Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Proverbs 3:3-6  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Everyone wants to be successful. There's an emphasis on education in order to achieve success . Parents hope their children will be successful. Young people dream of being successful.

What is success? It's not merely financial security (Mark 8:36). Fame and popularity are both fleeting and temporary. To be successful is to have God's direction in all that we do

So the question is, How do we have God's direction in all that we do?  Inquiring minds want to know!

God's formula for success begins with faith. To trust is to have faith or believe. Trust in the Lord occurs 152 times in the Old Testament. Trust in the Lord in the Old Testament is equivalent to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Trusting in the Lord with all our heart is the opposite of doubting God and His Word.  This trust is fundamental to our relationship with God and is based on the premise that He is trustworthy.

Success begins with being born again (John 3:3-5). Nicodemus, though successful, needed salvation. He was a religious ruler but was lost. If we are going to be successful in our life we must each begin at the beginning – by accepting Jesus as our Savior (John 1:12).

We need to rely upon God's Word. Our own understanding is limited, fallible, faulty and subject to error. Our learning has not brought key answers to life. We can be educated yet miss the truth. The Bible gives God's view of life. It imparts wisdom (Ps 119:99). It gives understanding (Ps 119:104). It brings light (Ps 119:13). It builds faith (Rom 10:17).

Rather than relying on our own judgment, we must pray for God's wisdom and will in all our decisions and goals of life. There can be no true success apart from applying God's Word to your life.

We need to recognize the hand of God. God is at work in all events in our lives. All things are of God (2 Cor 5:18). All things work together for good to them who love God (Rom 8:28). Look for and see God's hand in everything. This will remove anxiety and increase joy. This will make you a positive praising person. In all our plans, decisions and activities, we should acknowledge God as Lord and His will as our ultimate desire

We have a part in this unfailing success formula. We must begin with faith. We must make choices in faith. We must dare to take steps of faith. God has a part, as well. He has promised to direct our paths when we trust in Him with all our being. This is successful living! He will lead us to His plan for our lives and the situations we encounter along the journey.

Think about it - Knowing God's will and doing it. Having the leading of God every day of your life. God will come through and do His part! Will you do your part?

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, October 25, 2012


Scriptures teach us that a house divided against itself shall not stand (Mark 3:23).

In the spiritual realm, I believe it would behoove us to realize that Satan's kingdom is strongly united to defeat it's enemy, while God's kingdom - the church - is divided to the point of being almost powerless.

Let's put this in perspective.  The power of hell are unitd against us to make our lives meaningless and worthless as far as the kingdom of God on earth - the church - is concerned.

Many would think it would take numerous deep theological differences to divide the church.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Many divisions and church splits are over very seemingly insignificant things. However, these things divide the church and dilute it's power.

Many folks have the misconception that when people ge angry and desire to split the church that this split will produce two strong churches.  In most cases, however, if a church of 1000 splits, you don't get two churches of 500 each.  You generally get two church of 100 each with 800 people who no longer are involved in a church because they are turned off by all the infighting.

You know, the reason people in this world feel toward Christianity and the church the way they do is because they've been watching the way we've been acting!  what a sad commentary of Christians and churches all across this country.

The early church had a very strong unity in the Holy Spirit.  It was a deep spiritual unity.  In fact, with the coming of the Holy Spirit the followers of Jesus focused upon spiritual unity first and foremost with Jesus, and then with their brothers and sisters in Christ in the church.  Because they allowed the Holy Spirit to work in their midst, the early church was unified and great things happened beginning with 3000 saved!

Like the old children's song says:

If we all pull together, together, together
If we all pull together how happy we'll be.
For your work is my work and our work is God's work
If we all pull together how happy we'll be.

I might add, we'll also be effective.  Let's work on developing the unity of the Spirit that was so prevalent in the early church.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012


There seems to be a good deal of emphasis on "joining" a church these days.  I suppose it's been that way for a long time.  In most churches in order to be involved or have a say in the what goes on in the church you must be a "member".  If you want to have a vote when it comes time to make a decision you must be a "member in good standing" as defined by the church's constitution and/or by-laws.

From there one can look at all the various denominations we have.  In fact, there is even a handbook of denominations.  According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world!  Wow!  You talk about dividing the Body of Christ!

