What’s Done In The Dark…

English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs
English: Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
Beloved, we’re living in times where the word INTEGRITY may as well be a dirty word. It’s a word rarely spoken and even less often lived by. Webster would define integrity as “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.” Wow…that’s a pretty tall order. Or, is it? Why is it so easy to walk uprightly on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday, we walk (figuratively) with our backs bent over? When are we going to realize that WHAT’S DONE IN THE DARK, WILL COME TO THE LIGHT? How hard can it be to simply be honest, sincere and of sound moral principle? I can hear the words of my mother when I was a child “baby, you can fool some people some of the time; you can fool some people all of the time; but you can’t fool God NONE of the time.” Today, my challenge to the saints of God is to walk with integrity. Be the same YOU no matter where you are. Let your light so shine AT ALL TIMES even if it’s just shining for yourself, knowing that even if nobody else is watching, the Lord is ALWAYS watching. God bless you! Pastor J.

Be a blessing…ON PURPOSE

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples; that you show love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Every Sunday as we prepare for the Benediction, I challenge the people of God to “be a blessing to somebody else ON PURPOSE.” Every day we come in contact with needs, some small, some big. This week you may meet somebody who needs a ride. Somebody may need a few extra dollars. Somebody may need you to sit with their child so they can run an errand. Somebody may need a word of encouragement. Whatever the need, be clear, you are going to meet need this week. But the question is: what will you do when you meet need this week? Will you provide for that need, even if it takes you out of your way? Or will you respond to need by simply not responding? Jesus tells us to let our lights so shine…well, we do this my friends by showing love for one another ON PURPOSE. So this week, even if its a slight inconvenience or disrupts your regular schedule or takes you out of your comfort zone, I challenge you this week to make it your business ON PURPOSE to be a blessing to somebody else. God bless you! Pastor J.

Preparing for a Storm

Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!”  Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass.  The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!” (Mt. 8:23-27)

Beloved, the storms of life will come; that you can be sure of. Somebody once said, you’re either in a storm, coming out of a storm or going in to a storm. The question is, what do you do while you’re in the storm, or better yet, how can you prepare for a storm? Today, we’ve seen the terrible devastation of the tornadoes in the mid-west. We pray for those families that were affected, either through loss of life or belongings. But the thing that struck me as I was watching the coverage of these devastating storms, was that over and over, the people that were interviewed said, “we were prepared.” We’ve been through this before so we knew what to do. Wow! Imagine if we were all prepared when facing a storm; a tornado in life. In the Gospel of Matthew we find the disciples out on a ship with Jesus caught in a storm. But when the storm came, they panicked! They were unprepared. But they had Jesus on board. But in their panicking, they did have enough good sense to call on Jesus. Yet we find the key to preparing for a storm in Jesus’ response to them: Oh, ye of little faith. Beloved, did you know that faith is all you need to prepare and to make it through the storms of life. Just like those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma, you need to remind yourself every now and then “I’ve been through this before.” You may not have faced the same storm, but the same God that saw you through the last storm in your life, is the same God that will see you through this storm. You’ve just got to have the faith to believe that if He did it before, He’ll do it again. So start now working on your faith cause the storm is coming but the next time, you’ll be prepared. God bless you! Pastor J.

Immediate Blessings

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 8:1-4)

