Archive | February 2012

Dangers of preaching out of the soul

I know that I am not worthy of sharing this message because often times what I have preached may seemed to have come out of the soul.  There is something important about analyzing of audience when you are trying to convey a message.  You don’t know who will be listening or reading what you are sharing and how it will impact them.  Certain types of messages may seem good to your soul, but are not often from the Spirit.  A good question you have to ask yourself is, will it do damage to the soul and bring condemnation to them?  People come with a lot of baggage in their souls, and if you carry your own baggage, even as an example, sometimes it can lead to destruction, and cause a lot of harm, and create a painful memory, in the person’s soul, especially if you believe that this person is really speaking from God.  So to put this delicately, we have to be very careful what we say, write, or speak as leaders.  We as Christians are supposed to forgive, and it maybe a lot more difficult when people abuse their position of authority.

There some types of audiences that you need to be aware of when preaching – not a law and probably no Biblical foundation to support this, but some guidelines to know what kind of message is appropriate for what kind of audience as so not to do tremendous damage to the soul to the point where it may become difficult for them to receive healing-Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire [for Jesus] comes, it is a tree of life:

1.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for over 20 to 30 years –

They have probably heard it all and won’t be surprised by anything you say, but there is something new that they can learn from a message.

2.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for  15 to 20 years –

They may have not heard everything, but can tolerate rebuking and correction most of the time

3.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 10 to 15 years –

They might be going through what I like to call Spiritual Adolescence, and they may be easily persuaded by different types of doctrines so they need to be preached the Truth.  They probably cannot tolerate too much rebuking and correction, and if it is constant, they may be led to stray away from the faith if they don’t have some messages that build up or uplift or encourage sometimes.  It may not mean they have itching ears, but they need to be able to trust that what they are hearing is from God.

4.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 5 to 10 years –

These are believers who need to be fed the Word of God and need to be taught how to feed upon more than nuggets, and they need to be encouraged and built up and they need not to be rebuked unless their sin is going to damage the way that God has for their life.  Each person and circumstance is different so it cannot be dependent upon a formula, as none of these can, but it takes wisdom on how to counsel these people and how to minister the Word to them, but preferrably they need to be built up and encouraged.

5.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again (Just received salvation up to 5 years)

These are new believers – they need to be built up and encouraged in their faith as much as possible, and need to be fed strong Word of Truth from the beginning so that their foundation is strong.  They do not need to be led into condemnation, and rebuking has to be gentle, and persuasive, instead of harsh, and discouraging.  They need to be counseled and mentored by someone in the same gender as them if they have had issues in the area of lust, and need to be taught properly the Word of God, and be encouraged to build up their faith so that they can know who Jesus is. This would be a good time for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, after they have received the Baptism of Water.

5.  Nominal Christians – these are people who say they are born Christians

They need to be taught about what Jesus said to Nicodemus, that we must be born again, and they must be taught that Jesus is not a religion, but a relationship.  These people need to be rebuked because they are taking the name of Jesus in vain and they need to be taught the errors of their ways.

6.  Unbelievers – need to be treated the same way, but not need to have Jesus forced down the throat.  They need to experience Jesus for themselves because the Word of God will have no power over them if they don’t know who Jesus is.  It is different for each person and each person works out their own salvation with fear and trembling so they need to be carefully witnessed to, by planting small seeds at a time, and not be treated as such to “win a soul”.

7. Carnal Christians – various ages – who keep on committing sins that are abominations to God – for example the Church of Corinth.

That brings me to my next point – we are to win souls not crush them and break them and tear them to pieces.  We are to show them the way that they are wrong so that they can come into repentance, but not enter into condemnation, and it takes guidance from the Holy Spirit.  A preacher well intentioned may think they are hearing from God, (just an example)  but then make a comment that a person’s worship is not coming from the heart, and that may be true for some people or for themselves, but it is very dangerous to comment for everybody – especially for people that fall in that 1 – 10 category.  Their hearts are usually pure so they do not to be discouraged in the way the worship God, and I am not just talking about singing, but about their lifestyle of worship.  All preaching must bring hope and bring the message back to Jesus and back to revealing either Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, or all three included, otherwise it might be coming out of the soul or might even be bringing idolatry.  Some messages are teaching tools in how to lead an effective ministry and for that the audience will have to take in what applies to them.  Preaching should be more about Jesus and less about your own personal life, and you can use examples, but then use them in a way so that it brings people faith and not doubt and discouragement to their souls.  Once the soul is wounded it takes time to repair the soul.  The Old Testament says that – Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully (or carelessly) – but The New Testament says – in 2 Corinthians 4:2 –

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Paul struggled in this area of leading the Church of Corinth because they were doing things like fornicating in the temple and bowing down to idols, and these were things that he had to correct, and he didn’t like doing it, but it needed to be done.

