I Am

 

Do you believe in God?  Do you believe in any higher being?  Some of us believe, some don’t. Do you believe the Bible is true?  Is it historical facts? Do you believe in gravity? How does that relate?  Well, we can’t see gravity, yet we feel it’s effects. It is a law that cannot be denied.  The Bible is proven to be historically factual. So then that would make the God of the Bible to be existent.

Whether or not we believe in gravity, it does exist.  Whether or not we believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, it does not change who they are.  

In reading the book of John in the Bible, I see Jesus making declarations of who He is and what He came to do.  He says: I am the bread of life; I AM the living bread; I AM the light of the world; before Abraham, I AM; I AM the door of the sheep; I AM the good shepherd; I AM the Son of a God; I AM the resurrection and the life; I AM the way, the truth and the life;  I AM the true vine. We can believe what we want to believe. We can say what we want to say. It doesn’t change who He is.

He came into the world from God the Father.  He came doing the works of the Father. He came to be in the world but He wasn’t of it.  He came revealing truth. He came to show us the Father. He came to lay down His life. He came to raise His life up again.  He came to be a ransom for any man who would believe. He went to the Father so that where He is, we can one day go.

You can say and believe what you want but He is the only way to the Father.  The only way to heaven. He is the door. He came to be our sacrifice for our sin, once and for all. He lived, He died, and He rose again so that we can have life eternal with Him. He did it all for us!  Our part is believing in Him, accepting His forgiveness as we confess our sin, and turning away from that sin to follow after Him.

We will all stand before Him one day.  Those who have received Him will be with a Him in Heaven.  Those who reject Him will be cast into outer darkness forever.  What do you choose today? What will you do with Him?

END OF TIME?

It always amazes me that people think they can figure out God’s time table on His return. II Peter states that 1 day is like a 1,000 years and a 1,000 years are like 1 day. BUT one thing is sure, He will fulfill His promise of His return. He will not delay as we understand delay. He is being patient with you so that you will that you will not die in your sin but come to repentance. We shouldn’t take this for granted, however,because He will come just as He promised. When He comes, he will come as a thief, when no one expects it.

Are you ready? Do you believe in Him? What is keeping you from being a follower of Christ? He is waiting for you. BELIEVE, CONFESS, and RECEIVE His forgiveness and love.

Like a Child

Kids are great aren’t they? Have you ever thought about the simplicity of children? It really is amazing.

They come into the world completely dependent on us, their parents. They are incapable of doing anything for themselves so they rely solely on those who are caring for them. As they grow, they are acutely aware of what they are and are not capable of doing and quickly ask for assistance.

Kids are very trusting. It is their very nature. They have this sense about them and they know they can trust us with everything. They truly believe what you are saying is true and do not question one word. It is a little scary isn’t it? Knowing that they hang on our every word? Good or bad?

Humility comes easy for children. They are not puffed up with pride. They are very meek or submissive. It is really astounding how natural this trait is in them.

Kids are content with the simplest of things, aren’t they? They could have room full of toys and choose to play with a cardboard box or pots and pans. It really doesn’t take much to please them.
Children have this innocence about them. So untainted by the world. So free from ideologies. Virtuous really.

Loving….Kids are so loving. They hug you so tight. They love without strings. They very quickly receive our love.

With these qualities in mind, let us visit Luke 18:17. Jesus tells us that those that do not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter into it! Adults complicate things. We analyze and we want to be shown! The gospel message of Jesus Christ is made simple for us! You see, Jesus made the way to enter the kingdom of God. He paid for our ticket with His blood. How do we get there?

LIKE A CHILD, we simply BELIEVE in who He is. We freely RECEIVE His forgiveness as we confess our sin. We fully TRUST in the power of the cross, His death and resurrection. We receive His LOVE and rest in His peace. We become solely DEPENDENT on Him.

Lord, help us to come to you like a child with faith that moves mountains, with a belief so big that it leaves no room for doubt, with a trust so strong that it cannot be broken and a dependency on You that leaves us resting in Your arms.

