Monday, August 13, 2018

Sharing God's Words


Sharing God’s Words

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

            “I’m too sick”  “I’m too tired”  “I can’t make it to church any longer”  “I’m too old to minister”  These are some of the excuses people make for not sharing the Word of the Lord any longer.  You may feel like withered grass or a faded flower as the above scripture says, but God’s Word still stands.  If you are still able to speak, you can share God’s Word with others.

The Word of God is so powerful that just speaking the Word of God can bring life back to those who were dead.  In Ezekiel 37:4-6 God spoke to Ezekiel.  He said to him, “Prophesy to these bones and say too them, ‘O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord! “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live.  I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live.” 

Just speaking over the dead brings them to life.  This is how powerful the Word of God is.  Another example is that His spoken Word will not return ‘void’.   In Isaiah 55:11,So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

This is why I write these blogs every week. I want others to know that by sharing the Word of God, wonderful things can happen.  I probably don’t know and never will, how many were touched by hearing God’s Word. The power in the Word can fight the battles of the enemy against our soul. Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Did you get that? “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. 
 
This is why it’s so important not only to read the Bible, but to try to understand it.  If you have asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you do not have to go through trials and troubles alone.  The power of the Word of God is available all the time for you.  With God all things are possible (Mark 9:23).  Many Christians don’t even know what God has made possible for them.  This why we must continually share the Word of God with as many as we can.

The days we now live in are devastating.  We keep thinking and wondering why the Lord doesn’t come back and do something about it.  The young people in high school and college are being held up like offerings on the altar of Satan. So many things are being crammed into their minds that they don’t even recognize who they once were or what they once believed. This is another reason we need to keep speaking out the Word of God. Many are void of the difference between sin and morals. The only thing that is sure and true is the Word of God.

At times we feel helpless to help these who are often without hope.  This is when we need to turn to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:26, “but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  The Holy Spirit is our helper and he will direct us in how we should pray, how we should react to the things our loved ones are doing and He will lead us in the right decisions with love.

“Holy Spirit, I pray for my loved ones to hear the Word of God in a positive way and give them the knowledge to understand how much God loves them and wants to hold a place their heart. Help me, Lord to let them see my life as a child of God who stands in faith believing in them without chastisement.  Chastisement belongs to God alone and those he chastises, he loves.” Amen

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Changing Church - Part 4


The Changing Church
Part 4
Revelation 3:14-22

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, these things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.

            Now that we have talked about our failures as a church of Jesus Christ, what can we do to turn it around to the power of success that we hold in our hands?  The scripture above says it all: “Repent and be an Overcomer and spend eternity with Jesus.”   However there are things we can change in our churches today and I will try to address some of these.
        
    #1. Let’s examine our own hearts to see where we are and why we go to church.  God never asked that we be entertained. You will not find it in the Bible.  The plan was to gather ourselves together as we see when we read in Revelation about Jesus view of the seven churches.   Hebrews 10:24-25 says it plainly, “ Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”   
  
          #2.  The Word of God will feed your soul.  In Acts 13:44 we see how important it was to these believers to hear the Word of God because On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”  Why would they do that; what is so important about hearing the word of God?  Think about this. “But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  Luke 4:4.  The only way to really live is to fill up on the Word of God morning, noon and night.  The Word is God and Jesus himself was so filled with the Word of God, He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”  Luke 4:43.  This leads me to #3.
    
        #3.  Respect for God’s house.  If the sanctuary in your church is not a place of holiness and respect, try sitting quietly with your eyes closed and head down praying for others to honor God. When it’s time for Communion do the same thing even though others are walking around talking.  Jesus asked that we take Communion in Remembrance of Him. Think about it; we cannot be visiting with each other and remembering Jesus at the same time.  It’s impossible!
      
      #4.  We must stand on the Word of God.  If the Bible says “It’s wrong; it’s wrong.  No matter what the world accepts and says that we are ‘hater’s’ if we don’t agree those who do these things. Stand up like a man or woman of God, they are at fault, not you.  You have the power of God behind you while those who practice these sins have nothing backing them up.
         