Most likely there are many different types of people in the Church that you are ministering to so it’s hard to tell.  Pray to the Lord and ask Him to impart on you the Spirit of love and Agape when teaching so that you may be revealed what to preach and when to preach it.  Perhaps you end up preaching out of your soul at one time, then you know you can always repent, but pray that the message you preached did not cause a wound in the soul and caused people to lose hope or not to be able to forgive themselves and enter into condemnation. When you do preach it is always good to pray before hand, and sometimes when you preach out of pain God can do mighty things in another person’s life, but it takes a lot of wisdom and discernment, and just being examining your motive in what you are preaching.  Is it to take your mess and turn it into a message?  Will it actually help people’s lives, or will it make them feel so bad about themselves that they don’t want to believe in Jesus anymore because of what you said?  People handle different things differently and it takes wisdom to handle the situation properly.  Many people have left the Church because of strife and offense and the things that people especially ministers have said.  So my exhortation for preachers, blog-evangelists, teachers, apostles, is to be careful in the things you say both on and off the “pulpit”.  As I said that I am not worthy to preach this message because of the way I have been writing this blog at times, and I can think of at least one sermon, which did not bring edification and to build up the body.  It is difficult for bloggers because they don’t know who they are reaching – it could be wicked spammers, or it could be mighty men and women of God, or it could be someone who has just found their faith, so be careful of not preaching out of the soul and taking your own baggage on the pulpit.

1 Peter 5 says –  1I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):     2Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;     3Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).     4And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.

If you are a pastor, preacher, minister, leader, blog-evangelist, apostle, or teacher here is a prayer for you –

Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for anyone I have wounded grievously in the soul for the efforts of preaching and doing ministry work.  It was not my intention and I can only do what I can by the hearing and discernment of Your voice.  It is Your will that I should humble myself down before You and surrender the ministry into Your hands and cause only words that come out of Your mouth to be spoken or written to the people.  In their heart transformation let the people  not experience unforgiveness or bitterness in their own hearts toward anything being shared or spoken.  If there is any bitterness or unforgiveness in my own heart let it be washed away and cleansed by the Power of Your Blood and by the renewing of Your Spirit, and let it cleanse out all impurities of the soul that keep me from ministering what is Truth to Your Word.  Thank You for the Spirit of wisdom to help discern what types of audiences I am speaking to and what kind of messages need to be preached.  I lay everything down before Your feet, and remove any pride, critical, judgmental nature in my life and help me to be more like You each day.

In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,

Amen.

 

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When you have failed a test

This blog posting is kind of like a follow up to “When everything falls apart”, and “The Tests of Life”.  We know that when students go through tests at school.  Have you ever known you were going to have a quiz, but you didn’t have time to study for it?  You just go to sleep and hoping that everything comes by “osmosis” or something like that?  Well God tests and sometimes He chastens us too, and sometimes this test may be foretold in advance [i.e. Jesus wilderness, and the Israelite wilderness] We go through difficult things, and it is about our attitude primarily and what we do and say during these times of chastening and testing.  Sometimes we do not know what direction it is going to come, and we know that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour, but we also know God has His plan, which is different for testing.

Women, not intended to stereotype, in general tend to be more emotional and they tend to cry more and be more expressive in their emotions.  Sometimes we find women yelling, and getting angry too, but as believers it is hard to control these emotions without surrendering to the Holy Spirit.  But whether you are a woman or a man, you do get tested by the Lord, and even through the best of intentions you try to obtain a peaceful attitude through the Holy Spirit, but it is the times when you are spiritually undernourished that you go through certain things and you cannot seem to find your way out of the wilderness experience that you are in.  One thing to understand is that God is through His Holy Spirit giving you a slight nudge in what to do in the beginning, and if you don’t listen to that nudge, which is like Question No. 1, and then He gives you another nudge, but this time this one may be a little bit softer than the other nudge.  That is like Question No. 2.  Then by now if the principle of chastening, and disciplining has come into picture, there will you will start receiving a wrong answer mark or an “X” by your “Questions”, and that begins the consequences of sin.  The good thing about the “X” is that if you realize it soon enough you get it erased, and just for another opportunity to do the same question again.  But if you you continue to answer questions wrongly, then the “X”‘s get more and depending on how much you have prepared for the test, and how much you ask the Teacher to help you, you yourself will get up getting upset and failing.  The Good News is that you always have a do over, but you have to ask the Teacher to help you study and you have to ask for tutoring and to go in for “Office Hours”.  The Good News is that the Office Hours are 24/7.  This Teacher is Jesus and through the Holy Spirit He teaches you, but it will have to be at a time, when He is not grieved by you getting upset with Him for the difficult test.