P A S S I O N

 

 

What are you passionate about this Christmas? ​​ Be honest! ​​ What is passion? ​​ Passion is a strong, barely controllable emotion. ​​ So I ask again, what are you passionate about?

 

Did you know that God is passionate about you? ​​ Truly passionate. ​​ You see, He created you and I in His likeness according to Genesis 1. ​​ The bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator. ​​ We were fashioned and formed by Him. ​​ According to Luke 12, He knows how many hairs are on your head. ​​ In Zephaniah, it says that He rejoices over us! ​​ Wow that is hard to comprehend. ​​ Jeremiah says that His love for us is an everlasting love. ​​ A love that never ends. ​​ His initial desire was to have a unique relationship with mankind. ​​ We are all born with that innate desire for Him. ​​ We find that He walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. ​​ Their creator communing with them! ​​ 

 

So what happened? ​​ Sin. ​​ When Adam and Eve sinned, it brought separation from God. ​​ We see them being removed from Eden and the bible no longer speaks of that special relationship between God and them. ​​ Sin and God can’t commune. ​​ So a plan was set in motion right from the foundation of the world. ​​ 

 

God made a plan that would restore that relationship with Him and mankind that He created. ​​ God promised a seed that would come from the woman in Genesis Chapter 3 that would strike the head of that serpent bka satan. ​​ He has been pursuing us since the beginning. ​​ From Adam and Eve forward we see them offering to God sacrifices and offerings. ​​ Sacrifices acknowledge sin and offerings acknowledge God. ​​ We acknowledged we did wrong but that sin was never removed. ​​ And no matter what, we just couldn’t get it right. ​​ So God made a plan to redeem us from sin, once for all. ​​ Once sin is removed, that relationship with Him is restored. ​​ 

 

How? ​​ God would send His only son, that perfect sacrifice to live, to die and to rise again. ​​ His blood shed in death would pay our penalty for sin for without the shedding of blood, according to His Word, there is no remission of sin. ​​ His resurrection would make a way for us to eternally live with Him. ​​ 

 

Isaiah 9 says that a child would be born FOR us, a son will be given TO us. ​​ As the angel explained his conception to Joseph in Matthew, he said that his name would be Immanuel, God is with us! ​​ B O O M! ​​ There it is. ​​ God with us. ​​ Forever. ​​ He would be born to save people from their sins. ​​ God sent His son into the would not to condemn it but that it might be saved. ​​ 

 

We all sin so we need a savior. ​​ JESUS IS that savior. ​​ How can we be saved? ​​ God’s Spirit draws us to Him. ​​ According to Romans 10 we acknowledge Him, His death, His resurrection and believe. ​​ I John says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. ​​ Jesus preached repentance for forgiveness of sins. ​​ Repent means reversal, to reconsider. ​​ Turn around. ​​ 360.

 

God made it simple. ​​ We make it complicated. ​​ 

 

HE is passionate for you. ​​ What gift are you giving Him this Christmas? ​​ All He wants is you! ​​ Just as you are. ​​ Believe, confess, repent. ​​ RECEIVE Him. ​​ Receive forgiveness. ​​ 

 

Merry Christmas y’all! ​​ May His love fill your heart!

 

~ W I N D OF THE S P I R I T ~

This person, HOLY SPIRIT…is controversial to say the least. I think for many they don’t understand Him so they try to dismiss Him.  Dismissing Him is a mistake though and I want you to see, and hopefully understand, Him better. He has a distinct purpose as we will see and plays a very important role in our lives as followers of Jesus and even as unbelievers. I love the reference Christ Jesus makes in John 3:8 when He said the wind blows where it wants and we feel it but we have no idea where it came from or where it is going. Holy Spirit can definitely be felt although we don’t see Him.

