Sunday, December 18, 2011

God Doesn't Bail

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. 2 Timothy 4:17 (NKJV)
Chronologically, the Book of 2 Timothy is the last letter written by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. It's an interesting and invaluable letter because it gives us a snapshot of what things were like for him towards the tail end of his prolific ministry
.Now, here is what may come as a surprise to many of us: While Paul impacted countless lives over the course of his missionary journeys, and although he had a healthy following of helpers and supporters throughout most of his life, many (if not most) had turned against him as his ministry came to a close.
That's hard for us to fathom. But Paul is the one who tells us that aside from Luke, all of the closest companions who had been by his side had forsaken him (2 Timothy 4:10-16). Process that for a second. After all the blood, sweat, and tears, Paul found himself with several knives in his back, courtesy of those he had trusted and invested in most.
Undoubtedly, Paul shed more than his share of tears, but he didn't crumple under the weight of this heartbreak. He had something stronger that supported him through it. Man had done the unthinkable to him, but there was a greater reality at work in the Apostle's life. Despite being forsaken by his closest earthly companions, the Lord stood by his side and didn't go anywhere.
God doesn't bail on us even when everybody else does. Regardless of how many turn their backs on us, the Lord never will. Every friend may abandon and betray us. Yet even if that should happen, we'll still be able to say as Paul did, "But the Lord."
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)
Think About It...
Answai White

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Message

Has the church failed in teaching the saints true doctrine? Has the church migrated away from what has been taught to us down throughout the years? I ask this because one night as I was flipping through the religious programming channels, the message that was being preached was that of prosperity, sowing and reaping, tithing to receive the financial blessing of God, so on and so forth.

Now, do not mistake what I am saying. I am all for the teaching and educating the saints on how obedience leads to positive repercussions. However, have we now traded in holiness for membership? Have we come to the point that we will sacrifice living right for numbers on Sunday morning? Holiness is indeed a lifestyle that not only has rewards but consequences. How many churches still teach the fundamental heaven and hell are indeed real message, and I mean not just in New Membership class? We are living in an age where even the very elect of God are being deceived, thinking that they can live any kind of way and still go to heaven! The saints are clubbing throughout the week, singing and laying hands on Sunday morning. Any and everything just about is going on within the walls of the Temple, and no one wants to step up and speak against for fear of being out of place because of a lack of a title in front of their name.

Romans 3:23 declares it plainly, that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Galatians 3:22 declares that the Scripture has confined ALL under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. No single person is excluded from sin, as the above scriptures can confirm. But those of us who were once sinners have obtained the promise of Jesus Christ by having faith that He has forgiven us of our sin. This is the fundamental teaching that the church must never forsake, for before Jesus ever began to reveal the mysteries of heaven and taught that good measure pressed down and shaken together would men give into our bosom, he preached these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 4:17).

Monday, June 27, 2011

To Live is Christ .....

There was a status on Facebook that I once read that said this: to know Christ is to know what life is about. To not know Christ is to wonder what life is all about. It brought to my attention the scripture that reads that “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain..” (Phil1:21)

In my opinion, one of the better benefits of living the life of a saint of God is that in dying, I actually am closer to living the life I was created to live. I know that was kind of heavy, but that is why it is written that Christ goes to prepare a place for us. Quite frankly, this is not our home. We simply are strangers passing through a barren land. But we have to understand that we are not to become INFECTED with the things of this world, but to AFFECT those people that are in the world. We quote Matthew 6:33 all of the time, have epiphanies, revelations and assumptions about it and STILL miss the fundamental point that it is the business of God to care for His people if they set their affections on the things that have nothing to do with this perishing planet.

Christ came for a people who would carry out the purpose of God, the will of God. He came for those who were lost in their way, and revealed that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He extended to us the invitation to live the life that He lives with his father. It is funny how there are efforts to extend life, clone humans, and look younger. Here is a simple solution: accept Christ, and live forever! Ultimately, to live life as the world is to live unto death, but to live life unto Christ is to invest in a hope and a future that includes a mansion, rest, heavenly treasures, but most of all, basking in the presence of the almighty God!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ask for the Rain

Here is something that I am beginning to understand: anything that wants to grow is going to need two things: water and dirt. Dirt so that it could take in the nutrients from the ground, and water to provide moisture to the nutrients so that in due season, it will sprout into its intended shape. Here is what else I am beginning to understand: people do not want to go through anything. If a situation arises, we feel that it is because we have done something terribly wrong and we are being punished for it. Forget Hebrews 10:32-35 which talks about remembering that in the days of you struggling, you were illuminated.......and to not cast off your reward of confidence.

We know that with the economy the way it is now, that struggling is inevitable. Unless you were taught in the ways of finance, born into a wealthy family, or stumbled upon a prosperous idea, you are going to struggle at one point or another. Now it is one thing to be the victim of decision, but a totally different thing to ask to be put in a precarious situation. It takes having the mindset of a gardner to fully grasp the concept of taking a seed, planting it in good soil......then covering it in dirt and then watering it FREQUENTLY........knowing that the outcome of the seed will be good and that it will not only grow, but produce fruit after its own kind. Everything that has ever grown has gone through the process of being in dirt, water, and being assisted by the other elements that are not only essential for growth, but survival.

