Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Good vs. Evil

You have probably heard the words "Good vs. Evil" used at some point in your life. Politicians have used these words to describe the struggle between our nation and other enemy nations around the world. Have you ever seen an artist rendition of a small "good" angel and the small "evil" angel hovering around the shoulder of an individual person? This was used to remind us that we have both of these influences working for us and against us at the same time. I remember being taught as a child about good and evil and that I needed to avoid anything that was evil and even those things that even appeared evil. We have been taught that there is both good and evil at work in our lives and certainly both of these elements are found in our modern day society. 

I sincerely believe that the forces of both good and evil are at work in our modern world. I identify in my spirit that God is "up to something" good in the release of His Kingdom on this earth. I also identify the fact that satan is also at work in our world. In my opinion, the enemy seeks to destroy, hinder, defeat, overthrow and in some cases utterly overwhelm our faith. The enemy seeks to distract us. The enemy seeks to attract us to the strategies of sin both "large and small" if there is such a thing. The enemy seeks to discourage us through his various means of disappointment, disillusionment, despondency, fear, worry, doubt, unconcern, laziness, lethargy, apathy, lack of passion, etc. The enemy has a tool box full of weapons that he can use at any moment and in any situation if he sees that we have left open the door of our soul. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CLOSE THE DOOR OF OUR LIFE BEFORE SATAN CAN GAIN A FOOTHOLD IN OUR LIVES. I encourage you to take time and re-read the previous sentence one more time!!! 

I would encourage you to read James 4 at your convenience. The Word of God has a very powerful message to reveal to us. I have felt led to share two translations of James 4:7-8 with you today.

James 4:7-8, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.(NKJV)

James 4:7-8, "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world." (NLT)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday's Musings

Today begins a new work week in which many of us are preparing to enter. There are some people who may have begun their week on Sunday but the following words can also be applied to you. We can understand that God's presence will go with us regardless of the challenges/opportunities or difficulties that we may face. For the past few days the Spirit has been dealing with my heart concerning the need to recognize the presence of God in my daily life. I shared about it yesterday and still can not get away from the impression and revelation that the Spirit continues to place on and in my heart. 

I believe that it is IMPERATIVE that the present day church remember that we are not alone. The promises of God endures to all generations. I understand that these are unique and challenging times to say the least. But God has worked in previous days that were challenging and unique to that generation. Will be believe the truth of God or will we believe the lies of our enemy? I am placing my faith in the Word of God and I am placing my confidence in the ability and power of God to fulfill His promise to this generation of believers. 

I would like to encourage you today to make the decision to place your life in the hands of God completely and through this act of surrender we are declaring that we will TRUST GOD IN ALL SITUATIONS!!! God is present at this moment in our lives, just look for Him to reveal Himself to you. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday's Weapon of Faith

Hebrews 4:12a, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword..." (NKJV)

I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is leading us to remember that we do have a weapon of spiritual warfare that we may be forgetting. We hear about authors who promote their book as an answer book for spiritual warfare. We hear about musicians and singers who promote their music as a means of "setting the mood" as we prepare to petition God to fight those enemies that are coming against us at any particular moment. We even hear about conferences/meetings that will provide us the "strategies" to overcome the attacks of evil, wickedness and darkness. Let me make this statement before I alienate many of you at the very start of this post. 1) I certainly read books on spiritual warfare. 2) I enjoy having music playing in the background when I am praying and even preparing a message. 3) I have attended conferences/meetings in which I have been taught about preparing my heart for spiritual warfare.


People may feel led to share answers to some challenging and difficult questions. But I personally believe that the Word of God reveals the Answer to our world. Our answer is Jesus Christ and the authority with which He speaks. We see in the Word of God that the people even recognized the power and authority with which Jesus spoke as He was fulfilling His earthly assignment of ministry. I truly believe that is time for the present day church to recognize that same power and authority that is revealed in the Word of God.

Is it no wonder why the enemy keeps so many believers from reading much less studying the Word of God? There is power in the Word of God!! David hid the words on God in his heart. The Word of God has always played a major role in the lives of the people of God. What type of role is the Word of God having in our lives today? We must remember that the Bible is more than just a book written by human authors. 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (NLT)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Thoughts on Monday

A typical Monday morning finds me reviewing the service from this past Sunday as well as beginning to look forward to the direction that the Spirit will place in my heart as I move forward in my walk with with Christ. These reflections will include my personal development as a Christian as well as the preparation of the message next week. I believe that everything must begin and end with the development of my personal walk with Christ. I believe Christ is more interested in what He can do in me more than what He can do through me. God working through us should be a direct result of what God is doing in us as we continue to draw near to His presence.

There is one thing that is very clear in my heart and spirit. I truly believe that God is calling us to draw closer to Him so that we can be fully prepared to face our future journey of life. There are many things that are taking place in our world at this time that is creating much concern in each of our lives. But I am determined to face these concerns/challenges through the power of the Spirit and not the power of the flesh. Is it possible that the enemy wants us to believe that God is not at work in this day and time? I refuse to believe that lie because of what I have read in the Bible; because of I what have seen in my life; because of what I have seen in the lives of others and because of what I have read about in the lives of others!!!

