DISTRACTIONS

detour-sign

Distractions are not hard to find. You don’t even have to look for them, they will find you.

Distractions are for one purpose only; to steer you away from your purpose.

Distractions will steal your vision if you let it.

dead-end-sign-download-royalty-free-vector-file-eps-5279

You must remember, you have been created for a purpose.

Stop, focus, turn around if you have to, but do not let your feet be moved from the path Christ has put you on. Stay the course and He will direct your footsteps, He will complete what He has started, He will equip you, He will go before you.

If it does not serve the purpose of the vision, let it go. If they do not encourage you or help you stay the course, walk away from them. I know this is for someone, I do not have to give examples, you know what I mean.

Our God is faithful!

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Be Free & Stay Free

In Light of Eternity

snoopy
Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]—
From where shall my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Jesus emptied Himself for us.

Yet, we keep trying to get more. More stuff, more stuff, more stuff…

When we take our focus off the world, then we can truly put our focus on Him, the Good Shepard, and then we shall not want, because He supplies all our needs, according to His riches and glories.

Desire more of Him. Shift your focus.

Be Free & Stay Free 

Does God Know You?

1-corinthians-8_3

There are many who claim they know God. Jesus, Himself, said in Matthew 7  Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’

How do you know if you love Him? Jesus saidIf anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.  One who does not [really] love Me does not keep My words. And the word (teaching) which you hear is not Mine, but is the Father’s who sent Me.”

We are known by love. Do you love? Does His heart beat in you? Do you care for the widows and the orphans?  Do you love even when they hate you? Can you lay yourself down for the sake of the Gospel? Are you burdened for souls? When you look at people, do you see them as souls, someone Jesus thought worthy of dying for? Are you more concerned about being right, rather than loving someone? With all the knowledge we think we have, if we do not have love, we have NOTHING.

I ask you, does God know you?

But if anyone loves God [with awe-filled reverence, obedience and gratitude], he is known by Him [as His very own and is greatly loved]. 1 Corinthians 8:3

I plead with you, do nothing else until you know God knows you and then Go and introduce Him to others through your love. Let every good word and deed point others to Him, the Christ in you.

Be Free & Stay Free

For such a time as this

evangelism_conf_2014_banner

There is a reason we do not die and immediately go to Heaven when we accept Christ. There is a reason why we, as Believers, are here on this earth, in all this craziness. There is a reason why you have been born into the family you have been born into, why you live where you live, and why you work where you work. It is no accident.

He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.   Acts 17:26

You are exactly where you are suppose to be. He has created you to be where you are, at this time in history, for a reason.

Too often, we think we can not answer His call because we do not have a large platform, or we aren’t eloquent speakers, or we are too poor, or we have a past…

oh-no

Can I remind you of two people who also had a past and they were effective in Evangelism because of their testimony. They did not travel the world (although their testimony still speaks to us over 2000 years later),  they did not speak to crowds of thousands, they had no tax exempt status ministry, they didn’t build a mega-church…

You can read about this man by clicking here. (pay attention to vs. 17-19) WOW! What a testimony! The guy had so many demons in him they weren’t even named individually. This guy was so possessed the whole town was afraid of him. But, there was One who spoke to him, only One who set him free of the tormenting demons, and put him back into a right mind; Jesus.

The “former” demoniac was so grateful, he begged Jesus to let him go with Him. But, what did Jesus say? He told him to stay right there and tell everyone what the Lord has done for him. Someone needed to hear his testimony.

Or how about this woman, click here. Here is a woman with a promiscuous past. In and out of marriages, living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, she was the talk of the town. Maybe you know someone like her? Or maybe you were someone like her?

Jesus spoke right to her heart, He went right to the root, healed her, delivered her, and revealed Himself to her. Now, you tell me this woman didn’t have a life changing encounter with God! What did she do? She went and told everyone what the Lord has done for her. There was no more shame or condemnation, the woman was finally free from her past. Because of this woman’s boldness and desire to share what the Lord has done for her, many more were saved. Someone needed to hear her testimony.

Let’s go back to the first scripture I quoted from Acts, surely if God placed you where you are, for this time, then there is a ministry purpose there for you. Does it mean that every time you open your mouth people are going to get saved? Does it mean that no one will ever try to throw your past back in your face?  Nope.

You are here for a time such as this. If it were not so then Jesus would not have said “GO! Preach the Gospel to everyone.”

Someone needs to hear your testimony.

Go ye! Who is ye? Ye is you and me.

These are dark days, my friend. There will be times when you speak His truth you will face ridicule, persecution, and you will even lose friends and family. I want you to remember two things.

