That Nasty 6-Letter Word...Change

I've been pondering something for a couple of days. Something everyone has to deal with, but most of us don't want to deal with it. No it's not our income tax return or a trip to the dentist for a cleaning or even worse...a root canal. It is change. Yes, change.

As a whole change is necessary to move forward in life. Chance involves our position. I know you've heard the old adage "being in the right place at the right time". That's what position is. Sometimes we need to reposition in order to move ahead or to even stand our ground. But in most cases repositioning requires change. For most people change is the direct opposite of comfortable! 

Change is necessary to be effective in whatever we do. If we do something a certain way without getting the desired results, perhaps we need to change the way we're doing what we're doing! My pastor always said, "If we do what we've always done, we will always have what we've always had!" That's speaks volumes to me. What we've always had might not be what God wants for us today! He is fresh, like a flowing river. He is always moving and wherever He moves life flows. 

The greatest roadblock to change, thus the roadblock to progress, is focusing on the past. Many folks have had wonderful pasts. Others however might want to forget some of their pasts. Looking back on "what we had" makes it impossible for you and me to acquire "what we need" to move ahead. Therefore we become stiff and brittle, not being pliable and resilient which is what we need to change. Focusing on "where I used to be" and how wonderful it was is in direct opposition to "where I am going" and how much more wonderful it could be. Notice I said "focusing" not remembering. There is a big difference.


Back a few years I knew some people through which a church was born. This happened in their own home. Over the years as the church grew these folks (as sweet as they were) always referred back to the days when the church was in their home. It's as if God could never top anything as good as that. The is where their focus was. It was hard for them to move beyond the days that took place back then. Everything from back then and forward was measured against those particular days and experiences.

I see this so much in people today. To them it seems as if it will never be as good as it was "back then". Their focus on the past has them blinded to the present and future. Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 3: 13a - 14, "...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Please remember this..the goal is always ahead of you. It is never behind! God has so much in store for you, your family, and your church. But we must be willing to change in order move ahead to pursue it. Change may not be comfortable but it is vital! Stay the same and regress, or change and move forward! Remember forward progress is where your destiny lies, and change is necessary to move forward.


885536: How People Change How People Change
By Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp / New Growth Press

A changed heart is the bright promise of the gospel. When the Bible talks about the gift of a new heart, it doesn't mean a heart that is immediately perfected, but a heart that is capable of being changed. Jesus' work on the cross targets our hearts---our core desires and motivations---and when our hearts change, our behavior changes. It's amazing to watch people who once seemed stuck in a pattern of words, choices, and behaviors start living in a new way as Christ changes their hearts.

Are You Faithful?

Are you faithful? That's a vague question I know. Faithful to whom? Faithful to what? Faithful when, etc? But it is a question we must ask ourselves quite often.

We get a better understanding of the application of the word "faithful" when we look at what the dictionary says. Faithful: ( a.) Strict or thorough in the performance of a duty. (b.) True to one's word. (c.) Steady in allegiance or affection. (d.) Loyal, constant, reliable, trusted, or believed. Faithfulness is the quality and the characteristic of being faithful. 

Faithfulness is the key to success in any realm. Faithfulness says, "Not only will I commit, but I will stay committed!" Faithfulness says, "God is faithful, so I can be faithful." Some folks believe faithfulness is conditional. I'm so glad God doesn't think that. He's been so faithful to me and I don't really deserve His faithfulness. If God's faithfulness were conditional, even walking by faith would be futile, because some days He just wouldn't be there. But He is faithful (as the old Randy Stonehill song said), "Even when I'm not." 


Let's break down a few of those definitions above for faithfulness. Are you true to your word? Can people trust your word? Are you steady in your allegiance to God, your spouse, your family, your leader(s), your church, or employer? I'm just asking. Are you constant and reliable? Can you be trusted and believed? If you answered "yes" to these questions you are faithful...and you are a blessing to others!

