Quick Quip-To Disciple

I should not only think this as our church’s Missions Conference is coming up and it is to disciple but that is one commandment of God we sometimes neglect to think about.

We should as a church guide others spiritually to help mature the body but also to make servant disciples of Jesus Christ. It is God’s goal that His word be spread everywhere the one following Jesus will go for their mission so it must be so and intentionally done.

For too long I have felt like ones within the church. I kept letting feelings and insecurities hold me back, thinking that I lost Christ’s calling at least once every year but it is not true (it probably was a tactic from Satan to think that way).

And now I hope you desire if you spend time in His word when you can to do so for people of your church or join one to gain fellowship, guidance, and learning of what the bible tells of through the books of amazing stories. Talk to new people visiting and get to know them. Also share Christ with people that if spirit-led would be situations of opportunities presented by God’s will. He will give you chances, then people will by Christ’s power be saved!

I want to be one of many who want to share with each other as we are united by His blood and now share each others love and gifts within God’s family.

Be like a disciple-maker today!

Jesus said:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. ~Matthew 28, verse 19

 

 

 

Quick Quip- No Greater Love

Has anyone seen that movie “First Sunday” with Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan? I love that film. It is so beautiful. That’s not because of it’s “preachy” message but that under its heart it shows the depths of God’s Love.

As the characters go through so much toil in looking for a job they give up and turn to crime.  Now what would you think? Do you think going to church the people there would look at them and go “What? They did what? They’re not allowed here!”

I’m kind of going away from the main conventions of the story but I’m trying to prove a point. The point is what the church, the people of believers in Christ do. Now they could turn people away that are like that but that is in their heart and their heart would be wrong in doing so.

These people show such love. This is not because being loving is a “good” thing but because the greater one in their lives changed their hearts and that is Jesus Christ.

God can do amazing things in the church, outside it, and just about anywhere! We just need to find in our hearts to seek the Kingdom of God His righteousness and He because of Jesus who died for us lead the way!

 

Tight and Secure- 5/11/16

It is nearly late, almost 5/12 so this might be inaccurate in a moment. Lately I have been going through tough stuff due to my disability. I was having tough things go on like  flashbacks and I nearly let fear and anxiety almost overwhelm me. I am getting better praise God and as long I look to Him in all ways, I can no longer feel discouraged. Praise God for Him and all the things He has taught me and so many others. Thank you Jesus.

Isn’t it tough to trust in God?

Let me rephrase that: isn’t it tough to trust in God because of our sin nature?

Sometimes doubt, being unhappy about our current state, depression, and loneliness get to us…. but none of those things are ideas the Lord gives us.

We can get wrapped in our own world, forgetting about the things that He has told us through His Word and from His people: that He’s always there, He knows the future, and He can meet us where we struggle. And we can trust in Him.

We can do that by holding fast as it says in the book of Philippians.

We are ensured the ability to be blessed by whatever we do for Him. God can do amazing things right now if you want to live for Jesus.

If one wants to live for Jesus what does one do? Well first of all, we have to remember that Christ died for our sin, that we cannot do anything in our power to be in Heaven because it was God that paid for it, not us.

It is God who shows us the way and we just simply need to accept His son into our hearts and we can believe and trust in Him. If we believe then we can be in Heaven because of God’s gift to us.

It was His great love that sent Him to the cross for our punishment. Jesus then rose again and is one day coming back.

There is hope and that is found in Jesus.

Amen?

So the words “hold fast”… I had wondered what that meant.

In the book of Philippians Paul addresses a church that has been disagreeing on certain things. He was wrote letters to the church of “Philippi” to tell them to be of one mind, a body of believers because they make up the body of Christ.

This group of people is united because of God’s love and Christ’s intercession for their sin. The church was fighting over differences in beliefs but what does God say? His word is true. We should know that always because sometimes our hearts even want to change what God says is true.

This kind of thing has been happening everywhere and even in the church today. It’s unfortunate but that is why defending what God says is important when talking to others about Him.