The problem is that most times we don’t depend on the Teacher alone, but we depend on other people, and trying to please them, we try to please other people.   If Job actually listened to the advice of His friends, would He have been actually able to hear from God?  Maybe, because the Word does say, “God works out all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” But this was a test.  For Job, it was unexpected, but for some people, God may tell you, “Be watchful, lest you enter into temptation”, and if you don’t listen you are going to end up in trouble.

Part of the problem, is that we don’t have the wisdom our own to figure out the problem, so that’s why we are supposed to go to God, and you may just want someone to pray for you, and they go about giving their advice and telling you how to solve the problem.  Sometimes there are times where people have been thrown everything, which comes there way, and they think as Christians, “I should have been able to handle this better”, and that’s where pride comes in.  Because it is not us, but Christ who lives in us that equips us to handle problems, and because when we don’t listen to the small nudgings, we get overwhelmed, over stressed, and overburdened by our problems.

Hebrews 12, my favorite Chapter says –

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that wemay be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

So basically what it says here is that you have to endure the chastening, and some places says rejoice, because you are not illegitimate, and you are sons.  So basically when you have a pop-quiz/test like this, and you fail, realize that it’s ok because even though you will have to go through test again, you are building up your relationship with the Holy Spirit to the level of intimacy because in truth, we all fall down, and especially when you are pursuing the path of Holiness, there may be so many things that come against you, but if you trust in God, then there will be a peacable fruit of righteousness and to forgive yourself and to accept His grace, which calls us unto redemption.  We are not guided by our feelings, and we may have bad days, and areas of struggle, and areas of weakness, but God is equipping us, the one’s whom He loves to be a bride ready to be established for His Kingdom.

If you need to repent for failing a test here is a prayer for you:

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me, I’ve run a muck today, and not listened to Your voice, and obeyed Your commands.  I acted impatiently, hastily, and not out of love, but I really need You to forgive me, and cleanse my heart with Your Blood and to give me a clean heart and a new heart and to pick up the pieces, dust them off, and continue to spin that Potter’s wheel.  I thank You that You are still with me, and that You are teaching me and training me to be a glorious vessel for Your Kingdom, and I abide in Your Truth and wisdom, to know that You are guiding my path.  Help me to be able to discern Your voice more clearly from now on, and to make wise decisions to pass the tests and to surrender my emotions to you, so that I can have the complete wholeness of Body, Mind, Spirit, that you have promised in Your Word.  Thank You Heavenly Father.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

God is faithful to answer the prayers whatever they may be, if you continue to wait on Him.  He will always be with you.

 

God justifies the harm of the righteous from the wicked with His wrath

There is a very serious danger going on in our society right now.  There are very serious lusts and degrees of sins, and while we say that grace does cover and grace washes over our sins, but it is the BLOOD OF JESUS, that cleanses from all unrighteousness, it is those who choose to follow God, and continue in no longer sinning.

Galatians 5 says –

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Colossians 3 says –

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, [lustful] passion(s), evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (emphasis added)

Matthew 5 says –

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

We have a society that is based on lewdness, evil thoughts, fornications, etc., and even those that are sinners, unless they come into repentance, wrath is waiting for them.  You don’t want to see His wrath.

I posted a video called the Jealousy of God, and He is so jealous for His bride, the bride of Christ, that He will not tolerate any evil to come to her, and when people harm and persecute the Church, watchout, fury from the wrath of God is waiting for them.

Song of Solomon 8

For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.

Vehement means hot, fiery, passionate, intense.

The fireman in the Fantastic Four is nothing compared to the the vehement God who is known as Jealous and who as wrath.

Jesus cried vehement tears to the Father for us – Hebrews 5:7.

Psalm 58 says –

vs. 9 -Before your pots can feel the burning thorns,
He shall take them away as with a whirlwind,
As in His living and burning wrath.
10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,
11 So that men will say,
“Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”

Proverbs 11 –

The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

People don’t see the power of our God, the One who with the touch of His finger can send a forest ablazing, or the touch of His feet can cause the earth to shake like a drunken man tossed back to and fro.

This is a very powerful God, but still people play games, they revel in their sin, and drunkeness, and fornication, without any consideration for their very souls.  They behave like pigs, and one sermon I listened to about the Presence of Pigs, said that if you are in the presence of pigs, you begin to tolerate evil.   God does not tolerate evil, and sometimes He wants to hug us and love us, but that treasure is only for the righteous, but the wicked have to suffer in the punishment of His wrath, when He comes to judge and vindicate and bring justice to His Bride.  We are the Bride of Christ, and we belong to Him.

I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness, “Repent, Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!!!!”

Loving like Jesus Loves pt 2

For the people that didn’t see my first blog posting here is the link –

https://kingdomofgodservantv4.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/loving-like-jesus-loves-pt-1/

 

To recap – I briefly introduced a comparison of Jesus portraying love like it mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and how we can incorporate those qualities in our life as a means of self-examination.

