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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Living, Breathing Testimony

 Our Christian walk is our responsibility, in the fact that we are to walk by faith and work diligently toward our goal of salvation. We are saved by grace as stated in this verse; "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God," Ephesians 2:8?. But the Bible also states faith without works is dead. I am not saying that by your works you can earn your own way into heaven, Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6.

 I'm just simply saying that keeping your Christian walk on the straight and narrow will be something you have to work at to achieve. To break it down further we can start by saying we are saved by grace in the fact that Jesus Christ died in our place. He was buried for three days and was resurrected. He was God's perfect lamb; the Holy, one that the prophets of the Old Testament refer to. It took that sacrifice, that perfect spotless without sin sacrifice, from God to save us. If you read in, Gen.-?, you will see that God is making a way for us even after the fall of the first man and woman.

 Here are just some things we are called to do:

To love God

To love each other as ourselves.

To be Holy because He is Holy.

 I believe what the apostles are saying is don't just get saved and sit around like so many, myself included. Get up and go out among others and show them what God has done for you. The thing is that no matter what excuse you can come up with it will not hold water against the things that the Lord has asked us to do concerning this topic. It will be a priority to you if you want it to be. If we read in our Bibles Jesus was always amongst the people sharing God with everyone he encountered along the way. He did not sit idol.

 We should be examples. And those examples should far exceed our homes and the workplace. How do we expect new believers to do these things if it is not modeled for them? Verse Spread the good news? If called is telling you to do something then I encourage you to be courageous and ready to step out in faith but only after you have spent a considerable amount of time in prayer.

 I know how difficult it is, for about ten years I ran from God and what He wanted me to do. I could never wrap my head around how it would all fit together. The home I grew up in didn't go to church. The only thing I knew about God was that His name was attached to curse words. And I will shamefully admit that such words were in my regular vocabulary up until I was about 18 years old. I didn't know that God really existed, nor did I know that what I was doing was wrong. The worst part was that noone told me that I could go to hell for living this way.

 It scares me when I look back over my life and see how easily God could have left me in my condition. Thank God for the people who not only live by the word, but also worked in, and shared the word to the lost. I know I was a very lost individual. But God started placing people in my life, that would help Him change the course of direction for me.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Division Among The Church Today

 In churches today, we have a huge melting pot of personalities and agendas. And being an individual in a leadership role within the church is very difficult because if we move too much in the wrong direction with the conflict it will damage what our main goal is, which is to further the advancement of Christ.

 Many times, we are faced with obstacles that must be handled as opposed to being pushed aside and one of these obstacles is division among the members of the congregation. Because of this and because of the evidence of division or discord in the early church, Paul addressed this many times. He too, knew that it was very important not to become distracted with the trivial situations that could drive us away from glorifying the Lord.

 The Corinthian church was having so many differences of a opinion that it was actually causing division among them as well as paralyzing any growth or any outreach to the community. Paul addressed this very common problem as a way of instructing them on how better to handle the situations that spark amongst them. These instructions and details can still apply to the church today.

  Since we are of this world, we will not only have to fight the enemy individually in our daily lives but we will also have to as a church. Just because we are surrounded by those four walls of the church building does not mean that the devil can not creep in and destroy what we are doing to further the advancement of the Gospel.

 I know in my own church I have seen this play out in many different situations. Many people have even stated that the division in the church body is very evident to everyone and that until it is addressed&brought under control that the church will not grow. I personally believe that when you hear this among the congregation it is there way of crying out for help because they know that we are failing to do our job as believers adequately.

 Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:10, .....that the members of the church should be perfectly united in mind and thought (my paraphrase). We must not allow things of this world to divide us. We are all in this together and we must fight the enemy at every turn so that we can win as many souls as we are able before the Lord's return.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We Are Nothing Without Good Character

                       INTEGRITY

 It seems a like simple enough word, but what a lot of us misunderstand or may even forget is the power this word may hold for many of us. Especially when it falls under the category of "shepherding" God's people. It is a subject so often misjudged or maybe judged correctly just wrongly placed on one, if not all of those of us pursuing a Pastoral position.

 More often than not I have been in a position where I tell people around me that I'm attending school to become a minister and while most of the reactions I receive are favorable there are times that the minority are not. There are many people out there that feel that a Pastor or minister cannot be trusted. And while I see there point, I don't agree with it.

 I try to teach my children that integrity means everything. It can be something that holds a lot of power over your life. So that is why it is of utmost importance that you nourish it and cause it to grow. Mainly because some where, some way someone will see if you will in secret or when  no one is looking hold up your end of the deal. Daniel was an excellent example of how we should be.


 I think where a lot of ministers go wrong is they get out of their immediate contact and closeness with God and that is when "self" envelops you and you are no longer focused on the One you should be focusing on. Ministers need to keep at the fore front of their mind is that their bad decisions cost us--the ones coming up behind them dearly.

 Because right out of the gate we are met with opposition and it takes everything we have&everything that the Holy Spirit has given us the power to achieve to be able to win these doubting people to the Lord. So we get a fight from the very beginning. Character allows the leader to do the right thing even when its the hardest to do or achieve.

 Our congregation as well as others we come in contact with on a daily or even infrequent basis need to know that we can be trusted. Without keeping ourselves in check, sin tends to creep in and then we are lead down a path that is treacherous and corrupt.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My thoughts on the end times....



