Friday, September 30, 2011

BE Attitude #1: I must DECREASE


Matthew 5:1-3 (ESV) Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. (2) And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: (3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3 (TM) "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.


Jesus began his sermon with words that seem to contradict each other. But God's way of living usually contradicts the world's. If you want to live for God, you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you.

The Beatitudes can be understood in at least four ways: (1) They are a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers. (2) They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary). (3) They contrast the superficial "faith" of the Pharisees with the real faith that Christ demands. (4) They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom. These Beatitudes are not multiple choice—pick what you like and leave the rest. They must be taken as a whole. They describe what we should be like as Christ's followers.

Each beatitude tells how to be blessed by God. Blessed means more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God's Kingdom. The Beatitudes don't promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. Being "blessed" by God means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.

With Jesus' announcement that the Kingdom was near (Matthew 4:17), people were naturally asking, "How do I qualify to be in God's Kingdom?" Jesus said that God's Kingdom is organized differently from worldly kingdoms. In the Kingdom of Heaven, wealth and power and authority are unimportant. Kingdom people seek different blessings and benefits, and they have different attitudes. Are your attitudes a carbon copy of the world's selfishness, pride, and lust for power, or do they reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, your king?


Blessed are the poor in spirit—the humble—for theirs is the kingdom. Barclay calls this "the supreme blessedness." The Greek word makarios, which is translated "blessed," is difficult to translate into English. It incorporates the meaning of wholeness, of joy, of well-being, of a holistic peace expressed by the Hebrew word shalom.

The word describes a condition of inner satisfaction expressed by Jesus in John 14:27 : "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (KJV).

The poor in spirit are those who, in absolute poverty of spirit, are solely dependent upon God. Such persons have no confidence in their own successes or achievements, for they enjoy the gift of God's acceptance and fellowship.

This first BE Attitude, teaches us to lean completely and totally upon God. In the Message it says, "with less of you there is more of God and His rule." John the Baptist said as Jesus came on the scene, "I must decrease so that He (Jesus) can increase." (John 3:30)

The only way for Jesus and His rule and influence to increase in our life is for our desires, whims, habits, to decrease in their selfishness. As a Christian we are NEW creatures in Christ. We are born again, as a new person, it is a work of the Spirit of God within us. What is started in the Spirit, cannot be finished in the flesh. It is started, continued and completed in the Spirit. But as days go by, if we do not die to our flesh, and become "poor in Spirit" then we will INCREASE and slowly but surely Christ and His influence will DECREASE in us.

But...blessed, happy, peaceful are those who daily make the choice for Christ to increase in their life. As we do this, we are promised the kingdom of heaven. You will never get to heaven on your own ability, or with YOU increasing. It will only happen when Jesus increases in you.

As you go throughout this day, look for areas in your life where Jesus has been crowded out by your selfishness, and repent of that, and make yourself decrease so Christ can increase!


"Jesus, my prayer today is that You will increase in my life, but that can only happen as I decrease. I want to make sure I have room in my thougths, heart, life, for you. To do that, I must crucify my flesh, die to my selfish whims. I must decrease so You can increase. When I do this, I am happy, joyful, and peaceful. And the kingdom of heaven if mine! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Beauty of Unity


Psalm 133:1-3 (TM) How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! (2) It's like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron's beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. (3) It's like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that's where GOD commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.


David stated that harmony is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, harmony is not always found in the church, as it should be. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Harmony is important because:

(1) it makes the church a positive example to the world and helps draw others to the Lord;

(2) it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;

(3) it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy.

Living in harmony does not mean that we will agree on everything; there will be many opinions just as there are many notes in a musical chord. But we must agree on our purpose in life—to work together for God. Our outward expression of harmony will reflect our inward harmony of purpose.


The world is broken. Fences and walls are the symbols of our age. All of this is a consequence of the Fall. We too often live separated from God and separated from each other. We not only have to think of the continuing conflict of the super powers, but of a thousand smaller conflicts as well. Since the end of World War II, there have been more than 150 wars on the planet, hardly a witness to the United Nations, or to a united earth.

