Thursday, May 26, 2011

Having lunch with my beautiful wife Liney.

Enjoying life in the Spirit. Been good to see our oldest son, Stephan John who now lives here in Dallas. He plans on being in college in a few days. Grateful.

Still have some friends and family members outside in the cold, not knowing Jesus. Not at all good. Praying.

Not a great view of this street here, except she sure looks pretty. We enjoy being together.

We're lookin' at 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." NKJV

Not willing in the original language here means.. not willing - not wanting any to die outside of Christ and split Hell wide open, as so many sadly will.

Eight Factors In Communicating What You Believe

Like me, do you like the cross? Perhaps you are open to sharing your faith about the cross in a way that doesn't come off as cross at peeps ..or cursed? 

Do you mind if I ask a few questions to stir up your pure thinking? 

Right now are you half-hearted or whole-hearted in living for Christ (I mean the Bible Jesus)? 

Is the Holy Spirit grieved or pleased inside of you.. or is He in you at all?

Do you stubbornly stay in a status quo, ineffective, or socially acceptable dead church? Are people being won to Jesus in your church? Does your pastor ever witness to unbelievers outside the four walls of that building or does he have a "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude? May I ask what your attitude is like? 

Real Christians might hate a strange caricature of evangelism that is not even biblical, but all real Christians love biblical evangelism as Jesus did while here on earth.. and all Christians are indeed called to witness to lost people.   

Have you chosen worldly people or spiritual, soul-winning Christians as your best friends? 
Do you date those with mere said-faith or with saving faith, single person? 

Who do you flirt with those who are other than your spouse, believer? Stop now.  

Do you have spiritual maturity along with an ambitious, balanced faith inside.. instead of a selfishly ambitious, imbalanced or immature faith? Do you aggressively seek the Lord in prayer with an earnestness in you, instead of living rudely or uber-aggressively towards other people? Do you have a passion for Jesus or are you distracted and apathetic?

Have you done your homework in memorizing verses and in studying Christian apologetics and in Spirit-led intercession? Are you ill-prepared for their honest questions? Do you want to.. or know how to communicate what you really believe concerning Christ, believer? Hey, be yourself in Him and do these things:  

1.) Effective communication begins with believing prayer and a real burden inside of a Christian? Do you really care for people? How often do you pray or through the net..or a baited hook? Do you love the lost today?

2.) We must be culturally relevant. Why are we still answering questions people are no longer asking?

3.) Arrest the interest of your listeners! Paul did that. Sure, it's a sin to be dull in witnessing due to neglect of your primary ministry (to God) and vertical relationship!  

4.) Preach the Word to lost people. Paul also did that. God primarily saves people by using real Christians to preach the Gospel ..even in our day (you don't have to do this in a pushy, lame, preachy sort of religious way). God ain't stiff or religious.  

5.) Make sure your preaching is biblical, because God's Word will not return void …even though yours and mine will. Illustrations are fine to open a window so light can shine in, but why build a message upon an illustration instead of upon the Word of God? Preaching the Word is where the power is. Razzed dazzle won't save anyone. I don't need to make the Bible interesting, because the Bible is already very interesting and relevant too! I don't need to control others even a little, or impede the work of the Spirit for one second..ever!

6.) Brag on Jesus Christ instead of on you, or on your denomination, your pastor, your favorite band, or church etc. Have the cross in your Message. No excuses. Explain about the blood of Jesus at Calvary and what actually happened on the cross. Define Bible terms that are not easy for em to get. Charles Surgeon told people to make a beeline to the cross when they speak. In our attempts to cross over, we sometimes forget to bring the cross over. Forget not! Be not ashamed of Christ's Name or of the cross no matter what the scoffers say! Our aim is not to be vogue or cool with the world.

