The Fight of Eternity

“Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

All through the book of Galatians, Paul tells us about a battle that defines our daily battle better than anything else I could say. “In one corner, wearing the fiery breath of the God of creation, with a record of always doing good, being true and never failing, stands our human spirit.  In the other corner, wearing the sinful flesh of humanity, with a record of always doing bad, having a dark nature and all that is basically against the truth, is our human flesh!”   These are the main players in our daily walk.

“Our first contestant, your spirit,  hails from the realms of Heaven.  He was given a new spirit, a heart of flesh, and has had the Law of God written within him.  His trainer is the one and only Holy Spirit.  His strategy is to always follow the Word of God.

“Our second contestant, your flesh,  comes form the earth.  He was cursed and given a sin nature, which contains all the lusts and temptations of the world.  His trainer is Satan, who’s  strategy is to disobey the Word of God.

We come to you today from your mind’s arena, right in the middle of your soul. This contest is a lifetime battle and will never cease as long as we breathe breath on this earth.  The opponent that will win is the one who’s in the better shape.  You know, the one who has exercised more and eaten properly.  But more importantly, the one who is stronger and is able to carry out his trainers strategy.  This one will always win within us.  The one who trains properly and understands how his enemy works will always come out on top.  This is the battle you face every second of every hour of your life.  So, have you prepared for today’s bout. Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t get days off if you want to walk in victory.  You must train and prepare for the battle that is about to unfold.  You might say, “When?”  The answer is simple, “as soon as you get done reading this!”  So are you ready?  Will you win the fight today?  Will you win by decision or by knockout?  Who’s strategy are you going to follow today?   I pray that you’re ready for what is right around the corner.  There’s the bell!

 

 

Our Daily Struggles

Romans 7:18+19: For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 7:24: wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Have you ever struggled with something in your life that you know is not right, but you just can’t seem to break free from it?  Have you ever been torn between your love for the Lord deep within and your strong desires on the outside?  If you have then I have great news for you.  The Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest of all the Apostles, had the same struggles going on in his life.  I don’t know about you but I’m comforted knowing that Paul had struggles just like I have.  Paul loved the Lord more than he loved life.  He gave up everything for the Lord, that’s how deep his love was for Jesus.  But he still struggled with things of the flesh.  I am aware of the same struggles in my life.  You see, the truth is, that we all struggle with something in our lives.  Some things are visible to others and some are not.  Some struggles are internal and some are external.  My wife and I minister to all kinds of people with all kinds of struggles at our “Recovery Center” called the “Jesus Inn”.  Everyone has problems they deal with every day of their life.  We will never get rid of these while we live on this earth. It’s true that we get rid of a lot of them over the years, but we all are imperfect living in an imperfect world.

Someone once said to me about one of my clients,”Well if they really loved the Lord they would stop doing that!”  Wow!  That’s so easy to say.  But for those of us that have ever been addicted to anything, the answer to us is obvious, “You don’t have a clue what addiction does to people and how hard it is to stop doing something.” It’s easy to judge the ones whose addiction we can see, but what about the the hidden struggles inside of us that no one else can see.  I would venture to say that ever one will struggle with something their whole life, told or untold, seen or not seen.

So what is the answer to life’s struggles?  Simply, His name is Jesus.  He loves us! He will always love us!  He’s not unaware of our struggles, but it was for this very reason that He came to us. He knows our heart and that’s what He’s really concerned with.  Sometimes we have a hard time in this world showing Him how much we love Him, but He knows the whole truth.

King David was caught up in being a peeping tom, an adulterer and a murderer, and these were just some of the things in his life, but God knew David’s heart.  God Himself said that David was, “a man after His own heart.”

I really get scared when someone is not struggling with anything because I doubt their salvation.  You see most of my struggles really began when I started to love the Lord.  That’s when the real battle begins.  The battle between good and evil. It rages inside of us causing us to have some victories and some defeats.  We always try to do good but don’t always succeed.  Jesus loves the fact that we want to do right.  Besides, all the wrongs in our lives have already been paid for at Calvary.  So if you’re struggling today take courage and just don’t give up.  No matter what, keep fighting.  God will never let us down.  He always fights with us, and when we fail, He picks us back up.  So get back up and keep trying.  The effort you make to break free, in the end, is in its self the victory!

 

We Must Die

“Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in the body.”

