Archive for the ‘ Thoughts ’ Category

The Lost Key of Personal Growth

In today’s society of microwave mentality and (the new and improved) 280 characters or less Twitter world, many of us have lost the ability to read anything longer than one page long. As much as we have access to in this digital age, if we are honest with ourselves we would say most have become lazy, lies on all sides of media, group think, and lives of running around like a chicken with our heads cut off have robbed us of personal growth.

I am a firm believer in reading books. Even though e-books have become popular I still believe it is more beneficial to hold the book in your hand and have a pen in the other to make annotations. It is necessary in our day to encourage us to become readers again and specifically readers of three types of books; books that encourage us, books that cause us to think deeply and biographies.  

Many people are able to read for pure enjoyment or as an escape of reality, there is nothing wrong with that but along with that, if we want to grow personally, if we want to learn, if we want to become better people we will read good books, books that make us better people.

Most of my reading as you can imagine centers around books on the Bible and theology. While I believe it is important for all believers to read these type of things from time to time, if you are not a minister, things that make you think deeply may be a book written by someone who has a different political opinion that you, or a book on psychology. if you have an interest in science or another field of study read those kind of books to help stimulate your thinking.

Biographies are amazing, we can read the good and bad in peoples’ lives. Reading biographies of great leaders also fit within the bounds of encouraging reading. I have found biographies to be inspiring, challenging and some are even very entertaining. Start with a historical figure you admire, and then move on to a biography of someone in your field that has accomplished great things.

If you are not a reader start by reading a book a quarter and as you become accustomed to reading move that up to a book a month. Once you have done this for a while you will develop an appetite for reading. You may even find yourself reading multiple books at a time. Next year I will read one biography a month along with whatever other reading I find myself doing. As you get in the habit of reading, make a list of books you want to read and maybe even the order you would like to read them. it can also be beneficial to set aside an extended period of time just to read books on a certain subject.

Even when you read for information you can find it to be relaxing. Why don’t you make an early new year’s resolution, whatever fits you, to read, whether it be a book every two or three months, or a book a month. Do yourself a favor in 2018 become a better person, become a more knowledgeable person, become better informed on things that interest you by reading more books.

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Harvesting in the ‘New’ Christianity

christianity To be a Christian means to be one who follows the teachings of Jesus. Christianity is defined as the Christian religions including Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches, I would also add Messianic churches to that list.

Jesus said in John 4:34-38 NLT “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Jesus also said in Matthew 28:18-20 NLT “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus was all about harvesting, it didn’t matter what political party you were affiliated with, it didn’t matter what religious sect you were, Jesus wanted to harvest everyone and everything and He taught His disciples to do the same. In America today the nation and the Church are divided by political lines and this should not be so, especially in the case of the Church. See the truth is, even though most of us wouldn’t be able to admit it, the republicans, the democrats, and independents each have issues they are correct on and others they are wrong on. There are good and Godly people in all parties but the church has been split by donkey and elephant and it’s time we acknowledge while legislation helps it does not produce everything that is needed, only the Church can do that.

The Church has also allowed itself to be divided by denominations and while some will work together, many choose to keep themselves separated. I agree with the definition of Christianity; the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Messianic churches. Are there areas where I disagree theologically with these groups, yes, but they all believe Jesus is the only way to God, I can get onboard with that. Jesus said in John 13:35 NLT “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

The ‘new’ Christianity that will bring in the harvest is not really new but the original teachings of Jesus. The series I’ve been doing on Jewish roots is not about becoming Jewish, but becoming more like Jesus by reading and understanding the Bible through the eyes of a Jewish Jesus. I believe there is great benefit in celebrating Passover and I also believe there would be great benefit in walking the stations of the cross from the Catholic Church and experiencing the power and freedom as we reverently walk the path of the seven places Jesus shed His blood.. These two things seem opposed to each other but Jesus can be experienced in both of them, so why not experience both traditions?

I believe in order to continue harvesting as Jesus commanded we have to become a more unified group of Christians, we have to redo the way we do church and no, I’m not saying become a loony liberal but a loving person, it’s not about being a crazy conservative but a Christlike individual. It’s time we get back to our roots and surprisingly that actually includes a Hebraic element, a catholic element, a orthodox element, and a protestant element.

