A little means a lot

•December 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I realize that it’s been quite a while since my last blog post, and for those of you who are reading, I suppose I have a lot to inform you about. Life has been fairly interesting for me lately. I don’t know how I got here, but somewhere along my walk I stumbled upon a totally new path.

Earlier this year – and by that I mean a few months ago – I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at an Alpha Conference. Since then, my life has changed so dramatically. I’ve been given a number of spiritual gifts – the ability to paint and dance with flags, and discerning of spirits number just two of a list.

Onto more exciting things, spiritual warfare. God has placed people in my path who are teaching me a deeper meaning of some of the scriptures. I’m learning that my christian walk is more than just the love of God given to me, but also, spiritual authority to trample over every power of darkness.

As a close friend of mine, Molly would say, ‘It’s a trip!’ She’s right. For those who think Christianity is boring, take a walk in my shoes for just one day!

I’m almost floored when I think of the impact that Satan has on today’s society. It’s so hard to explain, but prayer really is one of the most powerful weapons. I’m beginning to understand why it’s so crucial that we read God’s word and equip ourselves with truth. Satan’s a liar, and the king of all lies and deception. He makes you do things that you should not do, and provides some roundabout reason why it’s negotiable. The very sad thing is that as people live their lives in a lukewarm manner, they are readying themselves to be spewed out of the mouth of God. A person can only serve one master, and today is the day to make the choice. The ball is in your court, and you have power from the most high king to help you on your way.

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Hope for the Holidays!

•November 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Before we begin to break apart the meaning of this passage, imagine with me for a brief moment what our lives today would look like without Jesus.We would never have heard of the love of God; He would never have visited the world, and we’d have no hope in his return. There would be no Christmas — no gifts, for they are all symbolic of God’s greatest gift.

The essence of the passage today is this: Mary, and all the rest of God’s people were given a gift from God after almost a time of 400 years without a sign of God’s presence. She was given this gift in the most extravagant way possible – the visitation of an angel. Little did Mary know that this was a gift that would keep on giving.

So let’s take a deeper look at this passage and ask the question, “Who is ‘Mary’?” I did some research online and found out that Mary was an ordinary, young Jewish girl, probably somewhere between 12 and 16 years old when the angel Gabriel came to her. She was poor, and she had recently become engaged to a carpenter named Joseph.

Upon learning this, I had to ask the question, why would God pick a young, poor girl to be the mother of Jesus? These qualities must have made her unsuitable in the eyes of her people, especially to be used mightily by God.

As we’ve been studying the book of Romans the last few Sundays, I have learned quite well that our works and good doings are as good as filthy rags when presented before God. I’ve learned that God judges the thoughts and actions of the heart. He looks for faith, hope, and love in his children and these things are what keep us in good standing.

Mary had these things. She had a heart eager to serve God, and her trust was in God alone to deliver her people. Her prayers did not cease, and her longing and anticipation grew as the days went by.

So now that we’ve unpacked a little bit about Mary, I’d like to dig a little deeper into the life of Jesus. Why did God send Jesus? Why did he come to earth in the form of one of us?

Jesus was sent to put a face on God. Jesus was sent to save a dying people. The word says in John 3:16-17:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”.

This tells us that there’s a lot of importance to Jesus. He wasn’t just a normal man, and God didn’t send any old savior. He was sent to give life to a people dying in their sins much like you and I. The word tells us in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Thanks be to God that because of Jesus, there is another half which says that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord! Without Jesus, we would be dying in our sins to this day and there would be no way to redeem ourselves. Jesus wasn’t sent to condemn the world into damnation because of God’s anger, but to save the world!

Within the Old Testament, there are numerous accounts of God’s people crying out to Him to show them the way to eternal life, and what they can do to achieve it. Now, because of Jesus, prayers have been answered. As people continue to fall, God comes to the world himself as a human to get the job done once and for all. He seals the deal, and later in his life dances on death that you and I can be free sitting here today. I think it really goes to show that God really is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His promise was always present; his favor was always on his children.

