Get Thee Behind Me!

There are lyrics from a song called Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore – a girl from New Zealand. She recorded it in 2011 – so I guess its an old song by todays standards. Basically – this woman is considered a ‘Black Sheep’ because she has a potty mouth, she drinks and when pushed to the limit she just might kick your butt. Those of you who know me know that I listen to all kinds of music – and I really like the song MUSICALLY – but she is basically saying that once you get a taste of the dark side – you never go back to the other side.

Be careful my sisters and brothers …. dark side has nothing at all to do with skin color!!! The phrase has been used for a long time to mean going into behavior or thinking that does not bring good to you, or to anyone around you … as a believer, I’d say any behavior or thinking that is sin.

I’ll admit this song used to be a favorite – just the melody and the band … NOT THE LYRICS. As a believer, I know that I can fall. I know that I can even be used by Satan as a pawn in some plan of his if I don’t keep my mind stayed on Jesus. But at the end of the day when/if I falter, I know that Jesus Never fails!  He’ll forgive me, fill me with His Spirit and finish the work that He has started within me. He has brought me out of darkness into Marvelous Light!!!! He will fill me with His Spirit! He will finish the work He’s begun!!! Hallelujah!!!!

“You might as well get thee behind me Satan, you cannot prevail. Because Jesus NEVER Fails!” Lyn Alejandrino Hopkins

I am glad to testify that when forced into a corner where I have to make a choice to revert to my old sinful, vindictive self – I can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to reign supreme.

So let me encourage you – if you’ve gone into the dark side in any way at all – come on back over to the light side. God is waiting for you. According to His word He will not only forgive you – but He will cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness!

You indeed might be what people call a “Black Sheep” but I am a witness that the blood of the Lamb of God – will wash you as white as snow. Can I get a Hallelujah!

You might have given in to temptation – but don’t lose heart! Your day of salvation is today. Accept Him. Believe Him. Confess Him. Receive Him. You may have gone to the dark side — but that’s not the end of the story!

Father, please forgive us for any ways that we falter. Please cleanse us and please let your Holy Spirit fall fresh on us. Reign Supreme in us, Oh Lord! Use us for the sake of Your glory to drive the enemy away. Strengthen us so that we can erase him from the minds and hearts of many. Remove the guilt that is within us and remind us of the victory that is ours through Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!!!

Overcome Evil With Good

I think it would be awesome if people who made a decision to reject Christ would change their minds after interacting with a believer. I mean we know how to treat one another. (Even though we don’t always do well in that) But, how do we treat those who are not a part of the Body of Christ?

Enemies can come from outside and from inside the Body of Christ, so … do we treat our Christian brothers and sisters with more deference and grace than other people?

Consider this: What do you do when you find a person has been slandering you? What is your reaction when you find that someone has ‘stolen’ an opportunity from you? What is your response when you feel you have been shunned by someone? What about when someone messes with your money? your children? your spouse? Detractors can come from within the Body of Christ and from outside of the Body of Christ; do you react to people the same regardless?

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I treated antagonists the same whether within the household of faith or outside of it. I Treated Them Badly! For a long time I stood on my ‘right to be right’ and my ‘freedom to protect myself’. I don’t think that I was a good friend – I know that I didn’t have many good friends. And then I begin to study God’s Word about what was expected of me as relates to people relations and I found that I was to do good to ALL people. I was supposed to show love especially to my brothers and sisters in Christ! This blew my mind! To know that I needed to treat Christian brothers and sisters well was fine — but that I was supposed to treat ALL people well was eye opening. When I asked God why, His response was “so that they might know Me”. There it is!

It wasn’t about me after all!

As I continued to talk to the Lord about my own life and behavior I learned that my life should be attractive to those outside of the household of faith. Meaning that people who are not Christ followers should be awed by the way I treat my Christian brothers and sisters even when I have been wronged and further, those who are not believers should be attracted to me because of the grace and kindness that they receive in response to a wrong action done to me. This was many years ago – before I had kiddos, but those who know me well know that I made an about-face; and my life has never been richer, fuller or freer! Praise God!

We, believers in Christ, have a duty to live in love among one another AND out there in the cold, cruel world. We are not expected by Our King to return a wrong done with a wrong done. The world is showing its ugliness today; the world is showing hatred borne out of ignorance today; the world is showing disdain for us — but what should our return action be?

Martin Luther King, Jr once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is not easy to do – but the Holy Spirit is in us to help us to act as our King, the King of Kings, wish.  When we act as our King wishes – we will walk in His favor and not in judgment. Tit for tat might feel good for a moment, but there is no long term satisfaction in anything other than love.

Father, please make us more and more like You! Ignorance in our flesh is leading us the wrong way as we yield to it. The influences of the world are driving us to behaviors far from what you desire or require of us. Loving You has to help us understand our triumph over works of the enemy in our hearts and in our minds. Lord, it is so difficult for us to understand the power that Your love gives over wickedness – over evil behavior, so I ask you to fill us with your good; yes, please fill us with the knowledge of Your good so that we will be convinced at all times that we can overcome evil thought; evil acts; evil hearts; evil minds – not just in others, but in ourselves! We give ourselves to you completely – change us please Father and use us completely for your Kingdom!

black church? white church? or The Church!!!

