Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rest in Jesus

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fire & Brimstone – Part 2

Who is this Judge to which we all must give an account of our life? 
John 3:34-36For He whom God has sent (Jesus) speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 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.Matthew 28:18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” John 5:21-22For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”

I always though it to be ironic that the unbeliever dies and goes to stand in front of the “Great White Throne” in heaven to tell Judge Jesus why they did not believe in Him. Jesus Himself warned of the punishment that would come to the disobedient who refused to repent and believe in Him as Savior and Lord. Mark 9:47-48If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”  Ephesians 2:1 says that we were all dead in our trespasses and sins. Life is only ours when Jesus Christ is ours. Unrepentant unbelievers never passed out of death into life (John 5:14) by believing on Jesus Christ; they never possessed Jesus Christ, in whom alone there is life. In John 14:6 Jesus said He was the way, the truth and the life, so those who never received Jesus are twice dead – physically and spiritually. They never experienced life. How horribly sad, how eternally tragic.

Revelation 20:10-15And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

So what happens to us when we die? It is obvious in God’s Word that the soul of any person – saved or lost – does not cease to exist. Jesus admonished us all in Mark 9 to do whatever is necessary to stop sinning – the eye from which we sense and take into our heart and thought or the hand by which we do the action. Sin has an insatiable appetite that cannot be satisfied and there’s hell to pay; contentment comes from God alone. If a man or woman did not believe in Jesus Christ, confess Him before others as Lord and Savior, and live a life that bore the fruit of faith, it’s a delusion to claim that individual went to “a better place”. In Matthew 25:31-46, in Jesus’ metaphoric account of the separation of the sheep and the goats and their consequent destiny, our Lord makes it clear that the lake of fire and brimstone was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels (the demons). Yet, those human beings who choose to believe in the father of lies, rather than obeying the Son of God, will share in Satan’s fate.  Matthew 25:46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” But, there is a way to salvation. 

When someone says: “I have some good news and some bad news”, we always say: “Give me the bad news first.” This week’s study of eternal truth was on the bad news of hell’s fire and brimstone, but the bad news makes the good news to come truly good news. In the next small group bible lesson, we study the good news of heaven. Stay tuned for this one.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fire & Brimstone – Part 1

Revelation 21:7-8 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Our Friday night Small Group Bible Study started back up meeting this last week, and we picked up right where we left off in our study series of “Life, Death and Life after Death”. It seems appropriate that in the final two weeks of this six-week series that the doctrine of heaven and hell (the afterlife final destinations) be examined. This is such a deep and heavy subject, but our eternity must not be ignored, overlooked or taken lightly. My Christian mentor Bill Stiles always said that you cannot know and understand what you have been “saved to” until you know and understand what you have been “saved from”. The world may tend to think that not everybody is going to heaven, but per the Bible, the default is hell because of sin against God. This fact is made clear by the Apostle Paul in Romans 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and why the Lord Jesus explains in John 3:16-18 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  There is a hell and we need a Savior to change our home address.

Acts 17:24-31 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man (Jesus) whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

You hear people say, “Hey, don’t judge me!” but since our Creator God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, everyone is rightfully going to have a “come to Jesus meeting” one day. Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” When we are judged, we want justice – unless of course we are guilty. Then we beg for mercy. Psalm 9:7-8But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.” God is a “just” Judge to judge and provide perfect justice. Psalm 96:13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His truth.” 

We'll continue this post on this all-important issue tomorrow.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In the End, We Win

Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”

