Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some solely depend upon “internet church” visits when they could get out of their cave for fellowship—not ideal.

Fellowship upwards and then outwards with growing Christians helps binds us together in Love. I mean in close proximity with. God wants that for you more than you having mere online edification only. Sure, let's up and leave the lonely cave to seek this out in a healthy Bible study and or better yet in a strong local church. Sometimes believers feel like they just work better all alone, and sure.. workin' closely with Christ first and also with other spiritual-minded believers will be far more Kingdom-productive than merely workin' independently or with carnal, worldly believers who pull ya down spiritually. But in a general sense we believers are to unify. We are meant to work together with the Holy Spirit, following His lead moment by moment, and also with others born again in Christ's church.

That's how God wants to use us to make a lasting impact in this world gone astray. Every Christian has gifts. Every believer is indeed very important to God and all have been placed into "the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:27).. for a good reason. We are here for Him, not ourselves.

I want to encourage you today to focus on Christ being dependent upon Him to meet all your needs, while you also remain interdependent in His Body.. "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you'" (1 Cor. 12:12-21, nkjv).

You know how the Lord desires that we all take part in true, edifying fellowship regularly with a local community of red hot Christians—using our God-given spiritual gifts to help build up people for the worship of god and so that His church will serve Him better. We really don't want to allow weak or spiritually-sick believers who want to grow… stay weak or spiritually sick.

"I want the whole Christ for my Saviour, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field." ~ John Wesley

"Those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary." ~ Paul, 1 Cor. 12:22

"Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." ~ Andrew Murray

Fellowship with the Lord is of course the best! How can we be strong if we skip that for fellowship with people only, or skip all fellowship completely? We can't.

Together in the Word, believers can be used to meet needs for basic togetherness. We are a family and should act like a healthy one from a basis of spiritual health. Today it's Sunday and I am not able to go to church when I really want to be there, but I did have a great time yesterday evening at church with my second son and wife, Liney. There will be times when you appeal and want to go, but for some reason might not be able to go to church. There is no condemnation in Christ.

Yes, there will be times when you are able to join a prayerful Bible study or a worship service regularly if you just pray about it often. Let's not rely solely upon "internet church" visits (as some of my hardworking friends do). Where's the kind of accountability Christ wants us to have in that?

Together, let's love one another children of God—let's each do our part so that others may really feel that they are an integral part of God's body of faith. We work much better together than we do alone.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Might sound crazy to some, but it is indeed possible to hear from God

Question for ya... is it possible for a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, to actually hear the voice of Jesus Christ in our day? Don't be scared to answer. That questions might sound kind of spooky to you—I sure hope it doesn't. Please take it at face value. I'm not into tricks.   

You know, when I ask that, my mind automatically thinks about all the false teacher kinda TV ministers and other manipulative kind of ministers who would "stop the music and show" so to speak, just to allegedly gain special inaudible messages directly before they proceed on into pressuring the crowd for a dig-deeper type of offering, or to go smack down ..on the forehead with coat or palm of hand.. more people filled with hope among his sickly devotees onto his platform so they can get back up and get smacked down again.

I think about the many cynical, jaded, and uber-skeptical people that I have run into who have seen one too many mocking Hollywood movies about some twisted greedy preacher, or even heard one too many crude late night comedians who was also perverse and cynical regarding the things and people of God.

I sincerely pray for those I meet who feel they've been let down by God or His folks and don't understand why so much went south so fast only to leave their hands full of ashes. Have your dreams been crushed? Have you ever run into people who once believed that God could talk with and guide them, but who no longer believe that, but have become disillusioned with all talk of "hearing from God" or of the church or of any type of so called ministry? My heart goes out to em. 

It would appear that the landscape has become full of hurting and lonely people looking to become "spiritual" apart from establishing any relationship with the Bible Christ. It's wrong. In our land, as in other lands, the true ministers of God seem to have become so obfuscated ..hidden from plain view and the sight of common people.. due to all the posers who are posing in Jesus Name claiming they can hear from God for you.  

But can you and I actually hear the voice of Christ? The truth of the matter is that no matter how many times you've been let down by man or religion or church people or an organization, there is indeed a God who loves you dearly, who understands you, and who can speak to you in a way that you can understand. A child could understand.

Yes, you can hear from the God who created you. And it is important that you do hear and respond in faith… yes, for the sake of avoiding a real place called hell and gaining entrance to that place called heaven through Jesus Christ. "Come on, Kurt, talk of hell is so passe and not positive dude!" 