Tonight in Bible Study, having ended our journey through Matthew’s recording of the Sermon on the Mount, we began our journey into Matthew Chapter 8. This chapter is riddled with accounts of Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry. The chapter opens with the account of Jesus healing a many who suffered with leprosy. We observed that the man, having heard about the ministry of Jesus, came to our Savior, and before he asked for anything, he knelt in reverence to the Lord. Beloved, when you come into the presence of the King, its so easy to go into “asking” mode, but can we at all times, enter into His courts with praise and into His gates with thanksgiving? Before we ask Him for anything, we ought to be conscious to thank Him for everything. Having knelt in reverence, he boldly asked the Savior for a healing. And look at what Jesus did: He reached out and touched him. Him: the LEPER! He who was by reason of his disease ceremonially unclean. He who should have been quarantined. He who wouldn’t have even been allowed in the presence of other worshippers. I believe in part because of his boldness, Jesus not only healed him, but touched Him. Oh, that we could be more like Jesus – TOUCHERS! All too often, we say we want to reach people; we want to help people; we even want to pour into people. But do we want to reach out and TOUCH people. People who don’t look like us; smell like us; live like us; talk like us; act like us. To really be an agent of God’s transformation, beloved, we’ve got to TOUCH people. Not necessarily in the natural, literal sense. To touch something or someone is to make contact with them. Oh, we come into contact with people all the time. But do we make contact with them. Do we leave an imprint upon them? Jesus touched the leper and look what happened: IMMEDIATELY the leper was healed. Beloved, you want an immediate, a right now blessing: I dare you to touch Jesus. And more importantly, I dare you to allow Him to touch you. Allow Him to make contact with you, to leave an imprint on you and I promise you, you will not, shall not ever be the same. Do you need a healing; a financial breakthrough; a new job; a restored marriage; a reclaimed child; a new ministry? Whatever it is, reach out and touch Jesus and get ready for an immediate blessing! God Bless You! Pastor J.

Stand Still…

You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. (2 Chronicles 20:17)

Stand down Christian soldier! I know you woke up this morning and you put your whole armor on, ready to do battle when facing the enemy.  But I’ve got GOOD NEWS for you: Stand Still! THIS battle is not yours. God’s got this one. You won’t have to lift a finger. Oh, keep the armor on: keep your loins girted with truth; don’t loosen the breastplate of righteousness; your feet may be tired, but keep them shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; the darts will fly so make sure your shield of faith is in tact; the enemy is coming after your mind for sure so don’t remove that helmet of salvation; and while you won’t have to fight this one, that Sword, the sovereign Word of God, will be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path when you walk through the darkest places of this battle; but most of all beloved, pray without ceasing. But through it all, stand still and watch the salvation of the Lord. Watch the Master do what He do! He has promised to fight your battles. He has promised to make your enemies your footstool. Remember, my friends, He promised to bless them that bless you; but He also promised to curse them that curse you. So all you have to do is stand still. And while He’s fighting your battles, I promise you that He will open doors that no man can shut and lo, beloved, He will be with you all the days of your life. Be encouraged. God bless you! Pastor J.

You belong to ME!

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Beloved, did it ever occur to you that your body does not belong to you? Do you know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, that He dwells within you and that your body belongs to the Lord? Wow! What a revelation. So here’s the deal…there’s only one you but the one you doesn’t belong to you. You were purchased at Calvary for a price and so you owe it to the Lord to take care of yourself. Be good to yourself. When you take care of your body, you are in essence glorifying God. So think about what you eat. Think about what you don’t eat. Consider the amount of physical activity you engage your body in. Consider even what you put on your body…is it glorifying God? Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice.” We are to do this daily beloved. So everyday allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in your journey to glorify God with your body. God bless you. Pastor J.

When the Word is Wait…

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1)

Beloved, have you ever had to wait on God? I mean have you ever found yourself praying and fasting and seeking and all you heard in return was silence?  That’s often the story of many of our lives. Wait! Not yes; not no, but wait. And just like my nine year old doesn’t like it when mommy tells her to wait, we, with our grown selves, don’t get warm fuzzy feelings either when our Heavenly Father tells us to wait. But did it ever occur to you that wait simply means “not now.” Wait is often God’s way of letting His sons and daughters, whom He loves dearly, know that perhaps they’re not ready for what they’re asking for. Perhaps there’s a work that the Master needs to do in you before the “Yes” or “No” response. So when we hear “wait,” what do we do? How do we wait? David gives us the perfect answer. He says we are to wait patiently. Now here’s the challenging part of waiting patiently: being patient means to endure with calmness; to be tolerant; to be understanding; to refrain from being hasty or impulsive; and to persevere. Wow! All that David? Really? Yes, beloved, really. Sometimes God has you to wait to see just what you’re made of. Will you persevere in the wait, or will you get weak in your knees, acting impulsively or hastily? Will you stand still (wasn’t that a word already this week?) or will you move ahead of God? So, as hard as it is for me to share this prophetic word with you today, the word for today is WAIT. But there’s good news in the waiting: remember, David didn’t just wait patiently; in his waiting patiently, God turned to him and heard him. I want you to know that God sees and He hears you my friends. So be steadfast and unmovable. Please don’t grow weary in your wait. For you see, the reward shall be yours; for the bible is clear: they they wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint! Wait, I say, on the Lord. God bless you. Pastor J.

