Monday, September 11, 2017

Is it Time for Christians to Shut Up?

Is it time for Christians to (shut up) not speak up about certain topics? In Amos 5:12, the prophet said because of manifold transgressions and mighty sins, the prudent keep silent for it is an evil time.

Prudence refers to knowing when it's time to do or say something. Is it prudent for the church to become embroiled in arguments and debates regarding its values? This is an evil time therefore, it is prudent not to intentionally start or stir up debates and arguments about certain topics.

Jesus said some did not understand what he was saying because they did not want to hear what he had to say.(John 8:43) Are you wasting your time speaking to people who don't care about what you have to say?

Christians should remain silent in some cases because as Dr. Clarence Walker, author of Breaking Strongholds, "forceful, stubborn, arguments, opinions ideas and philosophies cannot be argued away, they can't be complained away, regulated or picketed down and they do not self- destruct. Why? Because they are strongholds.

Strongholds are of a spiritual nature and must be fought via the spirit.  The stronghold against Christianity is spiritual and was built because Christians were asleep, we focused on how to seek God for blessings instead of seeking Him to help us live holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:6). We were not told that if we failed to live holy a breach would occur in the fortress, allowing the enemy to build a stronghold operated by strongman. We did not know the strongman would be difficult to dislodge.

But thank God there is a remedy! Right now, it appears the enemy's goods (the people he has bound, the arguments and opinions about Christianity) are secure but thank God, Jesus Christ has come and bound the strongman. (Luke 11:20-22)

The day is coming when we won't have to argue about our values because God is going to pour out salvation and righteousness upon the land (Isaiah 45:8) and people will know right from wrong and turn from sin. He will convict their hearts of sin, so until He does that stop arguing with people about sin and Christian values.

Focus on Your Own Sinful Issues

Stop worrying about what others are doing. What are you doing? Paul said, you who "preach against stealing do you steal? If you preach against adultery, do you commit adultery? (Romans 2:21-22)

God will convict people of sin when Christians get rid of their own sin. No one is perfect but there are certain things Christians cannot do. Fornication and covetousness is deeply embedded in the church and must be cast out. In Ephesians 5:3, Paul said, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

If they are not cast out God will let your enemies chastise you! You will be harassed, you will be the tail and not the head and will lose influence. However, when you turn from sin, God will make your enemies be at peace with you. (Proverbs 16:7)

Proverbs 28:2 says for the transgressions of the land, many are its princess (strong men and strongholds). However, the last part of the verse says that by a righteous man the state is restored.

Although there are mighty strongholds in the land we can overcome them, if God's people begin to walk in righteousness that is obey God. The state of the land, its peace, security, and allegiance to God will be restored.

We can destroy the devil’s strongholds and send wickedness back to the pit when righteousness is restored in the land. God promised if we humble ourselves and pray, and seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways he would heal the land. (2 Chronicles 7:14). Humble people admit they are wrong and begin to do the right thing.

Christians are the salt of the world. If salt loses its saltiness it loses its value and will be trampled under the foot of men. (Matthew 5:13)

So, it's in your hands, do you want to be trampled under the foot of men, loosing rights and freedom?

Will you continue to fight a spiritual battle with words or use the spiritual weapon of obedience to change the world from a state of chaos to one of peace.  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Put Some Feet to Your Faith

In Mark 2:1-5, we read the biblical account of four men who take their paralyzed friend to be healed by Jesus. However, due to the crowd blocking the entrance to where Jesus was, the men decided to gain access to Jesus via the roof.  This was no easy task because the roof was constructed of beams and covered with branches and a thick layer of mud plaster. They had to climb an outside stairway to get to the roof.  Imagine the work required to dismantle the roof. Imagine carrying a paralyzed man on a cot up a stairway and letting him down on the cot in an overly crowed room. That's bold, bodacious faith!

Scripture says, their friend had the palsy, the palsy is a disease where the body or some parts of the body lose motion, sensation or feeling.