The ‘new’ Christianity that is on the rise in the millennial generation is a Christianity that actually longs for tradition but that tradition experienced in love, not force. Hymns are beautiful in the right spirit, just like Passover, the stations of the cross and confession. You don’t have to confess to a priest or pastor, the Bible says confess faults to one another that you may be healed.

The ‘new’ Christianity has elements of all denominations and all ‘political philosophies’ applied in the right context, that is unity, and that is love.

When we walk in that unity and that love, we won’t just see people saved, but they will become healed, free and prosperous in every area of their lives! – This is the ‘new’ Christianity, this is the ‘new’ Church – it’s the original Church. Let’s read the gospels and Acts with a new frame of reference, let’s see the Old Testament in the eyes of a Jewish Jesus. – Let’s see another book of Acts revolution where we turn our world upside down through the message of love, freedom and healing that is found in Jesus.

Living Your Passion

Blog notes on LaptopEach of us have something in life we are passionate about, something we can talk about 24/7. That is the thing God has called us to. While it may not be our full time job, that thing is most likely our Kingdom purpose. If you’re a sports fanatic, use that passion to coach or assist in a youth league. In that environment you can be a father figure to a kid who doesn’t have one and make a lasting impact on his/her life.  

Being a follower of Jesus and being a part of a local fellowship is not about us packing out our building but changing the lives of those in our community be getting involved or starting a food bank, helping out the schools without pushing our church. If we serve well those in the community will take notice.

Whatever your passion is, I want to challenge each one of us to ask God how we can use that passion for a Kingdom purpose. Too many times we over involve ourselves, become over committed, and do so much we really don’t accomplish anything. Each of us needs to find that ONE THING we are most passionate about and pursue it. There may be a couple of other areas you are passionate about as well but I believe you will find that everything else stems from that ONE THING.

Take some time today, this week, this month and ask God to help you discover your passion and show you how to live it for Kingdom purpose.

When you find that passion, get some books that will help equip you to live it out, start an outreach in your church or get involved with a community organization. When we live out our passion, we change our community and our world, one person at a time.

Developing and Sustaining Joy

ESVPsalm 119:11 ESV “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart”.

Psalm 119:9-10 MSG “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.”

If we are to find our joy In God we must make reading and studying the Bible a priority in our lives. The Bible is basically history, wisdom, and letters written from God to us. In order to know Him we need to be familiar with what He’s written to us.

The book of Psalms alone is full of such joy, not just in good times but it helps us learn to develop joy in negative situations. Philippians is a book all about joy and Paul wrote it from prison.

Real and lasting joy is not based in circumstance but relationship with God. The fifth chapter of Desiring God is all about how Scripture is the kindling of Joy. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 is all about Scripture itself.

God never promised us a life of ease, but He has promised us blessing. Yet even in the midst of blessings we can face things. How was Paul writing about joy in prison? He found His joy in relationship not circumstance.

James 1:2-4 AMP ” Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.”

Reading the Scripture chapter in Desiring God has reminded me again of the importance of time in the word. The Bible is not simply a tool to receive health or finances, life is life and the ups and downs happen to all of us and without being anchored in the Word of God, without knowing God is God we will never be able to sustain our joy even in the midst of hard times, just look at the life of Job.

Many times we wonder why our prayers aren’t answered, we make sure we use a verse. Maybe instead of using a verse or two in our prayers at times and in certain situations we should just pray the Word without our spin on it, without our desired outcome attached to it.

When we pray and sing the Word our attitude changes, our atmosphere changes. It’s the Word of God that changes us.

If you feel distant in your relationship with God, read through some of the Psalms, we see every emotion one could have, yet regardless of what was going on David always relied on God.

We can be like David, Job, and Paul. No matter what we are going through we can develop and sustain our joy through time in God’s Word.

“Normal Christian life is a repeated process of restoration and renewal. Our joy is not static. It fluctuates with real life. It is vulnerable to satan’s attacks”. “But the Holy Spirit has given us a sword called the Word of God for the defense of our joy”.  – John Piper, Desiring God

*click here for Bible study resources

Preparing for a move of God

heart-checkI sit here listening to worship music thinking about how I have always wanted to see a lasting, transforming, non-stopping move of God. Over the last year the cry of my heart has been to know and see Holy Spirit and the pages of the Bible to come alive.