    #5.   Repent of those things in your life that are holding you back from serving God like you should. No matter what great movements tell you not to repent, do it anyway.  God tells the churches to repent before it’s too late.
        
    #6.   Last but not least, is the need to praise and worship God.  Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.”  Psalm 63:3.  To be thankful even for our life, we need to praise God.  “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”  Psalm 95:6.
          
  These are some things that can help individuals stop the church from changing what is happening to what should happen.  Stand for what you believe and know is true, in the Word of God.  God will never fail you!


Monday, July 30, 2018

The Changing Church - Part - 3


The Changing Church
Part Three
Revelation 2:12-17

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, “These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to my name, and did not deny my faith even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there, those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

            The church in Pergamos was a thriving example of many of the churches today.  So many of them were firm in their belief of God and his Apostles and were strictly following what they had learned. Many became leaders and some of these leaders soon added parts of Balaam rituals, such as sexual sins, into their leaders who were called Nicolaitans.  The Nicolaitans meant the leaders of the Church had gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the Believers. Members were compelled and forced to submit to the dominion of men who had become that thing which God hates. The Apostle Peter warned that those who were leaders among God's people were NOT to dominate over the faith of others, but rather exhort them to do right.
            The churches were quickly changing and falling away from what the Apostles and teachers had taught them. It rather like the denominational churches acceptance of the LGBT.  Yet, the Bible does not accept it.  Read Romans 1:24-27 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”  Let me add this, just because churches and people have given into it doesn’t make it right.  We must adhere to the Word of God.
Many of you have heard about the Hyper-Grace movement.The term hyper-grace has been used to describe a new wave of teaching that emphasizes the grace of God to the exclusion of other vital teachings such as repentance and confession of sin. Hyper-grace teachers maintain that all sin, past, present, and future, has already been forgiven, so there is no need for a believer to ever confess it. Hyper-grace teaching says that, when God looks at us, He sees only a holy and righteous people. The conclusion of hyper-grace teaching is that we are not bound by Jesus’ teaching, even as we are not under the Law; that believers are not responsible for their sin.”  The above scripture tells us opposite; it says Repent. Revelation 2:5-6 says to the church in Ephesus, “remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.”   
What does REPENT mean?  Ask God to forgive you from any wrong doing and don’t do it again.  This is so opposite of the Hyper Grace movement.  God does not expect for us to be perfect, but He expects us to strive to be like Jesus.  Though we fail again and again, if we ask, he will forgive. Galatians 5:19-21 explains it all.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”.

            Churches that believe in the Kingdom of God and are being led by the Holy Spirit, cannot allow all these sins to become a part of their church.  If they do they will be in danger of falling into the doctrine of Balaam which leads its followers into the pit of Hell.  The Church is changing so fast, we must hurry and not let it be overtaken by the enemy of our soul.  Wake up! See what is happening right in front of you and hold fast to what you have.

Part 4  
Coming next week shows us how we can stop our churches from becoming a part of the Changing Churches of today.

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Changing Church - Part 2


The Changing Church
Part Two
Revelation 3:1-6 (NLT)

