Saturday, February 27, 2010
Steps are order.
Order is good, but I need to be open to change.
Change at a moments notice.
Steps help me direct myself in a particular direction whether it be decisions I have to make or actual chores I need to complete.
Today is a chore day.
Select music for worship tonight.
Transport sound equipment to chapel and set up.
Meet with different men through out the day .
Pray some more....
When I finish praying...
Listen for God on His direction for the meeting tonight.
Try and center myself as the time for the meeting draws near.
My life is a series of steps. I'm not complaining about it. I thrive on order and direction. I am learning how to adapt when things happened that throw chaos into my order. I know that no matter what comes my way, God is in control and I need only to rely on Him. This past week has been a "chaos" type of week with different events being thrown into my order. Each one I encountered was an opportunity for me to rely solely on God and not fall prey to emotions or old behaviors. What seems like big things, actually aren't when I stop to pray and seek guidance. The things that I think are big.....they have been nothing more than life happening around me. Simple as that. Life happens. Cars tear up. Houses need repair. People get sick. Life happens, but in each instance I need to find God. He alone gives me the strength to carry on.
If you feel as though life may be getting out of control in your world, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath and ask God to be with you. Ask Him to give you peace so that you can make good decisions based on His leading and not your own emotional turmoil. You might be surprised what happens.
Seth Barber is speaking at tonight's service. Seth always seems to bring a "right now" word for us that really speaks to our group. I have watched Seth grow over the years and truly love to sit under his teaching. Looking forward to tonight.
Until Monday morning....
God on you.......
Verse of the Day:
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
We forget that our lives have been purchased with pain and blood. We forget that the cross of Christ is not a clean, sanitary place. You cannot draw near this cross and not be stained by the blood of Jesus.
The closer I draw near, the more my own heart is uncovered and I am made fully aware of what dwells within me. If it all stopped there, I think I would turn and run, but with the drawing....with the uncovering of my own heart, I am aware that it is the love of God for me that is doing this. He draws out the sin of my heart so that I can confess, repent and receive His incredible forgiveness.
Jesus! What a name....
What a savior....
God on you......
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.
Monday was a day of fear for me.
It was a rational fear. It was just something that appeared.
It affected the way I felt.
It affected the way I went about my business.
It affected the way I viewed God that day.
In other words, the fear clouded my mind and kept me from really pressing in on the truth of God's word.
Fear caused me to measure what was happening around me against the Word of God. Even though I knew the Word to be true, fear told me not to believe it.
The fear finally subsided that evening and on Tuesday I felt much better. My mind and heart were clearer and I felt as though God had let me cross that hurdle.
As I was leaving Rapha Tuesday night, I happen to down load a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon that was given on August 28th, 1887. One hundred and twenty-three years ago, C.H. Spurgeon stood in a pulpit and spoke the words to a sermon entitled "The Folly Of Unbelief".
I gave no thought to the message except that I might read it and study it at a later date. Last night I got the sermon out and began to pour over it. It was as if Charles Spurgeon had knocked on my front door, came into my house and began to speak directly to me. Not just bits and pieces of this message, but the entire thing resonated within me. God was speaking to me by saying, "What is it going to be? Are you going to continue to follow Me, or are you going to allow distractions and worldly mindsets to draw your attention away?" The more I read, the more I felt put back together. My confession followed about how I had allowed the fear to cause me to doubt, which was followed by a sweet spirit of forgiveness that fell over me. I went to bed that night complete and whole again, but resting in the knowledge that I had to guard myself from falling prey to thoughts and emotions that would seek to draw my attention away from God.
God in his infinite wisdom and grace had used the very thing that sought to destroy me, turned it around and helped me to see clearer and actually strengthened me. Thank you Lord.
I trust that if you are struggling with fear and doubt today, allow God to remove it and strengthen you.
God on you.......
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
I have found myself drawn to the song "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" over the past few days. There are certain phrases within the song that really strike me hard when I hear them.
Come Thou Fount of every blessing.....Tune my heart to sing thy praise.
Tune my heart. Make it resonate the way you created it to. The implication is that there is something out of tune or out of communion with Christ. Jesus alone has the power and capability to tune my heart. To make it "vibrate" at the appropriate pitch and tone that it was created to. When tuned, then let me sing the praises of Jesus. Not the world, not my own doings, not my own interest but Jesus, and him alone. Anything that God does for me is to bring him glory, not reflect on my stature or position.
