Honor The Son to Honor The Father

The telling thing about pseudo-Christian religions is their view of Jesus. The acceptance of and belief in God is easy for people. Almost every person is comfortable with thoughts about and conversations about God. But when Jesus is mentioned, you will know true believers because we have no doubt that he is the Son of God! 

Acknowledging His divinity and His oneness with the Father is at the core of real Christianity. A Christ follower will always give honor to the Father and the Son. Those who deny the deity of the Son are withholding from Him His due honor-and thus are withholding from the Father his due honor. Woe to them! 

As ministers of the gospel, we must be careful not to become satisfied when someone says they believe in, or trust in, God. We have to want to ensure that this is true. I’m not talking about pushing and challenging folks, but I’m talking about having a heart that is willing to disciple and teach them toward the truth and thus toward salvation, which is true reconciliation with the Father. 

Jesus will receive equal honor, glory and praise! This is the decision that The Father made!

I am praying that the Father will give us the boldness to speak out for Christ at all times. Teach us gentleness when we recognize a person’s unbelief in order that we may guide people to the truth. May we always proclaim the Savior and give honor to Him, thereby giving glory to the Father. Forgive us, Lord, for neglecting to take opportunities to lead people to the truth!

Tearing Down Strongholds

I’m convinced that many of us are still stuck because we have not followed his instructions and are not tearing our own strongholds down in the mighty power of God! A spiritual stronghold is a way of thinking that has become ingrained in your mind. We ought to ensure that He is our stronghold (Psalm 27: 1); because the mind is the stronghold of the soul; and the enemy attempts to acquire and dominate the minds of people. Spiritual strongholds are arguments, high beliefs, and thoughts raised against our Almighty God. Strongholds are based on pride and self-reliance. They lead to a proud heart, bad mental patterns, and recurring sins. A spiritual stronghold is whatever we trust in other than the Lord.

God speaks to you saying that He will give you victory over the thing that is tackling your faith. What is he telling you to do? Are you hearing Him and doing what He says? When the Lord speaks to our hearts and is trying to help us root out the strongholds of the enemy – we must be careful to TEAR IT ALL DOWN!!  All the enemy needs is a small space to get in and make you go the way that God has forbidden; to make you disobey or doubt.  Non of us are exempt — it is not easy!  But it IS the way of victory.

When God tells you to leave a relationship behind; resign from a job; move to a new locale; stop listening to a certain radio program; refrain from drinking; etc.; you can’t then look at your friends and say “well, they’re still doing it!” because His commands for you are for your victory, not theirs!

Every time I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded by the number of times God sends people in to battle – tells them to destroy it all; and then, they don’t!  It seems that there is always someone among the warriors (and often the king)  who decides that destroying it all means that they can keep some loot; leave some enemy alive; leave some spring unplugged; leave a wall standing; keep at least the women and/or children, etc.  Thankfully we are not being asked to slay people in these days – thank God for Jesus!  But we are asked to lay waste to the works of the enemy – in fact it is for that reason that He came!

Though we are in a difficult war, we may be confident knowing that we are on the winning side. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds! (2 Corinthians 10:4).

If you want the victory that He gives (as lasting victory!)  – do it His way!  He is not a man that He should lie! His promises are YES and AMEN!  He will accomplish His Word!  Do your part — TRUST and OBEY!

What Will Your Memorial Be?

Matthew 26: 12 – 13

“Play it safe” is something we hear so often in today’s world.

No want wants to be viewed as being too outside of the box. But when we, in obedience, perform radical acts of service and worship to our Lord, we will necessarily be outside of the box. People will think we are strange, wasteful, odd, crazy — but the Almighty will be pleased and see that generations will know what we have done for Him.

How do we want to be memorialized?

In Matthew 26: 12, 13 – Christ tells his followers about the woman that put the oil on Him. He tells them that she did it to prepare him for burial when she poured this oil on His body. He tells them a substantial truth that wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.

An extraordinarily odd act of service to The Savior brings condemnation and misunderstanding among men, but honor and everlasting memorial before God.

Praying that we will let God remind us that the only reputation worth building, or defending, is His! Help us, Father, to pour ourselves out like the oil in a jar so that You might be worshipped – so that we may be of radical service to You! And may our desire be that You will remember us — and that You will memorialize us in You!

In His Power!

