Saturday, December 21, 2013

Joyful 'toon

I love Mike Water's work don't you.  Please go to his website and let him know if you appreciate his ministry.  Join his mailing list to receive an e-mail whenever he finishes a new cartoon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas

What does "Merry Christmas" mean to you?  I decided to do some research into the term to find out what we mean when we say "Merry Christmas" to one another.  

The word merry was pretty easy as it is an adjective meaning: very happy and cheerful; feeling or showing joy and happiness: causing joy and happiness.

The word Christmas, however, was not so easy.  When you do a search for "Christmas" you will get a long list of statements, which do not really answer the question for me; "What does it really mean?"  After reading all the statements I found myself confused and unsatisfied with what the true meaning of Christmas is.

I know the word "Christ" is referring to Jesus, our Lord and savior.  But, why did they stick the letters MAS behind His name?  I searched for MAS in an attempt to find the definition, but was unsatisfied with answers that I received here as well.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus through the giving of gifts and the enjoying the festive celebrations during the season.  We celebrate Jesus' birth because Jesus is the gift that came from our Heavenly Father to us in order to redeem us from the curse of death.

To me, the true meaning of the Christmas season is to take the time to honor our Heavenly Father for the gift He gave us.  We honor Him by giving back to Him what He wants and needs from us.  What does He need from us?  All He asks is that we remember Him by giving Him praise and thanks for what He has done.  He is so worthy of our praise and worship.  He has given us so much with blessings we take for granted.

I believe Christmas means to give to one another, to give to those in need, and most importantly is to give back to our Heavenly Father the praise and worship He richly deserves.

I would love you hear your thoughts on what Christmas means to you.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Your Sins Are Forgiven

A Sinful Woman Forgiven 
Luke 7:36-50 (NKJV)
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

In Everything Give Thanks For This Is The Will of God For You

In a previous lesson we talked about how Jesus loves for us to come to Him as a little child.  We will continue this lesson by talking about "The Will of God For You".  I want to share with you a secret that I have learned that is really not a secret at all.  When I learned this valuable nugget of truth it seemed as though it was a secret because I had never understood this truth before.

What is this truth?  It's not all about me!  My life is not all about me, my desires or my will for myself.  I don't own my life to do as I once thought I did.  My life belongs to my creator, my Heavenly Father.  I mistakenly thought I was born to please myself, but I found out that I was born to please my Heavenly Father instead.

The more I read the scriptures the more the Holy Spirit reveals to me what pleases my Heavenly Father.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 my Heavenly Father reveal the key to me:

17 "Pray without ceasing. 
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
19 Quench not the Spirit."
Pray without ceasing - I believe this means to be in a constant state of prayer or communications with our Heavenly Father.  How do we do that?  Prayer is not just asking for things or needs.  Prayer is a communication directly with our Heavenly Father.  Through out the day I talk to my Heavenly Father about everything that is going on around me.
In every thing give thanks - In my constant state of prayer I give my Heavenly Father for every thing He has provided for me to enjoy; the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the changing of the seasons, the friends and family that He has blessed me with.  These things are just of a few of the many I thank Him for when I talk to Him.  The more I give Him thanks for what He has provided the more He shows me His handiwork in my life.  The more He shows me the more I want to praise and worship Him.
For the is the will of God Concerning Me - His will for me to give Him thanks, praise and worship for at all times. The more I praise and worship in by giving thanks the more He blesses my life with peace, joy, and happiness.  The more I praise Him and worship Him the less I think about "ME" and my selfish desires.
I like the way the Amplified Bible says it: "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]."
I like the fact that I can give my Heavenly Father thanks even in difficult times.  I give my Heavenly Father thanks when I don't feel like it. Why? He is worthy of my praise and worship even when I don't feel worthy.  He is worthy of my worship not because I love Him, but rather because He first loved us.
Quench not the Spirit - This means for us to not suppress or fight against the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts.  The Holy Spirit constantly speaks to our hearts and we can unconsciously resist the Holy Spirit's voice when we are full of worry and fear.  When we relax and let Him speak to our hearts then He can reveal to us the mysteries that God wants us to know.  He will reveal fresh revelation of Himself through the study of His Words.  He will give you peace even in the middle of a crisis or storm in your life.  Quit trying to fix everything going on in your life by your own will power.  Relax and let the Holy Spirit take over and He will work out all things according to His purpose
Now that you know God's will for you lift your hands, as the children in these pictures, and give God thanks for all He has done and is done for you.  Look for the little things He does and give Him thanks throughout the day.  The more you do this you will find that abundant life Jesus mentioned in John 10:10.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Just Shall Live By Faith

In the previous lesson Jesus asked the disciples, after He calmed the storm, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40 NKJV  The disciples had not yet learned how to exercise faith.  They had been with Jesus and had seen the miracles performed through Him, but they did not understand that Jesus had exercised His faith in God to preform the supernatural.  Jesus only did and said what the Father told Him to say and do.