 

Here are some facts about Holy Spirit according to God’s Word:

 

  • He is part of the Godhead ( Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) Luke 3:22
  • He is omnipotent or all powerful Luke 1:35
  • He is omnipresent or present everywhere Psalm 139:7
  • He is eternal Hebrews 9:14
  • He is omniscient or all knowing I Corinthians 2:10-11
  • He was present during creation Genesis 1:2
  • He was the one who inspired the written Word of God II Peter 1:20-21

 

Jesus spoke of the purpose of Holy Spirit. Jesus said it was expedient that He go to the Father so that Holy Spirit could come to us. Let’s look at some of the characteristics Jesus said Holy Spirit would have:

 

  • John 14:25-17 Jesus calls Him a comforter or counselor. He said He would be the Spirit of truth and would be with us forever and the children of God would know Him because He will remain with us and in us. Jesus said the world or sinners would not be able to receive Him or know Him (Holy Spirit).
  • John 14:25-26 Jesus says that Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of what Jesus told us (the Bible).
  • John 15:26 Jesus said that Holy Spirit would testify or be a witness as to who Jesus is.
  • Mark 13:11 Jesus says that Holy Spirit would gives us words to speak when we need to speak them.

 

In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire!  The word baptize in the Greek here means fully wet.  When we are saved and Holy Spirit is IN us and we are fully emerged in His presence. The baptism of fire brings judgement and burns away sin and Holy Spirit makes us a new creature. So Holy Spirit works in us to:

 

  • Convict us of sin John 16:8
  • Guide us to righteousness Galatians 5:16-26
  • Helps us pray Romans 8:26-28
  • Helps us evaluate things I Corinthians 2:12-16
  • Bring things to our remembrance John 14:26
  • Warn us Acts 16:7
  • Bring freedom II Corinthians 3:17-18

 

In Acts chapter 1, Jesus commanded the disciples to not leave Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father. This promise was that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and Jesus said they would receive power when Holy Spirit came upon them and they would be witnesses. This is fulfilled in Acts chapter 2. They were all waiting as commanded when the Holy Spirit came into the room like a mighty rushing wind and filled them all where they were sitting. This was evidenced by them speaking in tongues. We then see those who were baptized becoming very bold and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. They also were given supernatural power and performed many miracles.

 

As followers of Jesus, Holy Spirit is vital in our everyday lives.

 

As an unbeliever, He is vital as He is the one who convicts us of our sin. We have to acknowledge our sin problem to know that we are in need of a Savior.

 

I am so thankful God loved us enough to not only send His Son to be our redeemer but also to send us Holy Spirit to be our everyday helper!

J E S U S fact or fiction??

  ​​​​ 

 

 

Did you know that nearly half of Americans believe that the bible is the inspired word of God but roughly 30% believe that the bible is actually true?​​ That is staggering and actually frightening. Many have tried to dispute God’s word but it is historical facts and they have been unable to do so.​​ 

 

I have noticed that people will talk about God but many do not want you to talk about Jesus. That is where​​ “religion” gets offensive….at the name of Jesus. The bible is all about God’s love for mankind and His redemptive plan for us through His Son, JESUS. SO, is Jesus fact or fiction?  What do you believe?

 

Let's look at scripture from the old and new testaments that prove Jesus was the Messiah.  There are at least 29 Old Testament prophecies speaking of Jesus that are fulfilled in the New Testament.  Let's look at a few….

 

Isaiah 40 tells us that a messenger would come preparing the way of the Lord. ​​ We find​​ this fulfilled as John is preaching in the wilderness telling of the coming Messiah and repentance for the forgiveness of sin in Matthew chapter 3.

 

Isaiah 7 tells us that a sign would be given, a virgin will conceive and bring forth a son and he shall be​​ called Immanuel. ​​ Mary is the chosen virgin to bring forth God’s Son. ​​ She is visited by and angel and the Holy Spirit comes upon her and she conceives not having ever “known” a man in Matthew 1:23. ​​ I do not believe anyone else in history was born of a virgin!

 

The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 3) of the lineage of David (2 Samuel 7). ​​ We see this evidence in Matthew 2 and John 7.