Faithfulness is not hereditary, you must learn it and apply it. It must be cultivated and developed. "How can I develop and cultivate faithfulness?" you ask. Start with God as your example. Also look for humans that have developed faithfulness in their walk with Him. There's no doubt you will find faithfulness as a fruit of their life too. While there is a shortage of faithfulness among Christ-followers these days, there still are those who understand and walk in faithfulness. How do you notice them? Actually they stick out like a sore thumb!

Faithfulness always has as its target others. It is God's heart for people applied through people. Faithfulness is a major vehicle in which God's love is distributed to others. Faithfulness will cause folks to trust your character and to eventually trust God.

And finally, be faithful in the small things. The things that seem insignificant. The truth is those small things are not insignificant to the eyes of God. Jesus said, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much..." (Luke 16:10a) If you can be trusted in the small things, God considers you faithful in the big things. Remember, faithfulness (see definitions above) is a very important key to your success.


63103: Faithful Witness: The Life and Mission of William Carey Faithful Witness: The Life and Mission of William Carey
By Timothy George / Vision Video

Shoemaker, botanist, translator, preacher, factory manager- William Carey was all these things, but he is best known as the father of modern missions. From his humble beginnings in England to his missionary work in India during the early 1800s, his devotion to the Lord touched the lives of thousands of people. An inspiring biography that will lead you to strengthen your own commitment to Christ.

Is Hell Real?

This post is a little on the heavy side. It is not my intent to scare or even offend anyone. Sometimes the truth can be disturbing, but all the time, the truth will set one free. (See John 8:32)

Many folks don't believe in Hell. Why is that? The most popular reason is that many believe God wouldn't create a place like hell. Or at least God wouldn't send people there. You've heard it before: "If God is so loving, why would He send anyone to hell?" God doesn't send anyone to hell. It is a choice people make. "Then He (Jesus) will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels." The "accursed" ones referred to as goats here, are those who choose to reject God and His Son, Jesus. (Matthew 25:41)

The above verse makes it clear that hell, the lake of fire, is prepared for the accursed ones, and for the devil and his angels. Hell is also prepared for the antichrist (the beast) and his false prophet. (See Revelation 19:20) Hell is also prepared for death and hades, and anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (See Revelation 20:14-15) God gives us the choice: heaven or hell. Jesus or not. Choose Jesus, get heaven. Reject Jesus, get hell.

So what is hell? Hell is a place. The Bible says hell is very, very hot. It is called the lake of fire. This lake burns with fire and brimstone, a form a sulfur. Yes, hell is hot...and hell is forever. Many preachers preach about hell fire and brimstone in judgmental fashion. Only it is not really judgmental. It is the passion coming from one who understands the seriousness of hell. Again, hell is not only hot...hell is forever.

The Holy Spirit impressed something upon my heart a few weeks back revealing another aspect of hell not mentioned very often. Hell is a place totally devoid of the the presence of God. The term "God forsaken" is taken to an almost unimaginable level. The first thing a person will do when they land in hell (besides yell "Ouch!") will be to cry out to God, "I was wrong! Help me Jesus!" But God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will not answer them. Why? Because God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will not be there...forever. Hell is hot, hell is forever, and hell is completely devoid of the presence of God.

There will be eternal remorse, eternal heartbreak, and eternal regret. Over and over the cry for help and repentance will go up, but to no avail. Why? God is not there. It this cruel? No! Why? Because Jesus stands ready at this very moment to answer the cry of whosoever will call to Him! Your opportunity is today, not when it is too late. "Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION" (2 Corinthians 6:2b) This is what the grace of God is all about. Today is the day of salvation. Today you can choose to turn your life over to Jesus and not land in the lake of fire...hell. This is good news!

Jesus made it possible for you and me to avoid hell which is also referred to as the second death. "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14) Jesus died a physical death and rose three days later making it possible for you and me to rise to Him in the resurrection. But He also died the "second death" making it possible for you and me to avoid the second death, the lake of fire. Jesus paid this price for you and me on the cross as He took upon Himself all the sin of the world. As He became your sin and my sin God could not look upon Him. Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" God had not forsaken Jesus. The sin upon Jesus brought a separation between He and God. Jesus experienced this separation from God in your place. To choose Jesus today means to avoid the second death, total separation from God in the lake of fire later. Then it will be too late.

