Thursday, April 30, 2015


Psalm 137:3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. (KJV)


How often have we heard, “Make your passion your profession and you will never have to work a day in your life?”

To some extent the statement is true, but it’s not all fun and games. We can be overrun by stress, overwhelmed by demands, and outraged by injustice. Ministry should be the passion of every Christian, especially for those of us in professional positions as servants of God.
How can we turn the work of the ministry into PLAY?

Most people outside the church assume there is really nothing to preparing a sermon, comforting the grieving, visiting the sick, or motivating God’s people to activate their faith. The reality is it’s not easy – It’s impossible! Prayer is the first step, the last step and every step in between. Prayer is not the presentation of our desires to God. Prayer is seeking His desire in EVERYTHING we do.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. (KJV)

Mastering the art of prayer requires speaking and listening. As a teacher in a classroom, I have fought the temptation to tell students, “God gave you two ears, but only one mouth because He wants you to listen twice as much as you speak.” That thought is NOT original but it holds a deep truth. I have used it in Sunday school classrooms and one or two counseling sessions.  When we stop telling God what we are going to do, and stop telling Him what He should do, He will speak to us. He will direct our paths.

Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (NIV)

Oops…there was a huge typo in that last line. It is a sad state of affairs when the line reads, “We will direct our paths.” However, that seems to be the essence of HUMAN nature. We must adjust our will to follow His plan.

Hebrews 3:15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (NIV)

There are only four sweetly simple phases to turn ALL ministry into child’s PLAY. Pray seeking God’s will and direction. Listen to His plan. Adjust our will to match His desire. Yield ALL the glory for the outcome to HIM. It can be that easy. Just PLAY.

Mark 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. (KJV)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Psalm 4:5 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.” (KJV)

Sanctified, Empowered, Renewed, (able to) Volunteer, (and) Equipped

            There are several outstanding service organizations known to us today. Lions Club, Rotary Club, The Gideon’s, and The Full Gospel Businessman’s Association are a few of these types of organizations. We talk about being the servants of God but what does it really mean to serve? For our study today, there are a few things we will explore. First of all, to serve is an act or action. That means that something is going to be done. Second, to serve, as long as it is service we are talking about and not slavery, is voluntary. We cannot be forced to serve.

            After delivering the Israelites from the bondage of slavery God established the system of sanctification and sacrifices to be used by His people in worship. They were rituals that identified the Israelites as being set apart and holy. Through these rituals God was recognized as “the LORD who makes you holy.” He is forever and always the same. He is making us holy as we commit our lives to Him. (Exodus 31:13)

            The process of becoming holy is sanctification. We are being sanctified, made holy, by the grace, power and Spirit of God. Every area of our life should be committed to the calling God has placed within us individually. As we answer the call of God, He works to purify our hearts and keep us blameless before Him. Each of our individual callings fit together into the fully functioning, highly effective and gloriously beautiful Kingdom of God. (1Thessalonians 5:23)

            God has chosen each of us to serve Him. The requirements of our sanctification are met in Christ, and God directs us according to His plan for us. Sampson was a judge, set apart from birth. The circumstances of his birth demonstrate the miraculous power of God. The end of Sampson’s story speaks to us about the grace of God after we repent. Each part of this story teaches us that we must be set apart, holy and sanctified. (Judges 13:3-5)

            The source of Sampson’s might was the presence of the Lord. The same is true for us today without the presence of the Lord and commitment to following God’s plan we cannot be sanctified and we will have no real power to impact the world for Christ. If we do not surrender our plans to His and serve Him completely, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is not available to us. God called us to be set apart for Him. When we live by His standard He promises to receive us. (2Corinthians 6:17)

            We have access to the awesome power of God through our relationship with Jesus Christ. As we serve Him we experience His power, in fact, He gives power to us.

            There is an old chorus that tells us about the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and it says, “It shall quicken your mortal bodies if that Spirit dwell in you.” When that Spirit quickens us and His word gives us strength we can proclaim the awesomeness of God. (Psalm 68:35)

            The empowerment He offers brings us true prosperity. We are not promoting any kind of “Name it and claim it”, or “Blab it and grab it” theology of God making millionaires. We do expect our souls and our physical being to prosper by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. According to scripture, God is the ruler of all things and He bestows His great gifts on all believers. Those gifts become our inheritance as the children of God. He lifts us up as we live to serve Him but the blessing is infinitely more than financial. (1Chronicles 29:12)

            The unfortunate reality is that we do not always live up to God’s standard. Though we have access to the power of God we do not always depend upon it. That is where we get into trouble and it is not too far from that point in our journey we begin to realize the need to repent. When we repent God hears us and we are renewed. (Jeremiah 31:18-20)

            As we repent and our lives are changed by the presence and power of God we are renewed. We live out the profession of our faith in service to God. We are built up by the word of grace and we are able to apply our inheritance to our lives along with our brothers and sisters in the family of God. The inheritance is not a vast fortune left to us by relatives who have died, but the living hope we have in Christ. It is faith, hope, love and forgiveness. (Acts 20:32-35)

