Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In recent years there has been a mass exodus from churches. Why? There are many reasons, but the most obvious reason is that people have incorrectly concluded that the Church is irrelevant to their lives. But that sentiment is changing. Why? Because people are realizing that they really need God. Think about it! There are no jobs; cuts on many government programs, the middle class is becoming extinct; employers are primarily concerned about there bottom line; domestic violence has increased; the slave trade is live and well in America, and we're losing a generation of people to secular humanist- the belief that there is no God, and that's just for starters. The big question people outside the Church is asking: "Is God for real?" The answer to that question can only be fully answered by the Church. People can learn a lot about God outside the Church. For example, on the web, library, books, and reading the bible. But they can't truly experience God without the Church. The Church is exclusive! Its builder and maker is God; unless Christ builds it, the builders and laborers will work in vain. The Church has exclusivity because Jesus Christ is the head and He gives instructions through the Holy Spirit to the body- the Church. Rediscovering the Church isn't just for non-Christians. Believers also need to rediscover the Church. Christians have treated the Church like they treat their jobs- they're attempting punch a time clock with God. But we don't punch a time clock with God, because attending Church is a matter of faithfulness. The New Testament book of Hebrews 10:25, tell us that we must not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. Church should be rediscovered for three simple reasons: It's a command (2) It's a place of worship (3) It's a place of spiritual growth. If you are struggling to find the Church relevant in your life, remember that it is the only place where you can truly experience God, and that is worth it all!
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Let's dream. Imagine that you were given an opportunity to join a community where you are able to easily connect to everyone in the community. You could share you ideas and dreams, visions, spiritual gifts, and regularly get what you need spiritually, emotionally, and materially. Furthermore, lets add that you would be a part of a community of people that were your extended family. Would you join that community? Would you feel comfortable being in that community on a regular bases? Would you regularly invite your friends and acquaintances to join you in that community? I would! My answer is yes to all of the above. Well, you get a sense of what it was like with the 1st century Church in Jerusalem. Acts 4:32 tells us that the community of believers were so unified in such away that God add daily to there numbers. Why? Because they behaved like the true church. They were grace filled-meaning the love of God was strong in their hearts and they were sold-out to the idea of a community where the power & the presence of God was evident. Sounds crazy? It's not! The Old Testament believers lived in that kind of community. They were officially called "The Children of Israel." They were known as the people of God. And yes there were requirements to live in that community, and the requirement can be reduced to one word: Obedience! The only requirement then and now to live in that kind of community is obedience to the will, plan, and purpose of God. Let me conclude by saying I want to live in that community now! The 21 century Church will need to be grace filled in order to be relevant in the 21 century. We all have spiritual, emotional, and material needs, and God promises to meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. But here is the kicker, he meets all of those needs through the Church- the people of God. Uncaring Christians will soon become irrelevant in this ever changing world. Why? Because talk is cheap. We can't just point people to an invisible God and say he's going to solve all of your problems. He has equipped the Church with power, boldness, and favor. These three characteristics is all that the church need to do greater work.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Vision simply means to see. From God's perspective, vision is an act of divine communication from creator to creation in a way that conveys information with spiritual consequences. For example, Habakkuk was a prophet of God during the time of great trials and distress in the nation of Israel. Habakkuk was overwhelm by war, violence, and the injustice he saw in that nation. The reason for the spiritual decline was obvious. The people of God had turned their backs on God. In response to their disobedience, God allow them to experience his divine judgement. The prophet Habakkuk was a man of prayer, and his prayers demanded a response from God about their future. God responded to the prophet request with a vision. In Habakkuk 2:2-4, God sent the prophet a vision that turned his worries into worship. The vision was for an appointed time, but God wanted the prophet to be encouraged in knowing that the violence he saw among his people would come to an end, and He would send a revival. For this reason, you should always be open to divine communications from the mind of God. In your moments of distress, getting a Word that assured you of victory, restoration, and peace is like water to a thirsty man. Finally, the Word of God promises ever presence help in the time of need, but it will only happen according to God's design. Not our!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Are you paying any attention to what is happening in Washington D.C? Our elected officials can't agree on how to balance the budget or cut taxes. The American public is accused of spending more money than they earn. That's like the pot calling the kettle black. Our government now owe so much money, that it would cost every American, old & young, $45,000 to pay it off! If you are looking for Republicans and Democrats for a solution to your problems, guest what? You are in for a very big surprise. But fear not! I have a Word from the Lord, just for you. This Word is instant for any season, every circumstance, and any situation. This Word will be your ever presence help in your time of need. These are words that King David found refuge in when his Kingdom was being threaten by a more advanced army: He said, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God!" David's trust was in his God. Therefore, you should trust in the Lord will all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
