Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We cry out to God in our weakness and the heavens seem to be made of brass.
However, we must always remember that helpless does not equal hopeless. We feel helpless...yes. Yet our faith is built on nothing less that Jesus Christ and His Righteousness!
We firmly believe that He knows the way that we take.
In fact, our helplessness is the perfect environment for Jesus to perform.
2 Cor 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
You may feel HELPLESS...but you are not HOPELESS!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
When we are hungry for God and God alone... no thought... no offense... no sin... will get in our way... Hatred, Bitterness, and Offense are pushed aside by our hunger for Him and Him alone.
When we are hungry for God and God alone... no occupation... no entertainment... no task will keep the hungry from studying, meditating, and endeavoring to learn more of Him.
When we are truly hungry for God and God alone... no position... no attainment... no success wil satisfy our desire to go higher... to see farther... reach further...
The reason some are not hungry is two-fold...
1. We have filled ourselves with so many other things
2. We have not really tasted the things of God
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
In our flesh it is so easy to have misconceptions or more precisely mis-perceptions. Therefore, how do we find the proper perception?
As Christians and as church leaders we can only find a true perspective and perception at the cross.
Daily we must trudge up the hill called Calvary. We must stand in the shadow of that beautifully awful place. From there the view is so clear. From there reality can be found. When I view life from the cross everything takes on it's true meaning and value; everything falls into focus.
Firstly, the cross changes the way I see God. No longer is He a distant; no longer is He an anonymous creator, but he is my savior. As I review the nails, the spear, the crown, and the blood I am overwhelmed by the love. No not shallow "I love you" love but a deep unwavering "no cost is too high" kind of love.
From this location I can see His eyes and hear his voice saying "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." As He took the ultimate offense, as He became sin for those that stood there jeering and mocking He offered them mercy instead of revenge. Peace instead of wrath. Love instead of hate.
It amazes me that He could react that way to such a terrible, unmerited offense and it makes me ask myself "how should I react when my feelings get hurt?"
Secondly, the cross changes how I view myself. I see myself reflected in this monument of suffering. What I see is a paradox because simultaneously I see my weakness and my possibility. My weakness overwhelms my thoughts, as my voice cries for mercy. Yet, at the same time my soul is empowered with the possibility that His sacrifice purchased for me. In my weakness I am humbled and at the same time in my weakness His strength is perfected.
The view from the cross changed my personal perspective. It has changed forever the way I see God and the way I see myself.
Thirdly, the cross changes my view of others. It is impossible to judge others harshly in the shadow of mercy. Desire for position seems so petty and insignificant at the cross. My offenses fade in the light of His long suffering love.
When I find myself growing cynical and becoming me centered I make my way back to the cross. The view from there brings everything back into focus. The cross experience purifies my desires, my ambitions, and my motives.
Have you been to the cross today? The view from there will change your life.
Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I look at the saints that I serve and I feel their hurts, their needs and their desires...
I look at my talents...
I look at my gifts...
I look at my abilities...
I look at my discipline...
and MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED with my lack compared to the immensity of my call...
I feel the weight of the burden that I carry...
I feel the passion of the vision that is ever before my eyes...
and MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED...
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I!
That Rock that is bigger than the immensity of my call!
That Rock that is stronger than my burden!
That Rock that is greater than my vision!
He can make up the difference between my lack and task.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
However, I do not have any special ability or a super sensitive perception. It was either dumb luck or the grace of God...well, most likely it was the latter.
I have found this dear lady and she resides right under my own roof. Her heart is for God, her family, and for the saints that we serve. She would rather care for us than she would care for herself. She stays up late and gets up early. She works tirelessly to fulfill not only her duties but my calling. She has always been willing to pick up house and home and move to wherever I felt God was leading us.
She is beautiful in every way. Outwardly, she is a woman of holiness, grace and dignity. Inwardly, she is a woman of intelligence, love and compassion.
I am a blessed man because I found her...my wife...Dawn.
Prov 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Friday, March 14, 2008
As I lay my head down on my pillow last evening these three little words were whispered in my ear.
“If God could…”, “if God could do what?” I asked.
Immediately, another whisper, “if God could do with you what He wanted to what would He do?”
Suddenly, I knew the answers.
First, He would spend more time with me. ---PAUSE---
As this answer flooded my mind and overwhelmed my heart, tears ran from my eyes onto my pillow. He would spend more time with me? The God of heaven; the King of kings; my Creator; my Savior desires my companionship?
Amazing! Shocking! Humbling!
With tears staining my pillow I had a sense of God’s desire for me. He desires simple communion between Creator and the created; Father and son; friends.
The second answer that whispered in the deepest recesses of my heart was that He would use me to love others. He would use my hands to strengthen the weak; to care for the useless; and to care for my brother and my sister.
He wants to use my hands, my feet, and my voice to help the hurting.
Let it never be said of me that I restrained God because of my unwillingness. I surrender all over again today. I dedicate my life to communing with my creator and to allowing him to work through me.
If God Could…?
Release Him today in your life.
Monday, February 25, 2008
The problem that I see is two-fold…
First of all, these “ministers” that will not minister come in two general categories.
1. Spotlight Seekers: Somewhere along the road these men got the impression that their calling is all about the pulpit and not about people. They are performers instead of pioneers.
2. Comfort Seekers: These men refuse to leave their comfort zone. Either from fear of failure or pure selfishness they cower in the safety of their comfort.
1. We as pastors need to be actively training young men for the harvest. When we do, we will multiply our own ministry hundreds of times over.
2. We need to be investing our young men into other places. Send them to a home missions work with their expenses paid, to encourage that pastor; start a daughter work; a preaching point; or raise funds for them to get practical experience as an AIMer (associate in missions).
3. We must refuse to be selfish.
4. We must refuse to allow ministers to be satisfied to sit. Pastors should push, prod, and preach them into the harvest.
It is a tragedy when fishermen refuse to fish. All around us we have a lost and dying world. Cities full of hungry people pray for a man with a burden to come.
I recently heard of a church with approximately 20 people, land, and a building that could not find a pastor for over three years. Now, another pastor in the area has picked up their burden and is pastoring these hungry people on an interim basis. It is so sad when men would rather languish away on a pew than be active in the harvest in a place like this.
Matt 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
Friday, February 1, 2008
7 Step Cure for a Critical Spirit
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
1. Focus on God not Man
2. Trust in God
2 Cor 10:12
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
3. Do not compare yourself to others
1 Tim 5:19
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
4. Do not Receive an Accusation
So many people are ready to receive bad information. They revel in the negative. They believe and pass on the information whether is proof or not.
I call it having a “Ready Ear”
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
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.
6. Be not Conformed to this World
There are whole industries in our culture today that thrive on nothing more than the art of criticizing…
Art Critics… Movie Critics… Fashion Police… Politic Pundits… Tabloid Journalism… Talk Shows… News Cast
7. Be Transformed by the Renewing of Our Minds
Wash your mind with the Word. Strengthen your resolve with the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
The Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others! It says that the Lord will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him!
Friday, January 25, 2008
...we do not really love him
If we say we love the lost...yet we stay silent, comfortable, and isolated...
...we do not love them
If we say we love God...yet, we refuse to pray, worship and serve...
...we not truly love Him
True Love compels, moves, and motivates us to action...
Love without works is Dead...