7.) Preach the whole Gospel. Tell em the bad news (all have sinned and there is a real Hell for unrepentant sinners..) and the Good News. Paul told people to repent (yeah, this turning to God away from all inner sin,  and wrong doings or sins of omission). Explain how to do this carefully. Many say there are too many Hell-fire and brimstone preaches today. False, where are they? When was the last time you heard one preach? I haven't seen one in years. The prob—there's too many Christians that add to the offense of the Gospel and also too many feel-good preachers today who leave out certain truths that are hard to hear. They fail to compassionately warn people that are headed for wrath and judgment ahead.

8.) Leave the results in the hands of God. Give people an opportunity but never force or pressure em to say "yes" to Christ.

In communicating my faith, I've had to learn the hard way at times. There were times when I wanted to stay in the "secret service" in the army of God and never speak. There have also been times when I spoke too soon. I am no expert at all. But listen, it'll help any of us to THINK before we speak:

T = is it True? H = is it Helpful? I = is it Inspiring? N = is it Necessary? K = is it Kind? If it ain't then simply hold your peace n don't think it or say it. 

Real Christians: 1) Believe in Him, 2) Act like Him, 3) Think like Him (according to the Bible), and 4.) Speak like Him (Jesus).

Not a flawless prayer here, but would you pray something like this... "Dear Lord, I want your mind to be in me. I want to feel what you feel for lost and saved people. Need more love. Please refill me (and us) with your Spirit and help us  know all the counsels of Your Word as we keep working our way through the entire Book. Hungry for the plain unchanging truth—need no new revelation when I've got the old! Please ignite or reignite zeal, godly passion, and holy fear inside of us.. not for our glory but for your glory and praise! Am serious as a migraine, only in a positive way. If some of us (including me..) currently have a plank-eye and have been vainly busy workin' on the speck of sawdust in another's eye, then help me or us get a clue n stop it! Never wanna talk down to people or be a hypocrite! Yup, aid us so that we can actually get that log out the right choices and true repentance. You can empower and equip any of us. Please be Lord and make me more than a believer—make me a disciple that's pleasing to You. Make me like You.. and make us  useable today Please privilege us by using us this week. Open doors. Give blazing sound friends, potency of yoke breaking anointing, ongoing straightforwardness, and a harvest. Wanna sow seeds and reap as You have done. Yes, bless us with godly wisdom, discernment, and keen insight added in there too. Show us how to better employ the gifts that you've given us. Got more for us to work with? Who cares what the misinformed or half-ignorant church folk might say? Won't be stop by what money-hungry abusers of the gifts have done—those whacked Chrismaniac-charlatan-showmen who prostitute the things of God for gain. I love all charismatics and other Christians, but give us more godly character, deep convictions, steel-backbones if You will. Grant me a burden inside—a supernatural heart-felt concern for people in need no matter their color, history, or status! Wanna close the deal so to speak when the time is right ..but please let it be sooner rather than later.. and help me do my part to helping to bring closure on Your Great Commission! Please kindle a fire inside of me again and in us so that we will all burn as red-hot believers, instead of as chilly cold, lukewarm, carnal, or merely religious nominal Christians. Please use us to teach and preach the Bible accurately in a tactful… in a bold way that makes it so clear. Am so ordinary, but You are extraordinary and do extraordinary things through plain people like me. Thanks for Your ginormous love and patience. Sanctify, purify.. help us simplify and apply! We want a right spirit. Wanna be motivated by your agape love and one day hear You say "Well done!" In Jesus Name. Amen." 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What are the Right Attitudes and Actions with Church Discipline?

Real church discipline ain't so much like a crime-calloused, unregenerate, jaded policeman with his legal pad in hand who is greatly interested in finding all who are involved so that he can merely pull out his gun on em and on that big fish at the top. It ain't merely interested in the solid proof to be collected with a heart towards seeing lots of pain applied to the criminals, or even in all the facts of what led up to the crime as the one he caught is say ..bleeding out on the ground. It's not merely about zeroing in on the guilty culprit alone with tunnel vision, trying to see how many felony and misdemeanor crimes can actually be added to his Rap Sheet and charged to him, or about calling for the right back up or eye-witnesses ..or about slapping on the cold handcuffs, and driving him to the station in order to have the book thrown at him he is slammed into the slammer. Hey gang, my wife just loves to watch the County Jail shows and this was on my mind. It would appear to me that the police person's job ends at the jail or at the court a little later, but the job of the Judge, the workers at the jail, and that of the lawyers only starts at that location. It's interesting to see the order in which they do things and how the paramedics also come into play.   