When Jesus saw their faith, he forgave the paralytic's sin and healed him. Warren Wiersbe says, "The paralytics friends did not simply pray about their friend's condition but they put some feet to their prayers, and did not permit the difficult circumstances to discourage them. They worked together and dared to do something different, and Jesus rewarded their efforts. How easy it would have been for them to say, "Well, there is no sense trying to get to Jesus today! Maybe we can come back tomorrow."     

Let's put some feet to our faith and overcome the difficult circumstances in our lives. Let's not be discouraged because if Jesus sees our faith in Him and His power to avail us of all that ails us He will help us.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Cross Proof Of God's Love

While shopping at a local thrift store yesterday, I heard a child say "look mother a sword. She said that's not a sword it's cross. He said "oh but I can pretend it's a sword" So he walked out of the isle  pretending it was sword, stabbing and jabbing an invisible opponent.

Such is the Christian life. The cross is our sword it is the precious weapon given to us by our God. This weapon defeats every enemy known to mankind. However, we must be mindful of it and use it on a daily basis, moment by moment, minute by minute, second by second.  Although our enemies are invisible we can tell when they are near by what we think or feel. We can tell when they are around or they've been around by our circumstances. Yet, because of the cross we can defeat them and reverse/overcome negative circumstances. Let's take a moment to look at what happened when someone was crucified.  James Strong and John McClintock Cyclopedia says:

Nails, being driven through parts of the hands and feet which are full of nerves and tendons (and yet at a distance from the heart), create the most exquisite anguish.
The exposure of so many wounds and lacerations brings on inflammation, which tends to become gangrene, and every moment increases the poignancy of suffering. 
In the distended parts of the body more blood flows through the arteries than can be carried back into the veins: hence too much blood finds its way from the aorta into the head and stomach, and the blood-vessels of the head become pressed and swollen. The general obstruction of circulation which ensues causes an internal excitement, exertion, and anxiety more intolerable than death itself.
Death by crucifixion (physically considered) is therefore to be attributed to the sympathetic fever which is excited by the wounds, and aggravated by exposure to the weather, privation of water, and the painfully constrained position of the body.
Imagine someone voluntarily going through such a painful death for you.
Paul said,"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
What things do you need,healing, release from mental bondage or oppression, deliverance from drugs or alcohol, relationships restored, financial intervention? If he suffered and died on a cross for you to deliver you from the power of sin, will he not willingly help you with such matters.
Scripture says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4- 6
The cross is proof of God's Love for us. Have faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the cross to overcome your enemies. Starting today, plan to use the cross in your daily life, declare its benefits boldly in action and deed. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Why God Ignores Some People's Prayers

Scripture says, If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. Psalms 66:18 (NKJV). 

I believe parents may understand this passage because persistent children may ask for something more than once (let's say he or she continues to ask for ice cream after being told no or wait until after dinner). After the given response the child continues to ask for ice cream but instead of saying no or later, the parent responds with silence. It's as if he or she doesn't hear the child. It's not that the parent can't hear the request he or she simply ignores the request.

Perhaps God is the same way, it's not that He can't hear our request, he just responds with silence until we do what He has told us to do. Peter instructed husbands to treat their wives properly so their prayers would not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). He goes on to say if we want to love life and see good days we should avoid evil because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers. (1 Peter 3:10-12).

Although we may be involved in sin God can hear our prayers but He may not grant our requests. He does this out of love. He does this to encourage us to turn back to him and away from the darkness. 

John Gill says, "the idea is, that in order that prayer may be heard, there must be a purpose to forsake all forms of sin." Remember sins means to miss the mark. We miss the mark of the commandment to love when we are in sin (whether it's loving God with all our heart or loving our neighbor). 