So don't be afraid to ask for the rain, and when you ask for it, leave the umbrella at home. It is the rain......not necessarily the sunshine........that is the most important element of growth.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Mind to Work

As I sit and ponder about life’s dealings, I am reminded for one reason or another about the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall. One particular scripture sticks in my mind, and it is the one that declares that the people “had a mind to work”. Now we speak of the state of the mind all the time. We are quick to declare that one must not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Now the question becomes what will the state of the mind be after it is renewed? One of the tricks of the enemy is to remind us that though we may have a new mind, we are still in the same world, that our location has not changed, and he tries to convince us that it is a mere feeling and not an actual event. Paul’s encounter AND conversion happened in one place, at the same time.

The state of the mind is critical to the salvation of the saint. If the saint does not develop the attitude of a worker, then the life that they profess to live will be vain. Remember that salvation is not just the act of baptism, but the decision in the mind that this life is not the life that the price was paid for. Remember what we said in the beginning of this blog, that the people had a mind to work. What that says is that the decision was made that no matter what the cost, the sacrifice, there was work to be done and only a COLLECTIVE effort would ensure success. The mind wills the body to do so many things, to endure challenges, to defy the odds. Why? Because it was in the mind that the limitations were set, so what better place to destroy that which was established than the source of its existence? Once the mind is convinced that it can accomplish the task, the body has no choice but to follow the commands and instincts of the mind. The state of your mind depends on how bad you want to survive, and having the mind to work can only increase your chances of doing just that.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Passion for Christ

You shouldn’t have to look far to see where I picked the name of this particular blog from. With this being the Passion Week, I thought it only fitting that a blog of this nature be included. We understand that the movie title depicted exactly the feeling of the Master for us: the Passion of the Christ. Understanding what exactly the word ‘passion’ means is very instrumental in the revelation of this blog, if you will. The word passion means any powerful or compelling emotion of feeling; the object of such fondness or desire. God has such a fondness, a love, a PASSION for us that he endured first the betrayal of an apostle, and then the suffering at the hands of man, and then finally the death. He did all this knowing what kind of individual we would become, our acts, our thoughts, our decisions, our relationships, and everything else that the world has decided defines us with. He did all this knowing that at some point in our Christian walk, we would do as Peter did, though not necessarily verbally word for word, but with our actions and our dialogue that does not reflect our relationship and our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He did this knowing that the passion He has for us is greater than any punishment He would have to endure on our behalf. Now, let us examine the passion that we have FOR Christ. Can we actually say that we have an actual passion for Jesus the Christ, or do we just say that we do to ‘pacify’ ourselves and others that we know love God, and are called according to His purpose? Are we willing to endure what is necessary when we ask to be closer to Him, when we ask to know Him in the power of His resurrection, and in the FELLOWSHIP of His suffering? How long will we tire out in the midst of our trial and declare that there is no way that He could possibly have a passion for us simply because we feel He hasn’t delivered us according to our timetable? Where is our passion for patience having her perfect work? Recall what Jesus said, that at any moment he could call for a legion of angels to come to His aid, but because there was a purpose behind the suffering, the mockery, the betrayal, He endured all things to display that His passion was real. Let us take this into consideration not only during this particular week, but for the rest of our lives. Let us develop the passion for our Christ, for it was during this week that the passion of the Christ was on full display.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Relationship Status

I know that we have tackled this in a few articles already, but I haven’t been able to just express how I feel concerning this. Relationships are indeed very valuable, fragile, but very necessary to make through this life. I like to look at the word within the word, which in this case is the word ‘ship’. If you really think about it without going too far into the deep of it, relationships are indeed like ships. The conditions have to be right for a safe journey to your destination…..depending on what the boating forecast is, you may not even take your boat out on the water there is the possibility that an unexpected storm may rise, and you have to rely on what you have learned and been trained in to survive. Even on Facebook, and most dating sites, you have the option to put your “relationship status”. When filing taxes, filling out important paperwork, you are required to give your relationship status. Even in general conversation, some sentence will elude to whether you are single, married, have a lot of friends, or if you prefer to keep to yourself. The point that I am trying to make is that your relationships can help shape or destroy your future. They can be an important commodity to you, or you can disregard them at your leisure. Jesus had many disciples, but also had 12 that He allowed to become intimately close to Him. Business relationships, personal relationships and all other relationships hinge on whether or not you decide to show yourself friendly and worthy of establishing a relationship. No one can make it through this life, especially the life of holiness, alone. It is impossible. Even the most secluded and dedicated saint needs someone to be accountable to. Though there are many experts, those who hold doctorates and have been dressed with accolades galore, not one of them can prescribe or even formulate a perfect relationship. However, I believe that the best relationships are the ones that have been through the test of time, have battled the raging wind and sea, has been drug through the muck, mire and clay and yet not only did it survive, but it is willing to share its testimony, for the word of God declares that we overcome by the words of our testimony, not the re-enactment of our situation. Abraham was given a two-fold status with God, the father of many nations AND the friend of God, simply because he chose to have a relationship with the Almighty. Relationships matter and they pay dividends when it’s all said and done.