            To serve God is to give to others. We are renewed and strengthened daily in order that we can do the will of God. As we stated before, no one can be forced to serve. Service must flow from the love we have toward God. God expects that we will help those in need and work together to build His Kingdom. Do we recognize the value of our gift of service? SERVESanctified, Empowered, Renewed, (able to) Volunteer, (and) Equipped. When we have been set apart, empowered and renewed, by the Holy Spirit, we experience the vitality and refreshment that allows us to serve voluntarily. We choose to take the next step and “GO” be disciples. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3)

            When we volunteer it should not be out of overwhelming emotionalism, or ambition because those things will lead us into trouble. We should carefully evaluate the needs we attempt to meet. We often make faith pledges within the church to get involved with projects, or support ministries that we feel strongly about, but our promises become “the sacrifice of fools” if we do not live up to them and serve. (Ecclesiastes 5:6-7)

            For as long as I can remember there have only ever been two things I wanted to be when I grew up. They are both related fields and I have been able to accomplish both as I submitted to the leading and direction of our Lord. One thing I wanted to be was a teacher, and the other was a preacher. How did I get where I am? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

            And the answer is: Our God truly is an awesome God! He does not ask anything of us that He will not equip us for. Most people, most of the time, do not protest serving if the areas of service are easily noticeable, but avoid like the plague the simple day-to-day tasks of ministry that are less glamorous. Unfortunately, God calls us to serve wherever there is a need. (Deuteronomy 22:4)

            We may find ourselves in ministry saying, “I never signed up for this.” Being equipped to serve is a painstaking process through which God accessorizes our lives. We never know which life lesson God will choose to use for His glory but we know all our serving is going to build the Kingdom of God when it is pleasing to Him. We all know the quickest way to please someone is — just do what is asked. There is no task too small to be noticed by God. He is at work in our lives making sure that we are equipped for every good and pleasing service. He is accessorizing us! (Hebrews 13:20-21)

            One key to effective service is worship. God speaks to us as we worship Him. He calls each of us to a specific ministry before Him. We are all Sanctified, Empowered, Renewed, (able to) Volunteer, (and) Equipped when we faithfully answer God’s call upon our lives. (Acts 13:2)

            Service pulls us into unity. The faith we share stretches us beyond our comfort zones and we become mature functioning members of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

            As God’s people we are being made ready to serve by the teaching and training available from the many gifted pastors and teachers God has given us, but the message should challenge, empower, and equip us for the work of serving God. We have been sanctified, set apart and made holy, by the will of God. We have been empowered by the Spirit of God. We are renewed daily by the grace of God. We are able to volunteer by acts of our free will, and we are equipped for service by the word of God. What better use of our time can there be but to serve? SERVESanctified, Empowered, Renewed, (able to) Volunteer, (and) Equipped — go ahead you know you want to!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Job 5:15-16 “But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.” (KJV)

Healing Oppressed People Everywhere

            Hopelessness seems to be a trademark of this generation; yet, God gives hope! Cutting off injustice and delivering people from those more powerful at first glance is the basic job description of a super hero, but Christians are called to the task of Healing Oppressed People Everywhere. Sin is a very powerful captor and many suffer from its effects in their physical body. Spiritual oppression and stress often leave us feeling as if there is no hope but God has invited us through His word to live a life of hope and promise.

            Throughout our lifetime we may have learned that what a person says is not always what they mean, but God is not a man and His word can be trusted. God saves us from ourselves and from those more powerful. In the arena of life it is interesting that what we say can become a sword that without the intervention of God would become our undoing. We are, at times, our own worst enemy. (Proverbs 12:18)

            Jesus taught that His words give life. If we have received them, then we have life and hope. Our spirits are given life by His Holy Spirit and the physical discomforts we experience cannot be allowed to distract us from the mission of sharing the Word of Life. (John 6:63)

            Being an ambassador for the Kingdom of God places each of us in a position of authority. God has granted to us the responsibility of taking His message to the nations. As His envoys we have the message of Hope, but freewill put the choice of delivery in our laps. (Proverbs 13:17)

            This proverb lets us know that if we change the message we can expect trouble in our lives, but if we faithfully deliver the message of hope, healing will follow. Healing Oppressed People Everywhere means that we are willing to become a trustworthy envoy of HOPE. An envoy is a person given the responsibility of representing another usually in matters of government. In the business world it has been said that a task can be delegated but responsibility cannot. Jesus gave us the authority to act in His name based upon His authority.  He holds on the the responsibility for the outcome. We act in His name -- He accomplishes the work through the Holy Spirit. (Luke 9:1-2)

            God has not changed. The authority of the church has not changed but the world by all accounts is getting worse. There is a real need for the message of hope. Proverbs again tells us that our speech is a two-sided coin. (Proverbs 15:4)

            The phrase, “It’s a coin toss.” might take on a whole new meaning if we apply it to the words we speak. Healing should be the desire of our hearts. Setting people free from oppression begins with the way we speak to them. (Proverbs 16:24)

            The power of our words can heal or hurt. Many of us have at times been blinded by pain and, as a result, we have not been faithful in healing others. Problems and pain no matter what their source can cause us to give up. As Christians we are given hope through salvation and our responsibility is to share that HOPEHealing Oppressed People Everywhere. It is impossible to give another what we do not have; therefore, in order to be busy about the task of Healing Oppressed People Everywhere we must overcome oppression in our own lives.