Gill notes the principle in the following:

(a) to secret purposes of sin; to sinful desires, corrupt passions. and evil propensities;
(b) to acts of sin in individuals, as when a man is pursuing a business founded on fraud, dishonesty, oppression, and wrong;
(c) to public acts of sin, as when a people fast and pray Isaiah  58:1-14, and yet hold their fellow-men in bondage; or enact and maintain unjust and unrighteous laws; or uphold the acts of wicked rulers; or countenance and support by law that which is contrary to the law of God."

Remember sin doesn't have to maintain a hold on you because Jesus died to rescue you from Satan's power.  (1 John 3:8, Acts 26:18, Colossians 1:13). 

The choice is yours serve the God of life (John 17:2) and have your prayers answered or serve the god of death while enjoying the temporary pleasures of sin (John 10:10) and have God ignore your prayers. 

I hope you will choose life and live. Choose life and have your prayers answered in the affirmative.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

God is a Warrior

John F. Craghan, author of Psalms for All Seasons says, "fidelity to God means deliverance from any and all forms of distress.  Notice Craghan says, this benefit belongs to those who are in a state of "fidelity." To be a person of fidelity, means to be faithful and loyal in character.

While many are fainting with fear God has instructed Christians not to be fearful or dismayed. The faithful Christian may proclaim as David did in Psalm 18:6. "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears."

The text goes on to say that, after God heard David's prayers He got in a Cherub, bowed the heavens and came to earth to rescue him. He fought His way through the heavens shooting lightning bolts, dropping hailstones and hot coals of fire upon David's enemies! David's human enemies did not see of feel the hail or great balls of hot coals fall upon them but his spiritual enemies saw and felt them. Remember scripture says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

Sometimes we forget our human foes are mere instruments of our spiritual foes. Satan enticed Judas to betray Christ.

Even when we are down on ourselves (Mark 5:5), like being depressed, withdrawing from others, having suicidal thoughts and cutting/ wounding ourselves; Satan is behind it. However, when we humble ourselves and pray about our situation God intervenes and the enemy shakes in fear. When we are faithful to God and resist the devil he will flee.

Yes, when we pray God responds. Can you picture evil spirits fleeing as they are being shot with arrows, lightning bolts and hot coals of fire?

The Treasury of David reminds us that our enemy "the prince of the power of the air is soon dislodged when the cherubic chariot is driven through his dominions; therefore let not the legions of hell cause us dismay. He who is with us is greater than all they that be against us."

God can deliver you from any form of distress or trouble. Take time to present your troubles to Him for it is He who fights for you!

What happens when God is your "Thyreos" (shield)!

The bible makes bold and daring promises to people of faith. Psalm 91:9-10 says, "Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling".

A few words for the word "evil" noted in Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary are:  evil (naturally or morally), adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, exceedingly, great, grief, harm, heavy, sore, sorrow, trouble, wretchedness, wrong. 

 In verse four of Psalm 91 the psalmist said, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

The shield noted in this Psalms refers to a shield large enough to shield the entire body hence the name thyreos meaning "a gate or door (or "door-shaped"); used of the large, oblong ancient Roman shield (which looked like a full door), large enough to provide full protection from attack (used only in Eph 6:16)."

The word truth refers to God's trustworthiness and faithfulness.In essence, God's trustworthiness and faithfulness surrounds and protects us as a shield. He is the door keeper in our lives keeping out evil, i.e.  adversity, affliction, calamity, sorrow, and trouble as we trust him! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is God "With" You? God is everywhere but he's not with everyone!


