Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Worry Not

Matthew 6:34Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

We hear the words, we think about them, don’t worry, but for so many of us, me in many areas, I still worry. Jesus went on to ask, “Who can add to your own life by worrying?”

Verse 25 tells us not to worry about our life or what we will drink; or about what to wear. We all know that God knows everything, every moment that was and is to come.

How do we not worry? We have to be listen more for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. God has to be first everyday not just the church day. In essence as other scripture teaches, we must pick up the cross DAILY and follow Jesus.
There’s a difference between concern and worry. Concern says this is an issue and I’m gonna deal with it and with God’s help I can get through it. Worry says “I don’t know” I don’t know what’s gonna happen, I don’t know if I’ll get through it. I just don’t know. I want to emphasize that worry is one of the Devils greatest weapons. It will steal your joy, steal your contentment, steal your happiness. We become so worried about tomorrow we can’t live for today. We worry about things that never happen.

God said in Proverbs 3:5&6 Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. And worry says I don’t believe he can do that.
Worry exhibit’s a lack of trust in God. When we worry, we don’t trust God. When we worry it’s like saying, I got a problem and I don’t think God can handle it.   We need to be living for the kingdom. That means we need to give our lives totally to Christ and live for him. We need to put Christ above everything and everyone else, in our life. Above our families, our jobs, our money, our possessions, above everything. God has to be first.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prayers: Words or Actions?

What is prayer? There’s a political commercial on the airwaves that shows a candidate saying she and her husband prayed for her opponent during his moral misconduct, but she goes on to say that now was time for action as opposed to words. Is that all prayer is? To the atheist, a prayer is a waste of breath. To the agnostic, prayer could be a waste, but they are not sure. What about you, who answer to the name Christian. Is prayer a route chore before a meal, bed, and at the church on Sunday when you feel guilty or perhaps earnestly convicted?
The following words spoken by Billy Graham as reported by CSN News should wake us up, brothers and sisters. “Even though America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah ever were, and as deserving of the judgment of God, God would spare us if we were earnestly praying, with hearts that had been cleansed and washed by the blood of Christ,” said Rev. Graham in his commentary for Decision magazine, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “Today the world is being carried on a rushing torrent of history that is sweeping out of control,” said Rev. Graham.  “There is but one power available to redeem the course of events, and that is the power of prayer by God-fearing, Christ-believing people.” 
John Owen, a Puritan writer, has said: “What an individual is in secret on his knees before God, that’s who he really is, and no more.” D.L. Moody put it this way: “Be humble or you’ll stumble.” Before we come to Jesus with sincere repentance, we have to humble ourselves. There are those who will flat out fight me over this, but God being holy and pure turns his head from sin which we are by the way until we repent and make Him Lord of our lives. This means until we are willing to accept Jesus, we are sinful and God the Father does not hear us.
Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Psalm 145:19
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Proverbs 28:9
If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
Psalm 66:18
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;

John 9:31
We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Christ shows us the model prayer-not one that is consistently naming off the over 157 names of the Trinity, or the loudest that shows intricate knowledge of Bible truths given only to preachers of the certain denomination-there aren’t any by the way. We all have access to the Glory of Heaven named Jesus.
We are told to pray without ceasing. Elmer Towns says this way, “The effective prayer is not measured by how loud you pray, or how long you pray, or even if you say the words of the Lord’s Prayer again and again in a repetitious fashion. Your prayer life will be effective it you are sincere (your approach) and if you ask for the right things (what you say).” I will tell you right now and I may be wrong, Born Again Believer, but God is not too concerned with you sincere desire to see the Cowboys win, or for you to find the lucky lotto numbers. God grants prayers not wishes that will ultimately bring Glory to himself.
We need to acknowledge the power in prayer.
POWER that Paul and Silas experienced in the midst of a jailhouse when they prayed and an earthquake shook the foundation of the prison and broke the chains that bound them. 
POWER that Steven possessed as he was stoned to death due to his testimony for the Lord Jesus. As he stood there with death approaching he looked at towards heaven and said “I see Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”
It is estimated that 4,000 churches a year close their doors permanently. In 1920, 27 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. In 1950, 17 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. In 2004, 11 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. “If trends continue, by 2050 the percentage of Americans attending church will be half of what it was in 1990” “Between 80% and 85% of all churches in America are either plateaued or are declining. The Acts of the Apostles teaches that a huge number in one day were added to the Lord’s count. What about us today?
Little bit of Biblical history. Peter’s in jail. The people are earnestly praying for his release. He gets released, and they even though they were praying didn’t believe it. Folks, we must understand that prayer is not just a chore and lip service to God, but it is our way to speak with Him not just to Him. This is the type of praying the church needs today! James says in his epistle… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16) 

