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Archive for May, 2014

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2
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It Takes a Thief

Jesus is not coming as a thief in the night for believers, but for those who have been led astray. The very next verse tells us who they are: those who say, dPeace and safety!” or in other words, those who have been duped into a false sense of security or naivety outside of a faith in Christ Jesus, perhaps depending upon the doctrines of men and governments. These are the ones who will be caught off guard who when Christ comes will react as if He was a stranger in their house. When ruin comes their way, there will be no escape.

Sons of Light

Believers (followers of Jesus Christ) cannot be overtaken by this Day because we are in His light and sons of His inheritance. However there is a warning lest we become lax, Let us not sleep…let us watch and be sober.” The answer to how are we to stay awake, vigilant, and alert is found (at least in part) in Hebrews 10:24-25:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

As the Day of His return nears (and everyday we are one-day closer), we need to embrace fellowship, and in this realm, as we worship and praise our Lord, we are to encourage each other and kindle the flames of love and good works. I say woe to those who fail to love and encourage the brothers and the sisters; and woe to those who instill discouragement in the hearts of the brethren.

Are You Ready?

By that I mean do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you were to die today, do you have the assurance of spending the rest of eternity with Jesus in Heaven? You can. Please click HERE if you want to follow Jesus.

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But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead… Philippians 3:13

In chapter 13 of the Book of Numbers, twelve spies were sent to spy-out the Promised Land and were ordered to bring back a report. Two men brought back a favorable report and ten men turned in a negative one. Now as quick as you can (and without looking in your Bible), name the ten men who brought back a negative report.

You Can’t

You can’t do it, can you. Nobody I know can, but rest assured they’re all recorded in the Bible. Funny how the only names we remember are Joshua and Caleb.  The fact that we know theirs and not the others is in itself a witness to what Paul is declaring here in his letter to the Philippians: focus on the positive and forget the negative.

Even Jesus reminds us in Luke 9:62:

“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Jesus isn’t saying that those who dwell in the past or focus on the negative will not enter the kingdom of God, but is saying that we’re not fit. In other words, we are out of shape, and not in the best spiritual condition that we could be if we were looking and moving forward. This Spiritual weakness is the byproduct of dwelling upon the negative, while spiritual muscle is promoted as we move forward in Christ. Of course this verse also speaks to those who yearn for the sinful things they’ve left behind to follow Jesus. These folks are a selfish lot, double-minded and unstable in all their ways.

Where is Your Focus?

There is one good thing we can glean from the ten spies — they serve as an example of what not to do. Rather than moving in faith, they succumb to fear and the report they turned-in reflected their spiritual condition: they lost touch with their God of provision and promise. We can all relate to this condition, can’t we. The solution is found in confession and repentance: admitting to Jesus our failure(s) and turning again to Him and away from our offenses.  It’s not necessarily a matter of starting from scratch, but getting up where you have fallen and moving forward in the will of Christ Jesus.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

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Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13
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It took me a while…

I always misunderstood the implication of the verse, Work out your own salvation,” thinking that it somehow meant I was in this sanctification thing alone. Sure, I was saved by the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ, but I errantly thought I was left to do it single-handedly, having only the fear of God and the trembling of what He might do to me if I stepped out of line as incentive. Despite comprehending the fear of the Lord, being a lone ranger is not what is being conveyed in this passage.

Cross Training

We’re being told to ‘work out’ or to literally exercise these things that Jesus has taught us by His example in order that we may be strengthened in faith. We are not being told to figure it out alone and most definitely we’re not being told that salvation is something we need to work for. We’re being told to exercise in the truth that we know so that we will encourage and maintain spiritual fitness.

Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:7b-8

The Exercises

Not to be flippant, but here are three basic exercises: the ‘Humility Walk’, the ‘Servant Squat’, and the ‘Self-esteem Toss.’ Our Trainer (Jesus), having taken on the form of a man, demonstrated them each and it would serve us well to remember that it was Jesus the man who is our example. Jesus the man was able, just as we are able, by solely relying on the power of the Father.

Walk in Humility

And being found in fashion as a man, (Jesus) humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8

Service to Others

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant… Matthew 20:26-27

Toss away Selfishness

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

And lest we forget…

Obedience

Obedience is the essence of the Christian faith. Jesus Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8) and it speaks directly to ‘showing up’ when you’re called to. When believers talk about taking up the cross and following Him, they’re making a strong reference to obedience, as well as dying to the flesh on a daily basis. Clearly, if we love Jesus and if we’re grateful for His love for us, we exercise that love by obeying Him in all things.