  1. You are never alone. He is always with you. You have the power of His Holy Spirit to be His witness.
  2. Even if everyone rejects you, His Word never returns void.

So, instead of hitting that snooze button, hop out of bed and be excited for the divine appointments you will have to share His Good News. Believe me, it is a matter of life and death.

I leave you with this final word from 2 Timothy 4:2-5

…preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.  For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,  and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.

And one more reminder from Jesus Himself.

Matthew 28:19-20:

 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Now go!

Be Free & Stay Free 

 

When the Enemy Comes in Like a Flood

 

flooding-river-2
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19

This morning I read something that brought tears to my eyes and an ache in my spirit. It was a post titled The Boy Who Stood at The Flag Pole Alone.

Across the nation, students meet at the school flag pole for the annual See You at the Pole Day. The purpose is for Christian students to meet at the flag pole and pray together. At this particular school, only one student showed. He started to pray as he waited for other students to arrive, but realizing no other students were coming, he continued to pray alone, and the cry of his heart was, “God, as people drive by, let them wonder, let their hearts be pricked.”

God did answer his prayer, standing alone he caught the attention of many people.

You are probably wondering why this made me cry.While it is true, my heart is moved and often times it brings tears when I witness the love for Christ. For this reason I felt such a deep grieving for the younger generation…

The younger generation in Christ are facing such obstacles and spiritual attacks, like no other young generation in history. Every day they are being bombarded with temptations that could make even a grown man buckle. They are facing a future of uncertainties, growing up in broken homes, their identities are constantly being attacked, and there seem to be so many shaded areas of gray of morality. They have so many questions and far too many options for answers, it is difficult to decipher what is actually true.

False prophets have crept into the church, social media has simplified the preaching of a false gospel, everything has become PC and even the church has fallen for the deception, afraid to speak out against the lie for fear of being labeled intolerant or hateful. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been watered down to a message of God loves you and He accepts you just the way you are, and we have failed to preach repentance and obedience. Partial truths are still lies. We preach Jesus as a baby in a manger and fail to warn that when He comes back it will not be as a babe, but as a lion… a redeemer to those who are His and a judge to those who are not.

“As the thief is ashamed when he is found out,
So is the house of Israel ashamed;
They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets,
Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’
For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face.
But in the time of their trouble
They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’
But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves?
Let them arise,
If they can save you in the time of your trouble;
For according to the number of your cities
Are your gods, O Judah.”  – Jeremiah 2:26-28

It is everywhere you turn; truth is met with hostility and love is mocked through violence. Peoples hearts are growing cold and many are falling away from the truth. The world wants us to believe there are no absolutes and if it feels good then do it and if you aren’t sure, then try it.

I cry for the younger generation.

 

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.

No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.

heir webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

 

Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes;
We stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places.
We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves;
We look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:
In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off;
For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

 

Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay.
So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood,
the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
Says the Lord.

“As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”

Isaiah 59

Oh, God, raise a standard on behalf of the younger generation, for Your Name sake. Encapsulate them in the cloud of glory of Your Spirit and protect them from the evil in this world. Teach them to discern what is You. Give them such a hunger for You that they will grab hold of You and refuse to let go. Be their Father, Lord, watch over them and protect them. Teach them Your ways and position them for these final days to fulfill their purpose and calling You have given them. May they know who they are and Who You are. Strengthen them to reject the foolishness of this world to grasp a more excellent way. Let them be quick to flee from evil. Set them apart, Lord, consecrate them unto Yourself and may they rise up to lead in a time such as this. Give them a love for You so fierce their faith will not be shaken and they resolve to stand, even if they have to stand alone, because You, Father, will never leave them. The enemy has come in like a flood, seeking to kill, steal, and destroy this generation and I thank You that Your Spirit has risen a standard against him. Revive us, God. heal our land. Lead us into Your way and give us the nation for our inheritance.

Well done, young man at the flag pole. You only thought you were alone; in your solitary stand you have raised an awareness and sounded a battle cry in the heavenlies. Continue to stand, be strong in Him. Be a beacon of His Light in this dark world.

Be Free & Stay Free

Revival Begins With Me, and You

You heard the saying, “be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it”?

Our nation has just celebrated Independence Day. But I can’t help but to think in all of our independence we have actually lost our freedom. No, I take that back… I mean, we have handed our freedom over. In all of the looking for a quick fix for the immediate, have we lost our vision for the future?

We wanted change, and we sure did get it, didn’t we?