Nawww, Church discipline is more like a paramedic rushing to get on the scene before it's too late, not initially writing down any notes per se for the purpose of discovering how the lacerations on the leg got there, or how the stolen property got there, or how the bones were broken, or if the person even deserves his attention or not. Yes, it's initially like the appropriate non-violent paramedic who acts quickly with bandages, tourniquets, splints, and first aid salve in hand ..just to see if the person can be saved… to see how many lives can be rescued! It's first about seeing what can be done so that more people on the scene don't get hurt by the same cause in such a dangerous zone. It ain't passive, hardened, or uncaring at all.  

It's like a broken hearted shepherd who finds a wayward, wandering sheep as he weeps, applies help, prays hard, and tries to restore the person ..and restore as many ill-effected folks as possible. Getting to the root of the issue is indeed important in the broader scope of things, but real church discipline involves a heart for God and the guilty sinners, before it has a heart for the systems of jurisprudence that punish. Has your personal witness been more like the unfeeling policeman lately or more like the first-aid applying paramedic when you come upon a disaster involving saints and sinners? You might not be a church leader, but you can certainly have the right church attitude.   

Are policemen needed? Yes! Are godly policemen and paramedics a blessing for society? Absolutely! 

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm just trying to show a difference in approach and attitude because some Christian leaders are too cold-hearted and hyper-legal in their approach when they find the wounded and fallen. They fail to grasp what is harming God's sheep and harm further. Sadly sometimes they are harshly misapplying the law with ego involved and with an aim to clobber instead of restore. 

This is why we are to pray for our church leaders and love them. 

Hey, I love policemen too because they do all they can to gather facts, to learn, and to protect people, wanting to restore order. They lock away the unteachable rebellious predators, and keep harm and wrongs from happening again. Grateful for em. Both types of workers are of course needed in our corrupt society on earth. Duh! 

If crimes are committed at your church, then please call the police quickly ..instead of trying to do their job for them. That's not within your jurisdiction. 

But in regards to Church discipline by church leaders, immediate attention, truth, genuine love, gentle compassion, and quick rescuing is imperative! Sadly, many congregations ..perhaps fearing law suits now.. don't even believe in church discipline anymore. They ignore and fail to address those who hurt or are hurt. 

But when there is proper Church discipline, then there will be more people fearing the Lord and getting saved. Join me in reading through Acts again. Today, I'm just looking closely at the attitude and actions of God and of the righteous in these contexts: 1 Cor. 5:1-9, Lk. 10:30-37, 15:4, Matt. 18:12, Acts 5:4. Got or seen some church-hurt or biblical church discipline happen? Perhaps you'll find some more fitting verses or remember a church experience to share with us below. Want more? Like:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What Are Your First and Second Concerns?

Bona-fide, whole hearted worship of Jesus and His last command - those are my first two concerns! 

I pray it will always be like that. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Common to find today.. a he-man with a she-weakness

Been reviewing that familiar old story of Samson, the he-man with a she-weakness. Good to be reminded! Man, they didn't even have the web back then a spider has to catch creatures getting a bit too close. Really don't know if Samson was big, small, fat or skinny. The Bible doesn't tell us about that, but God's anointing indeed made him real strong no matter what he looked like. Guess you could say he was a gifted child. And God's anointing can strengthen anyone willing God wants..... if we'll only allow Him to lead and be in charge. Have you turned to Christ inviting Him in to be your Lord?

"Then Delilah said to Samson, 'You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.'" That "tied" aspect should have kinda been a tip off for Samsseepoo huh.

