Sunday, February 23, 2014

Trained for the fight

When we read the Word and spend time in prayer we are like an athlete training for an event. The more we train the easier the fight against temptation and sin.

Athletes train with the belief they will win but prepare to face the obstacles that are hindrances to their victory. And we are the same, sure of the victory through Christ and ready to overcome the obstacles by His wisdom and strength. So train yourself daily knowing you are investing in your spiritual growth. Stay focused, you can do this.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

"In His JOY!"

Read the Word, Share the Gospel, Be accountable.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Give me a sign"

John 2:23-25, 5:39-43

When Jesus was in Jerusalem people came to believe in Him when they saw the signs He was doing and they concluded that He was the Messiah because only Christ Himself could do the things that He was doing. But oddly enough Jesus could not commit Himself to these people. He could not share with them the things of God because He knew their hearts (John 2:23-25). He knew in their hearts they did not truly believe. Their faith derived from what they saw and not off the Words of Christ. So Jesus left them. Left them to search for signs and wonders even though the Greatest Wonder was walking among them. He left them because a faith that looks to signs for verification will not rely on or completely trust the Word of God! They will look to things they can see and touch to give them faith and trust in God. They will constantly beckon God to prove Himself or they will say "Just give me a sign so I can believe". God does not need to prove Himself to anyone, His Word is proof enough.

God entrust Himself to the heart filled with faith. The heart that is willing to take a chance and trust God at His Word. The heart that says "I believe...even though it is hard right now...I believe" The heart that says "I trust you despite what I see..I trust you". These are the people who come to know Jesus. These are the people the Lord can show Himself to and this type of faith appeases Him (Hebrews 11:6). When Jesus went to Jerusalem's arch rival Samaria He met such people. These said to Jesus, "We believe your word". These are the people He stayed and talked with (John 5:39-43). These are the people He entrusted Himself to and taught them the Way of God. These are the people who God will forever entrust Himself to because their hearts are hunger for more of God's Word and not His signs.

Which group do you fall in? Is your faith-based on the things you see or is your faith-based on God's Word alone? Are you waiting for a sign before you trust God and do what He directed you to do? Or are you trusting God at His Word and acting on it? If are waiting on a sign I can promise you, you will be left waiting. But if you trust God's Word and believe that He is who He says He is, He will not disappoint you. I am simply asking you to take a chance and trust His Word. I am asking you to close your eyes and walk with Jesus, He will not lead you astray. Stay focused, you can do this!

Read The Word, Share The Gospel, Be Accountable

"In His JOY!"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Know where you come from and where you are going"

John 8:14

His mother was asking to Him to do miracles (2:1-11), His brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5), and His hometown saw Him as a carpenter's son (Matthew 13:53-58). But despite all of this Jesus remained focused on pleasing the Father. Jesus firmly knew who sent Him. It did not matter to Jesus what others thought of Him. He was only concerned with accomplishing God's Will.

Other people may not believe in you, want to use you, or just expect you to follow in the footsteps of your parents. But none of that matters, just stay focused on the One who sent you and do the task you were sent for.

If Jesus had focused on what people were saying He never would have accomplished God's Will. Like wise if we are so focused on the comments of others and their expectations for us we will not carry out God's Will. So stay focused, you can do this.

Read the Word, Share the Gospel, Be Accountable

Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Preachers of L.A."

This is not a critique of faith but a simple observation. I see shows like The Preachers of L.A. and hear preachers on the television proclaiming the Prosperity Gospel all the time. True, the fame of the Prosperity Gospel has lost it's luster in years past and is not as popular as it was years ago (probably due to the troubles in our economy) but it still being preached and taught today. The idea that God wants me to get wealth by claiming it or to name the things I want and seal the deal in Jesus name, just does not seem biblical to me. 

For instance people have made millions off the letters written by the Apostle Paul. Excerpts from his letters is found on clothing, tattooed on our bodies, tweeted, made into inspirational cards, made into songs, etc. Because of the letters Paul wrote some have been able to buy mansions, nice clothes, cars, and sell books. But the irony to all of this is we have profited of the writings of a man who died with no real monetary wealth. We profit off a man who would not accept payment for teaching God's Word because He did not want to hinder the message of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:9-12).

I just find it funny that the message of Prosperity seems to overtake the purpose of the Gospel. Christians not here to get great wealth but reconcile people to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). When we focus on our personal prosperity we truly being "the spoiled brat" who is selfish as opposed to being "the grateful child" who is thankful.

The Prosperity Gospel distorts our view of giving. Giving is an act of obedience that we should do with a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7). But the Prosperity Gospel has taught us to give like greedy investors expecting 60 or 100 fold return. Honestly if you are giving to God just get back a sizable amount do you truly expect Him to bless a heart like this? Because you are giving with a greedy heart not a cheerful one. Greedy givers are no better than the wealthy man who gave out of his wealth as opposed to the widow who gave out of obedience (Luke 21:1-4). If God rejected the wealthy man's offering what do you think he will do with our greedy offering. Those who give out of obedience and love for the Lord want to give more so God will receive glory (2 Corinthians 9:11-13), those who give out of greed will reap the greedy man's reward (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Though I caution us all not to demonize The Preachers of L.A.. I say this because I rejoice that people are receiving Jesus (Philippians 1:18) but I detest that the method of disciplining believers. Disciplining others through prosperity does not teach others how to serve the Lord, it teaches them how to manipulate scriptures and creates investors not disciples. But disciple believers by correctly teaching God's Word multiplies disciples.

So my prayer is that The Preachers of L.A. will reëxamine the scriptures for truth and not search them for personal gain. Stay focused, you can do this.

"In His JOY!"

Read the Word, Share the Gospel, Be accountable.