            Perhaps we can identify with the Psalm of Wisdom written by Asaph. His prayer was that God deliver the oppressed and remember those who had been redeemed. If we have been oppressed we can pray his prayer earnestly out of our deep need. If we know people who have been oppressed we can pray it sincerely on their behalf. In either case we put our faith in God alone, asking that we will not be allowed to turn and run from our problems, but rather find a reason to praise God in every situation. (Psalm 74:21)

            Again, in Psalm 82, Asaph calls upon God to defend the oppressed. What better reason to praise God can there be? He is at work in our lives delivering the oppressed. He works wonders on our behalf and we will see freedom from oppression, strength in our weakness, and our rights as children of God will be maintained as we walk in the fullness of the authority given to us in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 82:3)

            Those being oppressed and those guilty of the oppression do not know the mighty power of God. We are called to make His righteous works known among the nations. From the prayers and wisdom of Asaph we can move into a song of deliverance with David in Psalm 103. God has set us free from the oppression of sin. He has allowed us to enter into a life of hope and promise. (Psalm 103:6)

            Our redeemer is strong. There is none like Him. Who has been able to conquer Him? Who has been able to thwart His plan? When God frees us from oppression He brings us into a land of promise and rest. People are given a choice. We can either enter into the promises of God or we can continue to wander around in the dark depressing land of sin being oppressed by the devil. (Jeremiah 50:33-34)

            Healing Oppressed People Everywhere is what Jesus did and it is what He has called us to do. It is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. The devil cannot stand against the power of God. Sin cannot hold us captive when we put our hope in the salvation freely offered through Jesus Christ and Him only. (Acts 10:37-38)

            People have always been the priority within the Kingdom of God. He desires relationship with us. Living according to the plan of God demands that we increase the love we share. It calls us to be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ, and that we live our lives to the glory of God. Placing our faith in God gives us the confidence that whatever happens to us can serve to advance the gospel. Telling the stories of our lives can offer hope to those around us because what God has done for us He will do for others. (Philippians 1:9-12)

            God has called us to become His people. The mercy we have received holds out for us hope. This mercy also heals us freeing us from the power of oppression and uniting us as the people of God. All of this generates within us thankfulness toward God. Unity pulls us together into the body of Christ and the people of God. (1Peter 2:10)

            Jesus accepted us both into God’s Kingdom and into His body, when we by faith accepted Him as the Lamb of God. As Lord, He becomes the focal point of our lives and we overflow with thankfulness. Gratitude causes us to reach out to others and share the message of HOPEHealing Oppressed People Everywhere. (Colossians 2:6-7)

            Healing Oppressed People Everywhere means that we are willing to make people aware that there is a better way. We are marching in God’s parade, spreading the perfume of His presence everywhere. Some will choose to listen and be saved, but others will follow their own path to destruction and death. None of us in ourselves can measure up to God’s standard and no one can carry the weight of this burden. (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

            What we lift up to the world is Jesus. What He offers is hope, healing and a future. None of these things can be peddled as goods in the market place. Prosperity of the soul cannot be traded for profit. We are messengers sent in the authority of Christ with a pure heart, speaking the word of life to a hopeless generation. Just as the first followers of Christ were sent out with the message of hope, we are being sent.

            Everywhere we go there is someone in need of hope. The Lord is working with us, and He will confirm His message. Needs will be met, lives will be changed, and the glory of the Lord will shine through our lives. (Mark 16:20)

            Miracles are God’s specialty. They mark the lives of believers everywhere and according to biblical accounts confirm God’s word. Jesus taught that by our faith we would do the types of things He did and by that same faith we will accomplish even greater things because He went to the Father. The message of the gospel has not changed. The power and presence of God have not changed, and the mission of the church did not change. (John 14:12)

            Healing Oppressed People Everywhere means that we are willing to go everywhere. Hope knows no boundaries. Love knows no limits and the matchless power of God will overcome any obstacles. The church of Jesus Christ has the only true message of hope; if we do not share it where will the world hear it? (Luke 9:6)

Monday, April 27, 2015


2Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (KJV)

Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism

            How many times have we heard the adage, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care”? Concern for the personal well being of individuals drives our evangelistic efforts and impacts our effectiveness. Sin has taken many captive, but God has promised to be found if we will return to Him. God’s compassion lights the path that leads back to Him. Our knowledge and expertise is worthless without compassion.

            The promise land, which is marked by God’s favor, is accessible through His compassion. The hope that we have in Jesus affords us the privilege of sharing that hope with others. We represent God’s grace and mercy, and will not be effective in ministry unless we keep our heads, fulfill our commitments, and freely demonstrate the love of God.