Do you ever stop to think how foreign a concept this would have been to the early church?  Even more importantly, how sadden Jesus must be?  After all, He didn't shed His blood for a denomination!  We see no where in the New Testament church where the church was divided as we see it today.  No where.  In fact, there were city wide churches that met in homes as well as various other places.  There were no mega-churches as we know them.  Large numbers of people were saved at times, but met in smaller groups.  There was no such thing as a one man solo pastor as is so prevalent today.

Getting back to "church membership" today.  In my view Christians are all members of the Body of Christ - the one true church - God's church.  To deprive someone of the opportunity to minister and serve in any local gathering of believers is just wrong.  It ought not matter what sign is over the door or what denominational flavor the group has.  We should welcome God's people.  Of course, we must be aware and on the look out for false teachers in sheep's clothing and the heresy that goes along with that.  But we should be open to whomever God sends our way to labor with us.

Church membership tends to bring with it a "second class" Christian mentality.  That is, if you aren't a "member" here than you don't have certain rights and privileges that that others have who are members.  In my mind, that makes our brothers and sisters who are not members of a local group Second Class Christians.  Is Jesus pleased with that?  I don't believe so.

Churches need to get off their high horse and get back to the basics of what it is we are supposed to be doing - winning others to Jesus and growing the Body of Christ into spiritual maturity. 

I guess you could say this is a pet peeve of mine.  I don't like it and never will.  There's too much to do to be bothered with this nonsense,.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Saturday, October 20, 2012


I ran across the following paragraph a while back.  I thought it had a good deal of validity to it.  It will challenge the average believer.
  •  Have you ever heard anyone use this phrase? “I go to church because I need to be fed”.  My answer has always been this:  Helen Keller was blind, deaf and mute and still she was taught to feed herself.  Only baby birds eat regurgitated food.  Stop eating another saints regurgitated revelations.  The Father alone gives us our daily bread. When Jesus invites us to “Come Sup With Him”, He requires us to sit at the table like big boys and girls and feed ourselves.  Go to church for fellowship, for encouragement or even for the music – but for God’s sake don’t go to be fed.  My thoughts are this; if you have been following the Lord for 5 years or more and you’re still having someone feed you?  You need a hospital and not a church.

(I would like to be able to give credit to the person who wrote it or the site I found it on.  Unfortunately, I found it a while back and did not denote where I found it.)

There is so much truth to what this paragraph states.  As Christians, it's time we take responsibility for our own growth.  We ought not go to church to be fed.  We ought to go to church to help in the feeding of others.  Remember, church should be a two way street not a one person monopoly.  We miss the mark going as most of us go today.  We miss out on what God intended our gatherings to be.  

If you only ate in the natural once, twice or three times a week, you would be severely malnourished.  Eventually this would affect your overall health.  So it is in the spiritual realm.  If we only eat when we gather together once, twice or three times a week, we will become severely malnourished, spiritually speaking.  It will affect our spiritual health.  We will become weak.

It's our responsibility to partake of God's Word on a daily basis.  It's our responsibility to pray and commune with God on a daily basis.  It's not the church's responsibility to be our sole source of spiritual nourishment.  To teach this is spiritual malpractice.  More importantly it robs the saints of God of daily blessings and daily growth.

Yes, we are certainly instructed to gather together.  There's no doubt about that.  We are to do so to spur one another on in our spiritual journey.  We gather together to encourage, exhort and edify one another on to spiritual maturity.  The journey is easier and much more enjoyable when we take it together.  There's power in numbers.  

Consider why it is you "go to church".  Are you going for the right reasons?  Are you going because doing so has always been your primary source of spiritual feeding.  How about let's get our spiritual nourishment the way God intended - one on one with God.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


God has a team assigned to bring us to maturity (Ephesians 4:11-16).  The apostles and prophets through their ministries and writings help bring us to spiritual maturity.  Evangelists teach us the value of winning others to Jesus.  Pastors and teachers keep believers strong in faith.  The purpose of this team is to bring the believers to maturity.  God's purpose is to build up the Body of Christ (Vs. 12).  It's also important the aforementioned ministry gifts are not positions, but rather giftings God gives to different ones.

Who is to do the work of the ministry?  The saints are to do the work of the ministry.  “Saints” are those who have been born again.  All believers are to do the work of the ministry.  Most churches reverse God's plan.  In most churches men or women who hold the position of pastor do the work of the ministry.  In most churches the saints come to listen and critique sermons.  Most congregations seek to perfect these pastors to minister.  Too many Christians are but praying spectators.  

