Friday, May 13, 2011


Father, I give thanks this morning for all that you do.  As I ponder on the conditions of the people of society, this country, and the world, I pray that you have mercy on us.  This I humbly and passionately pray in Jesus name I, Amen!

I was driving to work this morning and I was in the far left lane on the highway.  This lane is usually the lane where people drive a bit higher than the speed limit.  I was behind this car in that lane and she was driving the exact speed limit.  I stayed behind her a bit, not too close, but enough to let her know that I would like for her to either drive faster, or for her to move over to let me pass.  There was no one in front of her so there was enough room for her to accelerate.  At one point she even pressed on her breaks abruptly, but kept going.  It did not affect me because I was not that close to her, so I took that as she did not want me behind her.  No worries.  I left that lane and made the attempt to pass her.  She now begins to speed up as though she did not want me to.  So I pressed down on the gas pedal and felt my truck about to take off.  I just got the water pump replaced so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it.  She did not have a chance.  I beat her easily and got in front of her.  As I look in the side mirror, you can see she was yelling in the car, and then flipped me the bird.  I just shook my head and kept driving.
I’m thinking to myself, why was she angry?  She did not want to move over, so I tried to pass her, and then she sped up as though she did not want me to get in front of her, I made it in front of her with enough room for another car to come behind me, and she is angry at me.  Why did she do that?  Then I began to ponder on a lot of “why’s” that people do.
Why do local assemblies allow people in leadership that behave contrary to the scriptures?
Why do some leaders of churches drive expensive cars and live in expensive homes, yet preach to their congregation about being content?
Why do leaders tell their congregation about sharing the gospel, yet they do not have any evangelistic efforts in their church?
Why do churches have all these funds, such as building funds, mission funds, etc and no changes have been made to the building in years, and never seem to have money for missions?
Why is the congregation surprised when the church had so many preachers come and go when the committee who hires the preachers is a bunch of hypocrites?
Do you think I am making this up?
Why do some Christians struggle so much, and hide behind them being Christians are the reasons why they struggle, only to realize if they would have just got up off their behind, they would struggle less?
Why do some Christians show love while they are in the Church, but let someone accidently cut in front of them at Wal-mart, or any super market, and see how they behave?
Why do some Christians bend over backwards to do anything for their local assembly, but if their spouse or children asks them, it is always an issue and vice versa with the children and parents?
Why do some Christians claim to be honest, but when tax time comes they put all these people as dependants in order to get a bigger return?
Why do some Christians have time to watch this show or that show, go window shopping, address their appearance, etc but have no time to study the word?
Do you think I am making this up?
Why do people say they are not racist, yet they would not want their children to date someone from another race, the only relationship they have with someone of the other race is when they have to, such as work, school, or even the church, they feel comfortable when someone makes racial comments in their presence, they attempt to find reasons why they are not comfortable around this or that person from another race, and hold a whole race accountable for the actions of some?
Why do people talk about how bad society has become, yet to not one single thing to make a difference?
Why do people expect compassion from the police when they were caught speeding, or when they are a little short at the supermarket, or if their warranty had expired, yet when they see a homeless person they keep passing by?
Why do people say, “we are judgmental” when we are pointing out something that they are doing that is not fair? 
Why are people quick to say a person deserves this or that punishment, yet do not consider what they deserve?
Do you think I am making this up?
These are a lot of questions that I asked myself in the course of me driving to work.  These are true scenarios regarding the church, Christians and people.  So what does this say about our society, country, or world?  I have scriptures to give, but I won’t.  Ponder on these questions, and then tell me where your heart is at when you are done.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Seriousness of Sin

Heavenly Father, I come before you on bended knees as your child saying thank you this morning.  Father I thank you for allowing us to see another day, I thank you for choosing me as your son and you being my Father.  Father I ask that you renew a clean heart in me as well as those who love you.  I pray Father that you instill in us the heart to forgive those who trespass against us. I pray oh God, that you bless this day, and that I will be a light and a blessing in someone’s life. I pray a blessing on all who reads this message and a blessing on the readers or doers of your word.  Father, I pray that in all that we do and say, that you get the glory Father.   All that we have are because of your grace and mercy towards us, so I thank you this morning Father.  And Father, I pray that any sin committed, that you have mercy and forgive us for it.  You deserve all honor, glory, and praise and I pray these in Jesus name, Amen.