The real scandal, however, is not the brokenness of the world but the brokenness of the church. The truth of this is not merely seen in the expanding number of denominations and independent congregations. The real truth of this is in the brokenness of relationships within those congregations. I have rarely been in a body of believers that has not been divided into factions.

Years ago the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody preached a sermon in which he noted that Christians in his day wanted influence. In stead, Moody said, what they need is power, the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the power that we need to tear down the walls, freeing us to embrace each other once again. This is the power that we need, and it cannot be elected or bought or sold. In fact when one man tried to buy it long ago, the apostle Peter replied (The Message translation), "To hell with you and your money" (Acts 8:20).

Our verse today is about unity among believers.

Verse Psalm 133:1 tells us "how good and how pleasant" unity is. The word good means fulfilling or perfect. Pleasant denotes our response to being together. It means "delightful, lovely, beautiful" and can be attributed to wealth, singing praises to Jehovah God, keeping wise teachings, and our attitude toward physical beauty. Unity gives us a sense of completion and makes us happy.

No wonder David says that it is good and beautiful "for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Many Christians have been frustrated by the disunity of the church. They have spent sleepless nights because of unresolved conflicts. They have spent endless hours seeking to reconcile people. They have preached to congregations where, when certain subjects have been raised, they have seen the frowns of groups who don't go along with their theology. The issues have been avoided rather than confronted. Some Christians give money, letting the pastors know as the check is handed over that they expect favors and influence. And others have been hurt by gossip that has come in the form of prayer requests or "deep Christian concern."

The god of this world, satan, is the one who inspires and directs gossip, cowardly talking about someone behind their back, and the sowing of discord among christian people. My friend, their will be a pay day for those who are attempting to bring destruction to God's church. Anyone who calls you, comes to see you, emails you and puts down church leadership is being used of the devil. DO NOT be a part of it, or you will be held accountable to God.

At the same time, there are Christians who do worship together. Their fellowship is a joy for everyone, and that joy is rooted in a mutual commitment to working out difficulties and refining relationships. They know exactly what David meant here; indeed, it is good, pleasant and beautiful for brethren to dwell together in unity.


"Lord I am so thankful for the opportunity You give us to walk together, dwell together, in unity. The enemy is working overtime attempting to cause division in Your church. Sadly, there are too many carnal individuals who are too easily persuaded to do the devils dirty work. Help me Lord to never be used of the devil. I want to walk, flow, move, speak under the influence of Your Holy Spirit. I want to enjoy the beauty of unity. In Jesus name, amen!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nine things to pray over your Pastor


Colossians 1:9-14 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (10) so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (11) May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, (12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (13) He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


Paul was exposing a heresy in the Colossian church that was similar to Gnosticism. Gnostics valued the accumulation of knowledge, but Paul pointed out that knowledge in itself is empty. To be worth anything, it must lead to a changed life and right living. His prayer for the Colossians has two dimensions:

(1) that they might have complete knowledge of God's will and have spiritual wisdom and understanding; (2) that their lives would produce every kind of good fruit, even as they learned to know God better and better.

Knowledge is not merely to be accumulated; it should give us direction for living. Paul wanted the Colossians to be wise, but he also wanted them to use their knowledge. Knowledge of God is not a secret that only a few can discover; it is open to everyone. God wants us to learn more about him, and also to put belief into practice by helping others.


What a great pattern Paul gives us in these verses to pray for missionaries, pastors, and other spiritual leaders. If we aren't careful, we can become very selfish in our prayers, and never make it around to praying for others. It is a very real temptation. Jesus over and over again exhorts us to pray for each other. Paul tells us to "bear one another's burdens" and to pray without ceasing for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

If you are having a difficult time with someone at work, school, church, in your family, then pray for them. When I hear someone who constantly bashes a person, I know they haven't prayed for them on a regular basis. We are living in troubling times. The enemy is working overtime to sow discord in the church, in our families, at work, in our communties, because he knows God will not bless discord. He moves when His people get in one accord. Because the enemy is attacking our spiritual leaders, we need to make sure we intercede for them daily.