Well, think about it.. not going there is way positive.  

Are you among the minority of people on this planet who still desire to hear from the Lord of lords? That might sound religious, but it's a good question. You ought not be afraid to hear from Him. You don't have to turn into some whacko who listens to all kinds of voices just because you hear God's voice..and you really don't need to go around telling everyone that you hear His voice. 

I personally still want to hear from Jesus, my really Good Shepherd, who has never once let me down. And to me yesterday's experience with Him for me only has value to me as far as what was biblically gained in the past is transferable into my present day relationship with God. Forgetting those things which are behind, I press on. I'm concerned about my current walk with Christ and yours as well. Decisions made today will be important for your future. I want you to hear from Him so that you will know what to do and won't have to guess about it. I want you safe in His will. 

God the Father really wants you and I, and all of His disciples, to hear from His Son.. "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Lk. 9:35, nkjv). Christ prays for His Children and He wants to make each of us the kind of friends who will earnestly pray for others. 

So rich is the person who has a praying friend who biblically hears from and obeys God. And rich is the one who has himself or herself also learned how to talk to and hear from God. This world needs more who will joyfully obey the Word.

God's mouth still works. It communicates truth—He doesn't ever change. He compassionately speaks to His people today and His Word brings joy and blessing when properly acted upon.

personally view every Word in the Bible as the voice of Christ and you should too. They weren't given to us in vain.
We know this by both: 1.) By inference and also by 2.) By personal experience.

Of course we don't walk by sight, or by our changing feelings, or even determine what's true by all our experiences. You know that. Some of what you experience could come from bad pizza, but we walk by faith in God's Word. He directs us. Think about it.   

First, we know this by inference.

We trust that, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

It is true that, "whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise" (Jn. 5:19). Remember when Jesus told Philip that, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (Jn. 14:9b). Who else can say that who seeks to represent the Father to people? I sure can't for I am a saved sinner. Jesus rep-ed the Father perfectly. He clearly showed us what God is like and what God would say—He is God and totally united with the Father.  

When God the Father, by God the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21), was literally overshadowing and directing the logging down of the Scriptures for us, the will, heart, and pure mind of the Son was in flawless, harmonious, and beautiful concert with what was happening and being communicated.

A man of God named John Piper who has inspired and challenged me a whole lot once said,

Not only were all things made by the Father, with the Spirit (Gen. 1:2), through the Son (Jn. 1:3), but all things are absolutely through the Son: There is "one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things" (1 Cor. 8:6). The inspiration of the Bible was through the Son. Therefore the Bible is the word of Jesus. When the Spirit guides the New Testament writers, he is taking the heart and mind of Jesus and rendering them in Scripture as the words of Jesus: "All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and declare it to you" (Jn. 16:15). Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter, Jude, and the writer to the Hebrews write the words of Jesus. When the Gospel writers say, "Jesus said," it is Jesus saying, "I said." When they write "Jesus did," it is Jesus saying, "I did." When they write about Jesus, Jesus is speaking about Jesus. When they quote Jesus, Jesus is quoting Jesus.

This is so SO true; in the holy Scriptures we can hear the voice of Jesus talking about Jesus. We can learn how He responded in different circumstances and carefully apply that to how we respond to the same type of circumstance we face. What Jesus did, is what Jesus would do—He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We just need to be careful to follow the same Spirit that He did in how we apply God's Word. We want to be biblical as He was and is. And this is why I strongly encourage everyone I meet and is open to truth to become born of the Spirit of God, so that God will come live inside them and guide them. Have you been born of God's Spirit according to John 3 yet?

Second, we know this by experience.

You know that not all experiences are bad. When we are born again, we have a new experience that is right and good. We gain new ears and new eyes in a sense. We are given a new vision of sorts, new desires, new thoughts, new concerns, new insight, new wisdom and a resurrected human spirit inside—yes, newness of life! It's so exciting.
We don't need new revelations—we have the old Revelation that God can easily quicken to us today.. and He has been so faithful to give us illumination in His Word as we simply humble ourselves before Him. Confession, repentance and trusting Christ are needed to clear those important lines of communication.

God talks to and illumines us our inner spirit and that's so that our soul and body will submit to His good Word and will. Our new ears and eyes and senses if you will, are tuned-in to the frequency of the voice of Jesus Christ—I mean to this Bible Jesus (there are sadly so many different kinds of Jesus being preached out there).