People today, meaning in today’s society has made a grave error.  The error they have made is dividing sin into different categories.  In one category are the small sins that are seemingly innocent and really, in our eyes, hurt no one.  In the other category are the sins that they consider to be big that do the most damage and are the most noticeable.  This is something that we all have a tendency to do.  However, this is dangerous in attributing this type of mentality to ourselves.   When we think that there are some sins that are worse in God’s eyes than others, we begin to categorize ourselves as good and others as bad based on the perceived seriousness of one’s sins. 
This can be attributed to how our law is set up.  The crimes that are committed ranges from misdemeanors, and you have different classes such as class a, b, etc; to felonies which are have different classes such as class a, b, etc.  The law is set up to determine the level of punishment due to one who has committed a crime based on these levels.  As a society we have accepted this.  However, this is a secular view, which has no bases on our faith walk.  Suppose I was to share that we commit sins that God hates, and these sins in a secular view are not illegal.  What would we do with that information?  It seems we are more willing to obey secular law because we will physically be put in jail, than obey the word of God, because we do not see any immediate judgments.  Oh, how wrong can we be with such thinking.
Anyone who reads the bible, or even take the time to look at nature or how our bodies are created, can see how God’s love is manifested.  However there are things that are detestable to God.  The bible states these things in Proverbs 6.  It states “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.” (Pr 6:16-19)  We would be a liar if we have not partaken in at least one of them.  I am sad to admit this, but I know of family members who have and may even now have continually engaged in six of these.
As there are consequences when we violate society’s law, so are there when we continually and willfully violate God’s word.   The bible states “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom of God.”  (1Co 6:9-10)  So we know that people who willfully engage in this behavior will not see the kingdom of God.  If you notice, only two of these are parallel with society’s law which base on the seriousness, can land someone in jail.  The rest are behavioral, and yet God is clear where they will not be.   So where would they be?  The bible states "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)  Am I to understand that immoral behavior is worth what awaits?
The reality is that sin is not serious because of what the sin is, it is serious because of whom it is against. We are sinning against the One who can dispatch angels to assist us during of peril.  We are sinning against the One who can create a hedge of protection around us and our families.  Most importantly, we are sinning against the One who can place us in heaven or hell.  What we have to understand is sin is of the devil.  The devil and his demons are not only present when we sin, they are present when we don’t hoping that we can give them the opportunity for them to take control of us so we can continue to sin.  So how can we fight back?  We can repent, deny ourselves, and follow Christ.  We can look unto Jesus for help.  We can change the way we think, and mirror it according to the will of God.  We can learn to allow the Holy Spirit to convict us.  We can learn how to resist the devil and tell him to flee.  In my opinion, I think many would refrain from sinful behaviors if they remove certain company from amongst them.
Family, sin is serious.  We need to get away from the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality and change how we view sin.  We need to stop dividing sin into different categories based on its perceived seriousness.  All sin is the same in that it is against a righteous God.  Romans 3:23 tells us that everyone sins and comes short of God’s standard.  Regardless of what that sin is, the result is the same.  It results in missing the mark.  “Sin is not small, because it is not against a small Sovereign God.  Let’s try and do better together.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guilty AS Charged

Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for the many blessings you have bestowed upon my family and me.  I thank you for giving me life health and strength.  I thank you this morning for my sight, hearing, and the ability to speak in a soundness of mind.  The many things that we often take for granted, I thank you for this morning.  I pray now that these blessing not only reside with me, but for all of your children who love you.  I pray a blessing on the reader and doer of your word.  I pray a blessing that they continue to practice what thus saith you, and not keep it to themselves but share it.  I pray that your Holy Spirit, rest, rule, and abide in wherever they are.  I pray a blessing of peace upon them.  I pray a covering on their coming and going.  I just pray that we are often rewarded with that of which faith produces.  I pray now Father, which I always pray, that you forgive us of our trespasses.  We give you all the honor and praise, and I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen

I used to live my life without a care in the world.  It was not because I was in a nurturing environment.  It was because I did not care about anybody, unless they were in my immediate circle.  The conditions or the affairs of the community much less the world, was no interest to me.  The friends that I kept were the worst of the worst.  Their thoughts were like my thoughts, and their ways were like my ways.  We were compatible.  We partied hard, we partied in groups, and could not careless who we offended.   A few of those friends did things far worse than me, and did not care.  As I stated before I did not have a care in the world.
Then the expected happened.  I was arrested.  There was no grand jury, nor was there any hearing.  I went from being arrested to facing trial.  There were no jurors selected, just the prosecutor, the judge, and some spectator.  In my eyes, I was innocent.  The prosecutor began to lay out the charges against me.  I was amused, because the charges were when I was having fun.  It appeared that the spectator was amused also.  I sat patiently listening to charge after charge, and began to worry.  I began to worry because the more charges he spouted out, the more serious his facial expression were as though the punishment will be severe.  In my eyes, yeah some were punishable, but does not warrant the outcome this prosecutor is expressing.  I think what bothered me the most is the more serious the prosecutor the more joyful was this spectator.  He definitely was beginning to annoy me.
After all the charges were read, the prosecutor looked at the judge as though waiting for an answer.  I looked at the judge and you can see sadness on his face.  Now I am concerned.  I began to realize how selfish I was.  I did not care about anything else, but I now had care for my outcome.  I had enough conviction to know I do not expect anyone to care since I did not have any care for anyone.  The prosecutor rested his case.  I was relieved, so I can now defend myself since there was no one pleading my case.  There was silence.  I was waiting for someone to say “defense call your next witness.”  I heard none.  There was only silence.  I look back at the spectator and he had this grin as though he knew what was coming next.  The judge then stood up and said “he is guilty as charged.”  I could not believe my ears.  The prosecutor said all of my charges were punishable by death.  At this time the spectator was jumping for joy.  The prosecutor told me to get up so he can lead me to my punishment, then the judge stood up, took off his robe, and said “take me instead.”
Every one of us stands guilty as charged.  Not only how we were before, but even now, and we will stand guilty as charged until the The Day of Judgment.  According to the prosecutor (law), we are all guilty and the spectator (devil) was salivating at the mouth because he wanted to take us. But those who believe in Christ (judge) will never face the punishment we so deserve because Jesus sacrificed His life, so that we can live.  The bible states “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” (1Pet 3:18)  This is not a threat, or a fear tactic, but should cause us to look at how we live now and make adjustments, and if we know people who are not right, it is for us to share why they should.  Amen!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love Covers

Gracious Father, I come before your throne of grace, first to say thank you.  I thank you, Father for answering prayers.  I thank you Father for allowing your children to make their requests known, and allowing them to be a part of thy holy will.  I thank you for being a God who day by day expresses the love you have for those who love you.  I thank you this morning for the peace of mind that surpasses all understanding.  I pray Father that I am not alone in these blessings.  I pray the same for family and friends, near and far.  I pray the same for the readers and doers of your word, but specifically for the readers of this message.  I pray that they will receive it in love, and exact change if need be.  I pray that it penetrate their inner parts, and permeate from them where ever they go, so that it is evident that your Holy Spirit is encamped around them.  Oh God, just have your way with us this morning.  I pray Father, each day that any sins committed, whether by thought, speech, or deed, that you forgive us for it.  I give you all the honor, glory, and praise.  These I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

I do not think people understand the power of love.  Love can cause people to do things they would not normally do.  There is the saying that love is blind.  This pertains to couples who are in a loving relationship where one person may be doing something to the other that is hurtful, but because of the love that the person has, who is the victim, he or she does not see the effect of that hurtful thing.  Love has many other attributes.  The bible says “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Cor 13:4-7)  Wow!  Love still has other attributes, but what I want to share with you today, is how love can cover.
My wife and I have been together for 21 years.  We had many challenges in our relationship.  Some of them were my fault, very few was on her.  However, her family was not receptive of me.  In their defense, on some issues I could understand why they were not receptive, but as time went on, those reserves should have subsided.  They did not.  And over the course of 16 years, I had to bear many forms of disrespect.  Many people that I know would not have endured it for so long.  But I did, because as stated above, love endures all things.  Other people I know would not had stayed in the relationship because they do not think it would be worth it.  I stayed, because in my eyes my wife is worth it.  The love that I have for her covered all of the mess I endured from her family.  Love covers.
God loved us so much that He wanted us, His beloved creation, to be in relationship with Him for all eternity.  However there was a problem.  The problem was sin.  The bible says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and we are sinful by nature (Eph 2:3).  However, God wanted something to not wipe away the sin, but cover it (2 Cor 5:21), and this was done out of love (Jn 3:16).  This is not a blank check for people to engage willfully in sin, but to use this as an opportunity, knowing that God afforded us more time to set our lives right.  The sin is still present, it is only covered.  This covering allows us to sincerely repent to God with a sincere heart, and God will forgive us. 
This is the type of love we are to have for one another.  We are to imitate God (Eph 5:1), and one way is how we are to love.  The bible states “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1Pe 4:7-8)  Fervent is defined as having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.  The Apostle Peter states this is the type of love we should have for one another.  I hear of families not speaking with one another for years.  You hear of husband and wives separating after many years of marriage.  There are instances where fathers hate their sons, and mothers are jealous of their daughters.  You hear stories of husbands and wives plotting to have the other killed.  I witnessed for myself, where a sister in Christ, wanted to see her brother in Christ fall, and expressed joy when it appeared he has fallen. Where is love in all of this?  I thought love suffers long.  I thought love does not envy.  I thought love thinks no evil.  I thought love does not rejoice in iniquity.
Family, I did not know it back then, but I know it now.  God has been working on me for years.  In all of the things that I have done, there were things I just could not do.  I could not do them, because I had compassion, I had honor, I had loyalty, and I have them even more now.  What I endured in the earlier part of my relationship was done out of love.  I did not hold my wife accountable to what her family did.  I did not allow their actions to dictate how I felt about her.  The love that I have for my wife, caused me to cover all of that which was perpetrated by them.  It is this kind of love that I am saying that we all should have.  If there are any grudges being harbored, ask yourself, where is the love in that?  If you love God and is happy to be a child of God, be mindful of this; “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespasses against us.”  Finally consider what God has done for you when you know you did not deserve it, and how would He feel if you do not pay it forward?  Amen!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fish Want Real Food