We live in a day and age that is vastly drifting from God and His love. Why are people doing this? Because their hearts are turning from Him.

We must not feel afraid if we want to share God’s Word with others but we must also do it with the right heart. We must stay grounded on God’s Word which is true, not take in the world’s values just to increase member numbers and just simply show the love of Jesus to each other.

Church love is great, I gotta tell ya. When I first came to a new church I wondered why people were so loving toward one another. I was eight and around then just accepted Christ. But as I grew more spiritually and saw that the lifeblood of the church was the “people” and not the “building” I couldn’t get enough of learning about Jesus. I have experienced times of great frustration, things that were going on in my life, and realized I could just give it up to God. I would go through so much some days but I would learn to be more like Christ every day.

A lot of this was because of a wonderful church of people holding onto the Word of truth and living in Christ.

We as a church must hold fast the word of life… but what does that mean?

“Hold fast” means to remain tightly secured.

I thought about a board and a drill fastens a screw into it. The board which is sturdy strong, built well (thank you God, hehe), and keeps that screw held on well.

That strong piece of wood ain’t going to let that screw go anywhere, as long as it doesn’t get removed by the drill for whatever reason. It is fastened there: firm, strong, and can’t be undone.

But sometimes we think “But what if God can’t impact my life?” or “What if these things happening right now are going on because there is no God?”

I say quench that thought from your mind and realize that He is in your heart today!

Sometimes Satan gets us into a corner. But sometimes it is us that makes us doubt and our hearts stray. Sometimes we do this by depending on what we feel (“I’m depressed… can I ever love?) and we crowd our minds with nonsense.

Circumstances also have us feel we should disregard God’s truths. But don’t be discouraged, you have a wonderful God by your side, and Jesus who can help you see a future in Him. Just trust obey, live it out and seek His truth.

Also share the Word with others, and don’t let discouraging words or verbal abuse get you down. Did you know you are blessed when that happens? Because you are like a screw fixed in a firm piece of wood, holding on to His truth.

Once you have Jesus in your life you are secure in Him and nothing you do can separate you from Him. God gave us Jesus to open the door to a relationship to Him.

His Word helps us and talking to Him can do wonderful things you might not see at the moment but, baby, if you’ve done it in the right heart God answers prayer you may not right now believe!

Remain tightly secure in what God says, what you want to do for Him and He can secure you a future. Amen.

 

 

Stand Firm Now-10/14/14

These celebrations are crazy though I am learning of an alternative to Halloween. Hope people besides me learn more or start to about Harvest Day. It’s funny how our desire towards evil and sinful themes gets our interest during this time.

Where do you stand for Christ? Do you proclaim Him in front of witnesses? Do you share him in little nice little doses of goodness? Do you hear people making fun of ones of the faith and you want to ease off and hide in the corner?

Do you even witness of Jesus at all?

Whether you like to write, direct anything, be a doer (or want to be) of the Lord I hope that I will encourage you. We must all know that it is never wrong to share the faith of the one who loves us all dearly (even the so-called “enemies” and people around you) as even little tiny moments of witness will never go void.

Do you have known atheists in your life? Ask them gently why they feel that way while on a regular discussion and he starts to talk about evolution. Do you think a person is not telling the right truth? Tell your say but pray when you do so (you yourself may be wrong. That’s happened to me before and I didn’t talk to God for wisdom first).

Have you ever felt that you misrepresented God? Know that in all things God forgives you if you mean that you want it from Him to move on.

I do not know your heart.

But God does. And while He only wants us to be part of His life we must in mutual adoration and love serve Him in return. People need Jesus now more than ever because people are dying in fires, terrorist attacks, there is a threat to the USA by a group and people are afraid, they don’t know what they should do. And they have you for comfort.

Don’t you want to be there for them?

Paul spoke to his group in Ephesus from a jail. He was preaching the word and imprisoned for doing such an “offensive” act. He spoke to a people that were imperfect just like you or me or the many people on this earth yet to know God and He encouraged them for love.