On into the song there is a verse that really undoes me each time I hear it.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
There is a drawing from my flesh to wander off from God. When I take my focus off of Jesus and place it on the world, it would be so easy to simply walk away from all that God has done through me, to me and for me. That is the part that I keep a watch on all the time. Yes, I have been given victory over the power of sin. Yes, I am saved and reconciled to God, my father, but there still wars within me a nature that would love nothing better than to return me to a state of wretchedness. Praise God for the work of Jesus and that his salvation is a complete salvation to me. That is why I find the gratitude to get up every morning and instead of following this wanderlust from my flesh, I bow before God and say, "Your will today, not mine."
He is a good and great God.
May you find him today...
God on you........
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This is such a change from last Saturday. The sun was out and it was 60+ degrees. It was warm and there was such life here in the camp. Men were out walking, some fishing, some just sitting in swings enjoying the weather. I guess the lesson to be learned is to really take it "one day at a time" because you never know when change is going to rear its head.
Doing a word search this morning, I decided to see when the word "faith" first appears in Scripture. Guess where it is? No, go ahead and guess. You'll never get it.
Deuteronomy 32:20-- and the word faith isn't even used in a positive manner.
God is speaking: "I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end will be for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith."
Wow! Did you catch that?
An entire generation of people that God calls "children" (I don't think this is a loving term but one that denotes immaturity and rebellion) that hasn't any faith. None. Zero.
A generation that has been witness to God in ways that no other generation ever has and in spite of everything, they have no faith.
I do not want to turn out like that.
I want to "live" by faith (II Corinthians 5:7)
To walk by faith.
To rely solely on God and His directions for my daily walk.
Some say that is pie in the sky thinking.
I say it is realistic when you have come to the sober conclusion that without God, you are hopeless.
Not hopeless in the way the world thinks. There are people out there who, in the eyes of society, are very successful and look to all the world that they are in control of their lives. But I know this to be so not right. I know that no matter what our lot in life, whether we are window washers, skid row bums or the CEO of a fortune 500 company, we will all stand before God to give an account of our life. The account comes in the form of "What did you do with Jesus?"
Did you receive Him and His word as Lord and Savior in your life?
Or did you reject Him and take control of your destiny?
Without Jesus in my life..................
My destiny is hell.
Do not pass go...
Do not collect $200.00
That is why faith is so important.
You are saved by faith and the grace of God.
You are brought into a new relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Think on these things........
God on you...
Monday, February 22, 2010
You picture the extreme athletes on snow boards or riding mountain bikes down treacherous terrain.
I tend to get a different picture.
I was reading in Exodus 20 this morning about how God was leading the Israelites on their exodus or journey out of Egypt. Chapter 20 opens with the words, "In early spring, the people of Israel arrived in the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. Where they were there Miriam died and was buried." This must have been a difficult time for Moses as Miriam was his sister. She was the one who followed the basket Moses was in when his mother put him in the Nile River. Now, she was dead.
On top of all of this it goes on to say, "There was no water for the people to drink in that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron." Moses didn't bargain for this. A group of unruly, complaining, whining people who could be satisfied no matter what. What more, God has lead them to a place where there isn't any water. God lead them there. God keeps them living on the edge. Keeps them looking to Him for their survival. He brings them to places where there isn't any water, but then gives them water. DO you see this? God keeps us on the edge....we can either look to him, or we can rebel and try to live on our own. Time and time again, God leads the people to places where the enemy is coming after them to find out "what are you going to do. Fight in your own strength or wait for Me and let Me fight the battle for you." Time and time again, Israel had to learn the hard way. I don't want to learn the hard way. I want to live on the edge and rely on God to lead me in which ever way He thinks is best. Yes, it is scary at the edge. Yes, you want to cut and run at the edge. Yes, every one around you will think you've lost your mind because you are waiting on God. But living on the edge is where you will see God in ways you couldn't see him any where else.
Look for Him today.....
God on you.........
I downloaded the message from Saturday night (2 /20/10) Step#2 Lift your vision
Saturday, February 20, 2010
You will no longer be able to work for Him on the common sense basis."