Myriads of people will not turn their lives over to Jesus today because they don't want to change or lose the life style they maintain. This is a lack of understanding of the concept of eternity. Your life on this earth is just a vapor compared to eternity. We must understand that the next life, whether in heaven or hell never ends. While those who have been there 10,000 years, singing praises in God's presence suddenly realize "We've only just begun", those who have been crying for mercy...unheard for 10,000 years will realize "we've only just begun". How tragic! My friend, hell is forever. The good news is heaven is forever!

God is full of grace and mercy. Those who call upon Him in sincerity now, will find that grace and mercy. No one has to leave this life without Jesus. Today is the day of Salvation. Perhaps today is the day of your salvation. If you are in the least bit concerned about your final destination, again which will be forever, check out the reality of knowing Jesus today. It begins with a simple prayer of repentance. And this wonderful relationship of grace and mercy lasts forever and ever!


380274: 23 Questions About Hell--Book and DVD 23 Questions About Hell--Book and DVD
By Bill Wiese / Charisma House

Did God create hell? Is it real or metaphorical? Can "good" people go there? Wiese addresses these and other burning questions in this companion to 23 Minutes in Hell. Offering a firsthand account of eternal punishment, he clears up misconceptions about God's character and shows that we are accountable for our own decisions. Includes DVD. 160 pages, hardcover from Charisma.

Don't Trip Over A Shopping Cart!

I enjoy rising early each morning to awaken the dawn with God's presence. The tools I usually use are Praise & Worship music and God's incredible Word. Nothing gets the day started like an appointment with Jesus. He's always there waiting for me!

This morning as I was meditating on God's Word some questions came to my mind: "How is God on the earth while in heaven at the same time?" The obvious answer is through and by His Spirit. Add to that the truthful fact that God is really, really big...so big He's everywhere! Actually the presence of God has always been here on the earth and God has always been really, really big. Another question popped up in my mind: "How is it possible for Jesus to be here on the earth as Savior while at the same time being at the right hand of God in heaven?" You are probably thinking what you think is the obvious (if you can understand what I just said). By the Spirit of God. Of course this is true. But actually something else came to my mind. Something you and I need to ponder deeply.

Yes, Jesus is here by His Spirit. But since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago, Jesus is here through His body, the church. The church was born by the outpouring of the Spirit. The church is also empowered and led by the Holy Spirit. The church is the body of Christ. Jesus is the head. The church is HIS body. Listen to Ephesians 1: 22 - 23, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Did you catch that? Paul said Jesus is the "fullness of Him who fills all in all." Those who have Jesus are filled with the fullness of all He is. Think about millions upon millions of folks filled with His fullness on this planet!

Jesus made the church His body for a reason. I am about to give a really weird analogy but I believe you will remember this one. Let's say your head and body were detached from one another. Or would you rather use me as an example? OK, let's use me. Let's say my head and body were detached. Let's say my head was in the car, but my body was in the supermarket. All I would be able to see and sense would be what was in the car or in the immediate vicinity. On the other hand my body would be pretty useless, hence very insignificant if it were walking around in the supermarket without a head. Not to mention a little scary. A body without a head would be banging in to the produce, tripping over carts, and falling into the dairy cooler. All the while having no purpose and thus accomplishing nothing. But when my head and body are reattached (great technology), I would then be in the supermarket having regained all of my faculties as well as my senses. I could now move about with purpose. I could now be effective. Of course, if you're like me you'd still need a grocery list.

