The Answer to Every Problem

I have no idea what the Lord Jesus might look like, but I for certain know what He feels like.

I had three of my grands at the house this morning and was fixing them their favorite comfort foods before school; pancakes and hot cocoa with baby marshmallows melting all up in the cup. Yes, I’m aware that is not the breakfast of champions, but it is the breakfast of Noni. They don’t stay that often, so when they do I like them to leave with the feeling that Noni’s is always a place that they are loved and gone the extra mile for. That’s how I’ve always felt with Jesus. That’s how I feel with my family and my friends. Those that God has placed in my life are placed there for the “extra mile” experience of a child of God. I am blessed.

I am painfully aware that not everyone experiences a pancake and cocoa life. If I’m truthful, not every day of mine is so sweet and wonderful either. Life is harsh. And pancakes and marshmallows usually won’t fix it; but understanding the comfort that comes at the greatest of cost but the smallest price is a worthwhile endeavor. It’s knowing the God of “all” comfort.

I was speaking with a friend this week about the tragedy of people in our lives who don’t experience the peace God affords. Most of them are not saved. They’ve never known the peace of salvation, which is the sweetest peace of all and the only true peace. They try to achieve it through Pancakes and cocoa, which is at best a temporary fix. Jesus isn’t temporary. Jesus is eternal! Even so, Christians too often forgo seeking His sweet, everlasting peace in exchange for the pancakes and cocoa version. Color me guilty on that on more than one occasion.

How many times have I sought to remove a heartache by rewarding myself with a new something or another? A cup of coffee and a piece of apple strudel? It matters not the place of comfort we seek, if it’s not in Christ Jesus it won’t fix the problem.

2 Corinthians 1:3b says that He is the “God of all comfort.”

All.

Those three letters are fully inclusive of every problem in life.

  • Did someone hurt you? God loves you. Romans 5:8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Did you lose your job? God is your provider. Philippians 4:19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • Did your marriage fail? Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
  • Did pressures of life overtake you? Jesus has the peace that passes understanding. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • Did you lose someone to death? Jesus promises eternal life filled with no sorrow. 2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
  • Did you fail miserably? Jesus will give you the opportunity to start fresh, without condemnation. Isaiah 43:19 –  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.
  • Did you sin? Jesus died so that you could be forgiven. Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
  • Do you have uncertainty in your life? Jesus is certain. Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

No hurt or trouble is uncovered. Jesus is the God of “all” comfort. He is the God of all “grace.” 1 Peter 5:10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

What you discover upon reading the word of God is that the common denominator for every problem is that the bible has the every solution. ALL.

Three very powerful little letters because God controls “all.”

 

Growing Up God’s Way

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11

At what point does one officially grow up? And are there areas in your life where’s it okay to never grow up? I have questions this morning. Lots of them! My cousin and friend Erin, is speaking tonight on whether or not smart phones have destroyed a generation, and that put my mind on a path to yesterday and what it was that brought me to where I am. Although I was born in the era of hippies and free love, that era didn’t really have too much of an effect on me because of the rurality of where I lived. Yes, the movement was in West Virginia, but not so much in my world. And I certainly didn’t have the exposure to media as the youth today. So what we seen of it was what actually came into our home, via other family members living the life of that era or television; which was limited to 3 channels and only two could be viewed clearly unless someone turned the antenna. Something youth of today cannot even fathom; they have the world at their fingertips, literally!

I had the world of imagination, (the dreamer) which even today gets me into some trouble. It takes my mind on journeys and often puts me in the place of want rather than the place of need. Want being flesh lead, need being Spirit lead. I think that is the difference between where we should grow up, and where we should stay as a child. My spiritual life has always been quite the journey and as much as I try to stay on task… I struggle.

I want to glorify God… but not always in submission to Him. Sometimes I think I have some pretty cool ideas. And God says… “Nope. Not gonna happen.”