What is the result of this backward plan that is presently in place in most churches?  The church doesn't function as God intended.  The church moves at a snail's pace.  Believers miss the blessing of ministry.  When the body is not busy, it creates busybodies.  The church will be most effective when it returns to God's plan...all believers ministering.

What is the work of the ministry?  The ministry is anything that builds up the Body of Christ.  To edify is to build up.  What are you doing to edify (build up) other believers?  The ministry is caring for the afflicted, comforting the sick and sorrowing (1 Thess. 5:11-14) and visiting the fatherless and widows. James puts it this way, James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  

The ministry is caring for the physical needs of believers.  Paul distributed to the necessity of the saints (Romans 12:13).  He actively ministered to the poor saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:25-26)Ministry is caring for the spiritual needs of believersMinistry is ministering to those overtaken by a fault (Gal. 6:1).  Ministry is also evangelizing (Acts 8:1-8)
Ministering is encouraging one another.  Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us Let us fold fast the profession of our faith without waivering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  To neglect gathering together is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians.  We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord.  Difficulties should never be excuses for not gathering together.  Rather, as difficulties arise, we should make an even greater effort to be faithful in gathering.

What happens when we all do the work of the ministry - when the body functions in the manner God intends for us to function?  The church is unified.  Believers become Christ-like.  Christians become solid in faith and doctrine.  Love flows through all ministry.  The church grows and is known for fellowship and love

Let's return to God's plan for His church.  Let leaders perfect (mature) saints to serve.  The Holy Spirit has given each Christian special gifts for building up the church.  Are you spiritually mature, exercising the gifts God has given you?  If you know what your gifts are, look for opportunities to serve.  Use your gifts to encourage and strengthen the church.

God has given His church an enormous responsibility – to make disciples in every nation (Matthew 28:18-20).  This involves preaching, teaching, nurturing, giving, administering, building and many other tasks.  If we had to fulfill this command as individuals, we might as well give up now.  But God calls us as members of His body.  Some of us can do one task; some can do another.

Together we can obey God more fully then any of us could alone.  As the Body of Christ, we can do more functioning together than we would dream possible working by ourselves.  A ministering church will reach it's community for Jesus.  Let's be a growing, maturing ministering church.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Friday, October 12, 2012


In my last blog post, I talked about how God moved in a marvelous way through and upon the Old Testament prophet Elijah.  After challenging the prophets of Baal to see whose god would send down fire to consume the bullock, we see that Elijah's God came through and consumed not only the bullock, but also the wood, the stones, the dust and even the water itself.

God manifested His presence in a rather spectacular way.  However, for us to say that God only moves in the spectacular way would mean that we would miss some very special times in our lives because of our preconceived notions.

The day after this great miracle, we find Elijah sitting under a Juniper tree, having run for his life, desiring to die and thinking himself to be the only prophet of the Lord left in the entire world.  He was having a pity party for himself.

However, God is about to manifest Himself to Elijah once again.  This time, however, it's going to be in a different manner.

As the prophet stood on Mount Horeb he experienced a "great and strong wind" perhaps expecting therein to hear from God.  However the Scripture says, "the Lord was not in the wind."  After the wind came an earthquake, "but the Lord was not in the earthquake."  After the earthquake came fire, "but the Lord was not in the fire."  After the fire came a "still small voice."

God was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire, but rather God chose to manifest Himself to Elijah by way of a still small voice.  This can be a great lesson to people who believe that loud boisterous and highly demonstrative worship is the mark of power from God, and that quietness is a sign of a lack of the Spirit. On some occasions God was revealed in great manifestations, but in this passage He revealed Himself only in a still small voice.

I'm not saying that every church meeting should be a quiet one nor am I saying that every church meeting should be a loud boisterous one. What I am saying is that we should be attentive to the Spirit of God.

I think that it is crucial for us to realize that God has never been impressed by our demonstrations.  It doesn't matter how loud we shout, how high we jump or how long we dance if the life we're living on a daily basis doesn't line up with the Word of God.  It was the "religious" people of Jesus' day who took great pains to show others just how "spiritual" they were.  Jesus called them hypocrites and liars.  Their lives had not yet caught up with their tongues.

Sometimes we limit God by our demonstrations.  Sometimes the Lord desires to speak to us or move upon us in a quiet way - this still small voice - but we're too busy doing things by our program or taking matters into our own hands and doing things our way at the total exclusion of God.