 A friend was involved in a  "grave" sin. He knew it was wronged but said God loves me regardless of what I do and he is with me.  He watched a certain television preacher who preaches "nothing you do can separate you from the love of God." Yet Isaiah 59:2 says," But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
 In Amos 5:14 God told the people to" seek good, and not evil, that they may live: so He would be with them as they had spoken." They were living in sin and saying God is with us but he really wasn't. Yes, God is everywhere but he's not with everyone!  The word "with" refers to being "for" someone.
 My friend applied for job, he felt comfortable in the interview, so he called a friend and told him to apply as they had several positions open. His friend was hired but he was not. He was having issues with his mate and son, yet he felt comfortable claiming God was with him as he enjoyed his "sin." The event's in his life proved God was not with/for him, as he experienced one defeat after another. Yes, sometimes God allows negative circumstances to come against us to encourage us to draw nigh unto him. For he is the Lord of hosts as the people noted in Amos 5:13 but the Lord of hosts was not fighting for them but against them. He had fixed his eyes on them to do evil and not good (Amos 9:4).
Is God "with" you? As we noted earlier "with" refers to being "for." So the question is, is God for you? Joshua asked the commander of the Lord's army a similar question in, Joshua 5:13 before the walls of Jericho came tumbling down with a shout.
Yes, "the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face (Psalms 11:7). But "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalms 7:11).

Some will say that's Old Testament but the last book in the New Testament seals the matter and concurs with the Old Testament.
Revelation 22:12-17 says, "behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.""I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Are you Abiding in the Secret Place?

A large Poplar tree gives shade to my family on hot sunny days. The tree's shade is actually the tree's shadow. Here we get an idea of what David meant when he said in Psalm 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
To dwell in the secret place is to take a seat in the presence of God.  While we are sitting there His shadow or shall we say His very presence (can't have a shadow without an object or person) becomes our refuge and fortress.
A fortress is a place that is protected against attack, it is a fortified place, a stronghold.

The Treasury of David says, "He who dwells in an impregnable fortress, naturally trusts in it, and shall not he who dwells in God feel himself well at ease and repose his soul in safety."

Can you say the Lord is your refuge and fortress? Do you trust him? In this age of the rise and grind, self -made millionaire and scientific advances in  medicine and technology, the need to pray and trust God, seems obsolete.  Yet, we are encouraged to take all things to God in prayer, trusting him to come to our aid to protect us from enemies or to supply our needs. 

As noted in The Treasury of David, "We have trusted in God, let us trust him still. He has never failed us, why then should we suspect him? Pray for the grace to say, "In him will I trust." 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What's the Difference Between False Peace and True Peace?

Before filing for divorce from her husband a co-worker prayed to God about her situation. After praying she said a sense of peace flooded her soul. God had given her peace (so she thought). She filed for divorce the following week.

My co-worker experienced "false peace." It's sort of like the peace Balaam felt or received after asking God over and over if he should go with Balak to curse Israel, after God had already told him not to go with him (Numbers 22:12).

After asking Him a few times, God said go ahead (Numbers 22:20) but He was not happy about it (Numbers 23:36). Balaam went with Balak and sold himself to do evil (1 Kings 21:20). Because he sought and followed "false peace" he became defiled. instead of being remembered as a man of God he is known as a greedy soothsayer (Jude 1:11, Joshua 13:22).

God has given us free will to do as we desire. He gives us freedom to go against his revealed will (as laid out in scripture) or we have freedom to do our own will. I've heard people say, Lord if you don't want me to do this please stop me. No, he gives you freedom to do what you want and suffer the consequences later.

My co-worker new God's will about divorce but decided to divorce her husband based on the desire for another man. She believed she had more in common with the new man. They shared the same goals etc., he could help her be all she could be. After she left her husband she discovered she was one of many women, her so called lover inspired!

So how do you know the difference from false peace and true peace. True peace comes from God. It's the peace Jesus spoke about, when he said "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

False peace comes from the fleshly nature. Paul said, We have been called unto liberty; and we are not to use our liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Galatians 5:13-14)

He also said, "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.   For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:8-14)  

He that loves another will not deprive him of his wife, of his life, of his property, of his good name; and will not even permit a desire to enter into his heart which would lead him to wish to possess anything that is the property of another: for Scripture, has said: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Adam Clarke's Commentary)

Let's learn to practice real love as defined in scripture!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Power of Soul Prosperity