I think about Moses listening to the Israelites complain constantly. And then when I got to this verse (Numbers 11: 12) – I can just hear his heart! Asking God how he is supposed to carry out what has been given him to do! I think everyone that I know in full time ministry has been in this place. Even the most fervent and steadfast of Christians have difficulty relying on God in the face of adversity and the absence of hope. To demonstrate that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, God tells Moses: You will see whether or not my word comes to pass. If God says it, it’s done.

Sometimes, what God is asking us to do is much more than we can bear. God calls us to service, and He calls us to do and accomplish things beyond our capacity; that part is genuine, but He doesn’t ask us to do it in our own strength or wisdom. We are to rely on His capacity and not our own. He is not annoyed when we say to Him, “Lord, I am willing. Help me to accomplish it!” As for me, this was a hard lesson to learn because I was raised to accomplish things quickly and on my own. When I did not complete a task in a time frame that I considered reasonable, I felt like a failure. Finally, I had the good sense to take my ‘failure’ to the Lord. He opened my eyes to see where I had bitten off more than I could chew. He opened my eyes to see the people around me who could help me. He taught me that there were things that only He could do.

He, not I, carries the troubles of others on my shoulders, things like figuring out how to solve issues in other people’s lives, things like making everybody happy. He taught me a saner way to live and, as a result, the path toward enjoying my life. When He called me to full-time missions, I learned that He wasn’t expecting me to disciple the world in 7 days (in the manner that He created the world). I’m not God — that is quite a concept!!

So, I encourage you today to say yes to Him in all things He asks of you. Before you reach your breaking point; before you get to the part where you quit –stop and invite Him into the situation. Ask Him how to do what He has called you to do. Ask Him who will help you, who is your team. Ask Him to lay out His plan for you. You can’t do it on your own; you can’t do it your own way; you can’t do it in your own power. When you feel the stress of it all while doing what God has called you to do, give God’s will for you back to Him and let Him direct you in the way you should go. As my mom said all of the time: “He’s a Mighty Good Leader!”

Living Like an Overcomer

No matter what is happening in this broken world, I am an overcomer. So many things in the last few months have happened to make my heart heavy, sad, broken — it can be difficult to muster the strength to hold on to joy and peace. But, I have chosen to hold on to joy and peace. As believers in Christ, the adversity, grief, heartache, woe and injustice that we experience is expected. We are not citizens of this earthly realm; our home is in heaven – we are foreigners here, aliens on a journey. It would stand to reason that we will experience enmity, bigotry, bias, hate. The world will not embrace us, nor its systems treat us with fairness. Sadly, many of us, who are citizens of heaven, have forgotten our place and are treating other citizens of heaven in ways that we should not — but I digress.

As we grieve the things that happen to us on this earth, we can rejoice that we are not alone nor forsaken! We have a great High Priest who is familiar with the troubles that we face. He is limitless in His mercy and grace, and He invites us to cast our cares upon Him. We are His chosen children – He loves us and wants what is best for us. You see, the world wants us to believe that all is lost, that our case is hopeless, that the battles will never end, that we are less than worthy of a peaceful life. But God has repeatedly told us in His word that this is simply not true. We will overcome!

We can hold on to joy — because our hope does not lie in the things of this world or in the systems of this world – but in He who cannot and will not fail; in He who loves truly and perfectly; in He who is our all! Much like those three Hebrew boys who were in the burning furnace, we have to believe that there is One that sees us, hears us and will deliver us in His own perfect time. We have to choose to embrace His truth – He is our peace.

Yes, it is painful; it is unfair; it is discouraging — all of it feels so wrong; but don’t lose sight of the truth that it is not contrary to what our Lord has spoken to us. He has foretold the trials would come; but more than that, he has revealed a future victory that no world system can snatch from us. The troubles of this world can touch my flesh, and they can prick my heart, but I will not allow them to swallow my heart, and He will not let them cover my soul in darkness. I am grateful that my life is filled with friendships that include people of all races, colors, religious backgrounds. I am blessed to have good friends across the color spectrum. But even if no one down here values me, I know who made me, and I know He adores me. Man can hold me in disdain, but He is exalting me as His called out one. I am an overcomer — and I intend to live like it. Make the choice to believe His truths no matter what is happening around you, so that you can experience his peace that man cannot understand. The one who dwells within you is greater than any issue that you might face. Don’t lose heart – in the end, you will win!  Yes! In the end, He will reign!