Archive for December, 2010

Truth is spoken openly


                The high priest then asked Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world.  I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet and have said nothing in secret” (John 18: 19-20.)


                Jesus was standing before the Jewish leaders who were seeking to find something in his teachings by which they could condemn him.  These Jewish leaders had heard all of his teachings in the temple.  In the first century, a rabbi would speak publicly so everyone had the opportunity to question him; in fact, the Jewish leaders had sent many people to question Jesus; they wanted him to incriminate himself so they could prove that he was not the messiah; yet every answer Jesus gave was perfect.  So the Jewish leaders arrested him and began to question him in secret.  He reminded them that he had never said anything in secret; the truth never needed to be kept secret; it needed to be proclaimed from the roof tops; a task that Jesus had flawlessly completed.

                Recently, a couple of people have been arrested for leaking all kinds of top secret communications to the public.  These communications include pleas to the United States to intervene militarily against a certain Muslim country.  When the information was made public, it caused a great deal of embarrassment and shame.  How does this relate to our personal lives?  How many times have we said something about someone we would not have said had they been present?  Gossiping is saying something in secret that you would not say publicly.  If you would not say something to a person’s face, don’t say it.  We have all been guilty of this offense.  The truth never needs to be spoken in secret; the truth can be proclaimed boldly for all to hear, without shame or embarrassment.

                Today as followers of Jesus Christ we should not gossip.  Everything we say should stand up to scrutiny.  If what we say cannot be printed on the front page of the news paper, should we say it at all?  No.  We need to speak the truth (God’s truth, not speculation or opinion) without regret.  [Sometimes the truth is not going to be nice.  We have heard our mothers say many times, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  However, Jesus was no pushover; he spoke out against many people who were evil; speaking the truth is not gossiping, if it is spoken in love.  All of our communications should be done in love; the truth can hurt a person, but may still need to be heard, because we care about those who must hear it.]  Speak openly, speak truthfully, and speak lovingly, and you will never be ashamed.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You would help us to speak every word openly, and to never gossip or speak out of hate, or out of contempt, but out of love.  We wish to speak just as You and Your Son Speak; by the power of Your Holy Spirit we ask that You make us speak only the truth, and only what You desire us to say.  Use our mouths in this place, to glorify You, and to bring Your truth to others.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

How important is the Word of God?


                Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil.  And in those days he ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, he was hungry.  And the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”  (Luke 4: 1-4.)


                There is currently a battle happening in the lives of every man woman and child on the face of this earth.  The battle is between the Spirit and the Flesh.  People who are fleshly are dominated by the desires of the body; hunger, sex, possessions, power, drugs or alcohol, feeling good, etc.  The devil seeks to exploit these fleshly desires for his own end.  He does not want anyone to do the will of God.  God is Spirit, and when He dwells in a person’s heart, His Spirit begins to control the fleshly desires; fasting is a display of dominance of the Spirit over the desires of the body.  God willed Jesus too fast for forty days in the wilderness to display His dominance.  The devil sought, through pride and hunger, to make Jesus disobey His Father, saying “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  Jesus quoted an Old Testament scripture saying, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”  The word of God is more important for life than the very bread that we eat.  The Spirit of God is more necessary for living than the water we drink, or even the air that we breathe.  Without the word and the Spirit a person begins to be consumed by their own desires, and the result is death.

                Drug addicts and alcoholics are examples of victims of carnality.  A person can get to a point of such great spiritual bankruptcy, that their fleshly desires have nothing to control them; they begin to retract from the world, doing drugs, stealing to support their habit, even using friends and family to continue on in a lifestyle that leads only to misery and death.  Some addicts do recover; many in the church have been healed over night (not because they had a mental breakthrough) but because God’s Spirit returned to them.  Their hunger for the word of God began to grow, and in turn, they had victory over their desire to get drunk and use drugs.  Many today have problems in life they would desperately like to fix; but the problem isn’t the problem; they think, ‘if I can just stop drinking, or stop being promiscuous, then my life would change;’ such problems are merely symptoms of the true problem (their relationship with God is lacking.)  They have refused to make God the center of their lives and, in turn, they have gone on to experience misery and death.  God has to be more important than food and more of a priority than water.  His word has to be the number one priority in life.

                Today, standing up to the devil is the result of standing near to God.  The words of God printed on the pages of every bible give life to those who read them.  Anyone stuck in bondage can be set free by God’s Word.  Anyone who is experiencing a problem will find the solution between the first sentence of Genesis, and the last sentence of the Book of Revelation.  Did you read the word of God today?  Did you feed your Spirit?  You ate breakfast, probably lunch, and maybe dinner, but how much of God’s word did you take in today?  The very Word of God is our lifeline in a dark place; it is our roadmap for living; it is our strength; it is our very life.  Read the Word daily, and be strengthened in this battle you find yourself in.  Give God His proper place in your life, and you will know a miracle, and you will have the victory you seek; and true life will eternally by yours.   