The Bible clearly says, "The sheep follow Him [Jesus], for they know His voice. A stranger they will not follow, for they do not know the voice of strangers.. My sheep hear My voice.. and they follow Me [Jesus]" (Jn. 10: 4–5, 27, emphasis mine). Yes, the Bible is the voice of Jesus. When we prayerfully read and hear it—we basically hear Christ's voice.

"Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian." ~ Andrew Murray

"God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely." ~ Anselm of Canterbury

"Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God." ~ Andrew Murray

The Scriptures say, "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion…" (Ps. 95:6-8).

I'm so glad that I can talk to God the Father and to Jesus any day, at any time and in any posture.. and He so graciously opts to listen even to me. And you can too because He loves you just the same. He could audibly speak out of heaven to any of us as He has done before, but why should I demand that of Him for He has given me His living Word. Why should I demand anything or try to instruct Him how to answer—I am His servant, not He mine. I used to foolishly tell Him how to answer my prayers, but soon discovered that any such coaching from me was not necessary or appropriate.  

You know how the Bible addresses so many topics that we need to be well versed in. It indeed addresses all the needs of people. There are promises in there that you need to claim by faith today. God knows your needs before you even call out to Him.

The Bible doesn't contain all the truths that exist in God's mind, but it does give us all the truths that God knows we will need down here on earth—yes, that God wants us to know for our own experience with Him. We all need His Word and His Spirit to glorify Him.

Of course I read other decent books about science and history (History is really His story for He isn't half sovereign, and all true science remains in harmony with the Bible), but I certainly don't need any other magazine or book such as the erroneous book of Mormon to accompany my Bible. Cultists will disagree with this, but the way that the true God means for each of us to live is to be so familiar with His voice from His Word that we can quickly sense His will where His audible voice might remain silent. Cultic teaching and full-blown cults will sadly continue to come and go, but God wants each of us to become so familiar with His Bible truth today, that when even one counterfeit looms on the horizon as so many do, we will instantly be able to recognize and reject it well as help others see it for what it is.

Pray that God will give you His discernment so that you can clearly hear His voice when He want you to hear. What beats that? Nothin'!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What spurs you on into prayer... say your car, in your room that chair in that quiet corner with that hot coffee or tea when you are at home and ready to sow to the Spirit? Perhaps it's when you are in that private break spot at work or in your school where you feel the need to read the Word and pray the most, that you feel the need to mention the names of people you've met. 

These are some good questions to ponder huh. Do you ask yourself ever: What motivates me to seek the Lord the most, I mean most often, when Christ is seeking to drawn you apart from the crowd? Is it personal trials for you, is it pain, is it face to face update reports from loved ones, or is it the simple promptings of the Spirit that most often get you away and down on your knees before your Lord? 

If ever there was a world that needed Jesus Christ, it is our world today.. it is your world and my world. You know this. We are seeing such drastic changes happen so rapidly - at lightening speed it seems - before our very eyes and although we feel great joy when looking up for our Savior to soon appear and snatch us believers away into the clouds, He would have us all praying fervently in faith for others until His Rapture happens.

Be encouraged to draw away.. to look away to God today.. yes to meet all your needs as well as to change those circumstances and lives around you that look so impossible right now. Christ so loves His time with you. Steal away (I mean take the time back that you gave to something lesser, something that shouldn't be first priority). Get away ignoring your feelings or desires for entertainment. Find a quiet place to listen and to hear from your first Love - Jesus. Call out to God for the nations there and for those lost and living in em. God the Holy Spirit will indeed lead you in this cuz He cares about you and them more.

Q. Do ya ever get topics of prayer from your TV, online news app, hardcopy hotel newspaper, Twitter account or from your car radio? If you can't think of what to pray when alone, pray over those things. I know many of you do this and you know how the global intercession-fodder that's comin' at us via new media is uber-abundant huh. We can be missionaries going to far off lands daily on our knees if you will...and perhaps even going to these places and peoples physically later on as God opens doors.

"Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray." 5/2ps.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Man, Act Like A Man.

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Do everything in Love." (1 Corinthians 16:13,14).  

What this verse does not at all mean is, act like women.  No, be what God made you, man!  