I want to share some words that I wrote yesterday on the FB page of New River Ministries. "Thankful for another opportunity to explore more of the "WOW" moments of God. I believe that when we fully recognize the AWESOMENESS OF GOD we will move from the mundane to the supernatural manifestation of the presence of God!!! I am determined to make that journey." I marked my comments as "optimistic." Let me add that my optimism is based on my faith in the Word of God which contains the promises of God.

Our world is not full of much optimism at this present time. Maybe it is because that we are looking at the wrong sources to find our optimism. It is time that we turn our hearts back to God and seek Him with our whole heart. I am concerned about the "canopy of doubt and fear" that satan is seeking to drape over the church. I encourage you to open your Bible and reconnect with the God who delivered you from sin and place you one the road of life. He is not finished with you as of yet. He has more of His presence and power for each of us and far too many of us are settling for less.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday's Musings, Continued

Philippians 4:19-20, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen." (NKJV)

The Spirit continues to remind me of the "riches" that we can discover in our relationship with Jesus Christ, the Rock. Yesterday I referenced the riches that were hidden under the rocky soil on the mountain side in Massachusetts. I continue to discover greater riches the more that I review the life of Christ and the promises that were spoken by Him as well spoken about Him. Today's verse is an example of those reminders.

The enemy of our soul desires for us to live a life of "spiritual poverty." He also desires to clothe the Truth in the cover of darkness, fear, doubt, no hope, discouragement, etc. I also believe that the enemy seeks to keep the modern believer away from the power of the Word of God. The Word of God contains the promises upon which we build our faith, hope and confidence in God. The Word of God reveals to us the Truth about God and it also reminds each of us about the greatness of God's love for His family.

I encourage you to read your Bible. I encourage you to pray. I encourage you to pay attention to the message that God has placed on and in the heart of your Pastor. The Psalmist wrote about "hiding the Word of God in our heart." The Word of God has always played and in my opinion will continue to play a major role in our ability to live a successful Christian life in this challenging world. 

We must make time and take definite steps toward specific times of interaction with God if we are going to be prepared to face the challenges of the enemy of our soul. But I am convinced that God has all of the "equipment" that I need to finish my race on a winning note. 

Just remember that you will discover "riches" in Christ Jesus, the Rock!!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday's Musings

I read this story in one of the devotional websites that I read on a daily basis. The words spoke to my heart and reminded me of the blessings of God that are bestowed on my life on a daily basis. Many of these blessings have gone unnoticed until I took the time to discover them. Life has a way of hiding the Truth of God from us but we can discover the Truth if we take the time to allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the "treasure trove" of God's blessings!!

Unless you are a baseball fan, married to one, or mom to one, you probably haven’t heard of Matthew Joseph White. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998, the Boston Red Sox in 2002, and the Colorado Rockies in 2003. But it is not his baseball career that captured my attention.

In 2003, Matt had an aunt who needed to go into a nursing home. She didn’t have the funds to make the move, but she did have a piece of land in his home state of Massachusetts. So Matt agreed to pay her $50,000 for the 45 acres of mountain real estate, which gave her enough to enter the nursing home and get the care she needed.

Matt’s original intent was to build a home on the property, but found the ground too hard. When he called a surveyor to inspect the acreage, he discovered treasure lying beneath the rocky soil. The land was solid Goshen stone, a type of valuable mica. Approximately 24 million tons of mica schist rock, worth about $100 per ton, had been resting on the mountain for thousands of years. The estimated worth of Matt’s land was two point five billion dollars. (2.5 Billion dollars)

The enemy of our soul wants us to forget the "mountain" of riches that we have in the written promises of God found in the Bible. Take time to read Ephesians 1 and realize just a few of the "riches" that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ. These "riches" become the basis of our faith, trust, and hope in Christ!! 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Enemy of our Soul

2 Corinthians 10:3-6, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (NKJV)

A few days ago I heard these words from a concerned parent; “Pastor I don’t think enough people realize that we have an enemy who is seriously seeking to destroy our families.” He proceeded to say that more of us need to be awake and alert to the tactics that satan is using against the people of God. I agree wholeheartedly with his comments and I am sharing these words so that I can do my best to expose some of the strategies of the enemy.   Dictionary.com gives this meaning to the word expose`: a public exposure or revelation, as of something discreditable.”   I am committed to “discrediting” satan this morning.   I am prepared to publicly place him on the “MOST WANTED” LIST OF THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!    

Are we fully aware today that Satan, the incredibly powerful, unseen but dangerous god of this world wants to poison our thoughts and emotions away from the purity of God's truth?    Our spiritual enemy has focused his attacks upon us in two areas: our thoughts and our emotions.

If we stay unaware of Satan’s unseen but dangerous plan, he will start using the unguarded pieces of our lives.   The enemy is looking for each little area that we fail to guard.   Satan will take advantage of any opportunity that he can find to attack our thoughts and emotions.   Many of us have faced those types of attacks this week.   Some of the attacks are the same strategies that he uses day after day while others are surprise attacks that he springs upon us to see if he can catch us off guard.   But we must remember that God is greater than any weapon that satan may bring against us.

We must stay alert to the tactics of the enemy and we must also prepare our hearts to resist the attempts of satan to overthrow our faith.  God is able to cast down as well as cast out the enemy who seeks our spiritual demise. We must put our confidence and complete trust in the promises of God's Word. Victories can be won as we continue to surrender our lives to God and allow His to lead us in the correct direction.