People of color. For me .. it has nothing to do with black and white; but it goes so much further. God created so many of us and created us within so many ethnicities. He created all of us for the sake of His glory and not for any man’s glory. If you are a believer in Christ, you are my brother/sister in Christ. Let me start right there ….

Recent words from James White, who calls himself a Bible scholar, have been terribly heartbreaking. As the Body Of Christ, it seems that we should realize that we are truly One Family with One Father. There has been nothing in churches of people of color that were not also in the other churches. There has been no way at all that a pastor of color has not been seen to preach the truth of the gospel any less than pastors of other churches. Black, Yellow, Brown, Green … it really doesn’t matter because inside and outside of the Body of Christ this is still quite a terrible true issue! I’m praying sincerely for James White, and for all white Bible readers who think the way that he thinks. Praying that racism will be killed!

There really is JUST ONE RACE … The Human Race!!!

Beautiful truths: Many churches of color do have pulpit soundness. Many churches of color do have teaching that is theologically sound. Many churches of color have theologically educated pastors. Many churches of color send International Workers all over the world for the sake of the gospel, not for their own glory at all!

Funny … so funny that I was raised in a church where we were taught, “Red and Yellow, Black and White; they are precious in His Sight!!” We were taught that He loved all of the children … all of His children!!!

Father, help us to love one another as you have told us to. Help us to remember that there was One Creator who made each and every one of us. Help us to remember that Jesus, Your Son, died for all of us and delivers us all from the difficulties of the world. Help us to see one another through the eyes that you have given us, and not through our own eyes.

This video is my Pastor Blake Wilson, Masters of Art in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. Listen well … I do hope it helps you see us, believers in Christ, as one …

Abiding Assistance

The phrase ‘obedience is better than sacrifice’ has almost become trite in Christian circles.

These words of our Lord, however highlight the significance of obedience.

It not only indicates our love for Him; but opens the way for the Holy Spirit, our teacher and comforter, to dwell within us.

So many cry for the Holy Spirit to come. But, so many are not willing to lay their own wills down in obedience to Our Lord.

It is necessary that we obey. In order to obey … it is necessary that we know His commands. In order to know His commands … it is necessary that we spend time in His Word.

Jesus is clear that a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit is obedience.

Father, help us to rightly cry out to you from hearts that are rightly submitted to Your will and Your way. Help us to understand that we have no right to come to You for help, teaching, or power … when we live in disobedience to You. Help us to obey in all things from hearts that love You and are willing to obey!!

Be United … It’s ALL About Him!

It has become a frightening thing to my heart, hearing Christ followers find ways to become divided. I’ve heard racial reasons, cultural reasons, political reasons, worship reasons, attire reasons, generic reasons, forgiveness reasons, holiness labels, sacrifice labels, and so on and so on and so on …

I’ve had the beautiful blessing of women sent my way to talk about and enter in to a deeper life with Christ; a deeper relationship with Him. We were recently talking about these differences and the sadness it has placed on their hearts based, they say, on how I’ve been walking with them. You see, there are five of them. They are five different races, five different denominational backgrounds, five different worship music loves, etc. But what they have in common is their belief in God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit; their belief in the gift of Christ on Calvary; and, their belief in the gift of the Holy Spirit that strengthens them to carry out whatever God has called them to do. They know they are one – they say, it’s because I’ve told them that they have one Father so … they’re sisters in Christ.

As I venture to disciple Christ followers, it is my duty to see that people know what it means to be unified and why.

  • First, I must teach that Christ has encouraged and admonished us to be one.
  • Second, they must know that my love for them is a gift from God; it is not any love earned by one more than another. That means that I must love people equally … showing no respect of person.
  • Third, I must walk in the Spirit; exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, modeling before people a life of one who KNOWS God’s presence and the filling of His Holy Spirit.
  • Lastly, I must teach a message of grace, which is what God’s affection towards us looks like.

As I do these things, people will be able to embrace their common purpose … to glorify God!! And they will be better equipped to walk in UNITY.

I just don’t want any of them walking by way of Jan Chinn! No way! I want to encourage them and equip them to walk in obedience to Him, sharing His Spirit and sharing the mercy and kindness He has shown to all of His children. I want to encourage them to agree with one another about the truth of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I want them to show deep love for one another. I want them to be united in their goal – to see all unreached people come to know Christ. I want them to know that beyond all things, His Kingdom is first and foremost.

My joy, as a minister of the gospel, is to see those I disciple unified in love.

I’m praying that Our Father will show me how to walk according to His Word! Praying that my life will be a reflection of Christ, showing the way to godly love, compassion and unity. Praying that the world will see His grace through my life. Praying that the beautiful unity of my own household will allow us to walk worthy before men; leading other to become one in Him! Have mercy upon us Lord, because we want to make your joy COMPLETE!!

Think about what we have in Christ: the encouragement he has brought us, the comfort of his love, our sharing in his Spirit, and the mercy and kindness he has shown us. If you enjoy these blessings, then do what will make my joy complete: Agree with each other, and show your love for each other. Be united in your goals and in the way you think. Philippians 2:1-2