1.     Don't act like a woman – Men of God are called to follow Christ and lead, not follow women or act like them. We need to listen to women, and for sure to spiritual godly women and then act on their biblical ideas. Godly women are called to lead too, but not lead men. Think about the Genesis three temptation of Eve in how Adam actually followed her, a woman, off into sin. BTW: Where was Adam when she was tempted in the garden? Many men still follow women into sin today. Think about how Eve, "..saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise.." (vv.6, 17) and then blew it. We men are to walk by faith, not by sight or feelings. It would appear that Eve would even desire Adams place or want to control him as his leader, yes, as a result of her bad choice (v.16 desire = longing, craving to dominate h8669).. "And you [Eve] will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you" (nlt). Perhaps this is one reason Paul said that an elder in a local church was to be the husband of one wife, instead of saying a wife of one husband, or wife of a wife. Men, please determine now that you will act like men and not acquiesce to allowing your wife to lead you around or off into sin. Too many men are so confused today, even within the church and yet three times God (in the Bible) says that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Those are His words and if He said that once then that would be enough. Too many men have bought into the world's lie somehow, but God is very clear about how we believers are to represent Him to a wayward society rather than to mess with His divine order. There is also never really a time to act feminine or partially-feminine as many famous high-profile artists and other so called sophisticated Metrosexuals tend to do. I’m not picking on the non-macho. You know what I’m talking about ...those who going beyond just being entertainingly creative and really try to look like a woman. It’s wrong but that’s so vogue in this world. Some seem to look for every opportunity to dawn a dress and behave girly (you know uber-wimpy, milk-toast, chickified, overly-sensitive-emotional even on into manipulation at times. Just beyond what God would have em be like. This world system aims to confuse and make men like girls and now so many boys and men feel they must even get a sex change just to be true to themselves). But God never create Adam and Steve in the Garden to rep Him or Eve and Bridget. Today we have teachers hitting on their students, and men with many wives or animals. Priests with boys. It seems to have become common place in the West. Why? Well, we are in the last days. God made a man and a woman so they could get married and represent the love of Christ for His Church, because any other mix to any degree would be very wrong and perverse. Never forget that Jesus was fully a man's man. Husbands, Christ (God) wants the world to have an accurate, clear picture of what He is really like so that they can choose.    

2.     Don't act like a beast – Beasts aren't gentle, they growl a lot, they bite, they shred and tear up a flock, they destroy and kill rather than build up others (see verses below). Dogs have a "I want" mentality, not a I'm here to give idea. They live for getting their own appetites addressed. Are you apart of the scratch and belch crowd even around your spouse? How does she want you to be around the home and outside… smelly, greasy, dirty, rude? If you could give a flip, your male friends might laugh—they not might mind at all, but for her that gets old fast. Yes, a beast can be so gross in what they eat, sniff, and where they visit. They aren't faithful. They literally stink to high heaven. They live solely to get their own desires gratified and never ever thinks about meeting another creature's needs. You might feel that man's so called best friend, your beloved dog, really loves you for who you are, but you have simply proven to be its regular provision source. That's all there is to it.   

I dare you if I may to do your own study on evil beasts, spiritual dogs, and spiritual pigs in the Bible. Does the Bible mean wild dogs – is it referring to lost gentiles only? You already know how lost and carnal people can behave just like animals. And there is a good reason by Jesus said, "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" (Matt. 7:6, nasb).

Paul warned, "Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).

John penned, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying" (Rev 22:14-15).

"One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons'" (Titus 1:12, nasb). 

"But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption" (2 Pet. 2:12, nkjv).

"But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain [a murderer], have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit [covetous like most false prophets are], and perished in the rebellion of Korah [who was into prideful rebellion and leading others into that]" (Jude 1:10-11, nkjv emphasis mine). 

3.     Don't act like a child – You remember how the Apostle Paul said, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11, NASB). Real men don't remain in diapers demanding or waiting to be changed and fed. They've learned how to feed themselves and act much differently for they desire to mature spiritually. No matter what the crowd does, real men have made the choice against all feelings that might be contrary to be growing Christians who forgive, who love, who lead. Yes, no matter how many follow them or not – "the cross before them, the world behind them." They have learned how to walk without being conformed by evil influences ..yes walk with Christ.. and they refuse to remain as some carnally minded baby believer on pabulum. They opt never to pressure people, accuse people, or be a moucher using others for personal gain for that's simply unChristlike. They have chosen to read the red, live by it, pray the price and grow up into balanced disciples who enjoy the meat of the Word rather than just milk. You know that being in God's Kingdom is great, but they are so grateful that they want to help others into God's Kingdom. They're not into throwing temper tantrums if they don't get their way, or carrying a chip on their shoulder. No they intercede so that God's Way will win out in everything – yeah, so captives will go free. They don't whine, pout, mope, blow up, blame, hate people or say "Mine!" They see what they own as God's property. They roll up their sleeves and never expect others to get their work done for them. If someone kindly vouches for them, God's man will do his very best to make sure they never regret that or let that person down so that it wouldn't reflect poorly on their judgment. They never want to be a burden on others, but they look to God as their Source and seek to relieve people's burdens. Yes, they are out to meet needs as they point people to Jesus Christ who can meet their greatest need (for salvation), rather than live to see their own desires gratified.