 

The scriptures say in Isaiah 61 that the Spirit of the Lord would be upon him and Jesus proclaims this in Luke 4 and is evidenced in His daily life.

 

Jesus himself took our infirmities as prophesied in Isaiah 53 and fulfilled in Matthew 8.

 

It is prophesied that He would speak in parables in Psalm 78. ​​ We see this fulfilled throughout all the gospels, Matthew, Mark,​​ Luke and John.

 

Zechariah speaks of Him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt. ​​ This is fulfilled in Jesus entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. ​​ 

 

Isaiah 53 has many prophecies of his death and every one of them is fulfilled in the accounts of His death​​ in the gospels:

  • Let like a lamb to the laughter (acting calmly without a fight)

  • Did not open His mouth against his accusers

  • He was struck

  • He submitted himself to death

  • He was counted among rebels

  • He prayers for those who transgressed against Him

 

Psalm 16​​ speaks of His resurrection and sitting at the right hand of God these were also fulfilled in the gospels account after his death and in Acts 7.

 

These are just a few of the many prophecies that proves that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, God’s Son that was​​ sent to Earth to redeem us from the curse of the law. ​​ Why does it matter? ​​ Well, Jesus is the only way that we will get to Father and enter into Heaven. ​​ In John 14, Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the light and NO ONE comes to the Father but by Him. ​​ Acts 4 says that there is no other name by which man can be saved but the name of JESUS. ​​ 

 

So what do we do? ​​ Choose to believe, choose to accept Jesus. ​​ We have to acknowledge that we are sinners in need of a Savior. ​​ You see His life, death and resurrection were for a reason. ​​ It was for us. ​​ To make a way for our sins to be forgiven, to make a way to have a better life in HIM, to make a way to live with Him forever in Heaven. ​​ Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and according to Romans 6, the​​ wages of those sins is death. ​​ Spiritual death, the worst kind, in HELL. ​​ A place not prepared for us but for satan and the angels who were cast out of heaven with him. ​​ But Romans 10 says that if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus (acknowledge who​​ HE is) and believe that God has raised Him from the dead we will be saved. ​​ In Acts, Luke tells us to repent (which means to completely turn away from) of our sins so that they may be wiped out and refreshing may come. ​​ It really is that simple. ​​ We then continue to grow in Him by reading His Word, spending time in prayer and fellowshipping with other believers. ​​ Then Holy Spirit brings change needed to our lives.

 

We will all stand before God and be judged for our lives and whether or not we received Jesus. ​​ Those who have accepted Him and live their life for Him will enter into Heaven forever, and those who rejected Him will be cast into hell. This is why it matters. ​​ Your eternity is hanging in the balance and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. ​​ 

 

Call out to Him, He is waiting for you. ​​ If you need prayer, contact me. ​​ I would love to pray with you.​​ 

 

 

 

 

Pick it up!!

x-elijah-mantle-falls-on-elisha

So, I have been pondering the life of Elijah and Elisha as I have been studying I and II Kings.  God told Elijah to find Elisha and anoint him as prophet.  Elijah finds Elisha plowing in a field and places his mantle upon Elisha.  The mantle was worn by different people in the bible.  The prophets were known to wear them and it was a sign of their calling by God and the authority that came along with it.  Elisha was very quick to realize what just happened as Elijah threw his mantle upon him.  He quickly said goodbye to family and butchered his oxen and fed the people around him and left with Elijah.  He CHOSE to accept the calling to be mentored by Elijah and be the succeeding prophet.

 

Elisha followed Elijah and learned from him gaining wisdom and knowledge.  Elijah was a very powerful man of God who spoke the uncompromised truth to those God led him to.  Elisha had big shoes to one day fill.  No doubt he gleaned everything he could from Elijah.  Being a mentor and being mentored both take patience.  