The important thing for us, as Christians, is for us to be spiritually attentive to what the Lord would have for us.  John wrote in Revelation 3:6, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."  It's imperative that we be tuned in to what God wants for us, whether it be a shout, a dance or a still small voice.  Are we listening for the voice of the Lord?

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Its been said, "The Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform."  God can take a situation which seems impossible or improbable and turn it around for His glory, making something positive out of it.

It seems that we always expect God to work in big marvelous ways.  There are certain things we expect when God moves and if he doesn't meet our expectations, well, it just wasn't God - or so we say.

Let me say here that I don't believe God is limited.  However we often place limitations on Him in our personal lives because we refuse to accept what He wants to do in us.

Let's consider the prophet Elijah.  In 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19 we find the move of God manifested in two very distinct and different ways. yet the reality of the presence of God was undeniable.

After three years of drought, the prophet Elijah went before King Ahab and challenged the prophets of Baal as well as the prophets of the grove.  Elijah called for two bullocks, one for himself and one for all 850 of the other prophets.

The challenge was that each was to prepare the bullock for sacrifice on the altar and put no fire unit it.  In 1 Kings 18:24 the prophet said, "and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord:  and the God that answereth by fire, let Him be God.  And all the people answered and said, it is well spoken."

The prophets of Baal took their bullock, dressed it and put it upon the altar and began praying to their god, Baal.  Baal was believed to be the fire god of that day so, no doubt, they were confident that Baal would come through on their behalf.  They cried from  morning until noon, but to no avail. They began leaping upon the altar, yet nothing happened.  

Along about noon, Elijah began mocking them.  He told them to cry louder.  Maybe their god is out running or on a journey.  Perhaps he's talking to someone else or maybe he's asleep. 

Elijah's mocking didn't deter them, but rather made them more determined to reach their god.  The Scripture tells us that they cried or hollered louder and began cutting themselves with knives and other sharp instruments until the "blood gushed out" of them.  What sincerity.  Did this sincerity pay off?  The Scripture  says, "...there was neither voice nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."  Their demonstrations meant absolutely nothing!

Evening was coming, and Elijah said enough is enough.  It was now time for the Lord God to come on the scene in a miraculous way.  the prophet made all the necessary repairs to the altar.   He went one step further and dug a trench around the altar.  He then ordered four barrels filled with water and poured it on the offering and on the wood.  When he was finished, not only were the offering and altar drenched with water, but the trench was filled with water, as well.

Elijah then prayed a simple prayer, sixty three words long.  1 Kings 18:38 tells us what happened after he finished praying.  "Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."  What a miracle!  The miracle was undeniable.

The results of this wonderful manifestation of God is found in the next verse, "And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces:  and they said, the Lord, He is the God; the Lord He is the God."

In this case, God manifested His presence in a spectacular way.  Everyone saw it.  No one could deny it.  This was God's way.  Now, for us to say that this type of manifestation - the very visible and spectacular - is the only way God moves is to miss some very precious times.

In my next blog I'm going to talk about the days following this mighty miracle and how God chose to speak to Elijah.  Remember, God is not limited except by the limits we place on Him in our lives. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Friday, October 5, 2012


James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We, as believers, are called upon not only to contend with an evil heart and an evil world, but also with evil spirits. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” These adversaries are banded together under one head – Satan. In speaking of the devil, we must include all his emissaries

It's important to know your enemy. It's a mistake to underrate the importance of an enemy. Therefore, let's form a right assessment of our foe.

Satan can inflame the mind and the evil desire of the soul. His power is enormous but is limited by the totality of the power of our God! Satan is described as continually “walking about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He's extremely diligent. If he fails a hundred times, he only tries again. Satan envies every human happiness and seeks to undermine it. He can't stand for you to be happy. He's miserable and wants to spread his misery. Satan is crafty and subtle
He is a hidden assassin rather than an open foe. He rarely attacks head on in the open. Satan has long studied human nature so he is very adept at deceiving mankind

We are called upon to resist rather than fight the devil. We are not to talk with him as a friend or compromise with him, but rather we are to resist him at every turn. We are not to give him a foothold in any way. Our General Orders come from 1 Peter 5:8: Be sober (sharp, alert) both physically and mentally. Be vigilant (keep awake; never off your guard). Be united – stand shoulder to shoulder with your allies .