 "God wants men to be free. Free to demonstrate toughness when a situation or relationship demands it. Free to display grit, strength, commitment, and decisiveness under the Holy Spirit's direction. God also wants me to be free to demonstrate tenderness, sensitivity and humility. Free to be vulnerable enough to foster intimacy and to shed tears. Authentic masculinity produces a divine elasticity in men. Finally they can lead with firmness, then submit with humility. They can challenge with a cutting edge, then encourage with enthusiasm. They can fight aggressively for a just cause, then moments later weep over suffering. Secure, free, authentic men leave a mark - on their colleagues, friends, wives, and especially their children." ~ Bill Hybels

"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me." ~ Jim Elliot

"A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian... and most of all, his family ought to know." ~ Dwight L Moody

What I am saying is really not about male chauvinism here or about men being heartless dictators anywhere, especially in families, at work, or in the local church. It is about men acting like Jesus Christ. Therefore don't act or be religious like a Pharisee, for Christ wasn't and isn't like that. God the Father isn't religious. Don't be weak, or the weaker vessel in your marriage. Choose to be strong in the Word. Some men in our society like to hang out with the most base of characters and basically fellowship with the enemy as well.. and so much so using the horoscopes, astrologers, mediums, fortune teller physics, weegie boards etc… that they start acting like fallen angels – full of pride, deceit, perversion, and rebellion. Hey men, don't fellowship with, lie, or act like a fallen angel.. ever.  
What do real men act like?  What that verse above does mean. 
1. It means act like God created you to act. Men of God remain awake spiritually and alert (Matt. 24:42, 43, 25:13, Mk. 13:33, 1 Cor. 16:13, Col 4:2, 1 Thess. 5:6, 1Pet. 5:8).
2. They are pure and honest..."For the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence" (Prov. 3:32). "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out" (10:9). "I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity..." (1 Chron. 29:17). Yes, men of God are careful about what they allow to enter their eye and ear gates even when others aren't watching them. People are counting on them.    
3. They are courageous due to prayer, have a right spirit, a good attitude, and proper motives as they stand firm in the Lord. God told Joshua, "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9). Also see Deuteronomy 1:29-31 which commands us men, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."
4.  They humbly hold to their biblical convictions with Holy Spirit steel in their backbones, and yet they can also be gentle and caring. The Bible says, "..Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord." (Eph. 6:4). "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (niv). "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Col. 3:21). "He [God] will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse" (Mal 4:6). "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him…" (Ps 103:13).   
5. They remain strong in the Lord as they press on to maturity.
6. They get through hardship and view it properly ..not like God now hates them. God tell men to, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" (Heb. 12:7).
7. They pray without ceasing and inquire of the Lord before they act (not running ahead of Him or lagging behind). Jesus said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.." (Matt. 6:33).
8. They walk in consistent victory as good examples not self-confidently, but leaning on the Spirit (no do as I say, not as I do mentality) as they are careful with all their words, "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered" (Prov. 17:27). "Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us" (Tts. 2:6-8).
9. They lead others with confidence having their best interests at heart, and seek to win those who are open. "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls" (Prov. 11:30, NASB).
10. They take responsibility for all they do and say…
11. They count the cost, pre-think scripturally, discern, judge with righteous judgment and then they make bold moves for, "A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth" (Prov. 17:24).
12. They listen up, receive discipline, and aren't too proud to ask for advice or help when they need it, or when others they are helping need it. God tells men, "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in" (Prov. 3:11-12). "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old" (23:22). "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him" (23:24).
13. They do all in selfless love, as Paul challenged, "..act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love" (1 Cor. 16:14).
14. They want the Message and Messiah remembered, not themselves and they give all the glory to God. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's real faith about?