                 “Lord Heavenly Father we lift you up as an awesome and mighty God, and come before You now in humility.  Please reveal when the devil is attempting to manipulate us.  Help us to see him from afar off.  Give us the wisdom and the words to rebuke him; give us the truth to speak in return for his lies.  Help us to understand the importance of Your Word in our lives, and give us a hunger for Your Spiritual food.  Nourish us, and make us strong Father, and allow us to remain in You.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The Family of God


                Then his brothers, and his mother came, and standing outside they sent to him, calling him.  And a multitude was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you.”  But he answered them saying, “Who is my mother, or my brothers?”  And he looked around in a circle at those who sat about him, and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother” (Mark 3: 31-35.) 


                During the Holiday season, families gather to celebrate the birth of Christ.  What makes a family is a common parent.  Christ says, that “unless a man be reborn, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  He is referring to the spiritual birth, the inward birth, that makes a person a son or a daughter of God.  Everyone who calls Jesus Christ Lord, also calls the eternal God, their Father.  In another scripture, we read, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit.”  His mother and brothers had come to see him (they were his family by means of a fleshly birth.)  Yet all those sitting around him, listening, were his brothers and sisters and mother, by means of a spiritual birth.  The evidence that they had become sons and daughters of God was in their actions.  Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother.”  God is loving, so his children are loving.  God seeks the lost, so too, his children seek them.  God is kind to both the evil and the good alike; his children pray for evil people, show them kindness, and love them.  God gives to everyone who asks of him; therefore Jesus says, “Give to everyone who asks.”  God forgives even the worst sinner who turns to him; Jesus instructs his followers to forgive everyone in like manner.  God hears everyone who speaks to him, so his children should be good listeners.  God is patient; so a child of God must also be patient.  Whatever God does, those who call him Father will also do.

                In the animal kingdom, there are a variety of different species.  Each species is unique in the way they are shaped, in the way they behave, in the way they find food, and even in the way they procreate.  Mating is a huge part of life for all of God’s creatures.  When a wolverine gives birth, it gives birth to one of its own kind.  Kangaroo’s give birth to kangaroo’s, frogs to frogs, horses to horses, goats to goats.  Every newborn is raised to act and behave as it has been designed to do, and as it has been taught by its parents.  Human beings are different.  Though we are all made in the image of God, inside, every person is the offspring of two possible Fathers.  There are those whose father is the devil, and they do the works of their father (They strive to get ahead; they strive for money, for power, for beauty, for self-fulfillment; they store things up in abundance that they cannot use; they seek to take advantage of others, and to turn other people away from God.)  Then there are those who are the offspring of God and they do the works of their Father (they strive to love others, to give to others, and to be self-less; they strive to care for those in need, to reach out to the lost, and to bring hope to the hopeless; they desire to set others free from the bondage of sin, and restore them to healthy living.  They strive to please their Father, and to turn others away from the devil and back toward God.)     

                Who is your Father?  Are you doing the works of God, or the works of the devil?  Are you serving others, loving others, reaching out to others, or are you serving yourself, trying to get ahead, and seeking the lusts of the flesh?  If you are serving God and doing His will, you are brother and sister and mother to those who have come to call God their Father.  You have a family of people who were reborn of The Spirit of God; who are doing all of the works He has asked of them; fellowship with your new family and gain strength from them.  Always remember, you are not alone, and God is with us (If you have never been born of the spirit, you can be.  God is calling everyone.  He is standing at the door of your heart and He is knocking.  You simply need to let Him in.  If you would like to open the door and let Him in, then go somewhere quiet and ask Him to come in to your heart, and to come in to your life.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins; ask Him to be your teacher, your Father, and your guide.  Ask Him for His Holy Spirit and a new birth.  Ask this all in the name of Jesus, and your life will never be the same.  [Then get a bible and begin reading and applying it to your life.  Get involved in a fellowship, and call someone right away and tell them about the decision that you have made.  And, remember, if you have given your life to Christ, then you have an entire family of people you’ve never met just waiting to get to know you.  I myself am now one of your new brothers, and I would love to chat with you; you can call or email me at any time, for prayer, for support, for anything.])

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You now and we lift You up.  You are an awesome and mighty God; worthy of praise.  We ask You now to help us to be more like You.  We desperately seek to do Your work in this place.  We want You to be our Father, and we desire to be closer to You, and closer to all those who call You Father.  Give us a desire to be loving, to be caring, to read Your word and to do Your will in this place, so others would look at us and see You, and praise You for the works that You are doing through us.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  May God bless all of you.

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