 
There is so much Holy Spirit has put on my heart for this year. This blog lately has not been all about teaching but has been somewhat of a journal. I put on here what Holy Spirit says to me because I believe that some of what He says to me and maybe where He’s leading me could be beneficial to someone who stops by and reads.

 
I know one thing, there will be miracles and signs we can’t necessarily explain in this next phase in the Church but I also believe that that should never become the focus. We must always stay focused on Him and we must awaken to righteousness (1 Corinthians 15:34). If we don’t like a Christ like life any revival we begin to experience, any miracles and healing or whatever will be short lived. – without holiness no man shall see the Lord.

 
This post is for the Church, we are held to a standard that those who don’t yet know Christ aren’t.

 
As I sat here talking with Holy Spirit, He asked what I wanted to see. I said a move of God that truly lasts and transforms. Not continual services necessarily but a changed people. He then asked me how I believe that I will get there.

 
I believe we will see miracles, more than that I believe in changed hearts and transformed lives. We will get to the supernatural area of teaching, we will talk about developing faith. Before we go there we must make sure our foundation is strong so that when the supernatural comes we don’t get off into error.

 
I believe it is crucial for each of us to remind ourselves and be reminded of the foundations of prayer, worship, Bible study, and renewing our minds. This is where I am starting. I am going back to the basics, re-strengthening my foundation so I know I am ready for all the glory that is coming.

 
I know we tend to want to jump strait in but the glory of God is actually the holiness of God (Exodus 15:11). If we are not right before God, if we are not living right, the very thing we desire will end up taking us down.

 
If you long to see miracles, signs, wonders, prophecy and more. I ask that you start, like me, with checking and strengthening your foundation. When we are awaken fully to righteousness that’s when we will be able to handle the signs and wonders.

 
Over the next few months I’m going to revisit prayer, personal worship, and share some tools to help us be equipped in holiness. When that is in place we will move forward into faith and the supernatural.

 
I believe we, no, I know we will see amazing things, things that cannot be explained. I know with that God is calling us to a new level of consecration.

 
I am looking forward to this journey, will you join me in the pursuit of His presence?

Quick thought on modern day Pentecostalism

blModern day Pentecostalism, known as charismatic is seen in the eyes of the charismatic renewal and third wave movement and has been largely removed from classical Pentecostalism.

 
The problem with understanding the movement apart from its origins is that we lose the holiness roots of our founding.

 
I would encourage every charismatic individual, everyone who sees themselves as part of the Word-of-Faith movement and every other modern charismatic movement to take the time and revisit the roots of the movement.

 
Pentecostalism sprang from the holiness movement of John Wesley and without a holiness foundation Pentecostals and charismatic’s put themselves in a dangerous place spiritually.

 
I believe the reason we so much sin among the movement is because we have largely abandoned our holiness roots.
I would encourage all of us to revisit Wesley and our holiness roots.

 
a good place to start is Dayton’s Theological Roots of Pentecostalism.

 
If we want to see the supernatural we have to be living right. When we get back to holiness we will see a move of God.

Can we Trust the NIV?

LIES on NIV

NIV Bad

 

Hey, have you had the crap scared out of you by this post on Facebook?

This coupled with the scary picture of the devil holding the NIV makes you want to throw it out right? If it does hang on just a second and lets really look at this.

 
Before we get into these things I first want to say, “Hi, my name is Casey and I’m a former King James Onlyist. {Hi, Casey (said, in a very creepy voice)}. I was pulled in by things like this and Gail Riplinger’s book and I thought every Bible but the King James was of the devil. When I allowed myself to clearly look at all sides, I found the facts, I found truth.

 
This post is not an attack on the King James, the only reason I’m even defending the NIV is because of how much traction this post on Facebook has gotten. There are those way more qualified than me to address this issue and I’ll link their stuff at the end. I want people to hear from someone who used to believe these claims and find like I did, none of them are based in fact or truth. Full disclosure, I do use the NIV now (I know, scary). In fact, the King James, NIV, Amplified, NKJV, New American Standard, and New Living Translation are all sitting on my desk. (Cue scary dark side music).

 
I do not believe this will do anything for a KJO person, Holy Spirit will have to take the blinders off the eyes. I’m writing this to let people know they can trust the NIV and that they don’t need to be afraid of these fear tactics of KJO’s. Now onto the Facebook post.