Father God, I thank you this morning for allowing me to see one more day in the land of the living.  I pray Father that you grant this blessing not only on me, but for my family, and on all of your children who read and practice your word.  I pray a blessing on them, and I pray that you cover them in all that they do.  I pray that you continue to use me as a vessel to bring forth and share your word.  I pray that I have decreased, so that you can get all the honor and glory.  I pray Father that you forgive us of any trespasses performed, and we pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

 I went fishing the other day with some brothers of mine in Christ.  We went fresh water fishing, which I have never done before.  The bait that is used in fresh water of course is different.  In salt water, baits such as shrimp, crab, sand fleas, squid, and mullet are used to catch majority of fish in that type of water.  In fresh water, the main bait is worms, and I believed crickets can be used as well.  Again, I have never been fresh water fishing before, but these were the bait I told to use.  I learned something interesting though.  At one time we were using fake worms as bait, and it seems that the younger fish were the ones that fell for it.  The bigger fish, which of course are the older ones, seem to be attracted to the real deal. 
Of course you will hear stories of how people caught monster fish with fake bait, but those same people do not go fishing with fake bait alone, which indicates that it is not often that fish go after fake bait unless they are really hungry, but that is another story.  As I look back at my fishing experience, I am reminded by the conversation Jesus had with the men, who we learned have become his disciples.  In the bible it reads “And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” (Mr 1:16-18)  What Jesus was referring to was teaching the men to be able to speak to people with such fervor, that they will be attracted to what is being said, and would desire to hear and learn more.  What they would be attracted to is the word of God.
We refer to fishing for men as being a witness or evangelizing.  What I realized is many churches fail in their evangelical efforts because fake bait is being used to attract the fish, or in other words, the wrong kind of people are being used to do the right thing.  You have plenty of people out there who are hungry for truth, and deep down they want to change.  However when they are confronted by that person, who is claiming to be a part of a local assembly, they are making a sales pitch, instead of bringing an unadulterated word.  The bible says “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.   You will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  (Matt 7:15-20)
You have churches that send out teams of people for the sole purpose of filling the church.  They ensure that the teams are made up of good orators, and pleasing people to look at.  They may where attractive jewelry and make promises of blessings that may not be contingent upon faith.  As stated earlier with the young fish, they seem to be the ones who fall for the fake bait, but the older ones, who have been there and done, they reject it.  They want real food.  Majority of the people who have been through things, are not interested in the hoop-la, and the promises of material things.  They will reject it.  They want to hear the word of God.  They understand that eyes are not needed to hear what thus saith the Lord.  They want to hear someone willing to pray for them right then and there.    They are not concerned about what this or that church can promise them, because if the person evangelizing sounds like a car salesman, they have just lost that person.
Churches can be fishers of men; however they have to have a sincere heart of wanting to see people saved.  If they send people out to solely preach the gospel, those who ears it falls on will automatically want to hear more.  By default they will come to the church to hear it.  Real food is what attracts real people.  Amen!