Jesus is the head of His body the church Paul said. We're not talking about a vast ocean of believers here such as a body of water. We're talking about a body, just like yours with hands, feet, legs, and yes...a head. Paul further reiterates this in Ephesians chapter 5. Jesus, by His Spirit indwells those who are his on the earth. And those whom He indwells can by faith be empowered by this same Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through the finished work of the cross, Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father as the head of His church on the earth. Through the finished work of the cross His church, which is His body is empowered to do the same things Jesus did when He walked on the earth over 2000 years ago. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (John 14: 12) Jesus went back to the Father, sent the Spirit He promised, and established His church, the body of Christ in the earth. And His body is just as powerful as His head!

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are not insignificant. You are not alone. You have extreme purpose just as Jesus did when he walked the planet long ago. The Creator of the universe lives in and through you. You are part of the hands that healed in Jesus ministry. They still heal today. You are part of the feet that walked the shores of the sea of Galilee. They walk the entire planet today through His body, the church. You are the voice of the One who proclaimed the good news to whosoever would listen.

Jesus is here more today than He was 2000 years ago. How is that? He is here through His church. Don't forget, you are full of God's fullness because Jesus lives NOW in you. So get out there and live out loud for Jesus!


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Will Jesus Return Soon?

Can you see what I see? Can you sense what I am sensing? It really doesn't take much to see and feel that we are living in very interesting times. If you are a student of the Bible much of what is happening in this world and in the heavens today is not really surprising. It's been prophesied, we've read about it for years, and now we are seeing it come to pass.

I am not an "end-time specialist" but since I am a student of the Word, and live in the end times, I can sense we are very, very near to the return of Jesus. It used to be very easy to "write off" world events as events that happened before and will happen again; saying that "history once again repeats itself". We must be very careful at this point not to assume that the world events of this time are simply history repeating itself. Instead, they are prophesies unfolding...before our very eyes. 

There are three major factors that reveal the return of Jesus is near. One is the fact that time seems to snowballing. I don't think anyone can deny that time is hurling forward at a rate like never before. God's time clock is ticking toward that time when the fullness of the Gentiles will be complete. (See Romans 11) When that point is reached, the New Testament Age (age of the church) will be finished. Are we in the last days? We've been in the last days since the Holy Spirit was poured out during the Feast of Pentecost 2000 years ago. We are now in the "latest" of the last days.

Another factor that indicates Jesus' return is near is technology. The development of technology doubles about every one and a half to two years. That is amazing? Just 25 years ago the cell phone was not even heard of. There is practically no (inhabitable) place on the face of the earth that has not been touched by the latest technology. People in third world countries, living on the streets, walk around using smart phones! Every day that passes, technology speedily advances...enabling the Gospel of Jesus to be proclaimed to every tongue, nation, and tribe. (Matt. 24:14), Jesus said, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come." Technology is allowing us to do just that.

The third factor is the signs of the times. One sign is that darkness will increase. Paul, speaking about the judgment of the law versus the grace of God said, "Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more." In other words, the darker our world becomes, the stronger the grace of God is in the midst of it all. These last days are the most powerful of all times for the New Testament church. Followers of Christ must realize this and act accordingly. It's time to shine in the darkest of darkness! Many people will die without Jesus if we don't recognize the signs of the time we are in, and the power available to us to live out loud for Jesus.

(Matt. 24:36,44), "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 44 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." Yes Jesus says that only the Father knows the day and the hour. But that doesn't mean He couldn't come this week, or this month, or this year, or this decade. And tell me, can you really guaranty that He won't return this day or this hour? Jesus said the signs of the times would indicate to us that His return is near. In other words, He will communicate to us His return is near through the signs of the times. He said there would be signs in the heavens, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Speaking of these signs Jesus said, "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21: 28)

According to NASA and other experts, in the next couple of years we will see some very usual occurrences in the heavens involving the sun and the moon. The very interesting part is that these occurrences coincide with crucial Jewish feasts which take place in the Spring and Fall. And in the last 500 years, every time this has happened, major events took place that changed History.

My point is not to sound gloomy. And again, I am no "end times expert". My point is to stress the fact that things are changing and we must notice them. Jesus said things would happen before His return. He said certain signs would take place to alert us to His return. Even though we must always be ready for His return - He still warns us...just in case. This is grace!