"With men hidden in the room, she called to him, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered." ..not yet at least, but Satan's bait must have looked O so fine and little by little, Samson's compromise and dabbling in the world would soon get him.. blind!
So SO sad how Samson squandered his resources, wasted his potential, and thrashed his vision and ability ..through willful disobedience! I think my youngest son might say that Samson was a good candidate for a twelve step program.. for guys who had a weakness for naughty women. LOL! But perhaps he merely needed a three step program: repent, believe, and then act like you believe in the Lord ...until you see Him face to face. 

Don't you just hate to see young bucks all self confident and full of themselves as they go blow it over and over again.. until the lights go out early? I sure do! Hate to see em get ripped off. That's why I'm not going to stop praying for them. Sure, someone prayed for me when I had stinking thinking. Samson threw it all away as, "The Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison" (Judg. 16:21, nkjv). What an example in how not to live. We can learn from those who apply the Word and from those who don't. They don't trust the warnings from those around them, because people simply "don't understand this special situation." But you remember how..sin blinds you after it finds you. It confines you and then it grinds you! Believer, you too are a witness for the Lord right now. You are either an impacting witness or a bad witness, but each and every saint is a witness of some sort. It's our choice.. each and every day. I'd rather please the Lord!

Sin causes anyone committing it do completely irrational things. Don't you agree? Are you addicted to something or is Christ first in your life? Are you lying, stealing, cheating just to get what you want out of life feeling that Christ alone is not enough? Why settle for second best when there really is no second best.. you know what I mean, settling for being an idolater? Perhaps you can relate and have also blown it in a similar way before. Are you to remain hopeless and give up on a life in the Spirit? No way! I've blown it in many ways before, but Jesus said He is the Way. Listen, Samson's story also speaks of merciful second chances and our longsuffering God of grace. You can know and be empowered to serve God right, yup, no matter what you've done or where you are coming from. Are you willing to pray and receive a new start right now?

Instead of Samson becoming a world-changer for good (an effective witness) as God wants all of us to become, Samson compromised over and over allowing the world to change him for bad. Are you a world-changer today overcoming evil with good? Please don't let the enemy via the lust of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes or the pride of life destroy you (1 Jn. 2:16, Gal. 5:16, 2 Pet. 2:10)! Please don't be conformed to this world's system like so many people around you (Rom. 1:2), but instead take a stand for what is right. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind the Bible!

Anyways, enough jabber from me ...I'm going to dive back in the Book in order to finish this interesting story!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Don't Run Ahead Of The Lord, Don't Lag Behind. Wait ..Before It's Too Late. And Walk With Him.

The Bible says, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14)! 

Stopping, waiting upon the Lord, listening, hearing, talking, listening more, acting in obedience.. it all goes together so nicely. 

"The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless.. the world around us is frantically in a hurry. But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life." ~ Warren Wiersbie

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten Reasons For Powerful Local Church Impact

"But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, 'These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.'"  ~ Acts 17:6–7

Would you mind if I asked a few questions to provoke your memory cells? 

Do you ever ask yourself what it was about the early church, that God used them to R-O-C-K their world back then? 

What was it about the individuals who were a part of it.. that made em such a compelling influence together? Are there eternal truths that are still transferable that we can glean from the first church, yeah, that we can perhaps apply today?

I say yes and one thing is for sure; when we read the text regarding the early Church, there was no room for halfheartedness, for any duplicity, for unbelief, idolatry, pride, rebellion or hypocrisy. And there really no room for that junk today either.

We believers simply don't have time for "fitting-in" to the point of transgression for acceptance sake, or for inverted selfishness, or for greed, or double standards, or cooling off, or favoritism, or moral compromise, or even for a wimpy detaunt-mentality towards the enemy. No, no! The stakes are too high now!

Please allow me to exhort and motivate you towards full-on devotion, so that God will pour through you. Living torrents of water are deeply longed for even today ..when many don't recognize this yet! Wanna see others under the spout where the glory comes out? I say that the Church of this century needs to go ahead and take another look in the book of Acts (about acts of the Spirit through disciples who act right..), and become constantly teachable about what the Church is supposed to be about or not be about.. according to God's Word.