Is it about waiting endlessly, without seeing God come through for His people on earth? Naww. He'll come through for He keeps His promises. Biblical faith sure ain't confessing what kind of wealth that you long for until a pile of bucks arrive on your doorstep via some erroneous word-faith kinda blab-it-and-grab-it application. God will meet your needs, but who is here to force His hand with some childish demands or weird verbal magic.. allegedly spoken in His Name? No one. Be careful what so called ministers you listen to in the media and test what I say against the Word as well. Faith ain't about what you or I want, even though God does work in us both to will and then to do of His good pleasure. Faith ain't about running ahead of the Lord in presumption thinkin' that you're acting in God-pleasing faith, or about lagging behind when the Lord is actually prompting you to step out and act. How you apply God's Word and His timing are so important. I say pray enough to get the details of how, when, where and with whom - the details He wants you to have. God indeed has a part, and you, believer, have a part in this vital relationship of faith. 

Ask.. Is the Bible for or against this ..or silent on this issue? Who does God want me to edify or witness to at this time? Do I have peace with God and the peace of God about this matter? What are my motives and reasons for wanting to see this happen? Is my spirit and attitude right? Do I need to pray some more until the circumstances of life allow me to proceed legally, and where others for sure won't be hurt by some sin? What does the Lord want me to learn at this time? Has God provided what I will need to proceed?  

Biblical faith has to with Christ and His Cause primarily. Sure God loves to bless His kids more than they want to be blessed. But it's about a servant's obedience to his or her Lord, where God is sovereign instead of you or me.. and where you and I never try to take that sovereignty away from Him as if we could... as if we knew better. Father knows best. Sadly too many believers try that kinda thing.. as they seek to be Lord of their own lives. But God has better things for you and for me, as we closely follow and exalt the Lord to the ends of the earth.  

Biblical faith seems to have six "D" phases: 

1. (In answer to righteous believing prayer, God gives a believer a) Dream a.k.a. a vision if you will, of what He wants to do with and through you to glorify His Son. Have you prayed fervently to become a greater blessing to the Lord first in worship, as well as a blessing in helping other people to better know and serve God?  

2. (You make the) Decision to obey God His way, not your's, in what He is calling you to be and do.  

3. (You expect a) Delay. Yes, study those who received a dream or vision as you go through the Bible and many times we see that several days would pass until the dream or desired vision would be fulfilled. I'm thinking about Joseph in the bottom of that well his bros through him in, and then in Egypt. You remember all that happened to him there. Sometimes the vision doesn't happen overnight, because God is more interested in developing godly character in you and me, and faith, and those talents, and other gifts. Yes, what He makes of you is more important to Him than what He makes through you.  

4. Difficulties will come your way. There might be suffering at times. There might be several personalities opposing you along the way. Mr. Lu-Cifer and his creepy minions will fight to make sure Christ's purpose and Message won't advance to lost people through your life. He still hates all that Christ stands for.  

Ya know that verse.. "Jesus said, 'Take ye heed. You'll have an easy time.'"  I love that one.. but it ain't really in His Book. see James 1:2-4. Suffering can bring life into perspective. I'm just here to encourage ya. 

5. Dead-end – some believers call this experience "the death of the vision" (perhaps you've experienced more than one death of a dream before) where things suddenly look very impossible. But after God allows it to die, He can make a way where there is no way. God wants to see that you love Him more than your dream, more than a ministry vision, more than all types of ministry to people. Is your relationship with God number one still, and with your spouse second or has your "ministry position" or something or someone else been prioritized ahead of your relationship with God? We don't ever want to make an idol out of church work or any kind of work.  

6. (Finally it happens..) Deliverance! Perhaps you've run out of hope? Do you feel like the God of all hope has missed His opportunity and it's now it's much too late? Think about dead Lazarus in the ground awhile. Everyone thought God was too late to arrive. His sisters were really hurting about it. It wasn't too late for Jesus. Have your dreams turned to ashes in your hands? Hey, things might get worse before they get better circumstantially, but God is still in control. I wish I could tell you how it will all work out, but know that God is still Good, not mean at all, and He has your best interests at heart. He has no tricks to play on you. It's not too late - put your hope in the Lord. He indeed knows what He is doing. Hang on tight to Christ. Stop, think, appropriate His strong grace when you feel afraid. Praise and worship Him no matter what. Be honest with Him and trust. Get alone with Jesus regularly before you do other stuff. Doing your best just commit the rest. And when the Lord "pulls it off" then people will be so glad and give Him the glory for they will see that He did it rather than any man. Needs will be met. Yes, people will be saved and delivered through Jesus Christ.  