Growing up is Good

I think of Apostle Paul, much like my husband David. David is a man of action. He is a “get’r done” kind of guy about the things he is passionate about. Mostly work and rescue. He’s passionate about those two things. He’s very adult about them. There’s no time to horse around. Apostle Paul was very passionate about his work as well. It’s what lead him to persecute the Christians and what drove him when he discovered Jesus as LORD.  It obviously worked for him, look at the impact he has had on eternity.

Growing up is good and necessary in the work of the Lord.

Childishness Has Its Place Too!

Jesus said, in Matthew 18:4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Which leads me to believe there are areas in our lives where it’s okay to not grow up.

Being spiritually lead is getting back into the mode of childhood. It’s there that we learn to listen, be okay with being awkward, dream the dreams that God calls vision and above all let Him take us by the hand and lead.

Like a child I often run ahead of God’s plan and timing and He stops, waits patiently for me to return, and we start the journey again. I’m grateful for grace… I have needed so much lately…

Questions to ponder:

What areas in your life do you feel you’re growing up nicely?

Where have you grown up too much?

Where do you feel God leading that you have either ran ahead, or are lagging behind?

How to be a Spiritually Successful Saint of the Savior!

No automatic alt text available.It’s never good to get too big for your britches. Physically or spiritually. I personally have struggled with both this summer. Thinking myself to be more important than I am. Thinking that my wants and wishes are above what God’s design for my life is. Feeding myself instead of my soul and failing to stay in the center of His will. I jam forever on the edge; never quite making it to the center. Can you identify?

John 3:30 says

He must increase, but I must decrease.

For successful Christian living there has got to be more of God and less of you in your day. Oh I try, but deed, I’m never very far into the day before that increase is on the wrong side of success. So what’s a Jesus Chick (or Rooster) to do when your spiritual life is malnourished?

PUT THE FLESH ON A DIET!

I don’t for two seconds think it was a coincidence that God likened Himself to food and drink throughout the scriptures.  He knew 2017 would be filled with bread and pasta and how very weak my flesh was when it came to those tasty treats in the battle of depression. But whether it’s food, or any other earthly pleasure that we invest more effort into than God, we have to look for a healthy balance for a truly happy and fulfilled life. Oh… I’m preachin’ to the choir this morning. I should have worn work boots to write this blog because I’m all over my own toes. But I usually am, that’s how God works on this wretched heart.

John 6:35

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

That’s an awesome truth on its own. But seeing that truth in the context for which it was written is even awesomer! I know that’s not a word, but it should be. Every successful diet has a foundation from which it starts. Exercise, protein, vegetables, juices… things to build on and things to omit. The spiritual diet is no different.

Work the Work

John  6:28-41

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

While I could hug Paul’s neck for saying to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8 “bodily exercise profiteth little,” that too is a verse out of context. Exercise alone won’t fix the flab of the flesh, but it certainly won’t hurt. And when it comes to serving Christ, although the work of salvation is done, there is still work to do! Staying focused on the plan is key to the success of our spiritual wellbeing.

For me, I am called to serve God as a career. You may or may not be called to serve in such an exclusive manner. I personally keep trying to forget. Not because I don’t want to serve God, but because it takes discipline and sacrifice… just like exercise. It’s not always prosperous in the earthly sense of finances, so in the flesh if I can often get discouraged because in our lives work = $. That is necessarily so in the work of the Lord.

Work Without

30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

It is for certain not without compensation, it’s just often not with the compensation of earthly standards. And when I in the flesh get hungry, be it for food or for stuff, my desire often wins out over the actual need. It is then that the mission becomes cloudy. Not because it’s not still there in the very same form it was when God gave it to me many years ago. But because I’m not focused on the plan. If I’m busy doing ministry work, I seldom think of what I have not. Because the work satisfies my soul. That’s how God created me. But if I wake up in the morning and immediately start feeding my desires with food, social media, music, etc., rather than feeding my soul with the manna from Heaven, I’m spiritually malnourished and weak; which leads to the flesh having the greater power.