A lot of new converts, come to me and say, “What do I do now?”  Some of us have been with the Lord for many years and the same question comes to us at different points in our lives, “What do we do now?”  It’s a simple question with a simple answer, although most do not like the answer.  The answer to all of us, no matter what stage of Christianity we’re at, is simply, “We must die!”  That, my brothers and sisters, is the whole point of walking in grace.  Grace doesn’t give us the right to keep on sinning.  Grace gives us the right to die. If we want the resurrected life of Jesus to live within us we must do what He did.  He is our example.  He said, “I don’t do anything unless I see the Father doing it!”  Well, we should not do anything unless we see Jesus doing it.  We are to imitate Jesus.  We are to do what He did. Therefore we must pick up our cross daily and carry it to Golgotha.  We must crucify our flesh so that we may live.  His life was a life of constant death so others could live.  Friends, I’m truly worried about the body of Christ in this hour.  We are so intent on building our churches and having the best of everything.  We want nicer homes and better cars.  We want better jobs and more pay.  We want the things the world wants, but we are unwilling to lay down our life for Jesus.  You don’t have to take my world for it, just go to a church prayer meeting and see how many are there, that’s if your church even has a prayer meeting.  Look at the number of people in churches that have been there for years and still have the same old habits.  We don’t want to lay down anything, we just want to be able to worship the Lord and listen to our favorite preacher.  We want to feel good, you know, “Don’t worry, be happy!”  We need to understand that Jesus killed our flesh spiritually on the cross, but it’s our job to kill it in the physical realm.  It’s our job to crucify our flesh.  This is the way the world will see Jesus.  As we put our life to death, and we can because God’s grace is always sufficient, His glory is seen through us.  There is no longer a veil that separates the Lord’s glory from the world.  Moses was told that He couldn’t see God’s glory and live.  That is truth!  If we want to see His glory, we must die.  Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket, but crucify the veil of flesh that’s keeping the world from seeing Jesus in you.  If we want the world to be saved, we must lay our lives down and pick up our cross.  That’s how you become alive in Christ!  Have you shed your blood lately to the point of death?  It’s time.  The world needs to see Jesus and it’s up to us in this hour.  So, the question is, “Are you hungry enough to do what it takes?”  I will leave you with that so I can pray and contemplate my own life. God’s Blessings!

Prayer is Critical for Our Nation, Now!

“Pray Without Ceasing”

The elections are over and I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m glad about that!  What do we do now.  Whether your candidate was Trump or Clinton is not important at this point.  But there is something that is critical and will remain critical over the next 4 years, prayer.  I saw the body of Christ coming together and praying more than they had for a long time.  But the truth is, I saw the same thing happen before during an election or a national crisis, but, after the election was over prayer ceased.  Let’s think about everything that happened.  First, it’s obvious that the nation has spoken and made it clear that we want to head in another direction.  Well, how do we do that becomes the question.  If we think for one minute that Donald Trump can lead us back to God we are going to be very disappointed.  If I had to pick a candidate that would bring us back to God he probably would have been my last choice.  The point is that neither candidate fit that description.  So as we prayed that God would change the nation, God, not our vote, gave us Trump.  The Bible is very clear that no one is placed into authority without the Lord placing them there.  So, it’s a logical progression to say that our prayers placed him in office.  The second point then is this.  If we prayed to bring the nation back to God, and Trump was elected, how do we think God can use Trump to turn this nation around unless we continue to pray for him and the nation.  I see in him potential to make our nation great again.  But only if God works in and through him, as well as and through, the Christians of this nation.  We must pray for our nation now, and the next 4 years, more then ever before.  We as Christians must seek God’s face and stop being hypocrites!  Yes, I said it!  We complain about everything that happens in this country but we’re doing the same things as everybody else.  It’s true!  So, this is, and should be the platform of the body of Christ, starting today. #1.  Pray that God would revive this nation, starting with us as individuals and a nation.  That’s right!  If we want revival we must draw a circle around ourself, look inside the circle and humble ourselves enough to say, “I need to change.  My life has to change!”  At this point we must humble ourselves and go forward seeking God’s face.  #2.  We should pray that God would make this the nation that He intended it to be.  A God fearing nation that is an example to the rest of the world.  I believe as revival spreads across the country that we will take it to the world. (kind of sounds like the Great Commission, doesn’t it?” #3.  We must pray that our President can be used of God in each situation to carry out God’s will for us.  We must pray that Trump will know God’s will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding!  #4.  We must pray for his safety.  As dark as the world is today, the enemy will fight back as revival starts and he would like nothing more then to take out the leader and separate the sheep.  So, Christian, it’s up to us now, not a man or women in the oval office, but us.  We must raise up and be the army that will bring in the end time harvest.  It’s not going to be easy but it’s truth.  I challenge you to double your time in prayer.  I challenge you to start regular prayer vigils at your churches to pray for our nation.  This could very possibly be our nation’s last chance!  I remember when Ronald Reagan became President, a lot of us thought, “really, a hollywood actor in the Presidency.”  But he turned out to be one of the best presidents, in my humble opinion, of the current era.  There is nothing impossible with God, if we can only believe! So after all is said and done, I’m in, how about you!!!!!