I pray that we never sit under such gifts and presents given to us by God and then act like spoiled children, casting aside the first gift asking, "Where are my other gifts."
Friday, February 19, 2010
Another week under the belt and now the real work begins.
Friday for me is an organization day.
Prepare the worship for tomorrow nights meeting.
Work on the message.
Lot's of prayer.............mostly "O God, O God, O God, O God!" Those, I think, are God's favorite prayers to hear. Why? Because by the time you get to simply crying out "O God!" you've pretty much reached the end of everything you can do and you are ready to turn to God. You know that when times are hard or your in trouble, you don't pray those King James prayers.....
You know the ones I'm talking about.
"O Lord-eth! We besechest thouest to comest downeth from the heaveneth and toucheth all whoeth are undereth your careth."
Nah! You don't pray like that. When you are in a hard place you cut right to the "O God, O God, O God" prayers. That's o.k. What I need to learn is to carry on prayer with God all day. Kind of a running dialog with Him and as I do this, learn to listen for him to speak.
Yesterday was a kind of payday time. From time to time if I find myself struggling God will send someone who has gone through the program to tell me what is going on in their life. Yesterday he sent a man named Ray who was here back in '04. Ray walked up and hugged my neck and told me that he was working with the VA hospital in Birmingham and that he God was letting him minister and pray with the guys. He told me his story of what all has transpired since leaving Rapha. Some good..........some not so good. In the end, here today, Ray is doing well. He has a passion to serve God by doing whatever God wants him to do. Like I said, yesterday was payday.
Tonight Vicki and I travel to Centre for Celebrate Recovery.
This is one of my most favorite places to go and speak. I have never gone there and came away not seeing God work and move on the people. It is like this particular Celebrate Recovery has a lot of grace to carry on the work. I know that it was birthed (the meeting) from the death of Regina and Donnie George's son, Griffin, so if ever pain and grief brought forth something wonderful and beautiful, this is a perfect example. God took this families loss and the pain they were suffering and used it to bring life to so many others.
I trust that you have a good day.
Find God (not that he's missing) as you travel around.
God on you..............
VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalm 103:4
He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Listen for God....
Rest when he says rest.....
Don't be as the ones who refused to follow the simple instructions of God.
What path are you on today?
One that leads to life?
Or one that leads to eternal destruction and damnation?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Exodus 14 -- Israel has been led out of Egypt, they have marched into the wilderness and unknown to them, Pharaoh has had a change of heart. Pharaoh now calls for the military to start an operation to wipe the Israelites out. At the beginning of chapter 14 God is talking to Moses. He gives Moses specific instructions on where he wants Israel to set up camp. The Red Sea will be at their backs and the wilderness before them. Truth be known, God has set up Israel so that Pharaoh will consider them trapped and therefore be easy prey for his military.
God goes on to say that He (God) will gain honor and glory over Pharaoh and the Egyptians shall know that he, God, is the Lord. To the Israelites, when Pharaoh shows up, it kind of hard to see God's hand in all of this. All they knew was that the Red Sea was behind them and Pharaoh's hard-charging-boys were coming straight for them. In the eyes of Israel, there is no way out. No where to run, no where to hide........surrender wasn't even an option because Pharaoh was about to take prisoners. You see, sometimes God puts us in situations where it appears to be hopeless and destruction is imminent. God (if we truly trust him) is in control. Maybe these are the times where we do learn to trust him. When we have no options and no suggestions and we simply fall on him and declare his ways higher than ours.
This is the place I want to be in. Where I trust God without fail, no matter what is in front or behind me. No matter what the future holds or the past has held, I trust God. That is the place of peace and the place where we will see God as we have never seen him before. So if you situation seems hopeless and you feel like Pharaoh's army is fast upon you, wait for God and listen for what he says to do. Then do it. If you read on in Exodus 14, you'll see that God actually commanded the Israelites to move forward toward the sea before it had actually parted. I think that is called faith. To strike out to a place and the "sea hasn't parted yet" for you. God is an on time God...when the Israelites came to the sea, Moses had stretched out his rod and the sea had parted. The cool part in all of this was that God told Moses and the people that after today they would no longer see the threat of Egypt. God, once and for all, dealt with the enemy of Israel and God will deal with your enemy also.
