23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a
certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.
35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
I realize that those two scriptures may or may
not mean much to you this morning, but for me as an artist, singer, creative
person often less than extraordinaire they meant a great deal.
When I tell people that I struggle. That’s not a
lie and it’s not said for pity or pride. It’s just reality. I get up way too
often in the morning feeling like a failure and that what I do doesn’t amount
to a hill of beans in the scope of eternity. So when I read in Nehemiah this
morning, as I’ve read at other times (but too often forget), God truly cares
about the creative. That brought such
joy to my heart.
While people enjoy music and art; unless you’re
an honest to goodness “professional” your value is often viewed as less. It’s a
hobby or a past time, not a career because it doesn’t come with a paycheck. And
while I have people in my life that more than value me, I don’t value myself
enough it seems.
So today I thought I’d post this short thought for those dealing with “feeling less.”
God made the moon the lesser light… and yet how
many nights have we sat marveling at it. (Genesis 1:16)
The mustard seed is less than all the seeds on
the earth… yet birds find rest and lodge there. (Mark 4:32)
There are parts of the body that we view as less
important, and yet, we dare not want to live without them. (1 Corinthians
Paul thought of himself less than all the saints
(Ephesians 3:8) … but look at the difference he made in eternity.
David, King of Israel was the least of his brothers
and not even considered by family in contention for the position, but God had
other plans! (1 Samuel 16)
I reminded myself of these scriptures today, in
hopes of encouraging my soul that lesser is often as it is, so that God can do
the greater and receive the glory He deserves.
You and I are valuable members of the body of
Christ. We are irreplaceable by anyone else.
He cared so much about me this happy Thursday morning that He showed me in His word and through friends how much the God of all creation, cares about the creative.
The book of Nehemiah is such a
great book for the child of God that desires to make a difference in the
Kingdom, as every child of God should. It’s a prime example of someone living
in a fallen world and fighting back to take care of his own. That was Nehemiah.
He was the king’s cupbearer. A
man trusted and fearless enough to make sure no one was going to poison the
king. He, for certain, was somebody, and yet he was under the authority of a
world ruler. Not a spiritual leader. But his burden and passion for his people
is what got him into a position that they, nor the world could deny him
opportunity to rebuild what had been broken down.
That’s how I look at our
community. It’s falling apart. Our city is unkempt, our communities are filled
with broken homes and broken lives, our churches have breaches that should not
be, and all the while, God’s people stand by watching it happen, and in need of
leaders that will rise up and start the rebuilding.
We’re God’s crew. And using that
acronym we’ll discover “Chief Reasons Everyone Works.”
That’s how we’ll have success in
the little kingdom we call home in the hills of West Virginia.
In the journal art for today’s
blog I pulled words from the entire chapter of Nehemiah 3. It’s one of those
chapters that can cause you to zone out if you’re not careful. It’s filled with
names, roles, titles and jobs. We can read scripture like that and miss the
little things that are the big things. Like beginning in verse of chapter 3 it
says that “Eliashib the high priest rose
up with his brethren the priests and they builded the sheep gate.”
And they were church leaders,
willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in where needed. And their place was
the sheep gate. That’s the role of our church leaders too; they’re responsible
for the sheep. Under Nehemiah’s leadership he rallied the troops to begin to
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and a portion of that wall was where the sheep
were lead through the sheep gate and into the temple.
What was once a sacrificial
offering is now how God reference’s His children. Church leadership is not only
responsible for leading the sheep into the church, but once they’re in, they’re
responsible for making sure they’re safe.
How do we do that? How do we
insure that our people are sheltered from harm?
2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
SHARE THE WORD
Romans 15:1-5 ~ We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,
and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good
to edification.3 For
even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them
that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were
written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the
scriptures might have hope. 5 Now
the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward
another according to Christ Jesus:
As members of the body of Christ,
it’s our job to help grow the church. While it’s a different day than in the
days of Nehemiah, membership is still by the blood. (The blood of Jesus) And
while they were the tribes of Israel, we are the congregation of God.
Just as they had gone astray from
the way they should have been living, which is what created the position they’d
found themselves in, with not only a broken city, but a broken relationship with
God; we too can identify with that analogy. From the age of accountability,
when we understood right from wrong, we had a broken relationship with God.
Church leadership, and us, need to be repairing the gate where the sheep come
into the fold. We need to make the door of the church beautiful. And we do that
by allowing them to see the beauty of God, right from the beginning.