The Love by Christ’s sacrifice as He was an example of the fullness of love itself.

Just as Christ died for Paul, he wanted to do whatever he could to tell his people the great truths from God, the Holy Spirit.

He told them to give up lying and speak to others truthfully. He said to not be angry and also to not sin.

Don’t go to bed angry. That is kinda what he’s sayin’ here. He says in NKJV verse 26 chapter 4 of Ephesians: “…do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”

Ever been angry and had nothing to do with it? I have. We should not do that. We must in love if people are persecuting you or teasing your faith we should tell them sometimes that they are being cruel. But a bad thing to do would be to throw a book at the person or something!

It says we should not let Satan get a foothold on our “wrath.”

I say find something to do if you get mad at somebody’s statements so you don’t get discouraged. Write, read God’s Word and meditate on it, do something! Pray that God would take out the anger that was in your heart because we have to tell others about the Lord and flipping out or cursing at someone is not showing an example of a person with Jesus alive in their heart.

Paul told them they must not steal. Man, what was this church in Ephesus doing, on a side note?

Sorry back on track. They encouraged people to steal no longer but instead work for his hands and keep doing something good so that they might need to give in certain situations their hard-earned money.

What were you like before you knew Christ? Do you still do things in your heart to that effect and need to bring some unresolved sin to God? Jesus died for it. Let’s not sink in quick-sand by destroying the people around us in ways that are not right and don’t let people know we have light in our hearts.

And we should be slow in anger not retaliate! If people are consistent with teasing or picking on you over your faith just talk to them back. I don’t know what you are going through but these are just thoughts (hey- it’s a blog! ;P).

We should as people who make up churches be building each other up as well. Be kind to one another, treat each other with love and not sin against or with each other.

And back on track again, if you have ever been doing anything that is heart-breaking to God in public do the opposite. You are a follower of Christ! You love Him don’t you? We should all be kind and fervent examples but humble and serve like the Son of God.

We should not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. At first I misunderstood this but “grieving” is by the Holy Spirit’s perspective. It should not be grieving from something you are doing which is habitual sin, deliberate actions that are hurting God because you were made for something better.

Another reason to be refreshed by Christ’s mercy and example!

Do you stand on gardening soil, stuff that would sink in if you merely put your feet onto it? Is that why you can’t stand because you are only firmly on your own ideals and ideas?

Or maybe you stand on gold ground. Stuff that was man-made into seeming pure ore and makes you feel tough. You’ve got this! And there is no dern way you cannot survive. You made it, you got here on your own… but guess what?

It seems secure but it ain’t pure gold. It’s man-made.

It’s only temporary security that won’t add up to much when you stand on it on your own.

So stand on firm ground for Christ Jesus. May we share, love, give, and sacrifice minutes or hours, or sometimes days for His glory.

And don’t stand later. Stand now. His power in changing your life from the everyday into the day by day growth in Him can do amazing things beyond your or any of our comprehension.

On Christ alone wonders will happen. Trust in Him today and be a cause for Christ.

Weakness in God’s Strength-10/11/14

I felt blessed today going to a Bible Study and a man from a far off land came to tell the Gospel. Praise God in all He is doing… I wanted to post something like THIS for a while but now I really am going to since he shared it as part of the message.

I have always felt I am not a very strong man. Not used to labor I kept assuming that I don’t have much strength. That is not the kind that I am talking about though.

Close to what I mean I realize that without God in our lives we can do nothing.

If you are really “Broken” before God you know that you cannot live without Him. We are weak without His help, His guidance, His conversation with us through the Bible.

With all of my heart and with God’s help I hope I can deeply encourage you today. The Holy Spirit has laid some things on my heart and I want to share this with you.

Where do I start? I know; I could focus on the verse one of my favorites from the bible and see if this helps draw you toward a wonderful path.