Work His Will

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Staying in the center of God’s will is not easy, but it was not only our design, it was Christ’s as well. Christ understands the flesh, He too battled it; however  ~ He battled it victoriously. Me… not so much. Christ’s purpose for coming to earth was to make a way for us to get to Heaven. And even on my days of failure, I can’t stop that. That is awesomer too! But I need to stay focused on the plan that God created me for, and so do you, so that you and I can be spiritually successful saints of the Savior!

 

 

The Rules for Playing Church

It’s hard to imagine that in the twinkling of an eye; that split millisecond of time we will be gone from this earth and in the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself. It is for certain a “whoa” thought. There is a part of me that says, “Yes Lord, yes! Let it be today.” And then there is the realization that although I am ready and excited for that moment, I have friends and family who are clueless to what those words mean.

Evangelism is all but a lost art form in most churches. Everyone’s preaching love one another, but few are loving others enough to keep them out of Hell and tell them that that trump is going to sound and when it does the opportunity is over for those who have had an opportunity to be saved and rejected it. There will be no more “playing church.”

So how does one know if they’re playing church? Ask yourself and answer honestly these questions:

Rule Number 1 of playing church: Say you know Jesus.

Was there a time in your life when you realized that you were a sinner? Everyone has, but do you recognize that as a sinner, you need saving? And you can’t do it yourself.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23)

The realization of being a sinner also brings with it the realization of how Holy God is. As a child, who did not know Jesus Christ as Lord, I knew there was a God. And I knew in my heart when I examined it honestly, that I knew of Jesus, but I didn’t know Jesus.  There’s a difference. When I realized that to know Jesus and to be able to come into His presence was to be sin free, I didn’t “know” Jesus.

Rule Number 2 of Playing Church: Say nobody’s perfect.

True story in regards to people, but not God! Jesus Christ was perfect in every way. Sinless and blameless and yet willing to take on our imperfections so that we could have an opportunity to be with a Holy God. Perhaps that’s too “churchy” of a conversation for you to understand. The bible says this:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

We understand as children that doing wrong means punishment. It’s engrained in our hearts at birth that we know right from wrong. Now, human nature takes over and wants what’s wrong much of the time, but we know it’s wrong. How do we know? Did an explosion at the onset of time put that notion in your heart… that theory is crazy. A intelligent Creator built you with that ability to draw you in to a relationship with Him.

The bible says we deserve to die for our sins and go to Hell. But a loving God didn’t want that to happen so He made a way to escape Hell, which was created for Satan and his demons. You have no doubt felt the presence of evil in the world too. God was willing to be born as a man, and die the painful death of a man, as a gift for you to have eternal life. One final sacrifice.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

Rule Number 3 of Playing Church: Make a profession without a personal relationship

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13)

Being saved is that easy. Ask Jesus to save you and He will. There’s no trickery. But often times people say that prayer, or that statement without truly acknowledging that the end result is giving yourself to Him. If you’re saved you won’t say that prayer and walk away without being changed because a Holy God is now living in you, and He wants no part of un-holiness. I know. Because I test Him continually. Getting saved doesn’t make you perfect, it places a perfect God within you that guides you and instructs you and when you sin God makes His presence known. So if you can sin, and not feel Him within you, I would have to think you’re playing church.

So are you? Please don’t. Any second that trumpet could sound and God will call His church home. People who are saved will disappear in a millisecond from this earth and if you’re not saved, you will not see them again and Hell is about to be unleashed on earth. So how do you remedy that end?

Ask Jesus to save you and mean it. Find a bible believing church and stick with it. Don’t buy the lie of the world that you can make it on your own. You won’t last a day.

A prayer to be saved might sound like this:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner.  I know that I need you.  I believe that you died on the cross for me. Forgive me of my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you.  I receive you as my Saviour, come into my life and save me.  Thank you for what you did for me.  Amen.”

Or you may want to open that conversation with God on your own. If you ask Him to save you, He will, and then.. let the conversation begin!

Has the church lost it’s compassion?