It’s Our Community
Hassenaah sons were in charge of
the fish gate. Then there were other’s under them. It doesn’t say they were
fishermen. Just men, willing to work.
Jesus told Peter (who was a
fisherman) in Matthew 4:19 ~ And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
It’s important that we understand the
references and parables that Christ shares with us in His words. Fishing was an
important part of the communities along the sea. It was their livelihood. Well,
it’s the livelihood of the church too! If we’re not out fishing and building
our church, it will eventually fade away.
What fish do you have on the hook
to build your church? Write them down, commit them to prayer and think on them
as serious as Hassenaah and his friends took the building of the fish gate.
It’s Our Children
The work crews
on the wall were every bit as diverse as the crews in our church. Everyone, regardless
of their life roles, had an important role in the church.
Nehemiah 3:12 ~ And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the
ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
Commentary says of the “daughters”
that they were possibly rich widows or heiresses who employed men to build at
their own expense. Halohesh must not have
had sons. This would have been the
culture of the day, and while we have certain roles in the church as men, women
and children, the point is, we all have a role and a responsibility to set the
example for others. Especially the young. Children need to have a voice and
role in the church so that as they grow in the Lord and become adults, they
continue on serving. If they’re never allowed to serve when they’re young, how
will they know that they can as they age?
What are jobs can they do:
Everyone who desires to serve
needs a job. When Hannah brought Samuel to the temple, he was but a child, yet
he served. Again, we know the culture was different, but the message is still
the same. We need to point children into the direction of service as young as
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his
It’s Our Responsibility
What if Nehemiah had stayed with
the King? What if the community had stayed at home? What if nobody did
anything? Well it’s unfortunate that many churches are facing that dilemma
today. We have to accept the responsibility we’ve been given, and everyone has
been given something to do.
What is your part of the wall?
The sheep gate?
The Fish gate?
Guarding the wall?
Entertaining the troops?
So many more! We have to show up!
It’s our responsibility!
Then I told them of the hand of my God
which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me.
And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for
this good work.
Get God’s Hand of Approval
Nehemiah encouraged and
excited God’s people when he informed them that the hand of God was upon him.
He only knew that because he’d been in prayer from the beginning. When Nehemiah
heard the condition of the wall and the people of Jerusalem his heart was
broken. He took the news to the only One who could change the forecast which
was the Lord, Jehovah. Our provider.
Bad news comes in many forms
today. It may be a wall that’s falling down, but usually it’s a life that’s
falling apart. For the church it’s a world that’s falling apart around us. I
don’t know how you feel, but I feel much like Nehemiah. I’m distressed at the
condition of the souls I meet.
As Gloria and I traveled down
a street in Virginia Beach last week, we happed upon a little lady crouched on
the curb. Gloria felt compelled to stop and help her out and tell her about
Jesus. We approached her, and it was apparent she was skeptical as to why. I
ask her if she knew Jesus. She said she was a part of a certain denomination. For
me that’s a bell ringer that she knows church. Not Jesus. We attempted to speak
to her about the condition of her soul but she wanted no part of it. We just
happened to be beside a Chick-fil-A, and I just happened to have a Chick-fil-A
gift card in my wallet. (Nothing really just happens). So we gave her the card
and wished her God speed.
I don’t think we fixed any
walls, but I don’t know. Perhaps the act of kindness will restore her faith in
humanity. Or not. Only God knows. What it did was cause me to be more aware of
the curb side people in my community. We
need to take care of our own.
That’s what I hear God saying
to me this morning. And I need to do that through my ministry (The Jesus Chick)
which is my responsibility. But I also need to do that work through my own
church. The local church for which every believer needs to be a part of. To do
that I need to
Church Leadership’s Word of Approval
When Nehemiah prayed for God’s
wisdom on what to do about the decaying state of their city and community, He
received God’s words of wisdom. But Nehemiah was a servant, the cup bearer, of
King Artaxerxes. So rather than just taking God’s word and running with it, he
prayed again and sought the Kings approval for the journey.
I’m a doer. Sometimes to a
fault. I’ve on more than one occasion ran ahead of church leadership on
projects because I wanted to get it done. And it seldom ended well. There’s an
order in life. And I have learned to stand my ground in my place, and allow
others that same privilege and respect. Its how the church works best, and the
world needs to see the church working in harmony. The only way that can happen
is if we respect authority. Nehemiah did it even though it wasn’t the church it
was a worldly authority, surely we can allow God’s people to guide.
