Monday, April 25 2016
The Bible is full of hope and the love of God. It is the most amazing book to ever be written as it calls man to live a holy lifestyle. Within its pages are scriptures that push our humanity to places that it never wants to go.
In reading Proverbs 25 this morning (on the 25th day of the month), I came across a scripture that made me think. Will I do that? Would my flesh rise up in me or would I allow the Spirit to guide me. Solomon wrote:
Proverbs 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
If we get passed us and feed our enemy, God will bless us. Solomon wrote in the next verse:
Proverbs 25:22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
At the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War, a Confederate soldier crossed his lines to give water and render aid to the many wounded Union soldiers that laid on the battlefield before him. A statue was erected in his honor and therefore the "Angel of Marye's Heights" will be honored for the rest of time. God will bless those that bless others.
Looking deep within ourselves, we must see what we are willing to do to make a difference. There are those in our community without hope and direction. What are willing do to reach them?
Matthew 8:2-3 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 26:48 - 50 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
John 4:3 - 4 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria.
Mark 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
John 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Will you do that? That answer lies within you, but it takes someone that is willing to deny themselves and take up the cross daily. If we are to be Christians, we must act as Christ did. He was humble and willing to serve with a purpose to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). We must seek the lost and preach to them the gospel, but it takes those that say, "Yes, I can do that".
Monday, April 18 2016
The Bible has the prayers the prayers of its "characters" within its scriptures. These are the anointed Word of God used to lift up the name of Jesus and defeat the enemy. There are books written on this subject so this is not a comprehensive list, but the following are scriptures that I pray.
Prayers of Humility
2 Samuel 7:18 ...Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
Psalm 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Prayers of Forgiveness
Psalm 51 - Entire Chapter
Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 67:3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Psalm 27:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
For the Church
2 Thessalonian 1:11-12
2 Samuel 7:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
Write these scriptures down in a journal or notebook. Use them to strengthen your life of prayer and continue to add scriptures to pray. It will bless you because praying the Word of God is life-changing.
Monday, April 11 2016
Lot was Abraham's nephew. He was the son of Abraham's brother Haran. Lot is a controversial character within scripture because it seemed trouble followed him, but Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
The Bible is the greatest source of wisdom because it is the very Word of God. Within the pages of this ancient book are the stories of men and women for which we can gleen wisdom and learn from their victories and failures. Lot is not an exception.
1. Find your own calling
Abram was given instructions by God.
Genesis12:1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Abraham was told to leave everyone and everything. He did not follow the instructions to the letter.
Genesis 12:4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
We must find our own calling in God. Lot followed Abram, but that was not his ministry. Your calling may to follow a man of God, but that was not Lot's calling. Abram brought Lot even though God told Abram to leave him home. Sometimes it is not your turn to be used of God in a vibrant way.
We have no idea what Lot's ministry would have been if he had stayed in Haran, but perhaps God was going to use him mightily.
Pray for your calling. If you are willing to be used, God is able to open doors.
2. All that glitters is not gold
7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
When given a choice, Lot chose the "well - watered" plain of Jordan as his home. It looked like the Garden of Eden and was attractive to anyone that needed to feed their flocks. Lot entered the area wealthy. When Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were eventually destroyed, he exited the city with nothing in his hands (because the angels were holding them).
If something seems exciting and flashy, it is not because God has put his blessing upon it. The greatest Apostolic preacher was not an great public speaker, but when he did preach there was a demonstration of Spirit and power. John gave us very sound advice:
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
3. Submit to a pastor
12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
There may be times in our lives that we find ourselves bound and in the hands of the enemy. Our lives are in ruins. You will need someone that will fight hell for your soul.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Your pastor is not perfect, but they watch for your soul. He will pray and fast for you while doing everything that they can do to make sure you make it to heaven.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
4. Have an intercessor
Genesis 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Momma's are good. A praying daddy is powerful. Lot had Abraham. You need a prayer partner in your life that intercedes for you. It may be your pastor, but it could be someone else. It cannot be anyone, but someone that knows how to enter into the presence of God.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Thank you for reading this blog. If you have any questions concerning Cornerstone Chapel, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 04 2016
We all have people that we answer to. It could be a boss, superior and/or a pastor. Pastors have pastors (or they should). These well - meaning people are also human. They make mistakes and sometimes say or do things that are wrong. What they do is completely out of your control, but what you do can be a solution or a catalyst to making the issue a bigger deal. The following are three things that you can do to help the situation.
1. Understand God's will
God has put you where you are. The current situation may be peaches and cream, but things change. Joseph went from the favorite son to a slave in a matter of minutes and God allowed it. It was part of His plan.
We need to know God's plan for our lives. Using "God has told me" or it's "God's will" to get your will accomplished is dangerous. You could put yourself on a path to destruction. David wrote:
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Understanding God's will for our lives is a process that is taught through interaction with Jesus through daily prayer, frequent fasting, faithful church attendance and constant Bible study.
2. Remain calm and stay put
It is difficult to keep your composure when someone speaks against you and/or does something that causes emotional pain. Words kill. Scars run deep especially if it is someone that you have submitted to as your spiritual leader. What do you do when someone that you love and trust causes pain? The writer of Ecclesiastes explains:
Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. (KJV)
Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness[a] will lay great offenses to rest. (ESV)
There is a blessing that can come from staying put and remaining calm in the face of personal adversity. It will keep the situation contained. The Amplified Bible says, "because composure and calmness prevent great offences". When an authority figure comes against you in word or deed, it is in that moment of great stress that you have to make a decision. You can:
Jesus said, " And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another". We must avoid the spirit of offense in the church. It is destroying our society.
The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote that quitting is not the answer. Plus, it is never a good idea to make an emotional spur of the moment decision.
You know pouting, whining, complaining and gossiping is never a good idea.
Doing the right thing is never wrong (see how I did that), Bite your tongue, remain calm and do not make any rash decisions. God will bless you for your self-control by preventing further problems.
3. Pray for the other person
I once had a server at a restaurant that was having the worse day of her life (well, it seemed that way). She dropped a tray spilling soda onto a customer. The patrons were understanding and she finally explained that she had received some very bad news concerning her mother. Her mind was not in the game, if you will.
Can a minister have a bad day and react poorly to something that happens around them? YES. Should they receive grace? YES. Once again, you have a choice. You can tell your friend or tell Jesus. You can gossip or talk to the problem solver. Your choice.
Prayer changes us. Perhaps, the situation was not as it seems and you are the one that is wrong. Prayer will reveal that.
What if other person is dealing with problems that need prayer, grace and mercy?
We need to be like Jesus when dealing with people. When Jesus was betrayed, he still called Judas a "friend".
When dealing with situations that arise quickly, you must already have in your mind the Word of God so that you react in the proper manner. Our Bible study and prayer times are boot camp for the soul. When properly trained our actions will be in accordance to the Word of God.