            Caring about people is more than preaching to them. Caring about people is more than praying for them. Caring about people is coming alongside them and walking with them through the difficulties of life. As we walk with them three things happen: 1. The burden becomes lighter, 2. Working together we begin to understand each other, and 3. God delivers us from our captors. Through this process sin loses its power over us. God focuses His attention upon us, and we travel the path that leads to redemption. Our soul is renewed as self-indulgent nature gives way to love. God’s attention is captured by our repentance. (2Chronicles 30:9)

            God is continually at work bringing us back, or taking us deeper into a relationship with Him through Christ. When we wandered into sin, God turned His attention away from us, but when we repented, He poured out His mercy upon us. He leads us with everlasting kindness and compassion. We experience the grace of God and are able to share compassion with others because of what God does in our lives. The lyrics of the songs we sing reflect profound theological truth. “If I never had a problem, I’d never know that God could solve them” we may not remember the title, but the truth rings through.  (Isaiah 54:7-8)

            God is drawing us out into the world not as a participant in its evil but as beacons of hope in the darkness. Telling people about the blessings available to us through a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ is powerful when it is demonstrated through compassion. (Isaiah 63:7)

            Allow the Holy Spirit to awaken compassion within us. It will overcome the world. God’s compassion poured out into our lives has eternal results. People are often blinded by their sin. They set on the sidelines of life and never experience the fullness of God’s grace. As we come alongside them, and reach out with grace, they hear in our testimonies the hope that we have. They feel the love of God, and they begin to believe that God will meet their deepest needs. CARE –– Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism. (Matthew 20:34)

            Just as the awareness of those blind men was awakened and they recognized their need and called out to the Lord, the awareness of those around us must be awakened. They are moved to awareness by our compassion. They are not awakened by either our condemnation or our expertise. “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

            Once people recognize their condition, it is easy to reach out as examples of holy compassion and corporately begin to call out to the Lord for redemption. God never fails to rescue those who call upon Him from a repentant heart. His promises are sure and His love is unfailing. (Psalm 44:26)

            There is a wakeup call that is going out. God is moving among His children to awaken us. He is asking us to stand up for His principles. He is strengthening us to stand against evil.  God is beginning to stir us to revival. What is revival if it is not an awakening? (Psalm 94:16)

            The Lord is doing things today that are worthy of praise. He is active and working in our lives. When we praise Him for what He is doing, turn from our self-indulgent nature and CARE for those around us with compassion awakened, God begins to restore our lives, and our lives become tools for evangelism. Begin to CARE for the people around us, praise God and watch Him restore our lives. (Psalm 57:8)

            Once we awaken our souls and employ our talents praising God. It is not difficult to realize that God has brought us through trouble before and did not disappoint us. Our faith is built up, our emotions are perked up, and we can stand up. There is no problem situation in life outside of God’s power to restore. If we skip the trial we never know the power of restoration available in our relationship with God.

            God uses the situations in our lives to test our character. Trust builds in us as we see the power and presence of God overcome these problems. The Psalmist said, God made him see troubles. If we accept that God gave mankind a free will, we should understand that the vast majority of our troubles are the direct result of our choices. Still, the promise remains, God will restore.

            Clearly God’s promise is this: He will lift us up. We will again see the light of His love. Only God can take what the devil means for harm and completely transform it. God both will, and has brought us to life again in Christ. Resurrection power is the power of total restoration into a relationship with God. (Psalm 71:20)

            Compassion awakens us spiritually to the reality of God. It moves us to believe He is active in our lives; or that He is willing to become active as we commit to Him. God restores us to a relationship with Him and calls us into service. Our relationship was lost as a result of sin. Once relationship is restored through the redemption offered in Christ, we are called to serve. That service is evangelism – sharing the message of hope.

            As we learn how much God CAREs for us, we develop our ability to CARE for others. Calling upon God to renew His fame in our day and remember mercy even in His wrath directs our prayer for the lost. Compassion moves us into action. (Habakkuk 3:2)

            We freely share the message of God’s restoration power because God has given us hope. In every prophetic message there are the elements of now and not yet. Now God is at work restoring the lives of the believers; however, the total restoration will not be realized until we change our address permanently and enter eternity. Now there is healing, and provision for our needs. Now we can be satisfied, but the fullness of this promise cannot be experienced until He calls us home. Joy can become our trademark.

            God has given us reason to praise Him. Every problem is an opportunity for His mighty works to be demonstrated in our lives. Depending upon God is the only road to salvation, wholeness and health. Oil and wine in the Bible is a symbol of healing. God will repay the years we have lost to sin when we return to Him as our God. (Joel 2:24-26)

            We have first-hand knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God. We are examples of His miracles. Every day that we live, becomes a testimony of His power and authority. Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism — CARE. God uses our experiences to reach out to those around us.

            Jesus commanded those who witnessed His miracles to proclaim them to the world. We are each one of His miracles.  In Christ we are set free from the law of sin and death. We have experienced, and witnessed His power and authority in our lives. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. For that reason, evangelism is the logical next step as we begin to CARE for those around us. (Acts 10:42)

            A person with 20:20 vision is said to have perfect vision. This type of clarity in our vision should extend to our vision in ministry. It happens when we do not hesitate to proclaim what is helpful both publicly and in private. Ministry that matters is ministry that CAREs. (Acts 20:20)

            Previously the scripture reference from Joel said, “Never again will my people be ashamed.”  When we are standing up for the cause of Christ and proclaiming the good news among the nations we can have complete confidence in the message. Jesus saves! He holds nothing back and as the people of God, we should be willing to tell others what they need to hear whether they appreciate the message or not.

