Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Women Should and Shouldn’t Wear

Father God, I give you honor and praise this morning and thank you for a new day.  I thank you for giving me life, health, and strength this morning.  I thank you for protecting my family and me while we slumbered.  I thank you for just being a blessing God.  I pray now for the readers of your word.  I pray that they take heed to what is before them, and apply appropriately to their lives.  I pray for an increase of faith, to those who are wavering, and I pray for peace in our lives.  We give you honor, praise, and glory to an almighty magnificent God.  We pray in your son Jesus name.  Amen!

Oh, the effects when scripture is not taught correctly.  How many women have strayed from the church because of silly and ridiculous burdens put on them due to lack of understanding of scriptures?  You are not supposed to say this, or you are supposed to say it this way.  You are not to put this on, or you’re supposed to put that on.  Take that out of your ears; put this over your head.  Your hair is too long.  Your hair is not to be this or that way.  My goodness!  Is this church or Simon says?  Am I incorrect in my scenario?  Surely you will tell me if I am being overly gratuitous.  Nonetheless, it is things like this that push so many away from God and the church, because of rules incorrectly understood, incorrectly taught, and incorrectly applied.  Well massa!  I sho don’t want to offend Gaud!  Weeza goin to do whey yu reckon us to do!  Give me a break!!!  Last time I read, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed!”  It’s alright to say Amen!!!

One of the scriptures that many have taught incorrectly is in Isaiah 3.  It reads: “Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the LORD will uncover their secret parts." In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils;  The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; The nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.  And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.” (Isa 3:17-24)  The first verse should already give you an idea of the meaning.  It starts off stating “Therefore the Lord…”  This point to a punishment and not a command. 

Those who want to control the women in their congregation use these verses.  However they forget to read the prior verses.  It reads, “What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the faces of the poor?" Says the Lord GOD of hosts. Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet,” (Isa 3:15-16)  You had a set of women who in their pride and arrogance were walking around like they have it all together and looking down at the poor.  Oh how the Word of God can transcend time.  God opposes over the top luxuries and vanity, and when this cause a set of people to look down on another, he intercedes hence the removal of all items that one attributes to beauty.  Was it a command?  I think not.  Jewelry was given as offerings in Ex 32:2-3, Nu 31:50, and Judges 8:24.  How were they able to use them as offerings if they should not have them in the first place?  It seems that there may be an interpretation issue.

Another verse, that I just chuckle when I read it, comes from Deuteronomy.  Many use this verse saying that a woman is not to wear pants because only men wear pants.  Hear is the scripture “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” (De 22:5)  Again if you read the whole verse, it also gave a charge to the man.  This was not only about apparel but points to behavior.  In the commentary collections of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown they describe it best.  They state “Though disguises were assumed at certain times in heathen temples, it is probable that a reference was made to unbecoming levities practiced in common life. They were properly forbidden; for the adoption of the habiliments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced "an abomination unto the Lord."

There are instances where the way a woman dresses should be monitored because of the affect that it can have on others.  Christian women should dress modestly (1 Tim 2:9-10), especially in a church setting, because the atmosphere should remain spiritual.  However, you have women wearing extremely tight dresses which emphasizes their derriere, tops that exposes their cleavage, and in some cases female pants that displays prints of areas that are not appropriate.  In these cases, care should be considered, both of the wearer, and of the church.  A woman’s adornment need not be based on an outward expression, but from an inner.  Nonetheless the bible is given to both men and women as instructions for appropriate daily living so we can be presentable to God.  It is not to be used as a bullying tool to dictate what people should and should not do especially when taking a part of scripture to prove someone’s or group’s agenda.  God does not look at the outter man, but the inner, which is birth from the heart.   Amen!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Others Need To Hear Also

Heavenly Father, I come boldly and humbly before your throne of grace, in awe of your magnificent power and glory, to express my thanks to you Lord.  I thank you for your love.  I thank you for your guidance.  I thank you for your mercy.  I thank you for peace.  I thank you for freedom.  And I thank you for your son Jesus.  I pray this morning, that I be used as a worthy vessel, to bring forth a word that is pleasing to you.  I pray this morning,  if it be your will, that this word not only be read Father, but practiced.  I pray Lord that it penetrates your children’s inner parts, and cause them to exact change on their daily living.  I pray Father, if you see it not robbery, that you bless this message for the purpose of building your Kingdom.  I give you the honor, the praise and glory, and I pray this prayer in the name of your son Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith.  Amen!  Amen! Amen!

