Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lord of Lords & King of Kings

Deuteronomy 10:12-14 What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear (out of reverence) the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

From our understanding that sin is essentially disobeying God in either thought, word, attitude or action we get a true, clear view of our problem of trying to earning our way into heaven by our own good efforts, the need for a Savior to rescue us from the wages of sin, and the love of Our Heavenly Father (out of pure mercy and grace) to plan and provide an atoning Redeemer in "God the Son" Jesus the Christ for the repentant Believer. Through spiritual rebirth by saving faith in the finished work of Christ, we present your bodies as a living sacrifice (from death in sin to life in the Holy Spirit), holy and acceptable to God with a regenerated heart that thirsts to follow, learn, obey and serve the Lord that we love. Once we truly comprehend and accept the gift of salvation, it is natural to resign and surrender our sinful ego-centric throne to the Lordship of our loving “Good Shepherd” to guide & provide our way through life to still waters and green pastures.

Psalm 145:8-13 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.

The Lord’s purposes for us, His children, to be like living stones being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood in, but also as Ambassadors for the kingdom of Heaven to give witness a lost and dying world in need of salvation of salvation through Christ. We do not work to receive eternal life, but, once saved, desire to do good and godly works "because we have" eternal gift through Christ Jesus. This is the good words that God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Make no mistake, in this life, we have the unholy trinity of the sinful flesh, the godless world and evil Satan attempting to lure our hearts and minds by tempting us with sensual and seductive lies and lusts of dark humanistic materialism, with lawless self-centered and self-serving sinful pleasures in true rebellion to God, along with encountering some who are hostile to the gospel message because they reject the light of God, so we need to walk in the Spirit and keep our mind’s eyes on the Lord and His perfect will to light our path.
Revelation 17:14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

Righteousness, out of holiness, sets us apart. Not a “holier than thou attitude”, but a reverence for our Creator God, who sent the Savior of the world (Jesus – God the Son), who by His blood saved us and gives us the indwelling Counselor (God the Holy Spirit) that aligns our hearts to desire the things of heaven and the way of the Master, our Lord & King. Jesus came to seek and save the lost sacrificing His own life to pay the price of our sin. May we boldly bring the light of truth and life in Christ to all, in our sphere of influence, that God has purposefully set around us today, that another unholy trinity that produces fruitless, godless & empty lives with devastating eternal consequences, may be exchanged & transformed by saving faith to fruitful and joyful lives for today and eternity. Praise the Lord!

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sin & Salvation - Part 2

John 1:1-4 & 12-14 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

God the Son came to this lost and dying world in Jesus Christ, infinite God incarnate (God with skin on), fully God and fully Man, sent by God the Father to pay a debt that He didn’t owe, because every man, woman and child on Earth owed a debt that they could not pay to get to heaven. We could not earn or pay our way into heaven because of sin. We do not deserve forgiveness or salvation of our trespasses and sins of disobedience, willfully crossing forbidden lines and boundaries that God has set up for our protection. But by the grace of God, the unmerited favor of our loving and merciful Creator, Jesus the Christ was sent and given to us as a free gift to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead to purchase a place in heaven for you & I, who repent and by faith believe in Him (accepting the gift).
Ephesians 2:1-10 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

This was Father God’s plan of salvation … Romans 3:23-26 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Jesus assumed our sin guilt and paid the price by His atonement death while we, Believers, assumed His sinless righteousness. Christ’s final word from the cross was “Tetelestai”, meaning not only His mission in God’s plan of salvation for us was finished, but also that the debt we owed was “paid in full”. By God’s mercy, we did not get what we truly deserved for our sinful disobedience against our just & holy Lord, but by the grace of God, received by faith what we did not deserve.

John 3:14-16 & 36 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and He who does not believe the Son shall not see life , but the wrath of God abides on him.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the key that opens the door to heaven. Saving faith is not intellectually knowing that Jesus existed and takes care of us and our daily needs. "Saving faith" is trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. All false religions demand works to earn your way and says “do”, but Christianity says “done” through our redeeming Savior Jesus Christ and restores completely our relationship with our Father God in heaven. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word “gospel” means “good news” and we’ll never hear better news than salvation by Christ alone. Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!
Romans 3:19-24 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Tell everyone the good news.
In Christ, Brian

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sin & Salvation - Part 1

Exodus 34:6-7 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.

