It is one of my greatest heartaches and concerns of the American church today that the Sunday morning altars are empty. Pastors should not have to heap guilt upon the congregations to create movement and cause a begrudging child of God to kneel at the altar of grace. We should not ever do it out of vain repetition but rather with the knowledge that there is always a need, be it ours or someone else. For me… it’s me. I take others to the altar too, but I’m here to tell you, I go because I know what a wretched sinner I am and how I fail my Lord every day. I don’t go to prove my “sainthood” or that I am all that and a bag of chips in the house of the Lord. I’m not trying to impress anyone in any pew. I’m going because I need it!
I find three things at the altar (and more). But
three very notable things.
I Find Quality
Ezekiel spoke of the altar as a table. The finest
wheat, and sweetest bread is there waiting for me every time I kneel. Jesus
said in John 6:35 I am
the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that
believeth on me shall never thirst.
It is apparent from my
waistline that I love to eat. But I pray that my soul is every bit as ravenous
for the things of God. That is why I go. I don’t always feel hungry for the
things of God. I’m ashamed of that. There are times I want worldly things that
tickle my fancy. It’s a real struggle. I’m a vain, bling loving babe that likes
techy things, music things and all things artsy craftsy. Those are the things
that can so easily draw me away from God. I need reminded that those things are
fine in their place, but that the true and finest filling of the soul comes
from time with the Master.
I Find Quantity
God has not one time
refused me time. Isn’t that a great thought? But what’s shameful for me again
is I have refused Him time over and over. I need reminded on as I kneel at the
altar that it is a privilege beyond comprehension that the Lord of Glory wants
to talk to me. Wants to give me His precious time.
I Find it Quietly
While there is a time
for praising and shouting the glory down, my time at the altar is in humble,
silent awe. It’s the feeling of the Holy Spirit that dwells within, also coming
from above like a mighty rushing wind and just settling there on top of me
pouring Himself down into me and blessing me all over. Helping me to understand
that in my greatest failures, I am loved. In my deepest pain, He understands
it. And when I just don’t know what to say. He intercedes on my behalf, making
groaning where there was no words.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. ~ Romans 8:26
That is why at every
opportunity you’ll find me at the altar. Not because I’m a saint… but because I
arrogance. Oh… my… stars. It’s why I don’t watch the news and I avoid negative
conversations around me. This world actually thinks that they can do whatever
it is they desire, without repercussion and without accountability. Well, they
thought the same thing in the days of Ezekiel. Which for me I found great
solace in. Perhaps you need to hear this word today too.
Are you tired of seeing evil played out on an international, national and local level? Me too. It’s why I don’t miss my days of working in the courthouse of our not so fair county. I witnessed evil first hand, and grew weary and discouraged with each passing day in those halls. Not everyone was evil. But there was enough to suck the life out of me.
no doubt felt the same way. But when you’re a servant of God, which he is, and
I am, it’s like being a fire fighter. You can’t just walk away. You have to do
what the Lord tells you to do or there could be casualties on your watch. I
don’t want casualties on my watch.
as I read Ezekiel 38 this morning, determined to hear a word from the Lord that
I could pass on to you, this is the word…
don’t matter, Positions don’t matter, and Numbers don’t matter. God’s promises
matter. Just like the sparrow… God sees it all and He has us covered.
1And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief
prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech
and Magog. Interesting names and there is some debate as to who they even are.
I won’t even attempt to guess. And truthfully, it’s irrelevant to me for the
word that God has given me. Because God’s first point for me to ponder is
many times do we hear people say that someone was trying to make a name for
themselves in a certain sphere? While obviously God and Magog thought they were
of great power in the days of Ezekiel, scholar’s debate who they even were. So
how important were they in the scope of those days? And when all is said and
done how will we remember those who are our adversaries today?
love that my grandbabies associate me with Jesus. Glory! That’ll put a shout in
my soul. Because I know if I’m doing something in His name, it matters. If it’s
in the name of anything or anyone else, not so much. So when I apply that theory
to the world around me that is filled with so much evil, what I’m doing is so
much more important.
was speaking to the chief prince. I’m sure he thought he was all that and a bag
of chips. But when the dust settled, it did not.