Today, with the Digital Video Recorder (aka DVR) on our cable TV, we are able to schedule through the remote control and tape our favorite shows and sporting events for watching at a later date and time. That sure comes in handy when we are away from home for various reasons, where we used to have to miss the show or events completely, unless we taped it on the old VHS. Now, we actually record shows, even if we are home, and watch them later so that we can fast-forward through the commercials and either cut down the time in front of the tube to do other things (like write Blogs) or so we can watch more shows and events. One of our sons actually starts recording a show, then waits about fifteen minutes before starts watching the show, while it is still recording on the DVR at the same time. By doing this, he zips through the commercials and catches up with the real time broadcast of the show right at the very end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Part of the problem of recording a sporting event is that most do not want to know the outcome of the game prior to watching it. To hear or see the final score would ruin their experience, so they avoid the newspaper, TV news and even friends who want to tell them about the game: “You should of seen the “buzzer-beater” shot, that “header” into the goal”, that “walk off” homer, that “hail-Mary’ pass, that defected puck off the stick, that last "lap", that final "set" or last "round", et cetera. But some sports fanatics watching a taped sporting event prefer to know the outcome of the game prior to watching because when they know that their team is going to win the game in the end, they can relax with a big bowl of popcorn and a nice cold drink, and enjoy the game, because even if the team is losing at half time, or behind with only one minute left on the clock, they know that in the end, they win.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What a great picture of how the Christian shall look at the world and this life today ... not in the fear of war, terror, crime, evil, and sin, but through the eyes of ultimate victory despite the circumstances. In God’s plan of time, events and history, we’re only in the second half, the third period or the fourth quarter. Life is not a game. There are seriously issues and situations that demand our careful consideration and concern daily. The road that we are on in this journey can be hard, rocky, hilly, muddy, with obstacles and hazards all along the path, but all roads lead to a destination. The Christian knows that heaven is the purpose, aim and end of this pilgrimage on earth; and the Lord not only has prepared a dwelling place for us there to be with him (John 14:1-30), but is with us all along the way (Matthew 28:20b). Lots of nasty, evil, scary and tragic things happen this side of eternity because of sin, but by knowing the Lord and how the game of life ends, we don’t have to fear anything except fear itself (FDR); it’s like water on a duck because if we go down, we go up. We’ve turned to the last page of the Holy Bible and know the end of the greatest story ever told already. We know how the game will end.
Revelation 22:12-17 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
I've read the end of the book and in the end, we win! Do we live like it?
In Christ, Brian

Friday, September 26, 2014

Every Single Moment

Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whose We Are

Here's another Thursday message from Michael.
Lord, give me one moment in time, when I'm racing with destiny, and in that moment of time ... I shall see eternity. Each brief and shining moment is precious.  All I have is this moment, this next step upon “the Journey of Life”.  Therefore, let each step count for God's eternity.  He has called me to walk moment by moment, step by step for one moment in time.  Each step is a vision of the eternal now to redeem the time in fellowship with Him. We must keep the vision and the focus of why we're here, what God has done, and what God is doing. To remember not who we are, but “whose we are”.

God has called us to make an impact as lights in a world of darkness.
Though the world slowly erodes, spiritual disciplines become ever increasingly important to men and women of God. We must deliberately take hold of the freedom that God has given us in Christ to be set free from the bondage of the darkness of the world. When we give up the struggle against the self, then we are free from the bondage of the sin nature.  Jesus said, "He who looses his life for my sake shall find it" - Matthew 10:39 and 16:25. To turn to “Freedom in Christ”, we must turn away from the bondage of self (John 8:31-32).

Jesus came not to raise the man and woman of the flesh from the dead, rather he came that we may be “born anew” of the Spirit of Life in Christ.  He has called his people as His own possession:  He has called us to be a peculiar people, an holy nation, a royal priesthood.
Though we were not worthy in the flesh, his mercy by grace, has made us a new person in Him.  When we realize “whose we are”, there is no problem setting our affection on things above, not on things of the flesh - Colossians 3:2. Jesus came not only as Savior from sin, but also Lord of our lives.  Lord means “owner”.  It's not about who we are but “whose we are”.  My life is no longer my own...  my life is hid with Christ in God.