Trust God today.....
Check out Exodus 14 for yourself...
God on you..........
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I served 6 years as a volunteer here at Rapha and came on full time in 2004.
Because for what ever reason, I was made to host a church service at night.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
He became the propitiation for our sin (paying the penalty himself to assuage God's rightful anger toward sin).
Worship is a lifestyle.
A lifestyle that declares through my every day walking around, going to work, eating and sleeping life that God is the center of my affections.
I pray that you will be encouraged by something you read.
Monday, February 15, 2010
God on you......
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The button to the right of the display window lets you select what type of worship music to listen to. Here are the channels available to you:
Christian EZ / Christian Pop radio / R&B / Contemporary Christian / Country Chapel
Country Christian / Faith Rap / Faith Rock / Our Great Hymns / Praise and Worship
Sacred Psalms / Sweet Sound of Gospel
Push the icon at the bottom of the button to select the channel you would like to listen to.
For me, I've been away from traditional church for a number of years so to go back and listen to large choirs and orchestra's has been a real treat. I find myself tuning in and letting it play while I study or prepare for teachings.
I hope you find this enjoyable and perhaps you'll leave a note letting me know. I do not want it to be a distraction to anyone so if it doesn't workout, I'll remove it.
Praise Him for His mighty acts
I know that this is not culturally acceptable in a lot of places.
You got to be kidding me....dancing is from the devil.
Well that is what the devil wants you to think.
If he can keep you from worshipping God then he has won.
I don't think he'd find it foolish.
Listen for what God tells you to do.
Lock the door....
Friday, February 12, 2010
He was referred to as the "silent" prophet.
Stay warm and enjoy the snow.
We become mesmerized and hyp-NO-tized and de-SENSE-i-tized.
What pleases Him.
What He expects of me.
There is just eternity with Him.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This song grows dearer to me with each passing year. It reminds me of the shallowness of my own life. That no matter how much I think I have grown in God, there is so much more to do. Oh to risk it all and throw myself into the hands of God. To abandon myself totally to His will and purposes. Everything else would dim and loose value compared to knowing Jesus.
Maybe I will grow up before I grow older.
God on you......
I find myself sometimes falling back on my humanity when I talk to God.
I find myself trying to explain away my shortcomings, my sin, my lack of discipline on the fact that I am human. The conversation goes something like this.
"God, you know me. You know me better than myself. You know that you created me and that I am a flawed individual. You know my nature better than I know myself."
(it's as though I am trying to plead a case that has already been decided, sick puppy that I am)
"The things I do should not catch you unaware. The behaviors and attitudes I carry around and display are all part of the "brokenness" of being human. You are divine.....you are God and me....well, I am dust and dirt and everything messed up because of Adam in the garden."
Even as I go through this little rehearsal in talking with God, one simple fact escapes me. Ther very fact that I am having this conversation with God shows just how messed up I am. Like I am going to con God or at least get Him to execute some hidden codicil within the law that will excuse my sinful nature yet will make a provision where I can keep sinning because of my humaness. Scripture provides otherwise, it's called confession and repentence.
God has provided everything needed to rise above my humanness. That I am without excuse and reason to not be "holy as He is holy." God understands better than anyone the fallacy and futility of humanity. He understands the darkness of the human heart and in His mercy and grace has provided a path, a way (that would be Jesus) that leads to life, real life. So, I can mumble and gripe and move around in my mess or I can repent and confess and accept this way that God provides and once and for all time move on. It's not a rejection of our humanity, it is God overcoming all the sin and mistakes and bad choices to lift us to new life with Him. I have to choose. I have to surrender. I have to let God kill the "old man" within me and resurrect me to a new life. I have to be born again, saved, redeemed and all those other terms attached to life with God. It is in my surrender that God empowers me to live life here in this imperfect world on His terms not the worlds. That I can do.
Today is going to be a good day as I seek first the Kingdom rule of God in my life followed by His nature or righteousness.
Find God today....
God on you.......
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Where did your beliefs come from?
Can you back up what you believe in Scripture?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
How quick do we adapt our plans to fit his plans?
To some it will bother them and they may even comment,"Hey! why don't you center the title of the blog?"
I did it for a reason....
I never quiet fit in with what the world wants or expects.