Now I will continue where I left off, and I pray that this blog posting will touch your hearts because I think it is an area we all need to grow in.

1 Corinthians 13:5-8

(Love) -it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Love takes no account of the evil done to it or it pays no attention to a suffered wrong – It was very interesting that God challenged me in the same area that night I posted the last sermon.  I am not going to go into what happened, but it was a small thing, and my actions showed that I hadn’t yet learned what I was preaching through blog, but at least I was aware that this was an area where I was failing to meet God that night and I was able to ask for forgiveness in that area.  When I think about this passage, I think about two people in particular.  One is Jesus, who I mentioned before, and the other one is Paul.

Here is Paul in the Message translation talking about the woes of sufferings he had to endure from 2 Corinthians 11 –

3-27I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.

28-29And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.

How many of us can say we even have been through all that and Paul’s anger was not against those other people, but he was angry that still people would not believe the reason why he was sent.

But no one takes the place of Jesus, and what He went through for us.  We get a traffic ticket – we blame the cop.  We get into an accident we blame the other driver.  Imagine all those women that are being raped and abused everyday and the torture that they have had to go through and if it weren’t for people like Joyce Meyer and Paula White showing them that through Christ we can learn to forgive to that level.  To pay no attention means to not even consider it.  That’s why in Romans 8 it says, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is about to be revealed in us.”

Love does not rejoice in injustice or unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail:  God is a God of Justice.  When people were looking at the Casey Anthony trial, there were varying opinions and people were taking side, and the news was spreading like wildfire.   People were looking for justice to prevail. You may ask, “how can God take sides?”  That’s a part of our limited understanding of God that we can comprehend with our minds, but as children of God, we are His favorite ones, so He will always take the side of the favorite one, but we have to have compassion on the other people as well, and pray for God to give them grace, and a second chance because we too were once sinners, yet He died for them as well.  When Barabas was chosen instead of Jesus, the world made it’s choice, and it was the last chance and the final call for the Jews to come to repentance, but because they didn’t and God knew they wouldn’t Jesus was laid up on the Cross be a slaughtered lamb for the sacrifice.  He did it out of His mercy and Grace and for the sake of Justice to see that all the wrongs would be made right.

Sometimes Christians see things happening around them to wicked people and they think, “Oh they deserved that.”  It’s sad to see that even in churches, there are Pastors who are sinning and we blame the media for picking on them and singling them out when in fact they were the ones sinning.  This was a topic discussed in one of our Bible studies.  The world has sort of twisted justice to take the form of social justice and civil rights to the extreme where they are trying to get unrighteousness to be justified.  Some of the things that they are doing and even if they are  Christian, only with a repentant spirit and realization of God’s jealous love for them, will be able to see what true righteousness and justice is all about.  God’s kind of justice and righteousness is different because is based on the truth, and that Truth is solely based on God’s Word and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes:   We have it so easy in America and in developed countries, where we have luxuries at our disposal.  Even the internet is a click away.  We did not have to struggle the same way that the first century Church did, and maybe that’s why we’re not seeing the same kind of Revival and Power in the Church because people have settled for Microwave Christianity.  Just 30 seconds to 5 minutes and you’re done.  No more waiting for the stew to boil and wait on the Holy Spirit.  We are caught in a cycle of do, do, do, and less be still and know because we are so caught up in our jobs, and our daily ‘idols’ and ‘gods’ that we refuse to see God for who He truly is and what He has called us to do.  So if we have a headache, take some tylenol.  If we have physical pains take painkillers and go see the doctor.  We would rather go see the doctor then go see God, the Great Physician and Healer.  When Asa was diseased in His feet, and He did not seek the LORD.  Here’s the passage. I think it’s important we take a look at it.

11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

Who is to say that if king Asa had sought the Lord in the time of His malady instead of turning to the physicians, then the Lord would have had mercy on him, and healed his feet?

So to get this verse to take it to another level and correlate it back to love.  How much are we willing to do for love?  How far are we willing to sacrifice for love?  Whether it be love for God or love for neighbor.  We find it easy to sacrifice when it comes to love for our self, but actually when we sacrifice out of love for others, it takes it to another level.

We are called to love no matter what the cost.  But are we doing that?  Are we loving no matter the cost?  I sometimes have this struggle that I want to show Agape for other people, but sometimes because of the physical limitations of my body, I feel that I am not equipped enough to handle whatever needs to be done, so in essence I stay in my comfort zone, and that’s a dangerous place to be in.  We are to go and get out of our comfort zones.   How many times have you tried to go to your neighbor or kids down the street and minister the gospel to them?  What have you gone out of your way to love someone and do something for them?

This love, love for God should bear up no matter what happens.  Let us all strive to reach that kind of love in our lives.