It’s through that process
that we can
the Stamp of Approval
“A job worth doing, is worth
doing right” is often said, and it’s certainly truth.
Philippians 1:6 ~ Being
confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
The Jews rose up for a good
work because of Nehemiah’s leadership. We need that today! We need the
congregations of God to rise up and do a good work that we can be proud of for
the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to start by rebuilding the walls in our
communities. And by walls I mean spiritually building a fortress around the
people through prayer and communication. We need to take back our schools from
out of the hands of influences of evil. It’s there. I’ve witnessed it firsthand.
We need to be on the streets and roads of our community speaking to those we
see about Jesus. We may not have a Chick-Fil-A near by but I can almost
guarantee we have some casserole dishes in our cupboard that we can fill with
some homemade goodness for someone.
It’s a start. We need it. I
need it. You need it. Let’s do it.
I’ve watched them with their metal detectors; searching the
sand in hopes of unearthing treasure. It’s how I read the word of God. Sifting
a verse, just a few words, in hopes if discovering something that will sparkle
in my soul.
A treasure to be desired…
Matthew 6:21 says For where your treasure is, there will heart
Proverbs 4:23 says Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out
of it are the issues of life.
I have plenty of issues… believe me!
I search the scriptures for wisdom and I’m not always wise
with what I find. Sometimes I’m like a beach comber, except when I find gold, I
cast it aside and pick up a seashell. Enamored more by its beauty than the
value of the gold. I warned you I had issues. I know it doesn’t have any value,
but it’s pretty.
Matthew 6:20 says of treasure that we should lay
up for yourselves treasure in heaven… I need to desire eternal rewards
by focusing on the spiritual not the carnal. It’s not easy for me, this world
is like a giant candy store and my carnal state is alive and well. I love all
things shiny and tasty. I could say it’s how God created me, but I don’t think
so. He created me with a desire to serve and a heart of compassion. But I
choose to let the bling of this world blind me.
A verse that caught my attention this morning and pierced my
heart was Proverbs 21:16
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in
the congregation of the dead.
It’s those who are not seeking at all. They’re just
wandering around on the beach. Oblivious to eternity. They stay in dead
churches because the Pastor’s preach pretty sermons without substance. Not
gold. Just seashells.
Don’t get me wrong. God’s creation is to be marveled. But we’re to worship the Creator in spirit and truth. Those seashells are going by the wayside when this earth is destroyed by fire. But not the things that we’re laying up in Heaven. Today we should be combing the beach for souls that need saving. We should be encouraging ourselves with His word and looking for an opportunity to share what we’ve found.
I know I’m anointed, but deed… some days I don’t think I
even uncap the bottle of oil God gives me.
Proverbs 11:1 says “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
The world’s standards have skewed our idea of the scale. We do not weigh justly because we measure and weigh by a worldly standard. I have to wonder, when it comes to weighing the worth of what I’ve done on this earth, how much will even make it in the bag? and how much value will it have?
I want to speak of the worlds ideas and values, but I will not stand accountable for theirs; only mine. What has made it into my bag? If I weigh myself by comparison to many others of this world, I look good! Hey, I’m the Jesus Chick. I’m in church. I’m serving the Lord in multiple ares of life. But the very fact that I’ve attached the Lord’s name to my title should scare me to death! I will certainly stand before the Lord and answer for what I’m doing with it.
Its my greatest fear that much of what I view as valuable is being weighed by a false balance. A world view.
God wants it all weighed by His scale, which for us is the word of God. The only true way of weighing earthly value for heavenly reward.
Will have I’ve done satisfy His intent for the purpose of this earthly vessel? After all, He created me for
I can tell you with an honest and ashamed heart that much of what I do is for the service of Shari. It makes me feel good. Not that God won’t appreciate part of it, but He would assuredly appreciate it greater if my heart had been purer, my mind gone deeper into His word and if my service had been bolder, quicker, sharper; making more of an impact and mark.
I need to be filling my bag with weightier matter…
I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope
in thy word.