Because the world is not my home.
In fact the apostle Paul stated that the world was dead to him and he was dead to the world.
I don't operate like the world.
I'm an alien only passing through
There will always be this oil and water relationship going on
I want to tell them the truth.
I want them to understand that "Stuff" happens to us while we live here on
And "Stuff" can happen whether you are following God or living for the world.
The real difference is found in the ability to cope and move on.
The eternal truth that does not change.
Following this Jesus!
God on you......
We can talk against the darkness all day.
We can pray against it.
We can point to it and declare it defeated.
We can meet and collectively rail against the darkness
But the truth is, we see God's greatest miracles and presence during the worst times of our lives.
Now this doesn't mean that we all run out and make ourselves miserable and distant from God just so we can see Him work and move in our midst. How foolish would that be. What I find is that I have a tendency to pray for God to remove me during troubling times. Take me out and make the pain go away. Truth is I need to remain still and silent and wait and watch for God during these times. Should I never pray for God's removal of me from tribulations and terrible times? No! Pray! I should pray like never before. But I don't need to pray from my flesh, which only seeks to preserve itself. I should learn to pray from my spirit which seeks God's heart for whatever I am facing. A kind of "Not-my-will-but-yours-Lord" kind of outlook and prayers.
The greatest time for God's miracles are in the worst of times in our lives. Extreme and radical persecution are the times when God reveals himself to bring us through the darkness and into the light.
So what do I need to learn from all of this?
1.) God always honors and blesses those who honor him no matter what the situation or circumstance.
2.) Trying to break the darkness and tribulations in my own strength using carnal weapons is dangerous. Kind of taking the will of God and doing it in our own strength. In other words we supplant God and his will to carry out our own.
3.) God does hear and answer the prayers of His people.
Whatever you are going through today......
You are not alone.
Even though you feel as though everyone, including God, has forgotten you. That is a lie and not the truth that God speaks of.
Believe and call out to Him....
He will hear...
He will comfort...
He will strengthen....
He will be there.....
God on you.......
Monday, February 8, 2010
The world may postulate and pontificate, but we hold to the undeniable truth that Jesus is not in that tomb. Such is the strength of the one called MESSIAH, that any disbelief on my part cannot change what has taken place. He has risen! As the song so aptly puts it, "He arose a victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with the saints to reign. He arose....He arose.....Hallelujah, Christ arose!"
So this fact of faith should be celebrated every day.Do you think on this part of Christianity? Do you truly have something to celebrate in the resurrection of Jesus? Has there been a resurrection of your spirit by God's spirit unto life eternal? Have you been born again?
Then celebrate with your whole being. Don't be afraid to weep for joy, to shout at the top of your lungs, "Jesus, Jesus! Jesus!" Name above all names.
Don't be afraid to dance as King David did. To shake off the death that we walk through daily known as the world, and breathe in the air of eternity with Him.
Then see with His eyes....
Love with His heart.....
Touch with His hands....
and give away freely what He has given to you.
Then proclaim to those you meet that this Jesus is who he says he is. Not because we have read about Him, or because we have sung songs about Him...
But because we too have been resurrected from the dead unto life today.
And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid. For I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying." Matthew 28:5-6
God On You...........
(There is no message downloaded this week since we did not have our service this past Saturday night.)
Saturday, February 6, 2010
It is uncluttered and uncompromising.
It is truth that has no gray areas but exists in Black and white.
Truth that is either received or rejected.
Such truth has the ability to change lives.
Such truth has the ability to turn the world upside down.
Ask the 120 who were sitting together on the day of Pentecost.
Simple truth is powerful.
It cannot be defeated or crushed by a wave of intellectualism or academia.
Simple truth stands the test of time.
Governments rise and fall.....
Leaders, great or small, rise and disappear from the stage of life...
but simple truth stands against the winds of change or society.
I am in need of such truth today, for this kind of truth disarms every thing the enemy brings to my mind and heart.
No memory, no matter how painful, can stand against simple truth.
No bitterness, no jealously, no unforgiveness can defeat simple truth.
So what is this truth?
What great philosophical statement can be made that will disarm the hordes of hell?
Jesus loves me...
This I know...
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak
But He is strong.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.
Plant your life on this and see the salvation God brings.