“Ephesians 4:29 ‘Let no unwholesome talk come from your mouths but only what is helpful in building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Do you want to live for God? Do you want to be in Him in all that you do? Are you there yet to that realization that people need the Lord in their lives just as much as you need Him?

If so, that is wonderful! People need Him so much and sometimes all people will need is just a person who will help them or show a good example to ones when there are others who are not like that.

Do you know what your calling is? A pastor, just a preacher, do you just want to share the gospel with others? Do you write, draw, or want to do crafts or et cetera for the Lord? If so listen up.

First off if you are into serving I hope you see or get the idea of the film “The Second Chance.” (I hope to review this sometime soon). Know that all it takes is real heart for God and He can use you in all things and for whatever your calling could or is going to be.

Just a quick suggestion (and hopefully more than a plug for a future article, haha).

But if you want to be a doer of the word know that humility must come with it. Being humble is like a king who bows to a higher one, a husband saying to his wife “I don’t know why you ended up loving someone undeserving like me,” a wife who tells loved ones in public her married one is her “better half.” And they all sincerely mean it!

We also must realize that we can nothing apart from God. But the best part of this is that in Christ you can do anything!

The Lord will guide you and the father watches over you as you do His will and who knows what can happen? All of this is wonderful and amazing and worth it.

What I can hone in on is that we are weak if we think we can do it on our own strength. There were times I said “God keeps me strong” but there was more pride to that statement that I was so-called quote unquote “fine.”

Could I share the Gospel effectively with that? Not really.

I praise God for doing so much for me that I didn’t deserve, my heart wasn’t always into going to church. My dad was consistent with making sure I definitely went to church whether I wanted to cry, didn’t want people to know how I was feeling, didn’t realize that through anything God still loved me… once, even went while covered in bugs and felt like they were eating me alive! (Seriously, they went into places they shouldn’t have!!).

Slight kidding aside my dad showed God’s patience by knowing that I needed to hear His word when I wasn’t listening to His ways, didn’t think God had enough mercy to care about me, and realized best of all, Jesus’ heart through it all. My father still loved me.

And whether you believe it or are struggling in heavy guilt and just don’t feel like even going to a bible study instead of a church because of that believe me… He still does.

The father has always loved you. When you didn’t even know what love was, He first loved you.

With His redeeming power He can transform you too. He can do amazing things if you trust in Him and by His will lead you on a way that is not meant to harm you but help you.

But sometimes Satan leads you into thinking you won’t be able to do enough or that God doesn’t really love anyone that much. Or maybe you think that one day… just one day… you will be used by God. Guess what, shed that last belief because He has strength for you today. He may not love the sin you sometimes do but He cares for you and knows the way for your journey to go.

God does. In His strength there is no power from evil, nothing from anywhere that will separate you from the love of Christ. Amen?

Listen to this story of the power of Christ’s transforming power:

This was a man that believed he was doing God’s will by killing people who believed in Christ. He went to prisons that were kept in harsh ways, rats, all kind of lack in upkeep. Then as he went down the road to Damascus when he encountered a light that shone around him.

 

A voice then said “Why are you persecuting me?”

In his state he this man Saul probably had nothing to say but he had fallen to the ground after hearing this.

 

Saul said, “Who are You, Lord?” The one he called Lord in that moment said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

 

He was trembling and astonished. “Lord, what do you want me to do?” Then the Lord said to Him “Arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do…”

 

The men who journeyed with him heard a voice but saw no one. Saul arose from the ground and when he opened his eyes and saw no one. But they led him by the hand into Damascus.

 

Three days he had no physical sight, and did not eat or drink.

 

Ananais was then called by the Lord in a vision to see a person, one called “Saul of Tarsus” for behold he is praying.

 

And in a vision sees a man, you, coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he will receive his sight.

 

Ananais seemed troubled about Saul because of the deaths he caused in Jerusalem and there in Damascus had authority from chief priests to tie up ones who call on Him.