I remember when I first heard the word of God preached.  I was motionless.  It appeared as though the preacher was speaking directly at me.  The words were putting my whole life on display.  I remember saying “how on earth could he have known that.”  I was looking around to see if people were looking at me.  They had to be in on it.  However, all eyes were on the preacher, and every now and then, the preacher’s eyes met mine where I swore he was looking right through me.  My eyes began to lower to the floor.  Although I tried not to look at him, my ears were still functioning.  I began to close my eyes tighter, as though that would have affected my ears.  Has that ever happened to any of you?  It was the conviction that was felt knowing I was guilty of the charges being brought to me.  Then, in the next few minutes, I heard about how I am not the only one.  The preacher was also speaking about himself, and others who were also guilty.  I looked around and seen the congregation nodding in agreement.  Then he spoke about a man who died for us so that we do not have to pay the penalty of our actions.  I was excited.  I felt relieved.  I had another chance.  I looked again at the others in the congregation and they had their hands raised to the ceiling shaking and nodding their heads, with no sense of pattern.  It appeared they had no control.  There were so many tears.  Although I was motionless, I could identify with what they were feeling.  I was told of my wicked ways, which I concurred with honesty.  I was told of what I should have received as punishment, but I was spared.  It was believable.  I trusted the words that I was hearing.  I felt grateful.  Can any of you relate to what I am saying?  Didn’t it feel good to hear that you were forgiven?  Now picture all of those people out there in our society, who are not hearing what we’ve heard.

There are people at our jobs who have not heard like we’ve heard it.  There are people who we pass on a daily basis, who we barely say good day to, have yet to hear.  Every week when we go to the supermarket, we at times see the same customers, who also have not heard.  There are neighbors to our left and right, front and back, who see you on Sundays when you leave, and they see you when you return, who have not had anyone to share with them what penetrated our inner parts.  Shouldn’t they have the opportunity to hear like we have?  Are they beneath us why they can’t have an opportunity to be convicted?  Yes, we always invite people who we speak to on a daily basis to church.  How about inviting the ones who we rarely speak to?  Do you remember how good it felt to hear the words that led you to be saved?  Wouldn’t you want to share that same feeling to others?

The bible states “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11) The “him” is the devil and his devices.  The devil persuades people to give up in a time of trial.  He causes people to hate each other without cause.  He causes us to lust after the things of this world.  Everything the devil puts his hands on brings death.  However, the blood of Jesus Christ in the form of His sacrifice gave each and every one of us the opportunity for eternal life.  We all have a testimony on how we were saved by grace, and when we share this with people; they too will realize they can also obtain this grace.  It is word of mouth.  It is networking.  We can share with people on which stores have the best deals, or which restaurant has the best tasting food.  How about sharing how good God is?  Share with people how when you were down, you just called on the name Jesus, and a way were made out of no way.  Share how you were about to bust hell wide open until the word of God was preached to you.  Share how good it felt to finally be free of the unnecessary bondage you were put in by way of your thinking.  Share Jesus!!!!!!!!!