The devil and the world's politically correct will tell us that we are not holy...  that we have not been set apart for the purpose intended by the Designer of heaven and earth.  The PC Police say that Children of God are not any different from the selfish sinful world system of Vanity Faire. They say that we are intolerant, closed minded, and not accepting of that which “the World” calls politically correct...  that we suffer from an attitude of discrimination. However, holiness, a.k.a sanctification, starts with discrimination.  It literally means to separate. That which separates truth from error is the Word of God. The world calls good evil and evil good. In a world of relativism, there is no meaning. Without truth there is no meaning. There is only meaning in the Truth. The Word of God discriminates good from evil.
Jesus' purpose was not to draw great multitudes and crowds.  Rather, he came to deliver the message and to be the message of Salvation.  He came to call the few to the narrow way through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13). He came to call “a few good men and women”, the remnant of this world who would be His disciplined followers...  his peculiar people...  his fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). Men and women of God are outliers from the world. The darker the darkness, the brighter the light shines.  Therefore...  be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

Sanctification is separating ourselves from the darkness of the world by walking in the light, by not conforming to the darkness. We must keep short accounts with God.  He gives us a window of opportunity moment by moment to set his spirit loose:  for it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  He has given us a window, a moment in time to know the power of his resurrection.  The message is to give diligence with urgency to call men and women from darkness unto light (Acts 26:18).  God's hand honors the remnant of believing men and women of God who stand in the gap against the prevailing culture of this world. Prayer unleashes the power of God in manifestation.  He has called us to be His emissaries to proclaim the gospel of truth.  Through God's grace he has commissioned us to be the clarion call, the herald of the Truth of the Word.

He has not called us to compromise to the culture...  to acquiesce and bow down to the politically correct powers of this lawless world.  We have not been called to appeal to the majority.  Rather he called us to show others the narrow way...  Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. God has called us to redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). This is the "inconvenient truth" against the culture of the times.  Each moment in time we have a unique “moment by moment” opportunity to walk in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Luke 9.  Jesus said, "whom do ye say that I am?"  Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God" (Matthew 16: 15-16). The context of this verse is about letting go of the affairs of this world.  It means walking away from the world's sin problems by becoming a part of God's solution...  to admit that of my own power I can do nothing.  To let go is to allow God to work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure...  to become a fearless-living men and women of faith.  Therefore, let go and let God...  Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.

God has given us a window of opportunity for each brief and shining moment.  When the race has been run and God has called me home, may my epithet be, "he walked humbly with his Lord along the journey his Master prepared for him."  Not my will, but thine be done. That’s whose we are!

Your brother in Christ, Michael

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God Restored My Soul

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green  pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

Who is leading your and my life and meeting my desires, that we have no wants? Who watches over and protects us, even when we do not see the danger? Who gives us peace and rest in the rich green fields of contentment and directs us to calm, cool and peaceful places of the mind that quench our thirst, that when the exhausting  demands of life seem to close in, he restores our soul, while all the time, leading us in paths through this journey in a "right" love relationship with Him and for His glory. Soli Deo Gloria. He restoreth my soul! Praise be to God!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living From the Heart

Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

I was reading the monthly ministry report of Thru the Bible and came across an article by the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee based upon a letter that he had received from a woman who, shortly after becoming a Christian, was told that there was certain things she could and could not do by her small group from church. But, in trying to follow all these rules, she found herself miserable. Sure, the Bible tells us the will of God for the living out our lives aligned with His Word, Will and Way as He intended, but Dr. McGee points out that it is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Many believe that Christianity and Church are just a system of outward appearances and behavior changes, but without the supernatural regeneration of the heart inwardly, we are just whitewashed tombs; shape looking on the outside, but dead inside.

Luke 11:39-40 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?

Christianity and Christ’s church are not a list of do’s and don’ts. Dr. McGee emphasizes that in order to live a life of holiness, we must first receive new life from God – we must be born from above. That includes a new heart that does not walk in the old sin nature, but keeps in step with the indwelling Holy Spirit in our daily walk on this journey. We take on Christ’s nature and take up that cross daily to follow the Lord. We die to sin with Jesus and are raised to eternal life with Him. Our authentic convictions must come from the heart; anything else is just an act … a cup just cleaned on the outside for the world to see. The Lord Jesus said that we are in the world, but not of the world (paraphrase of John 17:14-16); true Believers are children of God and citizens of heaven. We cannot serve God by following a set of rules outwardly; we must have a purpose in our hearts. We have to “not want to” do that which is not aligned with the Lord and naturally “want to” do that which is aligned with His perfect will, from the heart. Jesus said that it was out of the heart that the issues of life proceed. The patriarch Daniel “purposed in his heart” that he would obey God’s law given to God’s people (Daniel 1:8) – this was His testimony. What is ours? Are we living for God from the heart?