There are times we struggle in how to pray for those who have been ordained of God to lead us. Paul had never met the Colossians, but he faithfully prayed for them. His prayers teach us how to pray for others, whether we know them or not. He gives us nine things that we can pray daily for our pastors and missionaries. Let's look at them.

We can request that they:

(1) understand what God wants them to do,

(2) gain spiritual wisdom,

(3) honor and please God,

(4) produce every kind of good fruit,

(5) learn to know God better and better,

(6) be strengthened with God's glorious power,

(7) have great endurance and patience,

(8) be filled with joy,

(9) give thanks always.

All believers have these same basic needs. When you don't know how to pray for someone, use Paul's prayer pattern for the Colossians.


"Lord, I am so thankful for this passage today. You not only encourage us to pray for those in leadership, You even give us a pattern to follow. In this day and age that we live in, may we all commit ourself to pray for our pastors, missionaries, evangelist, teachers and others in leadership. I refuse to be used by the devil, but I want to be used by Your precious Holy Spirit daily as I intercede following this pattern. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have we forgotten Jesus' Purpose?


Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.

Ezekiel 34:11 "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.


To finance their great world empire, the Romans levied heavy taxes on all nations under their control. The Jews opposed these taxes because they supported a secular government and its pagan gods, but they were still forced to pay. Tax collectors were among the most unpopular people in Israel. Jews by birth, they chose to work for Rome and were considered traitors. Besides, it was common knowledge that tax collectors were making themselves rich by gouging their fellow Jews. No wonder the people muttered when Jesus went home with the tax collector Zacchaeus. But despite the fact that Zacchaeus was both a cheater and a turncoat, Jesus loved him; and in response, this tax collector was converted. In every society, certain groups of people are considered "untouchable" because of their political views, their immoral behavior, or their lifestyle. We should not give in to social pressure to avoid these people. Jesus loves them, and they need to hear his Good News.

When Jesus said Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham and yet was lost, he must have shocked his hearers in at least two ways: (1) They would not have liked to acknowledge that this unpopular tax collector was a fellow son of Abraham, and (2) they would not have wished to admit that sons of Abraham could be lost. But a person is not saved because of a good heritage or condemned by a bad one; faith is more important than genealogy. Jesus came to save all the lost, regardless of their background or previous way of life. Through faith, the lost can be forgiven and made new.


The reason Jesus came to this world, suffered, died, and rose again, was to seek and to save the lost. In Ezekiel 34 God took over the mission of seeking out t he lost sheep because the Jewish leaders had failed. So God sent His only begotten Son to seek out, and save those who were lost. The purpose of Jesus is to seek, and save the lost and to destory the works of the devil. That is very, very clear.

So my question today, "Is that still the purpose of His Church?" He founded the Church, He is the foundation of the Church, and He is building His Church. So, our purpose MUST BE to seek and to save the lost. Is it?

If it is, then why are so many churches battling with discord? Why the debate over the color of the carpet? The color of the pews? How much the pastor makes? Angry over who does or doesn't play the piano? If our purpose is the same as Jesus, then why do we gossip, backbite, and pass out the gossip, even though we only have half the truth?

When our phones, texts, emails, social networking is used to tear down, and destroy character and integrity based on half truth, haven't we lost our purpose? The enemy is a master at deception, and distracting God's people from the purpose of "seeking and saving the lost."

When the lost hear problems in the church, you think they want to attend? When the lost read bickering on Facebook, do they feel compelled or drawn to Christ? When the lost hear you at work badmouthing your Christian brother and sister, isn't that a good sign you have forgotten Jesus' purpose?

The purpose has not changed for Jesus. I am afrad it has for many of His followers. My friend, I couldn't live with myself if I caused someone who isn't a Christian, or someone who is a new Christian, to begin to pull away because of my selfishisness. We desperately need a revival. But revival will NEVER happen in discord. So church of America, lets put aside our pettiness and lets begin to follow Jesus' purpose once again!