A friend writes: “A new believer class sounds like a really good thing, I wish I'd had one when I was first saved. I spent many years as a very immature Christian, not really having any direction, but being held onto by Him.” Isn’t that just the truth of how the Lord meets us where we are at, but doesn’t keep us where we are at? I’m sure that God enjoys immature Christians, because where else could we start? It is necessary for each of us to truly realize what sin really is and the severity of its affect on our lives physically, psychologically, and spiritually in order to be motivated to properly deal with the situation. It’s always good to get a clear understanding of what the "root" problem is and why it is so important to keep from trying to remedy the situation in the wrong direction, manner or method. First, the bad news, and then the “good news”.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.”

This is especially true concerning the greatest problem facing mankind – SIN. There is always the school of “hard-knocks” or “trial & error” that teach us by discovering what to do or what is right in doing what not ought to be done or what is wrong. And there is a lot to say about experience and time tested ways. Sometimes, even though a loving parent may say “don’t touch the oven door because it is hot and will burn your hands”, a child just seems to have the need to feel it for themselves. Then they know what you’re talking about. Ouch! Ahh yes, I see now. But in the case of sin, ignorance places and keeps us in bondage of going in the wrong direction seeking that which promises joy, but is really empty and has tragic eternal consequences, because God deals with sin.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

What exactly is sin? Basically, disobeying God. It’s a term in the sport of Archery, which means to “miss the mark or target”. What is the mark? It is the Word and will of Lord God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and found in His Holy Bible (our moral compass). Sin is not only missing God’s standards, but by our thoughts, words, attitudes, and deeds hit another that is not His. There is not only sins that are actively committed by don’t what we ought not to do (when God says “don’t”), but there are also sins that are committed by not doing what we ought to be doing (when God say “do”. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way”. And God does not grade on a scale.

Habakkuk 1:13 You (God) are of purer eyes than to behold evil and can not look [inactively] upon injustice.

Since the “fall of mankind”, when sin was introduced into the world by Adam & Eve, the sin nature of the flesh, that which is contrary to the will of God, is battling for our hearts, minds, emotions, bodies and souls in psychological and sensual warfare in envy, lusts, greed, position, power, pleasure and riches that focus on self-gratification. Romans 3:23 says that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Like it or not, and no matter how unpopular this may sound, we have got to come to the reality that every man, woman, and child is a sinner and can not save ourselves on our own. Sin is the root problem. And just as an earthly Judge must punish a convicted criminal of their crimes or else they would not be serving justice, our heavenly Father must punish sin, for He is Holy & Just. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death”. We have a problem. We need saved. God had a solution.
Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Next post is the “good” news.
In Christ, Brian

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Become One

Genesis 2:23-24 “At last!” the man (Adam) exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Today marks the thirty-fourth anniversary of the marriage between a tall, skinny twenty year old and his beautiful nineteen year old sweetheart back in 1977. It’s sad to think about the divorce rate, the numbers of couples living together in sin, and the redefining of family in America today, which miss out on the blessings of God, who created marriage and the family. I once coached a girl’s softball team and one of the young ladies asked me how long I was married. When I told her, she called me a liar, because she thought that nobody stayed married that long. I mentioned my anniversary online a couple years ago and receive a reply from another young lady that I correspond with, who stated that she hoped that her marriage would last that long. I will never forget these replies, because they broke my heart to realize that marriage was no longer thought of as being “till death do us part” for many girls ... boys. Where is God in this picture? Missing.

Matthew 19:7-8 They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

I’ve heard on Christian radio, that the term in Genesis 2:23 of “the two are united into one” is the image of two pieces of wood being glued together, where the bond is stronger than the actual natural material, and pulling the two apart would break, splinter and permanently damage the boards. If you know my story, I actually became a Christian after I was married, because of my wife. My example was my parents, until I learned of God’s will and plan for marriage and the family. What’s the secret? Marriage is in three directions, as a triangle, between husband, wife, and God. The Bible (the Holy Word of God), along with the Holy Spirit, gives direction in the Lord’s will for our lives, our spouse and our family. To love our spouse is to be a unit, united as one, so to hurt them is to hurt yourself. As much as I do not desire to bring harm to myself, I equally never desire to bring harm to my wife. Sure, we are individuals that God created uniquely different, but divorce is just not an option … it never crosses our mind. Imagine that … till death do us part. Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! I am truly blessed.

Ephesians 5:25-30 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Galatians 5:16-18 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

A Blogger friend @ ( posted this poem:

Remember how I (the Lord) pursued you.
Remember how I saved you.
How I let you fall so I could raise you up.
How I opened and closed doors to direct you.
I let your heart be empty and broken so that I could fill and heal it.

I do remember, but at times the enemy is louder, realer, and seemingly more present.
He (the flesh, the ungodly world, and the devil) makes me doubt, despair, run away from You.
He whispers lies and sends messengers of deceit my way.
He takes the sins of the past, which You (God) have forgotten, and puts them ever before me.
Accusing, mocking, gleeful over the things he has to use against me.
But wait upon me He says. And so I wait.