 

On the HarperCollins + Zondervan X satanic “bible” = demonic NIV, this is very simple. Many corporations have parent companies, publishers have imprints, smaller companies overseen by bigger ones. Zondervan has its own board and the NIV has a translation committee made up of Christians not unsaved people and lesbians (like some claim).

 
“The NIV has removed 64,575 words” as scary as that sounds something must be pointed out. King James Onlyist set the KJV as the standard, going so far as to dismiss the Hebrew/Greek text it was based from. The Hebrew and Greek must be the standard not the King James.

 

 
Now about those verses,

 
KJV: Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

 

NIV: Matthew 17:21

 

Seems scary. The NIV “removed” this verse, but wait, go down to the bottom of your NIV.

 
“Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 9:29”. In reality this has not been “removed” it’s not present in the majority of manuscripts. If that worries you, it shouldn’t you can still see this in Mark’s Gospel.

 
This is something called textual variants. We have to remember that the Bible was transcribed by hand, numerous times. Many times scribes would add marginal notes for clarity. These “missing verses” most times are marginal notes taken back out of the text. Manuscripts have been found in various locations and compared, this is why we have new translations.

 
What we need to note about the Gospels is that they were done by four writers, they are bound to tell the story differently, that doesn’t make anyone wrong, each person remembers different events and things click with people differently. What happened here is simple, to clear up perceived disagreement in the text, scribes took parts of Gospels and inserted them into others to present what they see as uniformity.

 
Back to the verses, Matthew 18:11 that is “missing” is Luke 19:10.
Matthew 23:14 that is “missing” is Luke 20:47.
Mark 7:16 that is “missing” is Mark 4:23. [If anyone has ears let him hear].
Mark 9:44 that is “missing” is verse 48. It’s not missing its four verses later. This same thing is found in Romans chapter eight verse one. The “second half” of the verse is “missing” but its verse four. The truth is there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. We are convicted not condemned. That’s why the added words have been removed.

 
As you can see King James Onlyist are very dishonest, if you look at the footnotes in your NIV verses are not missing they are simply elsewhere. If the verse are not in the NIV text at all, this is because they are not found in the Hebrew/Greek manuscripts. Even then the footnote says something like is found on Acts 8:37. The verse is not in the NIV but the footnote says, “Some manuscripts include here Philip said, If you believe with all your heart you may. The eunuch answered I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God”.

 
King James onlyist will try to make us think Jesus’ deity has been removed, salvation and many other doctrines have been removed this is simply untrue.

 
I want to point out something, if you get a copy of the 1611 King James Bible you will see textual marginal notes just like the NIV. The King James translators themselves said they wanted to make a good translation better. That’s what Bible translation is about. It’s been many years since 1611 and many discoveries have been made, surely we should compare manuscript pieces and make the text better.

 
If you want to know more about this issue there are wonderful resources, I simply want people to be able to trust their Bible, be it the KJV, the NIV, NKJV, NLT or NASB.

 
You can trust your NIV, in fact the 2011 edition lines up more with the Hebrew text than the original NIV, imagine that, they improved their own text. One thing I really enjoy is the 2011 edition restores the term Messiah in the Gospels in place of Christ. This is accurate knowing that Jesus came to the Jews not the Greeks. Each time a translation is updated it becomes, or should become better and more accurate. This is not a slam on the KJV but the standard text edition is 1769. Much has been found since then. I reference the KJV often but if we are honest, even if someone wants to use the KJV they have to admit that it is beneficial to look at versions that continually keep up with textual discoveries.

 
I hope this has helped put your mind at ease concerning your NIV and maybe even other versions you may like. Be sure that regardless of the version you read that Holy Spirit can teach you through it.

 
For the love of God’s word,
Casey

 

Resources to help us understand why we can trust the NIV:

The King James Only Controversy: Can you Trust Modern Translations by Dr. James White

Discussion between Onlyist and NASB, NIV, NKJV Committee Members. (Youtube Videos).

The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation by Kenneth Barker

Identity Theft

identity theftI admit, this isn’t a great introduction but, we have an enemy. We hear much today from people about the love of God, and the need for Christians to love and accept those who don’t believe and live like they do. I agree with that to an extent. Where I stop agreeing with that is when we reach the point and say love is acceptance of beliefs or behavior that go against the word of God.

 
John 10:10 NIV “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life; and have it to the full”.