The James Strong and McClintock Encyclopedia says a soul is "that vital, immaterial, active substance, or principles in man whereby he perceives, remembers, reasons, and wills."The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says a soul is a “living being, life, self, person, desire, appetites, emotions and passions.
In light of understanding what "soul" means, let's review what the Apostle John said about the matter. 3 John 1:2 says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers," I wonder if  John is saying to us, O.K.,  I know you want to prosper financially but for your soul's sake I want you to prosper only according to your ability to be prosperous toward God. Maybe, he had Luke 12:20-21 in mind when he wrote the passage. Perhaps he had a flashback, recalling the parable of the rich man whose land produced an abundant crop and upon seeing the abundance the man said to his soul "thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
John appears to agree with Jesus, that Christians shouldn't be financially prosperous but spiritually poor.We see in scripture some were rich toward God so He made them rich on earth.
Do you delight to do God's will like David? David said, I delight to do your will o' Lord. He also said He loved the word of God, he said it was sweet, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb (Psalms 19:10). The word of God was better to him than fine gold (Psalm 19:10, Psalm 119:122).
Job was the richest man of the East but scripture also says, He shunned evil like no other (Job 1:1-12)
Abraham was also blessed with riches, some say it was simply based on his faith but God said, Abrahm would inherit the promises because he would teach his household to obey him (Genesis 18:18-19).
On the other hand we have people like Achan who coveted and stole clothes and jewelry from property seized in war (Joshua 7:1-26), Gehazi lied to get clothes and money (2 Kings 5:21-27), For fame and money Balaam taught Balak how to get God to curse Israel (Numbers 22:17, Jude 1:11) Judas betrayed Christ for money(Matthew 27:3-5) and Ananias and Sapphire lied to God and the apostles regarding property and money (Acts 5:1-11). So unlike David, instead of finding delight in God they found delight in possessing and owning things and impressing people.
Soul prosperity will occur when we "seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" then the things we want shall be added unto us. They will be added to us, we won't have to lie to get them, nor will we have to steal, deceive or go bankrupt to get them. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

God or Mammon? Make Sure Your Choice Brings Peace and Contentment & Not the Opposite!

