Monday, January 28, 2013

Majestic Works!

Psalm 8:1 to 5

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordaineda strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visited him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

Vincent van Gogh painted one of my very favorite paintings called "Starry Night", but it can not hold a candle to the real thing. I can picture King David laying on his back looking up at the night sky or recalling his days as a Sheppard in the
Bethlehem hills and observing the night sky. In awe and wonder he sees its vastness on display and exclaims "How majestic is your name". And what a name he exclaimed. Look closely at verse 1. He wrote LORD, which in Hebrew is Yahovah, unpronounceable except for its vowel additions. It is the very name of God! It means The Eternally Existent One, The Great "I am"; The one who always was and always will be. Next he says, "Our Lord", In Hebrew "Adonai" meaning Master, King of Kings. David is saying The Eternally Existent, GOD, our King of Kings and ruler, how excellent is your name! This amazing, awe inspiring God is our ABBA! What a privilege. What Love and honor is showered on us that we can shout with David "How excellent is your name!" How privileged are we that we can be called "Children of The Most High!” David assays the heavens, the work of Gods hands. We know from John 1:3 that those were the hands of Jesus. Eternally existent, Jesus’ handiwork is on display. Yet a greater, grander display is on display in the Cross. It took his HANDS to create the heavens, but he bared his ARMS, nailed to The cross to Redeem his creation from the fall. It is a Glorious display in the Heavens, his creation but Greater still is his act of Redemption. Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, Adonai, hallowed by your name. Thank you for all of your creations. How wonderful it is to look at the sky on a clear night and see the vastness of all you are able to do for us. Yet with all our shortcomings you did not stop there. You showed your love for us even further by forgiving us our sins that day on Calvary. Jesus shed his blood for our redemption. We are your children and delight in calling you Abba and await the day we will join you in glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Greatest!


Mark 9:33 to 37 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. 35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. 36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent

I was reading today's scripture when something occurred to me. Jesus never corrected or rebuked to apostles for wanting to be the Greatest. Rather he set forth qualifications for being great in the Kingdom; qualifications like being childlike (teachable) and a servant to all (Luke 22:24 thru 27). In the eyes of Christ it is acceptable to desire greatness...... for God. This is not the greatness of the world or greatness as the world sees it. Godly greatness is NEVER about self, rather it involves the mindset of the most humblest of servants Jesus. It also involves the godly characteristic of meekness. Too often meekness is confused with weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I saw a Sports Illustrated article a few years back. It was a story of one of my heroes, The late Reggie White. Reggie was one of the most feared defensive men in all of professional football. Not to mention possibly one of the strongest. There was a picture of him with his youngest child in his arms. Reggie was praying for that little one. That is Meekness, strength under control.

Biblical greatness is to be encouraged. We live in a generation where there are few flesh and blood heroes. Doing our absolute best for The Savior should be encouraged. With the eyes of faith we see them every day. The struggling single Mom who stops to be an example of faith in action by helping those less fortunate then her. The Dad who works two jobs and stays up late on Saturday night to polish his Sunday school lesson. It is there when we are told there is no hope, yet we stay on our knees until the Doctor brings news. Biblical Greatness is seen the small church Pastor who stands boldly for God and asks for prayers for his cancer. The Humble life of the meekest servant of the most high God. Yes it is very worthy of aspiration. I wonder how many are willing to take the lowest place? Who has the Guts to be the greatest? Let us pray:

Father thank you for wanting us to be childlike so that we may learn to be strong and bold in our endeavors for you. Help us to remember that it is not the one who is physically strongest that finds his place with you but the one who is strong enough to show he is able to be meek and help those around him. For that is true strength, when one knows that being the greatest is not what is what truly matters. Thank you Father for teaching us that being meek is a loving way to be. In Jesus’s name we thank you. Amen.   


The Midnight Call!


1st Thessalosians 4:13-18


13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not preventd them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comforte one another with these words.

Today'sdevotion is an ....odd one for me. I have noticed a trend among the Christian community on Facebook. A disturbing one to say the least. Many (Not all) seem to way into self or inwardly focused. I, as a Teacher and Preacher, am going to take a liberty; the same one The Apostle Paul did in today’s reading. As he wrote to the Thessalonian Church they needed encouragement. I pray Christ will encourage you, the reader, the same way. As the working body of Christ, I can’t help but feel as if we have been remiss in our Jobs. As a group we are failing to deliver the Message of Christ to our generation. They are on a cliff overlooking HELL. We, armed with the Gospel, The Good news of Salvation are the only thing standing between them and the pit. So I want to encourage each one reading with this song, Midnight Cry. One day soon Jesus is coming back to gather that which is his. What a day that will be. The Father is so long suffering. He does not want to lose even one soul. When we lose someone within our sphere of influence and we could have told them of Salvation, but did not, How will we explain that to Jesus? How will we tell him I was busy finding pictures on Facebook? How can we explain that we were busy looking in and not out? Now I am not telling you that every soul that dies that we know is our soul responsibility. It is not, we are not alone. We are however responsible to Get out there and by all means, give the Gospel message to them. It is with LOVE, that I say these things. It is with Love that I remind us all That there will be a Midnight Call and Jesus will come again. C.H. Spurgon was asked once, "If you knew that tonight, that Jesus was coming again, What would you Do?” His reply was simply "I would finish dinner." I don't know if I am as sure as Bro. Spurgon that I had finished all that Christ has for me to do, but I know NOW is the time to be preparing. I pray that everyone reading this will hear the words "Well done! Good and faithful servant". Brothers and Sisters, It needs to be asked, Are you doing the work God has called you To do? If you think the work done here on Facebook, is YOUR work for God, let me remind you in Love, It is not a substitution for soul winning. The work you do here is in Addition to looking after the souls God has placed is your Path. Look Up, your redemption draws close!! Are You ready?  Have you done all that there is to do? I urge you to listen to this song. Let it be our prayer for Today and our reason for tomorrow. I wish you peace.







