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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Tongue

   My thought today is on the Tongue. The Bible says in James 3:8 that "no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." The tongue is like the rudder of a ship that guides one down the path of Life.(James 3:4) The Word of God says that "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it shall eat its fruit."(Prov. 18:21) It is NOT my opinion which I desire to express, but only what is the mind of Christ. My opinion carries no weight, but the Word of God abides forever. Man's opinions change like the wind, but God's Holy Word is a foundation stone, a Chief cornerstone, that we can build upon.
  The mouth of the righteous should be totally different from the mouth of a wicked person. Why? Because Jesus "dwells" or lives inside of the believer. When someone is born again, there is a sudden change in their speech. To continue to speak vulgar statements is to be in disobedience to God. Our mind, our hearts, and our spirits need to be bathed by the word of God. Romans 12:2 says "And be not conformed to this world (worldly patterns), but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."(ESV)
   The Bible says that "the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Prov 12:18b) "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence." (Prov 10:11) With our mouths, we can either bring a blessing or a curse. With our Tongues we create our future, and can lift up or tear down our friends, family, and even ourselves. The Bible often says to "Consider your ways" or "Consider your Words.""When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise."(Prov 10:19)
   The mouth of a Godly man, or as the scripture says "The Mouth of the righteous (Man) flows with wisdom." (Prov 11:31) Our words are very weighty. There is much substance in our words, yet many times we speak very frivolously. We are all "guilty" of speaking sometimes when we should be silent. Words can cut like a dagger, and words can lead one to death. The Bible again says that "The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver." (Prov 10:20) There should be a great difference between what the righteous say and what the ungodly man speaks. The should be a very wide chasm between the two. Can a fountain send forth both bitter and sweet water? It cannot!
   I like to think of myself as an encourager and a wordsmith. Words are a great power to have, and the ability to persuade with words go back to the ancient merchants of old. Any good Politician knows that it is not just what you say, but how you say it. God alone knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts, but whatever is in a man will eventually come out of his mouth.
   Back in the late 1970's, I read a good book called "Beauty Care for the Tongue" by Leroy Hoopman. It was a very good book on taming the tongue. Another book that I read and have started to read again is "The Tongue- A Creative Force" by Charles Capps. If the tongue is the rudder of the ship, then what we speak can be and should be very important to us and it definitely is to God.
   With our tongue, we can build up a friend or tear them down. With our Tongue we can Bless God and Praise the Name of Jesus. We can speak with new tongues in a Heavenly language. With our tongues, we can sing the high Praises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The choice is ours!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Few thoughts on "Being a Sinner"

   All of my life, it seems as though I have heard sermons on sin, and about sinners. The Bible clearly says that "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23 KJV) Man is born in sin according to God's Holy Word (The Bible = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men[e] because all sinned." (Rom. 5:12) Through Adam, all of mankind are found to be "sinners" before God.
  The problem that I hear so often amongst believers, is that they still claim to be sinners after they have received Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of their life. If a man is a sinner before finding salvation, and he is a sinner after salvation, then what is the purpose of salvation? My Bibles says that "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2Cor. 5:17) The Bible states that "All HAVE sinned" but if we are in Christ, "For our sake he made him to be sin (our sin sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb) who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21)
   When we come into this world, we are born as sinners. It is not my point to show my way of thinking, but only what is the "mind of Christ." Jesus' opinion is all that will matter when we appear before the Throne of God. Not everyone who sins is a sinner. Let me give you an example: If a kid was to puff on a cigarette and then throw them down and not pick them back up, he would not be considered a smoker. A smoker is one who does it all the time and enjoys it. A sinner sins because he is a sinner. That is his nature to do so. A Christian cannot be a sinner, because that is contrary to Christ and the nature of God. Is it possible that a Christian can sin? Yes, I think most of us would say "Obviously!"
   Is it possible that a person can sin from time to time and not be considered a "sinner?" Yes! We have an Advocate with Our Father in Heaven, and His name is Jesus. Through Faith in Jesus Christ and the atoning blood of Jesus, we are justified by our Faith in Christ. How does Jesus and Our Heavenly Father see us? He sees us as the "Righteousness of God through Christ Jesus, our Lord." We are now "Children of God." A child of God does not go looking for sin. A child of God's desires is to please the Father.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:12-17)
  Sometimes it is a difficult thing to understand. We fight and struggle with our flesh, and we will continue to do so till we die. Most, if not all, of this battle is in the mind. Only Christ can circumcise the heart. 