The Just Shall Live By Faith

In this lesson we will look at some scriptures about the importance of living by faith:

Romans 1:16-18, Galatians 3:10-12, and Hebrews 10:37-39  Please read the entire chapter for each scripture mentioned and not just the verses mentioned alone.

Another scripture I want you to read about great faith is Luke 7.  Notice the Roman Centurion's faith and Jesus' reaction to this man's faith.  Please read the entire chapter and especially the last verse, ". . . it is your faith that has saved you, . . ."

I like this picture of the Roman Centurion because he's pointing as if giving a command.  He speaks and his men do exactly what he tells them to do.

Jesus exercised this same kind of command when He spoke to the wind as we talked about in the last lesson.  Did you know Jesus has given us, the believer, the authority to speak or give command to circumstances by using our faith?

Talk To The Mountain - Mark 11:22-24 NKJV

22 "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 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. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
As a believer you have the authority to say or talk directly to the mountain in your life (circumstances) and "Be gone" and it will be done.  Believe that you have already received what you say, do not doubt in your heart and you "will have" what you have believed for.  Jesus is that one that said this and I want you to mediate on His words.  We have only scratched the surface of what it means to "Live By Faith".

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Speak To The Storm In Your Life

On October 30th I wrote an article titled "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear" about how Jesus was fast asleep in the boat that was being tossed to and fro during a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples were so afraid they were going to die they awaked Jesus out of fear for their lives.

Jesus calmly gets up and walks to the bow of the boat and speaks to the storm saying simply, "Peace, Be Still!", and the winds obeyed His voice causing a perfect calm.  Today's lesson has to do with what Jesus said to the disciples after He calmed the storm.  He said in Mark 4:40 NKJV, . . . “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  By asking that question Jesus is saying that if they were not so fearful they could have spoken directly  to the storm and the storm would have obeyed their voice just as it had His voice.

Now I know that many will disagree with me on this because of your past religious training that teaches only Jesus had the supernatural power to do all the miracles He did.  Did Jesus operate on this earth as The Son of God?  Was Jesus able to preform miracles while here on earth strictly because He is The Son of God?  The answer to both questions is "NO!"  It is true Jesus is "The Son of God", but Jesus is also an earthly man, born of a woman, and He operated on earth as a man.  

Where did Jesus' supernatural power come from then?  Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and as soon as Jesus came up out of the water power of the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus.  God then said, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."  God was already pleased with Jesus even though Jesus had not done any miracles during His first 30-years of life as a man.  This is important to know and we will discuss this in more detail in a later lesson.

The Holy Spirit is the one that impregnated Mary in order for Jesus to be born as an earth man.  The Holy Spirit is the one that performed the mighty miracles through Jesus.  It was the Holy Spirit that dwelled in Jesus that also resurrected Jesus from the dead.  Jesus stated that He only does what the Father tells Him to do or what He has seen the Father do.  It is the Holy Spirit that sat on the throne of Jesus' heart and that is how He was able to hear and see God's instructions.  Jesus operated as a man by faith believing that God was fully able to accomplish what He said He would do.  Jesus was a man that lived and walked by faith as an example for us, the believers.

When Jesus paid the full price on the cross He redeem us from the curse of death.  Jesus was resurrected from death to life by the Holy Spirit and spent forty more days on earth teaching His disciples.  Jesus told His disciples that He had to leave, but He would not leave them alone.  Jesus promised them that He would send a helper, or comforter as the King James version calls Him.  The promised helper is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit did come down and baptized the believers, in the Holy Spirit, when the day of Pentecost (50-days from passover) was fully come.

Jesus said that we can to the works that He did and even greater works than He did. The problem is that we have trouble believing some of the things Jesus said and the above verses are some of those.  The enemy comes along and whispers in our minds the same tricks he used on Adam and Eve.  He says, "Did Jesus really mean that you could do what He did?', 'You don't have the audacity to believe you can do greater works than He did do you?', 'Haven't you heard that supernatural miracles died out with the disciples and are no longer relevant for today?"  Some church doctrines teach their congregations that the supernatural events of Book of Acts, and other books of the New Testament, were for the early church only and not for the church today.  These churches do not believe in supernatural healing, like the miracles in Jesus' ministry, but yet they still pray for healing.