I have been asked to start a "New believers" Wednesday night class at our church, and pray that the truth of what & who we have been saved from and what & who we have been saved to is unpacked and delivered honestly and easily understandable, that the Holy Spirit works in both the teacher and the students for spiritual growth, life application and glory to God. To bring to light, as in the first half of this poem, that it is the Lord that pursues and saves us. That we learn to walk by falling when we don't have the strength. We sometimes take unproductive side paths that break our heart and will. But it is Lord that picks us up, dusts us off and mends our scratches, encourages us, points opens doors to the right path and close doors that lead to wrong ones. Life is a learning experience for the Christian on the path of righteousness.

John 14:26-27 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

But there the obsticles along life's road, the enemy in the second half of that poem, calling us all to take another path. I heard lately that the "father of lies" Satan uses three main tactics against us, bring doubt, deception, and distractions. Sly and subtle tactics to tempt us to turn our hearts from the Lord to self indulgent desires without a thought of God or His will. To our sin nature of the fleshly desires, it all looks big, it looks exciting, it looks inviting, but it is without the Lord its empty. Why do we so easily turn our heads to inequity? Remember that, this side of Eden and Heaven, there is a battle for our hearts, our minds and our souls. Thank God, the Holy Spirit wages war against the flesh desires of the sinful nature within each of us, and the Lord God purses us, raises us up, opens & closes doors, fills and heals our heart when we turn and walk in the Spirit to His loving arms; the arms of our Heavenly Father, who is teaching us to grow and mature, to trust and obey, to live in a fallen world without being a part of it, as a child of God, for His purposes and glory. I saw a bumper sticker that said: "If you do not change your direction, you will head up where you are heading." Repent means to turn 180 degrees around from going the wrong way on the wide road to destruction and start heading down the narrow road to abundant life, eternal life, kingdom life.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What If ...

Matthew 13:3, 7 & 22 Then Jesus spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

The seed being sown in this parable represents the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the message of the Kingdom of Heaven. The different type of ground that the broadcast seed lands upon represents the condition of the human hearts that hear this Word of trust and salvation. Of all the soils that Jesus spoke about, why only mention the thorns … the cares of this material world and the deceitfulness of riches? This week, our Men’s Bible Study group took a field trip to go together to see the new Christian movie titled “What If …” at the local theater. The story of a man (Kevin Sorbo), who leaves his fiancĂ© and ministry plans for fame, fortune, and living big in the material world, but God sends an Angel (John Ratzenberger) to show him what his life would have been if he hadn’t gone the way of the thorns. The Lord gives him a second chance to figure out true happiness, straighten his life out, and be the minister, the husband, the father, and man that God intended him to be. The Christian message is priceless and these are the movies that we need in our culture today. It’s never too late for the God of the second chance. Hope you see can it too.

Matthew 13:8-9 & 22 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces.

We are here for a reason. We are here for a purpose. We are here for a mission. Let’s not miss it. Being a coach, I work to instill the three D’s to success (Dedication, Desire, & Determination) that build. But there are the three D’s to defeat (Doubt, Deception, & Distraction) that tear down. Proverbs 4:23 tells us “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Why? Our sin nature of the flesh uses emotional & sensual lies of materialism as a deception and distraction from the will of God for our lives. Dedication to the Lord, desire for His holy word & will, and determination to know and live by the truth takes a conscious effort. Let’s walk in the Spirit and never have to wonder “what if…". May we keep our hearts "good ground" always.

Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prayer Audit

Psalm 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth.

We all could be better at our prayer life. This is one of the areas that immediately comes to mind when I think of areas of my personal Christian life that I would like to improve in. Our little church here in Anaheim, California is going through a Sunday worship series titled “Pray like Jesus” this month, along with 24 hour prayer events (1 hour increments), special Friday evening prayer service, and white rubber wrist-bands with the church name embossed to remind us to pray every time we looked at it during the day. The focus is on maturing and improving this aspect of our spiritual life in this demanding physical world … keeping our eyes on Jesus.

Philippians 4:5-7 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Pastor asked a series of questions for us to step back and take an audit of our prayers. I am listing a few of those questions for your prayerful consideration.

1. Do you pray to receive from God or to receive God?
2. Do you pray to bring God to action or for God to bring you to action?
3. Do you pray to get rid of pain and trials or to get through them?
4. Do you courageously punctuate yours prayers with “Your will be done”?
5. Do you pray to both hear and accept God’s will for your life?
6. Do you accept that God will answer your prayers with either “yes”, “no, I have something better for you” or “later”?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

February blessings to you.
In Christ, Brian