   Sinners are from hell, they have the nature of the evil one, Lucifer or satan. Sinners enjoy their life of sin. They enjoy things like lusts, alcohol, partying, carousing, drunkenness, fits of rage, hurting others, and are totally self seeking. This is NOT the nature of one who is called apart as a Christian. Do we often fall short as a Christian? Definitely! But there is a wide chasm between being a Christian and being a Sinner. I once was a sinner, but when I came to Christ, HE made me a new creature and I was born again. My heart has been circumcised via the power of His love and the work of the Holy Spirit. Now I am no longer a sinner, but now I am a Saint of God, a Child of God, an heir to His Kingdom, and I have been adopted into the Family of God! What a rich reward we have as His children. We are heirs and joint heirs to His Throne. Now we have the same power living in us that raised Jesus from the dead. 
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14) Now as heirs of Christ, now we can do the works of Christ, because He lives in us as the Divine Symbiont. What a privilege to be a Son or a Daughter of the Most High God!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Moving On with God

   There comes a time when things change, and I believe we are in a new season as the church of Jesus Christ. We are in a new day. Things are not as they were, and we see corruption and problems all around us. We see corruption in government and our operating systems like never before. Sometimes we feel helpless and sometimes even hopeless, but that is not the case. The devil would love for us to give up and cave in, but our God is bigger. The Church of Jesus Christ does not know defeat, nor will it ever. Though sometimes it appears that we are surrounded on every side, though it seems that this world has conquered us, in Him we are secure. In Christ alone our hope is found, and in prayer we can ascend into the very throne room of God via prayer, praise , and Worship. When we Worship God - HE finds us!
   Regardless of what happens or will happen in the days ahead, we win! Now that is good news. Jesus leads us in a glorious triumph. When we walk with God our Father, and Jesus His Son, and we pray in the Holy Ghost then things will change. We are no longer sinners bound to this world. We may sin, but that does not make us sinners because now we have a new nature. The old things are passed away and behold everything has become new. We have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus our LORD. If we are sinners before Salvation, and still sinners after Salvation, then why get saved? What are we saved from? Christ is of no effect if there has not been a change.
   This change is not only in the way we think, it is in the way we live. It should affect our speech, our actions, our daily activities, and especially our focus and motivation and purpose for living. The problem is that sometimes it takes a while for us to understand that we have changed. Our identity has changed. We have become adopted into a new family as His Sons and Daughters. Now we should live like King's Kids! Our Father should provide all we need. It is no longer a "performance based" system. Now we live and move and have our being in Him. This does not mean that everything shuts down. Usually just the opposite occurs, life gets real busy. However, in this busy-ness we must maintain our focus on Him. We must get our Daily Bread (our "gasoline" or fuel) via the Word of God. We should not live according to the Law. "The letter kills, but the spirit of God gives life." We are free in Christ, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
   We do not attain to outward perfection, but we are made "perfect" in His eyes through the blood of Christ. It is not our perfection, it is His perfection. "Christ in us, the hope of glory." We should strive to know Him in all of His fullness. Though we stumble, we are not utterly cast down for the Lord sustains us, and He holds us with His righteous right hand.
   If we sin (NOT "when" but "if"), we ask for His forgiveness and move on. If a child smokes a cigarette, that does not make him a smoker. If a kid learns to play the saxophone one year in school, that does not make him a professional musician. If we sin as Christians, that does NOT make us sinners. Sinners enjoy their sin, and it is their lifestyle. They do NOT repent, nor are they sorry for their actions. They are full of pride, arrogance, anger, and all manner of evil. Christians may get mad and frustrated, but they cannot stay that way very long. Christians cannot continue in sin and not be affected by it. If the spirit of God dwells in you, you will repent and seek to make things right with God and your fellow man. The vertical affects the horizontal, this is a sign of the cross at work in your life.
