Monday, September 21, 2020

Holy Spirit Baptism, Jesus Our Example

If Jesus, being born of God, needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, how much more do we, His body in the earth need to be baptized in the same Holy Spirit!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Church, The Body of Christ (Jesus) 5

Session 5: We're looking at Peter's supernatural revelation of who Jesus is; The Christ, The Son of the Living God, and how Jesus builds His awesome church on this revelation, and how the gates of hades will not, cannot overpower it! 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Make America CHRISTIAN Again?

I may make a few of you folks mad by my Biblical philosophy on how to make America a Christian nation again. It won't be done, it can't be done through legislation. It won't be done, it can't be done through hate, bitterness, crime and destruction. It won't be done, it can't be done by putting down (especially we as Christians) others who oppose our political and spiritual views.

You see, when American was founded, men and women were seeking out a nation in which, and through which to freely serve God. The reason this nation was founded was certainly to escape the tyranny, control, and oppression of England. Many men, women, boys, and girls gave up their lives in order to establish a place of freedom from government and religion. When I say religion, I mean that form of godliness Paul talks about, but denies the true power of the God of the universe who created you and me. Religion is man's feeble attempt to establish his own righteousness before God, in an attempt to be accepted by Him. However, the Holy Bible makes it plain and simple: There is only One way. There is only One truth. And there is only One life eternal. That is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. No amount of acts, or brownie point attempts will ever make us or keep us in right-standing with God. Only total surrender to Jesus will.

There is a way in which to make America a Christian nation again. However, it is very costly. It is so costly that most American Christians are not willing to pay the price. The price is simply living for Jesus, at all costs. It begins with repentance. Repentance is a directional turn-around of 180 degrees. It is not confessing before God that you are a scurvy dog. It is simply a commitment to turn to Him (or back to Him), and to follow Him diligently throughout this life on earth, understanding that this life is not yours, it's His. But this is costly as I said. Why? Because of what you will have to give up. Everything! But what you gain is infinite! "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." (Mark 8:35)

I constantly hear folks talking about how bad 2020 is. Of course, it has not been anywhere near a normal year so far! Who can deny that? But do you realize it is the "norm", at least concerning the church, that has allowed America to drift away from God over the years. The church has been cruising along in a bubble for decades. Inside the bubble we have our church culture, along with our Christianese dialog, promoting distancing rather than separation from the world. Certainly Christians should live by a different set of principles than the world. But if we are to be lights to the world, we cannot cut ourselves off from the world. We must constantly seek God for innovative ways to infiltrate the world with Jesus' infinite love.

I don't think it is coincidence that 2020 has seemingly derailed. I do believe however, that God, in His infinite grace is giving our nation (starting with the church) an opportunity to turn back to him. God wants us outside of our fabricated Christian subcultures to come face to face with the lost, the hurting, and the broken. It starts with our becoming aware of the need first. Personally, I grieve because of the temporary restrictions in place for our health and safety. Not because I am hindered, but because this 2020 scenario makes me eager to be turned loose once again, with a new passion for the lost, and a renewed vigor to radically serve my Jesus at all costs. The lock-downs are most necessary. But they won't last forever!

So during this time of social distancing, quarantine, and lock-down, what are you hearing from Holy Spirit? Are you listening? Are you seeking Him in order to hear Him? Or, as with so many, is this simply an extended vacation for you? Some folks are just waiting it out, hiding in a cave until it all blows over and everything returns to normal. Please understand, the normal you are accustomed to is a thing of the past. I believe that our near future will be different, but better. Why? Because of the folks that are seeking God to move mightily by His Spirit...beginning right in the midst of all that's going on in 2020!

I would love for America to become a Christian nation once again...and she can. But I don't know if she will. It is up to the church in America. It depends on how the church will respond during these challenging times. It depends on whether or not the church will unify in love which Paul says is "the perfect bond of unity" (See Colossians 3:14). But whether America becomes a Christian nation again or not, God wants to move mightily in and through His church to change the lives of millions. The year 2020 happens to be the year that God will begin to move powerfully in and through His church, His body. Do you believe that?

Sunday, August 9, 2020

I Love The United States Of America

Let me begin by saying that I understand as well as anyone that our nation has problems. You'd have to be a banana not to be aware of that. I also understand that America is at a very crucial crossroads currently. No, the U.S. is not perfect. And it would be extremely easy to point out our flaws, and key on them, any day of the week. But I love the United States of America.

I've traveled to many nations in my lifetime, and one undeniable truth has manifested as a result of every single trip: America is blessed. I love going. I love traveling. I'm enamored with foreign culture. But above all, I love coming back to the blessedness of the U.S.

Traveling extensively in ministry, as well as living on the continent of Europe for three years, has allowed me to see the blessings of God on this nation. If you have never experienced how 3/4 of the rest of the world lives, you probably won't see this. Visiting third world nations many times for the sake of the gospel has affirmed what I had already chosen to believe: that God has had His hand on our nation since its inception.

I have friends all over the globe that dream of coming to the United States. As a matter of fact, as the land of opportunity, the U.S. has attracted people from all over the world...because of the possibilities available.

I like to look for the good in people. But quite truthfully, if I know you well enough I will notice some of your flaws. I mean, I might have to try very hard to notice yours, but I could. Then I could focus on only your flaws. I could get on social media and talk to others about your flaws. I could amplify your flaws to the point that I influence friends to believe you are a totally dysfunctional person. And you could do the very same thing to me! How would that happen? By my focusing exclusively on your flaws, weaknesses, and struggles.

That's what has been happening in America. Does the U.S. have any good characteristics? Of course she does. She is still the greatest nation on the earth. This is not because of what we have done. It's not because of who we are. We're no better in God's eyes than any other nation on the planet. But it is because of "how" we are. we are. We are what we are because of how our nation was founded. We were founded by folks who sought God's direction on establishing our land. And you know what? God provided the direction! That's for another post, and another time. But as a result of how America was founded, God has been able to bless, and it is obvious.

I think we ought to STOP bashing our homeland. It's the only one we have. And think about this...America is you. America is me. When you bash your nation, you are bashing yourself! Let me encourage you to look for the good in our nation, and be grateful for what we have.

Pray for America, as some folks want her to fail. Understand that because of how she was founded God has blessed. Again, she's not perfect. But then, is any nation perfect? Look for the good and focus on it. There is still plenty to be grateful for. I love the United States of America and I am committed to pray for her.