            The lack of shame and the ambition to share the message and knowledge of the Truth moves us with compassion to openly proclaim the good news of salvation to everyone without regard to race, intellectual ability, or social standing. We are all created in the image of God and He has lavished His love upon us. The reality of God’s love for us matures into both eagerness and an obligation to preach the Truth in that love. (Romans 1:13-16)

            How we respond to the Great Commission is predicated on our acceptance of the authority of Christ. If we acknowledge His Lordship we will build His Kingdom. He is with us always. God is running this world on an eternal clock and the signs of the end of this age are discernible to all through the Bible. Therefore we cannot avoid the call to evangelism. Without regard to rank, privilege, race or position Jesus called us all to make disciples according to His teachings. Ministry that will fulfill that responsibility is ministry that CAREs. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Friday, April 24, 2015


Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (KJV)


Most of us do not ever stop drinking in the beauty of life long enough to contemplate death. Does it have any appeal, beauty, or attraction other than the morbid curiosity created by Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Crane or Steven Spielberg and their literary works? Do we really want to rush head-long down into that valley?

No – We prefer happier thoughts not acquainted with grief and sorrow. Yet, Scripture speaks to us even about death. The Bible tells us where death came from in the book of Romans. The book of Genesis explains that death is a consequence of disobedience. Disobedience – Otherwise known as SIN – has caused major devastation to the gift of life we were given. (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12)

We will all face death. It is the natural end to our physical existence, certainly not an uplifting thought for those unacquainted with Christ, but for the Christian it is an appointment with PROMISE. The Prophet Isaiah had this to say about Christ.

Isaiah 53:3
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (KJV)

Our communion with Christ brings comfort to us through the promise of resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:50-52
 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV)

To inherit the Kingdom of God we must lay down this flesh and put on the fullness of Christ. We shall be changed. Death has no mystery for us because we know where we shall spend eternity. More could be said, but we should save that for another time. Let these words strengthen your heart.

Allow the peace of God fill you with ALL hope because Christ has promised us a heavenly home. He will call us homeward to be with Him – FOREVER! (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Psalm 121:1 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” (KJV)

Honor, Encourage, Lead, (and) Protect

            Several times in the past few years I have felt like I was running to catch up and not really able to handle everything that was happening. Job changes, health challenges, expectations on my time imposed by outsiders, and countless other inconveniences caused me to consider “throwing in the towel” or at the very least throwing a fit and crying out for help. We have all been in situations that caused us to want to yell, “Help!”

            As Christians we should understand that our help comes from the Lord. God is always willing and able to help us in every situation, but He also expects us, as His children, to help others in their times of need. God is omnipotent — all-powerful, and omniscient — all knowing. He could with a word wipe out all our problems and turn every situation around, but He chooses to work through His children in order to accomplish His will. As Christians, we have a responsibility to HELP.

            Real help addresses the root of the problem in a way that does not degrade, or demoralize the person in need of assistance. HELP begins with HHonor. Are we reluctant to accept the help we so desperately need? If we hold back or shy away from help how can we expect those to whom we are trying to minister to be any less reluctant? The root problem in this world is sin. The help we all need is help overcoming sin. Making the right choices at the right time for the right reasons in the right way will eliminate sin. Any real help is honoring to the person being helped. We cannot reach or assist those we do not honor.

            Honoring someone in this case is not putting the individual up on some sort of pedestal. It is not praising them falsely or in any way being insincere. I simply mean valuing them as one of God’s most precious creations. God throughout His word teaches us how we can be honoring to Him and to each other as we live to give Him glory. He also outlines how we can assure His aid in our decision making throughout our lives. We must honor God by honoring each other. (Isaiah 58:9-10)

            Honoring each other, means that we will not maliciously find fault or fix blame onto others. We will not allow people to oppress the weak, fatherless, or widowed. We will make every effort to use the resources at our disposal to meet the needs of the widowed, the needy, and the fatherless. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and satisfying the needs of the oppressed illustrates and emphasizes our dependence upon God because in ourselves we cannot meet these needs. Keeping God’s commandments will open the door for His intervention in our lives without diminishing the value of either His grace or His mercy. (Romans 13:7-9)

            Respect for our fellowman is demonstrated when we fulfill the law of love. Honoring an individual means that we make an effort to give them what should be theirs. The debt we owe every person is love. Our love for God is acted out in our relationships with mankind. Our obedience to all the laws of God is measured by how we treat our neighbors.

            Helping others means that we will go to the same lengths to satisfy any individuals real needs. There is no doubt that we love ourselves. We care for our daily needs. We rarely deny ourselves any convenience, and most of us go to great lengths to satisfy our felt needs (These would be our wants.). God does not show favoritism. Anyone willing to honor Him can have access to Him according to His word, but His word also calls upon us to reach out to others and care for the needs of individuals. (1Samuel 2:30)

            According to that verse, God honors those who honor Him and that is not contingent upon our heritage, but is clearly connected to our attitude. God judges us on our faithfulness to Him. When we are faithful to God we will bless others with the honor that is due them.  We realize, of course, any time we personally are honored it becomes encouraging to us. Encouragement strengthens us. The next letter in HELP is EEncourage.