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
            As a child I attended a Presbyterian church.  It was very quiet, but it was the quietness of the doctrine,
and the law of the church.  No one was praying, but they were being obedient.  No one said ‘Amen’ unless you were repeating the Doxology. When I grew up and had children of my own, we went to the Lutheran church. 
I loved how we knelt at the altar to take communion and my children loved going to Confirmation classes.
            After my children were grown and on their own, we began attending the Catholic Church and the first thing I noticed was the respect for the sanctuary.  It was quiet and prayerful; people knelt and prayed.  There was hardly any talking or running back and forth and I could feel the presence of God.  I do not agree with the Catholic doctrine, but they certainly understood God’s holiness.
            When I was about forty-two years old, my husband and I gave our hearts to Jesus Christ and our lives were totally changed.  We began attending a Full Gospel church. We were so excited we devoured the Word of God and spent a lot of time in prayer and praise. The more we understood, the more excited we became.  Over the next few years doors opened for us to have a daily radio program and eventually had a weekly television show that aired on several stations.  About this time, all my children gave their hearts to the Lord and are still serving God in various ways. My son-in-law became an ordained minister and started a church through CMI (Calvary Ministries, Inc.) thirty two years ago. My husband is an ordained minister and Associate Pastor and our son became an ordained minister and a Christian Counselor. One daughter is a Youth minister; one is a very active Pastors wife and the third daughter sings and ministers to others. I have studied the scriptures and taught the Word of God for many years and in many places.
            I’ve been in a lot of churches over the years and have seen a lot of changes and many of them not for the good.  The Holiness of God is no longer present in today’s church. The Sanctuary is no longer a place of respect, but is a place of commotion.  You can bring your coffee into the Sanctuary, grab a seat and visit until the service begins.  By then no one wants to quiet down except those who like to sing.  The praise team begins their music and there are times the Holy Spirit moves through the music. 
            One of my favorite parts of the service is Communion. Communion today is so unscriptural in a lot of churches.  It’s more like a social time with people walking and talking out loud. It’s obvious no one is thinking about why we even have Communion.  Luke 22:19-20, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.”  Jesus wants us to do this in a prayerful remembrance of him and to think of the fact that he gave his body and his blood so we could be saved.  How dare any Christian get up and take communion in a haphazard and un-respectful way? Shame on you. Can’t you keep your mouth shut for a short period of time and think about what Jesus did for you? If it wasn’t for him where would you be today?
           
Part 2

The Changing Church - Part 1


The Changing Church
Revelation 2:1-7 (NLT)

  “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting, but I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!  Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, (those who practice unholy things) just as I do. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.”
            In the book of Revelation, the church went through many changes just as it does today.  All around us we see churches change from the gospel of Jesus Christ to the church of “Make Me Feel Comfortable”.  There are even churches who leave the name, Jesus, out of all the praise songs so no one will be offended. There are churches who have turned to the ‘Grace’ doctrine.  They believe that once you are ‘saved’, you can do anything and never have to ask for forgiveness again because you have been forgiven from past sins, present sins and sins you may commit in the future. They are actually churches of false doctrine.
 There are also churches that give you a prophecy for a certain amount of money.  There are churches whose aim is to entertain you. They may have a Christian Comedian one Sunday and a visiting evangelist the next.  Then the following Sunday it may be a singing quartet or a group of beautiful dancers.
Then there’s the Coffee Clutch group who need to drink coffee in order to worship.  I think the caffeine works on keeping people awake during the message.  We also host the Breakfast Club.  This is where you fill up on food so you won’t get hungry if church runs after noon. If you still get hungry you can buy from the bake sale in the hallway. 
Of course, we don’t want to forget the church of “The Social Club”.  If you go there you can catch the latest gossip, make plans for parties and picnics and the news of the week.  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.  Many of these churches are not doing anything wrong, but some of them are teetering on the edge.
The point of this is not to cut down churches, (although Jesus did) but to take a minute to think about why we go to church at all.  People go to church for many reasons, but the truth is that there should only be one reason we want to attend church and that is because we want to hear the Word of God and to praise and worship God.  We don’t find that in a lot of churches, instead we see people walk in and look around for someone to talk to.
To be honest there are few churches today where you feel the Holiness of God when you walk into them.  What you do see is disrespect in the sanctuary.  There may be one group trying to pray with someone and another group laughing loudly and children running around without supervision. It is not the setting for those who come to worship our heavenly Father.  The worse part of all this is that most of us don’t pay any attention to it; it has become a ‘norm’ for today.
(Part One)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”   Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