We were saved by the word of God.  Whether it was preached, or someone just shared their testimony, once heard, we decided to embark in a new direction because of it.  There are many out there who also need to hear.  Is it your duty?  Well, what do you think Jesus would want you to do?  Amen.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Unseen Process

Most heavenly and gracious Father, we come before you as humble as we know how Lord to say thank you.  Thank you Lord for just allowing us to see another day.  Thank you for our health and strength, Lord.  We come to you now Lord to ask that you strengthen us in our spiritual life Lord.  Keep us oh Lord that we not stray from your word,  Lord. Guide us dear Lord so we may be able to lead someone to you.  And Father we pray that you strengthen us where we are weak, Lord.  If there is an addiction Lord, we pray that you remove it.  Remove the taste, the desire, and need for it Lord. Whatever it is, in the name of Jesus we ask that it be removed Lord. We know that it will be done Father, if we trust in you.  We do not have the strength to do it alone Lord. We need you Lord.  Father we can’t do nothing without your help Lord.  I pray Lord that whoever reads this message Lord that it speaks to them Lord, that it help them to see you Lord for who you are. Our Heavenly Father who loves us so dearly with his agape Love.  Who loves us Lord without any strings attached.  Who loves us for who we are.  All these things we pray and ask in your son Jesus name.  Amen! 
                                                                                                   Prayer by: Judith Notice

This is one of my archived lessons that I believe need to be re-read by some.  God desires for us to commune with Him so we can make it a habit of coming to Him in any and everything.  This is done by way of meditation and prayer.  Sometimes, our prayers are heard and are in the process of being answered, but because we see no evidence of it, we tend to accuse God of not hearing and answering our prayers.   This is such an error on our part, due to our lack of patience and our eagerness to see God work in our favor.  We have become so accustomed to things happening fast, such as when we buy McDonalds (those of us who do), Wendy’s and from other fast food restaurants.  We have become a people that no longer appreciate the beauty of simply waiting.
            The bible states “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deut 29:29)  This simply means, what God has thought proper to reveal, He did, and things which He has not revealed concern not us but Him alone.  Just because we do not see evidence of God working in our favor does not mean He is not.  When a woman becomes pregnant, there are many processes that are taking place that is absent to the human eye.  You have the meiosis and mitosis stages where 23 pair of chromosomes from each parent is forming that beautiful bundle of joy 9 months later.  Take for instance the earth.  The earth spins at 1,038 miles per hour (if positioned at the equator), yet we go on with our lives and are not affected by it.  Try putting a small animal in a round object, and you spin it as fast as you can.  I believe that you would bring about that poor animal’s demise.  What about our bodies?  When we breathe in oxygen, as our heart is pumping blood, the red blood cells carry the oxygen from our lungs and distribute this oxygen all throughout our body.  All of these things we do not see, yet we have experienced the results of them.
They’re many other analogies to bring this point home.  These were the ones that came to mind, but the concept is the same.  Just like the hidden processes I described above, God works in similar form.  He does things in decency and in order.  No other being on earth or in the heavens is more meticulous than God, and when He is working on answering our prayers, it will be according to His will and His time frame, but to our benefit, hence the phrase, “He may not come when you want Him to, but when He comes, He is right on time.”
 God wants us to have faith (Heb 11:6).  God wants us to be patient (Ja 1:4).  He also wants us to trust him, as it is written, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Pr 3:5-6)  When you are asking the Father who is spiritual, to work on your behalf, it will be impossible to see things of the spirit with your natural eye.  Be patient, and let the hidden process have its way.  Amen!                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wait on God, Or Step Out on Faith?

Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and prayer before you.  I cover myself and all of your children with the blood of Jesus Christ this morning. Open my eyes and all other eyes that will read this word this morning oh God. Show us the areas of our lives that do not please you, and give us the strength, wisdom and grace to remove any sin or weight that would prevent us from walking in close fellowship with you. We praise you and we love you oh Father, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.
                                                                                                                  Prayer by:  Faith Narcisse