 

It came time for Elijah to to be taken away from this world.  He was one of two individuals who did not die in the bible.  Elijah was trying to get Elisha to leave him alone so he could do his last minute tasks.  Elisha refused.  He was not about to miss anything.  When Elijah knew it was time, he asked Elisha what he could do for him.  Wow, imagine that.  He could have asked for anything.  He asked for a double portion of his spirit or anointing!  Whew!  That is something.  You see, a double portion in that day was what the oldest son got in his father’s inheritance.  Elisha had been like a son to Elijah and he asked for what was rightfully his!  That gives me goose bumps!  Elijah told him that this was a hard thing but if he saw him taken away, it would happen for him.  

 

Elijah and Elisha were separated by chariots and horses of fire and Elijah was taken up into heaven in a whirlwind and Elisha saw it all.  Elijah’s mantle fell off him to the ground.  Elisha could have went on his merry way but NO!  He went over and picked that mantle up and placed it upon himself and moved forward in what God was calling him to do.  

 

Our callings are no different.  Each of us has one.  A purpose, a destiny thought out and planned by God.  We all come to that place where we have a decision to make.  Will we pick up the mantle, the calling, the authority given by God and be obedient??  We can choose not to and live an unfulfilled life or we can pick it up and step into our destiny and impact the world for His kingdom.  What will you do?

 

DRY

desert-drought-dehydrated-clay-soil-60013

Ever feel like you were dry and empty…in a drought or famine of sorts?  Like your life is just barren because of circumstances.  You feel like God isn’t speaking or isn’t there at all.  We can see from scripture that this is not the case.

 

I have been studying Elijah in I Kings 17.  Elijah gives the Word of the Lord to Ahab King of Israel that it would not rain again until he said so.  Wow, that is a huge, bold statement.  Even though this was a judgement brought against Ahab and the land of Israel, it was sure to affect Elijah’s life as well.  When judgement comes, it many times affects not only those who deserve it but also those who do not.  Your sin affects your life and the lives of those around you.  So, what is Elijah to do?  God most certainly had a plan.  You see, God will always provide for those who are His own.  God told Elijah exactly what to do.  He was to go to this brook and God would sustain him there through a bird.  Elijah was not only getting provision from God but he was really hiding out as well.  He was pretty much on King  Ahab and Jezebel’s hate list.  I am sure that Elijah was lonely because he was isolated.  I am sure as the days went on with no rain, he saw the brook drying up more and more every day.  I am sure he sought God asking Him what was next.  God did not speak until the brook dried up and there was no more hope in that current place.  The end of the rope.  

 

Have you ever been there?  I sure have. BUT GOD then speaks and tells him to go to Zarephath where He has commanded a widow women to make provision for him.  Cool right?  Elijah arrives and finds this widow.  She is poor, dirt poor.  Did God get it wrong?  She was basically out of food.  How was she to provide?  I love how God uses the unlikely to bring glory to His name.  The woman is obedient to Elijah’s request to make him a cake first and then God does the miraculous for that woman, her son and Elijah, the man of God.  Her flour and oil never run out until the famine ended.  That is crazy.  You see, God spoke judgement but He was faithful to provide for his child, Elijah.  

 

Even in the midst of a drought, a famine, a place where it feels like HE is not even around, He is there.  He will make a way when there is absolutely no way if you are His child.   Most times He doesn’t speak until we think it is too late.  BUT HIS timing is perfect.  Our part is to trust, to listen and to obey whatever He speaks.  And the biggest thing is to be patient until He does.  Oh, that is hard and trusting is hard because WE want control.  If you find yourself in this place of emptiness, keep seeking, keep knocking until He opens that door.  GOD is for His children friends.  
Be blessed and be victorious through JESUS CHRIST!

Judge or not to Judge??

hammer-802298_640

Did you ever feel like everyone is judging you?  Not a real pleasant feeling.  I know a lot about this from being a preacher’s kid and always being under everyone’s microscope.  It wasn’t fun at all and honestly I could wait to grow up and go somewhere where people didn’t know me.  

The bible has a lot to say about judging.  There is also some conflicts of opinions about the scripture meanings.  Here are some things that I have learned in studying judging.  