"Lord, please forgive us for losing Your purpose. You came to seek and save the lost. Too often instead of seeking the lost we are running off the lost because we have left Your purpose. I want that to change today, and I will follow the leading and direction of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, amen"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Faith, Hope, and Trust


Daniel 3:17-18 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. (18) But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were pressured to deny God, but they chose to be faithful to him no matter what happened! They trusted God to deliver them, but they were determined to be faithful regardless of the consequences. If God always rescued those who were true to him, Christians would not need faith. Their religion would be a great insurance policy, and there would be lines of selfish people ready to sign up. We should be faithful to serve God whether he intervenes on our behalf or not. Our eternal reward is worth any suffering we may have to endure first.


I see three principles in our two verses today: Faith, Hope, and Trust.

Look at what the three Hebrews said again: "Our God is able...Our God will...We will not bow to your gods"

Faith says, "God can." Hope says, "God will." Trust says, "I will praise Him still."

As we read this story, we must remember that these men didn't know the outcome like we do. They were facing a fiery furnace, had undoubtedly heard of the many others who had been incinerated by the same furnace they were now looking at. Standing there, maybe even looking at the furnace they declare their faith, hope and trust in Jehovah God.

Doubt certainly tried to bully faith. Fear you know tried to crowd out hope. Offense more than likely tried to push around trust.

That's what happens to us isn't it? When we are standing on God's Word, believing Him for a miracle, filling our mind with His promises, surrounding ourselves with faith filled individuals, our faith, hope and trust soar. But all three are tested when you come face to face with the "fiery furnace" At that point, its you, God, and the enemy of your soul. God reassuring you through His Holy Spirit, and satan trying to distract you with doubt, fear and offense. And it is up to you what you will do. You will either give in and "bow" to the enemy because of doubt, fear or offense, or you stand firm on God's Word. In our verses these three men fought off the enemies ploys and stood firm and God gave them the victory!

Today, you're not facing a "fiery furnace", but may you are facing a "fiery trial":

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Peter reminds us that everyone goes through fiery trials in this life. Maybe your fiery trial is finances, or marital situations, or health issues. Maybe you are facing an impossible situation where you feel hopeless. If you feel hopeless, please read the next verse slowly, and put it in the crock pot of your mind:

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

God is your source of HOPE. So you are not hopeless, but you are helpless. You have tried everything you can think of for relief in your situation, but you keep coming up empty. You are HELPLESS, but NOT hopeless:

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Through your weakness (helplessness) Jesus' power is made strong. So, again, you are not hopeless, but you may be helpless. But God specializes in helpless, impossible situations, like the ones the three Hebrews found themselves in, and maybe you find yourself in. That is when you declare your faith, hope and trust in Jesus Christ!

The subjects of our story today had to go into the fiery furnace, but God miraculously delivered them. When they came out of the furnace, there was not even the smell of fire. The same God that did that for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, can do the same for you. Declare your confidence in God. Let the enemy know right now that you believe with all of your heart that: God is able to deliver you, that is faith. That He will deliver you, that is hope. And regardless of how the situation turns out, you will give God praise, that is trust!

Walk in victory today, because God can, God will, and you will praise Him still.


"Lord, I am so thankful for faith, hope and trust. Faith declares: God can. Hope shouts: God will. But Trust whispers: I will praise Him still. I am determined today to declare my faith, hope, and trust in You. The fiery trials I am facing did not take You by surprise. I feel hopeless, but I know I am not. I AM helpless, but in that weakness is when You are more real, and show Your power in great ways. Thank You in advance for the victory. My God is able, and will deliver me, and I will never bow to the god of this world. In Jesus name, amen!"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A "leaf" in the night


Leviticus 26:36-37 "'As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them.


The list of curses for disobedience (Leviticus 26:14-15) is more than three times as long as the blessings for obedience. In a fallen and broken world, our proclivity toward disobedience seems to exceed our bent to obedience. Persistence in disobedience and violation of the covenant will be met with emotional and physical disease and the loss of their crops to their enemies who will conquer them (Leviticus 26:16-17). In contrast to the promised blessing, they will flee even when no one is pursuing them.