Let me begin by saying this message is of my opinion.  I am writing this message based on what I feel fervently about what is stated in scripture.  It is up to the individual to pray always and seek guidance for their own walk and decision making.  Now that I have addressed the formality, let’s begin.  I think many of us are confused between waiting on God, and stepping out on faith.  Some feel that they have to pray to God and wait for an answer before making any moves, while others pray that God order their steps, as they move in a particular direction.  Is one better than the other?  When you make decisions, do you wait for God first, or do you step out on faith?  Let’s consider some scriptures and you decide which best works for you.
We are all familiar with Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”  It is pretty much self explanatory.  We are instructed not to trust in our own understanding of things.  We have a flawed way of thinking, and because of this flaw, our actions will always have an opportunity to display a flawed result.  However, if we leave the planning to God, and realize that God is able, He will be the one that will dot all “i(s)” and cross all the “t(s)”.  He will be the one who will go over things with a fine tooth comb.  He will be the one that will apply a meticulous eye to make sure the end result is flawless.  Finally, He would be the one to make sure we do not go back to the drawing board.  Do you agree?  Let’s break this down further.  The Hebrew word for understanding is “biynah” (prounced bee-naw') which has a connation of knowledge or wisdom.  In the verses prior (1 and 2) it reads “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.” And verse 7 reads “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”  Looking at these verses indicates that some areas of our walk are complex which require assistance from God.  It is in these cases, where we dare not try to rectify them ourselves but call on the almighty and all knowing God to aid, instruct and direct us.  The apostles were healing and casting out demons alongside Jesus, but prior to ascension, he told them “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Lu 24:49)  Amen!  They had to wait on God prior to leaving Jerusalem.
I believe the best example of one stepping out on faith, is the woman who had an issue of blood.  The bible records it as so: “And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.  For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well." (Matt 9:20-21)  Luke records it as so:  “Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,” (Lu 8:43) This woman was tired of her ailment.  She was unable to be healed by physicians.  She heard of Jesus.  Faith comes by hearing.  She risked violation of the Law back then.  When a woman is under her menstruation, she was to be set aside until she was finished.  She did not care about the Law.  She said I can be healed just by me touching him.   She did not wait on God, she stepped out on faith.  She believed in her heart and soul that she was going to be healed and she went for it, and indeed she was healed.  The bible states “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.”  (Matt 9:22)  Jesus did not ask, “why did you not wait on God?”  He said “be happy daughter, because the faith that you had healed you.”  The bible states that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Eph 3:20)  This emphasize that we have a power to bring forth unimaginable things according to a power that is in us.  All we have to do is tap into it.
I believe we have to wait on God.  I also believe we have to step out on faith.  Both require different levels of faith, but each is important.  To be faced with a circumstance that is beyond your control, but believe God is able to bring you out of it, requires faith.  To trust in God, knowing that if we ask anything in Jesus name, it will be given to us, requires faith.  Both are necessary depending on the issue.  We have to pray for discernment on when to fight the compulsion to act when we are supposed to let go and let God, and we have to pray for the courage to step out on faith knowing that God will carry us two more steps.  Remember, both require faith, and it is impossible to please God without it.  Amen!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#1 Priority: To Save Souls

Oh Heavenly and Gracious Father, we come to you today Lord with thanksgiving.
To thank you Lord for being so good to us Lord. Father even when we don’t deserve it Lord, you still love us Lord. You still forgive us Lord,  You still provide for us and bless us Lord.  Father we can't thank you enough for all that you do for us Lord.  Father we pray that the same Love that you have for us Lord that we also have for others dear God. We pray that you give us the opportunity Lord to be a blessing to someone Lord.  Whether it be an ear to listen, speak words of life,  financial assistance, or just acknowledging them and being that person for them to lean on Lord.  I pray that you use us Lord. Use us to do your work lord. Use us to reach the lost, the broken hearted, the spiritually blind,  oh Lord.  Lord they are so many lost people out there.  They are next to us everyday Lord.  They’re the people we work with, we talk with, we live with Lord.  Father they are walking around everyday Lord with their eyes open but they are dead inside Lord.  I pray oh God that you use us to help them Lord. Use us Lord to reach those lost souls Lord.  Use us Father to do your will dear God.  All these things I ask in your son Jesus name.   Amen!
                                                                                                                   Prayer by: Judith Notice