 

But the Lord wanted Him to go because he was a chosen vessel of the Lord’s to bear His name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

 

So after all of that Ananais did a wonderful thing by following the Lord’s orders. When that happened ‘scales’ fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again! He arose and was baptized.

Do you know what he changed as? He became a fully devoted believer in the Lord. More than that because of his weakness as being known as ‘that Sanhedrin’ who was leading people to murder, he was changed. The people who belonged to God and followed Him faithfully kept him protected because he was a light for the Lord though there were many Jewish people who as a twist, wanted him dead!

But the Lord through His people did not let that happen… and much later he was known as “Paul,” a disciple long after Christ’s death and resurrection but as real to him as you or me of Christ today!

Isn’t it amazing that Jesus wanted Him to live even though he didn’t deserve God’s mercy? That is just like us (or me anyway…). We do not deserve His mercy though we may go to church, have fellowship with people who are devoted to God… the Lord loves us though he has to show us new mercies every day. We must ask God for forgiveness from things going on from our old life, or that we might think we can do things in our own power, well guess what? We can’t!

We just can’t do it.

Maybe you already show His strength in your weakness or you see other examples and you want to be like that. Do you know of a blind man who has passionately memorized scripture? Do you have a heart for God but because you can “do it” on your own you don’t know where to start? Do you think that you don’t know what God’s love is?

Well you can once you just ask Him. Maybe He can reveal wisdom if you want to love Him but we must “die” first, let the old man pass by, maybe tell others of His great love about things you have struggled with in the past… something for God!

Just do something. The supposedly little thing you can do in His will can become great for His Kingdom. You just might have to realize you are “weak” first and by that moment He will shine the way.

 

 

 

Something to Share-Part 2

Blog note: I have been excited about some new projects lately that are of the writing kind. Thanks to a place that delivers encouragement and criticism alike I feel that there has been some shape-up in the skill that is the art and love of writing. And I might give a sneak peek or the whole story and debut it on this blog for the first time.

We were in Ephesians right? The book where Paul was addressing a church or a body of believers about Christ and how to live the life for God. This book is one of my favorites (I like Paul also so that makes this great as well).

He states from a prison he was kept in for sharing his faith how the people he can’t see or communicate with visually how to live for Christ

He says that they (but we should see that “we” must as well) speak the truth in love, grow spiritually mature in all things into Him who is the head.

It is so encouraging that God’s Word has been encouraging me about growth during a time things have been a little hard. Sometimes situations turn out in terrible ways not because we are bad or are being punished by Him but because of spiritual attack or that God is just trying to make us aware we should live for others and care for them.

Do you belong or used to go to a church? Now no church is perfect if you ever had a negative experience but that is part of the wonder of it. We all are not perfect but the Lord still loves us. We are being put through a process called “glorification” but we will never be complete until we are with the Lord in Heaven. For that reason I feel so blessed and humbled. I have sin and troubles but the Lord loves me and as long as I keep following His ways I can be more like Him everyday.

And this growth by the Holy Spirit is where we can learn to be more loving and tell of His wonders everyday. So encouraging that we have God’s Word and His love always by our side and we can lean on each other and help each other in the purest of the way by Jesus Christ. If you struggle with something, the church is there. If you are hurting and need spiritual council about a tough matter, a leader is there. If you feel you have lost your way, Jesus is there!

Jesus’ love is there. If it is not accessible to you at a church know that by Christ in me I know that His love is there for you. I hope that you will experience His love because it is wonderful. And if you are hurting, guess what? God is the god of all comfort!

He wants us to have a relationship with Him so that we cannot fall into the traps that we get ourselves into and be lead astray.

If you don’t know Christ know that God does not want you to be alone in your sin. He is there and that if you are seeking Jesus you will find Him because it says so in God’s Word.

If you are struggling with habitual sin (getting into situations again and again and don’t feel like there is a way out or your guilt is binding you) know that His way is great. His forgiveness from sin is available always and like a mutual relationship we should be doing things for Him because He has done so much for us.

God has unending mercy. Think about that.