 
This verse shows us the objectives of both the enemy of humanity and the creator of humanity.

 
Let’s go back to the beginning. In Genesis 2:16-17 NIV “And the LORD God commanded the man, “you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; (17) but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

 
People often wonder why God would even create that tree in the first place if He didn’t want us to eat from it. The answer, while simple, is not often received. God did it because of love. If God made us totally submissive that would make God controlling, not loving.

 
God gave one rule in the beginning for out benefit, not to keep something from us.

 
Then in Genesis three the devil came and asked the question, “did God really say?” The enemy of Adam and Eve’s paradise caused them to question the goodness of God.

 
Once Eve doubted God’s goodness and love in her heart the enemy was able to manipulate her mind. She responded and said exactly what God said, except she added, “and you must not touch it”. In order to tend the garden you had to touch it. The enemy then lies once again and says if you eat it you will be like God, knowing good from evil.

 
God didn’t want them knowing of evil because once they knew of it they would have to deal with it. What’s more is they were already like God, being created in His image.

 
Sin, doubt, sickness, death, and separation entered the world at this point. God had to create more rules to combat the sin problem but when Jesus came he summed up all the rules in one word, love.

 
Guess what, the enemy has perverted the meaning of that word to bring forth sin.

 
The enemy is all about stealing our identity of being made in God’s image. Even if you do not know God, you are created in His image and to walk in how you were created you need to know your creator.

 
Transgenderism is identity theft! Homosexuality is identity theft! Abortion is identity theft before identity even comes forth!

 
Bruce Jenner is God’s creation and “Caitlin” is identity theft. Even as sad as that is, I am even more grieved at how the enemy is using Jenner, exploiting Jenner for their own agenda. The devil, nor the media care about him as a person, they just want to use him.

 

Think about it, how many people have done this and not been in the media or lifted as a hero. The enemy is just robbing Jenner’s identity and purpose even more.

 
God is not the author of gender confusion, he is not the maker of crossed wires in the brain, all of this is the work of the enemy of humanity. The devil who wants you to be confused, depressed, lost and empty doesn’t care if the lie you buy is transgender, homosexuality, lying, stealing, he just wants to take you off the path of destiny.

 
Jesus came and died and rose again for one reason, to restore our identity.

 
Jesus restored the ease of God’s commands for our good life.

 
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to love God, love our neighbor, and fulfill God’s plan for our life.

 
Confusion, sin, sickness, depression, divorce, and identity theft are not part of that plan.

 
Does God love transgender people? Yes. Does God love the homosexual? Yes. God loves everyone and He loves each of us enough to tell us the enemy of our humanity is stealing from us, even to the extent of taking our whole identity.

 

Come to Jesus and get your identity back. Come to Jesus and be truly who you were created to be.

 
If you are someone who is dealing with these lies ask Jesus to help you. If you don’t know Jesus just tell Him you want to know Him and have a relationship with Him and that you want to be free from the lies of the enemy.

 
If you are a Christian, don’t buy the lie that says love accepts things contrary to the Word. As believers we need to help protect from identity theft.

 
How do we protect ourselves from identity theft? by knowing who we are in Christ, by being in the Word and communing with God daily not just in church services.

 

Tools to help prevent “Identity Theft”:

Renewing your mind in the Word of God

New Creation Realities by E.W. Kenyon

God’s Master Plan for Your Life by Gloria Copeland

A Message for Today From the Bygone Era

americanchurchMatthew 4:17 KJV “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.

 
The word repent means to think differently. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”.

 
With all that’s going on in our world today, with a Supreme Court ruling on marriage being expected next month, with Christians being beheaded all around the world, with Christian businesses already being fined in the U.S. it’s time for Second Chronicles 7:14 to quit being the cute verse on the national day of prayer it must become our verse in action.

 
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV “IF my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land”.

 
This is a IF – THEN verse, not a guaranteed verse.

 
Humble themselves: The word humble only has this meaning twice in Scripture; here and chapter thirty-four. To humble ourselves means to bend the knee, to humiliate, to bring down (low) into subjection, to be under, to humble [your] (self).

 
Notice that God is not humbling us, but we are humbling ourselves. In other words we are fully submitting ourselves to God. This is the first step to change in our nation. This is even the first step to a move of God within the Church.

 
After we have fully submitted to God we can then pray and seek Him and turn from our wicked ways.