There was a time, maybe when I was too young to understand, or even further, where the preacher was the pinnacle of the community.  He was a man families gave respect to, because he was worthy of that respect.  He would walk the community, and people would rush to hear what he had to say.  He would be welcomed into every home.  The man of the house saw it not robbery to leave his wife alone with the preacher.  The mother saw it not robbery to leave their young daughters in his care.  To speak ill against this man was unheard of.  He was the vessel of God that brought encouraging words to the parishioner’s ears.  He brought words of conviction that penetrated your inner parts to where you were tore down, and yet tell you it is ok, that we all have been there, and already you felt like you are being renewed.  His words were trust worthy.  His actions were aligned with scripture, and when he prayed over you, and for you and your family, deliverance was felt.  Oh my goodness, the power that permeated from such a man.  He was the man of God put in that community by God himself.  He can rally a community to exact change for righteousness.  The courts would allow him to intervene on behalf of a youth before the system took hold.  What I share with you now, is not wishful thinking.  That is how it was.  Ask someone old enough they would tell you.  Did you get that?  I asked you to ask someone “old” enough.  My goodness, what happened?

If we were to compare the preachers of old to now, what would we see?  We would see a bunch of men and women yelling.  We would see a bunch of men and women stirring up the crowd.  We would see a bunch of men and women shouting, “haaaaaayyy….oooooooohh”, like they are friends with Naughty by Nature, no pun intended.  We would see a bunch of men and women whose smile would indicate for you to hold on tight to your wallets.  Some men have pinky rings bigger than made men.  When they speak, it is almost like they are rapping, and they speak so quickly, you better think twice about saying amen, because you do not know what you are saying amen to.  These are the ones that scripture warned us about when it stated “For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (2Ti 3:6-7)  Yes, these are the ones who keep single women single, and married women to value the pastor over their husbands.  My goodness, what happened?

What happened is the priorities have changed.  Young men and women see pastors like Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Paula White, and Jaunita Bynum and say wow they are blessed.  They got it going on.  So the priorities are now about reaching a status quo rather than saving souls.  They want to be the next best thing.  It is no different when young black males watch BET and see the rappers with the bling, the cars, and the women.  They want that too.  So they do what is necessary to fall in alignment with that.  They hustle, they rob, they flaunt the money, and the wrong kind of girls pay them attention, and now they have to keep the cycle going to feed that high.  Ego!!!  These young up and coming pastors see how “lucrative” preaching can be, and they want in.  They figure if they just hoop and holler and put their hands on people, and hum a prayer over them, how their pockets can be laced.  Oh yes, they want some of that.  These young men see how these young ladies’ minds are open to serve God, and they put themselves in the position of God, and now teach these women error instead of truth.  If I was preaching right now, I would demand an “amen!”  I am speaking reality.  I was in a church that was just like what I am sharing.  I witnessed firsthand, the corruption and deceit, all because the pastor’s priorities were crossed.  The intent was not birthed from a righteous means, but an unrighteous one.

The bible states “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness--God is witness.  Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.” (1 Th 2:5-6)  When Paul was writing to the Church of Thessalonica, he was stating his purpose of why he brought them the word of God.  He stated that God is his witness, that his intent was righteous.  That is the problem with the preachers today.  They are not righteous.  They are trying to keep up with the Joneses in the form of churches that appear to be successful.  So instead of trying to save souls for God’s kingdom, they are using slick words, to keep the parishioners coming.  If they are able to identify the ones who are heavy givers, they use the word of God as a covering for their wickedness.  Instead of preaching for them, they are preaching for theirs.  They are preaching for what these heavy givers have.  Chi-ching!!! If the majority of the church is living unrighteous, they would rather preach a soft doctrine so they can still be employed, than trust God and stand firm on His word and let it convict who it needs to convict.  Now you have preachers who are men and women pleasers instead of God pleasers.  They preach as though if they do not please the majority, then the church will not stand.  Who thinking is that?  That is not of God.