The beauty of free will is we have a right to choose. The beauty of wisdom is, in our right to choose, we will choose wisely.

The king is on the podium saying ‘peace, peace,’ and there is no peace. Have we been so lulled into a slumber, have our senses become so dull, that we now call good evil and evil good?

When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. All the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah

And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint us a king to rule over us like all the other nations.  But it displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to govern us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord.

And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them. According to all the works which they have done since I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you. So listen now to their voice; only solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.

 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked of him a king.

 And he said, These will be the ways of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots.He will appoint them for himself to be commanders over thousands and over fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest and to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots.He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive orchards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your men and women servants and the best of your cattle and your donkeys and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves shall be his slaves. In that day you will cry out because of your king you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not hear you then.

Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, No! We will have a king over us, That we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles. Samuel heard all the people’s words and repeated them in the Lord’s ears.

And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to their voice and appoint them a king.

1 Samuel 8

We got what we asked for. How is it working out for us?

But, there is good news, 2 Chronicles 7:14 God say’s,”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 will heal their land.”

We are to occupy our territory, we are called to be a light in this dark world, seasoned with salt, we are to walk in love and discernment, without compromise to our faith in Christ. We should be impacting the world around us for Christ, not blending in. We will have troubles, no doubt. There will be persecution. But He said, Fear not! He is with us.

Seek God with all your heart. Purge yourself of everything not of Him. Humble yourself and seek Him.

Oh, God, revive us. I call forth the fathers and I say, rise! Take your place. Cover your family, teach your children, let them see your faithfulness to the Lord. I call men to become spiritual fathers to the orphans, mentor them, teach them, love them, be the face of Christ to them. Husbands, love your wives, lead them in gentleness, kindness, patience, and faithfulness. Mothers, teach your children to honor God, respect their fathers, and to be kind and hospitable. Adorn yourself in a gentle and quiet spirit, which is most precious, beautiful, and powerful. Make way for all the prodigals to come home, to be healed and filled, so they may take their place.

Oh, God, revive us. I call forth the Church, the living Body of Christ, to lock arms, and hearts, and stand in unity, in truth, and love. Turn away from the wide highway and choose the narrow path. Do not seek to have your ears tickled, your back patted, and comfort for your complacency and sin. Repent! Embrace truth. Be a true disciple of Christ and make more disciples.

The Lord always has His remnant. When the enemy comes in like a flood, He raises His standard. Arise people of God.

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion? Esther 4:14

This is a call to repentance. Get ready. Time is drawing short. Jesus will return, and when He does, He is not coming back as a baby in a manger. All heaven and earth will shake when He places His foot down again. To those of us who are hidden in Him, we have no fear. But if you are not in Him, you can run to the caves and beg the rocks to crush you, but there will be no escape. Seek Him now while He can be found.

True love is this, that He desires no man shall perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). But love never forces Himself on you, you have a free will. Choose life. Choose Jesus.

Do You Have Love

forgiveness

Oh, you foolish,______________(fill your name here), who has tricked you?! Are you that foolish to believe you can do on your own what Christ has already done for you? Do you not know there is no amount of sacrifice, deeds, or talk, that can save you? Only He can save you. Why do you search for an easy out? Why do you continue to hold on to what Jesus has set you free from?  Galatians paraphrased by me.

We live in a world constantly searching for answers to the wrong questions. We ask questions to manipulate the answers for the results we want. We want to be told we are OK and we want to be comfortable in our sins and denials.

We want the quick fix.

We want to be forgiven, yet we refuse to forgive.

We want to be loved, yet we refuse to love.

We want to be somebody, when we are nobody.

We ask, but we are unwilling to give.

The road to destruction is wide and crowded. It is an easy road to take, because many will point you to it. At first the ride is smooth and without bumps, but when the bumps come you will soon find out you are on a dead end.

Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

I think the path is narrow because it calls us to love. It calls for us to forsake ourselves, to die to our wants, our flesh, and to love others. It calls for us to forgive others. This is a hard concept to swallow. What? Forgive someone who wronged me?! What? Love someone who doesn’t deserve it?

Only through death will we find life. Whoever clings to life, will lose it.

It is as if we are more willing to sacrifice everything else, but ourselves. We are such a prideful people we do not even know we are heading to a cliff and we will fall off into the abyss if we do not turn around.

If we are to see revival, then we must lay ourselves down at His feet. We must humble ourselves and repent. Only then will He heal us.

Your lies will find you out. You can give lip service all you want, but the day will come when you will stand before Him and the question He will ask is…. “Did you love?”