I do not ever glory in anyone falling, I can’t say that I may not inwardly
smile when evil is defeated. Even if evil has a name and a position. I’m tired
of the arrogance of elected officials who do not regard the position’s for
which they were elected to as an opportunity to do good. Woah… I may have went
right into preachin’.
forward in chapter 38 and Ezekiel’s still laying it on.
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou,
and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and
a mighty army:
I’m sure those mighty
armies came with great confidence. So does the world and the political rhetoric
when they make decisions on behalf of our Nation that causes God to go red in
I actually just
discovered that God does.
Verse 18 says “And it shall come to pass at
the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the
Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.”
I don’t think any of
us wants to witness that. People who get red faced are usually about to
explode. If God explodes, it’s going to get ugly quick! And no matter the
number, you lose. So when I look at the odds that are against America on so
many different fronts, it sometimes discourages my soul. But then I think about
the fact that God hasn’t wiped us off the map yet and I believe it’s because He
still has enough people who care. There are still a few Ezekiel’s out there
willing to say what needs to be said. And that’s not our word, but rather the
Word of God!
God’s Promises Matter
Ezekiel 38:19-23 sums
up the matter. If God said it, it will come to pass.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken,
Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and
the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and
all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence,
and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and
every wall shall fall to the ground. 21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my
mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I
will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with
him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be
known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
Even in the face of today’s evil we can
take heart that God will be glorified. So turn that frown upside down! God has
us covered church! We are covered by the blood of Jesus and He will have
victory, and through Him, so will we.
Below is the teen lesson I’ll use for tomorrows Sunday School program where I teach 9-12th grades. It’s certainly a suitable study for adults as well, after all, I teach these teens as the spiritually mature adults they are. On more than one occasion they’ve taught me.
Most days I feel like the underdog. I fail, I fall, I get up and try again. I leap in faith only to look more like a leap frog than leaping a building in a single bound. I venture a guess I’m not alone. I’ve yet to meet a saint of God (at least any I cared to be around) who thought they were an absolute success. Servitude brings a humility that allows us to remember who the real super Hero is: The Lord Jesus Christ! But even the bible recognizes the making of a hero. We’re not super heroes, but yet we too have the potential to be a hero by using the power within us. We (or at least I) fail to remember that it’s never me who has the ability to make things happens when leading souls to Christ or serving God in any capacity. But rather the Holy Spirit.
of heroes in the book of Hebrews gives me great hope that God can use someone
like me. So what is our role on the roll and what is our superpower.
One of my Dad’s
favorite verses was Hebrews 11:1 ~
Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
#1 – Seeing the Unseen
Christians see things in me that I don’t see. Or I don’t have the faith in my abilities
to bring them to fruition. But if we view life through the vantage point of God
what are the unseen things we’d see? And how do we see them?
Through faith we understand that
the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were
not made of things which do appear.
things do you “see” in creation?
When I think
of framing I think of an incomplete project. God created this world by speaking
it into existence. “Framed by the word of God.” But there is still work to do. We
are that work for which we do by stepping and leaping in faith to show others
Why do you
think that unsaved people, especially those in the field of science, struggle
with believing in God’s creation?
# 2 – Willing to Kill
The first hero
mentioned in the book of Hebrews 11 is Abel. His super power was a righteous
By faith Abel offered unto God a
more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was
righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel killed in
obedience. Cain on the other hand killed out of jealous and pride and the
killing was of his own brother.
Why was Abel’s
killing of the sacrifice righteous?
that hard for us to understand, especially if we are critter lovers?
Of course it
is! But it may be a little less difficult for those of us who are not
vegetarian. We can understand the sacrifice a critter makes for us to have a
to sacrifice an animal was his unwillingness to recognize that sin required a
blood covering. It still does. But Christ made that final sacrifice on the
The death now
is our own. We are dead to ourselves and alive in Christ!
# 3 – God Pleasers
By faith Enoch was translated
that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated
him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
What can we do
that would please God and allow the world to see this superpower?
One thing for
certain, without faith we will not please God. Hebrews 11:6 says
But without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe00 th0at he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
If by seeking
God, it pleases Him, how do we seek Him? And how does seeking Him show faith?
Superpower #4 – Boat
By faith Noah, being warned of
God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving
of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the
righteousness which is by faith.
In that day,
that was more than a little bit crazy. From this side of it we know how wise he
was, but at that point it had never rained one drop.
we want to be obedient to God’s calling we have to be a little bit crazy!