   Learning to grow and mature in Christ is not always an easy thing. People will talk badly about you, they will assume the worst at times, they will assume things, and all sorts of other problems will arise. The devil is at war with believers, and it is time we stomp on his little head! Our God is bigger. Sometimes we get our feelings hurt, we fail, we miss the mark, and we fall short. Well, welcome to the club! I guess if we were totally perfect, then there would be no need for Jesus and the Holy Spirit, or for the Word of God. We need to pray daily, we need to Praise and Worship God daily, we need to work daily, we need to give God all we are daily, and we need to seek His face daily. Sometimes life gets in the way, and we lose focus. I think Jesus would say "Remember me? Come back Home! Return to your first love!!!!"
   When we fall in love, it is not a burden to talk and to listen for countless hours over the phone or in person. Regardless of where you are right now, I believe God would say "Move on!" Continue seeking Him via His Word. If you have gotten off track, get back on the Highway of Holiness. If you are miserable, ask God why! If you need something, stop being proud and ask for help. God is willing to help those who come to Him. In Him, we live and move, and have our being! Apart from Him we can do no good thing! Move on with God! Seek His face! Come to Him with a sincere heart, and know that He loves you even more than your Mother or Father. He is your true Father, and He will provide ALL you need for this life and for the one to come. Shalom!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It has been a while (Part 2)

   It has been a while since I have posted anything here, and that for various reasons. I am getting many more "followers" on Facebook. I guess this tends to be more "private." That can be a good thing, I guess, but then again maybe not. Oh the irony!
   What has been going on? God is good! Pam and I are still at Hosanna First Assembly in Baton Rouge. I believe that Revival is close, even at the door. Last Sunday was totally awesome, and the congregation was  amazing! I've been reading the book "Gazing into Glory" by Bruce D. Allen, and "The School of the Seers" by Jonathan Welton. I recommend them highly. I just finished reading "How to find God's Love" by Don Nori Sr. and it is a great little book too.
   Lately, I have been doing inventory on my life. Oh how the years go by!!! I remember giving my heart to Jesus as a child while singing "Into my heart, Into my heart, Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Amen!" I was around five years old then, and much has changed in America and in this world. God has made Himself more real to me as the years have gone by, and I have learned that the biggest enemy of the Christian is usually the one we look at in the mirror every morning.
   A funny thing about "inventory" - you find a lot of stuff, some is precious and valuable and you find a lot of junk. The one constant in my life has been "God." Regardless of where I am or where I have been, God has never left me. Through every struggle in my life, Jesus has been a friend to me. He is a very Good Shepherd. Joshua 1:9 rings true, and I am so thankful that He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
   There is much more I could say, but some things do not need rehashing. God is faithful! He is my Father and I am His Son. Thank You LORD!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It has been a while

  You wake up one day and realize that you are older, or even old. Life does not stop, but it is rather like a new beginning. The days are more precious and fewer in number. At this point, the body begins to suffer more, and relationships become more valuable. Family is a thing of endearment. God is either out of the picture, or HE is closer than ever before (Hopefully the Latter).
   It has been a while since I have posted on this, my blog site. Why? I guess I want more and more to let my words be few. My heart looks upward to God. I have been in the belly of the Whale like Jonah, and I am waiting to be spit out on the land. Maybe it is time for me to preach to Ninevah, but on that note I will wait on God.
   I have been doing a Bible study on the book of Daniel by Beth Moore. I am astounded by her wisdom, grace, and charm. God said, "Be ye Holy for I AM Holy!" Holiness is not an action, it is a state of being. One cannot become what they already are, and if Christ is in us, THEN and only then are we "Holy." "Christ in you the Hope of Glory."
   Do you ever get frustrated with God, or maybe aggravated or agitated? I do, and I don't like it. I have learned two things in life: 1) There IS a GOD and 2) I am NOT Him! It is easy to say "I Believe!" Yet even the demons believe and shudder at His Name (YHVH). Faith working through love, and Love is the key. We are a work in progress, and none of us have  ALL the answers, but HE does.
   I am being stirred to pray, to Journal, to express my deepest longings and cares to HIM! We cannot put  our faith in man, or woman. God is faithful! He alone is our answer! Sometimes GOD says "NO!" Other times HE says "Wait!" I don't know which one is worse, but IF God said it, HE will do it. GOD has NEVER backed down or fallen short with His Word. We may fail, BUT GOD never fails!