 
This is another key for the Church, turning from our wicked ways. This whole verse is about Gods people changing. We must get rid of our wicked ways.

 
It’s time for the “old” message of repentance and holiness to once again be proclaimed in the churches.

 
The words of Zechariah 14:20-21 KJV are a call for the Church today. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. (21) Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come in and take of them, and seethe theirin: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts”.

 
We are in an hour where holiness must be restored to the Church. We can no longer tolerate a preaching of grace that allows for loose living and sinful living. It’s time to restore standards once again.

 
It’s time we quit laughing at the past saying they didn’t drink and wear jewelry. Because they didn’t drink they never had to keep watch on themselves as not to have too many.

 

Ladies making fun of women for not piercing their ears and always wearing long skirts. It could be that you are getting attention you don’t want because of what else you have pierced and how tight your clothes are.

 
And don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m being “religious” or “legalistic”. The Word of God still has standards, the text does say let not your adornment be outward but inward. If your clothes or jewelry is causing men to say and be a way you don’t like rethink how you look. And guys take a look at Job 31:1 and get your eyes in the right place.

 
Well, now, Casey, that verse is Old Testament and were under grace not law. Well, Romans six says, shall we sin that grace may abound? No. Some of the modern grace message has gotten too permissive in behavior.

 
And lest we mistake holiness as Old Testament or legalism:

 
1 peter 1:15-16 KJV “But as he which hath called you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation; (16) because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”.

 
Hebrews 12:14 KJV “Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

 
Holiness is commanded and holiness is possible. The only sermon Jesus ever gave reiterated the Ten Commandments and was a sermon on holiness (Matthew five through seven).

 
It may seem “old fashioned” to many but the Church today must return to the message of Jesus, a Kingdom message, repentance and holiness.

 
The only way we will see the supernatural is to preach the same message and live the same way Jesus did.

 
Instead of making fun of our forefathers, instead of replacing their books and messages with all new books with modern antidotes and motivational messages, let us preach the same word, the Gospel, the message of Jesus.

 
If we do these things and are not afraid to address what is Going on in our world we will see a third great awakening.

 
But we must be willing to preach repentance and holiness and we must not cower in fear and shy away from the issues of the day. King didn’t, Bonheoffer didn’t and we can’t afford to ignore the issues of our day, if we do, we can say goodbye to the America we once knew.

 

A Look @ Isaiah 61

bibleIsaiah 61 KJV “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

When we hear these words, we think about Jesus reading them from the scrolls as said in Luke chapter four. These aren’t just words to be fulfilled by Jesus, they are to be fulfilled by us too.

We have the same mission Jesus did, to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and to go about doing good and healing all those who are oppressed by the devil.

Yes, Jesus came to atone for sin, but that’s not all. He came to be the first born among many bretheren, we aren’t just children of God, we are sons of God.

Think about this, Isaiah nine says of Jesus, a CHILD is born and a SON is given. As children of God we grow in sonship and become mature. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. As Jesus grew so shall we grow. As Jesus ministered so shall we minister.

Verse four says, “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations”.

This reminds me of the words of Isaiah 58:12 this goes in line with the great commandment, to preach the Kingdom, make disciples, heal the sick and cast out devils.

We have a mission here and it’s to bring heaven to earth. To raise up the desolations of many generations means to keep going. Each generation should not have to start over but continue where the last generation left off. This is why spiritual fathering is so important. How will the Kingdom ever truly increase if each generation has to start over?

Verses six and seven say we are called priests and that we will receive double for our shame!

It is time we walk in the reality of the new creation and not see ourselves as poor sinners saved by grace. I am not a sinner, I am God’s son. We do not have to be and should not be sin conscious we should be conscious of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 61 ends with these words, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (11) For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

Again we see righteousness not sin. It’s time our head catch up with our heart. This is why Scripture talks about the transforming and renewing of the mind. After salvation, it’s not the heart that’s the problem it’s the mind. This is why Romans says the carnal mind is against God.

If our minds aren’t transformed and renewed by the Word we believe the lies of sometimes God uses and allows sickness, we believe we are sinners, we believe the enemy can have “legal right” to us.

How can a thief ever have legal right to steal, kill, or destroy the person God bought through the blood of Jesus?

We must come in line with the Word concerning our thinking. We need to live by the Word not tradition.