          There are so many things going on in our lives all the time that we forget that God is moving behind the scenes.  It’s like a parallel world moving right along with us, but God is directing that movement while we are directing our own movement. 
            In Hebrews 13:5, Jesus left a comforting message for us, He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  That’s pretty simple to understand, He is always going to be with us, day and night behind the scene, to help us keep on track.  Have you ever been alone and hurting in the night with no one to encourage you?  You are not alone and when you call out His name, He is there.  He is listening and in ways we don’t understand, he is calling out to God for you. 
            Did you know that God never sleeps? Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4.  As humans, we cannot get along without rest and sleep, even though many try to.  God designed our bodies to need refueling enough to continue on.  That means sleep and rest.  God set up the “Sabbath” so that people would not wear themselves out, but would rest from their labor and would be prepared to get back to work the following day. God is still working behind the scenes to help rest and build up our bodies to be strong.
            Do you ever have stomach problems?  In the beginning God showed us what the proper food were that would be good for our body.  Rich foods can cause serious stomach issues.  I think of Daniel in the Old Testament. He was a prisoner of King Nebuchadnezzar who wanted to feed Daniel rich foods and desserts from his own table.  But Daniel was very smart and said, “Please let my 3 friends and I eat just vegetables and drink water and see if we are not healthiest of all the servants.”  After a time, Daniel and his friends were the healthiest of all.  Does this tell you something about your eating habits?
            How many times have you been spared from a deadly incident or illness?  Looking back over the years things happened to me that could have taken my life, but by Gods miraculous intervention I was saved. Behind the scene God and his angels were working to save me.  There is no other answer for what happened.
            I remember years ago when my young family were in such bad financial condition because of family illness and doctor bills we could see no way out.  I used to sit at my table and look at all the bills, wondering how we could ever pay them.  Over the years I experienced times that there was money in our account that I know I didn’t put in there.  I know God working it out behind the scenes. Like the time we owed thousands of dollars to the local hospital and they forgave the debt.  Praise the Lord.
            Years later I learned about tithing. Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”   I came from a denomination that never talked about tithing, so didn’t anything about it.  It was years later when I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  One day I was driving to work and listening to a Christian radio station when I heard about tithing.  When I came home that day, I looked through the mail and there was an article about tithing in a magazine using the same scripture I heard on the radio.  At dinner time we were at the table but I could see the TV in the other room and a man was on there talking about ‘Tithing’!  My husband and I talked about it and immediately knew that’s what we needed to do. We were no longer going to “rob God” as it says in Malachi. 
        From that day to this, we have never missed giving 10% to God.  If we were gone we always made up what we missed tithing. God has always been so faithful to us.  We have not had to worry over money again.  In Malachi 3:11 it tells us to try God, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the LORD of hosts.”  Yes, it’s true; God is working being the scene and he does what he said he would do!





Tuesday, July 3, 2018

God's Independence Day


God’s Independence Day

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

            One of the men at our church explained what happened to the brave men who put together the Declaration of Independence.  When they signed their names to it they became wanted men.  They were declaring our freedom from Great Britain who then ruled our thirteen colonies which became the United States of America.  This made them traitors to the King of England and hardly any of them survived untouched. 
            One of the signers; John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, the following letter at the time:
          “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
          
Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.  And, so it has been that we celebrate the Fourth of July with families, friends, parades, guns bonfires and fireworks. 
         
In order to have the freedom that we have today, the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence sacrificed all they owned; their own lives and the lives of their families.  It takes sacrifice to make freedom available.  This is also true in our spiritual life.  It took a sacrifice to save us from Hell.  That sacrifice was Jesus Christ!
        
God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross that we might be saved.  In other words, set free from sin and death.  How can that be?  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  The day that you believe this and then do what the Bible says, “You confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).  You will be free at that moment; “free from the law of sin and death.”  (Romans 8:2)
         This is God’s Independence Day for you and you can celebrate it the rest of your life.  When your time on this earth is finished, you will continue to celebrate for eternity in Heaven.
          If you believe that everyone goes to heaven when they die, you are sadly mistaken.  Only those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will enter heaven.  God’s gift of his Son is free, but very costly.  Don’t mock it or shame it because God will deny any people that do.
         We just celebrated our country’s Independence Day; why not celebrate God’s Independence Day if you have not done so.

1. Pray and ask God to forgive you of any sin in your life.

2. Believe that Jesus died for those sins.

3. Ask Jesus to come and live in your heart.

4. Thank him for loving you enough to die for you.

Then you are saved!  You are Free! Go tell somebody what happened to you.