Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday's Musings

I am very concerned about our personal as well as corporate response to God. Many of us are praying for Revival, Renewing, and Refreshing. How are we choosing to respond to God on a daily basis? Are we making room for Him in our lives? Are we sincerely worshiping Him or am I just choosing to go through some "form of religion" and never fully connecting with the heart of God? Is it possible that we are missing what we need because we are failing to respond correctly to the presence of God? This is the time for a "heart" exam! I am not talking about a visit with a cardiologist but I am talking about a visit with the Holy Spirit. Who or what controls my heart today?  Am I being led by the flesh or am I being led by the Spirit? 

Here are a few thoughts that I shared during the message at New River on Sunday morning. The presence of the Spirit of God was certainly manifesting Himself in this particular service. You would have needed to be present to have captured the full essence of the Spirit as He challenged our hearts. 

I feel led to remind us that many Christians face the battle of keeping the AWE in the AWESOMENESS OF GOD. If we are not careful our relationship with God becomes something of a “robotic” action in which our responses are more from the flesh than the spirit. We learn what to say, we learn how to act and in some cases we only respond to God through these actions that we have learned over the years of our walk with Christ. I am concerned that worshiping God has become driven by the need to make us comfortable, happy, content, satisfied and feeling better about our lives. The attitude of being “seeker friendly” rather than “God friendly” has created an atmosphere that in many cases is void of conviction, revelation of truth and a call to deal with the sins, failures, and attacks of satan in our lives. It goes without saying that we desire for people who walk through the doors of New River to find a friendly, kind and welcoming atmosphere. But let us remember we are not selling clothes, shoes, or automobiles, etc. We have been called to point people to Jesus Christ. The presence of God demands our respect, our appreciation, our recognition and a response that is full of sincerity, honor and humility.

Friday, March 16, 2018


The Spirit dealt with my heart this morning about the need to pray for one another. I understand that I reference prayer many times on this blog. But I must be honest and tell you that I believe consistent prayer is a MISSING ELEMENT IN THE LIVES OF MANY BELIEVERS!! I believe there is a group of Christians who consistently wait on the Prayer Warriors, Intercessors, Pastors, Church Leaders, etc. to pray for them and for the needs of others. 

I do believe that the individuals that I previously mentioned NEEDS TO PRAY. But each of us needs to pray. We need to seek God as an individual believer regardless of the leadership status that we may or may not have in a local community of believers. 

The need to pray for each other has been brought to my attention many times through the years of my Ministerial journey. The needs are great but God is greater. The past three (3) days have found me receiving texts from different individuals with serious needs in their lives or the lives of their family members. These have arrived very early in the morning. The arrival time says to me that the need is greater than their ability to meet it BUT it is not too great for God to meet.

Romans 1:8-10, Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart  by spreading the Good News about his Son. 10 One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. (NLT)
These words of Paul to the church in Rome were dropped in my spirit this morning. First, Paul was thankful for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul was not just thankful for a "select group" of his family, friends or business associates. NO, he was thankful for everyone! I had never taken the time to notice that he uses the words "all of you." How long has it been since we thanked God for "all of the members" of our local church family? I encourage you to try this act of thankfulness. It has the potential to change our attitude of prayer when it comes to praying for others!

I encourage us to take the time to pray for someone other than ourselves. I will leave you with Paul's words from this letter to the Romans. "God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about His Son."

I desire to take that same approach to those that I serve and to those who are in need of PRAYER!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Followers of Christ

We have been studying the books of 1, 2 and 3rd John on Wednesday evenings. Last evening's focus centered around 2 John. God is calling each of us to realize and remember that the "Truth" is discovered and revealed in the Words of God written in the Bible. The present day world is full of many "versions" and "teachings" of Truth. We must be careful that we do not allow THE TRUTH to be replaced by the opinions of man. Many of these opinions are gaining credence and credibility in the spiritual development of this world. It is imperative that we respond to these actions with an even greater resolve and determination to follow Christ in obedience and surrender.

I recently read these words and I would like to share this passage of scripture and the insight of Tripp Prince with you today.

2 John 1:8-9, “Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (NIV)

In just a few short sentences, 2 John reminds us of a persistent temptation that we must actively and intentionally resist. Though many of us may follow the Lord faithfully for years, actively seeking to join him in the work of his Kingdom and the renewing work of his Spirit, it is still possible to carelessly lose focus of the Lord and turn away from the life he invites us to lead. While this can at times result in a complete loss of faith, it is often more subtle and difficult to identify. We still profess faith and even seek to follow Jesus with our lives, yet we want to follow him on our terms, and as this passage reminds us, at our pace.

When Jesus invites people to be his disciples, he says “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19).  Jesus leads, we follow. This is life as it is meant to be. It is the surest path to a faithful, meaningful, and fulfilled life. It doesn’t guarantee a painless or trouble free journey. There are always trials and sorrows along the way, yet Jesus leads us through them and we are safe and secure when he is our guide and shepherd.

Let us hold fast to Christ! He is still the Way, the Truth and the Life!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday's Thoughts

I believe that many of us realize and identify that there are many "spirits" seeking to influence our lives in this present day world. Needless to say but not all of these influences are the correct ones. I have been consistently praying against these negative influences in my life as well as the lives of our family. Many of these influences are demonic and they are at work to defeat and destroy our relationship with Jesus Christ. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to take very seriously any and all attempts of satan to undermine and hinder your relationship with Christ!! We must be alert and very much aware of the devices (strategies, schemes and plans) of satan. I will declare what I have heard preachers say when I was a young Christian; "The devil is up to no good and we need to stop him in his tracks." Can I get an AMEN?