Our verse today shows one of the things that will happen as a consequence of disobedience. They would be so fearful that "sound of a windblown LEAF will put them to flight..." That's being pretty nervous isn't it? A rustling leaf will send them running as if they are fleeing from the sword, even though NO ONE is pursuing them. Paranoia is rampant in our great country. Everybody thinks someone is out to get them. We here "rustling leaf's" all the time. Constant fear, and very little of God's peace. That needs to change! That is not how God intended for us to live our lives!


Are you feeling afraid today? If so, listen to these words from the God who loves you beyond expression, protects you around the clock, and blesses everything you put your hand to.

When there seems to be no way out, He says to you, "… fear not: stand still [firm, confident, undismayed] and see the salvation [deliverance] of the Lord, which He will work for you today… (Exodus 14:13 AMP).

When the problem looks too big, He says to you, "Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

When you feel like you just can't cope anymore, He says to you, "… do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with my [victorious] right hand… (Isaiah 41:10 AMP).

When you long for peace of mind, He says to you, "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance… continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace… which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds… (Philippians 4:6-7 AMP).

According to Author Bob Gass: Worry is something you permit; peace is something you pursue. Jesus said in John 14:27,
"Do not permit yourselves to be fearful." That
means you can take control of what goes on in your mind. How? By doing three things:

(1) By filling it with God's Word. Not just the Word you read casually, but the Word you process mentally, apply to each circumstance, and stand on in times of crisis.

(2) By placing each situation into God's hands, and leaving it there with confidence.

(3) By allowing the "Soldier of peace" to stand at guard of your heart and mind.

Phippians 4:7 And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


"Lord, everything's in a panic! Even the sound of a LEAF will cause me to run in terror. There's far too much to do and never enough hours to do it. My head is clogged with all kinds of junk and my heart is ready to break. Lord, where are You? I feel like the disciples when the storm came up and the winds and waves rocked their boat. My cry is the same as theirs, 'Somebody go get Jesus - I'm about to drown out here!' The storms of my life have all but sunk my boat - I can't take much more. Prince of Peace I need You. Father, who never slumbers nor sleeps, take charge. I need the comfort and courage that comes from Your Spirit. Speak Lord, for the wind still remembers the sound of Your voice. Let me find in You a quiet place, a place where I can pillow my head on Your breast, hear Your heartbeat, and feel secure. In Jesus name, Amen."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My "Alongside me" God


2 Corinthians 1:3-4 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! (4) He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.


Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being "comforted" can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles


Has your heart ever been broken? What broke it? Cruelty? Failure? Unfaithfulness? Loss? Maybe you found a place alone to cry. Maybe you even feel shame or guilt when you cry, but my friend it’s good to cry. Scottish preacher George McDonald once said, "Tears are the only cure for weeping."

Psalm 56:8 (TM) You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

Psalm 56:8 (ESV) You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?

Just think for a moment what that verse says, "God keeps track of every toss and turn you make in the middle of the night. He keeps your tears in his ledger, in a bottle. He as written every single ache in His book. He knows your pain. He knows when you are hurting. He knows when you do not have the answer. He knows when you feel forsaken, alone, rejected, and unloved. He KNOWS my friend!

Jesus wept at His friend Lazarus’ grave (John 11:35), and He weeps with us (v.33). His heart was broken as well. Our tears attract our Lord’s lovingkindness and tender care. He knows our troubled, sleepless nights. His heart aches for us when we mourn.

As our verse says, He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And He uses His people to comfort one another.

But tears and our need for comfort come back all too frequently in this life. Present comfort is not the final answer. There is a coming a day when there will be no death, no sorrow, no crying, for all these things will “have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). There in heaven God will wipe away every tear. We are so dear to our Father that He will be the one who wipes the tears away from our eyes; He loves us so deeply and personally.

But until we have the ultimate relief from our sorrow, continue to remember, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).