Let’s close with this: Casting Crowns sing a song that says this: 

”What if His people prayed”
”And those who bear His name”
”Would humbly seek His face”
”And turn from their own way”

”And what would happen if we prayed”
”For those raised up to lead the way”
”Then maybe kids in school could pray”
”And unborn children see light of day”

”What if His people prayed”

 Coming Soon, unanswered prayers. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


                “We don’t need to hammer that,” stated a Christian in reference to objecting to that personal choice that women sometimes make to kill the child AKA “Fetus,” AKA “Unborn child,” in the womb. Many Christians today interject their BUTS into God’s message. There’s scripture, BUT.  I love this one: I’m against abortion; I think it’s wrong, BUT… You may be thinking that this issue is a political one and should be left out of church discussion. But I am of the belief that the abortion issue is more than just a political issue, I believe it is a spiritual one. How dare we as so called Christians stay silent over the death of babies because we think it’s a political issue when it is nothing more than an abomination to God, the very bringer of life.
                In 2013, A Massachusetts woman charged in the deaths of her 9-year-old daughter and unborn son was arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges. Authorities say Fang Chi-Xue of Quincy fatally stabbed her 9-year-old daughter in April and stabbed herself in the abdomen, killing her unborn baby.
Really? A murder charge for the child AND the "fetus"? Why should she be tried and not all the others who kill their babies?
               Robert A. Davis was convicted of killing the fetus of Maria Flores during a robbery in 1991 when she was about six months pregnant.

…we are supposed to speak out, raise our voices, to protect the innocent!
Prov. 31:8-9
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 12:28
There is life in the path of righteousness,
but another path leads to death (HCSB).

            4000 babies. That’s the number of babies that are killed in the name of politics, democracy, and choice. Jeremiah 1:5 
          Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…
Words from God, but mommy decided to kill the baby maybe to save her own life, forget the trauma of being a victim, because she doesn’t feel ready, or she cannot deal with what President Obama referred to as a mistake.
Jesus showed special concern for the lame, the blind, the woman with the issue of blood, the lepers. In our day we mustn’t forget. 

          Some studies report that as many as 90% of couples faced with an amniocentesis report of probable Down’s Syndrome will choose to abort. That’s a big number, and they are all little ones! And yet, do you know anyone with a Down’s child that doesn’t tell you that child is the light of their life, an absolute joy, the most loving person they’ve ever known?
          Theologian, writer and pastor, John R. W. Stott, "Man is a unique creation, the object of God’s loving care in both creation and redemption. The reason the Bible forbids the taking of human life, except judicially, is that it is the life of a human being with a divine likeness." Our key idea is: human life bears Gods image making it sacred.

           The Alan Guttmacher Institute that does studies for Planned Parenthood, there are still over 1.3 million abortions a year in America. That is close to the population size of Santa Clara County. They also said that by age 45, 43% of women will have had at least one abortion. Now if you think that this is just people out there beyond the church walls—while there has been some decrease in abortions in our population, there has been an increase in abortions amongst those who claim to be evangelicals Christians—up to 18%. So, over 200K women who claim to be Christ-followers have abortions each year. One of the big reasons is that it’s easier to hide an abortion than it is a pregnancy. Will you stand up and defend those who cannot defend themselves? 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why do we suffer?

            How can Christians worship a being, God, if you will that is so loving when according to cancer.org, 10,450 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014? Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades. Surely, a loving and all powerful God can handle and stop the spread of all the diseases. Right? What are you supposed to say when the God who numbers the very hairs of your head allows every last hair to fall out during chemotherapy--and even then allows the cancer to continue its deadly work?
We wouldn’t expect things to be any different if God weren’t in charge, but he is. Believing that God is in control doesn’t take away the pain or make the questions disappear. In some ways it makes the questions even harder.