Titus 3:3-7For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

In Christ, Brian

Monday, September 22, 2014

Keep Claim and Think Happy Thoughts

Philippians 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

Happiness is a natural by-product of Holiness. An inward attitude of a "right" relationship with Almighty God for a life of joy and love.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Love God’s Word – Part 2

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Continuing from last post, on Pastor Kyle’s Sermon “Love God’s Word”: There are three things that are true about everything that we love.  (1) We always seem be able to make time for what we really love, with no problem, rushing from task to task. We find that the busyness and distractions of life interferes with our relationships with God, because the idols that we love. our obsessions have turned into a lifestyle, and it's such a non-meaningful thing on which to base one's life. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” But, the these addictions are epidemic, has put us into bondage and is robbing us.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

There is actually plenty of time in a day to do what we love; it’s just the things that we love that are questionable. Are our priorities straight and what is the main thing? (2) We always seem to be able to tell others about the things that we love and naturally express it in our living. Do we feel that way about our love of God and His Holy Word? (3) We feel like we cannot and will not live without them. What comes to mind right now? What is there in your life that you cannot live without? Popular trends, crazes and our tastes change too, so it may be something else tomorrow. We seriously need to withdraw from some things which we truly won’t die without, to make more room for what we truly need to survive, and one of those is the Word of God.


Amos 8:11-12 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it.

Today we have access to God’s Word 24/7/365, if we like or need to, yet never before has our society had busier lifestyles. God’s Word encourages, forgives, uplifts, and teaches, but also guides our walk. Psalm 119:105 Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” A lamp and light upon this journey along the long, broken and winding road that we should not stumble or fall. When we are weak and not walking in God’s Word, we are treading in spiritual darkness. But there are six D’s to success (1) desire, (2) dedication, (3) devotion, (4) determination, (5) discipline, and (6) do it. We must disciple ourselves to love God’s Word and we must discipline ourselves to "do" God’s Word. It’s not about how much Bible I know or how much of the bible I memorize. It’s about how much of God’s Word I have, obediently doing what the “Good Book” says, in being actively engaged to living it out daily, meditating on His Word day and night, and yielding the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Loving God’s Word and doing God’s Word.

Luke 8:21 He (Jesus) replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

In Christ, Brian


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Love God’s Word – Part 1

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

Pastor Kyle focused this Sunday’s sermon message on the Word of God in our life, and specifically, in the deepest part of what we are: “Do we love the Word of God?” It’s easy for us to sit down with a piece of paper with a line down the middle and list on one side the things that we love and on the other side list the things that we hate. Today, our society is way too quick to use the words “love” and “hate”, and we find that in most cases we are using these words for our personal preferences. Also, “hate” should only be used for sin as God hates sin, and especially we hate our sin, which Jesus died for.  

Ephesians 2:1-5 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).

But what does it mean to have a deeper walk with Jesus and have a blessed life? This passage tells us that it means, first, “walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful” as a way of life. The sinful and ungodly scoffers of the world need to pull other people in with them into their mockery of God. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Secondly, “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”  Lovers of God’s Holy Word have three amazing benefits: like a tree planted by the rivers of water (1) they are fruitful; they bear fruit in season; not year-round, (2) they shall not wither; their faith does not fade, and (3) whatever they do shall prosper; meaning “everyday prosperity”, the child of God who succeeds in the little things of life.

Psalm 1:4-6 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

On the other hand, the wicked will blow away come Judgment Day, like weightless and useless chaff tossed up in the air to fly away from the good seed. But how do you tell what one you are – the good seed or the worthless waste? Do you love God’s Word and do what it says?