Tried Weapons we are to use are the Word of God, past experience and earnest prayer. When Satan tries to tell you how little God will do for you, remind him how much God has already done for you. Allow God to become engaged in the conflict with you I like what 1 Sam 17:47 tells usFor the battle is the LORD'S”.

In addition to the Word of God, past experience and earnest prayer, we have Impenetrable Armor provided by God, Himself (Eph 6:10-18). We have the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness to spread the Good News, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. We are equipped!

The Word says once we resist him “he will flee from youThis may not happen at first for there must be real resistance to his power. Keep in mind in this life, the flight is temporary. He leaves only to return. Each time we engage Satan and resist him equips us more to stand fast the next time. In the future there will be a final flight. Satan will flee never to return

The Christian life is a life of conflict with Satan
We must endure hardness if we are to be victorious
2 Tim 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”
A Christian's life is a blessed one for even in the midst of the conflicts we face there is a rest in God

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Zech 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?

For a little context, many of the older Jews were disheartened when they realized the new temple would not match the size and beauty of the previous temple built under Solomon's reign. But bigger and more beautiful is not always better.

Have you ever heard the expression, “It's the little things that matter”? We oftentimes overlook the little things in favor of the big. We see the the little as being insignificant when in reality the little things are every bit as important, if not more so, than the big things. To people who are detail oriented the little things matter. Little things have a way of becoming big things in both a good and bad way.

I want to look at some little things in Scripture. These little things had a big impact. These little things made a difference

God told Moses to Throw it down! It was just a dead stick in Moses’ hand, but when he obeyed God, casting it to the ground, it became a living thing! The point is, that little stick was seriously promoted. It went from herding a bunch of sheep in the back side of the desert to commanding angels on the front lines of history!
Moses' rod in God's hand called down plagues on their enemies, parted the Red Sea, brought water from the rock and led them to the Promised Land. It went from a humble shepherd's staff to a reigning scepter in the hand of the Almighty.

Listen, God takes whatever we have and he can do the unthinkable. He can bring things to life!

There's no way David could utilize Saul's armor. He hadn't proved it in the past
David used what he knew. He used what he had proved. One sling with a shepherd's bag of five smooth stones. Every wonder why five stones? I believe he was just preparing for the next challenge that would lie ahead. There's always a next challenge! It's ok to be prepared. By using what he knew along with the calm assurance that the battle is the Lord's the giant was defeated!

We can defeat the giants in our lives in the same manner! Use what we know along with a calm assurance that the battle is the Lord's!

The disciples wanted the same thing many of us desire today. We find in Luke 17:5 that the disciples asked something of Jesus, “Increase our faith”. They felt that if they had more faith, they could do what Jesus did. So they decided to go the easy route and ask Jesus to increase their faith. When they asked Jesus to increase their faith, His response shocked them. He told them they didn’t need a large amount of faith. A mustard seed size would do!
I kind of think that some of them went out to check out the size of a mustard seed!
Take a look at a mustard seed. It's so small you can barely feel it. If you don’t have a mustard seed, then look at a point on the end of a pencil. That’s about the size of a mustard seed. Now, imagine what a mountain looks like. It's huge!

In man’s eyes mustard seed faith could never remove this mountain. But God back’s up His promises to us. God is so simple—He will not make things difficult for us, or put His promises out of our reach.
Matthew 17:20 ...For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and is shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth
Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible

The lesson of the widow's mites (Luke 21:1-4; Mark 12:41-44) is an enduring testament to the value of faith. A destitute widow has only a few mites to her name, and those she gave selflessly as her donation to the Temple . Mites were ancient pennies, fairly worthless at the time . Jesus comments that her modest gift was worth more than the flashy contributions of the wealthy, because her gift represented all that she had.

This woman had demonstrated true Christian faith in God-she didn't know where her next meal would come from, but she believed that God would provide.
Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (food, clothes, all material needs) shall be added unto you

The lunch of a boy fed 5000+ people. Not only that but it generated twelve baskets full of leftovers!
We serve the God of plenty. Our God is more than enough!

This all brings to mind a title to a song, Little Is Much When God Is In It. Without God those things were just things. WITH God, those little things became GREAT things. He makes the difference. What you do for God may seem small and insignificant at the time, but God rejoices in what is right, not necessarily in what is big. Be faithful in the small opportunities. Begin where you are and do what you can. Leave the results to God. Remember, little IS much when God is in it

Until next time...enjoy the journey!

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