            God encourages everyone in need by listening to the cries of the helpless and defending the oppressed. There are times when deliverance can only be secured through a Sovereign move of God, but His help most often comes through human hands –– hands that have been committed to Him. Offering HELP that honors and encourages an individual while we lead them into righteousness depends upon wisdom that comes from God. We must discern His will in each case and do away with injustice. (Psalm 10:17-18)

            Mankind creates injustice when we refuse to live according to the will of God. Misinterpretation, misrepresentation, and misapplication are three problems we face when we attempt to comprehend God’s will from any human perspective. Divine inspiration always lines up with the Divine revelation God has provided in His word. Because, we can rest assured His will never contradicts His word, searching the scriptures and understanding the direction of the Holy Spirit will teach us ­— honor offered appropriately is encouraging, leads us into righteousness and it protects us. We are commanded, according to scripture, to build each other up. (1Thessalonians 5:11-14)

            Taking action and doing something to make the world we live in a better place is a vital component of our Christian faith. We, as children of God, have a responsibility to warn, encourage, help, and extend patience toward all. These things flow from the mutual respect we share with our brothers and sisters. Hard work is the measure of what is worthy of respect and regard. Earlier we explored the acronym WORK – Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship. The kinship or kindness being spoken of here is dedicated to leading people into righteousness. Discipleship is a must. The next letter in HELP is LLead. (2Timothy 4:2)

            Proclaiming the truth of the Gospel is the responsibility of every believer. Therefore, we can all answer the call to leadership on some level. Look behind you - is any one following you? Then you are a leader. Look around the next time you are speaking - is anyone listening? Then you are a leader.

            I hesitate to tell this story but in a sense it illustrates the point I am making, so, I will ask your indulgence for just a moment. My mother still occasionally gets a chuckle from this story; so I hope you will see the humor in it as well. When I was very young somewhere between the ages of three and five, my family was taking a trip and as children so often do, I was attempting to get my parents attention to address whatever a person of that age might think was of critical importance, and as parents so often do I was being ignored or placated. All of a sudden, I got everyone’s attention when I said, “Oh, hell, nobody listens to me anyway.” After the initial shock passed and my parents figured out just where they thought I might have learned that word, they taught me two lessons.        

            First, someone is always listening and second children should not use some words! That truth was inevitable re-enforced by a word of correction. Regardless of whom we are at various times we are leading because someone is always paying attention to what we do or say. And, no matter whom we are at some point we will be rebuked (Count on it).  If you think rebuke is too harsh a description perhaps you prefer to be more politically correct and use challenged. Weather we are challenged or rebuked, training in righteousness is our aim. If the HELP we both offer and receive does not challenge us to a higher standard it is not leading us into the righteousness God intends. Leading others into holiness, and righteousness, before the Lord, calls upon us to live as an example in public as well as in private. The eyes of the Lord are not the only eyes that see us. We do not know when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound to call us into His rest, but we do know that while we are here the way we live matters. The goal is growing in godliness and true holiness. The next letter in HELP is PProtect.

            Helping others see the benefits of righteousness is impossible without both love and justice. Avoiding the deeds of faithless people and keeping vile things from before our eyes is proving to be a full time job in today’s world, but emphasizes the importance and necessity that Christians protect each other.

            This world, void of Christian influence, or protection becomes a very dark place indeed. It is no accident that Justice (the statue) holds a scale. Seeking justice and balancing it with love brings us to mercy. Grace and mercy flow from the heart of God, but make no mistake: He is just in all He does. Because we accept and believe these things, we protect our witness as well as those we care about. We protect them from the influence of the world. Resting in the knowledge and assurance that really the Holy Spirit has the responsibility to lead, guide and protect us as we depend upon and serve the Lord. (Psalm 101:1-3)

            This scripture reminds us that as we step out in faith to Honor, Encourage, Lead, (and) Protect — HELP all who are in need, we cannot neglect our own spiritual condition. The spotlight of the Holy Spirit out of necessity searches our hearts anytime He is invited and our obedience will bring our ways into alignment with God’s. We can successfully travel the road toward righteousness following His leading. His correction and direction keep our feet from slipping off the narrow path. The essential element is our invitation allowing God to search our hearts. He will never violate our freewill. The psalmist gives us the pattern for the invitation to be known by God in Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (KJV)

            Once we live employing His plan, we shine like the brightness of heaven in this dark world. Eternity allows those who lead many to righteousness to continue shining. (Daniel 12:3)

            There is a record of our actions. God is keeping track. Living the full Gospel message is more than being part of a social club. It calls us to Christian action. If we allow injustice, if we refuse to protect those who cannot protect themselves, if we do not maintain reverence toward the Lord; there will be a price to pay. Leading people into righteousness insists that we walk humbly before God, and defend the standard that God has established in His word.