Many believers don't actually believe Jesus will return in their life time. Even if He doesn't, is this any reason to live as if we don't think He will return? What if He does? Are you ready? Are you looking up? And what about the signs? Can you see what I see? Can you sense what I sense?


24381EB: Preparing for Jesus" Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope - eBook Preparing for Jesus' Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope - eBook
By A.W. Tozer & James L. Snyder(Ed.)

God's Will

I recently preached a message entitled "God's Will". Most of us, if not all of us want to know God's will for our lives. There are a few very simple keys to knowing His will for our lives and His church. My heart's desire is to encourage you with the preaching and teaching of God's Word. 

Due to the length of this message it is divided into two parts. Please set aside convenient time to listen to both parts. I believe you will be encouraged.

Some of the points made in this message:


  • In order to know God's will one must know God.
  • The more you know God the more you know His will.
  • When you know God's will your responsibility is to do it.
  • When you do God's will you bless God and become fruitful.
In this message I also speak of the reality of hell. The truth of what I share should be more than enough to motivate believers to share the love of Jesus with family and friends.

Thanks so much for listening to my podcast. Please feel free to share with others.



926393: Walking in the Will of God: Discovering the Grace and Freedom of His Plan for You Walking in the Will of God: Discovering the Grace and Freedom of His Plan for You
By Steve McVey / Harvest House Publishers

Are you looking for a foolproof formula for figuring out God's will? McVey says there's something better! Encouraging you to turn away from "rules" and "regulations" that distance you from your heavenly Father, he helps you form a grace-based relationship with God. Discover how to live a bold life based on God's trustworthy guidance. 176 pages, softcover from Harvest.

Your Infinite Capacity To Worship God


You and I were created to function as whole worshipers of God; to bring glory to our Creator. The capabilities are limitless because God created us. The truth is however, like our brain, we probably bump (at the highest) around 10% usage of our worship capacity! Why is that? Because we are not completely yielded to the Holy Spirit - not only in worship - but in our lives as well. Listen to what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." (John 16:14) Jesus said the Holy Spirit will "glorify" Him. Your part and my part is to yield to Him so He can do just that...through us!  This is how we increase our capacity to worship.....off the scale!

According to the Scripture, we are created to be radical, bold worshipers of our God. Worship should be our life, not just something we do periodically. Worship is not a segment of our life - it is our life!  It is what we are engineered and created to do. Please understand this; your capacity to worship God is directly proportional to the Holy Spirit's capacity to glorify Jesus.


When the early believers received the Holy Spirit, they were compelled (by Him) out into the streets. The first thing they did after being filled with the Spirit was worship God and proclaim His Word with boldness. The more they worshiped, the more they proclaimed! The more they proclaimed, the more people were drawn to Jesus. They were tapping in to the Spirit's capacity to glorify Jesus, and it changed the world!

Many of us are seeking success in our methods of worship. We should constantly be pliable and relevant to our culture when it comes to connecting with people. But the greatest Connector of all times - the Holy Spirit - brings an energy into our lives and into our worship that cannot be manufactured by man. And it cannot be duplicated by man. He brings it as He worships and glorifies Jesus in and through us. Heaven's energy permeates earth's realm.


For many folks worship can be rote, dry, and uninteresting. My suggestion is to seek Him for the fresh fire of His Spirit. He is here on the planet to bring amazing, overwhelming glory to Jesus. He will do it through you and any believer who is hungry for Him. Simply yield to Him. Press in to Him. He stands ready to return the fire to you and to your worship. Instead of worshiping at 10% capacity, your ability to worship will be unlimited and contagious! It will spread to others as Jesus intends it to. The church will no longer be scratching her head and wondering what we're doing wrong or what procedure can she try next to change things! Let me know what you think.

