Monday, July 8, 2013


I can, and do say, unequivocally, I love Jesus!  I love Him because He first loved me.  I love Him because He laid down His life for me. I love Him because He shed His blood at Calvary to save me.  I love Him because He blesses me more than I deserve.  I love Him because He demonstrates and shows His love, grace and mercy toward me. Yes, there's no doubt about it, I love Jesus!

I love God's church, as well.  I love God's people. God's people are a very diverse group of people.  They come in all shapes and sizes - literally!  His church is alive and well!  Of that there's no question.

I do take issue with this thing we have today called "church".  I'm speaking of the organization recognized by the government called "church".  You see, God's church is not a corporation or an organization.  It's a living, breathing organism.  We are more than a legal entity on a piece of paper.  We are God's people made in His likeness!  We are God's people who have been blood washed and blood bought with the precious blood of Jesus! We are God's people who have been set free from the bondage of sin.

Being set free from the bondage of sin does not mean we should come under the bondage of religion.  That's like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, as the old adage goes.  God didn't save us to put us in to a another type of bondage.  We are free in Jesus!

I do believe we should gather with our brothers and sisters to encourage and exhort one another in our spiritual journey (Hebrews 10:23-25).  The Scriptures don't say how often we should gather or what, specifically, should go on in our gatherings besides encouraging and exhorting one another.  Nor do the Scriptures tell us how long our gatherings should go.  That would be too structured, in my opinion.  We could gather several times a day, once a week, every other week, once a month or whatever the case may be.  The important thing is that we gather for this general purpose of encouraging and exhorting one another. 

Another thing that is important in the meetings is that there not be a one way, front to back ministry.  In the New Testament church each member had opportunity to minister and interact.  These days, everything comes from the front back. We have professional and paid clergy to tell us what to do and how to do it.  What ever happened to everyone ministering as  the Holy Spirit moves upon them?

Don't you think its time to get back to Bible basics?  I believe if we want to be a biblical New Testament church we will need to do so.  If we want the Lord to have free reign in our gatherings we will need to do so.

Yes, I love Jesus!  However, I can certainly do without all the baggage that comes along with what passes for "church" these days.  Who's with me?  Tired of "church as usual "  Then let's do something about it.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Friday, July 5, 2013


Nehimiah 8:10 "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength"

I remember singing a little chorus; I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Watching many Christians today, though, makes me wonder why there seems to be so little joy among God’s people? We seem to have everything figured out except how to be joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s something that should be developing in each of us, as believers.

You know you haven't got the joy when you are constantly complaining. You know you haven't go the joy when you often withdraw from spiritual life or even life in general. You know you haven't got the joy when you are angry a good portion of the time. You know you haven't got the joy when you sense a constant frustration in your life. You know you haven't got the joy when you are seldom grateful.

If the joy is missing from your life it could be due to a number of reasons. For example, perhaps you haven't got the joy because you lost it to your own self-centeredness. Self-centeredness is incredibly common – even among Christians. Self-centeredness is the enemy of joy.

Maybe you lack joy because you are focused on circumstances. Biblical joy is unrelated to circumstances. Paul, the apostle, is proof of that. You see, a focus on circumstances limits your joy to when times are good. The reality is, even when times are bad, when you are going through a trial or a valley you can still have the joy of the Lord.

Christians are some of the most negative people I know. This negativity can zap the joy in your life. I'm not sure why so many Christians are so negative. After all, the child of God always has reason to be positive. Think about it, we've been forgiven! Our sins are gone! Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. He sits at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us. I could go on and on.

Sometimes its a spirit of rebellion that takes our joy away. A rebellious Christian is never a happy Christian. To the Christian, rebellion is the rejection of God's rule.

Disobedience to God will certainly impact the joy of the Lord in our lives. Obedience is the pathway to joy. A disobedient spirit is always joyless.

Perhaps you are substituting other things for the genuine joy you are looking for. Things such as happiness, mindlessness, activity, acquiring things, even relationships. While these things, in and of themselves, are not bad, they are no substitute for the joy of the Lord.

Jesus tells us how to obtain this joy in John 15. He said in John 15:11, These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. So if you really want joy, it comes from God’s pruning (Vs 2), living a godly life (Vs 3), abiding in Jesus (Vs 4, 6, 7), exposure to Scripture (Vs 3), answers to prayer (Vs 7), a sense of God’s love (Vs 9), basic obedience (Vs 10), real fruit bearing (Vs 8). Joy is developed as we grasp the things recorded in John 15. As His joy remains in us, our joy will be full.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I shared the following with a Bible study group I was asked to come and share with a couple of weeks ago.  I pray it will be a blessing to you.

Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
To be effective in our spiritual lives, we will sometimes have to take a risk (or what appears to be a risk). The turtle wouldn't get anywhere if he didn't stick his neck out. You won't do anything in life nor for God without risk.  Don't be scared to take a risk.  Remember, it's not really a risk when you are serving Jesus!

In our text, Peter wasn't testing Jesus, something we are told not to do (Matthew 4:7). Instead, he was the only one in the boat to react in faith. His impulsive request led him to experience a rather unusual demonstration of God's power.  We sometimes are critical of Peter for taking his eyes off of Jesus and sinking.  But keep in mind Peter was the only one of the disciples to take this step of faith and walk on the water,  He did something and experienced something none of the others did.  He took a risk.

When Peter was in the boat and asked Jesus to help him step out, he was a lot safer on the water than in the boat. When he was in the boat he was depending on something man made, but when he was in the water he was depending on the One who made man.  It's time we step out of our comfort zones and take a leap of faith.

Peter started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him. His faith wavered when he realized what he was doing.  But he knew who to turn to - Jesus!  Peter cried out to Jesus and He came through.  Sound familiar?

We may not walk on water, but we do walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without looking to Jesus for help, we, too, may despair and sink. To maintain your faith when situations are difficult, keep your eyes on Jesus and His power rather than on your inadequacies.

When Peter stepped out of the boat, he stepped out of his “comfort zone”. When we step out of our “comfort zone”, that is when God is able to do something. We are no longer depending on us, but rather on Him. Anything that is accomplished is accomplished by faith anyway, so let's step out of our comfort zone and see what God will do.

How many of you can identify with Peter?  He was always outspoken and doing things he shouldn't.  But he also was someone who was willing to take risks, sometimes crazy risks. Where do you feel God is leading you to get out of the boat now?
Until next time...enjoy the journey!

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