            The law of God cannot be ignored without consequences. Every member of society regardless of station, position, or wealth has worth in the Kingdom of God. We cannot afford to think too highly of the material possessions or status we gain in this life. What we do with the truth God reveals becomes the hallmark of our religion. God is coming to judge our lives by His standard. (Malachi 3:5)

            Superman, it seems, had two-thirds of an outstanding motto. Do you remember what it was? (Truth, Justice, and The American Way) As Christians our motto should be, “Truth, Justice and God’s way!” The book of James teaches us that our religion can be pure and faultless with effort. Keeping our lives from the polluted elements of this world allows us to leap into the correct response and be willing to protect those in need of protection. (James 1:27)

            God has promised to act on behalf of the needy. He does protect and provide for us according to His plan. As His children we should follow His example. It is time that we fulfill our responsibility and become the reflection of our Father in Heaven. (Psalm 12:5)

            We must learn to offer help that honors, encourages, leads to righteousness, and protects. Those who honor God, He will honor. Those who encourage others will themselves find encouragement. Those who lead many to righteousness will shine, and those who protect others have exercised pure and faultless religion. A personal relationship with God causes us to reach out with HELP –– Honor Encourage Lead (and) Protect.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)


God has promised to be with us until the end of the age. So, why do we feel utterly adrift at times? Why are we caught so off guard by situations that arise? Ministry is a never ending opportunity to cry out to God for the overwhelming needs experienced by His people. Seldom does a day pass without a crisis. Each demand has the potential to draw us closer to, or drive us further from the presence of God.

Remembering the attributes of our Father in Heaven, will keep us from falling into the abyss. I address this question to all the parents reading this post: Do you listen for and respond to the cry of your children?

Of course you do!

The first attribute of God we should explore today is His attentiveness. God is always paying attention to us, He sees and hears EVERYTHING. This is especially true in His house.
Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (KJV)

As long as we have accepted Christ, strive daily to live for him, quickly repent when we get it wrong, God covers us with the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. Grace has been defined as “un-merited favor” for decades…It was the first thing I learned as a Christian. We do not deserve God’s grace or attention, but He offers both freely because of Christ in us. God is Attentive!

Proverbs 18:23-24
23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly. 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (KJV)

The world seems to be full of beggars, abusers, disloyal friends, and manipulators each angling for their best advantage. We cannot frustrate ourselves by judging motivations we have no control over. Just put complete trust in that friend that sticks closer than a brother…Knowing He is Christ. God is Loyal.

There is no denying that struggles with health, problems in our marriages, financial stress, and family issues pop their ugly heads up into our lives, but God and His grace are greater than any of these problems. God has not and will not ever abandon us while we hold our confession of faith tightly. There is nowhere we can go that God cannot reach us. When we begin to feel alone, remember God is Attentive to our cries. He is a Loyal friend. God is Omnipresent. He is the Never-Failing God. Our Father in Heaven is an Encourager to all His children.

Psalm 139:8-10
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (NIV)

Never doubt that God is aware of exactly where you are and what you ae facing. He has a purpose for everything we go through and He has promised to go through it with us. We are never ALONE.

Hebrews 13:5-6, 8-9
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. (NASB)

God’s love for us never changes. His plan for us is never undone. Even when the problems we are facing are of our own making, by that I mean, if we have fallen into some sin or another, God gentle calls us back into a fresh relationship with Him. We will not be consumed by our failures, problems, or shortcomings when we return to the Never-failing love God has for us. We can just get off the rollercoaster and put trust completely in Him.

Malachi 3:6
 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)

God has called each of us and has gifted every one of us to accomplish His plan with our lives. He has not changed His mind. He has not repossessed the gifting He gave any of us. He waits for our response and uses us to show mercy to one another.

 Romans 11:29-31
 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (KJV)

The hymn “God Leads Us Along” has been going through my head for about a week now. I’m fixated on the words of the chorus, “Some through the water, some through the flood, some through the fire, but all through the Blood, some through great sorrow but God gives a song in the night season and all the day long.”

No matter what our struggles or the obstacles in our path it is God Who leads us along. He will never leave us, and He will see us through every difficulty.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Our Heavenly Father is our Attentive, Loyal, Omnipresent, Never-failing, Encourager. Don’t get this wrong. He is not the magic wand we wave at every trouble or care. He is the Creator of ALL things, the Giver of Life, and an ever-present help in times of trouble. We are not attempting to redefine the word alone. We are using what we know about the attributes of God to express God’s love, grace and faithfulness toward His children. We are NEVER alone.

John 14:18
18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. (AMP)

 Yes – Problems are real, but the truth of God’s Word, and His Spirit working in us overcomes the temporal limitation we face; because Christ is working in us an eternal plan. It is my hope that in some small way God has used this message to bring encouragement into the hearts of all who read it. When we begin to feel overwhelmed, dismayed, or cast aside, focus on the nature of God and by His grace we will never feel alone as long as His Word is burning in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (KJV)

May the Grace of Christ be with you, He is the comforter of the oppressed. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Proverbs 19:2 “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” (KJV)

Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm

            No doubt we have all known people, or perhaps have been people, with too much zeal and too little knowledge. These people seem to go through life with an over abundance of enthusiasm but no real direction. They are always “getting the cart before the horse”. God is not asking us to blindly rush into ministry. As Christians we need to pace ourselves according to God’s schedule. We must be excited about what we are doing. We must expend energy to get the right job done at the right time, but we must plan and execute our lives with skillfulness and passion. PACE –– Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm ­­–– We should take risks. We should be willing to try new approaches, but we cannot effectively minister without a plan.