God on you this week end....
See you Monday, here at the Greene Street Letters
Friday, February 5, 2010
If I were to ask you how holy you felt you were using a scale of 1% to 100%, most would say, "I don't feel holy at all." Or "Maybe 10% holy." We derive these numbers by taking a look at ourselves, and if the truth be known, it really isn't a true look at ourselves as much as it is a look at what we have done in our past. We allow our past deeds and mess-ups to define who we are and how we feel. Truth is, if you are saved, you are 100% holy, only because God's holiness has been imputed or credited or placed on you.
We read in Hebrews 10:14 -- For by the one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy. The word "perfected" means to be made complete, to have finished, to consummate (in this case, God's spirit covering and filling us at the point of our salvation, completes and brings us into right standing or relationship with God). Perfection in God's eyes...that is how he sees me. Now, he is working on my performance (Or behavior and attitude). He is taking my character defects and changing them as I cooperate with his Holy Spirit at work in me. The moment I receive ---I am perfected in his sight. God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, works on my performance.
I am posting below a declaration that we say after every class here at Rapha. We require the men to memorize and say it daily.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (The New Living Translation)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
(The Amplified Bible)
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(The Message Bible)
No matter who you are.
No matter what you ethnic origin or background.
No matter what you socio-economic status is within your community....
When you are saved (born again), there is a change that takes place inside of you.
It doesn't begin with your brain but rather you heart----the center of your will, your passion and desires. Your thinking becomes different as you face situations daily. No longer are the old ways of dealing with things acceptable, you may find that you actually have thoughts that are contrary to the old way you would have dealt with things. This is God's Holy Spirit at work inside of you.
God changes the heart, which in turn affects the mind which directs the will (sometimes). Sometimes our will is so strong and sinful that it will convince us to do things that we know with our heads is wrong--------but we do them anyway. What a dastardly enemy lurks within me. It's kind of like the comic strip POGO that use to be in the Sunday paper. A war was shaping up in the swamp and POGO and all his friends were running around trying to prepare for the coming enemy. At one point, due to all the chaos and turmoil, POGO makes a statement..."We have met the enemy.....and he is us!" We have so programed ourselves to sin over the years that it becomes almost automatic / without thought. But now we have an alarm that goes off when we consider the possibility of doing that which is against God. Cool huh?
IT is all about being changed from the inside.
Change the heart.............
The behavior changes.....
I'm glad God got the job........He's so much better at it than I am.
God on you today!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.........
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Just as it was when Jesus died.....
Just as it was when Jesus rose from the dead.....
Just as it was when Jesus ascended back to heaven.....
After the day of Pentecost, the world would never be the same.
Life would never be the same for those who were alive on that day.
Life would never be, even for us, the same as it was before the day of Pentecost.
Prior to this day, God dispensed His Holy Spirit according to what individual He (God) was working through. He only gave His Spirit to those He called to do His bidding.
People such as John the Baptizer, King David, Deborah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and so on.
But in the book of Joel a word is prophesied that there was coming a time when the Spirit of God would be poured out on all flesh. What falls under the word "ALL"? Everyone. Saved and unsaved. We need to remember just because something is poured out doesn't mean everyone is going to receive it gladly. Some will reject this pouring out of God's Spirit. But the bottom line is that we live in a time where the Holy Spirit of God is offered to all who are saved.
I like the way Luke describes the coming of the Holy Spirit. He likened it to a mighty rushing wind that filled the place where they were sitting. To me it's kind of like a new jar of pickles.
What happens when you first open it? There is that whooshing sound as air rushes into the jar and fill the vacuum that was inside. Prior to the Holy Spirit coming, mankind existed in this kind of vacuum. God was speaking. Jesus had been here and had ministered and completed his calling by dying and then being resurrected from the dead. But not until the lid was opened and the promised comforter was sent by the Father did everything began to expand and grow. The church grew by 3000 the very first day the Holy Spirit was poured out. Missionaries were raised up and went forth to take the word out of Jerusalem to the utter most parts of the earth. How would you like your town or village to be labeled "THE UTTER MOST PARTS OF THE EARTH?" I don't know, sometimes I feel as though Attalla is part of that label. But even here in Attalla, we are privilege to be under the guidance and moving of God's Holy Spirit.
