler or coffee-bar talk and viewing pleasure. The more outrageous and belligerent the act is, the faster it becomes available to viewers on a variety of social apps available to the whole world.
      Popularity by clicks and bites does not necessarily create an honest character. Some people think we can bring this fame and notoriety found on the world's social media platform to the throne room of God and get special treatment. "Hey God! I have five hundred friends on this page and I need your blessing to improve my social status." Prayer without faith can become redundant and the result is often a great big silence from heaven resulting in a sour grape attitude toward God and church.
 Prov. 19:3 The stupidity of a person turns his life upside down, and his heart rages against the LORD. 
      We need to learn how to rejoice in the blessing and prosperity of others without feeling we will be left out of God's plan. We should not be comparing ourselves with others in the quantity of stuff attained in life or even ministries that have grown in the favor of God. Stop worrying about what you think people are getting away with. Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 
      I like what Gloria Copeland says when she sees others being blessed. She says, "Praise the Lord the line is moving and my turn should be coming up soon." No sour grapes there. She has learned to rejoice in the prosperity of others and we need this ability in our lives also. When our attitude is to help people get what they want in life, it will not be long before we get what we want for our lives. God is just and has put desires into our hearts. Psalm 20:4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. It is His good pleasure to give us His kingdom and the abilities to work within it. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
      There is no need to live in fear of being left out or having to resort to a schemer's way of life to get by. We do not have to become so cunning as to trick people out of their livelihood to get ahead. Prov. 20:14 "It's no good, it's no good!" says the buyer-- then goes off and boasts about the purchase. Our God is a giving God and asks that we come to Him in faith, asking for what we need to live and also grow in the dreams God has put within our hearts. God is not trying to take away our reason for existing; He is trying to help us grow and mature so we can fulfill our reason for living in Christ.
      There are no reasons for sour grapes in our lives when we approach God under His terms. The Lord is not impressed with our charisma or social standing. He is interested in our character of heart and love for His will in our lives. Don't try and put your best foot forward. God already knows you too well and all your secrets. Just be you. Let us grow and mature in the love of God and not become infantile complainers, turning every event into a sour grape catastrophe because we did not get our way. Let us trust God and his thoughts toward us. He knows who we are and what we need. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friday, 2 December 2016

A Living Proclamation

Proverbs 13:2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

      I heard Jesse Duplantis say, "Jesus did not explain the gospel, He proclaimed the gospel. Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.
      What a wonderful statement and insight. There is boldness that comes upon us when we proclaim the word of God out of a humble spirit. The deep knowing that comes when our proclamation from the word is truly God inspired can be awe-inspiring to our soul. The reason this is true is that the Word of God is alive and will not come back void or empty of its assignment. The living word of God will accomplish what God wants it to accomplish. Isa. 55:11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
      If we could get this principle deep within our heart and mind, we would be proclaiming with boldness the oracles of God without doubt or fear. Since the word of God is in our heart, then as we speak it out of our heart by faith it should have the power and authority to accomplish what God said the word can do. Rom. 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim. 
      What is holding us back to say what God has said? Throughout the Old Testament, we see this principle working all the time. God says to the prophets, "Say to them, thus says the Lord." The prophet would say what God had proclaimed and whatever had been said would come to pass. We have a better covenant and more sure promises in Christ because all the promises of God are yes and amen. 2 Cor. 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
      Let us not stand back and just be spectators of our Christianity, but let us proclaim with joy the word of faith that is in our hearts and be a history maker in Christ. We have a more sure covenant and incredible promises given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says we can have what we say. Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 
      Since Jesus said it, then what He said can be trusted and believed. Let us proclaim the promises of God and see what the Lord will do when we open our mouths and voice His word in His name. Someone might say at this point, "What happens if nothing happens?" I say, "What happens if something does?" God is so good, so let us proclaim His word in Jesus name.

Friday, 25 November 2016

No One Falls Alone

Proverbs 7:22 He goes after her straightway, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.