"Lord, You do know every hurt, you see every toss and turn of a sleepless night. You record and file every tear. You enter every ache into Your book of remembrane. I am so thankful that You come alongside those who are hurting. You walk with us through this difficult time. You are my 'alongside me' God. I am so thankful that You do not leave or forsake me. There will come a time soon when the pain I am facing will be used to help someone else is going through a similar situation. Again, that is just the way You are! Thank You for that! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weak faith vs Great faith


Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." (29) He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." (31) Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"


Peter was not putting Jesus to the test, something we are told not to do (Matthew 4:7). Instead, he was the only one in the boat to react in faith. His impulsive request led him to experience a rather unusual demonstration of God's power. Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him. His faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. We probably will not walk on water, but we may walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without faith in Jesus to help, we, too, may despair and sink. To maintain your faith when situations are difficult, focus on Jesus' power rather than on your inadequacies.

Although we start out with good intentions, sometimes our faith falters. This doesn't necessarily mean we have failed. When Peter's faith faltered, he reached out to Christ, the only one who could help. He was afraid, but he still looked to Christ. When you are apprehensive about the troubles around you and doubt Christ's presence or ability to help, remember that he is always with you and is the only one who can really help.


Too often we get it completely turned around what "great faith" is and what "weak faith" is.

We believe great faith is walking on water. That's pretty impressive isn't it? Peter steps out of the boat, and begins to walk towards Jesus. As long as his eyes were on Jesus he was fine, but when he begin to look at the waves and notice the wind, he began to sink. Jesus rescued him, took him back to the boat and said, "why is your faith so WEAK (little spirited)."

Wow, didn't expect that. Weak faith, even though he walked on water?

A few chapters before this one in Matthew 8, Jesus was asleep on the boat in the midst of a storm, and the disciples became offended at him, went and woke Him up with, "dont you care that we perish?" Jesus said, "why are you afraid, O you of little faith (little spirited)?"

Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm.

Two examples of Jesus calling the faith of His disciples, "weak, little spirited" But now lets look at who Jesus said "Great faith." Surely it must be someone who has raised the dead, or laid hands on everyone that was sick, and they were healed. That's got to be who He called "great faith".

Let's look at the story:

Matthew 15:22-28 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." (23) But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." (24) He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (25) But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." (26) And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." (27) She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." (28) Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Notice what happens: Jesus didn't answer at all at first. Then the disciples begged Him to send her away. Then Jesus said "I am only come for the lost sheep of Israel", this lady was a cannanite. Then Jesus said, "it's not right for me to give the childrens bread to the DOGS."

Dog was a term the Jews commonly applied to Gentiles because the Jews considered these pagan people no more likely than dogs to receive God's blessing. Jesus was not degrading the woman by using this term; he was reflecting the Jews' attitude so as to contrast it with his own. The woman did not argue. Instead, using Jesus' choice of words, she agreed to be considered a dog as long as she could receive God's blessing for her daughter

I would have been offended at Jesus. I would have bristled. I would have probably missed out on this miracle because of my offense. I would have walked off saying, "Jesus didn't act like I think He should, He didn't do what I thought He should."

But not this lady. She answered Jesus immediately, "even the dogs get the that fall from the masters table." Before a miracle ever took place, before the child was healed, Jesus said to this woman, "O woman, how great is your faith!" The miracle hadn't taken place yet, but Jesus has already called her faith great. What's going on here? By the way, her daughter was healed, AFTER Jesus said she had great faith!

I submit to you today that great faith is when you refuse to get offended at the ways, works and wonders of God. When you do not get the answer to your prayer that you are hoping for immediately, you do not get offended. You do not allow yourself to get angry at God. You trust Him, and His ways. That is GREAT FAITH

When you are constantly mad and offended at God because He doesn't move the way you think he should, then you are walking in WEAK FAITH.

Great faith trust God and His Word regardless what their eyes see.

Weak faith trust God ONLY if they see the answer immediately.

I refuse to get offended at God. I want to make the choice today, to celebrate and Trust His Word and Presence in my life.


"Lord, help me to be aware of weak faith and great faith. Because Your ways are so much higher than my ways, I will not always understand Your delays, or ways. Great faith is not getting offended at Your ways or delays. Great faith is trusting You, PERIOD. I know, that I know You have my best interest at heart. You WILL cause things to work together for the good of me and my family, because we love You and are called according to Your purpose. I do not want weak faith. I do not want to be offended at You. I trust You, I love You, I serve You and I praise You. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

For God knows...