The Word says we are a new creation, tradition says we are still sinners but saved by grace.

It’s up to us, do we believe we are new creations or unworthy sinners?

Revival Culture

revivalI’ve been thinking about revival a lot lately. When we hear the word revival most in the Church typically think 3-5 days of meetings with a special speaker. Sometimes revival can go longer, like at Brownsville. If we really stop and look at it though our understanding of revival is pretty much regular church with an extra helping of excitement.

I don’t really know how to define revival, to be honest with you, my concept of revival has been extra meetings with a special speaker. The more I look at history however I get a different picture.

My heart cry for months has been to be a part of a move of God, but the more I pray and the more I seek God I feel I just don’t get what God calls a move of God. I know what I call a move of God but the more I go after Him and the more I know Him the more I get that I don’t get it.

I’ve been raised in Church pretty much my whole life, I knew from a young age that I was called to be in ministry. I’ve heard and read lots of the great stories, the discouraging thing is, to this point, I have seen very little of what I’ve been taught, read, and heard talked about.

I long to see a move of God, I’m talking a move that doesn’t end, a move that is so much of our daily lives that moving in the supernatural becomes normal.

As I ponder moves of the past, lives of great leaders and so much more, I don’t write today some great answer, I’m not really sure what I’m writing (that encourages you doesn’t it?)

Maybe we all need to re-look at the stories and the people we’ve heard of. Maybe we need to get in our prayer closets more. Maybe we need corporate prayer more often.

This next thing probably needs a little explanation, we need more time in worship than in the Word. Yes, the word is important, yes, that’s how we are fed. The thing is though, God inhabits praise not preaching. If we are going to have a move of God, if we are going to experience Him we must become people of praise and worship. Of course we still need the word preached, but I think somewhere we got backwards it became more of what we get from a preacher preaching than just being in God’s presence.

I know some will disagree, some won’t even want to understand what I said because they think I’m speaking against the Word, I promise you, I’m not. As one called to teach and preach, believe me I love that, but that’s for us, praise and worship is for Him. Our services need more for Him and a little less for us.

I believe to see revival we need to see it as a lifestyle and the supernatural as normal living. It can’t be about a few extra meetings or a guest speaker it has to be about His presence.

I believe revival is cultivated through each one of our personal relationships with the Holy Spirit. We need to talk to Him, we need to pray in the language of the Spirit, we need to develop relationship with Him.

Like I said, I knew this post wasn’t going to answer questions necessarily. Maybe it will get you to thinking and crying out for your own personal revival.

All I know is this, if I ever become satisfied I’ve lost, because there is always more.

Never become satisfied, keep crying out for more, long for more of His presence. Cry out to be filled a fresh and anew.

What is revival culture? God’s presence and power as a way of life.

The Importance of Pentecost

imageThis week I have been preparing for the launch of a weekly meeting I will be teaching/facilitating at. As I have rehearsed what the Spirit has given to me I began to think about the lack of experiencing Pentecost in this generation.

When I say Pentecost I am not just referring to tongues, but all the gifts of the Spirit; healings, miracles, words of wisdom and knowledge, and the like.

Recent studies among Pentecostal groups and denominations have shown a decrease in Holy Spirit baptisms and teaching emphasis’ on the moving of the Holy Spirit.

As the Spirit began to impress upon me to go after the supernatural this year I was very excited. In my life I have wavered on these things because I’ve heard them taught all my life but seldom saw things demonstrated and the Word says, (my paraphrase) The Kingdom is not in your ability to teach correct doctrine but to display correct doctrine in power.

Part of me struggled when Holy Spirit began to speak to me about pursuing God in the supernatural, especially starting a weekly meeting specifically for pursuing God in that way. I wondered who would want to come, how would I explain the unexplainable?

The truth is there comes a time when you’re hungry and you don’t care if you can explain it or not. Why are we trying to explain it anyway? The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit.

My home church started a series last night on the gifts of the Spirit, it has made me even more hungry to see the power of God! Many are afraid to experience the gifts because they don’t understand, yet those same people aren’t willing to dive in.

Listen this is not about a denomination, this is not about being classified as pentecostal or charismatic. It’s about experiencing the love of the Living God, and the power of the Word.