Have you, or
do you know someone who’s been a little bit crazy?
Superpower #5 – Going
to the unknown and believing the impossible
By faith Abraham, when he was
called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed; he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Stepping out in
faith isn’t for the faint of heart. Abraham had no idea where God was sending him,
but he was willing to go.
you fear God’s calling on your life? Has He called you to do something you now
country(s) would you fear being called to?
Through faith also Sara herself
received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she
judged Him faithful who had promised.
Sarah was 90
and Abraham 100 when Isaac was born. There is nothing that God cannot do?
something that you struggle believing God will do in your life and then
remember the principles of your superpowers!
Superpower #6 – Eternal
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and
Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed both
the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith
Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel;
and gave commandment concerning his bones.
All these men
knew that there was an eternity to live for. Until their dying breath they
handed down that legacy. We should never stop believing that we need to tell
people about Jesus.
How should an
eternal mindset cause us to live?
Superpower #7 – Facing
the Fire and Water
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was
hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and
they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater
riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of
the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing
the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.28 Through faith he kept the passover, and
the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.29 By faith they passed through the Red sea
as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
before the fire when God called him out of the burning bush and he stood before
the Red Sea believing through the power of God they’d get through it. Even as
an infant he was placed in harms way. All this is evidence that even the chosen
children of God are not immune to heart aches and danger. His own family
rejected his wife and gossiped behind his back, but God took care of it all.
How does this
encourage you in your everyday life?
Superpower #8 – Girl
By faith the harlot Rahab
perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with
only use men for the higher powers. Rahab is listed as a “harlot” and yet she
is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. What does that tell us about the people God
will use for the Kingdom’s glory?
Rahab and her family’s
life was spared because she believed in the God of Abraham and protected His
people. She truly had girl power to face certain death if she was caught. She
also proved that God can use people even with questionable pasts.
Paul went onto
mention more heroes of the faith, but what we might find when we get to Heaven
is that in a book of the things we’ve done for Christ we too are mentioned as
heroes of the faith!
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1–14) came to him after
God had directed him to prophesy the rebirth of Israel in chapter 36. God was
using Ezekiel to restore Israel to her land of blessing. But it didn’t seem
humanly possible. Israel was once again in captivity having fallen away from
God’s grace through rebellion. In that state it would take a miracle to find
hope! Something like dead men’s bones coming back to life.
When God told Ezekiel to tell the bones that
God would make breath enter the bones and come to life just as He had created
Adam, Ezekiel obeyed. He’d been transported to the valley of dry bones already
so no doubt he was in a mind to listen. When that body of bones resurrected
with flesh and blood to stand as an army it symbolized the coming together of
the Nation of Israel in end times.
As I read commentaries of the Ezekiel’s
valley experience, I couldn’t help but see the implications against us. We’re in captivity and aren’t even aware of it. At
least Israel knew.
This morning’s breaking news with regards to
New York Governor’s celebration of the abortion bill passing that would allow
unborn children up until birth to be aborted made my eyes well with tears and
my stomach roll over. It’s murder. Plain and simple and there will come a day
of judgment that I wouldn’t want to be in the vicinity of. That smug look of self-righteous
indignation on the faces of the “victors” will be removed by God Himself.
These and other acts of rebellion as a nation
are dry bones to beware of. We will be held accountable for our votes and our
attitudes of remiss when standing against those who support such atrocities.
A Church of Dry Bones
The only thing worse than government leaders being elected
who stand for abortion is churches that stand with them or those who take no
stand at all.
Edmund Burke said it well when he said that “The only thing
necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
How true that is. It’s what’s happening in our churches
today when church leadership is refusing to take a stand against what the bible
plainly lists as sin for fear of government repercussion or offending their
I thank God for churches who stand in the gap for these
unborn children. They are children, they have names! God that in Jeremiah 1:5
that before we were in the womb He knew us. We have a name and a purpose long
before we’re born.
The infants that the governor of New York celebrated their
death may have been the doctor who cures cancer, Alzheimer of eradicates drug
abuse through some revolutionary tactic, but it will never come to pass because
they were murdered. They may have been the preacher that leads your grandchild
to Christ, but your grandchild will never cross their path, because they were
never born. Drama? No, reality.