Is it possible the church has bought into the lies of the enemy therefore believing his lies rather than what Jesus said?  This is a tough question and I hope you take the time to read Jesus' words for yourself and question within yourself if your church's doctrines disagree with what Jesus said.

Jesus Promises Another Helper (Comforter)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."  John 14:15-17
This same Holy Spirit that sat on the throne of Jesus' heart dwells in the true believer's heart.  Jesus lived, by faith, in every word He heard from our Heavenly Father as an example for us to live by today.  The power that lived in and worked in Jesus is the same power that lives in and works in us.  Study the scriptures for yourself and mediate on Jesus's words and then do what He says.  Read all of Matthew 7 for the full impact of what Jesus is teaching.

The reason I created this BLOG is because I have heard so many different believers, of various denominational churches, express their fears and confusions to me based on what they believe.  Unfortunately these people are so messed up emotionally they have trouble believing that even God cares if they exist or not.

I feel the Lord has placed on my heart to write each article with the intent of helping others to come to know just how much God loves them and wants them to enjoy life, and to live it abundantly.  I pray that you will open your minds to receive what God is saying to you as you read and study the scriptures mentioned.  Please feel free to send me an e-mail if I can answer any questions for you.

In our next lesson we talk more about how you can speak to the circumstances (storms) of your life and see miracles happen in your life and the lives of others around you. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Become Like Little Children

One thing I've noticed in studying the scriptures is how much Jesus loves little children.  Check out what He says in Matthew 18:2-4 Amplified Version:

2 "And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them,
And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].
Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

and in Matthew 19:13-15 Amplified Version:

13 "Then little children were brought to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.
15 And He put His hands upon them, and then went on His way."

Notice in the above verse the disciples thought the children were bothering Jesus, but to Jesus they were not a bother at all.  Why did Jesus love children so much?  I think the answer lies in Matthew 18:4 - Jesus welcomes those that come to Him with a humble heart that is loving, trusting, forgiving, and lowly (less important than others).    Children are an example of a trusting heart that is not burdened down with worries and cares of this life.

Believers are considered Little Children

Jesus called His disciples "Little Children" in John 13:33.  Paul called the church "Little Children" in Galatians 4:19 .  John called the church "Little Children"in 1 John 2, 1 John 3, 1 John 4, and 1 John 5.

Two Kinds of Prayers - Two Kinds of Attitudes

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 "Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14 NKJV

I love to hear my Grandchildren pray as they pray with such innocence and faith.  Their prayers are always heard because their prayers are from an attitude of humility.  In the parable above Jesus teaches us about two different men praying to the same God and both men's prayers are heard, but only one man's prayer was received and answered.  The first man had a conceited and arrogant attitude boasting in his works.  The second man prayed with a humble heart boasting in nothing of himself.  His prayer was offered up to God seeking God's mercy because he knew his works were worthless.  This man's humble heart was made justified in God's eyes and God will exalt this man because of his humble heart.

To repent means to have a change of heart, a change of attitude.  Take a moment to examine your heart, as Zig Ziglar called it, "A Check Up From The Neck Up!"  Another phrase of Zig's I like is, "Stinking Thinking!"  Is there any stinking thinking in your heart, your attitude, or your prayers?  If there is then repent (change your direction, your heart, your thinking, your attitude) and become like little children.  When you do you will see changes in your life as the Lord will lift you up with joy and peace like you have never known before.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

This week my wife asked me what I would like to have for my 65th birthday this month.   I couldn't think of anything so we went out looking around at different stores from some ideas.  I did see some really nice things, but I realized nothing really interests me.  This morning I searched online for ideas and found some music cd's and books that kind of interested me, but not enough to say to her, "This is what I would like to have!"

Things or "Stuff" doesn't interest me now as it has in the past.  I have found that I am content with such things that I have.  As I look back on my past I find myself being very excited about the wonderful events and circumstances that I have been blessed with.  Oh, yes I know there were setbacks along the way, but I count it all for joy and do not have any regrets.  There are some situations whereas I failed the test, but the good new is the Lord took those failures and turned them into blessings.

My life has been an exciting adventure, and so much so, I can say that I praise God because I have been blessed exceeding and abundantly beyond all that I would think of or even ask for.

The only personal gift I could come up with is shown in the Jesus art above - if you want to give me a gift for my birthday give me a hug when I see you.  And, if I do not get a chance to see you then I want you to hug your children, your wife, your husband, your parents, or a friend and tell them you love them.