The Bible is not a story book, it is an experience available to us today! Oh God! Let us experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit like the day of Pentecost, let us operate in every gift of the Spirit! Holy Spirit, send your wind, send your fire! Friend, if you’re not hungry ask God to make you hungry! Pentecost is not a story for the older generation, let us claim it for us!

Dr. T. L. Lowery said if you’ll preach it you’ll see it! Friend I’m going to teach healing and miracles and I’m going to preach it till I see it! I’m going to talk about the Holy Ghost till He shows up in power! Friend, pray the hunger in you and the fire down on you! Pray it into your church and your city!

My God we need Pentecost again and that’s what I’m contending for!

Will you contend for your life, your church, and your city?

Will you hunger and thirst till you are filled?

Friend, we are in the new season, we are in Pentecost, the only question is are you in the river?

Are you going to jump in or stay on the bank?

A Message for Young Women (and it’s not what you think)

fatcuttingYes, I’m a guy writing a message to women and no, it’s not about modesty. Yes, I believe modesty is important but I want to encourage in another way.

It’s ok not to be light pole thin. That’s my message. In a culture where most young women feel pressured by fad diets and edited pictures on magazines it’s time a guy comes out and says not everyone has to be skinny. (I’m sure other guys have written this but this has been on my mind lately).

A few weeks ago Kim Kardashian tried to “break the internet” with her fake self. My heart breaks for her, she has been so consumed by a celebrity culture that she feels she has to do something like that.

All I want to say is this, you can be healthy and attractive without having to be pencil thin, with raised cheeks or anything else. If I can say anything to you that you will receive, I want you to receive this, You are BLESSED and you are released to be who you are created to be. I break the bondage of false imaging over you right now in the name of Jesus!

Every young woman deserves to know they are created in God’s image and that image is not every girl being skinny with blonde hair and blue eyes.

If you want to lose weight that’s great but don’t allow bondage to be put on you and don’t allow the enemy to put a false image of what’s pretty in front of you via a magazine cover.

I know this isn’t deep, I’m not trying to be deep, I simply want to say it’s ok to be yourself, it’s ok not to be like the magazine cover or the TV commercial. Be yourself, that’s who God, your Father created you to be.

Be you inside and out!

If you have a hard time being you. If you constantly feel the need to lose weight (even when your thin), if you constantly feel insecure about what you look like physically ask to see yourself through the Father’s eyes.

My prayer is that today you receive freedom from the bondage of false imaging and anything else you struggle with.

The Word of God says you were made in His image and His image is not a magazine cover, be free to be yourself!

***

Like I said this wasn’t deep just what was on my heart. If you are a young woman reading this I want to say God has made everyone different, don’t rob the world of yourself trying to be someone else. You were created to BLESS and you can’t do that trying to be someone else. God loves you and He wants you to love and accept yourself. When you do that others will see you the way you see yourself. I hope I have encouraged you and in some small way you have sensed the love and acceptance of your Heavenly Father.

Overflowing with Thankfulness

dtColossians 2:6-7 NIV “So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, (7) rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness”.

The Wesley Study Bible comments on these verses, “In chapter one Paul identified Christ Jesus as Lord. It is not enough to receive Him as Savior; we must continue to walk in Him, obeying Him as Lord. When we continue to walk with Christ, we are, by God’s power, rooted in Him like a strong tree and built up in Him like a beautiful building. As our faith is established our life is filled with thanksgiving.

In our lives it is important that we be filled and yielded to the leading of the Spirit. It is important as we saw a few weeks ago that the command of holiness is four our benefit.

When we walk holy before God we are able to receive everything He has for us. It is not enough to know God has good in store for us but we have to walk in such a manner that we are able to receive it. Many times in Deuteronomy we see that holiness is commanded, that is then followed by the blessing, which is then followed by the admonishment to not walk away from God because their eyes got fixed on things. We see throughout the history of Israel that they were continually blessed but not long after God constantly had to take the blessing away because their eyes shifted from God to things and other false gods.

There is a lesson to be learned here and it is echoed in our text, “and overflowing in thanksgiving”. We must remember to be thankful and always keep our eyes on God and not the things He can and does give us.

Be thankful, keep your eyes on Jesus, and always be humble in spirit.

It is my prayer that I will remain thankful and not take the things of this life for granted and not allow myself to be consumed with the things or the desire of the things of this world. may I always keep a right perspective and remain thankful and humble.

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