A People of Dry Bones
We cannot change our nation and our churches until we’re
ready to believe that God can resurrect the dead.
I will not give up on my nation and the churches across
this great land because I know a lot of great people who are willing to take a stand
for the cause of right. I believe that’s the only reason God hasn’t eradicated
But there’s not enough of us willing to make that stand
known. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know where to start. Other times it’s
because we don’t have enough support in our own troops.
Start by taking a stand on your own. In life, on social
media, where ever the opportunity arises. Ask your church to get involved in
awareness and then contact every political leader telling them your position
and assure them that you’ll make their position known.
When Ezekiel made those bones dance, he did it through the power of God but it no doubt made him shake in his own shoes a little; mainly with excitement that God would revive His people again. He will. And He will revive us if those who say they stand for right do it.
We need to beware of dry bones but we need to be prepared
for possibility that they just might come to life and bring this nation back in
God’s grace once more!
Whether or not it happens only time will tell. But we will
stand before God and answer for our efforts, or lack thereof.
It’s pouring the snow down in Calhoun County, West Virginia today, and the odds of me making it to our morning service are growing slimmer. Praise God, I was in church with the teens for fellowship last night, else I’d be even sadder.
know how people make it without a church family for encouragement.
The teens and I watched a film called “Beware of Christians.” It was documentary by four college boys who wanted to know what lies beyond “religion” who went by faith on a journey to Europe to witness for Christ.
movies it started out a little slow, and I’m sweating it because I want the
kids to enjoy it and have a good time. Well let me tell you, when teens applaud
at the end of a movie, with nobody to hear their applause but each other and
God, you know the Spirit has moved and I’m not a failure as a youth leader J
title speaks of “Beware of Christians,” it’s not what you initially think. Or
at least not what I thought. It’s speaking primarily of religious Christians
which in the context of this film, I personally think most of us fit into. I’ve
witnessed very few people in my life who live their lives to the extent of the
disciples and by the instruction of Christ through the word.
These young men warn of the cause and effect of religious church goers who talk the talk but their walk doesn’t back it up. They interviewed people in the many cities they traveled, often times ending up in cities they never intended on going to. But God has His methods! They asked tough questions of young people regarding their sexual morality and spoke candidly about their own struggle. They delved into materialism and so many other topics that few Christians dare to ask themselves. Such as “Are you prepared to give up everything to serve Christ?” What does it mean to be a Christian? What things do you “need” and what things do you “need to get rid of?” Are you willing to walk away from some people because they’re unhealthy for you?
leave much of it for you to experience should you decide to watch the movie.
You can rent it on YouTube for $1.99. This is not an endorsement, but rather an
opportunity if you’re interested.
What I wanted
to accomplish by this post this morning is to ask you what I had to ask myself
last night? What good are you for the cause of Christ? How much of an impact
are you making? What will you do differently this week because I ask you these
Because I’m not going to make it to our services this morning, I’m going to spend some time pondering these questions myself. If you’d like to share your answers or your thoughts I’d love to hear from you!
Solomon said that To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and whether it’s physically or metaphorically we all know it to be true. Life is full of seasons. This morning in the literal sense, winter has finally hit our area of West Virginia. Snow, ice and all its splendor lies on the cold, cold ground outside and I just want to hold up in the house until the first Sunny day in March.
Sometimes I feel that
way spiritually as well. But, there are people depending on me and quite
frankly I am depending on me to get out of this winter time slump that hits the
day after Christmas. The “BRR season.”
When I look out at the trees, with the exception of the evergreens, I see a dismal gray forest that discourages my spirit. I don’t why I’m like that, but I need color! There was a time in my life (pre-salvation) that I wanted every thing I owned, be it clothing or home décor in shades of brown. It was no wonder that I was struggling! But after I became a child of the King I needed color! Lots of color and the brighter the better. I love color! It makes me happy. And while I guess gray is technically a color, it doesn’t make me happy. It depresses me and sends me into a shell that I have to make myself come out of. Welcome to my January.
Oh, I know, I’m the
Jesus Chick and I’m not allowed to resign my post, but there are days when I
have moments of “wishing” that I was one of those people who didn’t feel
compelled by Holy Spirit conviction and accountability to keep on keeping on.