Since I do not have any needs or wants for stuff the only other thing I could think of, to celebrate my birthday, would a gift given to help others.  Should any you, or any of my subscribers, family members, or friends desire to celebrate my birthday then give a gift by helping others -  here is a sample list of ministries that I support:

Why do I support these various ministries?  Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 25 that when we give of our personal time and money helping others we are ministering to Him also.  Our giving of ourselves, in service of others, is our calling, our ministry according to Jesus' statements in this chapter.  Notice also what happened the goats (the foolish, selfish, and unrighteous people on His left hand) in verses 31-46.

Check out the following list of sample circumstances of hardship Jesus gave as areas of ministry:
  • hungry - Feed the Children, The Salvation Army, Room In The Inn, GraceWorks, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • thirsty - Gospel for Asia (wells for water)
  • stranger - The Salvation Army, Room In The Inn, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • naked - GraceWorks Ministries, The Salvation Army, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • sick - Nashville Rescue Mission,
  • in prison - Angel Tree: Prison Fellow-ship
One ministry I left out was "YOU", you see we (the righteous in Christ Jesus) have all been called as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  What was Jesus' ministry?  Everywhere Jesus went He helped people.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to get involved in the ministry of helping others through your time, your talents (skills and abilities), and your money.

I pray that you will accept your calling and fulfill your destiny God has called you to do.  Celebrate my birthday this month and Jesus' birthday next month through your giving and you will find yourself blessed exceedingly and abundantly beyond all you could think of or even ask for according to the power that works in us.  Ephesians 3:20,21

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear.

In the art shown here you can see Jesus standing at the bow of the boat taking command of situation (the storm), which caused the disciples to fear for their lives.  Jesus took control of the storm by speaking directly to the storm saying, "Peace, be Still!" and the storm obeyed His command.  Notice He said, "Peace", which He was speaking to the circumstance and the  desired result in the circumstance, and then He spoke to the cause of the circumstance, the storm.  He told the storm to "Be Still."  I like this because it reminds me of how I spoke to my sons, when they were little, and they were squirming during church.

What I find remarkable is the when the storm arose the disciples became afraid for their lives, but Jesus had so much perfect peace that He was asleep during the storm.  Jesus was in the back of the boat, known as the stern, sleeping on a pillow and He did not have any fear because He had perfect love as we studied in 1 John 4:18.

The disciples woke Him with words of fear as they could not understand why He was not afraid.  They felt as if He did not care for them.  They knew Jesus had supernatural powers which would take care of the storm, but, to them, Jesus seemed apathetic towards the situation.

Was Jesus apathetic?  No!  Well why didn't Jesus jump up and calm the storm before now?  You see the storm was a test for the disciples.  The disciples had been with Jesus for a long time now and they had set under His teachings and watched Him as He healed many people of various diseases, and cast out evil spirits.  The storm was a test giving them an opportunity to use what they had learned, to use their faith.  Notice what Jesus said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

The disciples failed this test, but the good news they will get a chance to retake again later.  As a believer we too are tested to see if we have learned anything or not.  We will get a chance to exercise faith or will we fail the test by exercising our fear, which is the opposite of faith.  How we handle the faith tests in our lives helps us to grow and every we pass a test we move up to the next level of faith.  Whenever we fail a test we do not get to move up to the next level until we retake the test and pass the test.

The test for each one of us today is to examine our own hearts and think back to how we have handled different circumstances.  Did we stand in faith or wallow in fear?

In our next lesson we will study faith and how to know if we are living by faith or not.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Humble And The Meek

In my last article I told you about an attitude of some people which I titled "The Proud and The Arrogant".  Today we will talk about the opposite attitude of "The Proud and The Arrogant".  This opposite attitude is called:

"The Humble and The Meek"

I love the art shown here as you see Jesus enjoying His relationship with children of different skin colors.  You see Jesus does not love any one particular skin color.  It is the enemy that deliberately causes pride and arrogance among the different skin colors for the purpose of division among skin colors.

During my many years of work experience I have had the pleasure of working with people of different skin colors and different cultural back grounds.  I have found I have made some wonderful, lifetime friends with people of all the skin colors, different religions, and different cultures.