I would like to share some words from C.S. Lewis writings.

"In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis noted that a fleet of ships sailing in formation requires three elements for success: they must be seaworthy, with steering and engines in good order; they must not run into each other; and they must reach the proper destination. The first is the key to the others: if a ship cannot be steered properly, it cannot be kept from colliding with other ships or reaching the wrong harbor. Each of us has the option as well as the opportunity to decide who is guiding and steering the direction of our lives." 
We are either being steered by the “flesh” (natural cravings or desires) or by the Spirit (the plan of God discovered in His Word).
Faithfulness is one of the foundational stones that reveals and declares the very character of God.  God’s steadfast love for you is more sure than the very ground we walk on. Isaiah 25:1,Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. (NIV)
Who or what it steering our life today? 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Race of Life

Hebrews 12:1-3, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.(NLT)

The Word of God has not only presented us the opportunity to be involved in the race of life but it has also provided us the means and ability to win the race of life!  We need to rejoice in the fact that Christ has not only called us to join Him in this race He has also provided the directions and guidance that we need to successfully navigate the course that lies in front of us. The present day church needs to take hope in the fact that we are surrounded by witnesses who have already run their race or they are presently running their individual race. This epistle not only provides doctrinal instruction but it is a source of encouragement. The epistle makes reference to the dangers peculiar to the Hebrew Christians but it also inspires them with courage. Surrounded with a cloud of witnesses like these of Chapter 11, they ought to feel themselves compelled to follow their steps, running with patience the race set before them, and above all looking away from every difficulty to focus on Jesus. Jesus, who had run the life of faith, had been sustained by the joy that was set before Him, and, having reached the goal, had taken His seat in glory at the right hand of God.  

This passage presents the Lord, not just as He who bestows faith, but as He who has Himself run His race of life in faith and by faith. The obedience and the perseverance of the Lord had been subjected to every trial of which human nature is susceptible. Let us look at some of the struggles that Christ faced:  Men had arisen in opposition, the adversary had waged war beginning at His birth when He was taken to Egypt to avoid death, and He had felt the human pain of being forsaken of God as He hung on the cross. Even His disciples flee when He is in danger, His intimate friend betrays Him; and He looks for someone to have compassion on Him and finds no one. Although from human perspective it appears that Christ has lost the race He is actually carried off in victory through His submission to death, and takes His seat in a glory. Jesus, then, who has attained the glory due to Him, becomes an example to us in the sufferings through which He passed; therefore we are neither to lose courage nor to grow weary.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Thoughts on Tuesday

Last week was a very busy week with various Ministerial responsibilities but one thing remains the same regardless of the circumstances that we face. We can depend on the FAITHFULNESS OF GOD!! I have read stories in the Bible as well as testimonies of individual believers who can attest to the Faithfulness of God. But I can go a step further today; I HAVE WITNESSED GOD'S FAITHFULNESS IN MY OWN LIFE!!

The Spirit of God has been encouraging me as well as leading me to remind myself, my family as well as the family of God to remember and reflect on the Faithfulness of God. He is truly our source of Hope and Confidence as we move forward into this chaotic and challenging world. Each of us must understand the importance of building our life on the solid and secure foundation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I would like to share some thoughts that I shared this past Sunday morning at New River Worship Center.

Lamentations 3:22-26, The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.  23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (NLT)

Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (NKJV)

Each of us has to base our faith on someone that we can trust and someone in which we can place our confidence. As we consider our path of faith with God, we need a revelation of His faithfulness.   Being able to fully trust God is the beginning of living an abundant life. If you and I don’t fully believe that God is faithful to lead us into the best possible life we could live, then we won’t seek out His will, trust Him with our possessions, or be able to fully enjoy His presence. We must place our confidence in promises of God. Where do we find those promises? They are found in the written Word of God. Each of us needs to take the time to read the Bible not just for information but for inspiration and confirmation. 

I encourage you today to take a some time to reflect on the Faithfulness of God. God is near to us at all moments and in all situations. Let us sincerely applaud and thank God that we can count on His during each and every moment of life.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday's Musings

Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.   

I continue to sense the need to express to God my sincere thanks and appreciation for His love for me. I am undeserving of His love, grace and mercy but the cross of Calvary as well as the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for me to receive His love into my life. I continue to look for ways as well as opportunities to offer my love back to Christ.

I read these words several years ago. They spoke encouragement to me when I first read them and today they still speak that same encouragement.

“Love is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal of faith. Like the tip of an arrow love points us to God.  Love commandeers all other graces to engage the Lord’s affection and His eternal concerns. When Jesus defined love as the greatest command, He gave us a glimpse into what He wants for the world and His children. A life motivated by love is only limited by its capacity to love the Lord. Love is a muscle we exercise so it grows in stamina and strength.

Each of us will be presented with various opportunities to express and declare our love to God. But I am learning that God is looking for more than just words from my mouth. I truly believe that He is looking for obedience as well as teaching me that my words must become actions. These actions need to become a part of my daily life so that people “…can see my good works and glorify the Father which is in Heaven.” (Words of Jesus)

My challenge is to identify those opportunities and then respond appropriately to them when they arise in my journey of life. The Spirit is challenging me to be more alert to these opportunities. But I also must be determined to express my love to God as I worship Him through an act of service when these opportunities present themselves to me.

God loves me and I want to be faithful in expressing my love to Him!!