Now is the Time

girl with raised hands and broken chains

You can not walk by faith if you are grumbling about the past and present.
You cannot experience freedom if you are afraid of tomorrow.
You cannot experience the presence of God if you are dining with the devil.
It is time to clean house. Time to get right. Time to get real.

1 John 2:18 says, Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time.

If it was the last hour then, then we are in the last minute.

I repeat… It is time to clean house, get right, and get real. Because it is about to get very real and you want to be ready.

For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:2

Do not take your eyes off Christ. Do not slack thinking He is not going to come back. Do not be entangled any longer with this world, in relationships you should not be in, your secret addictions… because God will bring to light what is hidden in the dark.

He loves you! He bought your freedom through the cross. Remain faithful until He returns, because His return is coming very soon.

Advertisements

Get Out of the Boat

peter and Jesus

It takes a leap of faith and courage to step outside of the comfort zone. Even if the comfort zone is uncomfortable, it is something that is familiar.

There are times God calls us away from what we know. He says, “Come here, I have something better.” I think we want what He has for us, but it requires us to let go of what we have clung to for so long. We perceive it as a loss to let go now, I mean after all… we came this far, lets hold on a little longer.

We resist change because what we think we have is all we know. Even if it is dysfunctional and unhealthy. It is like eating poison when we are hungry. We know the poison will kill us, but we give in to the hunger pangs. We reason at least it will fill our bellies, temporarily.

When God calls us out, He tells us to not be afraid. He tells us to not look around, look only to Him. He knows if we take our focus off Him we will become afraid and intimidated by the storms that rage around us. Don’t think for one minute there will not be a storm when He calls you to lay something down, no matter if its a person, a thing, or a situation.

Trust He will reach His hand out, grab it and don’t let go. Cuddle up next to Him and rest. Trust He will speak to that storm and there will be calm. Trust even more that in the storm you will have peace if you stay close to Him.

Matthew 14:22-33

Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds. And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone.  But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid! And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God!

Be Free & Stay Free

If We Are The Body

love

The other day I overheard a conversation between two women. It actually broke my heart to hear what was being said.

The conversation went something like this:

“I quit going to church, I love Jesus, but I quit going to church because I am too lonely. I tried different churches, but no one will talk to me. I need friends. I have tried introducing myself, I spoke to the pastors, I tried to joining groups, but no one seems to want to know me. I know if they would take a couple minutes to get to know me they would like me, no one can even talk to me for 15 minutes. My counselor told me it is because they do not want to know me. Sometimes I get so lonely, I need friends, but I can’t take being rejected in church anymore.”

What is wrong with this picture?

I understood what she was saying, because I have felt it too. I am sure most of us have felt it. This ought not to be…especially in His church.

People are turning to the world for their answers and the world offers false hope, temporary fixes.

I read an article a while back about gangs recruiting the youth. It said the main lure for youth to joining gangs is to have a sense of belonging, a community, a family. Many of the youth that join gangs come from broken homes, they do not have a father figure in the home. Even though it is dangerous to be in a gang, to them it was better and more safe than being alone. Not only does membership in a gang give you a sense of community, it also offers protection.

I want to sound an alarm to the church. Wake up, wake up!

It was not that long ago when the headlines read the rise of depression is rising, even in the church. People are taking their own lives, families are being torn apart, addictions are wreaking havoc in lives, more people are choosing to shack up than marry, the world has crept into the church to weaken the church, yet the world remains strong.

The world is like a gang, recruiting souls. Oh, church, when will we wake up and see? When will we love as the Father loves? When will we be about the Fathers business as Jesus was? Are we really too busy we can’t take 15 minutes to talk to someone and let them know someone cares? Are our homes such a monument that we can’t even invite someone in to dine with us? Are we that selfish we can’t give of our resources to advance the Kingdom and to be the face of Christ to the world and to each other?

Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)? Romans 2:4

If we say we are His we must have His love in us. We must not have a form of Godliness and deny the power.

Jesus said, “By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].” John 13:35

Again…  And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31

I believe Jesus made it pretty clear what we are to do if we are His followers. We are to love. To deny a brother or sister is to abandon them. No one in the body of Christ should ever feel alone, isolated, abandoned. Also, how will people ever believe God loves them when His own Body doesn’t?

Pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him back up.

Loneliness and isolation leads to depression, hopelessness. Please, be aware of the people God has placed around you. You have the answer within you, share it. Be His arms, His legs, His mouth.

You must purpose to love people, to reach out to people, or it will not happen. The world will keep you so busy and distracted and all of the “I will do it tomorrow” will never happen.

Look around you, there are hurting people. There are people who are ready to throw in the towel. Be the one who stands up and gives them one more reason to try again.

True religion is not found in your wallet, or in a church pew, or in 101 church activities… it is found through love. It is found caring for the orphans and widows, visiting people in the time of their distress.

I like a quote I once heard… “Preach the Gospel ALWAYS and sometimes use words.”

Do Not Be Double Minded

stormy_sea_by_wooferduff-d4rfsp1
God has placed inside each of us a dream and a gift. He has given us a vision and the resources to fulfill the calling He has placed on our lives. We can be sure if we are not living in sin, He has released us to go after the dream.

One of His last words to us was  “GO.”

None of us are perfect and we all have to grow. Before stepping out, we should check ourselves:

1. Is there sin in my life? If so, confess and repent.
2. Am I teachable? Because we learn as we go.

If there is no sin, and we are teachable, then we can trust our steps are directed by Him.

Sometimes people do not move forward because they do not want to “get ahead of God.” So they sit on it, lay their fleece out, and wait… and wait… and wait…

While yes, we are to wait on the Lord. We are to be still in Him. We can trust Him to direct us, to open doors, or to close doors.

How do we know it is of Him? Through a developed relationship with Him we will recognize and discern His voice. During the times we feel He is silent, when we can’t hear Him, then always go with the last thing He told you.

You know it is of God when it does not conflict with His Word, when it lifts Him up, when it edifies, builds, and does not destroy.

Do not misinterpret opposition as lack of peace.

You will face opposition when you begin to move in your calling, this is a given. Jesus said the world will hate you because it hated Him first. So, you better believe it will not always be easy. But He has promised He is with you. When you are in partnership with Holy Spirit, nothing will be able to stop you. The gates of hell themselves will not prevail against you. The only thing that can stop you is YOU. Do not doubt or entertain unbelief. Doubt, unbelief, and fear are not of God.

This applies to relationships as well. There are some with great callings on their life that will come together and all hell will break loose. You will be hit from every side and even from inside.

Count the cost and when you have taken the first step, do NOT look back. Keep walking and trust Him. Cultivate your relationship with Him and have a heart for Him and you can trust your steps are directed by Him.

It is when we go back and forth, in and out, hot and cold, should I or shouldn’t I, that we begin to crumble, and sometimes injure those who are with us.

Be of good cheer, my friends, He is always there to lift you up and to lead you. Follow hard after Him and let nothing or no one stop you.

James 1:5-8
5 If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [a]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.7 For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, 8 [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

Be Free & Stay Free