Love believes the best of every person- This is a very nice thing to know that Jesus believes the best out of us, and that He wants to see us succeed and prosper in all that we do, say, or think.  But are you pointing out other people’s flaws instead of looking at the best of them. I think this is a flaw of human nature, that people tend to look at other people and see what’s wrong with them, instead of believing the best of every person.  We should look at every person and think that they are a too good to be true story in progress.  Even when telemarketers call, do we have this kind of love, not to think that they are pushy, and unscrupulous and greedy, but actually to see the best in every person?   Anne Frank said, “I think basically people are really good, down at heart.”  Anne Frank was a young girl who died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust and she wrote a diary of her life in The Secret Annex.  Most of us under terrible and abusive circumstances would refuse to believe the best of every person.  We would be bitter and resentful.  Some people might think that it is being naive, but actually it is the opposite.  The Bible says we are to be cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.  This takes wisdom.

Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances – This means that even if you don’t have what you desire right now, you still believe and hope in the Truth of God’s Word.  Hope is a desire or expectation for a certain thing to happen and it is supposed to be fadeless.  I actually have a funny story about my experiences with hope.  I sometimes go by the expression, hope for the best, and expect the worst, but that is a contradiction in terms based on the definition.  So sometimes I get on the scale, and I say, “I expect that I have gained weight, but I hope that I have lost weight.”  Then I get on the scale and then I lose weight and I am so “happy”.  Do you know what that was there?  That was false hope.  That was hope based on circumstances meaning that my happiness is dependent upon the weight on the scale.  True hope means that whatever goes on, whether my weight goes up or down, I will not lose my joy.  Joy is not dependent upon circumstances.  Circumstances means things going on around you that you have little or no control over.  As Christians we have hope in our salvation, and this means no matter what happens we don’t lose that hope.  Hope also means to trust or to anticipate.  We are to trust Jesus and anticipate good things for our lives.  That’s why God says His plans for you are not to harm you, but to prosper you, but to give you a future and a hope.

Love endures everything [without weakening] – This one really got to me.  Try lifting a 200 pound weight without weakening.  Tall order right?  Well spiritually we are supposed to be athletes and soldiers and we are supposed to endure without weakening.  Hebrews 12:11 has a good verse on the subject, “No discipline is joyful, but is grievous and painful, but in the end produces peacable fruits of righteousness to those that have been trained by it.”  When you discipline yourself it is like you are chastening yourself, but that produces righteousness after successive trials, of going through obstacles.  Soldiers have to go through tremendous and vigorous training and that makes them stronger, and stronger to the point that even the weak one becomes strong.  A team is only as strong as it’s weakest player so as the Body of Christ, we should be strong enough to endure whatever comes our way.  The Bible calls us to pray that we be able to endure the time of trouble, so that we can be strong in that day.  Jesus says whoever endures to the end (endures in His faith), will be saved.  It means not giving up, even when things are hard and difficult, even when obstacles come your way.  There is so much God has in store for us, if we could only open our eyes and see.

8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]- This is the best one.  The best way not to fail God and to fail His tests is to be consistently acting out of the fiery passion of Agape love that God has for us and for His people.  The reason why this kind of Agape Love, never comes to an end, is because it is carried to eternity.  In the rest of the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 it says that you can prophecy, speak in tongues, but you don’t have love then you are nothing but a sounding brass and clanging cymbal.   This kind of love covers a multitude of sins, and if you have this kind of love then you can fulfill the law because the law was made as an expression of love and Jesus nullifed the law through His work on the Cross.  When you love someone you cannot sin against them, and when you love God you cannot sin against Him.  When you love yourself, you will be able to receive the love that God has for you and take it to the next level and desire to become holy like Him because His grace cleanses you of all unrighteousness.

This is my prayer that all of us desire, yearn, and seek for, and strive after and go for and pursue this kind of love:

Many waters cannot quench love,

Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.

Heavenly Father,

Stir up in us the passion, the love, the zeal, the fervor, for your kind of love so we can reach the nations.  Take us out of ourselves and our own comfort zones and let us live out daily for the love transformation in our lives.  Change our hearts, and make us hungry for Your Word, Spirit, and Power to be made manifest in our lives and the loves of others.  Let us be like living vessels without any bitterness and let us live out the calling of 1 Corinthians 13.  Lord, teach us and guide us with Your Holy Spirit how to live out the daily lives each day.  Show us what we are supposed to do.  Lord God, Thank You for being the Lover of our Souls.  Forgive us if we fallen away or drifted away from your love and awaken the love.  Awaken the love in all of us.  Stir it up Lord.  I seal this prayer with the Blood of Jesus as you help each of us this day and everyday.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jealousy of God

 

 