CD97976: Nothing Is Wasted (Double CD) Nothing Is Wasted (Double CD)
By Elevation Worship / Essential Worship

Catch the fire of the Spirit with this explosive collection! Dynamic worship leaders and powerhouse arrangements take you to new heights of worship as you listen to "Great in Us," "Be Lifted High," "We're Not Alone," "Unchanging God," "I Have Decided," "Open Up Our Eyes," "Let Go," "In Your Presence," the title track, and more. Two CDs (live and studio versions).


CD14589: Jesus Culture with Martin Smith: Live from New York Jesus Culture with Martin Smith: Live from New York
By Jesus Culture with Martin Smith / Daywind Music Group

Pairing Martin Smith's powerful songs of worship with Jesus Culture's signature call to bold praise, this album was recorded live in concert. Includes "Fire Never Sleeps," "Forevermore," "Pursuit," "Walk with Me," "Waiting Here for You," "Our God Reigns," "Song of Solomon," "Set a Fire," "Allelujah," "Holy Spirit," "Did You Feel?" "God Is Coming," and "I Belong to You." Two CDs.

Shut Her Down!

Wow! It would be pretty easy to become discouraged, even fearful over all the events going on in our world today. How about just the stuff happening in the good ole U.S. of A.? It would seem our national government is in the hands of folks who care more about personal agendas, personal gain, party platforms, and political power than about "we the people" who put them in office. 

Men and women (yes I said men and women) dig their heels in, refusing to cooperate with one another, demanding their way or the highway. As all this goes down, we find our leaders leading us into yet another government shut-down...an unnecessary event brought about by their lack of cooperation and responsibility. Have you noticed that when government shut-downs, sequesters, and fiscal cliffs are looming...nothing is ever done until the very last minute...or even later? (Maybe it's just me.)

Responsibility to the people represented and their well-being over the past couple of decades has been lowered way down on Washington's priority list. The saddest thing is you and I put them there.

Their seems to be an astronomical devoid of wisdom in Washington. It's not only because of who we are electing, but because of a spirit of confusion and chaos over our capital city. The truth is this spirit of confusion and chaos has spread over our entire nation! How do I know this? Because the folks who elect our leaders pretty much know their beliefs, platforms, and convictions before they are elected, and elect them anyway. Too many vote "party" instead of personal conviction. And when there are really no candidates truly qualified to bring America out of its stupor, we vote for the least of all the evils available.

You know, I wonder what would happen if folks who weren't satisfied with any of the candidates just didn't vote? Sure, people say "Vote anyway. It's our American duty and/or right." But seriously, to vote to just vote when there are no qualified representatives of your political values? That would be like making a financial donation to support illegal drug-trafficking...just because you can!

And now let me be perfectly frank. As bad as it may be, there has never been a better time to trust in Jesus. Prophesying of the coming of Jesus Isaiah says "And the government will rest upon His shoulders." He continues saying, "There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace." (Isaiah 9 :6-7) Listen to this carefully...Jesus rules! He speaks of Himself in the book of Revelation as the One "who is, and who was, and who is to come". As things get progressively worse...Jesus will be there for those who put their trust in Him. It doesn't matter how bad things get in our country and in the world, Jesus rules and takes care of those who trust in Him. And He provides the one thing that is lacking in our world today...perfect peace. Turn to Him now. Put your trust and hope in Him. In the midst of it all you will find peace. Now that's cool!

Listen up Christian! Put your trust in Jesus. Impact others as you do. Your hope is not in man or government, it is in Jesus. Stop declaring the weakness...even the stupidity of man. That's quite obvious. Instead declare the glory of the only One who can save...even Jesus Christ! Truly trust in Him. Take your stand on His principles. Do not waiver. He is the hope of the entire world!


12918EB: The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living-eBook The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living-eBook
By Robert Morris / Regal Books

Discover the joy of giving and reap the rewards of receiving! Teaching from personal experience, Morris presents a biblical message of blessing not only in terms of abundance, but of having supernatural power working for you. Certain to transform all areas of your life---marriage, family, health, relationships, and finances! Includes a study guide.
*Robert Morris is featured on the cover of Charisma Magazine. (July '09 edition)