In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us to judge not or we will be judged and with what measure we judge, it will be measured back to us.  In Jesus’ time, the Rabbis taught that God had to measures; one of justice and one of mercy.  Interesting.  So then, what measure do you want God to take with you?  Mercy or justice?  I personally need mercy and so do you because according to Romans 3:23 we are all sinners.  We need to keep this in mind when we think about judging others.  

Jesus goes on to talk about being a hypocritical judge.  Why are you trying to get the speck out of your brothers eye when you have a log in your own?  First, deal with your own issues.  We all have them.  And, if necessary, HELP your brother in dealing with his in all humility.  

A few verses after this Jesus talks about the golden rule.  Treat others as you, yourself want to be treated.  If we would just abide by this principle, we wouldn’t judge at all.

We are to be discerning though.  For there are false prophets, those professing Jesus who are not Godly and will lead you astray.  Jesus said that we will know those of God by their “fruit”.  What fruit?  Love, joy, peace, faith, patient, goodness, kindness, meekness, self control to be exact.  If the fruit of their lives are the opposite of these fruits of the Spirit, we need to be cautious.  This is also why we must know the Word of God so that we will know if what someone is teaching is accurate.  God doesn’t NOT contradict Himself.

In Romans 14, Paul tells us that we are to accept those who are weaker in faith and not have debates with them about issues that are not clear.  He uses an example of eating.  We all need to live by the standard set for by God in His Word.  There are areas that are not plainly stated and with those we need to heed the guidance of Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.  Somethings may be wrong for me but you are not convicted of them.  We are all at different places in our walk with God and we need to be mindful of that and not causing someone to stumble by judging them, by trying to make them be caught up in legalism OR by causing them to sin because we abuse the liberty that we have in Christ (thinking that all things are okay because we are covered by the blood of Jesus).  

So, to tie it all together, God is our judge.  He is the only one who knows people’s hearts and their motives behind doing things.  We need to remember that we are all sinners and humbly realize that without God’s mercy in our own lives we are as good as dead (Romans 6:23) We will all be judged by God according to the standard that He set forth in His Word.  We are held accountable to His Word and should hold our brother’s accountable by the exact same standard not a hypocritical one.  Let’s accept the gospel of Jesus and not reject it.  Let’s pray for each other and encourage one another instead of judging and tearing down.  We will all be better off in the end.  

 

Dirty!

soldiers-army-basic-training-mud

Ever been covered in dirt? How did being dirty make you feel?  Personally, I always enjoyed getting a little dirty but after a while I was ready to wash up.  The dirt gets in every crack and crevice and has to be scrubbed.  Being clean makes you feel so good, so refreshed.  

The sin in our lives is like the dirt.  We are all born into sin.  We are sinners from the get go.   Did you ever tell your child how dirty they were and they looked at you in disbelief and then looked at themselves to see if it was so?  We are like that spiritually sometimes.  We are so blinded that we can not see the truth.  The truth about our sin, the truth about GOD and the truth about life in general.  

Did you know that there is only one thing that can cleanse us from our sins?  There is only one thing that can wipe away our past!  That one thing is the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!  I John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to CLEANSE us from ALL righteousness.  Ephesians 1:7 says that in HIM we have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of our trespasses (sin), according to the riches of HIS grace.  Psalm 103:12 says that as far as the east is from the west, so far has HE removed our trespasses.  Far away to infinity, GONE.  Nothing else, no one else, can do this.  It only comes through HIM.  

So, how do we get cleansed from our sin?  It is simple….BELIEVE in who He is, the one and ONLY SON of the MOST HIGH GOD, who came to live, to die, shedding HIS BLOOD to redeem you from your sin and put you back into a right relationship with God.  Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.  REPENT (confess) your sin and RECEIVE the forgiveness and grace.  His gift to you is grace, forgiveness, mercy, peace, freedom, to name a few by HIS BLOOD.  Your gift to Him is giving your life back to Him.  He loves you! He. He is calling out your name.  Won’t you answer that call?