The truth is there is only one race and that is the human race.  God created the human race with different skin colors and with different cultures for His good pleasure.  If this true why is there so much pride and arrogance towards people that are of different skin colors than our own?  The tool the enemy uses to divide people is fear.  The slave owners were afraid of their slaves.  Why?  Because they thought themselves to be superior to the slaves, pride and arrogance, but yet they feared them because the slave owners feared the slave may get free and become better than themselves.  Fear of man causes one to control, contain, and manipulate others in order to keep them under control and stop them from becoming more than what they are.  But, Proverbs 29:25 says when a man lives under a fear of man he sets a trap for himself, which he subjects himself to bondage.  The opposite of fear of man is a man that trusts in the Lord and is safe from the bondage of fear.

The bad news still today there are groups of people that are in bondage to fear man and they are full of pride and arrogance against other skin colors.  They enjoy the division among skin colors and desire to keep the division going to serve their agenda.  They purposefully cause the peoples of their own skin color to despise the people of other skin colors (pride and arrogance).  Some of these people are so-called Christian pastors and leaders of non-Christian religions.  They preach a doctrine racism, a doctrine of hate, which is a doctrine of demons.  You've seen them on TV News programs and you know who I'm referring to.

In the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5, Jesus taught His kind of attitude called The Beatitudes.  I like to think of it as He Attitudes or rather His attitudes.  In this sermon, Jesus taught us His attitude as an attitude for all believers of all skin colors to embrace.  I call it the attitude of Being Like Him.  Was Jesus ever prideful or arrogant?  No!  Was He ever disrespectful or rude to anyone?  No!  Now I would like for you to read The Beatitudes in the Amplified version for a more detailed understanding of this teaching.

If only all people had the B-attitude or an attitude of Being in Him.  I call it the He-attitude where there is not any fear of man.  Where there is no fear there is love.  Where there is love there is peace and safety.  You see the "Me" attitude is afraid of man and is in a trap or bondage.  When we change from the "ME" attitude to the "HE" attitude we are free of selfishness bondage to a selfless freedom where there is peace and safety.

The Consummation of Love

"17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:17-19 NKJV

The church attenders, and others that I've talked about, have the bondage, an evil spirit, of "Pride and Arrogance".  They are the way they are because they are afraid of what man thinks of them, which is caused by an evil spirit.  They mask their fear through their attitude of superiority known as "Pride and Arrogance".

I love the scripture above and especially the phrase "perfect love casts out fear".  If we are in bondage to the fear of man then perfect loves can cast it out.  How is it cast out?  By perfect love from Jesus.  Why?  "Because He first loved us".  If you are secure in your relationship with Jesus and His love for you then you are set free from the fear of man and what man can do to you.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:28 to fear not what man can do to our bodies, but rather fear Him that can destroy both the body and the soul in hell.  As a believer we put our trust in Him because in Him, even though our bodies will someday die, our spirit man will live forever with Him once we depart from this earthly body.

Notice in the scripture above 1 John 4:17-19 " . . . because as He is, so are we in this world". Where is Jesus?  Seated at the right hand of the Father!  If Jesus is with the Father in heaven and we are as He is in Heaven, while we are still on earth, then our attitude is the same as His attitude.  Is He prideful and arrogant?  Is he conceited and selfish?  No!  Then we as a believer are not to be that way either.  Please go back and re-read the Beatitudes in the Amplified version.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Proud and The Arrogant

Jesus Rebukes Satan
The title "The Proud and The Arrogant" sounds like the title for a soap opera doesn't it?  I feel like the Lord has been wanting me to write about this subject for some time now.  I'm not sure why, but perhaps it is because this is something that someone needs.

Maybe I shouldn't be shocked by the proud and arrogant acting people I've been exposed to, but I am especially shocked when I meet church attenders that are this way.  A few years ago I was in between full-time jobs and worked part-time for a major company in the church directory business as a photographer taking portrait shots.  I was impressed with some of the churches I worked in because the church members were very friendly and fun to work with.

Then too, there were some other churches I worked in where I was very disturbed by the attitudes of haughtiness, arrogance, and pride of the members.  I could not understand how, or why, church people would behaved this way.  I had never seen this in a church before.

During my forty plus years of working I have had many different jobs and one day I asked the Lord why have I had some many different jobs.  I felt Him say in my spirit that there was a purpose for every job that I've had because He wanted me to be exposed to different kinds of people and all the different attitudes people have.  I asked the Lord why He wanted me to experience this and He said that He wanted me to understand what He experiences in dealing with people.  I really did not understand why He needed me to experience this, but I kept an open mind.

As I thought about these things I began to realize there is a war going on and the battlefield is in all our minds.  People act the way they do based on how their minds are programmed, their values, and what they treasure in life.  Whatever your treasure is, this is where your heart is.  