Mission Statement

Deut.11:13 and 16  ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly 5obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,  16 Take heed to yourselves, nlest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and oserve other gods and worship them,

I have been thinking about a mission statement for Living Witness Ministries. I believe they are helpful in focusing on the core of why we exist as a ministry. It would help us focus on what we are called to do or help us to not get side tracked trying to do what others are called to do. It got me thinking what my mission statement would be as an individual or for my household? I can throw out a quick answer "as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord". (Josh 24:15) As true as that is, I don't think that fully states a clear mission statement. Maybe "To serve those who God has given me, by being a faithful follower of Christ and to be a living example of Jesus to them." That is not bad. Our reading today tells us what God expects our mission to be. A good mission statement should echo Deut. 11:13. Three words leap out at me from that verse. Obey, Love and Service. In the mind of God these three words have a cause and effect relationship with each other. God extends his love to us and demonstrates the depth of that Love in the atoning work of Jesus. This made the way clear to enter into a personal relationship with him. The works, our acts of Christian service, are the fruit that grows on the vine that is Christ. Obedience to God is the natural response to being placed by Christ into right standing with God.

I keep coming back to verse 16. In today's modern world, there are a few "False gods" out there.
Krishna, Allah, to name only two. However, ANY thing that comes between total loyalty to God and Obedience to him is also a false God. Shouldn’t that be part of out mission statements? Family, Friends, Jobs, Money, Pleasure, Self, all of these can be false gods. Now I am thinking back to the wise statement by Joshua. "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord." Not Family, Friends and so on. "We shall serve the Lord" Not selfish desires. The one true, Loving, Living GOD! His agenda must be our agenda. So let us give this mission statement thing another shot. "I will love and serve and obey the one true God. Who reveled himself to me in Jesus of Nazareth. I will be found by him being about his business when ever he looks my way. I will serve God by serving others, starting with those he gave to me." I like that!

Mission Statements help keep Gods agenda and our agenda, as one and the same. They keep Him at the fore front of our hearts and minds daily, as we remind ourselves of their purpose. How does that mission statement stack up to what motivates you daily? Maybe you want to think about it? Let us pray:

Father, help us to keep in mind daily who we serve and the place you are to have in our lives. I pray that there would not be any difference in agendas. Forgive us for poor priorities. Father there is only one throne in our hearts and it must belong to you. NOTHING can come between us and you, nothing. Help us to have a quality Mission Statement; one that reflects your agenda and priorities. Let your Holy Spirit Empower us today, because we can not do it on our own. Help us to live for King and Kingdom today and everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


A life forever changed.

John 3:1 to 6

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 aThis man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for bno one can do these signs that You do unless cGod is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, dunless one is born 1again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, eunless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is fflesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit . NKV

Wow! What a night! I was no sooner at my desk when I had to deal with some issues that others choose to disregard; of course that makes me the bad guy. This led to a "put your foot down period". Looking back, I knew Satan was trying to steal my peace and joy. After a few minutes I got out my "Utmost for his Highest" Devotional. The verse was John 13:37. It was about waiting on Gods timing and not rushing ahead of God without clear direction. An individual called me and wanted me to answer some questions. I went to his room and was bombarded with questions. It seems the light of Christ shines brighter the place. After I returned to my desk, there was an actual line waiting 3 people deep! They brought there bibles, their questions and want to discuss things of God. I noticed the third one was a little shy, so I told him to come and asked him what was on his mind. I am not permitted to start a conversation and that's a wise thing, but since they started the conversation, I knew it would be OK. He told me a story we have all heard 1000 times or have experienced ourselves. A shattered life, a search for anything to fill the void in our hearts and emptiness inside. Drugs, alcohol and eventually jail.