Jesus was even present at the time of creation! In Genesis 2:26 it says :

“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

It’s no surprise that a plural is used there. “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”. The “us” refers to the father, the son (Jesus) and the holy ghost. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Everything about Jesus astounds me. I think the most marvelous thing about it is that because Jesus came to the world as a baby, our righteousness is ‘up for grabs’ as it were. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, and live your life according to his word, Jesus Christ becomes your righteousness! He makes you right with God and reunites Himself with his beautiful bride – us!

The true meaning of advent is the promise of new life. It not only promises new life to you and I, but it means that our sins are forgiven. No matter the extent of sin that you and I alike have committed, if we claim the promise that was given to God’s people – that Jesus is the son of God and came to save the world we are spotless when we stand before God. He relieves our guilt, and removes all condemnation.  Hallelujah!

So it’s the first week in advent, the week of hope. Hope, by definition is: the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled. Mary’s hope was in God alone, in His promise and in His word.

So what does this mean for you and I? How can we apply all this to our lives?

When I was growing up, I had a hard childhood. I was bullied pretty much every day. I figured that everyone other than my parents hated me or had some passionate dislike for my presence. It took a toll on so many different areas of my life. As I learned more and more about God’s great love for me individually, and how Jesus came into the world to redeem me of every wrong I did in my childhood, it motivated me to keep on going. It motivated me to make changes in my own life, and God placed in me this calling to help others do the same. God has blessed me with so much – a wonderful family, great friends, and the privilege to be here today speaking to you.

So the most important thing that I can is this: put your hope in God’s promise. It’s undeniable that trials and temptations will be thrown our way. Keep riding your bike, keep on truckin’. Look up to the heavens. God is with you. He always was, and He always will be. When things aren’t going so well, place your hope in Jesus alone for we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of god. This is why it’s crucial that we read God’s word with a hunger and thirst for Him. Because knowing his promises will be the one thing that will keep us going.

Remember always that God’s word does not return void, his love never fails and his promise is never broken. He will redeem His children.

Psalm 130 puts this into perspective nicely:

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel

Brothers and sisters, we must embrace the truth that we are the beloved bride of Christ. There is no condemnation for neither you nor I for we are all one in Christ Jesus. His birth was one of the most radical things that impacted humanity as we know it. Let’s put Jesus back in the holidays because He is the true reason for the season.

Because He came, we now know what God is like. We experience forgiveness for our sins and the transformation of our hearts and minds. We have received the promise of heaven and eternal life. What better gifts could we ask for?

Gold dust?

•September 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Take a close look at this little guy. Have you ever heard of “gold dust”? I have. It’s one of those signs and wonders that the bible speaks of. I recently had it imparted on to me by a friend….over Skype. My hands get so covered with it, and it always comes back when I’m in the spirit.

This shot, although a little blurry (because of a crummy web cam) is a shot of a HUGE piece that just came out of nowhere. It was one of the bigger one that could actually be seen on cam. God is so amazing!!

Cry out to Jesus

•July 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

During my walk with Christ, there is so much distraction buzzing around me. There is so much around me that leads me in other directions, and deceives me. There are voices tell me “who I am” not by Christ’s outlook, but by mans. The voices call out, and as tempting as they are, they lead into a pit of despair and depression. They are louder than anything I’ve ever heard.

It’s a matter of seeking God in the middle of it all. He speaks to us not in the loud raging wind, the bright burning fire, or the earthquake that shakes the solid ground we stand on. We’re called to “Be still and know that I am God” simply because he speaks to us in a still small whisper.

Jesus says, “Seek me with all your heart, and you will find me”. In the middle of the raging storm, and the distractions around us, we have to focus on God, clinging desperately to the old rugged cross and embracing His love.  As we begin to seek, he begins to give us a taste of the feast that is being prepared for us. It’s a taste so amazing that nothing is better than it, and our mouths, filled with the bitterness of sin find it more than pleasing. It is water to thirsty lips.

Jesus says, “Abide in me, and I will abide in you” In the way that our bodies are the temple of the temple of the spirit. Jesus is waiting for us to let him inside. As we praise and worship, He inhabits the praises of his people. When we pray and meditate, we’re seeking God, and we quiet ourselves and let God talk to us.