Do you ever feel antsy or tempted to take matters in your own hands? I've been there before, but please don't do it. No. Please wait on the Lord long enough, and please don't wait too long ..when He says it's time for you to advance in faith. Be encouraged in Him today. He has not left you. He hasn't forsaken you. HE FIERCELY LOVES AND WANTS YOU FOR HIMSELF IF YOU WILL, BUT NOT OUT OF INVERTED SELFISHNESS. Yes, He is right there with you, believer and there is way too much at stake here to miss His lead in this. Want more peace? Prayerfully meditate upon and memorize His Word. 

"Then the Lord answered me and said: 'Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry'" (Hab. 2:2-3, nkjv).

"It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam 3:26).

"The road to true success leads through the valley of humility, and the path is up the ladder of patience and across the wide barren plains of perseverance. As yet, no short cut has been discovered." ~ Joseph. J. Lamb

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth" (Ps. 37:7-9).

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14).

"Patience and delay achieve more than force and rage." ~ Jean de La Fontaine

"Our soul waiteth for the Lord: He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name" (Ps. 33:20, 21).

"Patience is the ability to let your light shine after your fuse has blown." ~ Anon.

"But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses" (Rom 8:25-26).

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Ps. 27:13-14).

"'Stand still' - keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing Voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, 'Go forward.'" ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord..." (Jam. 5:7, 8).

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isa. 40:29-31).

"I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good" (Ps. 52:9). 

Talkin' about the birth of a vision, the death of a vision and the resurrection of a vision ...yes made alive by God not by man. He can do it. Be faithful. Where are you at? Are you born again and growing in Jesus Christ? Are you hanging out with spiritual believers who love to study the Bible and pray.. who love to seek Him with all their hearts? How do I pray about this kinda stuff? Well... Lord, please help me/us to learn all the lessons that You want me/us to learn in the class of disappointment and delay, because I/we don't really want to have to go to summer school. I know you love me and that Your timing is perfect. Thank you that faith comes through You. Do Your thing, when and how you want to do it. I want to be a part. In Jesus Name. Amen.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Us Westerners typically love all things new, but old or aging. No.

Sometimes old is better than new. You know that many things our grandparents did in there day were simply more wholesome, healthy, and better for society around them, compared to all the unwise experimentation and messages we hear of today.


Lookin' here, there and everywhere, striving, too many believers in the South are seekin' hard after a new revelation, a "new word," a new smack-em-in-the-forehead kind of anointing, cuz they want to go to a new level in the Spirit.


Q. So what's wrong with the original Revelation to man (the Bible)? A. Nothin' - it's without error.


A new method, touch, or refill of God's Spirit ..ok. An appropriate new application for old truth that's biblical ..sure. I'm for it.


But why not stick with old truth in God's Way? Jesus is His Way. Just musing over, "Thus says the Lord: 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.'" 6/16jer


"If it's true it ain't new, and if it's new it ain't true." ~ Greg Laurie


We should always be willing to embrace any old or new, just as long as it's in keeping with the Word and the Spirit of the New Covenant.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We mortals certainly can’t cure this world of all it's sorrow, but..

..we can personally choose the Way of joy in spite of the things we can't control. Sure, cuz we know Who can easily do the former. Jesus told us that He is the Way. 

"You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again." 71/20ps.

There was once a sorrowing psalmist who'd seen "great and severe troubles" (Ps. 71:20) up close and personal. But deep down inside, He knew there was One who could "revive" him and take all that sorrow away. In there original language, this word literal means "bring him to life again." Have you ever seen much too much and then afterwards just felt dead inside? A lot of military vets return from the battlefield feeling this way. I have two sons who together have seen five tours of duty in Iraq and I want you to know that Jesus Christ can heal, restore, and revive. He can even raise the dead, both spiritually and physically for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He can handle all the sorrow that you feel at times, that so quickly seems so overwhelming. Yes, He can give you joy again.

The Psalmist went on to say, "(You shall) bring me up again from the depths of the earth (the grave). You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side" (vv.20-21). My dear cousin Scott just died at age 43 of cancer and they haven't even buried him yet. I'm convinced that he wants no one praying for him to be raised from the dead right now, for he is in such a uber-wonderful spot. His dad passed on a few years ago and his brother Todd also passed away in his early 40s. We miss them.

