For more than 2000 years the gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached to this dying world.
Unfortunately we have preached more of the facts of the gospel, than the application of that gospel. I mean, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is very important to know but if it is given without context, where is the power?
We are saved by grace through faith and the bible calls this a gift that no man can take credit. (Eph. 2:8). Moreover, the fact that it is Jesus’ blood that reconciles me to the father and his life that actually saves me (Rom. 5:10) is just the beginning. How this all works together is the crux of the matter and ultimately redefines who I am and my purpose.
To make his gospel come alive, you must believe that it was an act of love on your behalf. Does it matter that Jesus died for you? Does it matter enough for you to die (crucify the old me) for him?
Further, if I say I know and believe in Jesus, does the life I live say the same thing? This is why we need a crusade. We need to be reminded of the facts of his gospel. We need a call back to the original commission to share the gospel with the rest of the world. It’s time to reveal the hope of our calling and surrender God’s truth without apology.
If you are anywhere near San Antonio, TX over the next 6 days, stop by the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown and experience God’s love toward us. Come and hear the story of Jesus presented in a bold and loving way. Come and hear that in the midst of our struggle is when Christ died for us! Come and sing praise to his name because he made it easy for souls in danger. All these souls have to do is look above because Jesus completely saves!
So we know that the church is the body of Christ and Christ’s kingdom here on earth.
He reigns supreme in this gathering of believers. Some might call it cultish due to the unfeigned faith each member has for the king.
Throughout the New Testament one can find many examples of how the body of Christ functions and relates to head of the body. And from here its even easier to see how the relationship with the head effects the horizontal relationships throughout the membership.
So, things like service, forgiveness, unconditional love, faithfulness, compassion, truth and longsuffering should abound in such places. There is a definite togetherness and sense of having all things in common among the believers. Judgement has no place here, only encouragement to be the best you can be and assistance when you stumble.
A placebo is a measure designed merely to calm, please or pacify another. It is more for a psychological benefit than for any spiritual effect. A placebo church only exists as a method to control. It is only a form of godliness, but it denies the power there of.
The largest problem with this type of church is there is no spiritual growth, there is no support, there is no fellowship and there is no forgiveness. When trouble comes you are on your own. When Satan attacks you are judged instead of helped.
You stay in this system because it looks right, but it is far from righteousness. So I ask you this day: Is your church a placebo and more importantly why are you still there?
We are consciously aware of the spiritual warfare going on inside of us. The physical world that we live in is a manifestation of that war.
When we see the darkness of this world, it sometimes looks like we are losing the spiritual battle. We see sin reign, hatred in abundance and ego elevated beyond the heights of selfishness.
Somehow we lost sight of God’s plan…or did we ever know it?
Here’s the plan: God wanted to show his goodness to us so he gave us grace and mercy. We were to show our gratitude through imitation of his son and obedience. The model he gave us was the burning bush. If we are doing it correctly then we would be surrounded by the fires of this world, but never consumed. We would remain in this state until he sent his son back to get us.
He would take us from the burning bush to a new tabernacle not made with hands. We would then dwell with him forever. But in the mean time we are to simply let our lights shine bright in the mist of this dark world. We were never supposed to eliminate the darkness but create as much light as we could.
The light would be in the forms of love, justice, forgiveness, service and goodness. Despite the evils of this world, our God wants to see the flourishing beauty he created. He expects for this creation to not conform to the world, but be transformed by a renewed mind. This is creation is precious to him. He called this creation Christians!
If God only gave us 10 times during our life to lose our cool and then we would die, I wonder how many of us would still be here?
God, wanting us to do the right thing, knew that by giving us intellect that we would figure out what the right thing to do would be. He also, in his infinite wisdom, knew that we would need something to fuel our bodies to action for the right thing. We not only need to understand the right thing to do but he gave us something to energize that effort. He gave us anger.
Anger belongs to us. It is supposed to be the fuel that makes us move NOW. Consider this: We know the bible teaches us to be angry, but sin not. And to not allow the sun to go down on our wrath. Then the Apostle Paul gives the example of when Peter was to be blamed he withstood him to his face and he didn’t let an hour go by before doing it. We were never taught to allow wrongdoing, but to challenge it with truth.
Now, in our society we love to waste time talking about things and saying what we’re going to do without doing a thing. We love to share our stories with others to gain support and we love to make empty promises about what we’re going to do in retaliation — and it’s all talk for the most part.