I told him of our Jesus, my hope in him and his Lordship of my life. I told him that in every human heart is a cross shaped vacuum. We try to stop it up with things this world says will make us happy; Money, sex, booze and drugs. Nothing can fill that void but Jesus. He told me how he had been carrying around a big bag of emotional trash and a load of sin he did not know what to do with. I told him to lay it all at the Saviors feet, to dump it at the foot of the cross. Lastly, I told him he needed Jesus as his Savior and needed to be saved.
So I asked him a question, the question. Did he want to be saved and he said yes. I led him in prayer ,right where we were. He gave his heart to Jesus. No parting clouds or angelic choir, just two sinners saved by grace as it should be. It was as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in today's reading. We must be born again. Human lives so wrecked, so damaged, so polluted with sin, that the only way is to be born anew, dead to one life and alive again to Christ. A life forever changed for God and God alone. Let us pray:

Lord, I thank you that I could be placed in this mans path. That we can discuss the human need for rebirth and for allowing me to be the pencil in your hands. Lord there are so many more around us. Help us to see with spiritual eyes those who are hurting and in need of you. Lord surround this man with fellowship and positive influences to keep him in your constant care. He needs you now more than ever. Keep him safe from the attacks of the evil one. I pray this also for all those reading this. In Jesus; name, Amen.



The Rock of Gods Love


1st John 4:7 to 10

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who iloves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 jIn this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, lnot that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, If  God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NKV

Psalm 36:7

            How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

God is LOVE. This portion of scripture is possibly one of the most over used in all of the bible. However it is an awesome statement of Gods character. The Bible is filled with scriptures speaking of Gods unearned, undeserved and unending love for us. Whenever I think of Gods Love, I think of 1st Cor 13:13. This verse tells us it is a greater virtue than Faith and Hope, because we are expressing the essence of God, and because the sum of the law is to love (esteem) others before ourselves. (Rom 13:8, 1st John 4:11) God is little by little shaping and molding us into the image of Christ. It is only natural that a God whose very character is love, would want to reproduce it in us.  John
3:16 reminds us that love is demonstrated by giving. The highest demonstration of love is seen in the cross. The Father gave the Son, The Son gave his life for our Salvation. "No greater love is there than this: For a man to lay his life down for his friends." (John 15:13 ) What does it say that Jesus laid his life down for his enemies as well! Love is NEVER measured by what it gets out of you, but rather by what it costs you to give it. Jesus who is love typified, gave ALL, everything for you and me, as the single greatest demonstration of love ever seen. The Atonement of Jesus. LOVE incarnate gave us all he had to give. That is how Paul, emulating Jesus, desired to be "broken bread and poured out wine". Paul was prepared to hold nothing back. He wanted to serve Christ with the same "give all" attitude of Jesus. How can we think of ourselves as pleasing children with a Sunday and Wednesday only attitude? He loves us 24/7 and little doubt weeps for us as often. Gods Love is the rock on which we stand before him. What will you say to him? Lord, I loved and gave some? Or Lord I gave all! Let us pray:

My Lord, you demonstrated your love for us by action. Yet we as humans are constantly looking for love here and accepting mere words as proof. This can be such a cruel world, where love is spoken often and withdrawn at morning light. We, as humans toss the word about as if it meant nothing. All the while you have demonstrated true love. You gave all! Forgive us for wounding each other. Help us to love as you have loved us, with a love not based on our worthiness, but given none the less. Thank you for loving us. We need you so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Going out with Jesus


Heb. 11:8  8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

The Holy Bible : King James Version.

Have you ever had your mind on something or been deep in thought and you move on what I call "auto pilot”? At some point, you look up and say "How did I get here"? I have. I do some of my best thinking that way. In the military we were taught to what is called "Conditional response". You are taught to respond to a set of outside stimuli, such as someone shouting the word "Down". To this day when heard, I hit the deck! It is the difference between being taught something and the realization that you know it.

Similarly, faith for a Christian needs to become a conditioned response. When Troubles come our way, go to prayer. Seek the Fathers guidance, and then act accordingly. When there is a decision to be made, seek Guidance from above. That way we stay in Gods will for our lives. Abraham was a Man of Faith, One of the "Heroes of Faith" in Hebrews chapter 11. Abraham was called to "Go out" or step out in faith to a command of God. His lifestyle was one of total faith in God. He was conditioned to respond to a call by God and he responded with faithful actions. Often God will place a burden on our hearts to do an action or perform an act of Christian service or ministry. God never tells us the destination or what he is going to do. He simply reveals himself to us, his nature of trustworthiness. It is ours to "Go out" or step out in faith. God will always give enough light to take the next step in the journey with him. Our Faithful response is a physical response that reflects our inner conviction. It demonstrates to the world WHOSE we are and what we know to be the truth. No Christian should act on "I think" only "I know". Only when God reveled the Holy Spirit in Acts were the Apostles ready to GO Out "Into all the world and preach the Gospel".

When ever we act in faith, we are blessing God back, because when we have conditioned ourselves to respond in faith we are demonstrating the reality that we are loyal followers of Jesus. We are recognizing his Lordship of our lives. A life of Faith is a life of action. Actions done in faith, for no other reason than to bring God Glory and to serve him by serving others. Are You going out with Jesus? Walk from faith to faith, IN Faith. Let us pray:

Lord, you were and are our example of living by faith. Before you acted, you consulted the Father. Help us to do the same, developing a conditioned response to a world gone mad. Reveal your will for us and give enough light to move forward with you. We thank you for you guidance. We thank You for your provision for us, that we can serve you. We ask for your wisdom to hear your voice as Abraham and Go out with you everyday. In Jesus’ name and for his sake, Amen.