Take the High Road…

Be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, “whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. (1 Peter 3:8-12)

WWJD? I mean really…WWJD? If Jesus was driving down I-95 at 7:30 on Tuesday morning, what would He do? If Jesus was walking down the street minding His own business, and out of nowhere someone jumped out and attacked Him, what would He do? If Jesus walked out of His house to find that someone had side-swiped His car in the middle of the night, what would He do? The question, beloved, is what would YOU do? We can probably all imagine what would Jesus do, but how would we respond in any one of these events? Would you try to figure out how to retaliate or would you respond with compassion, love and kindness? Retaliation is the easy way out, but how many of us would take the high road? How many of us would do what Jesus would do? The bible calls us in 1 Peter to take the high road, to  not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but rather to be a blessing, to be  sympathetic, compassionate and humble. I guarantee you that TODAY somebody is going to get on your nerves (if they haven’t already). Somebody  is going to push your buttons. Somebody is going to challenge your Christianity. But my challenge to you today is to take the high road. Repay evil with a blessing. Did you know this is what you were called to do? We have been called to love one another…and I hate to break it to you, but that means ALL the time. The Good News is is that there’s a blessing waiting for you in you being a blessing. So today, try not to fly off the handle. Try not to repay evil with evil. Try not to let the “old you” rise up today. But try being a blessing. I promise you there’s a blessing waiting for you. Peace, joy, and happiness and so much more! God bless you! Pastor J.

 

Rejoice!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Beloved, no matter what you’re going through; no matter what it looks like; no matter how bleak it looks; no matter how painful the present moment may be; no matter how high the mountain you have to climb today…today is the day the Lord has made…a gift from Him just for you. A gift of brand new mercies. Today is a day not promised or deserved, but God in His infinite wisdom decided to give you another chance! Another chance to get it right! Another chance to experience His grace, His love, and His power! And that is reason enough to rejoice! Think about it: your resting board last night could have been your cooling board today; you woke up this morning to find blood still running warm in your veins, your limbs still operating, a reasonable portion of god health and even if you don’t have everything you want, I promise you, you have everything you need! So rejoice! The storm of last night has passed over and the sun is shining brightly today! So get out there and enjoy this day that God has gifted to you and REJOICE! God bless you!

Expect a Blessing

17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. (Luke 6:17-19)

Christian friends do you have a daily expectation to receive something from Jesus? Think about it: everyday you should be entering into His presence through prayer, study, meditation, etc. And when you enter His presence do you do so with a sense of expectancy? In Luke 6:17-19, we find Jesus getting ready to preach the great Sermon on the Mount and folk from all over Judea, Jerusalem and the surrounding areas sought after Him to both HEAR Him and to RECEIVE something from Him. They had heard of His power and thus came with an expectancy to receive something from Him. Scripture tells us that if we ask anything of Him NOTHING wavering (faith standing) that God would be faithful and hear us and respond. Our daily desire ought to be to both HEAR Him and RECEIVE something from Him. Those in Luke 6 sought a healing. You may be seeking a healing, a financial miracle, a new job, some peace, some joy, clarity, wisdom, a greater anointing…whatever it is, when you come into the presence of the Lord, EXPECT a blessing! God Bless You!