Sometime ago, I started watching a certain preacher on television. I eagerly watched him  until find myself spiraling into selfishness and discontentment. According to him God wants me to have a big house, fancy car (my dream care a Ferrari) and promotion in my field of employment. And the great thing about it was the only thing I needed to do to get those things was have faith!
So, I tried to work up more faith but during the process, I began despising my current house, car and form of employment. Even my mate looked questionable! Perhaps, I needed someone who made more money. Someone who wanted bigger and grander things.
Realizing my thoughts were not corresponding with scripture, I asked God to help me and He gave me the answer. He said through another television preacher "beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6), that is false teaching because it causes one to become puffed up." To become puffed up means to become prideful.
For a brief moment, I had partaken of the very fruit that marks one as a follower of Satan. Like Satan I had become prideful. I determined, my current state in life was not good enough. I began thinking, I deserved more. I deserved better and I deserved it now! My focus was on how to get "stuff" and not on how to please God by loving my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:31). I had become a casualty of false teaching. Knowing the danger of false teaching, Jesus told the disciples to be on guard against it
Also during that time, a pastor I follow on Facebook said "stop hanging around people that can't do anything for you, people that can't help you reach your destiny. You are a winner stop hanging around losers." As I meditated on his statement I thought about Romans 12:16, which says,  "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." That's the NIV the KJV says, "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things,  condescend to men of low estate."
How can I share the gospel or help others if I am told to stop hanging around people who can't do anything for me?
We must beware of false teaching because it causes us to focus on making more money, buying bigger houses and nicer cars, starting businesses and buying real estate as a way to prove God's love and favor toward us.
Yes, God loves us and He proved his love for us by sending Jesus to die on the cross for us.
For some of us, Christ's death and resurrection, may be the only sign we receive in this life. Jesus said a wicked and adulterous generation seek signs. What if you don't get a bigger house? Does God love you less? Scripture says, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). 
This message is not to condemn any pastor or ministry as I cannot determine the heart of a man or his ministry. I cannot determine if his or her teaching is based on inadvertent error or if it is done with malice. I just pray that all who proclaim to be messengers of Jesus Christ will love, seek and speak the truth. God's word is truth.
I pray for lay members to seek the truth and to turn away from all false teaching. The life and health of the church depends on both.
William Tyndale noted that "yeast slowly transforms a large lump of dough." He said, "Leaven speaks of a penetration that is slow, insidious and constant."
False teaching has slowly and insidiously transformed the church. The people worship God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Their lips proclaim love for Yahweh but their hearts, minds and actions prove they are seeking, serving and trusting Mammon.
Jesus said we can't serve two masters. We can't serve God and Mammon. Scholars note that in Matthew 6:24, Jesus focusing on the real source or battle for our hearts did not say you can't serve God and Satan. He said we can't serve God and Mammon! Christian's will readily reject Satan in his natural form but when he appears as Mammon/money, we unknowingly embrace him. Because we have been conditioned to believe that godliness is gain. 
Let's close with 1 Timothy 6:5-9:
It reads "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
1Timothy 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Timothy 6:7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Timothy 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Timothy 6:9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Famed Commentator John Gill says, of our text:
Supposing that gain is godliness; such were Simon Magus and his followers, and other false teachers, who made merchandise of men, looked everyone for his gain from his quarter, and acted as if there was nothing in religion but worldly profit and gain; these served themselves, their own bellies, and selfish interests, and not the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore the apostle gives the following advice to Timothy, and through him to all ministers and churches, from such withdraw thyself: do not come near them; have nothing to do with them; do not lay hands on them, or admit them into the ministry; do not suffer them to preach, or encourage them by hearing them: if in the church, cast them out; have communion with them, neither in a  civil nor in a religious way; avoid all conversation with them.
Choose whom you will serve. Will you serve God or Mammon?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why Are You Cast Down O My Soul! Hope Thou In God

A cast sheep is a sheep that has fallen on its back, legs straight up in the air. It can't rise on its own and will die within a few hours if the Shepherd doesn't find it in time.

Phillip Keller, author of "A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23" says, "a sheep becomes cast when it rolls on its side to relax after lying down in a hollow or depression in the ground. It is during this time gravity in the body shifts and when it turns to get back on its feet, it discovers its feet can no longer touch the ground. It begins to panic and paw frantically. As it lies there struggling, gases begin to build in the rumen. The gases will cut off blood circulation to the extremities of the body, especially the legs."

Notice, the sheep became cast when it decided to relax on hollow grown. The word hollow refers to a hole or empty space. It can also refer to something that is valueless, worthless, futile or fruitless.

As Christians we often find ourselves resting or relaxing in hollow places. Places that are futile, worthless, fruitless and valueless. Hollow places can be time spent in bad relationships, living with bad habits, seeking or pursing mammon/money before God. Unfortunately, when we try to get up and move on with our lives, we find ourselves crippled with troubling emotions, empty pockets, ruined relationships or bad health.  We discover we are unable to walk like we used to or we discover we can't correct the situation as easily as we want to, so we panic and that makes matters worse.

Thank God the Good Shepherd is diligently looking for cast sheep.  Don Baker, author of "The Way of the Shepherd", says, when the shepherd finds a cast sheep he begins to massage its limbs and body. The gases are dispelled, the blood begins to flow and within time, the sheep is back on its feet again, running off to join the rest of the flock.

Notice, the Shepherd doesn't scold the sheep for being cast but lovingly begins to help it and take care of it! And so it is with us, the sheep of God's pasture. We can rejoice for we have a shepherd who loves us and desires to take care of us even when we fail and become cast down!

Take a look at what David said to the sheep of God's pasture.