I honestly believe, if preachers were to go back to the basics, if they were to mirror that beautiful display I opened this lesson with, if they were to just preach a simple, but effective doctrine, and stand firm on God’s word, the community will have faith again.  They will rally support for the pastor.  If the pastor moves, they will move.  The first priority and only priority is to save souls.  God will do the rest.  Amen!

Monday, February 21, 2011

People Need Help

Most heavenly and gracious Father, we come before your power and glory, ever in submission before the Holy Spirit, expressing our gratitude to you Lord by saying thank you.  We thank you for being the God that you are, allowing us to come to you not as we pretend to be, but as who we are.  We thank you for showing mercy to a people who are undeserving.  We thank you for being a light, in a mist of darkness, and we thank you for your Son Jesus, who in Him we are saved.  Now Father we pray a blessing on all of who read your lessons.  We pray that they are moved by your words, and desire to become a better person each day.  There are people out there Father who are in need, and we pray that you give us the wisdom and courage to be that help Father.  We pray that you stir up the love so that we can make a corporal declaration to reach those who are in need and lost.  We pray for your guidance and blessings upon this endeavor, and we pray them in the precious name of your son Jesus.  Amen!

People Need Help
Yesterday my pastor did the most amazing thing.  He dressed up as a homeless man and was sitting on the corner, right at the entrance of the driveway that leads up to the sanctuary.  He was holding up a sign that stated that he was homeless and jobless.  He shared how people were driving pass not paying any attention.  Some people did stop and gave him something, but based on his message, it appears that majority of the parishioners just ignored him and kept on driving.  Can you imagine the heart of these people?  I am not passing judgment, but seeing a homeless man so near the church’s property, an automatic conviction should set in.  There was a man who was evidently in need and he was ignored.  He was ignored by a group of people who he should not have been ignored by.  Christians.
I heard a message a while back and the speaker stated that there are Christians whose feelings are like the affects of anesthesia.  Numb!  This is not to be so.  Christ taught us that we are not to be indifferent to others.  He taught that we should consider the weak.  He was an advocate of the poor.  As followers of Christ, we are to follow His example.  There are people out there who are in need, and they are not getting help.  If they are looking for relief, they are looking for it in the wrong places.  The bible states “But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 Jn 3:17)  This is a hard verse to swallow.  Many of us have ignored the homeless.  Many of us lie when a homeless person ask us for change.  Many of us are appalled when they even come within arm’s length of us.  Many of us have been blessed by God, but are slow in blessing someone who is in need.  Yet many of us claim to be Christians.  How could we be this way? 
I wondered how pastor felt to see people who he has preached to, fellowship with, taught the gospel to, turn such a blind eye to him.  He must have felt hurt.  As he was preaching I can look around the church and see the conviction.  There were so many tears.  They should be convicted.  Their pastor was on the street for 3 hours posing as a homeless man and very few people offered assistance.  It is not only homelessness.  What about those who has lost hope?  What about those who live as though there is no God?  What about our classmates or co-workers?  When was the last time any of us inquired about any of them?  The bible states “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.   Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Matt 9:35-38)  Jesus had compassion for the people who he saw and who were in need.  Jesus is our teacher.  He had compassion, so we should have compassion.  Jesus said that they are plenty of souls who are in need, but not enough people to provide for those needs.  We are His disciples which make us the laborers. 
When I drove up to the church and seen the man, I knew I had no money.   Because of personal reasons I do not much money, or carry any at all.  However, my wife was able to find some singles.  After I dropped my family off at the sanctuary, I drove back to give him the little that I had.  When I stopped to give him the singles, he spoke, and it was when he spoke, I looked at him sternly and realized it was my pastor.  Even with my little help, what would have that done for him, but possibly get him a little to eat.  He would still be hungry in a few more hours.  He would still be homeless.  He would still be in a need of a bath.  I could have done more, but settled only in giving him singles.  I should have been willing to offer encouraging words.  I should have been willing to sit with him and fellowship.  I should have been willing to let him know I understand.  I should have shared Jesus with him.
We have the world’s goods.  We have food on our table, clothes on our backs, a roof over head, cars to take us to and fro, and jobs to keep the cycle going.  Yet when we ignore those who are less fortunate, we are ignoring Christ.  They are people in need of help.  Some are homeless.  Some are hopeless.  Some are without peace.  We need to be able to identify and help.  We are Christians and it is our duty.  Amen 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who Are You To Tell Me?