            In a time before cell phones and satellite TV there was Public Broadcast Television. On that channel you could find programs for a wide variety of viewers covering an equally wide variety of topics. Being a Television addict, one of my favorites was a painting program where the artist would demonstrate the techniques of painting landscapes. I have long since forgotten his name and the name of the program, but remember his monotone seemingly hypnotic voice saying something about “happy little accidents”.  For a long time I envisioned God in heaven painting our lives with that type of attitude. However, a quick look into the Bible will tell us a plan is important. Passion or zeal can get us started, but a plan will keep us going.  (Proverbs 16:3)

            God is interested in the details. If a plan is going to succeed, there must be a plan to start with. Committing our plan to the Lord means that we have taken it to Him, sought His advice, listened to His leading, and moved in His timing. Often our passion and our enthusiasm leave our good sense in the dust as we run headlong into a problem that could have been avoided with the proper planning. (Luke 14:28-30)
            The PACE in which we move is an integral part of the plan. PACE –– Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm. Take a risk. Move in faith. Believe God to do great things, but balance our zeal with knowledge. Prove our knowledge with experience, and align our experience with the word of God. The word of God is our foundation. The plan of God is our focus, and the love of God is our heartbeat. We will finish the task if we keep the proper perspective. (Romans 12:10-11)

            Excitement or eagerness may “get the ball rolling”, but fervor or passion keeps us working until the end. We have all started projects that showed great promise or peeked our interest, but many of those projects are to this day unfinished (At least they are at my house). Passion for something gets the job done. Think of one of those unfinished projects. The reason it remains unfinished more than likely boils down to the love for the project waning. The fickle aspect of our attention span causes loss of interest and enthusiasm. We require constant fine-tuning and adjustments to our focus. 

            All of us can recall without too much difficulty the situation and the setting where we were first introduced to the reality of our need for Jesus Christ. We can go from there to our first burning desire to share the love of God with others, but do we maintain that spiritual fervor even today? Our Christian experiences must be passionate. The heartfelt needs we meet go beyond our emotional state; they touch the soul. We must be willing to take the initiative. Personal courage is vital in our keeping PACE with God’s purpose. Willingness to take the risk makes the difference. (2Corinthians 8:17)

            The examples form scripture teach us that Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm and is followed by profound action. In spite of personal hardship, and extreme poverty the effort was made to financially support the ministry of the gospel even beyond reasonable human ability. According to the biblical account, individuals took the initiative.

            Stepping out and taking the initiative is not a haphazard, flying by the seat of our pants action. We must not allow our zeal to cause us to act in haste and miss the way. We must make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, but our response should be planned and coordinated. We are responsible as stewards of God’s blessings to manage well the resources we have. In the coordination of our efforts our enthusiasm can also motivate others to action. We have to exercise discipline and PACE ourselves. The ministry is a marathon not a sprint. (2Corinthians 9:2)

            The excitement and enthusiasm we demonstrate is what stirs others to action. The faith we exercise and invest grows stronger and more productive in partnership with the faith of others. We know faith without works is dead, but do we realize that Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm and is followed by profound action.  Become enthusiastic Christians allow our passion for the things of God to cause us to act courageously. We are in ministry together for the long haul. (James 2:17)

            We must put our faith to work, PACE our efforts, and truly be passionate about the things of God. Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm, courageous enthusiasm is contagious. God will move on the hearts of individuals and they will catch the vision and begin to take the initiative. (1Peter 1:13)

            The word of God calls us to be prepared. Ready to take action, we stand in faith, fully relying on the hope that we have in Christ. Our actions flow from passion. Our hope strengthens us and our minds are resolute in the Truth. Step by step we march, and as we go forward into victory, the spark of revival ignites into a roaring flame in those around us. God moves powerfully breaking the spiritual chains of bondage to sin as we PACE ourselves according to His plan. Moving in God’s timing has for some been an excuse not to act, but to truly move in God’s timing is a matter of utmost care. (Psalm 19:7-9)

            God will make us altogether righteous in His timing. We walk in the light of His word. We trust the wisdom He shares and we know that His precepts are right. God’s schedule is running on an eternal clock. We, as Christians, are already citizens of that eternal Kingdom living here; yet, privileged according to our citizenship there. As a result we answer to a vastly different timetable. What we accomplish for the Kingdom of God in our lifetime is limited to the span of our years; however, our legacy touches eternity.

            Abraham spent his life looking for a city whose architect and builder is God. We like him are not bringing about God’s Kingdom on Earth. We are only part of His grand design. Our mission is simple. Allow our passion for the things of God to direct our steps and stay in PACE with the architect.  (1Corinthians 3:10)

            As we employ the skills available to us through prayer, study, and a life of holiness people see our example and we build a spiritual house. Sound doctrine is the plumb line. If our life does not mirror our teaching, we should check the blueprint and make the necessary corrections. Zeal without knowledge builds an unstable structure, but knowledge without passion will never finish the task. (Hebrews 3:4)

            Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm –– courageous enthusiasm is contagious. God will move on the hearts of individuals and they will catch the vision and begin to take the initiative. Remember God is building His Kingdom. Simply PACE yourself with the Master Builder.