But wait… wouldn’t that mean I wasn’t saved? I don’t know. Ask all the people
in the world who confess Christianity but don’t feel compelled to do anything
for the Lord Jesus Christ Who was crucified for them. That may have sounded a
I’m in that season.
I want to do more, I
know I should be doing more, and yet my body and my aging bones say that I
should climb upon my comfy couch with a my fuzzy blanket and just stay toasty
and warm and watch the British Baking Show on Netflix.
Praise God for His
longsuffering and for somewhat of a spiritually mature me. I said somewhat because
believe me when I tell you I have tantrums. But I also have been at this long enough
to know that just like winter, this too will pass. I’ll be un-frustrated with
life and find some color just waiting to be explored. I truthfully already
have. I’m revamping my website this week to include some new features. They are
filled with color! But this morning I was feeling a little BRR.
Spiritually cold. Until I began to read the word of God, and write the words of the Holy Spirit Who said, “Just bundle up and keep going. It’s cold outside but it’s warm inside of you! And the world needs to see the Lord at work.”
That message is no doubt for you too, else you’d not be here with me today. I love you and I pray that you are toasty warm, un-frustrated and ready to do some great things. If not… grab God’s word and let Him warm your soul!
Follow me @ www.theJesusChick.com, find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
points for me to ponder from the word of God as spoken by Mary the mother of
our Lord Jesus.
thought began early this morning but has lingered throughout the day as I
worked between one project or another all day, and couldn’t seem to get back to
what was fresh on my mind at 6 a.m.
love the character of Mary because I love her humility. Nobody was any more
surprised than she was that she was chosen for such a God glorifying moment.
She was carrying the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe in her womb.
Forget that the world was trying to strip her of her good reputation, they
could not strip her of the fact that God chosen her. Nor can they strip us. We
who have decided to follow Jesus and step into His plans for us like a toddler
steps into the big shoes of their Dad. They don’t fit… yet. But we’ll grow into
to them by and by!
Mary knew that the
Rescuer Had Come!
may not have understood all the plan as she gave birth in that stable, but she
understood that however it was that God decided to work it out, it would work.
It’s a good thing she didn’t know how. What a burden for a mom to carry to know
that her child would be crucified for the sins of the world. Hers included. But
the Rescuer had come, His name was Jesus and He had come to save the world!
Mary knew the Rejoicing
angels in Heaven rejoiced, the shepherds and wise men rejoiced. And Mary
rejoiced. Angels had announced His birth. They filled the skies with noise, and
the hearts of those who witnessed it with wonder. Is not that the feeling we
have on the day of our own personal salvation when we discover what the Lord
has done. It was with me. I knew there was a reason to rejoice in my life.
Salvation had come and I and my world was changed.
for me wasn’t perfect, nor was it for Mary. She no doubt had moments where
terror filled her heart as she was hunted down for her Son. Or maybe she was a
far better woman of faith than me and she trusted God through it all. But
whether or not she had faith 100% of the time didn’t change the heartaches that
would come in her future. But it didn’t change the promise either. Glory to
Mary knew the Response
had a Calling!
knew when she had stepped into that role that God had given her that her life had
new purpose. She wasn’t just Joseph’s bride, she was the carrier of the gospel.
She would soon be a part of the ministry of her Son and with it all the
miracles and the messes it created.
the same calling we have upon us when we accept the Lord as our Savior. We too
are called to carry the gospel and to be a part of the blesses and messes that
come with service.
your response? Are you standing in Daddy’s shoes waiting for your orders or are
you still barefoot? Step in faith my friend! It’s an exciting adventure!
Below is my study of Psalm 100 that I’ll be using for the teen class tonight. Perhaps it will stir some thoughts in you to draw you into that spirit of worship our souls long for! It certainly did mine as I studied His word.
Protocol defined: the official procedure or
system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions.
Who set the protocol for worship? The word of God.
1 Make a
joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it
is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep
of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates
with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and
bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his
mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
are many types of noises in the world, what do you consider a bad noise?
(painful, loud, extreme, unnecessary)
Who do you think uses these noises and why? Satan of course!
are some good noises?
100:1 says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. What do you consider a joyful
noise to sound like?
should be shouting?