I know a lot of people cannot understand how God can be jealous, and what it means to be jealous.  The thing is that it is a different kind of jealousy than human jealousy.  It is above that standard.  This sermon based on the revelation of Exodus 34 and Song of Solomon 8 builds again on the foundations of the Justice of Christ, and the Treasures of Love posted on in the previous blog postings.  This sermon after watching it – it really shook me.  I did not know what to do with it or myself.  I knew that something needed to change, and I knew it was me.  It stirred up in my heart and continues to stir up this passion and zeal for God, but sometimes we get so caught up in our “idols” or “gods” that we lose sight of what is really important.  That is this love for God and this fire and zeal for the jealous God, and to hunger and thirst after Him, and to be holy like He is holy.  This speaker points out that God is Jealous and that He is also Grace.  I am hoping you are touched the same way, and maybe even to a greater extent than I am.

 

 

Sermon on Sanctification through Christ

How sanctified are you?

 

This is a sermon that is an audio file – .mp3, and it talks about the three aspects of sanctification.  For those interested in listening to the sermon click on the link above.  There is a mystery story in the beginning, which is revealed in the end.  I pray that we all learn more about this process of sanctification, and not only just learn, but to be able to apply and use.  Approximately 37 minutes.

Loving like Jesus loves Pt 1

I need this message more than anyone else I know.  I pray that this message might move you and transform your heart in some way to give the gift of love like Jesus had for us.

Most Christians know these verses about love:

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Jesus displayed all of these characteristics.  He was patient and kind, He watches over us and forgives us of every kind of mistake we make over and over again.  He is not envious, and He is not jealous in the sense that He wants or needs anything else from anyone else, but only His role as part of the Godhead, He pursues us with a passionate love for His bride because He does not want anyone to take us away from His kind of love because that was part of His mission to restore love upon this earth.  Jesus was not boastful, proud, or haughty because He took the form of a bondservant and was completely submissive and knew who He was.  That’s why He was able to say with boldness and declare in front of the temple that He had come to fulfill the Scriptures in Isaiah.  He was blunt and honest when He came.  He is not rude and He does not act unbecomingly.  His love is not self-seeking, He actually came to fulfill what the Father required of Him.  He is not touchy, fretful or resentful and He actually warns people against being fretful.  Some of His last words were “Forgive them, they know not what they do.”  He did rejoice at injustice and unrighteous, but He rejoices when right and truth prevail.  He bore up under anything and everything that came and was/is ready to believe the best of every person, and His hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and He endures everything without weakening.  Isn’t that nice to know that He believes the best out of you, that He thinks highly of you.  He sees you as His treasure.

Isaiah 59:19 says:

So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

Jesus became that standard.  Why was He that standard? Because He had the Agape, self-sacrificing unconditional love, which is talked about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

A standard was something an army raised up in battle and I think it was to signify who they were and each army had a symbol.   You can do some more research on that of what you want.

So as we look at these verses more closely, take time to examine your own heart and see if there is anything where you need the Holy Spirit to help you work on so you can be more like the image of Christ.  How else will they know us unless we are Christ-like examples?

Love endures long:  Fellow blog followers have read my previous posts on endurance.  How much would you be able to endure, and would you be able to go through while still being patient and kind?  I’m going to break this apart into going into detail more about patience and kindness and summarize at the end with endurance.

Love is patient:  Would you be able to wait at the doctor’s office for two, or three, or maybe four hours?  Would you be able to wait 3 hours in traffic?  Would you be able to put on hold for an hour and a half?  I know it seems like I am going to extremes here, but Jesus was extreme so we are called to be like Him so I want to exaggerate on purpose.  The world is patient for things that they really want like staying in line overnight for 6 to 12 hours for Black Friday Sales, or even waiting in line to for concert tickets and to get the best seats for the artist.  If people can show that much enthusiasm for worldly things, then how much more enthusiasm should we show for Godly things?  I know I get frustrated on the phone if I have to wait for 5 to 20 minutes.

How about waiting for healing or an answer to prayer?  You’ve waited over 10 years for your loved ones to be saved, or a long time for that healing or financial breakthrough.  How long would you be willing to wait?  Patience and long suffering is a fruit of the Spirit.  Now this is just a theory, but I believe one of the reasons that the thief on the cross was able to enter Paradise without water baptism, was because the thief on the cross had fellowship in Christ’s sufferings when he realized that he was a sinner.  It’s just something I came across when I was thinking about the Scriptures.  Most people are patient to a degree, but they cannot do it without grumbling and complaining sometimes and even with myself I often have to catch myself and ask, are you grumbling and complaining?  Are you patient?  If you need help in this area ask the Holy Spirit to help you.