2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

We'll finish Pastor Kyle's Sunday Sermon message on the next post.
In Christ, Brian

Friday, September 19, 2014

Meaning and Significance

Here is another great spiritual message with application for our everyday life from my Christian brother and friend Michael. MAy you be richly blessed by his post.

The reason why democracy works is not because the government oversees the people, but because Godly people follow Godly rules.  Democracy works in America not because Americans are faithful to the government, but because Americans are faithful to God. If you take away religion from the land, you can't hire enough police. When the focus on God and the fellowship of believers wanes (diminishes or disappears), the power of darkness is unleashed. The culture crumbles when the power of God’s light is removed from the culture. When Christ’s church becomes corrupt and the glory of "Churchianity" takes precedence over the godly culture of men and women of God, the culture will fall.

The Word of God must be preeminent in the people of God for a godly culture to prevail. When men and women of God question their calling and subscribe to the politically correct godless humanistic culture of this world, God removes his hand and his blessing from the land. Lutzer wrote a book about Nazi Germany.  The lesson is that you cannot negotiate with evil. You cannot sign a peace treaty with the devil. To compromise with the world is to forsake (reject and disown) God.  When people set themselves upon the throne of their own hearts, worship self-actualization and the comfort of worldly things, the culture will crumble.

Some things are non-negotiable.  The choice is Truth or consequences. God said, thou shalt have no other gods before me.  The first and greatest commandment is this:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
The devil has deceived professing men and women of God to compromise and acquiesce to the culture and the affairs of this sinful world. However, the God’s Word says, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ (
Philippians 2:5). His humility was toward God to serve the people and to meet their needs.  What needest thee?  All I need is thee. God called us through Jesus Christ to die to self in order to live for Him.  However, the self is heavily defended territory.
In order to make a difference against the darkness of the world, the children of God cannot compromise the standard of Truth - the Word of God.  Meekness and humility are the prerequisites to following the Master.

Can you accept Jesus as your Savior and not your Lord?  Oswald Sangers accepted Jesus as his Savior but not as Lord of his life. This "partial acceptance" was because of poor  teaching.  No one had taught him about the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Sangers said later, "When I was taught correctly I accepted Jesus as Lord." In order to influence the world, the people of God must accept Jesus as Lord.  Whom do you serve?  For whom do you live?  Where is your allegiance? As Peter said, "Lord, where else can we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life."

America has been blessed with material abundance and great prosperity.  However, in the land of Vanity Faire, where the prevailing gospel is to worship the “god of materialism”, it's difficult to change Lords...  to turn away from the pursuit of the blessings and toward the pursuit of the Blessor. When Jesus confronted the rich young ruler, he said, one thing you lack, thou shalt have no other Gods before the one true God.  Therefore, give away all your wealth and come and follow me (Luke 18:22).  In order to follow Jesus, you must lose your own life.  He who loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:39). The issue of life is not failing in the things that are important, rather it is succeeding in the things that are insignificant. What is it that is important? What is it that is significant? The greatest disappointment in life is that after climbing the ladder of success, you discover that your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

According to Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5: “Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then he is no more.” It is a tale, told by and idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. What is the meaning of your life?  Meaning means significance. Language is not significant if the words have no meaning. In a world of "relativism" there is no meaning. Only the truth of the Word of God can define meaning and significance. Jesus Christ is the Word, the Truth made manifest. Jesus Christ, the Word in the flesh defines our significance and meaning. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by me"(John 14:6). Truth is only in Jesus Christ and the message of God's salvation.  When we follow him, we are the witness of the truth.  Truth is the significance of our life.  Meaning is found only in Him. God has called us to be disciplined followers of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, if you continue in my Word, then shall you be my disciples indeed (John 8:31).

The greatest influence is in the greatest humility. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ...  he made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of a servant.  He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God highly exalted him and gave him a name that is above every name.  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11). Meaning and Significance is only in our Lord.  In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Therefore, set your affection on things of God and not on things of this of this world (Colossians 3:2).