Sometimes I think we discount this incredible gift that has been poured out on us and filled within us. Think about it. We have access to God 24/7 / 365 days a year. It wasn't like when Jesus walked the earth. Even though that would have been an incredible time to be alive, the disciples did not always have access to him. He would go off to be by himself (How do you think the disciples felt when this happened?) He would be taken up by crowds and have to devote his full attention to them. But now........with the Holy Spirit inside me, I am never away from Jesus. He is my mediator that sits at the right hand of God the Father and lives to intercede on my behalf. That is beyond cool...that is just downright out there. The one thing I do not want to do is take all of this for granted. I want to learn to listen and interact with the Holy Spirit as he guides me into all truth (John 16:13). I want to learn to live and obey under the power of the Holy Spirit as he cover me ( Acts 1:8).
We read in John 14:28 concerning the Holy Spirit:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This pouring out of God's Holy Spirit gives me a compass, a guide that (if I listen to and obey) will lead me into all truth. Truth about myself. Truth about God's plan and how I fit into it. Truth about every facet of my life. That is a true gift beyond price of any kind and God has seen fit to equip all His children with the Holy Spirit.
Ask God to help you to be receptive to the leading of His Holy Spirit today.
Spend some time thanking God for such a wonderful gift that has been placed inside of you.
God on you today!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
George F. Handel was in despair. Struggling to earn a living in London, he knew days when he could not afford to buy meals. One night in 1741, depressed and defeated, he wandered the lonely streets; it was almost dawn when he returned to his shabby room. On a table was a thick envelope. It was from Charles Jennens, the man who wrote his librettos. Examining the pages, he found them covered with Scripture texts.
Wearily, he tossed the pages aside and crawled into bed. But he could not sleep. The words he had read returned to him:
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God ... The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light ... For unto us a Child is born ... Glory to God in the highest ... Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Too stirred to sleep, he got up and went to his piano. The music flowed from his heart-rich, majestic, triumphant. He began to write. Night and day for three weeks, he wrote feverishly. He forgot sleep, food, rest. He refused to see anyone. At last, on the day the work was finished, one friend managed to gain entrance.
The composer was at his piano, sheets of music strewn around him, tears streaming down his face. "I do believe I have seen all of Heaven before me, and the great God Himself," he exclaimed.
Millions of people have been able to believe that. The first audience to hear the composition -- in Dublin in 1742 --gave it the greatest ovation in the city's history. Weeks later, London heard it for the first time, and again it was a triumph. The King was so impressed during the Hallelujah Chorus that he rose to his feet -- a custom that still prevails.
This Christmas, in churches and concert halls around the world, millions of people will once again find hope and faith in the message what has become the most beloved composition of all times --
George Frederic Handel's Messiah.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Worship time was for learning and reaching out to places we have not gone before. By that I mean the guys were willing to worship in ways that they had not considered before. We are all in school here at Rapha and we are learning a new way to live which includes some behaviors we have never done.
In the Old Testament, the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were given for specific purposes. You had an entire nation brought out from slavery by God. Slavery was all they had known. They lived it, the breathed it, they worked under it, they lived and died slaves. For them to be brought out from that left an incredible vacuum in their lives. God gave them the three books (Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) to teach them how to live as free men and women under God's guidance. It spelled out dietary laws as well as spiritual and moral laws that defined what was right and wrong. Here at Rapha we are introducing the men to a new way to live. They have lived for years under the task master known as addiction. They were ruled and governed by it and knew no other life. On top of everything, addiction told them there was no other life and to attempt to live any other way would be futile and a waste of their time.
We know that kind of thinking to be a lie, yet it continues to dictate and lie to men trapped in addiction. Our call is to share the Gospel of Jesus. Him crucified, died for our sins as a payment. He, fully God and fully man, entered heaven upon his ascension from this earth and was able to do so because of his purity and lack of sin. Taking a choice seat at the right hand of God the father. Jesus became the way for us, sinful man, to approach God. What a present!
In Mark 12:24, Jesus says, "Your problem is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God." It is power of salvation and restoration and cannot be overcome by anything or anyone. That is truth. That is life.
May you find it today.
God on you....
Great story in the news today about scientist (gotta love these guys and gals) are doing a study to determine what death really is and ...