From the moment you were born and wanted nothing but to fend or treat yourself to when you were a child to now, you were loved by God. Before we even knew about God’s love He first loved us.

I definitely heard of God’s love a lot but I just didn’t want to listen. Sure I was going to church a lot (my dad brought me and my brother to church when we were babies!) but that didn’t save me.

Sitting in a pew does not save anyone. It does not cause Jesus’ blood to come and wash away sin.

But guess what Christ did pay for your sin and He died on the cross as payment for it. Wow. Did he really?

Could he really know me but had to die for me? Yes.

And what He did when He was punished and hurt, bruised for iniquities and bled for our terrible sin he was paying for our sin.

Without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness.

And then He took the ultimate sacrifice and died. Then three days later, he rose again! God had authority over death and when He gave His son He was able to rescue us all from sin.

We must believe this. And you will see how much he cares for you. You must know this and in faith you will be saved.

Now with Paul’s people in Ephesus, they had a lot of people that made up the church. They had Jewish and non-Jewish people (and the “Gentiles” in the text mean non-believers but I will get to that).

They had to tell others about the Lord testify in Him, making up the whole “body” of Christ and do what they should in His name in their individual walks. They should no longer walk as the rest of them would. That meant they were having troubles with sin that they knew was not right or honorable (it says in the text that apparently they were committing theft, lying, and being probably unreasonably angry about certain things). But then in Paul’s words for God he was telling them not to be like the world but be not like the rest of the Gentiles that walk apart from Him.

Being without God is useless. It may seem good and there is supposed “freedom” but where does it lead? If a person lived and died extremely rich and not knowing God did it matter what they had versus where they would end up? It would not be good, would it?

It talks of the world as people who walk in the “futility” of their mind. We should not be walking conformed or like the world. The understanding of the world is a dark place, blindness of the heart where people choose not to get what they are doing or what they say about the life is wrong.

Be there to tell the goodness of Christ; like a light stand out in love and shine His truth to all the world.

This text in Ephesians tells how the people should live guided by the Holy Spirit:

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind…

That is a great chunk of verses! From 20 to 23 of the book in chapter 4 it says great truth.

Did you know if you follow Him simply He reveals knowledge to you? Yes, you can easily find it in His word and it is so encouraging the supernatural power of His will and love. I will guarantee following Him is, while sometimes trying and a little tough, both great and a wonderful journey.

In that phrase of verses he is saying that they have not learned Christ, if they have heard Him and was taught by Him as they needed to know a part that was important we should know.

He said put off the former self. The “old man,” the one you don’t want others to know about, the sin you want to shrug off with your own power but it keeps coming back again.

Yes I am talking about that one! We must in order to live for him grow in His way fully in His Spirit because living with sinful influence can be bad (and will not lead to good things).

 

I have said once that living with sin on your heart can be like a flower that is growing out of a pot of soil with a stone on top of it. Will it grow right? Will it reach its height and full potential? Will it be able to grow at all…?

 

That is why we must depend on God to search our hearts and minds and make it surrendered fully to Him.

It is sad to think how prevalent sin can be once we let it come our way at times. Sometimes we invite it, want to encourage it, or provide no way to let God guard our hearts against it. I am talking about sin that we commit purposely. The “bad” stuff.

We must be refreshed in our hearts to Christ by giving up our sins, admitting them to Him and then confessing by wanting to not come back to it again.

That takes sacrifice, that takes Godly strength that can come if we ask Him for it.

The “old man” in your life may or will come back time and time again but that is where mercy comes in again. God has endless mercy on us. What does that show with how much mercy we should have on others?

We should be renewed in the spirit of the mind by His life and put on a new one that is because of His mercy and love He has shown to us. We must let go of the old self and sing a new song!

Such wonderment of the endless mercies of the God of our lives! Be all glory to Him in yours, may you shine in His countenance, your face be shining in His love. Amen.

(Wow, I might do a third part or just a new article altogether. Such wonders to explore in His Word!)