Gill’s commentary said:
inhabitants of the earth, who are called upon to shout unto him as their King;
as the angels did at his birth, the disciples when he made his public entrance
into Jerusalem, the apostles at his ascension to heaven, the saints when the
marriage of him, the Lamb, will be come, and both men and angels when he shall
descend from heaven to judge the world; and such a joyful noise or shout should
be made unto him as to a triumphant conqueror, who has got the victory over
sin, Satan, death, and the grave, and every enemy of his and his people, and
made them more than conquerors through himself;
That reading should stir your heart when you
think about the reasons we should make noise!
The 2nd Protocol in Psalm 100 for
Worshipping the Lord is to
And to not just serve Him but to be happy about it.
Since serving God is a protocol, how do you
want to serve Him?
Protocol Number 3 is to
before His presence
think that speaks to our attendance as well as the recognition that while in
attendance to church we expect God to be there and we treat the service
should we come into His presence?
Number 4 is
Yes! Everyone on the platform? No!!!!!!
there is not only safety in numbers there is also a blending of voices that
covers a multitude of bad notes. Why do you think music is important to God?
important is it to you?
you feel called into the music ministry?
you understand what a calling is?
number 5 is to
what? Know that the Lord is God! That’s a must to understand the calling on
your life. You have to frist be saved, and then get to know the Lord so that
when He speaks, you understand it is Him.
you ever felt the Lord speaking to you?
would you describe it?
you think people misunderstand the Lord’s calling on their life? Why?
are some reasons that we have to be thankful as we come into the building and
final Protocol in Psalm 100 is number 7, we should
always ask the Lord to bless us, but do we ever think about blessing Him?
are ways we can bless Him?
final verse of Psalm 100 gives us 3 reasons we should worship the Lord and have
an attitude of worship.
He is good
(even when the world around us
He is merciful
(every day we stand in need of it)
He is truth
(The world may be filled with
lies, but the word of God is filled with nothing but truth.)
A Study with Shari Johnson (The Jesus Chick)
www. the Jesus Chick.com (Please share my ministry page!)
better way to start off 2019 than thinking about new things on the horizon! I
loved the illustration of a new year that my friend D.L. Kerby always used of
“a fresh, new piece of paper.” Nothing there but room for ideas, and of course
for me improvement!
Isaiah 43:19 is a great verse to ponder today…
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall
spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.
An announcement of worthy attention!
I think of new stuff every day. But much of it is
not worthy of anyone’s attention. But when God announces that something new is
on the horizon. Glory! It’s worthy of our notice. There is nothing stale or
boring in God’s world and according to His word it is He who does the “new
thing.” But how do we know it’s for us? Have you prayed for something new? That
would be a great place to start. And if you’re praying for God to do something
new in your life what is the purpose of it and what role does He play?
Too many people want God to do something new and
amazing but then they’d rather He butt out and allow them to take over. I’m
pretty sure that’s not how it works.
Jeremiah 31:22 speaks of Israel when he writes “How
long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The LORD will create a new
thing on earth – the woman will return to the man.”
That new thing was the Lord Jesus Christ. There
will be no more new things to that magnitude, but there is certainly new
opportunities to serve Him there for the asking. As a child of God we should be
prepared to focus our minds on ways to glorify and serve our Lord in the coming
year. God may provide new opportunities in the secular realm, but that
shouldn’t be our focus and should still include God as center focus.
Now it shall spring forth! As a budding branch springs forth out of the ground.
I start longing for spring about January 2nd.
I’m done with the cold, dead looking trees and frigid temperatures of winter. I
need to see some life in the hills of West Virginia. But it’s not in my time,
it’s in the Lord’s and the same is true when it comes to the new things that
God has planned for us. His timing is imperative. But if I’m not watching for
it, I might miss it.
We need to stand with a watchful eye on the world
around us for ways that we can serve and glorify God.
Last night I sat beside a man that I really
wasn’t certain of his soul’s state until the subject of church came up. He let
me know immediately that he didn’t want any part of the church and that he was a
“believing agnostic.” I told him I hated
to hear that because I really cared for him. He seemed shocked that I thought
he was going to Hell. I spoke to him in love for as long as he would tolerate
me, and in a moment of awkwardness where the subject had gotten too deep, he
left my side for a worldlier lot. And I went home. I felt I’d done as much work
as I could there. The man didn’t get saved but I had been watching for an
opportunity and God opened the door, for that I’m grateful.