Genesis 3:4-5 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. (5) For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


Why does Satan tempt us? Temptation is Satan's invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God's kind of life. Satan tempted Eve and succeeded in getting her to sin. Ever since then, he's been busy getting people to sin. He even tempted Jesus (Mathew 4:1-11). But Jesus did not sin!

How could Eve have resisted temptation? By following the same guidelines we can follow. First, we must realize that being tempted is not a sin. We have not sinned until we give in to the temptation. Then, to resist temptation, we must (1) pray for strength to resist, (2) run, sometimes literally, and (3) say no when confronted with what we know is wrong. James 1:12 tells of the blessings and rewards for those who don't give in when tempted.

The serpent, Satan, tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God's goodness. He implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish for not wanting Eve to share his knowledge of good and evil. Satan made Eve forget all that God had given her and, instead, focus on what God had forbidden. We fall into trouble, too, when we dwell on what God forbids rather than on the countless blessings and promises God has given us. The next time you are feeling sorry for yourself and what you don't have, consider all you do have and thank God. Then your doubts won't lead you into sin.


I wanted to come back to this verse today. Once again, we see satan trying to get Eve to doubt God's goodness, His kindness. If God didn't really care about Eve, then why would she concern herself with doing what God wanted her to do?

He told Eve that God knows that this would bless her, and make her a better person "your eyes will be open" to see things that you can't see now. In other words, "you disobey God, because He's trying to keep something from you." He goes on, "in fact you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Satan always paints a beautiful picture. Here the picture was that it was satan, and not God, who really cared about her. That she would be better off going against God's Word than obeying it. He let her know that "she would see things differently if she just knew the entire truth."

The enemy continues to do the same thing today: "God knows... what your going through. If He cared He would have already done something about it!" "His Word isn't really something you can count on, do your own thing." "God is too busy to be concerned about you, he has too many other things to do and more important people to spend His time with!" All of these are attempts to get you to not trust Your loving, compassionate, patient, merciful, faithful God.

God says vengenace is mine, I will repay. But satan lies to try to cause us to think we can "become like God by seeking revenge." God says, "dont worry about tomorrow, i have this covered" and satan attempts to make us think if anything is going to happen it's going to have to be us, because God hasn't done anything yet, so we take it from God's hands, and follow the lie of the enemy that we "can be like God" and have sleepless nights carrying the very burden that God says He wanted from us.

The enemy of our soul attacked the truth of God's Word in the garden of Eden, and he has been doing the same thing ever since. Let me give you a few examples:

"God is a healer" is absolute truth. But the enemy wants to change that to relative truth and say, "He only heals certain ones that He really cares about, and that isn't you."

"God cares about You"-absolute truth. Satan twists it to say, "if He really cared, He wouldn't be holding this back from you."

"Don't seek vengeance, I've got this covered" absolute truth. Satan attacks this truth and tells you that God won't do a good enough job of paying back so you need to get involved with gossip, backbiting, lying to pay them back what they deserve!

I don't know about you, but I'm thankful that I didnt get what I deserve. I fail God often. Let Him down. But His grace is more than sufficient. Where sin abounds...Grace much more abounds.

God truly cares for you. Don't allow the enemy to manipulate your emotions and the Holy Word to say to you things that God has not said to you. Walk in the Spirit, and refuse to say one word without filtering it through soul searching prayer and Holy Ghost direction. Then you will keep God on the throne of your life, and NOT self!


"Lord I am so thankful that You care for me. Oh yes, the enemy often attempts to tell me differently, but he is a liar. He attempts to paint a lovely picture, but the picture is based in lies. I do not want to used by the devil to bring destruction, pain, or hurt to anyone. I want to help build your church, not tear it down. To help build, I must be reminded that God, you truly are GOOD, kind, patient, and faithful. Thank you again Lord, in Jesus' name, amen!"