Has the church lost its compassion for souls? I don’t really have to wonder. I need only look at my own life for the answer. I get so wrapped up in the “stuff” of the church that I forgo the winning of souls. In n the book of Matthew 9 we see the heart of Jesus that should reflect the hearts of the children of God. When He looked around at the multitudes of people He was moved with compassion. This verse is the precursor to the often quoted 9:37b “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” There is still a multitude, and it is unfortunate that the laborers are still few.

How many souls will we pass today? I’m not always out and about but I thought about the quick run I made yesterday to the local convenience store. Too quick to think about Jesus, I guess. One thing about living in a community the size of ours is we usually know who’s in church and who’s not. The girl behind the counter was not. Where was my compassion?

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. ~ Matthew 9:36

Three things I see in Matthew 9:36 that stirs my soul today to serve Him.

The Wanderers

The multitudes of the souls that wander aimlessly in search of something, anything that will give them a sense of belonging and purpose. And we have it but don’t bother to share it. The world is directionally challenged because the church’s GPS is on silent. We have the map to direct them to Heaven, but we’re not doing it. Long before I was saved I knew there was a direction I should be traveling, but deed, I couldn’t find it. The church was silent. No one who came across my path bothered to look at the longing in my eyes to be a part of Heaven. I had a family who loved me, but I knew something was missing. I longed for a sense of purpose and I found it when I found the Heavenly Father. I wandered 34 years before a soul compassionate to move the world was moved enough to tell me about Jesus.

The Weary

They’re fainting. You can see it in their eyes. Everyone struggles. We have no idea on the outside what is going on the inside.  I have to wonder today what would have happened yesterday if I had taken the time with that store clerk just to say, I’d like to pray for you if you have a need. I have a feeling she’d have told me, but I didn’t ask.

The Wanting

Just as it was in Jesus’ day, so it is today. The world fills our heads with the vanity of religion. Vanity from the standpoint that it is filled with traditions and obligations as the saints “do what they have to do” for the sake of the church and call it faith. Why would anyone want what the church has today? A body of believers who put God on a schedule and only allow Him to speak to their souls from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday. A handful come back Sunday evening and Wednesday, but there is a multitude visible to the world who see them having no desire for a relationship with the One called Jesus. The One, who when they’re ask, they’ll say He means everything to them, but in truth doesn’t mean anything to them outside the walls of the church. Why would they want that?

Jesus wept for His community. When’s the last time we wept for ours?

My friend LuAnn drove 5 hours to share the gospel with our community at the barn blast a week or so ago. She has an obedient compassion filled soul. I’ve seen it in the preachers I heard last week and this week. Last night was another night of Revival, week 2 for me. My soul is stirred because I see the compassion in a man to win souls. Tonight is my turn to share the gospel with the teens in my youth group. Tomorrow night is another night of revival. The harvest is plenteous!

Whomever it was that said the eyes are the window to the soul, knew of what they spoke. Take the time to look someone in the eye today, and pray that God would open the door to share the gospel. The Spirit has to lead… but you have to follow to make it happen.

Praying over your lunch… ask the waitress if you can pray for them.

Have a track in your pocket or purse… it’s not doing any good there.

See someone hurting… patch the hole in their heart by sharing a piece of yours.

 

 

In Regards to Tadpoles and Quarters

There have been times in an introductory conversation with people in and outside of faith, that I’ve been embarrassed to say that I am an “Independent Fundamental Baptist.”  Before the Independent Fundamental Baptist get offended, I need to explain a little further. I’m not ashamed of the doctrinal foundation for which I’m a member, I’m ashamed of what is acceptable and expected behavior of certain sects of the denomination, as well as any other denomination who in the name of Jesus Christ, behave in a manner that Christ Himself would have no part of.

I attended a revival meeting at Brooksville Baptist Church in the greater Big Bend, WV area, and what a wonderful revival it was. Dwight Goff, Pastor of Camden Flats Baptist Church in Glenville, WV preached and hit the nail on the head on the subject of Christians selecting from a menu of what they want at “their” church. I guess you could call it “Burger King Christianity”, they want it their way, not God’s way.

Every denomination believes they have it right. And many of them do… on paper. It’s when the practice of faith goes from doctrinal statement to practical participation that there’s a problem. Pastor Francis Chan, who no longer Pastors, left his church of thousands because he realized, they in no way shape or form looked like the New Testament church described in the Bible. I don’t think that’s the answer either by the way, but I understand his theory.

Take a hard look at your church: Does it line up with scripture? Are your people taking care of one  another in the spiritual and physical sense? Do they even know who needs taken care of? Are your people sitting in the pews at every opportunity to hear the Word of God and then practicing the Word of God outside of the church in a manner that draws people to them with the question, “Why do you care?” Is there even any evidence that they do care? Do they categorize who should be saved? Do they make fun of those who they deem un-savable? Oh yes… I went there. How on earth do ever think that a person in sin will be saved if you’ve just belittled and made fun of them in the name of Jesus. Yes, the lifestyle of homosexuality, transvestite, transgender, etc. etc.  is sin. So is turning people away from Christ. Christ said He would draw men unto Himself, and He still does. But I have to wonder if the reason we don’t see more people saved isn’t because once Christ draws them in, we paint another picture of Christianity. Our version.

My Pastor closed his sermon on Sunday with the story of a young boy who was sent to the store to buy eggs for his momma. On the way out he tripped on the curb and broke all the eggs. He was so upset. The crowd gathered to console him and one elderly gentlemen took a quarter from his pocket and gave to the young boy (today it would be a couple bucks) but he ask the crowd, “I care 25 cents worth, how much do you care?”

Dwight Goff closed his sermon last night with the story of a wading pool full of tadpoles that he didn’t want to see perish by pouring them out in the yard, at which point God ask him, “Do you care as much about men as you do those tadpoles who don’t even have a soul?” Quarters and Tadpoles; how much do you care.

We are categorizing saints. Our Denomination. Our church. Our style. Our people. Our way. Our money. Our stuff… we want it neat and tidy without confrontation or concern. Yes! We want people saved. But only the pretty people. Not the ones that make us feel icky.

I had a come to Jesus moment the other day when I happened to be around an odiferous person and wished that I wasn’t. God quickly reminded me that that is how I smell to Him in all my worldly, sinful ways, but He hangs out with me. Suck it up butter cup and love on them.

So the questions of the day for you and I both are this.

  • In regards to tadpoles and quarters, how much do you care?
  • Are you more concerned with things that will burn up in eternity than you are the souls you are coming into contact with today?
  • Do you know who needs a quarter in your congregation?
  • Why are you in that congregation, to serve… or to sit?
  • Are you drawing people to Christ, or standing between them and Him with your “opinions?”

Jesus said this in Matthew 18:1-7

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

One of the sweetest things about a child is there are no categories (unless adults train them that way). But naturally speaking they just want to enjoy the people they’re with. They love learning something new. They may think you’re weird, but that’s okay too. They want to please those in authority, and they think those in authority rank superhero status. They love to serve. And if a superhero takes the time to come down on their level and understand their weirdness, then that superhero is someone to follow.

Those should be added to the doctrinal statements in every house of Jesus.

Dear Critic: You are not the Captain of the Gospel Ship

In 21 years of salvation, I’ve never once considered walking away from Christ and back out into the world. There’s nothing there I want. After knowing Christ, His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy how could I even consider turning away from the peace that affords. Craziness! But the ministry for which I’ve been called, I can say in the 7 years since then, that I’ve pondered the notion of stepping out of it on a few occasions. It’s not easy being on God’s staff. I hadn’t really thought of it in that capacity until a few weeks ago, but that’s what being called is and it bears a pressure that is unseen to most. I’m not complaining, nor God forbid, am I seeking accolades. Stick with me as I get to where I am going.

This morning as I often do, I scrolled Facebook before getting out of bed just to see if anything happened whilst I slept upon my pillow. I know. That shouldn’t be the first thing on my mind when I get up, but it often is, because it’s handy. But as I scrolled I noticed a post on a pretty popular preacher and one I happen to listen to each week online. The post was one with a headline intended to entice the reader to click the link for more to the story and upon so doing I discovered an outright lie, meant as satire against the preacher. I didn’t know the person who shared the post, it was on a page for Christian bloggers, not on a “friends” page. The post sickened me because I’ve seen God’s people torn down so much lately.

Please don’t misunderstand, no one has been mean to me or critical; but there is an ever increasing awareness that everything I do is under scrutiny by the world because to the unsaved and to many saved people, ministry is a performance.

I was listening this week to the same preacher mentioned on the Facebook post, who had encouraged my soul on the matter of where God has me at in life and he spoke these words, “God didn’t call me to be a performer, and that takes the pressure off of me.” I found great truth in that statement. Too often I look at my ministry, be it singing or speaking, as a performance. It is in that capacity I’ve set myself up to be rated as a performer and critiqued by the world who has no spiritual foundation to do so.

There is one judge, and that is Christ Jesus.

But I live in a fallen world who feels they’re entitled to put every minister of God on trial, be they super star, local pastor, Sunday School Teacher or serving saint.

We’ve not progressed a whole lot in 2000 years in regards to that matter. Apostle Paul said in his day in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There’s a manner of judging ministers that’s acceptable. Do they line up with the Word of God? That’s not judging, that good sense. But when it comes to a minister’s heart, there is no place for that in God’s word. I’m not so much concerned with a minister who’s suddenly become rock star status, because usually, the minister didn’t do it. It was the people that launched them there. That too happened in bible days. Paul said in Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians that they were doing that very thing with him and Apollos. But what happens when they achieve that status is it opens the door for Satan to have greater access as well and more damage to the Kingdom of God.

The danger lies not so much in what the world thinks but what Christians say. A Christian judging a pastor or other servant of God gives a validity to doubt the authenticity of the word of God. That’s what stirred my dander this morning when I saw that post. The fact that a Christian was spreading a non-fact as truth without researching the matter cast a doubt upon a man of God who’s sharing the gospel. That is dangerous ground to tread on.

So before we utter the first word of “critique” on a minister of the gospel or a child of God, we need to understand that they’re not performing, they’re relaying a God given message or ability for the purpose of edifying the Kingdom. Those who cast doubt will one day stand before the Almighty God and give account for that.

They’re style or delivery of the message may not float your boat, but you are not Captain of the Gospel Ship.

Post positive things for the cause of Christ. There’s enough negative Nancy’s out there in cyberspace.

Playing the Fool

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Well, it’s the week we Victoryites look forward to all year long. We anticipate it like a second Christmas, at least those who love preaching do. I’ll not lie to you and tell you that every member of Victory Baptist Church are like minded, else there’d have been more of them there. But it was well attended and the best part was, other churches came too! And that blesses my soul because that means we’ve looked beyond the labels on our doors and looked to the cause of Christ which is why we should be there. To edify our souls and encourage our spirit for a special time in the Lord. I chew the fat of tent meetings for literal years. The Sermons are the crème de la crème and it’s a special time for our community.

Last night Preacher Roger Carter brought the message and as I tried to video him live for our Facebook audience he was everywhere! I told him I thought I had whiplash! If you don’t believe me, tune into the video on my “Shari Hardway Johnson” Facebook account. But you might want to take a motion sickness pill first. It was crazy! Crazy for Christ Jesus. Roger preached with abandon! He has such a heart to see souls saved and lives changed because he has yet to forget what it was like pre-salvation, nor has he ever gotten over the zeal of salvation.

So this morning when I read 1 Corinthians 1:18 my heart longed to be as zealous as my brother when it comes to telling others about Christ. The truth of the matter is we are who God formed us to be, inside and out. But there should be a fool in all of us for the cause of Christ Jesus. Not a fool for the sake of being silly, but a fool willing to let loose of the concern of the opinion of man and just let God have control.

Someone once coined the phrase, “Let go and Let God.” Well, Roger did last night. The fires been lit, I pray it keeps burning long after Tent meeting is done!