For anything. God’s ways are not our ways. We
don’t expect ways in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert. If we’re
preparing for such an excursion we’re packing weed whackers and bottled water.
But God said no… I’ve already got the path cut and the water supplied! You just
need to be ready.
Oh my goodness those words make my soul stir. I’m
not really a prepared person. I jump and go. Which gets me in trouble… a lot.
But God said if I’d be ready for His way, I’ll be okay. But before I jump and
go, I need to wait for some instructions. And so do you!
Isaiah 43:19 may or may not be your verse for
2019. But the wisdom that can be gleaned from it is for everyone.
God does have a new work for us and we for
certain should be watching and be ready for His announcement.
What’s He laid on your heart to do in 2019? I’d
love nothing more than for you to share that with me so that I can make it a
matter of prayer. Blessings!!!!!
C.S. Lewis said “He (God) loved us not because we’re lovable, but because He is Love.”
Love has been a matter of my heart for a
while. Mainly because I see the declining of it across our nation. Of course in
the political arena, and even though it’s worse than ever, it’s still something
we’ve come to expect with the nature of differing opinions. But when it comes
to Christians, there should not be differing opinions. We can have separate
church doctrines, but in the matter of Jesus, one way and one way only, and His
love, it’s not up for debate. And yet, the evidence is lacking that the church fully
believes the word of God.
I will not argue why I believe in
eternal security. I know what I believe and why I believe I, and if you believe
otherwise, I probably won’t sway your mind. But when it comes to salvation,
there is no argument. You either are, or are not saved. The scripture is clear:
1 John 4:15-21
shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
Romans 10:9-10 says ~ That
if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For
with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.
You either believe
that, or you’re not saved. So now that we have that matter cleared up, let’s
assume that you have the security of salvation. You now have the Holy Spirit,
God Himself, dwelling within you. And as
we continue on in 1 John 4 there’s an evidentiary fact that should be viewed in
every Christian’s life. Love.
16 And we have known and
believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in
love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
It’s not hard for us
to conceive that God would love us. I mean really, what’s not to love right?
But what about others. The enemy and the downright wicked. Does He love them
too? Oh yes, enough to die for them just as He died for us, and though we hate
to confess it, we know that our sins were by comparison the same level of
unworthiness. But Christ took the sins of all upon His back on that cross of
Calvary. We conceive this knowledge, but do we convey it?
The Holy Spirit. It’s
the very first gift we receive when we become saved. What a joy! But it’s a new
day and the conviction of the Holy Spirit is evident. We know when something’s
not right in our life. And the only way to get right, to be made perfect is to repent
and accept that what Christ did on the cross is enough for me, and everyone
else in the world.
Even those I have a
hard time tolerating.
What should never be
evident in my life as child of God is found in the closing verse of Chapter 4.
17 Herein is our love
made perfect, 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 casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that
feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because
he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love
God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother
whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?21 And this commandment
have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
There is no fear, nor
hate in the child of God.
Fear is faithless
I’ve seen too many
churches who rather than teaching the love of God, teach the fear of God first.
Romans 2:4 says OR despisest
thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing
that the good of God leadeth thee to repentance?
It does not say that
the fear of God will cause a man to repent. But rather the goodness of God.
Perhaps we could say the “love of God” causes a man to repent.
Prior to my salvation
I had enough conviction on my life to choke a horse. I felt the disconnection
from God. And I believe if everyone’s honest, we’ve all felt it before we’re
saved. We know we belong to Him, it’s rebellion that causes us to deny it. But
when we experience His love as shown through the church, and a sense of
belonging that can be found there, that’s when I felt the Holy Spirit move in
my life in such a way that I said, “I need to be saved!” The preacher preached
Hell, but the church showed love.
The word “hate” makes
my stomach turn. Especially when I hear it used in the context of “I hate so
and so.” And sometimes by Christian people. This ought not be. We need to
remember that the person we’re hating needs to see Jesus. And there is no way
under the sun they’ll ever see Him if we’re spewing words like that out of our
mouth. There is also no way they’ll see Him if we using words that we know will
cause hate in the heart of another person.
always take a stand for what’s right in the eyes of God. But in taking that stand
we should do it in love and through the prayerful guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I know I’ve been
guilty of not doing that.
If we’re going to
make a dent in the lost of this world, we’re going to have to get better at loving
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