Psalm 100:3  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:5  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Yes, let's be thankful that our Shepherd is good and full of everlasting mercy. His mercy, forgiveness, and willingness to help us never ends and that's the truth for all of us!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Why You Should Follow The Good Shepherd

Some of us claim the "The Lord Is My Shepherd" but what kind of sheep are we! Are we happy and contented sheep or sad discontented sheep! 

Happy and contented sheep follow the shepherd, because they trust him. They know he loves them and will do whatever it takes to protect them and supply their needs. However, discontented sheep seem to be "restless" they have the propensity to wander. Author of "The Way of the Shepherd", Don Baker says these, "restless sheep have insatiable cravings that cause them to wander from the rest of the flock."   

He notes "the Shepherd will hang a bell around the neck of discontented sheep because during the night he may hear what sounds like the Morse code of bells. A single clang of the bell means that a discontented sheep is trudging off. It may be in search of greener pastures or purer water. If the clang is rapid it means the sheep is running-sometimes of danger but usually, it is just dissatisfied."

Discontented sheep leave the shepherd and the flock because they are not satisfied with the shepherd's provision. Baker says, "sheep don't need much, however they often want more than they need. Their cravings can make them drunk if they eat too many grapes, sick if they drink polluted water and die if they bloat themselves from too much alfalfa."   

When sheep decide to disdain the shepherd's guidance they flee the flock.

When they want more than He's provided they decide to make a run for it and become prey for wolves.

Believers place themselves in danger when they decide to leave the flock to pursue greener pastures in the world's system. 

Trust the Good Shepherd. Decide to be content with the things/life He has provided for you, because He knows what's best for you at this time. 

Rest in His care today, because all is well with the man or woman who submits to the One who boldly said to Mary,  "Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" (John 11:40) Her brother was dead but Jesus the Good Shepherd told her to believe because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). You must believe He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and that He will withhold no good thing from you (Psalm 84:11)!  

Be satisfied and content with Him today! Don't leave the flock and the presence of the Good Shepherd for worldly pleasures and pursuits. For you shall see the glory of God if you continue in his kindness (Romans 11:22) Yes, continue/remain in His loving care for all is well with thee!

Today I declare that  you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living! (Psalm 27:13)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's Time to Have The Reproach Rolled Away

And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. Joshua 5:8-9 
In those two verses we notice a very important principle. The passage says, after they received the mark of the covenant, that is circumcision, God said He rolled away the reproach of Egypt off them. The word reproach means- the act of finding fault in disgrace, to treat with scorn, or condemn, criticize with an attitude of fault finding with the intention of shaming.
God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt with a mighty hand and promised to take them to a land that flowed with milk and honey. However, 40 years later they were still wandering in the wilderness. How embarrassing! The Egyptians were laughing at them, they had become a joke. Not only could they see them wandering in the desert but some of the Egyptians left Egypt with the Israelites, the bible calls them the mixt multitude. When God set the Israelites free from the Egyptians, they were so impressed by the miracles and God's ability to take care of the Israelites, some of them left Egypt with them.
However, when they arrived in the desert and all they had to eat was manna they were not happy and encouraged the Israelites to whine and complain (Numbers 11:4-6).
I bet some of the them left the Israelites in the wilderness and went back to Egypt and said let me tell you about what's going on with the Israelites and their God.  They don’t have any real food all they have is Manna. It's some weird stuff that falls from the sky at night and it's on the ground on top of the dew in the morning.  And they can't have left overs or save some for later, they can only take what they can eat or the rest will spoil (except on the Sabbath). They are still walking around there with the same old clothes and shoes they had when they left Egypt.
Yes, the Israelites had become a joke and an object of scorn before the Egyptians and the surrounding nations. But on this day God said I have rolled away the reproach of Evil off you. You will no longer have to hang your head in shame. This is the day the promises of Deuteronomy 28 will overtake you.  This day you are the head and not the tail above and not beneath a lender and not a borrower.
Sometimes when we are going through challenging situations and other people know about it and are watching us, we feel embarrassed. And this makes matters worse because we have the outward pressure of unmet needs and the inward pressure of embarrassment and anger because we are worrying about what people are saying and thinking about us, then add the fact that we might get angry with God, because we think if He's God Almighty why is He letting we go through this. 
But If we stick with God long enough we will see things turn around for He said He will never leave us nor forsake us.  
Notice in Joshua chapter five, that after they kept the Passover the Manna ceased, it stopped coming down. They reached the promised land and it was time for abundance.
And so it is with us when we receive the mark of the covenant, "Jesus" as our Savior who is our Passover lamb! Who said "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
It is time for us to reach the promised land but we can't if we have a reproach on our lives. Don't let people scorn you because you are not where they think you need to be in life. Just as God gave the Israelites a second chance (this was the second time they were being circumcised as the first group died in the wilderness due to a lack of faith). He is giving us a second chance to honor the mark of the covenant in our lives if we have received Christ. We will receive the promises of God whether it is healing in our bodies, restored relationships or financial means.
Yes, God will roll the reproach off you of you today. Receive it by faith!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Feeling Sad and Depressed Read This!