      There have been some people who have walked with God for years and have taken a hard moral fall in this past year. These are people we know and we pray for a Godly recovery and restoration. God does say in His word that He would bring judgment to the church first. God's heart is to clean us up to be a real testimony to the world. 1 Pet. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 
      One of the things I have noticed in these unfortunate moral breakdowns is no one falls alone. Regardless of the depth or severity of the sin that was practiced or taken up, there are always casualties other than the person who has fallen. I have seen first hand the effects of the sinful shrapnel that brings devastation and wounds to many in the body of Christ.
      Many people think they are hurting no one but themselves if they alone are practicing sin in private, or acting out just under the radar of public noticeability. This is such a lie because we are all connected in the body of Christ. No one lives and dies unto themselves. 1 Cor. 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. We need each other in Christ. This is not some new revelation that we are suddenly noticing. 
      King David was dealing with the pain of losing a friend because of a sin that betrayed a relationship. Psalm 55:12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it, neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my close friend. Whether or not the fallen are close friends or mere acquaintances in the body of Christ, it still hurts the souls of everyone who walked with these people and it hurts in the deepest parts of our being.
      I thank God there is healing for this type of hurt and I am so grateful that He can and will restore those who have fallen if they ask for forgiveness. We have to realize that the fallen could have been ourselves. I for one, if I had fallen into the deepest despair of sin, I would be thrashing for forgiveness like a drowning man would be thrashing to survive. Our hearts hurt for these brothers and sisters who fell short, but we also intercede for their recovery to faith and stability in Christ. There is grace for all of us. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
      The lesson I have taken from these painful life circumstances and the devastating effects on others is to keep my heart available to God's scrutiny, asking Him to point out potential pitfalls. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! In this world and times I don't know any other way to keep clean in heart but to stay circumspect before God and my brothers and sisters in the church body. Allow God to correct our lives daily and submit to the correction. May we all be able to say as Paul did. 2 Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Lord, God, keep us all and help us see clearly the steps before us and may we run the race with your strength. In Jesus name.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Grasping At Straws

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

       We can sometimes feel the unfairness of life's events or experience the momentarily unjust situations we find ourselves in. When we start grasping at spiritual straws so to speak, we tend to pull out some old spiritual formula that worked by faith in the past but now has lost the same delivering impact we thought it should have.
      Becoming overwhelmed with uncertainty and not able to hear God's voice for the noise our thoughts are making, we become desperate and grasp at any spiritual relief similar to grabbing a pain medication for the throbbing pain. Our souls sometimes forget that relationship with the Lord is a day by day involvement from a personal point of the heart. Our thoughts and love toward Him are renewed every morning as God works and continually renews His love and covenant with us. Lam.
 3:22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
      Our love relationship with the Lord is a growing, maturing, and a living force of personal involvement. It is not some formula acted upon to invoke the blessing and the favor of God. He is not some talisman or lucky-charm we call on or rub when times are hard. He is a loving God who loves us with a full and pure heart. Isa. 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 
      The dangers of treating God like a dispensing machine for personal gain can cause us to become ungrateful, unloving and callus of heart. Forgetting our intimacy with God may put us in a position of ungratefulness and desperately grasping for any kind of deliverance. 
      Moses was under pressure to meet the needs and resolve the complaints of the Israelites. The people were thirsty and needed water as they had once before in the desert. Ex. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. God had instructed Moses at that time to smite the rock and the miracle of water came forth for the thirsty crowd and their animals.
      Here they were again, in another place and time, needing water and complaining as loudly as before. God instructed Moses to speak to the rock to bring about the miracle provision of water for the people. Num. 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 
      Moses was obviously fed up with the complaints of the people and maybe the pressures of leadership. His reaction in calling the people rebels was personal and expressed frustration and grasping for answers. Num. 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 
      Moses thought the old method or formula per se would be good enough to bring about a repeat performance, but it cost him his peace and destiny. Num. 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
      Ouch! That was not the result to a life of ministry Moses was looking for. God said, "Speak to the rock," but Moses smote the rock twice. Moses was not in obedience to the word of instruction God had given him and the result cost him dearly. Why did God let the water run even though Moses did not do what God said? I don't know, but what I do know is that God is faithful when I am not. Moses was grasping at straws and had allowed the circumstances of his personal life to weaken his ability to be at peace within his own relationship with the Lord. Moses was focused on the rebellion of the people and how it affected him personally, rather than the grace of God.
      Are you grasping at straws right now? Are you dealing with something too great for you to carry? Then grasp the foot of the solid cross that does not waver in its ability to deliver our souls from any onslaught that comes our way. The bloodstained cross is where we met Jesus our Lord and it was the power that saved us and still is the power that will bring us through the murkiness of life's troubles.
 1 Cor. 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 
      Grasping at straws or a religious formula will lead to a letdown. However, grabbing and holding on tight to the cross leads to the heart of God where we are affirmed as His beloved. Let us use our strength to wrap our arms around the one who conquered the cross. He will never disappoint our eternal souls and lives. In Jesus name!