   Jesus, the Living Word, is the Anchor of my soul and of all who are believers in Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). Our faith in Him grows as we get older. I have seen GOD at work. He goes before me and makes the crooked paths straight. He brings healing and deliverance. GOD alone deserves ALL of our Praise. HE is the King of ALL Kings and the LORD of all lords. His name is Faithful and True!
   I have been looking over the past years of my life. I have been a stinker, I have failed, and I am my own worst enemy. I cannot be God, yet GOD is in me. His spirit is in me. Christ died and HE rose again. If the spirit of God dwells (abides, has residence, makes His home) in us, then "Greater things than these shall you do." We have His signet ring (Haggai 2:23). We have His authority and His mighty power at our disposal. We have to walk in it, live in it, throw away the Old "Self-Life" and live for HIM and for HIM alone.
   Not to preach at you, this speaks to me as well. Satan wants to rob us of our identity. Old sluefoot wants to strip us of our dignity and create shame and reproach, but he is a liar and the Father of lies. We ARE KING"S KIDS! We are Mephibosheth's in the spirit. We live in the King's Palace in Heavenly Places. We are seated with Christ. Christ is our portion, and we are His portion. (It is in His WORD)
  Let us consider how to encourage and build one another UP in our most Holy faith. Christ died, yet HE lives within us. He is in Heaven, yet in our hearts. We are Parabolic with Him. "On Earth as it is in Heaven." My prayer is "Not my will, but THY will be done!" Jesus is Faithful! Shalom and God Bless!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where do we go?

Where do you go when you don't know what to do? What do you do when there is no answer available? If you have never reached that place in life, you will. When the rug of "normalcy" is snatched out from under you and there is no peace in your heart, only turmoil and anger...then there is God. Not the one you thought HE was, but the one who "is." Jesus is!
"Jesus IS the answer for the World today, above Him there is no other, Jesus is THE WAY!" (per Andre Crouch's song "Jesus is the answer") Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit never change. Jesus is the same "yesterday, today, and forever." Truth NEVER changes! We may be able to manipulate people and circumstances for a while, but not forever. When it all comes crashing down, you will cry out for help - but to Whom?
Sometimes on this Earth, we ARE the hands and the feet and the mouthpiece of God. The church is His Body. The head tells the Body what to do, unless there is a problem with the central nervous system. The central nervous system is the communication to the body. Are we communicating with the head? When nerves are severed or removed, there is no feeling. We are to walk by faith, not by feeling. Who can repair the body when it is "damaged goods." A Doctor can do this or that, but God determines the outcome.
God has given a language to His people, it is a gift from Him to us. We can speak in tongues when we choose to do so. The spirit gives the utterance, but we have the ability to speak or to be silent. We have the choice to accept the gift from God or to quench it. The Apostle Paul said "I pray in tongues more than you all." A prayer language or tongues are an "unknown language." If you know what you are saying (the language), then it is not tongues.
Why do people have problems receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Well, many times it is because of their intellect. Tongues do not make sense to a rational mind. It is God doing a work through you, not an intellectual process. The min tries to "figure it out" and then to do it. God says "Speak!" If we ask God for a fish, He will Not give us a serpent. If we ask God for Bread, HE will NOT give us a stone. "Whatever things you desire when you pray, believe that you received them and you SHALL have them." That is God's word, we must simply believe, accept, and receive. In the words of Smith Wigglesworth...."Only Believe!" All things are possible to him (her implied) who believes.
What do you want? Many times, that is the difficult, or the most difficult question to answer. Many times, we don't really know what we want. That is why we need to go to God. That is why we need to pray in the spirit (that is to say, "in tongues").
When a baby is born, the child cannot speak in a language that is "known" but the parent "KNOWS" that it is either gas, hunger, a need to be held (loved), or a diaper change. Even though the child cannot speak, the Father (and Mother) know what to do. If you being earthly know this, then how much more you Heavenly Father?
I remember as a child that when something broke, if I took it to my Daddy, he would usually be able to fix it. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could think or imagine. His ways are higher than our ways. Run to Jesus! Call on His name and He will answer you!