Love is kind:  The word kind means “friendly, generous, and nice” and even some cases “gentle”.  This is the primary characteristic trait people usually see when you are a Christian.  They usually tell you how sweet, and how nice you are.  But what separates you from the world and unbelievers?  Is that fact that you can endure whatever circumstances and still remain patient and kind?  That’s why these things were put together.  There is a movement going out called Random Acts of Kindness, and I don’t know if it was started by Christians or not, but it is not just acts of kindness in themselves that set a Christian apart, but suffering a long time with patience and kindness.  Take for example you have a painful disease such as fibromiyalga, or multiple sclerosis, or lupus, or any other long term life affecting disease that causes a lot of pain.  Maybe you even might have vertigo and occasional dizzy spells.  Would you be able to tolerate it at it’s worst and still bear with it and be patient and kind, or would you be grouchy, complaining, or wallowing in self-pity?  Take for another example you are a caregiver and you have given your life up to take care of a needy person, would you be able to maintain patience and kindness without complaining?  I know that God has promises for healing, but I think for those people that are suffering with diseases, which are not part of God’s will and they should never give up on the promise, but they will have to get to the point where they say, “If you don’t want to heal me right now, then that’s ok, I can wait.”  Some Christians look down on people that suffer physically for their problems saying that they don’t have enough faith to get healed, or that they are operating out of sin and unforgiveness, but sometimes it is that God is developing the fruit of longsuffering or being patient so it is not completely their fault.

Love is not envious or jealous:  Do you crave what other people have?  Someone once said that the two primary things that motivate the stock market are fear and greed.  I am assuming that you are beyond the point of wanting someone else’s clothes, car, house,  or job because those things are for worldly people, but do you crave other people’s anointing?  Do you desire where they are in their ministry and what they may be doing, and haven’t gotten there yourself yet.  I have posted a youtube sermon called “God made you unique”, and for that reason I want to express again that we are each individual creatures with a distinct and definite purpose.  So to crave what other people have is not meant to be from God.  The only thing that we should be craving that someone else had, is what Jesus had, and that is the Holy Spirit, but even with the Holy Spirit, the gifts and calling are unique to each person.  God has a unique plan for each one of you.  Sometimes people even crave other people’s healing, and other blessings.  Your blessings are unique to you, and the more you give the more it will be returned to you.

Love is not boastful, vainglorious, or does display itself haughtily and not conceited (arrogant, inflated with pride):  When you are boastful, vainglorious, or haughty it means that you have issues with pride, and pride comes from soul issues, that you have not laid at the altar.  Ask yourself this question, if someone pays you a compliment, do you let it get to your head?  Because this is a sign of pride.   Paul said we should boast in Christ, and I believe he also mentions boasting in sufferings for Christ’s sake.  Pride leads to a person’s downfall.  lucifer fell because of his pride.  We as Christians, even pastors may think, “Oh, I don’t have any pride,”  but when you keep going on and on about the success of your ministry or the success of how God’s using you, or anything where you lay credit to yourself, then you can see that this is an issue of pride in your life, and it needs to be laid down at the altar, and be repented for.  If you have issues in this area ask the Lord to help you lay down this area of pride in your life, for the Bible does say, “those that are humbled, will be exalted.”  We all need to be like Jesus in this area.  He was so obedient to the Father that He laid down His life.  He washed the disciple’s feet, and took on the role of a bondservant.  This a characteristic trait we all need to have.  We need to stop bragging about ourselves because we are nothing without God, and God made us who we are.  I’ve seen people, and they don’t realize it in themselves, that think they are living a Christ-like life but you see them bragging about what a difference they’ve made in other people’s lives and I harbor no resentment against them, but I pray that even they can see where they cannot see it themselves.  Lord, help each one of us with this today.

Love is not rude:  We know that the world can be rude, with foul language, and hand signals, honking, rude driving behavior, but we as Christians are supposed to know better.  It says not to behave unmannerly.  How many people do you know that when you say “Thank You”, they say, “You’re Welcome”.  Sometimes, they say, which is the rudest thing you can say to a person besides nothing else at all, is “Uh-huh.”  I think it also becomes an issue to be expected to be thanked in some places because true modesty is about doing things without receiving a reward, and even if you are not thanked.  Jesus did what He did on the Cross for the people, and aside for some of the disciples, the crowd was not appreciative.  It is more than actually saying “Please” and “Thank You”, but it is the way you treat people who are in service to you.  Do you treat them with respect?  I can remember one time I was at a restaurant, and it was after New Year’s, and they asked what my resolution was, and I explained, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, but I was tested on that very resolution that night, and I failed because, the salad came out too early, and I didn’t have time to finish my meal.  Everything was at once, and the manager was nice, but I kind of felt like I was a hypocrite, talking about the “love verses” and not acting out of love.  We have to often catch ourselves in the act of behaving rudely.  Some people behave rudely and they are also mean, and unkind.  Jesus was neither of those things.  He had to be careful because the throngs were pressing up against Him, and they were pushing Him aside, and He still showed graciousness instead of rudeness.  Lord help us at all times not to behave rude or unbecomingly.