Right now there are many toddlers undergoing chemo treatments batting Leukemia. What did this precious baby do to deserve a disease? Our nature makes us question. Don’t try to deny that you have thought what I’m expressing. Where is the justice in life where a rapist, a convicted felon continues to live without ailment or strife and a baby from birth suffers with and from diseases? The answer does not come from me. I am no one to answer these thoughts. I will however incline your attention to the centerpiece of Christianity, Jesus and the Word of God.

The verses escape me at the moment, but here’s the gist. The disciples wonder why a man is crippled up, sick you know. They ask Jesus, “Who sinned? Was it he or his parents’ sin that caused him to be so sick?” Jesus replied neither. He went on to explain that the man’s state of being would ultimately be used to glorify God.

So you are thinking, “What? That’s it? There has to be another reason.”

Again, friend, let’s look at The Bible.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

People so many times get angry in times of tragedy when someone quotes scripture to them. I think they are angry at the person, their own inability to fix the situation especially if a child’s health is involved, and most definitely God. The scripture above is really one that sticks it to our sinful, me, me, me, mentality. If you are reading this and truly believe that life is just a series of random molecules and events that exist until the nothingness of death, you won’t find much comfort in the idealized concept and real, growing relationship with the Creator of the universe. If you do believe in God the Father, the cross, and Christ as Savior, you no doubt understand trust written about above.

When Jesus heard it, He said, "This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it,” (John 11:4 HCSB).   

Jesus spoke to the two sisters of his buddy Lazarus. As you may know, the friend died from sickness. Jesus came after he had died to simply show the power and to glorify God the Father. People doubted him mocking saying if he could heal the blind couldn’t he save his friend. We do this. We question and we mock God every time something befalls us whether it’s small stuff or the big stuff, terminal illnesses when we question with the word “Why?” IF OUR inquiry is not genuine-meaning, it is full of malice which is different from sincere questioning. Again, it is our fallen nature, the old man so to say that creeps back in when we take our eyes off Christ.

When someone embroiders a design into a piece of cloth, the back side of the cloth is all twisted and tangled with knots of thread, but if you look at the other side, the picture is lovely. In the same way, when we look at God’s plan from our perspective right now, it may look tangled and not very attractive, but when we see it someday from a new perspective, we’ll see how orderly and beautiful it really is. This is not saying that illnesses that strike a life down are insinuated as pretty, but rather when we experience God in the aftermath and his Glory, is the full pictured viewed.  

I once attended a funeral of a friend and became very angry at the well-meaning preacher. Refer to my earlier comment about using scripture in tragedies. He quoted the words about all of us as sinners and the wages-payment-are death. It made it sound like my friend died due to sin. True scripture, but bad timing. Nevertheless, we are sinful and corrupt before a holy, righteous, God before we call out to Christ. A lot of times we holler out, “God this to me,” or “I’m sick because Jesus..” If suffering and disease was from God, why did Jesus spend almost every day of his three year ministry on earth healing the sick?? If Jesus is who He says He is why would Jesus undo what God did?  Sin is a result of man trying to become God. But salvation is what happen when God became man.

Wait, isn’t that contradicting what you wrote earlier about the first person/example being ill? No. Many times in the Bible Jesus healed people because they were afflicted by Satan, other times, no reason for the cause is given, but the result, Glory to God always occurred and will still today if we continue to focus on Him.

No matter how much we try to know God the Father, we cannot know it all. I think by the way that is one reason so many atheists and others like them hate the concept of a high power because they must have all the answers neatly aligned. As Moses said at the very beginning in Deuteronomy 29 verse 29: ’The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law’. God has revealed certain things to us, but not everything.

            But even if we had all the explanations, it still wouldn’t help. When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, an orderly list of "sixteen good biblical reasons as to why this is happening" can sting like salt in a wound. You don’t stop the bleeding that way. A checklist may be ok when you’re looking at suffering in a rearview mirror, but not when you’re looking at suffering in the present tense. When people are sorely suffering, people are like hurting children looking up into the faces of their parents, crying and asking, "Daddy why?" Those children don’t want explanations, answers or reasons why, they want their daddy to pick them up, pat them on the backs, and reassure them that everything is going to be okay. God, like a father, doesn’t just give advice. He gives Himself. And I did not even refer to Job. 