 



  To truly understand the second coming of the Lord and even the book of Revelation, I would advise you to do a thorough Bible study. Some people don't know the depth of just how bad things will get, such as starvation, disease, etc.

 As I went about my study of Eschatology-the branch of theology or doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the last judgement. I found that there are three different major approaches to explaining Bible prophecy.

  • Amillennialism-is a view in Christian end-times theology named for its rejection of the theory that Jesus Christ will have a thousand-year-long, physical reign on the earth. This is in opposition to premillennial and some postmillennial interpretations of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation.

  • Post Millennialism- is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper. The term subsumes several similar views of the end times, and it stands in contrast to premillennialism and, to a lesser extent, amillennialism.

  • Pre Millennialism- is the belief that Jesus Christ will literally and physically return to the earth and take the righteous back to heaven with him. This return is referred to as the Rapture, and rather than Jesus descending to touch the Earth, the righteous will be raised to meet Him in the air. Bible passages such as 1 Thes 4:16-17 & Rev 20:1-6 are cited as evidence. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Jesus' physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration of the millennium. It is distinct from the other forms of Christian eschatology such as postmillennialism or amillennialism, which view the millennial rule as occurring either before the second coming, or as being figurative and non-temporal. 

 My belief is that we are in a premillenial state, that although the Bible does use many symbols and figurative language that it should be taken in its literal form. I am terrified to know in what ways people that do NOT accept the Lord and live their lives for Him will have to endure. After all there will come a time when He will remove His hand from them. I just wish people that haven't seen the truth or seen how imperative it is to follow Him would finally realize that we are closer than they think to our Lord's second coming.

 Being on God's side of this spiritual battle is a treasure to me. I NEVER want Him to take His hand off of me or my family. The book of Revelation is a gift that God has given us so that we can see how all of this is going to end. I pray daily for those of you that don't believe or follow Him. The Father is an awesome Father that only wants the best for His children.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Does It Mean To Become "Christ-like"?

 Coming to God and believing that His son died on the cross for our sins is only part of the equation to living more Christ-like. We must die to self daily to remain even close to His likeness. We must also become like little children.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV

What does this passage mean? This passage tells us that we should humble ourselves before the Lord and become unassuming as a child would. To become more Christ-like and advance further in our Christian walk we will have to combat sin and the temptation of it on a continual basis. We are living in a world full of darkness that is fighting to get at our souls. So it is important that we remember that just because we get saved we are not protected from the damages and weight of sin. We will need the Lord's help continually to be protected from that. I have listed below some ways that could help us all stay the course to becoming more Christ-like.

Prayer-Prayer can get you through some of the hardest times in your life. But prayer will also bring you closer to Him
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God's Word-Reading and meditating on God's word is a good way to get His words ingrained into your soul and your daily life.

 Attending a Bible Based Church-Staying in constant contact and surrounding yourself with believers is another way to compound the effect of Jesus Christ in your life and strengthening you to remain in Him.
 
 God wants us to depend on Him. He knows without Him we will not survive the evil that is lurking around every corner.
 
 

 

Monday, July 8, 2013

True Believers Experience Doubt

This blog post is based on the Prayer and Song of Faith located in Habakkuk 3

 Sometimes we can do all the right things as believers and still feel like we made the worst possible decision even when we felt that God helped us along the way and had a hand in getting us to that point.

 This happened to me recently when after a long year of the worst job that I believe I ever had, decided it was time to move on. This job by the way was an answer to prayer to begin with. We just didn't get it. This job was all my family and I had asked God for and more. The only drawback was that it was night shift. But in spite of that we soldiered on. But that soldiering didn't last long. I struggled. My family struggled. It had become a noose around our necks. So we began praying and seeking God constantly. It was on every breathe. It was very hard to stick with it and see God in it all. We had major doubts with no visible light at the end of the tunnel.
 http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.9001082.6631/flat,550x550,075,f.jpg

 Then after a long years battle, job opportunities started flowing steadily in. Then we immediately changed our prayers to request from God that he eliminate all the wrong possibilities. Because NOTHING is more important than being in His will. And it wasn't long until He answered all the prayers we had prayed and everything turned around. We have seen a lot of things that changed as a result of that time in the valley.

 It was in this valley that me family and I clung to God like never before. Admittedly, there were times when we grew weary and wanted to give up. But we just knew He had a purpose. We tried to have unyielding faith to get us through to the next leg of our journey.

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/136/5/4/habakkuk_3_19_by_joyrascal-d4zzw15.jpg

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thoughts on False Teachers

 False teachers has been a source of contention since the time Jesus walked the earth and probably beyond and it remains till this very day. The Bible tells us to be on guard (2 Peter 2:1-22). I make it a point to research what I hear so that I will not apply the wrong things to my life. It is our responsibility to search for truth and hold fast to it. With all the technology we have at this day and time we can find an assortment of books, quotes, and videos we can use to learn from. But we must choose the one who speaks the truth.

 If what we see and hear is based solely on the Bible we are home free. BUT, if it is based on man's own interpretation this, is where we run into problems. In 2 Peter 2:1-22, Peter has made it incredibly easy for us by giving us characteristics and actions of the false teacher. The false teachers of Peter's day can still be found in the modern world. Nothing has really changed except for the fact that their games have gotten bigger and their ways even more conniving.

 Go to God in prayer and let the Holy Spirit be your guide against the things you are unsure of. Let God, the Holy Spirit and God's word lead you because in this sinful world we need to lean on God's understanding not our own.