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26 May, 2020 14:09

May 26, 2020

BUILDING ON ROCK OR SAND?

Jesus was a master communicator who brought to life His message by way of illustrations. His use of parables was one way in which He illustrated a truth while at the same time hiding a deeper truth from those with no desire to know or obey. Matthew records Jesus telling of two men who each built a house. One built his house on the sand while the other dug down to bedrock to build his house. Outwardly both houses appeared to be well built, that was until the storm came and the rain and winds blew and slammed against both houses. The house on the sand was totally destroyed while the house on the rock stood firm. Jesus referred to the builder of the house on the rock as wise, while the one who built his house on the sand was foolish. He then explained that both men heard the same teaching but only one listened and acted accordingly.

One could easily pass over this passage assuming they too were wise and therefore didn’t need to worry about any possible disaster happening to them. How do I know because I’m guilty of doing that very thing? I want to dig a little deeper into this story as I believe there is more to be learned than just a casual glance.

According to the dictionary the definition of SAND is as follows: loose granular material resulting from the disintegration of rocks. In other words, sand is just a fraction or small portion of what was once solid rock.

Jesus is referred to in a number of scriptures as our ‘rock’ but never as our sand. What am I driving at here? Too many so called believers have taken small portions of God’s word and built their lives on them while at the same time neglecting numerous other vital truths. Take for example the word Savior while neglecting the word Master or Lord. The thought of Jesus as Savior appeals to our carnality. It assures us that all we need to do is acknowledge Jesus as Savior and we will be guaranteed acceptance through the pearly gates when our number is called. But can you really call yourself a Christian while rejecting Christ as Lord and Master?

This is just one of numerous truths we casually overlook as we attempt to build our lives on fragments of truth rather than the whole counsel of God.

I’m convinced in these last days we are going to experience some major storms. Those who have selected to build their lives on sand will not endure the coming storms. Now is the time to prepare. The five virgins failed to have enough oil and were banned from entering into the wedding feast. Yes, they had oil but only a fraction of what they needed. How about you? Are you trusting on your sand or are you building on The Rock?

13 April, 2020 09:49

April 13, 2020

THINGS ARE FALLING IN PLACE

DAVID RAVENHILL

THINGS SEEM TO BE FALLING APART

BUT REALLY, THEY’RE FALLING IN PLACE

THE SEASONS ARE IN GOD’S CONTROL

HE RULES WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE

HE’S TOLD US JUST WHAT TO EXPECT

THERE’S NO NEED TO WORRY OR FEAR

THE BIRTH PANGS ARE HASTENING NOW

THE TIME OF HIS COMING DRAWS NEAR

LOOK UP YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NIGH

OUR BRIDEGROOM IS SEEKING HIS BRIDE

MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY AND DRESSED

YOUR LAMP FULL OF OIL BY YOUR SIDE

SOME WILL NOT HARKEN HIS WARNINGS

DELAY, THINKING, THEY KNOW THE TIME

THEIR LOVE WILL BEGIN TO WAX COLD

HE’LL SAY THEY ARE NO FRIEND OF MINE

TODAY IS THE DAY TO REPENT

LAY ASIDE THE WEIGHTS THAT RESTRAIN

GET BACK IN THE RACE – HIS FORGIVENESS EMBRACE

YOU’LL FIND YOU HAVE NOT RUN IN VAIN

THE THINGS THAT WE FOCUS ON NOW

SHOULD HAVE VALUE ETERNALLY

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE MY FRIEND

HIS GLORY FOREVER WE’LL SEE

25 March, 2020 19:35

March 25, 2020

THE VALLEY

WE LOVE TO DREAM OF MOUNTAIN TOPS THAT PIERCE THE SKY ABOVE

THOSE LOFTY PEAKS THAT WE ADMIRE AS THOUGH WE WERE IN LOVE

WE OFTEN SING ABOUT SUCH HEIGHTS THAT WE LONG TO ATTAIN

AND HOPE ONE DAY TO SCALE THEM AND ON THEIR PEAKS REMAIN

YES, MOUNTAIN TOPS INSPIRE US TO STRIVE FOR GREATER THINGS.

TO RISE ABOVE THE STATUS QUO AS THOUGH ON EAGLES WINGS

BUT IF YOU REACH THE SUMMIT, YOU’LL NO DOUBT STAND IN AWE

AND GAZE INTO THE DISTANCE AS THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR

BUT SOON YOU’LL START TO REALIZE THE VISION YOU’VE ATTAINED

DOES NOT CONTAIN PROVISION, SOMETHING NOBODY EXPLAINED

THE VIEWS MAY BE OUTSTANDING BUT THE GROUND BENEATH YOUR FEET

CONTAINS NO SOIL IN WHICH TO GROW THE THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT

YES, MOUNTAIN TOPS INSPIRE US TO PRESS ON TO GREATER THINGS

IN THE VALLEY WE GAIN WISDOM FOR THE TRIALS THE VISION BRINGS

IT’S ONLY IN THE VALLEY THAT PROVISION CAN BE FOUND

THE SOIL IS RICH AND FERTILE, AND LIFE SEEMS TO ABOUND

YES, VALLEYS ARE ESSENTIAL AS IT’S WHERE WE TEND TO DWELL

AND THE LESSONS THAT WE LEARN THERE ARE THE ONES WE OFTEN TELL

SO, REMEMBER WHEN YOUR CLIMBING, REACHING UP NEW HEIGHTS TO GAIN

THAT YOU CAN’T LIVE THERE FOREVER WHERE THERE’S NOTHING TO SUSTAIN

NOW VISION IS IMPORTANT BUT PROVISION EVEN MORE

SO, THANK GOD FOR YOUR VALLEY, WHERE WE LEARN HOW TO ENDURE

IT’S HERE WE LEARN TO TRUST HIM THROUGH THOSE DAYS THAT SEEM LIKE NIGHT

AND HE’S PROMISED TO BE WITH US, IN HIS PRESENCE THERE IS LIGHT!

18 March, 2020 16:17

March 18, 2020

PERILOUS TIMES

We are living in unprecedented times or as we are reminded in scripture, ‘perilous times.’

Never before in history has the entire World united in war against a common unseen enemy. This enemy is so small that it cannot be detected by the naked eye but is only visible through the aid of an electron microscope. It’s devastating effect however can be seen everywhere. This miniscule enemy has nations trembling for fear, not to mention the impact it is having on the world economy as seen by the plunging stock market.

America is now imposing laws restricting the size of public gatherings, shutting down schools, colleges and universities, as well as suggesting if possible we self-quarantine. The last time I recall an entire nation being told to self-quarantine was when God told Moses that Israel was to remain in their homes the night of the Passover. What differentiated Israel from Egypt that night was obedience to the word of God. Israel emerged triumphant while Egypt was gripped by tragedy.

While I believe we should take whatever precautions are necessary we should not allow fear to replace faith. As a good friend of mine often states, ’Fear is assuming a responsibility that is not ours to assume.’ Unless one’s faith is based on shaky ground, we have nothing to fear as either way by life or by death we emerge victorious.

On another note I don’t believe that God is asleep at the wheel in all of this. I recall my late father saying on several occasions that it is going to take an economic collapse to bring America to her knees. Isaiah reminds us that ‘Though the wicked is shown favor, he does not learn righteousness’. Just prior to that God states, ‘For when the earth experiences Thy judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.’ I believe this current crisis is not only a wakeup call to the Church but also to the World. This is a time to re-evaluate our priorities. This is happening in the practical realm as people are more interested in having enough toilet paper than in the color of their new dream car. Supermarket shelves are stripped bare by consumers hording essentials while bypassing unnecessary luxury items.

I’m reminded of the man who pleaded with Jesus to intervene in resolving an issue he faced with his brother. His brother was depriving him of his share in their father’s inheritance. Jesus responded by saying ‘A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Paul reminds us ‘with food and raiment be content.’ The only essential we really need to be concerned about is our personal relationship with God. Nothing else comes even close to that priority. Only Christ, not possessions, truly satisfy.

Could this be a foretaste of what is still to come? By that I mean, the day when Babylon finally falls and the merchants of the earth along with her consumers, cry out in agony and despair. Gone were all the luxuries that they craved, coveted and built their lives around. In contrast, we God’s people, are told to rejoice over Babylon’s fall.

If the stock market is keeping you awake at night perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. Are you crying out in despair or rejoicing?

These lines from the old hymn serve as a poignant reminder:

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

15 January, 2020 13:20

January 15, 2020

LET’S FORGET ABOUT OURSELVES…

I’m becoming increasingly frustrated, disappointed and bordering on anger at what passes today as worship. When are we going to take seriously the first and preeminent of all commands to ‘Worship the Lord our God…’ The vast majority of our so-called worship is nothing more than an appeal to God for His help. We place ourselves as the master and God as the servant on whom we call to meet our endless list of wants and demands.

According to the Law of Beginnings, worship is first mentioned in conjunction with Abraham’s obedience in offering up his son Isaac. Abraham had to set aside his own feelings, desires and needs in favor of honoring God as his first love. Webster in his 1828 edition of his dictionary defines worship as: ‘To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.’

Just imagine if Abraham took on the role of a twentieth century song writer. His latest hit would be something like this.

Lord, You’re a good, good Father

That would never put me through

The thought of offering up my Son

To prove my love for you.

You’d never make me suffer

Or refine me like I’m gold

You just want to make me happy

And escape the ‘ways of old’

You get the point despite my feeble attempt at rhyme.

We live in an era of self-gratification where we serve King Self and worship him above all other gods. Meanwhile the awesome, Eternal, Living God is reduced down to the role of a nanny who can be called upon day or night to find our pacifier or comforter so we can rest comfortably and undisturbed.