"Organized Christianity which fails to make a disturbance is dead." ~ G. Campbell Morgan

"When they saw the boldness of Peter and John.. they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." ~ Acts 4:13

"We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity to it, but by the combustion within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God!" ~ Vance Havner

In this whacked topsy-turvy world gone astray, where right is said to be wrong, and wrong is said to be right, where bad is called good, and good is called bad.. it's high time that we do what the early church did in order to see what they early church saw. Yes, you know what I mean, even if God answers our prayers a little bit differently.  

Are you satisfied with your currently level of fruitfulness? How come? Together are we making a righteous disturbance anymore? Are we getting God's Good News out to the lost in a way that they can understand, or are we more concerned about relating to em on their terms, or coming off as "cool," or merely fitting in?

Do we as the Church know what it means anymore to die to self and take a stand for Christ and His essential Christian doctrines no matter the cost?

Are we collectively or individually God's tool of light in this darkness place—a bright city on the hill so to speak? Instead of the church turning the world upside down, is the world turning the church upside down today?

Many in the world around us now feel that the Church of Jesus Christ really needs to be tolerant, or primarily involved in fighting global warming, or saving the whales, or in picketing companies for the different products they put out etc. Have you ever asked yourself what you believe the Church should primarily be doing today?

It's kinda interesting to think about, but really.. what's important is not going to stem from my opinion or yours. So biblically, what are the main priorities the Church should have? In a world where luke-warm-living and the cooling off of Christians in local churches seems to be so prevalent, what hand-full of things should matter most?

I love to look at the Spirit-given priorities of the Church of the first century just to learn what God thinks really matters.

Why? Well, it's because by faith and obedience to the Word, they turned their upside-down-world.. upside down at that time of history (which would be right side up). 

And God wants that life-changing-kinda-impact to happen in our day as well!

But how did the early church disciples make such an impact?

They did it through personal and corporate prayer and worship times ..from the heart.

"In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide! Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus' side!" ~ Goreh


"Give yourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. If you do not pray, God will probably lay you aside from your ministry, as He did me, to teach you to pray." ~ Robert Murray McCheyne

They did it through personal and collective Bible study times ..with an emphasis upon the Lordship of Christ, on God's enormous love, and on the practical application of truth. They did it through sincere fellowship upwards and outwards.. and also through solid Bible preaching. Worship and bold evangelism were huge to them.   

And you recall how the early church was mocked and criticized for doing these things.. when it was said that they turned the world upside down. If that was said of me today, then I would be blessed to hear that, but at that time this was not meant to be a compliment at all (Acts 17:6).

What do you see in Acts? Let's challenge each other..OK!

Here are ten reasons that I can see of why the early church made such an impact:

1. It consisted of authentically born again, Spirit-controlled disciples of Christ (Acts 1:4). You know that all Christians are believers, but not all believers are disciples. It's a different relationship, but the Great Commission was first entrusted to disciples.  

2. The members of the early church were thirsty for righteous living and they also had a real hunger for the Word of God (Acts 2:42, 46, 5:42). We hear so much about "new revelation" today, but if it's new it ain't true, and if it's true it ain't new. We have old revelation to build with.

3. They made sure that unity was imperative and earnestly defended it—no prejudice was allowed (Acts 1:14, 2:1, 44, 46, 4:32). Why? Well, because the cross Jesus leveled the playing field if you will. They didn't fight in the flesh, but in prayer to make sure they maintained proper unity. They didn't want to block the Spirit's anointing for a minute, but wanted God's love to flow.

4. It was a church that was out "on the give" instead of "on the take." That's how they rolled. On multiple levels they wanted to meet needs.. via service, support, encouragement. You name it.. the believers had a big heart and just wanted to give people some real help just to show the love of Christ. The Bible says, "Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all" (see Acts 4:34-37). 