Friday, 11 November 2016

The End Of The World

Proverbs 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth.

      Yup, another end of the world announcement from a so-called end of the world predictor. I saw the ominous prediction on the cover of a news magazine this week. Another doomsday scenario that I and the rest of the world cannot escape according to the article. It is all over for me and mankind. 
      I can remember end of the world predictions my whole life, even way back in grade school in the 1950's when students were asked to get under their school desks practicing surviving a nuclear blast. I'm not sure what the teachers thought they would do if there was an explosion because our desks were not going to protect us from anything disastrous or of major destruction. I reckon they had to be seen as doing something at that time.      
      What is it about these end of the world predictions that pop up on a regular basis? Yes, the word of God tells us of a time of great tribulation, but all these world events are signs pointing to that time. Matt. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 
      Jesus tells us not to be troubled by what we see but to continue living in Him by faith. I am not saying we should walk around aimlessly saying, "Que sera sera," as we do have to take life seriously, but not at the cost of our peace. Phil. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
     As I thought about the end of the world prediction, I realized that the end of the world had already happened to me years ago when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am playing with words here, but when Jesus became the Lord of my life it was the end of the world as I knew it. 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
      I am no longer a citizen of this world system nor do I live according to its humanistic beliefs. I am a citizen of the kingdom of God and His realm. Eph. 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. 
      When we became Christians and devoted our lives to God, it was the end of the world for us so to speak. We no longer served our old human desires and nature, but we became servants of the most high God. 
      Before Saul was on his way to Damascus and had his world-changing encounter with Jesus the risen Lord, he was entrenched in Israel's religious system. Once it was revealed to him that Jesus was Lord, the world as he knew it had ended. The radical change in Saul was so earth-shattering to him that he became the Apostle Paul and wrote most of the New Testament as we know it. It truly was the end of the world he once knew. Phil 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.
      What worldliness is still reigning in your heart? Do you need an end of the world experience to overcome that particulate bondage? Thinking about it in this light may not be so bad of an idea for some of us to overcome the unwanted worldliness per se. 
      Jesus admonished us not to worry about what the world could do to us because He had overcome the world. As far as Jesus is concerned the end of the world and its hold on us had ended. John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. 
      Putting God first in our hearts and lives, will cause us to overcome the things that bring fear and doubt to our hearts. The kingdom of God is a place and dominion where we can reign with Christ and be in the world where we live but not subject to its influences. The enemy of our soul uses the fears that cause insecurity and inferiority to challenge the kingdom of God and our residency within it. 
      Do not fear the onslaught of futuristic predictions that speak of non-stop destruction of this earth. The earth is the Lord's. If we are in Him we will overcome the fears the end of the world predictions can cause. We do not have a spirit of fear reigning within us. 2 Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We are in Christ the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. It is He who owns us. There is no end for us who are in Christ because we will live forever with our Lord. Amen!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Life's Prostitutes And Idols

Proverbs 29:3 Whoso loves wisdom rejoices his father: but he that keeps company with harlots spends his substance.