The Great Commission

All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations.  Teaching them to observe all things commanded you and I am with you even to the ends of the age.

We call it the Great Commission.  But for years we have not done what the Lord told us to do.  Let me explain.  Most people I know are into winning souls to the kingdom. Now, even though this is well and good, it’s not what Jesus told us to do. I recently attended a special meeting in which about 40 people were led to the Lord.  On our terms, we would consider that a tremendous meeting. But the next regular meeting, not one of the people that received salvation came back to church.  All the ones who had brought them to the special meetings were  excited about them getting saved and were giving testimony about all the salvations that had supposedly occurred, but no one brought anybody back. All they were talking about is how many they got saved!  Wow!  I didn’t think we could save anybody?  I wonder how many of those 40 would be in church in a year.  I wonder how many of them would ever come back into a church.  We, as the church, have become this machine that brings them in the front door, and then they move through the church, get their salvation, and continue right out the back door.  Why?  Because  we have all dropped the ball.  You see it’s our responsibility to teach them and train them. If you bring someone to church and they receive salvation, your job is not over, it’s just begun.  Only God can save people, but it’s our job to disciple them.  We do that by teaching them. “Well that’s the Pastor’s job!”  I don’t think so.  We have this saying, “we catch them and the pastor cleans them,” but that’s the wrong answer. It’s each one of our responsibilities to make disciples.  We do that by teaching them, taking care of them, keeping them protected and leading them back into church every time the doors are open. That’s the great commission!  I don’t want to see banners around the church with an S on them for how many we got saved.  You know, like people putting a K out each time a pitcher strikes someone out. I want to see the actual people in church every week being equipped and trained.  Bottom line, I would love to see 100 people get saved every Sunday, but I would much rather see 5 of them still be there at the next revival meeting, growing up in the Lord and bringing their own people with them to get saved.  How about you?

 

The Process is The End!

This was one of my best loved blogs. More people visited my blog that day then usually visit all month. So I thought it would be good to revisit. Enjoy and God’s Blessings today!

"The Living Word"

“Get into the boat and cross over.”

We sometimes have a vision or dream of where God wants to take us.  We visualize where we want to be, or what it is that we consider to be successful.  But God’s end is never the same as what our end seems to be.  We look at people who are successful in this life and we try to be like them.  We all want the world to know us in success.  I believe that because of this, we continue to work towards what we believe is the end.  “If I can get to the end I have made it in life!!”  It’s what drives us our whole lives during this short time on earth.  But what about the process?  Is that important?  I believe that God places much more emphasis on the process then the end.  In fact, I believe that our…

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The Lord Bless You

“The Lord bless you and keep you.”

This is the High Priestly Blessing found in Numbers chapter 6.  If you think it was a spiritual blessing you would be wrong.  It was to bless them physically.  If you think it was a physical blessing so they could just kick back and have fun and not have a care in the world, you would also be wrong.  The blessing was given to the Nation of Israel for a specific purpose.  You see they believe that when Moses went on the mountain, God gave him the first 5 books of the Bible, which is called the Torah.  Now I believe that also.  I have always believed that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai, but I always thought that he then recorded it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  But a Jew believes that the Torah was written before the foundations of the world and that God works His plan through it.  They believe that God actually handed Moses the Torah, or the first 5 books of the Bible, while he was with Him on the mountain.   It is important to realize that man is the one who separated the Torah in books and verses, not God.   So why did God want them blessed?  His main purpose in blessing the nation of Israel with physical blessings was so that they didn’t have to spend all their time and effort pursuing them.  The time that they had acquired because of the Blessings of God was to be used in studying the Torah.  He wanted them to devote their extra time to Torah study.  There are a lot of people in this world that have been blessed by God but they don’t study the Word of God at all.  That’s why there is so much trouble.  The more study we put into the Word, the less trouble we have.  The idea is to draw closer to the Living God every day by becoming more like Him. Most people have a short devotional in the morning and that’s it.  Now this is good so don’t get mad at me.  But what do we do with our extra time during the day?  If we want the Blessings of God in our lives, our families, our nation, it will come from a deep sorrow that leads us to repentance, and refocusing our lives on the Word of God in every situation.  We need His word back.  It’s the only way to let the world see Jesus.  I challenge you to spend at least an hour a day studying the Word.  It’s not the end goal but it’s a start.  May the Lord Bless you today!