5. They were people of constant, fervent intercession, supplication, petition, and praise—with the right address attached—to the Father in Jesus Name! And they expected God to respond to their requests because they had others in mind before themselves. They prayed biblically!

"Only turning God's house into a house of fervent prayer will reverse the power of evil so evident in the world today." ~ Jim Cymbala

6. They experienced the power of God. The Scriptures say, "..Then he [Peter] gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive" (Read Acts 9:36-41, 2:42-43, 12:5-12 each in their own context).

7. They put feet to their faith and they chose to be bold in the proclamation of the Gospel over and over again (Acts 2:37-41). What did that take? It took…

8. Courage—they were fearlessly courageous in how they addressed and avoided sin. They lived as devoted witnesses for Jesus instead of for religion (Acts 4:1-2).

9. Refusing to be passive, indifferent, or apathetic, the early church grew by aggressively spreading the Message ..allowing the Spirit to lovingly lead them moment by moment (Acts 4:29-31). 

10. The Church was confident and relentless if you will—persevering with God's unction to function instead of being dependent upon themselves. They kept the main things the main things and refused to be self-confident. They received fresh illumination of old truth and continued to see lost people added to Christ and His church as they simply acted in faith (Acts 2:41, 47, 6:7, 4:4, 5:14). 

Are you willing to act they acted in Acts? Wanna be a fountain-kinda-person that God can pour through? He is way BIG, not small. Do you long to be BIG inside and worship with a new bigheartedness? Do you also want to please Him in a big Way as an effective witnessing tool in His hand? 

Please turn and know the same God that they knew ..yeah, how they knew Him (on His terms by faith. No one is saved by works or by money). Yes, I appeal to you, if we get back to the Bible principles, then we will have Bible results. Yes, we must get back to what the early church practiced and experienced first-hand in the Lord.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Self Confidence or God Confidence?

For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. ~ Proverbs 3:26

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint. ~ Proverbs 25:19

Thinkin' about Simon Peter and our mission some today.

What will this mission require?

Do you remember the time when the Apostle Peter became self confident inside.. and how that condition led to him fallin' into sin as he denied the Lord three times?

Maybe you've failed bad like that before.

Ever been there.. so low that you felt intense grief, rad-disappointed with yourself, with much anguish of spirit to have denied your best friend.. so dirt-level-down that you wept and couldn't even look up?

This event has been on my mind lately. Please know that Christ didn't come to accuse or condemn us. He cares and can forgive, restore, and lift you up again from the ground again.

Doesn't it seem like believers who become self-confident are always the last ones to recognize it? But what a precarious situation they put themselves in. They set themselves up for a horrible stumble, for a gravel-tasting kinda face-plant.

I hate that and I hate pride!

It's what also led to Mr Lu-Cifer's down fall. Now that dweeb seeks to exploit us in that wicked state ever time he finds one of us self-confident.

Yes, he wants company. That's why the devil and his gang are still vigilantly on the look out to sift believers as he did with Pete. Not to scare you with some bad fear, but the enemy keeps an eye out for these types of "witnesses" who aren't fully depending on God.

The cool thing in Pete's story is this.. the Lord had pre-prayed for him and therefore Pete did turn back to became more like his Lord. He then went out to spread the Gospel and strengthen his brethren with the Word as Christ said.

Perhaps you've read about the well-known 20th century Methodist Christian missionary and theologian to India, E. Stanley Jones before?

This man was not known for being self-confident.

No, but this man spent much time with Indian leaders such as, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Nehru family. And God really used him to reach people there as he uncompromisingly and appropriately contextualized Christianity for India's culture at that time.

Yup, and what I love is how this vessel of honor was God-confident, rather than self confident. Are you like that?

On one occasion when Mister Jones was meeting with, Mahatma Gandhi, he was sharp enough of mind to ask this revered leader of India a very important missionary question. Do you know what that specific inquiry was?

Jones asked Gandhi, "How can Christianity make a stronger impact on your country?" And Mr. Gandhi very thoughtfully replied that three things would be required for this.