      God gave a straight and forward commandment to mankind. Ex. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. This eight word commandment is clear and without doubt as to its meaning. No other gods mean just that, no other gods! Yet, many of us live our lives prostituting ourselves with other gods. We don't think of them as gods or see them positioned on street corners as in some Eastern cultures, but nonetheless, they are all around us. 
      The dream home, dream car, dream vacation, and the dream spouse and so on are the gods of our time. You might say, "I don't bow down and worship these things in my life." I say, "Just think back to the last argument you had with God about sacrificing that something God had pointed out was in danger of becoming an idol in your heart." Was it easy to say "Yes, Lord, I give it up freely." If it was not easy to hand over that god or idol, then there is another god in your life. Matt. 22:37 Jesus declared, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
      You might be in a checkout line at a grocery store and the magazine rack conveniently at eye level will display a variate of modern day goddesses and advice on how you can become one. Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and all her tentacles with her worldly interpretations of love is available for the price of your soul. 
      Hand over your well-earned money to this goddess who will promise you true love and attraction forever. Paul the Apostle says that real love does not boast, brag or gloat and yet the foundational success of Aphrodite and her promises of erotic love are built on the very things Paul says is not real love. 1 Cor. 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 
      In our time Aphrodite has wreaked havoc with the hearts and souls of young people whose body images do not line up to her so called perfections and values for acceptance. However, the Lord loves us the way we are and actually helps us become His unique person. Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
      Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune and prosperity, has overruled our good senses to the point of seduction and falling for so-called free money. This easy wealth is available to us on a scale never seen in history. Individuals with half a million and million dollar plus debt is no longer uncommon. The goddess of prosperity has given us lavished privileges, promises, and assurances that overextending our ability to pay off debt is no big deal. 
      She says, "Don't worry, just trust me and I will bail you out in time." Not so! The word says clearly, the borrower is the servant and slave of the lender. Prov. 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Enslaving ourselves to Tyche will make us ineffective in the kingdom of God. Our energies and commitments will be elsewhere because our thoughts will be consumed with the pressures of debt. 
      This idol of prosperity shines bright in the beginning but soon we find out she is made of fool's gold. Let God be your master of true prosperity and you will come out as pure gold. Mal. 3:3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD.
      Ares, the Greek god of war, has offered us trophies and assurances of success if only we would become workaholics and indulge in cutthroat business practices trying to become number one. Ares asks us to sell ourselves to him so we can be listed as the billionaire of the year on the cover of some fortune magazine. You can be the top dog as long as you crush everyone you meet along the way because all is fair in love and war. If you don't take care of yourself, then who will? You had better get all you can now no matter what the consequences. 
      Ares has no mercy for his followers and for what the Lord is trying to build in our hearts. Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. The law of Ares is slash and burn and take no prisoners, but the law of God is set the prisoner free. John 8:36 So if the Son shall set you free, you will be free indeed.
      These prostitutes and idols have made their way into our world and lives by cunning and stealth. We cannot defeat them on our own by simply trying to take them down. We must replace them entirely with the one Lord and Savior Jesus. 
      When Jesus is reigning on the throne of our heart, then we will have the power to tear down strongholds that try to become the idols of our heart. 2 Cor. 10;5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. There is only room for one God in our heart. May it be the Lord of lords and the King of kings. God bless you.

Friday, 28 October 2016

As Sure As Hell

Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

      I was in an auction-house fixing a piece of equipment for the owners of the business. I could overhear about five men sitting around a coffee-table area as they were boasting and telling lies to each other with jovial camaraderie. The thing that got to me was the amount of blasphemy that was coming out of their mouths. 
      I noticed it, but the talk did not seem to disturb these men in any way. I then remembered, that is what sinners do; they sin. This is why they also need Christ so they can be delivered from their sinful state of existence. Only the blood of Jesus can give us a righteous mind. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
      As the men talked, one of them was trying to make an honest point and he said, "No, really it happened to me. Gospel's truth." That was it. Everyone believed him because he had brought in the Gospel's truth and that made it so. I thought about the Gospel's truth and realized it was for these very men the gospel was written. 
      They, too, were the reason for the gospel coming to mankind so they could also be part of God's redemption plan. Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
      As these men continued to shoot the breeze about their lives to each other, one of the men was also trying to make an emphatic point and said, "I'm telling you the truth, sure as hell." Well, this guy might be an Evangelist in the making I thought. He was punctuating the validity of his statement with the fact that hell is a sure place. Matt. 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
      As I worked on the piece of equipment, I thought of another saying that is thrown around without much thought: "Jesus wept." John 11:35 Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the bible, but thousands of books could be written to try and explain the meaning and depth of its love and there would still be room for more explanation.
      It is interesting how these sayings have slipped into the human vocabulary. We can take from them what we will. These workers did not realize it but they had in a backward way preached a message to me that afternoon. In short, this was the message. Jesus came and saw our condition and wept for our souls. He then gave His life on the cross for us all. Jesus gave us a new gospel of truth so we could avoid the surety of hell. Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 
      Yes, there is a saying "As sure as hell," but we don't have to go there. We have a more sure thing than hell and He is Jesus the Lord. Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      The Gospel's truth will lead us to the surety of God's love if we receive the gift and love God has given us through Jesus Christ. Some Christians are living lives on the borders of sin where they sometimes feel the heat and flames of hell licking at their spiritual wounds. We do not have to live there. Hell is real, but the love of God is more real if I can say it that way. God's truth and love grows and abounds every minute of the day.
      The world says that death and taxes are the only sure thing in life. Taxes can be paid and death has been conquered through Christ, so saints we have a more sure thing and He is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working a more sure eternity in our souls. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. May we all be found in the surety of the Lord's love and salvation. Amen!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Modus Operandi