Love does not seek it’s own rights or it’s own ways:  We often see people talking about women’s rights, civil rights, and things of that of that nature, and that is good to stand on principle if it is for a greater purpose of mankind, but when you are pushing your own agenda. You can’t have that it’s my piece of pie.  You can’t do that it belongs to me.  It’s mine, It’s mine, It’s mine.  This is self-ishness.  If you are an only child, and when your first younger sibling is born, you end up sharing everything.  You share the same toys, the same food, the same parents, which leaves less time for one of them because, siblings often compete for attention, especially when there is two.  This was the case with Jacob and Esau.  They fought for attention and blessings, and there was a sibling rivalry that lasted generations.   If instead you said, here’s mine, take mine, what’s mine is yours.  I used to think that God was mine, and I didn’t want to share Him, especially when I was a believer, but that was before I knew about the Body of Christ as one body.  How many times, do we stand in the grocery store and let other people go in front of us.  I remember one time I was not feeling well in a grocery store.  I actually felt like I was going to pass out.  There was a woman waiting there for her father, or her family, and I got in the line and said to her, “I was here first” and basically pushed my way through.  She was so mad at me and I didn’t know her, but I repented for that and I prayed for her because I knew I wasn’t showing Christ-like love to her and was being a bad example.  But this taught me that along with suffering long, enduring without weakening and not seeking my own rights, is something that we need to prayerfully consider as Christians.

Love is not touchy:  I split up touchy and fretful/resentful for a reason.  Women you know what I am talking about?  We can be pretty touchy monthly.  Maybe husbands know more about this than women.  Women can be fine, some women, for about 3 weeks, and the fourth week they interrupt like a volcano, and you do not know where it came from.  Touchy can also be moody.  It means going from one extreme to the other.  Bipolar disorder is a disorder of moods, and in some cases it is different, but for people with no history of mental illness, there is no reason why they should be screaming at someone.   Sometimes certain medications these days can affect, how moody and cranky you are, but I don’t know how many people will take this into consideration.  Our soul consists of our mind, emotions, and will.  We control what we think, and what we think controls what we feel, and what we feel controls our choices if we are led by the soul, but to be led by the Spirit, we surrender our thoughts to God, and think about things pertaining to God, and our emotions to God, to the point we will be able to make wise decisions.  We are supposed to be stable, and sober minded.  The more you are intimate with God the easier that this becomes.

Love is not resentful:  Have you ever seen Eeyore the donkey on Winnie the Pooh?  Some Christians behave like that, so down cast and sad because they have become bitter and resentful.  It starts with the seed and then it grows and grows and grows until it bears bad fruit.  Don’t let your heart become bitter, let it become better.  I’ve done already a post on forgiving others and receiving forgiveness so for the sake of time and space I will not get into that right now.

Love is not fretful:  Being fretful, means being full of fear.  When the disciples were in the boat and the waves were crashing in the sea, Jesus told them not to be afraid.  He told them to fret not many times in the Bible.  What does it mean?  It means to fully trust God, and it means that you can still feel fear but do it anyway.  People have many fears, and I will talk about one of the ones that has become the most difficult for me.  That was the fear of walking.  Something so simple that people take for granted.  I was not able to walk some years ago and had to relearn how to walk, and then sometimes because of weak muscles and balance issues, even though the doctors said there was nothing wrong, I was not able to walk because I had let fear come in my mind.  I started having panic attacks.  I have come to the conclusion that if there ever comes a time when I am not able to make it somewhere God will provide a way out, and I have not fallen yet.  To read the full the story on that you’d have to read my biography if and when I ever write one.

Since I am already at 3000 words or close to it, I’ll have to continue on another time….but take some time and meditate on the things I have said, and I’ll continue some other post(s) on the subject.  This was a very difficult area for me to examine myself in after I learned about in Bible Study.  I had to take time to really examine myself and look at myself, and you kind of have to watch everything you say and what you do because God is watching you too.   So are others, and to be able to completely love like Jesus did would be to exhibit self-control and repentance in certain areas of the life.  I know I am not perfect, but I desire to be like Christ, as I encourage you all to do as well.  The world is waiting for us to show what Christ is like to the world.

Heavenly Father,

I pray for all of us, to receive Christ-like loving attitudes, that can change and shake the world into a revival.  Let the heart of a every believer be changed, into more and more resembling your love.  Let us be like you.  Let all that I have said not just be head knowledge, or a nice read, but let it cause a heart transformation, not only in myself, but in believers of Christ, and unbelievers too, so that they can fully know how much You loved them to die for them, and how You rose from the grave to have evidence, of the living life that they have.  Let us not get to that place, where we have done so many things for You, but then You say that You never knew us, Lord.”

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.