Oh Heavenly Father I come to You today to thank You Lord.  Father we worship You Lord, we honor You Lord. We give You all the praise Father that You so highly deserve.  Father, without You in our lives, guiding us and keeping us Lord, we would not be where we are today Lord, so thank You Father.
I pray for all the church doors that are open today God, I pray that they continue to sing You praises Lord. I pray for the pastors that are preaching Your word Lord, I pray that those words Father will touch someone today Lord, so they may give them self to You Lord. I pray that their eyes will be open to see how Awesome You are Lord.  How magnificent You are Lord. How worthy You are of our praises Lord.
I pray for our family and friends Lord that whatever they are going through, that they will turn to You Lord.  Because, Father we know that You are the only one that is able to get them through it Father.  Make not our will, but Yours.  And if there is anything that we have done Father, that was displeasing to You, we pray that you forgive us for it.  All these things I ask in Your Son Jesus name.  Amen.

                                                                                                                 Prayer by: Judith Notice

One of the challenges I have and have to accept is trying to witness to family members such as cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, and old friends.  They remember how I was.  They remember how I ran the streets.  They can recall the stories that were told, that makes for a movie.  They remember the bad.  To see me now on fire for the Lord, and have no desire to relive things of old is just too much for them.  They can’t see how I was able to quit cold turkey.  When I try to share how good the Lord is, and how much He desires to see them saved, I get the cold shoulder.  They are not trying to hear anything I have to say.  Bottom line, it is difficult to preach or teach to someone who is familiar with you.  Due to the commonality for some, it is hard to see pass it.  It reminded me of the story in Matthew which reads: “And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?  "Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?  "And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?"
So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."   Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”  (Matt 13:54-58)

Because they knew Jesus before his transformation, because they were familiar with his family, they were unable to see pass what they knew and dive into the supernatural.  Jesus was unable to do mighty works there.  It existed back then, and it exists now.  There are many men and women in our lives that God has touched to where they are a new creature.  They are now connected with a source that has an abundance of whatever we need.  They are connected with a source that can bestow change.  However, because we knew him when he was an adulterer, because we knew her when she used to steal, because we knew him when he used to run the streets, because we knew her when she was promiscuous, because we knew him when he was an alcoholic, we will reject what they tell us that can be helpful to the situation we may be going through.  We say out loud or to ourselves, “who are you to tell me…..?

The bible states that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor 2:9)  These are spiritual things.  These are things that reside in the spirit realm.  We are faced with challenges and circumstance that were brought on by things attributed to “wicked spirits in high places” (Eph 6:13).  But because we are unable to see pass the commonality, because we are unable to concede that the person who we considered lower than us, God has exalted, because he or she sleeps in the same house with us, we reject them, not realizing that God had sent them specifically to deal with that specific issue we called on the Lord for.  We do not realize the spirit we are entertaining when we do this.  We are attempting to tell God who to send our way.  God can raise stones for His purpose (Matt 3:9), God can use an ass to warn us from foolishness (Num 22-21-31).  What makes you think He is incapable of changing the adulterer, thief, thug, whore, or alcoholic to do His purpose?  Which task has ever been too great for the Lord?  You will tell them, that God is doing wonderful things in their lives.  You will even further say, that God has given them a word, but as soon as they use what God gave them to address the mess you are in, you huff and puff, and then reject.  Hypocrites!!!  Do you not know what spirit you are entertaining?

There is no limit to God’s awesome and transforming power.  God has placed many people in our lives for our own good.  He also sends the common ones to remind us when we are straying from the path.  Do not let their commonality prevent you from overcoming.  Do not let the familiarity prohibit you from receiving deliverance.  Do not let your pride cause you to reject the very help you prayed for.  Amen.