"4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)

Notice verse 5 says, "casting down arguments . . . " - I prefer the the King James version as it says "casting down imaginations . . .".  I think what we imagine about ourselves is where our attitude about ourselves comes from.  Do we imagine ourselves to be above others?  Do the think of ourselves as more or less than others?  Read how the Amplified version says it.

Not too long ago I went for a job interview in a different department of the same company that I work for now.  If I had gotten the job it would have been a lateral move and not necessarily a major advance in position.  I thought it would be a simple, cut and dry, yes or no interview.  My appointment was with the sales manager of this particular department, but when I arrived his boss decided the interview would be in his office and the sales manager could listen in.  I'm not sure what the reason for this switch was, but I left the room when the interview was over feeling beaten up and bloody.  The man tore my Resume apart and ridiculed me for even coming to the interview with a resume whereas I had had so many different jobs. At the end of the interview the manager leaned over towards the sales manager and in a stern voice he said, "We do not have any opening in your department, DO WE!"  The sales manager had no other option but to say, "No Sir!"  

My questions is if there were not any openings why was I invited for the interview?  I have had many interviews over the years and had a good feeling as to whether the interviewer was interested or not.   All of the other interviewers were professional and courteous even when they were not interested in my potential.  Why was this one so different?

Needless to say I was very disturbed by the way this man acted.  I asked the Lord about this and He helped me to realize that this man had some personal issues going on within himself, and also had an issue with the sales manager.  The Lord helped me to realize this man's attack on me was not against me personally.  It had to do with the man's own inner struggles with self worth and control of his department.   The Lord had me forgive this man even though I didn't feel he deserved it.  The Lord said to me, "Do you deserve my forgiveness?"  I changed me attitude quickly.

Why do we struggle with our attitudes, thoughts, imaginations, and strongholds?  The key lies in the battle for the mind.  The enemy comes against us with thoughts and accusations in order to destroy our witness for Christ.

Notice in the picture above Jesus rebuked Satan.  The enemy comes against every believer with thoughts to make them ineffective for Christ.  As a believer we should have the attitude of Christ at church and at work.  How do we do that?  Paul says, " . . . bringing every thought into the captivity of the obedience of Christ."  As Christians we are to have the same attitude as Jesus does.  A good check-up from the neck up for the believer is "Do we have the attitude of Christ?"  Do people see Jesus when they see us, or do they see the opposite of Jesus?

Friday, October 25, 2013

For We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

"For We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight"  2 Corintians 5:7 NKJV

Read all of 2 Corinthians 5 Please read the entire chapter for the full scope of verse 7.

Most of the art surrounding Peter's experience with Christ walking on the water shows Jesus rescuing Peter when he was sinking beneath the waves.  I like this picture because it shows Peter with his eyes fixed on Jesus and he was doing a supernatural thing - "Walking on Water".

At this point Peter changed his focus from himself and the storm to faith in Jesus.  Peter requested that Jesus command him to come to Him on the water,  Jesus told him to "Come".  Matthew 14:27-29 NKJV

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Notice in verse 27 Jesus said, " . . . It is I . . . "  The disciples were afraid of the image they saw walking on the water because they thought He was a ghost.  The fishermen of that day feared ghosts of dead fishermen because their tradition caused them to fear that ghosts will  kill them too.  The actual translation of what Jesus said is, "I Am!"  He is saying to not be afraid because I AM is here.  Who is I AM?  He's the great I AM.  He's the one that said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM".

So, how was Peter able to do the supernatural thing of walking on water.  Peter did not have supernatural capabilities, but Jesus did.  All Peter had to do was follow Jesus' command, "Come" by faith in Jesus' word.  By faith Peter stepped out of the boat and rest in faith that he could do what Jesus had told him to do.  By Peter obeying Jesus' command Jesus was able to do the supernatural of walking on water for Peter.

The lesson here is whatever Jesus calls us to do we are to step out in faith and just do it even we think to ourselves that we do not have the ability to do what Jesus commanded.  We mistakenly think we should do what Jesus tells us based on our own ability.  Whatever Jesus commands you to do it is His supernatural ability to make it happen through you.  Our ability has nothing to do with it.  All Jesus wants from us is to step out in faith and let Him work through us to accomplish what He has called us to do.

Peter stepped out of the boat with his focus totally on Jesus and Jesus supernaturally caused Peter to walk on water towards Him.  You know the rest of the story.  Peter became distracted from his focus by taking his focus away from his faith in Jesus to fear caused by the cares of this world.  When Peter did this the supernatural power that was hold him up faded away because his focus changed from faith to fear.  There is no power for the believer in fear (doubt caused by looking at our circumstances).