This foolish effort runs on anger. God expects us to own our anger and let it be the fuel for resolution. Anger was supposed to compel us to do the right thing immediately. To respond to things that make us uncomfortable we need a little anger. Anger is not bad. Doing the wrong thing with anger is bad.
So the lesson here is easy: When something angers you, speak to it immediately. You owe your brothers and sisters that right in Christ. So don’t punk out! Own your anger and speak the truth in love.
It now makes sense to me why people don’t like to examine themselves: Our image is broken!
I feel bad sometimes when I realize that I live in a country that treats animals (primarily dogs and cats) better than poor people. I live in a country that does not forgive or forget.
I live in a country that is racist, bias and hypocritical. And I am sadly a part of this country. I represent those who point fingers both ways. I represent those who realize that they are the things they hate.
Father, l need you to search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Teach me a better way Lord that I might let your light shine through me.
I am not worthy of your light. I am not fit for your use. I need you, Father, to cleanse me enough to say amen. Give me your words that I may never thirst.
Heal my heart. Make me an instrument of righteousness that I may serve you with gladness. Help me not judge those who are not where I am. And please let me not covet those in the place where I want to be.
Forgive me O God for I have sinned. Make me invisible so that those who see my good only see you and not me. Save all of my credit for heaven father. Don’t allow people to ever praise me here.
Thank you father for my gifts and I vow to do your name good with them.
Heal the hurt I have caused and turn my negative to positive. In the name of the one who chose the cross for me!
Worshipping is woven into the fabric of our very being. Without instruction we will worship anything. Some are worshipping people, animals and things.
It’s not hard to understand exactly why we were given the intellect and the ability to worship. Worship is paying homage to a worthy object of affection. It is an expression of the gratitude we feel for that object based on our understanding.
God, then, would be worshipped because of what we understand about him. Our father’s grace, mercy, longsuffering, love, faithfulness and forgiveness are just a few things in a long list of attributes that should stimulate our desire to show our gratitude and worship him.
True worship, then, would be worshipping God in spirit (that’s your spirit) and in truth (the revealed understanding of who he is). I can attempt to worship God in my flesh. This is when I respond to God based on my senses. So if it stimulates me, I will use it to worship him. Worship before Christ was done this way. There were things to touch, taste, smell, hear and see in worship. The burnt offerings, use of incense and the shewbread were all a part of the ceremonial worship. I can also attempt to worship him mentally which would be based on my own understanding — it will appear zealous, but not according to knowledge. I can attempt to worship him based on my emotions. The philosophy is that it makes me feel good so it should make God feel good.
Today, God calls us to a much higher worship. One that requires the use of my intellect and understanding of who he is. It requires the submission of the heart of the person worshipping and the sole use of things God created and nothing we created with our own hands.
God now wants the sacrifice of praise, which the bible defines as the fruit of our lips praising him. Christ left us a feast to participate in and unconditional love is to be shared throughout. God wants us to have a consuming worship that pays homage to him and stimulates his love between us. It is also the start of a week that should be filled with the true worshippers offering themselves as a living sacrifice for him all week until we are united again together on the first day of the week. We are the lively stones that come together to form a spiritual house where he joins us.
Simple, natural and authorized. God should dictate how you worship if your worship is about honoring him. The father is seeking such to worship him — now what about your worship?
God specializes in doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. If you have built a relationship with God through faith in Christ Jesus, then you know that feeling of helplessness and the devastation when you feel the brunt of your undone condition. Since Christ was resurrected from the dead, many have looked to him to fix their relationship with the father.
Today we have a unique opportunity to do something for someone else that they could not have done for themselves. I’m speaking beyond a tall person helping a short person reach something on a high shelf. Or a younger person running errands for a much older person. Or even a mother taking care of her child. Although these fit the basics of this thought, we should focus our attention on the weightier matters.
There are people who are in a position that makes it impossible for them to love themselves. They live with guilt and shame and don’t feel worthy. They need someone to love them. There are people who have wronged others and it is impossible for them to grant forgiveness for themselves. They need to be forgiven.
In a country where we take pride in things like revenge, winning and wealth, wouldn’t it be nice if at the end of each year it was mandatory that we would love or forgive? And wouldn’t it be cool if there were strict laws and people could actually go to jail for not loving or forgiving?
The Apostle John wrote: “beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.”
And Jesus himself said, … by this will all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another. And if you read Matt. 18:23-35, there is a shocking revelation by Jesus in regards to how the father feels about forgiveness. We only need to remember what he has done for us and reciprocate.