Monday, April 4, 2011

There Is Nothing Like It

A good friend of mine received an e-mail the other day from a friend of theirs, and in it was enclosed one of the age-old questions that continues to baffle the saints today………depending on their tradition and beliefs. The question was: Is once saved always saved? While I will not try to give an answer as this is not the point of this blog, I will say this: there is nothing sweeter than knowing that I am safe in the Masters’ arms. Now I am not saying that everyday is a breeze, not at all! Trust me……..there are days where I am thinking to myself, ‘OK now…..what is REALLY going on here!?’ If you haven’t had one of those days, as the elder saints would say: “keep living baby!” But needless to say, at the end of the day, God will show Himself strong, faithful, and ever so true to His word. After all, it does say that His word will not come back to Him void; meaning empty of fulfillment, but it will accomplish that which He has sent it forth to do. Every day that I live is just a testimony to the fact that God lives, for it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being. It also allows my faith to grow, because I can live IN the expectation that God will blow my mind on today by manifesting His word in the most magnificent way, but if He doesn’t do it today, He is still God, and God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. He is the same God yesterday, today, and forever more. Just as the saying goes, if He did it back then……in the days of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Joshua, Moses, and the rest that are listed in the “hall of faith”, He can and will do it again!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Progress in the Process

One of the biggest misconceptions in the beginning stages of exercise and diet is that there are no noticeable differences between the start of the regime and the current moment of existence. This is where most people stop the program that they are currently in, and possibly stop going to the local gym where there membership is because they believe, with their natural eye, that no progress has been made and they return to the life they lived before deciding to make a change. If this applies to you, do not feel bad, because it applies to me as I am writing this. Far too many times I have begun a task, not necessarily exercising, but because I haven’t noticed the progress that I believe should have been made, I quickly become frustrated and stop it altogether. Christians experience this in the spiritual realm as well. We begin to pray, seek the Lord like never before, but we feel as if nothing has changed and our life, instead of improving, has actually gotten worse! We feel as if what we are doing isn’t helping us reach our destiny like WE think it should, and convince ourselves that we were better off doing what we were doing previously. What we need to realize is that with any project or endeavor, results do not happen overnight. Even the disciples had to wait for the coming of the Holy Ghost after the ascension of Christ. It was not until they were fully prepared on the day of Pentecost that they received the promise. But they had to endure the process of WAITING. We must understand that it is what goes on behind the scenes that make the outside look good! There is progress in this process, just do not become so discouraged that you cannot see it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can You Believe It ?

If you are anything like me, when something happens it may take you a while before you actually believe it. When President Obama took the oath of the presidency, I am sure that there were many, many people that just took a moment to say to them that “this is really happening” and “I am witnessing history in the making”.

But now I want to put a twist on the phrase that is the title of this blog. I believe that most of today’s Christians do not experience the fullness of the power of God because that cannot believe that it really exists. Too often we find that a saint will be seemingly be in a constant state of depression………they always are saying ‘please pray for me’ or ‘why am I going through this’. The Bible declares that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we are able to move mountains. However, it also declares that to fully exercise this so great a faith, we must become like little children. Children believe that any and everything is possible, simply because they nothing else. We as mature Christians have become accustomed to stipulations and boundaries because in the natural realm we have heard the word ‘No’ so many times. But what we must return to is the basic doctrine of faith: God is above the natural way of doing things!

Deitrick Haddon said it best: God is supernatural, meaning that there is nothing that God cannot do. However, we cannot move past the natural because it is so easy to see. However, if we could see God naturally and how He operates, then faith would be unnecessary. But because God moves by His spirit and by His time, we have a hard time believing that God has heard our prayer and are willing to save us. But the old saints put it best when they said this: ‘He may not come when you want Him, but He is always right on time!’ Can you believe that!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Confident vs. Conceited

Here is something that I have thought of on a consistent basis: what is the difference between being confident and being convinced? Is there a line between the two, or do they walk hand in hand? Another word that can be substituted here is convinced. When does know when they have crossed the line, if there is one to be crossed? Well, here is what I believe: it takes some sort of confidence to walk this thing we call Christianity. With the world in the shape that it is in today, you have to be sure that you know God, and that He knows you. Now just because you know God (or whatever you may call it) does not give you the right to look down on others. In all of the being convinced, confident, or whatever, remember that if you cannot be convicted, then you are indeed a counterfeit. Here is what real saints are confident in: the fact that God is holy, righteous, and the judge of all deeds. He chastens those whom He loves. If you feel you haven’t been chastened in a while, you may want to check your relationship.