Peter sank beneath the waves and cried out to Jesus, "Save me Lord", and Jesus reached out His hand and lifted him up.  What happened then?  Both Jesus and Peter walked on water back to the boat.  Peter walked on water twice, but neither time by his own ability.  It was Christ's ability that kept them both walking on top of the water.  Peter had nothing invested in this supernatural event except for his faith in Jesus.

Notice Jesus's words to Peter after He pulled Peter up the safety.  He said, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt."  Whatever Jesus has called you to do you can do it because of your faith in His supernatural power to make it happen.  We mistakenly believe that Jesus has called us to do supernatural things on this earth and then we become discouraged when we realize we do not have any supernatural powers.  The mistake is we are trusting in our strength or ability.  The power comes from trusting Jesus to use His supernatural power though us.  We can only operate our calling, our ministry, by faith in Him and not of ourselves.

What has Jesus called you to do?  Whatever Jesus has called you to do Jesus either will reveal it to you, or perhaps He has already revealed it to you.  Just relax and do what He has told you to do by faith in Him and His ability to accomplish His will for you and through you.  Get to know Him and His will by studying His words and doing whatever He says and then you will find the supernatural working in your life.

I AM is always with you.  Do not be afraid not matter what the storms of life are going on around you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Come See Me

One of my favorite Gaither songs is "Come See Me" by Johnny Minick.  The words to this song are important because, to me, it describes my ministry, my calling if you will, as a believer In Christ.  If you are a believer it's your ministry too.

Our ministry is to make disciples.  How do we do that?  You invite people to Come See You in order for YOU to tell them about Jesus.

As I was meditating on the words of this song while driving to work yesterday I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my spirit whenever I invite people to "Come See Me" I am inviting them to come see Him, Jesus.  He said, "invite them to hear your story and He, the Holy Spirit, will do the rest.

Notice in the picture above you see Jesus with His arms stretched out inviting all to come to Him as He will give them rest.  We open our arms and invite others to hear about Jesus and then He goes to work changing the hearts of those we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with.

I pray that you will watch the video clip below even if you do not like Southern Gospel music.  What is important is to pay attention to the words of the song as it relates to our ministry as believers.  

If you are not a believer and would know more about Jesus then "Come See Me", or send me an e-mail with your phone number as I would love to tell you about my Jesus.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Feeling At Home In the Presence of Jesus

I love this picture because it shows just how safe and secure the little lamb feels in Jesus's lap.  We have a little lap dog, Lucy, that loves to sit in our laps just like the lamb in this picture.  Lucy feels such peace and safety in our presence.

That's the way Jesus expects the believer to feel in His presence.  Unfortunately there are leaders and teachers in the church that desire to entangle the believers " . . . with a yoke of bandage."  What is this yoke of bondage?  These teachers mix grace with the ministry of death, the law, which you cannot mix the two together.  They mix grace and works together.  We are saved by grace and not of ourselves (our works).  Believers that follow this type of teaching of grace plus works will live in a constant state of fear because they know their works will never be good enough.  Saved by grace means we are save by Jesus work on the cross and His good works as we cannot save ourselves by our own good works.  We are saved by the blood of Jesus which means we are covered from head to toe in His blood.  When God looks at us individually He sees we are righteous in Him because of the blood that covers us.

As a believer in Christ Jesus we are live free of fear and guilt.  We are born again to new life and our sins, past, present and future are covered by the blood of Jesus.  As a believer our job is to only have faith that we now have liberty in Christ Jesus and not be so easily ensnared again " . . . with the yoke of bondage." 

Galations 5:1-26 NKJV

Christian Liberty

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Love Fulfills the Law

7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Walking in the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Check out the lyrics to the song "Feeling At Home In The Presence of Jesus"

Feeling at home in the presence of Jesus
Hearing Him call me His own
Feeling at home
Feeling at home
Putting my feet right under His table
Knowing I won't be alone
Just feeling at home
Feeling at home

You couldn't of told me I'd find what I found
Contentment and peace from above
Feeling at home in the presence of Jesus
Laying way back in His love

Warming myself by the fires of His spirit
Standing right next to the throne
Just feeling at home
Feeling at home

Music Channel: Modulation

Feeling at home in the presence of Jesus
Feeling happy and free
Feeling at home
Feeling at home
Feeling accepted. loved and forgiven
A part of His great family
Just feeling at home
Just feeling at home

You couldn't of told me I'd find what I found
Contentment and peace from above
Feeling at home in the presence of Jesus
Laying way back in His love

Hard Modulation
Warming myself by the fires of His spirit
Standing right next to the throne
Just feeling at home
Feeling at home

[TAG ]
I’m feeling at home
Feeling at home….
I’m feeling at home
Just Feeling at home

My prayer is that you too will accept His love and learn to relax and enjoy "Feeling At Home In The Presence of Jesus".  Amen

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Is Salvation A Transaction

In August 28, 2012 I published an article titled "Once Saved Always Saved."  Please click on the link to read the article and also read Gary's reply below the article.  