Proverbs 21:15 It is joy to the righteous to do justice; But it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity.

      Disraeli said, "Life is too short to be little."
      We often get caught up in the everyday events of life in this fast moving world. Sometimes we forget we are building our lives upon an eternal foundation. 1 Cor. 3:11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. We put our energies and strenuous thoughts into a comfortable retirement and forget our God-given goals of eternal reward. Oh yes, I know we have to live on this earth but we still have to choose where we want to spend eternity and what we want to give of ourselves toward the kingdom of God. 

      Let's face it eternity is a long time to exist in regret or damnation for that matter. There is a day when our life's work and for some people, their life's ministries will be judged at the Judgment seat of Christ. What we have sown in our Christian life may not be of Godly quality or valuable. 1 Cor. 3:13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 
      What were our motives for all the work done in the Lord? Was the work done to establish the kingdom of God or our own kingdom built of hay and stubble? 1 Cor. 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13a Every man's work shall be made manifest.
      Our motives are just as important as the work itself. The Apostle Paul warns us to be aware of people whose motives are suspect. Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 
      In another Scripture John the Apostle warns of similar corrupted motives that are not the will of God, nor are they His motives toward the people of this earth. 3 John 1:9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. The motivational gifts God gave us are for the building of the body of Christ and not for the tearing down of it by our own misuse or misguided motives. Our motives are just as important as our heart's desires in Christ. 
      We do have to ask ourselves if our modus operandi toward the works of God are led by the Holy Spirit. Is our manner, technique or approach to God's leading just a belligerent attitude of "Take it or leave it God. You get what you get and you should be happy with that." Is working His eternal plan just an irksome task we grudgingly slog through? If our relationship in the Lord has reached this sad point, then it is possible our motives toward eternity has already changed to a place of desperation and loss. As I said, "Eternity is a long time to suffer loss." 
      Saints, we need to get our hearts back to thinking and reaching for the eternal prize and reward that awaits us. Phil. 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. The joy of the Lord is our strength and with that strength, we can enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts. 
      When our motives are clean, our ministry and calling will be joyful and motivated. Righteous motives will get the work of God done and our hearts and lives will be full of strength and joy. 
      The Lord tried to admonish Cain to change his motives and attitude so there would be peace in his life. Gen. 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. The result of Cain not submitting to God's word was a loss of relationship with God and man. Life is too short to waste it on missing the mark God set for our well-being. What is God's motive for mankind? That should be our motive as well. May God give us a new vision of His will. Amen!

Friday, 14 October 2016

That Thing Called More

Proverbs 11:25 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
      
      The Consumer they call us. We're the people that buy. Stompin' Tom Connors
      Retail therapy is a therapy many live and set their lives to. There is such a drive in our society to want more and the leaders of our consumerist system make it easy to get more and more of all that can be thought of. More of what you might ask? Just more, that is what many seem to want - more. More money, more house, more boat or car, more food, more vacation and more of more. 

