Archive for August, 2010

Who’s Ministry is it anyway? So many claim to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,  but yet their focus seems to be on their careers and finances. I know, here’s another rant from a preacher about money. I know it takes money to live, but I also know that we must live by Faith, not by sight or our abilities to raise money! It is a slap in God’s face for a Church or Minister to be focused on money to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, instead of Lifting up Jesus in their Preaching  and their Living! Numbers seems to be the focus of most Pastor’s I know. Numbers in the pews, numbers in the financial books to do more programs and numbers of converts to keep up with the Church next door! This seems to be the theme in the Church today! Is this ego driven instead of Love for Christ?  So many articles recently have shown that the incorporated Church is decreasing in numbers. Some have had to cut the salaries of the Pastor and even staff members.  Some Churches have even filed for bankruptcy or even closed their doors.  Is this what Christ had in mind? Where in the Bible does it say that Ministers must raise money to do the work of Christ? Did the Apostle Paul have fund raisers? How about Peter, James, John and any of the other Apostles? How about this question; what did it cost Jesus to win our Salvation? Everything! Whining, grumbling and complaining about doing the Work of Jesus Christ seems to be out of place!  Should it not be a privilege and honor to exalt the Name of Jesus?  I would say turn to Scripture and obey what it says concerning the Ministry.
Matthew 19:25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”  Is not our Love for Jesus the motivation behind Ministry? Does it take money to share the Love of Jesus with others?  Lets look at another Scripture; 2Co 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”  Notice Paul makes references in verses 4 and 5 about serving God in spite of monetary distress!  Let look at these scriptures.  2Co 12:14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”  Paul is a good example of how all who minister for Jesus Sake should not be a burden.  On the flip side of this arguemment there are these verses. Acts 4:34 “There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”  This is not Socialism but devotion to Christ and His Work!  We will always support that which we Love! The Bible does say however; 1Co 9:11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. 15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” Notice Paul’s statements in verse 15 and 16. His argument is to build Christ Kingdom and not receiving monetary funds even though they are available.  All this ranting of mine can be summed up this way; Jesus deserves all we have, period! He should be the focus of Ministry, not the minister, not the people, not the prosperity of the Church, but Jesus alone!  Who’s Ministry is it anyway? Here is the answer!  Mt 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” It Christ Church and He builds His Church through His own Power and our Love for Him.  Mt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” What is the cost of His Ministry? Everything!  Who’s Ministry is it anyway?


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So many in our society are addicted to illness!  Why is that statement being presented in this devotion?  Take a look around.  Look at the hospital emergency rooms.  Look at your Doctors office.  Look at our Nations focus for the last decade, if not longer, in the political realm!  Where’s my healthcare?  I am entitled to healthcare!  I am an American and I have a right to healthcare!  Vote for me and I will give you the right to healthcare, rants most politicians.  My concern is not so much political as it is Spiritual.  As a Christian I am told in the Word of God that dependence upon Christ alone for Salvation is not an option but a requirement!  Christ paid for our sins on the Cross of Calvary!  God’s Salvation by  Grace was given to all who would put Faith in Christ Blood and believe that Christ was Raised from the dead!  Thank God for His Mercy and Grace!  Is that all?  Is that the only thing God did for us through His Son?  Saving our souls from sin, death and the Devil?  Absolutely not!  Did you know physical healing was given as well?
Listen to what the Bible says concerning healing through Christ.  Ps 103:2 “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.”  How about this verse; “1Pe 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  What about the many verses in the Gospels where Jesus brings healing and then tells the recipients, “your faith has healed you.”  Let me say right here that I am not saying you don’t have faith if you go to your doctor!  What I would like to point out here is that Christian’s should seek healing for their physical needs first at the feet of Jesus!  Cry out to Him when an infirmity comes upon you!  Have faith that He has healed you.  Don’t pray for healing and then start doubting, Believe that you have received healing!  Have you done that before seeking a Doctor’s advice?  I can testify to many who have received healing without the aid of technology!  Yes, I know that God has bestowed knowledge and Wisdom to mankind concerning our bodies.  But I cannot and will not believe that God wants us to rely upon Doctors for our healing!  He wants to touch you and heal you mentally, physically and spiritually!  How many times have you got sick and never ask Jesus to bring healing?  How many times has God healed you through Doctors and you never acknowledged His Divine healing?  God wants us to be dependent upon Him!  Has your Church Pastor preached and obeyed Scripture concerning healing?  Listen to what the Bible says; James 5:14 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  Do you believe this passage dear Christians?  Do you believe in Divine healing or not?
Listen to what Paul the Apostle says concerning our remembrance of the Lord’s Supper. 1Co 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.  30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.”  Could it be that many Christians have a sickly attitude because of their irreverence for Christ?  Weak and sick in verse 30 sure seems to point to Christians infirmities as the result of unworthily partaking of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
To address this further I will attempt to point out a powerful comparison from the Old Testament and its fulfillment in the New.  Notice this passage from Isaiah 53 which directs our attention to the coming of Christ in the future and Suffering for all humanity.  Isaiah 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”   Now compare that with Peters proclamation.  1Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  Did you here what the prophet and Apostle said concerning the work of Jesus the Messiah?  Isaiah says He took our infirmities (sickness) and by His wounds we are, present tense, healed; whereas Peter’s proclamation was (have been) past tense, healed.  Wow!  We as Christians have healing in Jesus broken body before we even get sick!  That sounds like the best healthcare plan I ever heard and it is a Promise from God, not a politician!  Next time you get sick consider these passages and cry out to Jesus in Faith for healing.  If the infirmity remains then seek Doctors advice! Always seek God first and give Him the honor due His Name! Amen

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As I sit here today and ponder the Greatness of God’s Mercy, I am acutely aware of my inabilities.  It is truly a humbling thing to see yourself through the eyes of Scripture and see your shortcomings!  I am reminded of the following Holy text; Psalm 103:8 “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” and Lamentations 3:19 “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.  23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  To think of the Mercies of God and that He never treats us as our rebellion deserves is absolutely a humbling thought.  The Lord Jesus is and was always seeking the downcast, sick, blind, oppressed and those in bondage.  As Isaiah puts it “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn…”  Today is the day of Mercy and salvation!  I know that no matter what happens today in life I can trust in the Mercies of God.  To think otherwise would be raping my own soul.  In case there are some reading this post and do not know or have never experienced God’s Mercy and Grace, please allow me to define these two Attributes of the Almighty.  God’s Grace can be defined as God giving you what you do not deserve.  Grace is kindness, goodness and love all rapped up as a gift.  Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” God’s Mercy can be defined as God does not give us what we deserve. Psalm 103:10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  Mercy is an act of God as well and can only be bestowed on those who fear Him! Never can either one of these Attributes come upon a person who is proud and who think God owes it to them!  Jesus told us a Parable concerning His Fathers Mercy and Grace; “Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men– robbers, evildoers, adulterers– or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” That is as simple as it gets.  Salvation is God’s Mercy and Grace!  Salvation can be received only by turning to Jesus in Faith!  Thank you God for your Great Mercy on me a mere sinful man and thank you for the Gift of Grace through your Son Jesus Christ. AMEN!

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