Friday, January 26, 2007

The Absence of Love

The absence of love in our life nullifies all of our so-called righteousness. The absence of love discounts all the good done in the name of the Lord. The absence of love makes ministry a job and serving a duty.

God is love and if we are going to be a valid conduit of his power, anointing and compassion we must have love flowing in and through us.

This absence of love is caused by a lack of relationship. A lack of relationship comes from a lack of effort. I have counseled so many couples who say, “we have fallen out of love.” Yet, what really happened is that they failed to give the effort.

In human relationships, both sides are imperfect. Therefore, to build a strong love relationship each party has to constantly adjust their thought process and their actions so that the elements of their personality that would hinder relationship can be removed or modified. We should be constantly growing, improving, and removing things in our lives so that a strong bound can be accomplished. When we put forth the necessary effort and compromise a relationship can not help but grow.

This same dynamic also exist in our relationship with God. However, the difference is, He is perfect. His ways, thoughts and actions are without flaw. Therefore, as we progress in our relationship with God we must continue to grow, improve and remove the hindrances and obstacles to a love relationship with Him.

Without love; without relationship; our words become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbals. To be truly effective in ministry we must be a conduit of His love.

Let us make an effort; let us discipline ourselves; so that our relationship with God will be a love relationship. Then and only then, will our preaching, teaching, holiness, worship, serving, and ministry be with true power and effectiveness.

Let love be our motivation. Let love be our ambition. Let love be our gift.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Because of the Times 2007

The most impacting messages of the conference for me were...

1. Dr. Jeffers "Condemnation Hinders Intimacy"

We must seek God's face. We must seek to know him. Living for Him is not religion or service it is relationship.

2. Brother Huntly, "Openess, The Key to Miraculous Manifestation"

God wants to do miraculous things in our lives He is just waiting for our faith just to say "I am open to it"

3. Brother Graham, "The Tree has already been Planted"

God has already made provision for us. He has set in motion events that will provide for our needs before we even need them.

2007 will be a year of great manifestation and power. Thank God for His voice in my life.

Along with the great preaching and fabulous services it was wonderful to have fellowship with such great and sincere men. I had the privilege of fellowshipping with Scott Phillips, Terry Long, Jeremy Price, Joel Mitchell, Jim Renfro, Gary Wheeler, Mike Littlefield, Gary Evenson, and many others. Thank God for passionate men who have the kingdom forever before their eyes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Because of the Times 2007

Brother Scott Phillips and I are headed to BOTT tomorrow. We are anticipating a great move of God.

Over the next few days I will be reporting the daily happenings at BOTT 2007.

God Bless!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition

This is a short Bible Study that I taught to our church (Oak Park Church) last year. Again, it is in skeletal outline form.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

On I saw an article entitled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and it caught my eye. According to this article it was voted the most popular “reality show” on TV. It seems this show picks a needy family and totally transforms there humble home into an amazing place of comfort and technology.

The Lord works in our lives in a similar yet greater fashion. If we will allow Him, He will take our lost and broken lives and transform them into His image.

Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

If we are risen in Christ!

Every remodel starts with demolition and removal of debris.

Mortify or kill

1. Fornication

2. Uncleanness

3. Inordinate affection

4. Evil concupiscence – to desire evil or sin

5. Covetousness – to long for another’s possessions

6. Idolatry

7. Anger - temper

8. Wrath - revenge

9. Malice - bitterness

10. Blasphemy

11. Filthy communication out of your mouth

12. Lie not one to another

The next step is to put things back in order the way that they should be.

Bring to life

1. Bowels of mercies

2. Kindness

3. Humbleness of mind - modesty

4. Meekness - mildness

5. Longsuffering

6. Forbearing one another

7. Forgiving one another

8. Put on charity

9. Let the peace of god rule in your hearts

10. Be thankful

11. Let the word of Christ dwell in you

12. Do it all in the name of Jesus!

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

10 Things That God Requires

The following is a simple Bible Study that I taught several months ago. This is in outline form.

Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

1. Fear the Lord thy God
Walk in all His Ways
3. Love Him
4. Serve Him
5. Keep His Commandments

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

6. Honor the Word of the Prophet

Ezekiel 20:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

Offerings and First Fruits

Micah 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Do Justly
9. Love Mercy
10. Walk Humbly

We desire to please God!

He requires of us certain things!

Obedience pleases God.

If we submit ourselves to Him and do His will we will receive the favor and blessing of the Lord.

The Blessings of Pleasing Him

God Will…

Keep Us (Exodus 15:26)

Up Hold Us (Psalm 37:24)

Give Long Life And Peace (Proverbs 3:2)

Never Leave You (Hebrews 13:5)

Comfort You (John 14:18)

Be a Wall of Protection (Jerimiah 15:20)

Multiply Your Efforts (Hebrews 6:14)

Give You a Crown of Life (Revelation 2:10)

Give You a Heavenly Home (Revelation 21:2)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Choose... Lucky or Blessed

My lovely wife, Dawn, is from the coast of Mississippi. She is a southern girl from the old school. Therefore, on New Year's Day we always have cabbage and black-eyed peas incorporated into our meal.

For all of you new school folks, the cabbage is symbolic for money and the black-eyed peas are for good-luck. Eating these two glorious items on New Year's Day is supposed to bring about a financial wind fall and good luck for the whole year. This is a crazy superstition, of course.

As we sat down with our family yesterday, my son Simeon, who is not one to eat different things, began to dig into the cabbage. I looked at him in amazement. With a mischievous grin on his face he said, "I want to get a lot of money this year."

At that point, I explained that these were just fun traditions and that they had no power. Then I told him that we did not need superstition nor luck because we are blessed.

I am so thankful that we are blessed with the favor of God. I would rather be blessed with His favor than to have all the money in the world. With His favor there comes blessings that can not be measured. Love, joy, peace, contentment, reconciliation and hope.

I choose blessing! I choose favor!

Prov 16:15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

Prov 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

May your new year be filled with the blessings and favor of God!

Video Blog