      We have become melancholic looking for home in this rapid lifestyle of acquiring more of anything imaginable. The anxiousness that is deep down inside the everyday person cannot be explained away because it gnaws at the center of our being. Most people know there is more to life than owning stuff, but they no longer know how to divorce themselves from all the stuff that is thought to be needed. 
      There seems to be a pressure on Christian people of whom many want to be secure in the love of God, but the system we live in won't let us be secure unless we buy our way out. Life is spiritually discerned and we need to know what the Holy Spirit says about going forward in life.
      God knew we would be wrestling this thing called more because He created us to want more. We were created to want more of God. The Lord put a desire in us to want more of the power of the Holy Spirit. We have been inspired by God to want more relationship with Christ our savior but the enemy of our soul has diverted our attention to using our wants for more toward the things of the earth with no lasting value. 

      The devil knows if we are buying stuff all the time we can become stingy and as the proverb says, "Lose everything." Matt. 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Yes, we do need to live here on this earth and we do need to pay our way through life but not at the cost of being owned by all the possessions we own. We do live in the everyday world where the cost of living is outrageous in some cases and God knows this fact. 
      Solomon, who was the richest man alive, even said that money handles most problems. Eccl. 10:19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. However, as Solomon found out, money itself did not handle the issue of our eternal soul but only worked in earthly matters. The Lord has said clearly to those who follow Him that we make sure we put Christ's kingdom first and the things in this life will get taken care of in this world. Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. God also said. Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. 
      God does want to promote us in this world. The Lord is pleased to give us good things within the realm of His kingdom to help this world. Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Our heavenly Father finds delight in giving us our heart's desire. Psalm 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. God shows us when we take a delightful love toward God, He will give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
      Retail therapy or consuming vast amounts of items for the sake of doing something to pass the time has lost a lot of its shine for many. We were created to be givers and be a blessing in this world by being a hand extended on God's behalf. God is not stingy and yet He has everything. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. 
      We were created to want more of God so that we can give more of ourselves with God in us. We are enlarging the capacity of our souls when we become more of who God made us to be. When life is over, the stuff we have will only be worth what it can be sold for in a garage sale. What we are made of in heart will follow us into eternity where there will be so much more of life beyond our understanding. 
      What more do you want than the gift of eternal life with God Himself? If you have Jesus Christ as your Lord then you have everything and all the things needed to live here will come your way. What an amazing God we serve. Give us more of you Lord God. Amen!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Simultaneous Buckling

Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD.

      Mimi McKewan said, "There is an expiration date for sin before it is exposed."
      Simultaneous buckling was an illustration an engineer used to explain what had happened to a three-storey building that had collapsed because the foundations were poorly maintained.
      I thought of some Christians who have fallen and utterly destroyed their lives because of simultaneous buckling so to speak. They had not maintained the fundamental foundations of their faith. The deception of sin and the rot of iniquity had crept into their souls where the foundations of faith are built upon. 
      They forgot who they were in Christ and who Christ was in themselves. Eph. 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. The old hymn says it this way: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
      When we remove Christ from the throne of our heart, we begin to expose the weakness within our foundations. Psalm 11:3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? When we become only talkers of religion and its many facets and forget to be a doer of what the word of God says, we will become self-deceived. James 1:22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. 
      An interesting point about self-deception is that the devil no longer has to trick, deceive, or coerce us into anything wrong or evil because we get to a point where we are tricking ourselves into falling apart. It is like a domino affect of failure where the pressure and guilt of one sin leads to another pressure and the building cannot stand when the storms of life come along and destroy the work and worker. Matt. 7:24 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
      When a person's faith collapses because he or she has chosen to participate repetitively in sin, the result can be catastrophic because the anger within the sinner may be directed at God. Prov. 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. If you have fallen in an area of life and you can still blush, be thankful and repent. If sin has brought you to a place where the activity is no longer fun so to speak and your heart is saying go home to the Father of heaven, be thankful that repentance is being granted. 
      If you are tired of a false life and hypocrisy has become your middle name, turn back to your Lord and Savior and get radically turned around toward righteousness and Godliness in Christ. Don't wait for a full implosion of your life where you have no conscience to take responsibility for your actions and then blame it all on God and the church. 
      You may have fallen but know the love of God is never in doubt toward you. You are God's number one love and He will bring you back into relationship. However, you have to come in the sincerity of heart and repentance. There is grace for you. Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
      We live in times of uncertainty and confusing messages on an hourly basis. The pressures Christians feel today seem like we are being squeezed to death with temptations upon temptations. The reality is from the day Adam and Eve were tempted and fell to this day, sin has always been a battle for every person's heart who ever lived. 
The devil has no new strategies, just a lot of the old ones repackaged for our times. 
      As Christians, we have to know we have the ability and power in Christ to overcome anything the devil throws at us. We can and we will overcome if Christ is on the throne of our heart. 1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it. May God keep us all from falling. In Jesus name.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Unnatural Soul Ties

Proverbs 6:32  But whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding: he that does it destroys his own soul.
      