The Struggle with
human nature we are a selfish lot, are we not? I tuned into social media this
morning and the heartaches of other people overwhelmed my soul. I felt
can’t rebuild a life that was lost in a fire.
can’t undo the bad decision of a young man that didn’t feel there was any other
way than death.
can’t control the fierceness of nature or the devastation it can leave in its
can’t un-break a heart or protect people from destruction.
life. And in this day and age it’s being lived out in a very, very public way
that affects so many people with the stroke of a keyboard. Social media can be
a blessing or a scourge. I have a love/hate relationship with it, as I’m sure
most people do. But like it or not, despise it or not, it’s here to stay. But
you and I need to be careful about the vanity of it all. If we are in the
mindset of Christ… as we should be. We should shield ourselves from ourselves.
of my many, many faults is counting. Now I know it got David in serious trouble
in 2nd Samuel 24. So I try not to; but remember the struggle I spoke
of. It really is a struggle on social media. How many people likes my post… how
many people viewed my video… how many people liked a post, or loved a post. And
who were they? Oh. I’m vain. For me it’s validation as to whether or not I was
a load of lies from Satan. But I buy it like a good flea market find.
lives will never be defined in eternity by how many people seen our posts. But
it will be defined by what that post did for the cause of the Kingdom.
The Shield of Victory
all my vain thoughts, and they are many; God put a heart of compassion within
me. It’s what drives me to share the hope of Jesus Christ that I find in His
word. It’s what creates images like the umbrella in my mind when I think of how
many times the Lord has shielded me from the sun and rain. The good times and
the bad times that would have had a negative result in my life.
not only the bad times in our lives that cause damage. The good in life can
bring more vanity, more self-reliance that can destroy the good things that God
wants for us.
many people do we know with great wealth and health that have no relationship
with God? Or how many do we know that have “seemingly” never struggled as we
have and are so ungrateful.
of the worst things in my life, I am certain, have protected me from forgetting
where my hope lies.
so thankful that we have God’s word! It is as if I’m sitting here in my office
this morning with God, and I hear Him say… “That’s my girl. Keep writing. Keep
drawing. Keep serving. And by the way, stop counting.”
“The BRANCH” is a Bible Lesson that I composed for the teens at Victory Baptist Church. There are questions within the lesson that, although it was written for teens, I consider them young adults and treat them as such. Feel free to read and enjoy or use it for your ministry if you so desire.
Spring branches are a visible reminder of the new life we celebrated on Easter Sunday. The same God that the Jews longed to meet in the Old Testament, but refused to submit to in the New Testament was the BRANCH. Listed in scripture in all capital letters, which for me is like God shouting His name! It makes me want to know more about why it was listed that way, and what information God wants me to know.
speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the
temple of the Lord:
The BRANCH is what caught my attention,
but the context of the scripture begins in verse 9:
9 And the word of
the Lord came
unto me, saying,10 Take of them of the
captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from
Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of
Zephaniah;11 Then take silver and
gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of
Josedech, the high priest;12 And speak unto him,
saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the
temple of the Lord:
Joshua. A name we’re
very familiar with, and a named that is translated from Hebrew Joshua to the
English, Jesus. Joshua is also the common alternative form of Yeshua.
So Zechariah is being
told by God to tell Joshua the Priest that he is a figure of the one to come.
Jesus, the Messiah, now being referred to as “The BRANCH.” And just like the
branches of this season come to life, The BRANCH was going to be born (come to
life) in Bethlehem, but raised in Nazareth. And just like the spring branches
that we have in view now, Jesus was going to spring forth, full of life and
glory for God.
There are two roles
of Christ that we’re going to talk about by unpacking the scripture references
in Zechariah and those two roles are Priest and King.
We too are referred
to as priests and kings in Revelation 1:5-6
5 And from
Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us
from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath
made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion
for ever and ever. Amen.
So how does it make
you feel to know you are considered a priest or king?
Is that a position
you’re comfortable with now, or is it something that you think you’re going to
grow into? At what age, or state of mind do you suppose you’ll arrive there?
Jesus grew up just
like kids of today. He may not have had an iPhone, but He had family, friends,
siblings, and all the common things of that day, and things that we’re used to
having as a family unit.
When you think of
growing up in biblical times, what do you think the cultural differences and
likenesses of that day were in comparison to ours?
What would teens have
done for fun?
What would church services
have been like for teens?
The scripture says
that Jesus was going to grow up out of that place, the place called Nazareth.