            Peter Mayer who is a terminally ill cancer patient used the following analogy. It’s a comparison of two chess masters locked in a bitter duel. We know that God is in control and will ultimately win the match, but the devil has tremendous latitude and abilities and will destroy many of the game pieces along the way as he struggles to win. God does not stop the carnage and suffering, but uses the devil’s moves to further His plan and win the ultimate match. As one of the pawns I can’t see the human benefit through the pain, but faith enables me to trust God. The cornerstone of this faith is that I can dimly see, and know in my heart, that God is building and strengthening my family and their salvation. The earthly dreams are wasting away and what is left is truly precious.

            At the end of everyone’s life regardless of whether they believed in one religion over another or religious figure, there will come a moment of judgment. Jesus was clear. God is a jealous God. There are not numerous paths to eternity. There’s but one name that salvation comes through (Acts) and that is Jesus. Think about where you are today, where you might be tomorrow, and where you want to be eternally.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live” (11:25-28).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

picasion.com 261e6
picasion.com 261e6

We cannot do anything in the blink of an eye unless we are Wally West or Barry Allen. Since we are not super-fast fictionalized characters in the comic book realm, we are bound by the laws of our natural world. You know who isn’t? There’s one who is not bound to the natural world because He is the One who created the very laws, well, everything really. In a blink, lives are changed; hearts are broken, mended, lost, and healed. Just think about what God can do in a blink of an eye. He could have created all in a blink, but he took a few days to do it.
Do I think our world came to be in six literal actual days? Yes. How can I say that when you say science dictates otherwise? Simple. I’m not ignoring science. I am looking at the meaning of the words. Dr. Ken Hamm wrote, “When we look carefully at Genesis 1, in Hebrew or even in English, it is clear that God created everything in six literal (24-hour) days. First, we are told that He created the earth in darkness and then created light. Then He called the light “day” and He called the darkness “night.” And then He said (in the original Hebrew) “and [there] was evening and [there] was morning, one day.” He repeated the same statement at the end of the second day through the sixth day. Everywhere else in the Old Testament, when the Hebrew word for “day” (םיוֹ, yom) appears with “evening” or “morning” or is modified by a number (e.g., “sixth day” or “five days”), it always means a 24-hour day.
On Day Four God further showed that these were literal days by telling us the purpose for which He created the sun, moon, and stars—so we could tell time: literal years, literal seasons, and literal days.
Then in Exodus 20:8–11 God commanded the Israelites to work six literal “days” and rest on the seventh because He created in six ‘days’” (using the same Hebrew word).

University of Oxford professor James Barr said in regards to the Hebrew language:
“Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah's flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the 'days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.”

  John Ankerberg received this from a college professor in 2004, “Many non-Christians are driven away from the God of the Bible by the young-earth claims which are, frankly, ridiculous to most people who love science. It is a shame that people who love science, who would like to know the One who created the universe, reject, out of hand the Christian God, because they see Christianity as so unscientific.”
This is ultimately the problem. Is the Earth young? Old? Were the days literally 24 hour periods? These thoughts can be argued about until the end of time with both sides reverently holding their own beliefs. My answer or rather the thought that leaves me at peace over the dilemma is simply this: Jesus spoke of the events in Genesis as fact. He said it, it is done. That’s the whole purpose, the whole concept of faith. The problem is people deny not only the Bible as the Word of God, but Jesus as not only the Son of God, but also the aforementioned Word of God. We cannot pick parts of scripture that fit to our lives and live like the other parts have no bearing on us. But we do usually under the guise that all faiths are equal and everybody just find their own way to El Dorado.
 The late Adrian Rogers preached, “In the Bible, God is not explained. God is just simply presented and must be accepted by faith. In Hebrews 11:6, the Bible says, ‘For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is.’”
Pastor Rogers continued explaining how God asked Job this question in Job 38:4, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth.” There were no scientists there. There is no way that they can explain it. How do we understand it? By faith. You say, “Well, that takes a lot of belief.” Friend, it takes less belief than to believe that nothing times nobody equals everything. That’s the way they believe! No wonder the Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’"
All you need to know at this moment as you read is that the God of the Bible Jesus, fully man and God loved you so much that He died to pay the debt that we all owe because of sin. He died for you, but because of His righteousness and love, He defeated death and grave. All salvation comes through His name alone through belief in Him as Savior.