Restrained 

Scripture 

1 Samuel 25:26 Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal.
Observation 

We are so prone to make rash decisions when our ego has been bruised, or when we feel someone has failed to treat us the way we treated them. Yet if we will listen and pay attention instead of allowing our anger to make us deaf. God will keep us from sinning. To do this He may use His word, or another person to speak to us and keep and keep us from acting, or behaving in a rash manor. Because the truth is…only God can save. Only He can deliver and restore us. Restoring our reputation, emotions, and our lives. We need to quit reacting first when we’ve been wronged or feel we’ve been. God wants to deliver us from this, and save us from ourselves if we will just listen.

Application

I will allow God to speak to me and slow me down when my emotions are running high, and I am about to act in a manor that will destroy what He wants to do through me.

Prayer
Holy Father 

Keep me in check and change me. Touch my life and help me see that you are my salvation and deliverer.
Amen.

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Done

Here is my devotion for this Saturday before Easter. 
1 Sam 17:47 “and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with the sword and spear. For the battle is the Lords, and he will give you into our hands.”
When the voice of sin, and the shout of the darkness around us has the people of God hiding and retreating and all seems lost. We need to remember that it was the greater Son of David that has gone out before us and won our victory. He defeated them all sin, death, and hell when he slung the stone out of His way and walked out of the tomb. So do not cower when the enemy, and sinful world taunt and boast. Laugh at them and declare…Jesus said it is finished! 

Because it IS!
I will go out and declare the battle is won by walking in the finished work of Jesus Chirst!

Father…no Daddy,

I love you. I praise you for all and what you’ve done in me and for me. You amaze me, You blow me away. Your love can not be measured it can only be experienced
Amen

Where’s your mind?

Col. 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

I’ve heard it said that Christians can be so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good, but today it seems that they can be so earthly minded they are of no heavenly good.

Jesus said “Seek first the Kingdom” and “to store up your treasures where neither moth, rust nor thieves can break in and steal.” Paul tells us in this verse to seek the things above where Christ is seated.

What all this means for us then is that we should as Christians become so Heavenly minded that we effect the earthly for His kingdom. We are to be in the world but not of it.

Set your mind upon Him and make a difference here!

 

The opposite

   I recently preached a message on Daniel 2 and during my preperation I was reminded in Ironsides commentary that the image shown to Nebuchadnezzar was top heavy and  standing upon an unstable foundation since iron and clay do not mix. Yet I felt that there was something else there.

While meditating upon this section of Daniel (and sitting in the woods in 25 degrees) I had one of those moments where I thought man this has to be the Holy Spirit because I’m not this smart! 

Today in a culture that is embracing secular humanism at a far greater rate than ever before we are constantly bombarded through education, Media, and the Internet in subtle and non subtle ways that humankind is progressing and getting better all the time.

In fact recently one of the democrats running for president stated a traditional humanist belief that “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases need to be changed.” ( If you don’t believe me Google it). A statement like that is born out of a deeply held humanistic belief that man is getting better and all we need to do is get rid of the archaic ways of thinking brought about by ancient and out dated religious views.

However the image in Daniel 2 that God gave to Nebuchadnezzar reveals God’s view of “Humankinds progress”. Consider it’s make up head of gold (Babylon) chest of silver (Medo-Persia), waist of bronze (Greece), legs of iron (Rome), Feet of Iron and clay (the last empire or the one world government of the antichrist) the elements that make up the image degrade from head to foot. 

Here’s what I realized…If man is progressing to a greater future where there will be no more war, prejudice, or poverty as we are being told then why does God reveal to a pagan king the opposite to be true?

If what the world says is true then the image should go from an iron and clay head to gold feet!

It doesn’t which can only mean that the closer we get to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ the worse humankind and it’s governments will be. This image is God’s message against the claims of secular humanism and all others who claim that mankind can improve themselves by their own efforts.

The fact is it shows us that what will happen is that this way of thinking, and all that man has built will one day be destroyed until nothing remains except the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

It’s time to wake up Christian and forsake all of the humanistic and worldly philosophies and embrace the Lord of all who has and will come!

What I long for

There is deep desire and longing I have. Something I want to see fulfilled in the church that God eventually allows me to pastor.

I long to see people coming to Christ and miraculously delivered from addiction, and all the bondage of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Where we have to empty and fill the baptistery twice a week to keep the water from getting cloudy, and whereeople are receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit and set on fire for witnessing to those around them.

This is my longing.

God is not a Republican!

I’ve been shocked at myself over the last few years. See I am a very conservative person who has voted republican since 1986. Recently however God has been dealing with me over this. See my tendency is to believe there is salvation for my nation in the republican party. Oh sure if you ask me I would tell you that the only hope for America is Jesus, but then I would expound the virtues found in the republican party as the path we need to take.

Here is what I’m coming to realize God is not a republican, but neither is he a Democrat. So I have abandoned both parties in favor of the Gospel. Real hope and change isn’t found in the face of Obama, Mitch McConnell or any other elected official. It’s found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in Him only.

I have come to believe that the biggest mistake the church has made in the 20th century was the moral majority movement. I say this because during this period the body of Christ in America quit relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to effect change, and instead relied upon the arm of flesh found in men and women who used us for political power.

As hard as it maybe to hear we need to realize that we forgot the power of God through His proclaimed word, and embraced a political ideology that replaced the call of daring faith for financial security and peace. So we aligned ourselves with men and women who give lip service to our beliefs while accepting bribes, kickbacks, and political favors.

We need to abandon our faith in these men and women and reestablish it in the gospel of Jesus Christ as the source of true security! As long as we are in Christ we are secure regardless of how the world treats us. I’m not saying don’t vote, rather I’m saying seek God first before voting. Keep politics in perspective and remember that we can bring about real change only if God is working with us as we spread the gospel of His son Jesus Christ!

Mark 16:20 They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs

I am still a conservative both socially and economically, only now I’ve decided that spreading my faith is more important than my political views. Because you know what? Socialists go to heaven if they believe in Jesus as Lord and savior!  Because socialism is an economic philosophy that has nothing to do with saving faith!

Out if what?!

I was recently at a certain fried chicken establishment named after a state that starts with a K. Here is a hint…It isn’t Kansas and they still have Colonels.

Anyway, I pulled up to order dinner for my family at 5:30 PM, placed my order and then was informed by the voice emanating from the sign that they were currently out of chicken.

Of course me being me responded with “seriously?” realizing that the little girl who owned the voice probably wasn’t responsible I said “Mam…I thought I was at #FC isn’t chicken what you do?  I mean it’s in your name.” ” I think I’ll go get some pizza”

This little incident got me thinking though. How many church’s put in their name or mission statement things that they are out of?

For that matter as individual Christians are we out of Love, Joy, Peace?

What about forgiveness are we out of this as well? I see church’s splitting, and Christians never trying to reconcile with those they are at odds with. Grieving God to His core.

Do we not realize that the reason God hates strife among His people is because His nature is perfect unity? God is a trinity God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit one God in three persons all in perfect harmony and unity.

So when we act in disunity we are ultimately rejecting God and His nature, and the love of God is not in us. 1 John 4:20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

When we love one another we tell the world that we love God and follow Jesus. John 13:35″Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” The sad thing is though anymore it seems we are out of chicken in the church. We need to repent and seek out forgiveness from both God and our fellow man. Then we’ll have what we need to reach America with the gospel!