We are praying for his mom, Wendy, now and the entire Haigh family so that they will know comfort like never before. Scott recently told my dad that he was a praying believer and now at this time all his premature, hard and painful troubles are gone as he stands there in his Father's glorious welcoming embrace. Have you made your reservations for this trip in advance? 

The faithful Apostle Paul and many others killed for Jesus' sake come to my mind. They were ready in advance. Hey, if the the things that cause you great sorrow don't end in this lifetime, they certainly will in heaven if you know Jesus personally (Read John 3 in the Bible). It can happen to you. Christ is the only One who can save you, and erase all the sorrows of this fallen world.

Perhaps no one down here on earth knows all the trouble that you've seen, but God does and this short period of time here is not all that shall be. Please be ready for the Rapture of the Church or the grave. Simply turn, confess, and ask for Christ forgiveness and joy while this is now fresh on your mind. Don't put it off, for none of us are promised the privilege of aging or even the gift of tomorrow.  

In context, I'm currently lookin' at: "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you." ~ Jesus 16/22jn.

"Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." 15/10lk.

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." 15/11jn.

"Then the seventy returned with joy.." 10/17lk.

"And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great JOY.." 24/52lk. 

Would you like some joy today free of charge? When was the last time that you asked God for His joy etc? He loves you and He loves to give to His children. Do you need a refill of His Spirit? You know that He has abundant life for each of us. Are you willing to walk with the Savior not merely as a believer, but also as His disciple? He wants to be both Savior and Lord for you because He cares for you and those around you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do you have a so called sacred non-tech zone?

Don't know 'bout you, but when I wake up in the morning with the radio going with different positive stations on, I tend to hear such great ideas and feel exciited to go log some of these ideas down for future study in a computer device of some sort. Yes, as quickly as possible before I forget em.....but I don't. I now reach from an old school paper tablet and pen instead. Do you find yourself gettin' "digitially distracted" (Let me reword it this way: Are you a normal guy?). Ever feel tempted away to lesser things that can actually rob you of a prayer life alone with Christ daily, believer? If so, how will you be ready.. ready to give an answer for the hope you have inside?

During this so called "social media revolution" that we are witnessing, are all the tech-tools that you own helping you to learn and to grow spiritually.. are they helping you to develop healthy close relationships with people face to face and not face to face? There is no spiritual growth apart from the Word of God. Are they actually helping you to minister to other believers ..and even to the lost people that you encounter? Are they helping you or kinda of hindering you as you seek to praise the Lord through your day ..or to evangelize the irreligious in the Spirit? I say tools should help, or get thrown away if they hinder your growth. 

Do you often put your Bible down long-term or relocated it to the back burner as you move "serving the Lord on Facebook, on YouTube, on G+, on Twitter or on Pinterest" to the front burner so to speak? 

I've found that if I get my mornings right, then somehow my whole days seems to go right ..even if problems arise.. but if I run out the door without taking time alone in the Word, it often feels like I'm running out the door with only one shoe on my foot. 

Are you still seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness or just more social equity and influence apart from putting Jesus first (i.e., wood, hay and stubble kinda works that are meant for the testing fire ahead). I've easily gotten distracted before and I hate that. Neither Zuck or Facebook died on a cross for me. What helps me to seek the Lord early before my day gets rolling along? This might sound very legalistic and weird to you, but this helps me towards fruitfulness I believe: Kurt (me) has sort of a "prohibition zone" (a sacred place if you will), upstairs at his home and at a few other locations where I allow a pen, a Bible, and paper to enter with me, and where I leave all other devices and puters out.
Rule 1:  Kurt's hand is allowed to touch pen, paper and Bible before and during his AM quiet time in that location, but not allowed to touch any other device until after he talks with and listens to his Lord there. 
Rule 2:  Seek to follow Christ in there and out, but never just leave Him/forget Him there attitudinally like I've somehow become Lord when exiting. Jesus said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33, nkjv). You know that in the original Greek the word first actually means first. 
Dare ya if I may to worship the Lord before you go serve the Lord. Ministry to Him is your first priority, not ministry for Him. Is it merely more followers and social friends that you seek to gain? Why become addicted to people or tech? Jesus asked, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole worldand loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt. 16:26). 

Ok, now after you spend some time with Christ alone today.. do visit and LIKE: