Friday, January 12, 2018

Shaken into Sending and Saying!

“I’m shaking you out of the discouragement of the last season and causing that discouragement to fall.  I’m shaking you out of your disillusion of what didn’t happen because I am getting ready to send you to people, places and into a dimension of understanding that you’ve not known. Let Me shake off the loss so that I can send you forth.  For I’m looking for a voice that has the sound of Heaven in it … a voice of faith that will begin to prophesy and speak, and to release the joy of Heaven on the earth!  I’m activating My voice in you in a way that it’s not been activated before.  I will cause My voice to rise out of your discouragement, out of your disillusionment, and out of your disinterest from the past.  You will be known as one that represents Me, as I send you into places that others would never go.  Let your voice come out of the last season so My voice of faith can be heard from you today!”  Chuck D. Pierce

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Golden Rule is Still Relevant

Common sense and common courtesy are in short supply. People seem to do whatever feels okay to them without thinking how their actions affect anyone else. I believe the "Golden Rule" needs to be taught and used in our daily lives. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule comes from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, "All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them." Luke 6:31

The second part which is relevant in our present age is Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9

What kind of people do this? People who belong to the Kingdom of God are probably the only ones who do. Make sure you are one of these for goodness sake!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jesus Understands our Weaknesses

Today has been a stressful day for me. I spent most of my time in the hospital pre-planning for some minor surgery. I went from one part of the hospital to another making sure each medical personnel I needed to see was contacted. In every waiting room, I met strangers going through the same stressful experience as me. I usually don't say very much to people I don't know but today there was at least one person in every area that was open to talking.

Now I am reflecting on the conversations and one theme came through; life. Life affects everyone yet stress can make us brothers and sisters in life. We related to one another in our common journey. Tonight I am encouraged that Jesus understands what we all were going through today. The High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Worship Services are not Always Worshipful

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 

I claim this verse as I need to worship God in a setting that is truly worshipful. One of the most essential ingredients in true worship is music which leads the worshipers into His presence. I was in a service this past Sunday where the bass guitar and drums were so overwhelming that my shirt sleeves were literally moving against my skin with each beat. If this was happening to my clothes I can only imagine what my eardrums were doing! I was so distracted by the sound that I could not focus on the Lord.

I am searching for a place in which the worship from start to finish is saturated with the anointing of Jesus' presence. I have experienced this maybe ten times in my life. Conservatively I have been in over 5,000 "worship" services during my 47 years as a Christian. This means that only .002% of the time spent in church services were what I consider worshipful; not even 1%.

Is God present in our gatherings? I fear that what passes as worship is no more than an hour of man-made fluff. I looked in the dictionary to find the meaning of fluff. Fluff is something of no consequence. 

Since last Sunday morning, I have been praying that the Lord will give me the desire of my heart. My heart's desire is to find a place where Jesus' definition of worship can be experienced. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Monday, January 8, 2018

There is a Hope

During this 21 days of prayer & fasting the Lord has been ministering to me through the music of Stuart Townend. His songs are like modern hymns and are so anointed. The Holy Spirit is cleansing me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am sharing the video and lyrics with you. Be blessed!

There is a hope that burns within my heart 
That gives me strength for every passing day 
A glimpse of glory now revealed in meagre part 
Yet drives all doubt away
I stand in Christ with sins forgiven 
And Christ in me the hope of heaven! 
My highest calling and my deepest joy 
To make His will my home   

There is a hope that lifts my weary head 
A consolation strong against despair 
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit 
I find the Saviour there! 
Through present sufferings future's fear 
He whispers courage in my ear 
For I am safe in everlasting arms 
And they will lead me home
There is a hope that stands the test of time 
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave 
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine 
When I behold His face 
When sufferings cease and sorrows die 
And every longing satisfied 
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul 
For I am truly home     

Stuart Townend & Mark Edwards  Copyright © 2007 Thankyou Music 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Rest of God

January 7, 2018

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 36:7

How many people actually take a day to rest? For those who work full-time jobs, Saturdays are filled with house and yard work. Active church members spend half a day or longer on Sundays with church activities. I remember often working twelve hours on Sundays when I was a pastor. So how do Christians rest?

We must learn to tap into the rest of God. There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:9 It is in this rest that the Lord restores our soul. In the above-mentioned Psalm 36:7 verse He is speaking of this kind of rest.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Set Time with God

January 6, 2018

There are special times set apart for the people of God. These set times are called a moed. The term moed means an appointed place, time, or season. Usually, a moed is used in conjunction with feast times or festivals in the Hebrew calendar. Beginning tomorrow I will begin a moed of prayer and fasting. This will be a 21-day set time for seeking God's plan for my life during this New Year. I know of many others who are observing this set time.

I have personal situations that I will be praying about and also corporate prayer requests. I am asking the Lord to heal my heart and help me to discipline my eating habits (I love chocolate and Krispy Kreme donuts!). I believe the fast will enable me to begin to get a handle on how to eat more healthy.

Corporately I am joining other Christians as we pray for a great spiritual awakening in America. Our nation is so divided and hatred is spilling over into almost every facet of life. We must have a move of God to sweep over and into the very fabric of our land. Fasting enables our prayer life to be more focused on the Lord. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 Fasting is one of the ways we humble ourselves and seek the face of God.