2000 years ago on the first Easter Sunday, a few ladies went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. They must have been both curious and anxious; curious to see whether Jesus had risen from the dead, and anxious to witness the Resurrection of the Son of God. Upon arriving at the tomb, it was opened. With great expectancy and anticipation, they entered the tomb, piercing through the darkness they didn't see the body of Jesus Christ, rather they saw an angel of the Lord. The angel spoke the words that have been repeated by millions of Christians on Easter Sunday; He is Risen! Jesus Christ, the Son of God is not counted among the dead, He is alive! Because He LIVES, YOU can come ALIVE! All that Jesus did on the cross was for our benefit: He is hope for the hopeless, He is strength for the weak, He is wisdom for the learned, and He offers everlasting life. Life has a way of placing people in tombs. A tomb is built to whole the dead. A tomb couldn't keep the Son of God, and life's tomb shouldn't keep you from coming alive!Christians shouldn't be dead, because He lives we should live. Everything that life throws at us don't whole a candle to the power of the Holy Spirit of God who re energize believers day after day. As Christians, we must learn to shake off the deadness; we should learn to prune the dead branches attached to our lives, and when we encounter life's tombs that have overwhelmed us and sealed us end with stones of worry, doubt, fear, failure, and disappointment, remember that Jesus still roll back the stones. The greater the stone, the greater the power of God to roll back that stone. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power to capture the spirit of Easter. The hope of Easter is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you. Celebrate it!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Our English word for the Cross that Jesus bore is not the same word for Cross in the original manuscript of the bible. Why? Because bible translators couldn't find a word in English that adequately conveyed the true meaning of the Cross. A Cross 2000 years ago was something to be feared; it was to be something dreaded. Why? Because anyone condemned to be crucified would suffer a death that was both painful and slow. The condemned prisoner would be nailed to the Cross; the nails would Pierce the veins, and crush the tendons in both hands and feet. The arteries in the head and stomach would swell because of the surge of blood. The wounds would quickly become infected. The pain of Crucifixion was so great, that the victim would desire a quick death more than anything else. As you can see, the Cross that Jesus bore was no cheap Cross. Jesus bore His Cross in obedience to God and He has appointed Christians to bear their Cross in obedience to Himself. Anyone unwilling to bear their cross can't be a follower of Jesus! BUT, Christ supplies the grace that's equal to the burden of the Cross. Bearing the Cross identifies you with Christ in His suffering; what I mean is this, bearing your Cross includes suffering loss, damages, and injuries in your service to the Lord. But here is the kicker, it don't have to only hurt. Jesus showed the world and Church that through the pain is hope, possibility, and peace. I am a shameless cross-bearer! Admittedly I don't like pain, but it's God's will that I bear it from time to time so that through my life, His purpose might be fulfilled. Strangely enough, every cross bearer has the same story. Now here comes the riddle, what's your story?
Monday, March 21, 2011
There is a great deal of confusion about the Gifts of the Spirit in operation; every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift. Why? We are gifted to serve; if Jesus taught us anything, He taught us to serve others in the power of the Holy Spirit! "It is not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of Host." Jesus came and died to alleviate human suffering caused by the meanest of sin. Sin separates us from God; sin isolates us from God; without a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, we'll be the ones in the greatest need for spiritual, emotional, and physical alleviation from suffering. Believers have a command from the Lord to use our spiritual gifts, in whatever form it may be in, to faithfully serve others. But natural talents will destroy the potential of any Christian to live a Christ centered, victorious life! Natural talent should be checked at the door of any Church. When a church is operated exclusively on naturally talented people, look out below because a train wreck is well on the way. Do yourself a favor, commit to only allowing your natural talents to dovetail your spiritual gifts- and not take the place of the Gift. Gifts verses Talents? No contest! Talents are great in their proper place, but talent is unable to sustain the momentum of consistently meeting the needs of others in ministry. Talent is show-n-tell within the walls of the Church; spiritual gifts are the real deal. The Kingdom of God is not show -n-tell, but a matter of spiritual power. Lastly, spiritual gifts empower Christians to live their lives on a supernatural level. This is truly possible-don't let the haters fool you! The gifts of the spirit will always make room for you, because they will always be needed to alleviate human suffering.