First, Christians must begin to live more like Jesus Christ.

Good answer. Can't beat that for a response huh.

You recall Christ's strong, Father-focus, pure character and how His ministry actually played-out down here on this planet. I'm sure you remember.. how Jesus loved to steal away to be alone in prayer, in fellowship, and in close communion with His Father.

His ministry went basically from one prayer meeting time with the Father on to the next prayer meeting time and what happened in-between? Sound life-changing teaching of truth motivated by genuine love and authentic need-meeting miracles happened in-between these times. Christ never did a miracle for Himself. He thought of others. He was practical.

How is your ministry? Are you led.. or pushed as believer? Are you "in it" for you?  

You know that Christ always represented His Father well. Man, I would say we've all got to become more focused on the Father as we go tell ..yeah, as we refuse to rely upon self and our own abilities. We never want to misrepresent the Father!

Listen, as you continually put your personal worshipping of God ahead of all other ministry that you seek to do.. then God the Father will indeed transform your thinking and life by His Spirit. He'll change you thoroughly so that you not only come off more like His lovely Son, but actually are like Jesus in your character.

The Apostle Paul explained that this can happen through the Holy Spirit, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18, nkjv).

Second Gandhi said.. The Christian faith should be presented without any adulteration.

Today there are many high and low profile Christian ministers who are unfortunately playing fast and loose with the truth. And man, this is so easy to do when we become self-confident.

They fail to prayerfully put their noses in the Bible regularly for the purpose of applying, and so they sadly end up trusting themselves like Pete did ..and subsequently let the Lord down every time.

Ad-libing as you communicate can be good. To verbally improvise and deliver extemporaneously is by far more natural. Billy Graham did this in soul-winning. But wingin' it minus being accurate with God's Message is not good at all. That is not how we are to represent the Father. Hey, if this describes your ministry, stop it! Study better. Refuse to adulterate in any way. Reprioritize for Christ's sake.

Third Gandhi exclaimed that, Christians should emphasize love, which is at the heart of the Gospel.

After personal worship, the second most important reason for you and I being here, believer, on this terra firma a.k.a., solid earth, is to clearly reflect Christ's agape love, pure light, and likeness to the lost!

Are you salty and filled with God's love today? Are you a real worshipper and good witness? You certainly can be! 

Called to be salt and light in this world, called to righteously persist and persevere, called to shine and reflect the glory of God—Oh, what a calling is mine! 

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
 ~ Malcolm S. Forbes

Think about Peter after his mega-blunder, he needed more love and loyalty inside and God poured it in if you will.

Jesus appeared to Simon Pete post-resurrection for that purpose, yes, in order to help him again.

We all could potentially deny and desert our Lord in unfaithfulness as Pete did, but on the other hand we could also choose to put our confidence in Jesus instead of in self, so that we never have to feel devastated as Pete did.

Opt for the later!

Don't let your world come crashing in on you due to this type of denial. You don't have time for all the regrets. Resurrection power basically says that you don't need to experience all the shame.

Can you imagine how good, uplifted, and encouraged Peter felt when he heard that line, "But go…"? Yes he was still loved.. "But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Jesus took Pete's doubts, discouragement, fears, and deep regrets to heart like He takes yours to heart. His message was not, "Go tell the disciples and James…" No, and it wasn't "Go tell the disciples and John the beloved…" It also wasn't, "Go tell the disciples and My dear Matthew..."

Nawww, it was, "Tell the disciples and Peter He is risen." Relief-city! Pete was the one with the need at that time. God doesn't play favorites with us, except in the sense that each one of us is His favorite!  

Yes, more than all the other disciples or their friends, Simon Peter needed some TLC, special attention, reassurance. And Christ was out of the tomb for that very thing. He longed to restore Peter in his faith as only He can do. He's also there for you!

Hey, if you are backslidden but contrite? Will you simply humble yourself and repent? If so, then Jesus will comfort and fully restore you as well. So what are you waiting for? Run back into His strong arms ...and then be sent out with His Message for others.