Before I get into meat of my reply to Gary I want to say that the dialog in this article is the very reason there are so many different denominations (religions) within the Christian faith.  My articles are designed to help undo some of the confusion.  Many of my articles are written as a response to the things people have told me their particular denominations teach.  One lady, who was a former co-worker, told me was she was so confused and didn't know what to believe because he pastor teaches that her denomination is the only denomination that will go to heaven, and all the other denominations are going to hell.

One day I was having lunch with my youngest son and he was telling me that a person that he worked with, who was of a certain denomination, wanted him to come to his church.  My son told me that he was so confused by what the man was saying because what he was saying his church believed did not sound right to him.  I told my son that before he gets involved with any denomination he would need to make sure they believe what the word actually says and not what a man made doctrine says.  Unfortunately the enemy is very much involved in denominational thinking among the churches to keep the believers confused.  This is reason the churches lack appeal to the unsaved is because of the battle between denominations as to who is right and who is wrong.  The numbers of church members are shrinking because of distrust of church people.  More on that at a later time.  I promise you God is not author of this confusion.  

My Reply To Gary

You stated the evangelical used the word "Transaction".  The word means the following:

: a business deal : an occurrence in which goods, services, or money are passed from one person, account, etc., to another
: the act or process of doing business with another person, company, etc. : the act or process of transacting business

Unfortunately the word transaction is not an accurate word to describe what happens at the point of salvation.  The only transaction that was made was what Jesus did on that cross where He paid for the sins of the whole world once and forever.  A sinner coming to Christ does not make a transaction or purchase to receive salvation.  When a person makes a decision to accept the free gift of salvation his spirit man is reborn or born again.  The old man is dead and the new man is alive forever.

On another day I was talking with co-worker, a non-evangelical believer, about heaven.  She stated to me, "I hope I'm good enough to make it in!"  She was bound by fear because she instinctively knew her works were not good enough to earn her salvation.  You see she lived in a constant state of fear because she always felt condemned.  She had never heard the statement "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus . . ." Romans 8:1-2 NKJV.  Her denomination did not teach the scriptures.  The believers go to heaven based on Jesus' good works and not on the believer's good works.  Jesus will reward the believer though for his good works when He comes again.

Some teach that the believer can lose their salvation because of their sins.  If this were true Jesus would have to go to the cross again and again to pay for our sins.  No, He paid for all our sins once and for all.  But, how can I be saved if I still sin?  You see the day you were born you were born with a sin consciousness.  This sin consciousness in your flesh makes you aware when you have sinned.  We really don't have to have the Ten Commandments to remind us of that, our flesh already knows when we sinned.  When we sin is our name erased out of the Lamb's book of life?  No!  We do, however, have an Advocate with the Father so that we can confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  Some teach that if you forget to confess even one little sin you will go to hell.  This doctrine only keeps the believer in fear because subconsciously we know we have sinned in some ways we have forgotten to confess.  There is no way you can remember every sin you have committed daily either by thought, word, or deed.  It's impossible!  The good news is all our sins are covered by the blood, past, present, and future.  We do not need to walk around in fear of the future any longer.

The biggest tools the enemy uses against the believers is to convince the believers God does not mean what He says.  He used this trick on Adam and Eve and he is actively using this tool to keep the denominations confused.  Denominations are religions within the term Christianity.  To be a Christian is not a membership of some religion.  A Christian is a born again believer that has a personal relationship with Jesus.  The Christian may attend a church, which we are encouraged to do, but the believer does not live in fear as to whether his works are good enough to save him.  Only Jesus was every good enough!

Relax and trust in Jesus and His works.  You see when you trust in your works to are making yourself you god.  Your good works will never be good enough to save you.  Rest in His good works and His righteousness.  Enjoy the abundantly life that Jesus came to give you.  When you are no longer living under the guilt of sin you will not longer be sin conscious.  Enjoy the joy and peace that only comes though knowing that your sins are forgiven, go now and sin no more.