Is God really that boring or lacking in character that we can’t find sufficient words to describe His majesty and glory and so have to resort to filling in our songs with an endless chorus of Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh? If I talked to my wife that way I deserved to be slapped across the face with, ‘Use your words’ or something to that effect. What has caused such a lack of understanding of the nature of God? The only possible reason is that we have become fixated on our own importance and snubbed God in the process.

Consider the cherubim who cry incessantly Holy, Holy, Holy or Isaiah who is so overcome with God’s majesty that he penned these words. “It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in….He it is who reduces rulers to nothing…Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing.” Their focus was not about themselves but about their creator and master.

Our folksy childish songs do little to express the real nature of the One who created the heavens and the earth. The One who holds all things together by the word of His power. He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possess immortality and dwells in unapproachable light… Why are we no longer fascinated by God? Is it because we fail to take the time to muse and meditate on His exquisite impeccable nature but instead treat Him as nothing more than one of our own?

I’m praying for a new generation of hymn writers who will once again write in such a way that we find ourselves caught up into the glorious majesty and splendor of Almighty God and there in the deafening silence of His presence, stand in awe as we worship Him. As one song writer expressed it ‘Let’s forget about ourselves and concentrate on Him and worship Him!’

26 November, 2019 16:51

November 26, 2019

Jesus

HIS BIRTH IRREFUTABLE

HIS NATURE INCORRUPTIBLE

HIS LOVE IRRESISTIBLE

HIS MERCY UNBELIEVABLE

HIS GRACE INCOMPREHENSIBLE

HIS JUSTICE UNQUESTIONABLE

HIS KNOWLEDGE INSCRUTABLE

HIS WISDOM UNFATHOMABLE

HIS POWER UNEXPLAINABLE

HIS DEATH UNQUESTIONABLE

HIS SACRIFICE ACCEPTABLE

HIS VISAGE UNRECOGNIZABLE

HIS SUFFERING INCONCEIVABLE

HIS ASCENSION UNDENIABLE

HIS KINGDOM UNCONQUERABLE

HIS JUDGMENT INDISPUTABLE

HIS FORGIVENESS UNMERITABLE

HIS GLORY INDESCRIBABLE

HIS PRESENCE IRREPLACEABLE

HIS PURPOSE IMMUTABLE

HIS RETURN UNSTOPPABLE

2 September, 2019 10:31

September 2, 2019

WHAT’S WITH JEZEBEL?

If The Church had it’s own version of American Idol or America’s Got Talent then the unquestionable winner by unanimous vote would go to Jezebel. It seems like every day I bombarded with a new message, book, article, or CD extolling the power and popularity of the Jezebel spirit to destroy both our national and personal life. I’m convinced that if some alien were to visit the Charismatic community and then travel back to their galactic home that they would bring news to the effect that we worship the goddess Jezebel. Jezebel has risen to stardom in the last twenty years or so. Prior to that she was relatively unknown let alone magnified the way she is today. Search any religious library and scour its volumes and you will find little if any evidence that this spirit ever existed, let alone dominated the thinking and writings of past generations of godly saints.

What is it that has the church more fascinated with Jezebel than Jesus? What has caused her to gain omnipresent status inflicting herself into every conceivable Church or national problem?

I recall my late father talking to a woman in Australia half a century ago. The lady asked him to pray for her as she explained that the Devil had been harassing her all week. My father looked at her and said you must be extremely important, in fact more important than any other person on the face of the Earth if the Devil left all his other activities to concentrate on you. My point here is that the Devil and his minions are not omnipresent or omnipotent. Nowhere in the Word of God can you find the phrase ‘Jezebel spirit’. Is Jezebel mentioned in the Bible? Yes. We have Jezebel, King Ahab’s wicked sorceress wife and Jezebel the so-called self-appointed prophetess and teacher mentioned as operating in the Church of Thyatira. What strikes me about the latter is that Jesus gave her time to repent. He doesn’t call for the exorcists to fast and pray saying this kind doesn’t come out except by prayer and fasting.

The Jezebel spirit is largely designated as being a controlling or manipulative spirit by most proponents but isn’t that true of all spirits? The most common word used to describe a spirit in the Bible is unclean. Uncleanness is what they all have in common. Jezebel’s teaching led to her followers sleeping around committing acts of immorality.

Now I’m not advocating throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I’m just trying to bring some balance into what we are dealing with. If Jezebel is a major spirit then at best she would be classified as a prince over a principality. As I stated earlier she does not have the status of being omnipotent or universal.

We are exhorted in God’s Word not to be ignorant concerning the Devil’s devices or ways but let’s not be guilty of solidifying all of his devices into one super-spirit, Jezebel. The danger with that is that we tend to become obsessed on one thing (Jezebel) while the enemy is operating on multiple other levels that we have become blinded to.

You may ask why I’m so concerned about this teaching. The fact is I pastored a church where a certain so called prophet had labeled several women in my congregation as having the Jezebel spirit. The fact is they were in my opinion very godly women who refused to be manipulated by this ‘prophet’.