This moed is ordained and so timely for me. I am desperate for a move of God in my life. You may be led by the Lord to join me during this moed. By the way, today I just had my last real meal at The Bright Star Restuarant in Bessemer!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Meow and a Roar

Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? Genesis 49:9 

A whelp is a cub. God is saying that the Tribe of Judah is like a lion's cub. When it is time to give birth a lioness leaves her pride (a group of lions) and has her lion cubs in dense cover. Cubs remain hidden for one to two months before being introduced to the rest of the pride.

After Jesus was born an angel instructed Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt because Herod ordered all baby boys who had been born in Bethlehem in the past two years to be killed. They remained in Egypt for up to two years. I find it interesting that the lion's whelp remains hidden for one to two months. Here we see a similarity with hiddenness. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah and before becoming known as the Lion of the tribe of Judah he was a lion's whelp. I know that I have never thought of Jesus as a lion cub but only as the strong Lion of Judah. Yet, before he became the lion he was first a whelp (cub). 

Now I see the birth of Jesus in a new light. He was born as a baby, grew through adolescence, and became an adult carrying out his mission here on earth. Jesus is coming again as the Lion of Judah! No longer a cub but a full-grown lion. Listen for the roar! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pleasing God and Overcoming Evil

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Those who come to God must believe that he exists. And they must believe that he rewards those who look to him. Hebrews 11:6 NIRV

Prepare your heart and mind to experience great challenges in 2018. This will be a year of many calamities and heartache. What is it that you have that will enable you to face these and not be overcome? You have faith in God. If you didn't have faith you will not have victory and you will not please God. It is impossible to please God without faith.

1 John 5:4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. I cannot emphasize this truth strongly enough. We will need to walk in faith and believe that God will provide for us and keep us safe. The day is coming when everything we do will have to be by faith.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Who Will Be My God in 2018?

I believe more than ever that God is serious about our devotion to Him. God does not want to be second or third in our priorities in this new year. He wanted first place with Israel but the people worshiped other gods. This provoked God and He continued to send His prophets to warn Israel.

Morning after morning and long into the night I kept after you, sending you all those prophets, my servants, begging you, "Please, please-don't do this, don't fool around in this loathsome gutter of gods that I hate with a passion." Jeremiah 44:4 The Message

If we put God first place in our lives in 2018 we will walk in His blessings. If our nation puts God first the nation will be blessed. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD... Psalm 33:12  There are many gods in our country. For some people college football is like a god in their lives. They spend more money for football than they give to the Lord. It is easy for other gods to creep into our lives. I purpose to worship God first and foremost this year. The LORD God will be my God.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I Was Awakened this Morning

A major way God speaks to us is through reading His Word. On day one of 2018, I began to sense that the Holy Spirit would spotlight one particular verse each day for meditation. This blog will become my journal of what I believe God is speaking to me. I now share day two's verse.

The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4. NASB

It is God that literally awakens me each morning. In October I was diagnosed with a heart condition which causes sudden cardiac arrest. The cardiologist said it is hereditary. When I first began to realize that I could die anytime during the day or the night I wondered if I might die in my sleep. In reality, any of us could die in our sleep. Our lives are in His hands. I don't want to die in my sleep. That is why this Scripture from Isaiah is so relevant to me; He awakens me morning by morning. Each morning is a gift from God! I am literally alive this morning because God ordained me to live another day for Him.

It is not enough for a Christian to live another day but to live as a disciple. Disciple means a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower. A Christian is a disciple of the doctrine (teachings) of Jesus. We are followers of Jesus. God awakens me each morning to be Jesus' disciple. He awakens me morning by morning! I am believing that this phrase applies to me; God awakes me day after day. I will live many days and not die in my sleep!

The next truth I receive today from Isaiah 50:4 is that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. As a called minister of the Gospel, I personally desire to share a relevant word with people who are tired and weary. I want my words to encourage you and to keep your mind and spirit from giving way to trial or affliction. All of this is gleaned from this one verse.

I pray that I will listen and "hear" as a disciple each day during 2018.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Journal Entry for the First Day of 2018

January 1, 2018

The first day of the new year of 2018; filled with hope, expectations, and dreams. I have had several impressions early this morning that I believe are of the Lord for this year. One of these is that I should keep a journal. I have never journaled but I feel this will be important for me. This blog will be my way of sharing what the Holy Spirit is saying to me.

The second impression was to read Luke 4:16. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. I need to commit myself to corporate worship each week. This has been a sensitive issue for me after retiring from being a pastor four years ago. I have not found a church where I feel comfortable and where I fit. I continuously feel out of place. Another major factor has been the style of worship. I want and need more than a "same ole" service. There is no perfect church but I don't want to settle for less than how God desires to be worshiped.

The main word I got from this Scripture is how Jesus entered the synagogue as was His custom. A custom is a tradition and practice. I will establish the practice of weekly corporate worship in 2018 and I am believing by faith that the Lord will lead me to the church which will become my home church. 

Not only did Jesus attend His synagogue but He was an active participant in worship. Jesus stood up to read. I don't want to just attend worship but also become an active participant.

New Year and a new custom for me.