He has not called us to proclaim the message of the moment, he has called us to proclaim the message of eternity. The things of this world are fleeting...  they will take wings and fly away. Whether riches and abundance, or pain, trial and tribulation...  this too shall pass.  What endures?  That which is seen is temporal, but that which is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
In the darkness of the times, God has called his children not to shadow box, but to significantly impact the world as the Children of the Light. The meaning and significance of our lives is to deliver the message and to be the message.  God has called men and women of God for such a time as this.  Go ye therefore and teach all nations...  and in doing this, Give 'em Heaven!

Your brother in Christ, Michael

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Possible, not Easy


Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God’s Loving Discipline

Hebrews 12:8-11 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

I read and experienced myself that parents see the benefits of discipline more easily than children. To a child, the idea that being punished because parents love you, never quite is the idea that comes to mind. From a child’s perspective, a parent’s loving discipline may seem unfair at the time, as they are too young to see that the lessons are being done for our own good, so they question and doubt the parent’s motives. Dr. Mark Beach asks: But, what about God’s discipline? As mature believers, are we grateful for it” Do we see His love in it, or do we childishly not view God’s disciple through clearer lens and question God’s wisdom and motives? Sometimes, in spiritual maturity, we need a reminder, as we slip into a forgetfulness of God’s Word that God’s fatherly discipline is actually an “exhortation” or an “encouragement”. We must not make light of the Lord’s discipline, nor lose heart because it is a positive, encouraging, and good corrective training action, not a negative or malicious action. They demonstrate that God has not abandoned or forgotten us as His sons and daughters by His fatherly care.

Proverbs 3:5-6 and 11-12 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Dr. Beach points out that, as grown-ups, we appreciate our parent’s efforts in raising us. We respect our parents because they tried to better us and develop our character, teaching us “right” from “wrong’, how to guard our hearts, bridle our tongues, and live moral and virtuous lives. Likewise, our heavenly father disciplines us for our good, in order the “we may share His holiness”. It forces us out of ruts of sinful attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words. It makes us look at our hearts from a better, more biblical perspective. We must learn from God’s discipline, for “training” doesn’t take place automatically, just as going to school doesn’t guarantee that we learn anything. God uses all sorts of circumstances as attention-getters.

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

God’s Word is the organ of His discipline. Getting our attention with the disciple learned from trials and different circumstances, God’s Word in Scripture serves as the instrument of correction, to console, to rebuke, to train and restore us to an upright position before the Lord. Notice how close the word “discipline” is to the biblical word “disciple”. God’s discipline serves to make us Christ’s disciples, divinely designed to mature us so that we become more serviceable disciples in Christ’s church and kingdom. We are becoming a fit disciple of Christ from God’s fatherly disciple. His disciple is love in action.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Pause and listen to His voice. We are wise and obedient only when we bid good-bye to unbelief, break ties with sin, and, without regret leave behind our wayward habits, attitudes, grudges, questions and self-pity. In God we trust. Disciplined disciple, trust in God. Thy will, not my will, be done.

Hebrews 12:5-6 Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thirst for God

Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? "


Water is the largest single component of the human body, including our brain, and it is essential for life. Generally speaking, people can only survive about a week without water. To replenish is life-sustaining element in our bodies, we naturally have the physical thirst-urge to drink, and develop an insatiable survival craving for water over an extended period of time and in hot/dry environments. The body and mind quickly begin to malfunction without H2O.

John 7:37On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.


We can picture in our mind that hot, thirsty deer panting for the cool water of the babbling brook. We understand this thirst, and this strong and eager desire is also expressed in our strong and eager spiritual soul thirst for God and His reign in our life daily. It's as natural as our thirst for water every day, when the Lord is the central desire of our heart. 

Revelation 21:6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”

How is your thirst for God? Your thirst for "righteousness" (meaning having that "right" relationship with the Lord)? Your thirst for "holiness" (meaning the sanctity of purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin)? When we are thirsty, we go to the source for refreshment, satisfaction comfort and contentment. Jesus gives of the water of life freely to those who thirsts for the living God. Enjoy!

In Christ, Brian