The MOST Important Rule!

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

You can search long and hard, but you won’t find that credo in Work Out World or any other gym for that matter. The world doesn’t get it, but the church does. When a Christian is humble, or when he stumbles or when he is emptied, he is in the best position to be strengthened by the Lord, if of course that person is submitted to Christ and His workout ethic.

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A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
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What if?

I know the premise is not new, but what if you did find the cure for cancer; oh not curea cancer, but all cancer? Would you not share this discovery with the entire world? Ok, maybe you would sell the formula and become a gazillionaire, but that is not my point. Ultimately you would share it.

Well whether you realize it not, if you are a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, you do possess the cure. If you are in Christ, whatever ails you today (if it hasn’t already been cured) will be healed the moment you cross-over to be with Him. This final healing will last you an eternity.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
I raise the issue because the other day I was driving a new-believer to a doctor’s appointment and she shared about how her life is still pretty rotten despite having given her heart and her life to Christ. We talked about patience and we talked about faith, but it wasn’t until after I dropped her off that I thought to talk about grace.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

When she got back in the car I picked up the conversation where we left off.

“What if nothing changed, ” I asked her.

I know and trust that much of her life will change for the better if she opts to abide in Christ Jesus, but I asked her again, “What if nothing changed. Is His grace sufficient? Is knowing that this life is a vapor and spending eternity with Jesus in heaven enough for you?”

What if nothing changed. Is His grace sufficient? Is knowing that this life is a vapor and spending eternity with Jesus in heaven enough for you?”

“Yes, ” she said, “it is.”

“Good answer, ” I said.

Back to the Cure

You and I (and about 2 billion others in the world who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) own the cure. There are about 5 billion people in the world who desperately need the cure. Imagine the difference it would make if you shared it with just one of them.

Now let me ask you…

Do you KNOW Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

If you died suddenly, would you go to Heaven or hell?

Click HERE and be healed.

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Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Love is that fruit of the Spirit that allows God’s power to flow through us by way of the gifts that He has provided. Loveless-ness causes friction. Removing love from this blueprint would be akin to removing the oil from your engine’s crankcase. A car without oil will run for a while, making a whole lot of noise, and then stop entirely.

A Better Illustration From God

And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates on the hem of the robe all around between the pomegranates: a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe to minister in, as the Lord had commanded Moses. Exodus 39:25-26

bellWhat’s the significance?

We might notice how the bells are symbolic of the Lord’s gifts and the pomegranates are representative of His love; a fruit of the Spirit (and friction-fighter). In other words, God has painted a ‘bell-fruit-bell’ picture for the church, with the pomegranate (love) as the cushion. Without this buffer of love between each gifting, would we not be left with a cacophony of metal clanging against metal, but with love in-between, each jingle is a clear tone, distinguishable one from another and harmonious one with another! This is how our spiritual gifts should flow.

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Do you remember Don Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers? In case you’ve forgotten, or were in a coma, he’s the guy who made some incredibly racist remarks regarding African Americans, but did he actually say Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated?” 

Nope. That wasn’t him.

Don Sterling is not responsible for these two quotes either:

Negroes...are mentally inferior to native born Americans”

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.  We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Then who is responsible?

I’ll give you a hint.

Hillary Clinton said of this person, “I admire (her) enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision… when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.”

Hillary is in awe of a racist? Who could it be?

Both Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi received awards named for this person, as did Jane Fonda and Ted Turner. This person went on to establish an organization that President Obama personally thanked and then asked God’s blessing for.

Who is it?

Margaret Sanger and KKKNone other then Ku Klux Klan speaker, Margret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, racist and murderer extraordinaire.

I’m seeing a double standard. One racist (Sanger) is lauded and the other (Sterling) is vilified. One racist (Sanger) is responsible for the slaughter of millions of blacks and the other racist (Sterling) hires them to work and pays them millions of dollars.

If I can quote Hillary again, “What difference does it make?”

dsI’ll tell you. They are both racists, but Margret Sanger is the worst of the worse: she’s the one with oceans of blood on her hands. How dare we ban Don Sterling from basketball, fine him greatly, but then turn a blind eye to Sanger. While it’s true she is gratefully dead, sadly (sinfully) her work and her satanic racist dreams continue today, supported by millions of our tax dollars! In a word, this is outrageous!

Why is America by in large blind to this? Why is the African American community not enraged? God is not amused and nor will He wink at this decades-long injustice. We must wake up to these atrocities and pray hard that Planned Parenthood will someday soon close it’s doors.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:7-9

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and Jesus said, Take Heed that No Man Deceive You, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

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