      What is a soul tie?
      This explanation is taken from the Great Bible Study.Com. Godly soul ties are formed when a couple are married. Eph. 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. The Godly soul tie between a husband and wife as written in 
Mark 10:7-9 is what God intended us to have and is unbreakable by man. 
      However, when a person has ungodly sexual relations with another person, an ungodly soul tie is then formed. 1 Cor. 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. This soul tie fragments the soul and is destructive. People who have many past relationships find it very difficult to 'bond' or be joined to anybody, because their soul is fragmented.
      I tend to call any soul tie outside of God's realm of permission in relationships an unnatural soul tie. An unnatural soul tie can capture a soul anywhere in life, regardless of where the tie started in one's heart and mind. It has to be cut off by one's own free will as soon as it is noticed so that there is no place given to the enemy of our soul to land on and do great damage to our lives. Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. A very short bible verse, but also a very clear instruction. 
      We as individuals always have to make the choice to bring our thoughts, actions and intent of the heart into line with what we know is right and what God says is honest and true.1 Cor. 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. The Sir Norm's translation of this verse is "I pull my body right back down in my face so I can examine it and its motives to keep it from becoming a victim of its carnal desires and end up losing relationship with everything important to my eternity." Yes, friends, it is a bit wordy but it also leaves no doubt to what is being said. Get yourself under God's control so you don't lose yourself. 
      One of the lies the enemy offers us is if we go ahead and sin it is no big deal, we are only hurting ourselves and we can always ask forgiveness. There is forgiveness when sincerity returns to one's heart but know this. NO ONE FALLS ALONE!! There are always casualties to a person's sin or any sin that is done. Take a look at the world condition and tell me sin has no other victims other than the person committing them.
      There is a tragic story of an unnatural soul tie in the bible. Jacob's daughter is raped by Shechem. Gen. 34:1 Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the women who lived there. 2 She was seen by Hamor’s son Shechem, the leader of the Hivites, and he grabbed her and raped her. 3 But Shechem was attracted to Dinah, so he told her how much he loved her. 4 He even asked his father to get her for his wife. Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, devise a plan of revenge by pretending to go along with Hamor, the leader of the Hivites, who wants his son to marry Dinah and also intermarry between their people. Simeon and Levi pretend to agree with a condition. As long as all your men get circumcised, then this could work out. 
      The Hivites were seduced into getting circumcised by the riches they would get through marriage. Gen. 34:23 Just think! We’ll get their property, as well as their flocks and herds. All we have to do is to agree, and they will live here with us. On the third day of healing from the circumcision, when the nerves are most painful, Simeon and Levi killed all the men. Gen. 34:25 Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in town, 26 including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left.
      The sin of rape by one man brought destruction to all the men of the city that was brought about by the sin of revenge. This sin of revengeful pride caused a loss of spiritual inheritance and marked the destiny of two tribes of Israel for generations. 

      Jacob prophesied over his sons and cursed the actions of Simeon and Levi. Gen. 49:7 Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel. The cost of an unnatural soul tie, in this case, was horrendous as Shechem's unbridled lust cost the lives of many and the suffering destiny of others. Really? No one is hurt by our sins?
      This is my admonition to myself and others. If there are some unholy fantasies going on in our hearts and minds toward anyone we are not married to, then the imagery needs to stop before destruction causes havoc. 

      If there is a possibility of an unholy, unhealthy or an unnatural soul tie forming in our hearts and minds then that tie needs to be cut out and washed with the blood of Jesus. Psalm 51:2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Happy is the man whose sins are forgiven. Happy is that man! Lord, have mercy on us all. Amen!