In Psalm 24 verse 7 David said, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in."  

This is a simple verse loaded with meaning for those dealing with depression. Commentator Robert Hawker notes the word gate or gates is figuratively used to denote a place, person or people. So in this passage David is encouraging the children of God to lift up their heads-not to be cast down with sadness and depression and the King of Glory will come in.  

You must lift up your head, you must shake off sadness, depression, and regret for the King of Glory to come in and change your situation.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against the church as a member of Christ's body (Colossians 1:18), you can rejoice because the "gates of hell" the principalities and powers, Satan and his demons will not prevail against you. So lift up your head! Put a smile on your face. Rejoice in the Lord your God.

In the following verse (Psalm 24:8) David says, Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty! The Lord mighty in battle! Yes, you have the Lord of Hosts on your side, the one who is mighty in battle waiting to fight for you but you have to open the door (v7) by lifting up your head in expectant hope instead of being bowed down in bitter defeat.

If you lift up your head that is no more walking around with head your hung down or staying in bed for days because of your problems, and the King of Glory will come in.

So, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.  Psalm 24:9-10

Friday, February 10, 2017

Defeat the Devil By Doing This 1 Thing

Righteousness The Hedge of Protection

Job is known in the bible as the man who endured an unbelievable amount of suffering in a short time. He is known to be a righteous man, a man of truth who abstained from every form of evil. His commitment to righteousness caught God’s eye,  God  bragged about Job’s righteousness and  obedience to Satan, saying” there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Unfortunately, Satan was not impressed, he responded with the usual negative and dark response we would expect by someone is cynical and hateful, a being who looks for evil instead of the good.  Yea, he responded, he’s only obeying you because you have blessed him, you’ve basically bought his love and obedience. If you take away all of his money and the goodies you have given him, he will curse you to your face. Alright, let’s see if what you say is true. Everything he has in in your hands, says the Lord only do not touch his body. Thus, Satan is given permission to take away everything Job has, including his ten children. Yet, upon the loss Job says, the Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, blessed be his name!

Notice before this conversation and the attack, Satan said he had been walking throughout the earth back and forth on it. What was he doing on those long walks? He was walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour but he discovered he could not devour Job because there was a hedge of protection surrounding him and all he owned. Satan implied that he tried to attack Job but was unsuccessful because of the hedge of protection that surrounded him. None of Satan’s plans or schemes were able to penetrate the hedge. Although Satan may have tried to curse him or attack him, the attack was spoiled because Job was righteous therefore, there was no cause.  Things go well for the righteous and a causeless curse will have no effect on the righteous. Isaiah 3:10, Proverbs 26:2  Scripture says the righteous are delivered from trouble but it comes upon the wicked instead. Proverbs 11:8  
Why Did God allow Satan to attack Job if the above is true? Find out next week or purchase the ebook "The Pleasure Trap" today on

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