That was His place. Nazareth or Netzer, means “The branch from a multitude of
plants that grew there.” Another branch in our story
Our place is where we
live now. Far from a kingdom view. But so was Nazareth during that day. It was
said to be an “insignificant village.” Even the religious of the day said “can
anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Have you ever had
that feeling about our small town?
While Nazareth wasn’t
a big city of that day, it’s now the largest Arab city in the country of
Israel. And clearly something Amazing did come from the Nazareth. So why can’t
God do something amazing here?
Pastor John Powell of
Wadsworth, Ohio was born and raised in Calhoun County, West Virginia. But like
many of his era who were born in the 30’s, he left our area to find work. But
before that he had a back story. He had a Nazareth village.
When he was just a
few months old he got pneumonia and his mother had no money to buy medicine, so
she went to her father to borrow it. But instead she had to give John to him at
the age of 5 in exchange for the medicine. He was used for child labor and
treated very poorly. But even in that state he rose above others as an athlete
and in popularity. God called him into the ministry while in Akron, Ohio and it
was there that he graduated Bible College and became a man of great means
through investments. But the most important thing to know about John Powell was
that he reached thousands for Christ and was known for his generosity and
kindness all over the world.
The man from Calhoun
Jesus grew up in
Nazareth and didn’t travel very far in the lifetime of His ministry. One study
said about 90-120 miles. In this day and age, that’s not many. But we have to consider
His travels were by foot. But look at the impact He made in those 100 miles.
What’s the furthest
you’ve traveled, and where do you desire to go?
Jesus’ time on earth
was spent preaching the Kingdom, and building a temple not made of hands. What
temple has Jesus built?
When Jesus prophesied
of His resurrection He said in three days I’ll rebuild the temple, which made
the religious of the day angry because they thought He spoke of a building.
Which was not so.
We too are considered
a temple, how?
There are three ways
to build the temple we’re in charge of building
We listen (preaching
We learn – (Study to
show ourselves approved)
We live (Sharing the
word of God)
That is how we build
the temple, ours and the body of Christ.
It’s the same thing
that Christ did as a young person. When Christ disappeared from His parents and
was found three days later it says in Luke 2:46
And it came to pass,
that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of
doctors, both hearing them, and asking questions.
That’s how we grow in
the Lord, we ask questions. If we want to grow and feel worthy of our royal
positions of priests and kings, we need to do what Jesus did.
If a child never ate
physically they would die. They’d also die of boredom if they ate the same
thing over and over again. The same is true of our spiritual lives.
Eat. Work! Because as
we grow we also need to build.
The new temple that
Christ said He was going to build in three days wasn’t what they expected or
wanted. They wanted it on this earth. That was not the plan. They wanted the
royalty to be here. That was not the plan either. And that’s why it’s hard for
us to comprehend that we are priests and kings. Because we live in red neck
country. Not Jerusalem.
Just as Joshua was
active in the building of the temple, Jesus was going to be the Master Builder
of the Spiritual Temple that we call the church today.
13 Even he (The
BRANCH) shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his
throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace
shall be between them both.
for the Glory of God.
what are the responsibilities of priests and kings?
view it as one governs and the other guides.
what do we govern, and what do we guide on this earth.
27 Now ye are the body
of Christ, and members in particular.28 And God
hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
diversities of tongues.
Not everyone is a
prophet, teacher, etc. but everyone has a purpose. And every one of us are a
part of the body of Christ if we’re saved. So we are overseeing the business of
the Lord until His return. We are in charge of guiding others. We truly are a
part of the Royal Family. And not the one in England, but the one in Heaven.
14 And the crowns shall
be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah,
for a memorial in the temple of the Lord.15 And they that are far
off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass,
if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.
There were earthly examples like Adam
and Joshua that God put on earth as examples of Christ. We are to be the
examples of the Lord set before the generation we’re now a part of. We are the priests and kings of this
generation, even if they don’t know it, or want it.
When someone is born into a royal
family, only the head of that royal family can kick them out. God’s the head of
this family, and He says that none shall be lost. (John 18:19)
That the saying might be fulfilled, which
he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
So whether the world likes it or not, we
are the royal family. The BRANCH’S government. Not a branch of the government.
We will have our day of sitting with the royal family in person, but today
we’re ambassadors in this foreign land.
So the question is, to who, where and
how are you an ambassador? Pray and seek the Lord’s will for the land the Lord
wants you to cover. And don’t ever think that He can’t take a kid from Calhoun
County, and do something amazing for the Kingdom. Because you are children of
Don’t forget …
Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy
He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite
shall not come before him.
It’s not that I don’t
feel like a hypocrite on a relatively regular basis. But for years I have felt
like this was my message for the world. Not in judgement, but rather in tender
compassion and pleading to the soul playing church on earth, and missing Heaven
There’s a vast
difference between being in church and being in Christ. But for too long the
religious crowd has preached (and I use the term liberally) that all the world
is fine, so long as they’re in the building.
When I visited the Philippines several years ago there was a huge church that was the size of a small West Virginia city. It had pointed steeples and ornate architecture that gave it a castle appearance, but not in a good way. It just looked cold and evil. It was the Iglesia ni Cristo (meaning Church of Christ) but not as the American Church of Christ. They believe that they are the one and only true church called out of Isaiah 43:5. It’s a very formalized methodical religion. All who are not a part of their church are Hell bound. according to them. That doesn’t sound any crazier to me than those who preach what many churches are preaching today, which is just show up occasionally, continue living in sin throughout the week, and you’re fine. It causes me to wonder if even the Pastors are saved who preach a message that is anti-relational with Christ.
I can’t help but think
that my message today will be viewed as judgmental. But I promise it’s not. My heart
breaks for church leadership as well who don’t have a deep enough relationship with
Christ to understand its importance and their purpose. They’ve been deceived by
this world too.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This is my friend Chuck McDonald’s life verse. Because when he got saved, he became a new creation. And anyone who knew him, seen the evidence in his life. That’s the key, and it’s the missing piece of many people in our own churches. Evidence. They walk out the door on Sunday morning and walk back into the world looking no different. There’s no evidence that church made a difference.
It’s not that the
message doesn’t go out of many churches, because it does. There are many, many
good preachers. So what makes the difference? Church leadership.
It’s not just the Pastor’s job. What made the difference in my friend Chuck McDonald’s life, and in my life is that there were people who stepped up and took me under their arm as a disciple of Christ. I keep saying it, but I’m not living it any better if I’m honest.
My formative years as a
new Christian were spent in fellowship almost every day with people from our
church. We had breakfast together at a local restaurant, we spoke on the phone,
we were in constant church services of some sort, somewhere. It was amazing! If
our church wasn’t holding a revival I was looking for someone else’s.
Does it have to be that
extreme? I don’t know. It worked for me. And it worked in the days of the
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Steadfast, in doctrine,
in fellowship, breaking bread and praying! Glory to God if only we had that
kind of time.
Well, in this modern day of technology, do we not? We can be across the globe, and still be in constant fellowship, and yet we don’t.
I joyously speak with
my friend Dewey Moede from New Mexico most every day. He is who God sent into
my life to follow up where others left off. You too are that person who is in
need of a Dewey, or perhaps you are the Dewey.
My point being is this;
we should be living our lives, wherever we are for Christ. So that people know
we’re there for them and that a relationship with Him and them is an important part
of our everyday.
I’m not about what denomination
is over the door, I’m about what your relationship is with my Lord. Are you
truly a brother or sister in Christ?
It was one of those words that caught me
off guard; sent my mind pondering about what it was doing there.
days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
I’m just focusing on part “a” of the
verse. Part “b” is a little too sad for my spirit this bright sunny morning.
Even though I spent the night battling blood pressure and sleep deprivation.
Perhaps the two coincide. But it all coincides with age and the thought process
that suddenly changes.
Please don’t think that I’m considering
myself ready for the grave, but it’s a part of the mindset when you have
several days of feeling poorly. Now back to the verse…
The weavers “shuttle.”
I viewed the word shuttle as a modern
word, not one from the oldest book in the Bible. And being that I’m not a
weaver, although I might like to be, I had no concept of what that instrument
might be. So I had to Youtube it. Isn’t that a great tool in the ministry?!
And there it was, the little shuttle
boat that goes rhythmically through the threads of a loom; swish, swishing back
and forth, carrying the bobbin of thread through and intricately weaving a
beautiful pattern of art. Just like life.
The years have swished by to the count
of 56 for me, though I’ve been telling people I’m 57. I’m a nut! For Job,
though the years of his life had passed quickly, time had suddenly slowed
painfully down and in his sorrow, and the discouragement of his friends he had
It’s easy to do.
It’s why I’d rather focus on part “a.”
In the words of Jerry Reed’s country
song, “I’ve got a long way to go and short time to get there,” I want to weave
more into that pattern of life.
The little shuttle boat is a handcrafted
vessel that carries the fabric of the tapestry. Is that not us? Every single
person is a beautiful piece of the Master’s work that He uses to weave into the
lives of others. And together we all makes this beautiful piece of work called
Job had no concept of the impact his
words would be making thousands of years after that terrible day.
My live video feed yesterday was along
this same path. “Why we go through what we go through.” There is always a
reason, and one of my favorites is the Overcomer’s Club. It’s those people, who
against all odds became a victor. They weren’t supposed too. Just ask Job’s
friends and they’ll tell you what a terrible person they thought Job to be. They
thought he was a sinner deserving of his woes for being non repentant. When in
truth he was a vessel of God’s amazing grace. A little boat passing swiftly
through time but leaving beautiful colors in the path. His words encouraged my
soul because I know the end of Job’s story.
He wanted to die. But God gave him a new
reason to live! It will take a few chapters before I get to read about his
victory again, but it reminds me that I may have a few chapters of my own
before I get to sing the Victory song too.
So where is your little shuttle going today, and how are you going to weave the Word of God and the purpose of God into your day. Don’t miss it. Blessings!!!!
in Job 1 it says “While he was yet speaking,” when the four servants of Job
delivered the heart wrenching news of his losses. Three times he loses
livestock and servants, and the fourth and final blow was the loss of His ten
children. As parents, we can’t imagine a greater loss. God totally understands.
It’s why it makes today’s tolerance of the liberal agenda so much harder to stomach.
stated in this blog on more than one occasion that I don’t “watch” the news. But
it has a way of sneaking into my world through social media. So today I sought
a way to deal with foolish people. There’s plenty of them out there to deal
with and they seek to destroy every work of the Spirit.
love tearing down ministries, and governments that bring glory to the Name of
Jesus and discourage those that support them; convincing them all they are the
victors. Part of the reason they are so successful is that we, as the children
of God, are not stepping into our roles.
Silence the Fool
said than done, right?
For so is the will
of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish
the will of God! Glory!
do we do it? By doing well.
not speaking of prosperity, as some would have you believe, but rather speaks
of the character of God’s people. Arguing with a fool seldom creates silence. It
usually just creates chaos. But silencing the fools with righteous living,
honest conversation and good works is extremely satisfying to the soul.
told Paul in Acts 9:5 I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard
for thee to kick against the pricks.”
trembled at Christ’s words. Number 1, because it was God, but also because His
words pricked, pierced Paul’s heart. That’s what the word of God does to the
unsaved. It’s like a bee sting, or a slap in the face. It catches them off
guard and it is for certain our greatest tool in our weapons of warfare. It’s
why it send the liberal news agencies into a feeding frenzy when they hear
someone in Washington quote scripture or mention the name of Jesus. There is
power in those words. There is also power in His people when we’re doing His
work. The Lord has an agenda too. It’s to get as many people to Heaven as we
can. And it is so easy to lose sight of that with all the rhetoric we’re
hearing in the world.
want to silence the masses, start by telling them how Jesus saves.
Avoid the Fool
But avoid foolish
questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for
they are unprofitable and vain.
often just want to see the liberal losers put in their place. But God said that
it is sometimes better just to avoid them all together. They’re just talking to
hear themselves and sometimes so are we. Or so is “me.” I just need to say
anything because I’m tired of everything.
much better if we’d just speak an appropriate scripture to the situation and
then drop the mic. Sometimes that takes a little research, and sometimes the
Holy Spirit will just speak it into your soul if you’re listening.
third, final and most appropriate point for my own study is
Don’t forget, you were the fool
For we ourselves
also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and
pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
it’s not true? I have to confess it was the case with me pre-salvation and I’ve
been known to linger on a few of those issues even post salvation.
has the liberal lot, and many who are caught somewhere between liberal and
conservatives, deceived; because they don’t trust either side and with good
reason. We do not always speak the words Jesus would have us speak. And we
forget that we once were just as mislead.
want to silence, and in the worst kind of fleshly way, wipe the arrogant grins
off CNN and the likes of news reporters, I need to remember who it is that I
people ought to have more class than to get into a shouting match with the
His word, walk away and then pray for the enemy. That too is a weapon of
warfare that they can never have in the arsenal. They don’t have anyone to pray
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