As we’re called to seek with all our hearts in order to find, when we hear Jesus calling we will know it’s him, for we are told “My sheep know my voice”. In the middle of the storm, he calms the sea, stops the wind, puts out the fire, and tells us things we’ve never heard. Convicting, and teaching, so that we begin to be molded from the inside out. The cuts and bruises from the storm begin to heal, and we are given the way back to the path of righteousness.

When Jesus is the foundation on which we stand, it’s healing, salvation, mercy and grace that overflow in our cup. We are never alone if we spend time with God in prayer and meditation. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest”. Amen.

Is Jesus enough?

•July 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The love of God, so commonly misunderstood is one so great that we can’t even wrap our heads around how He loves ALL his creation even though we are sinners, and some at war with him. Regardless, he invites us into a relationship with him and gives us love, mercy, and grace.

The grace of Jesus is something I constantly wrestle with, and try to understand. By definition, grace translates to: Mercy – divine love, protection and sanctification that is freely given asking nothing of return.

The big misconception is that connection to Christ comes with being “squeaky-clean” Christians. It’s definitely something to think about – How often do we try to be good enough for God?

But what actually makes us right with God? In the time of the Mosaic law, there were over 600 laws, and 5 books that the people had to actively follow in order to be “righteous”. We are not better followers in our flesh. Once we have the Holy Spirit, we’re sealed with a promise – God’s love.

It’s important to let Holy Spirit take over, and acknowledge its work in you.  Take a look at your past, and if you’re searching hard enough, you’ll see that God was there all along. In order to seek Jesus Christ, we must come as we are – not trying to achieve perfection, but seeking the molding and sanctification of Christ. It is through faith you have freedom, and the belief in Jesus is enough.

In other religions, there is always something that you must do in order to obtain access to heaven, or personal enlightenment. There are requirements of one’s self. With Jesus, it’s done. On the cross, it was completed, for the past, present, and future. He who truly knew no sin became sin so that nothing can separate us from God.

With that in mind, the question stirring in my heart should be “If I died, would I go to heaven?” Honestly, I struggle with that a lot. Scripture calls for perfection, however, I know that perfection comes through Jesus Christ. There is no law, there is just Jesus!

It is by Jesus that we are able to enter in to the Holy of Holies, and see God face to face. In order to be truly righteous (right with God) all you have to do is BELIEVE!

Grace calls my name, and it continues to call when I have nothing left, and when I feel overwhelmed with everything around me. As it is calling yours, may you respond. Just say “YES”

Prayer for a friend

•July 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The song Prayer for a friend by Casting Crowns has been on my heart lately for someone dear to me, and a great person in my life.

Lord, I lift my friend to You, I’ve done all that I know to do
I lift my friend to You
Complicated circumstances have clouded his view
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

I fear that I won’t have the words that he needs to hear
I pray for Your wisdom, oh God, and a heart that’s sincere
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You
My best friend in the world, I know he means much more to You
I want so much to help him, but this is something he has to do
And Lord, I lift my friend up to You

’cause there’s a way that seems so right to him
But You know where that leads
He’s becoming a puppet of the world, too blind to see the strings
Lord, I lift my friend up to You
My friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You, I’ve done all that I know to do
I lift my friend to You

I remember a time when someone sent this to me. I was touched. May the grace of God be with you today!

Fear the LORD!

•July 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Psalm 103:11-12: “For as high as the heaves are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear him; And as far as the east is from the west, so far has He cast our transgressions from us.”

Fearing God seems like such a weird thing to do. He’s bigger than we can ever imagine. We need to fear God simply because we don’t fear Satan. When we have demons, how often do we pet them? They will become something physical, emotional, or even psychological, and take our attention away or distract us from believing in GOD (something that we cannot touch, feel, see, or sense). Take a look at this in perspective. How hard is it to lift your eyes and fix them on God when distraction is buzzing and prowling around you? Until the fall, there wasn’t this kind of distraction. Everything was good, godly and pure.