Preaching THROUGH Jesus!

Are you communicating the right way? Is it the way Jesus would do it, or does your preaching have the taste of plastic to it?

Daily Bible reading: Acts 4-6

SCRIPTURE

And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:1-2 KJV

OBSERVATION
In the context are the religious rulers, who are very upset that Peter and John have caused a commotion in the Temple. They were used by God to heal a lame man, and the people in “Church” that day were blown away. But what really sticks out to me is what these religious leaders noticed about Peter and John’s method how that they “taught the people, and PREACHED THROUGH JESUS.” I remember scaring my little sister when we were growing up. I snuck up behind her while she was on the couch watching TV, and I reached under her blanket and grabbed her arm THROUGH the blanket. She didn’t see me grabbing her – she only saw the blanket grabbing her! And yes, she was a little upset too. Here Peter and John grabbed this lame man THROUGH Jesus! I wonder how many of today’s sermons are merely “preaching ABOUT Jesus”, but are not communicating THROUGH the character, nature and power of Jesus? I want to preach THROUGH Jesus!

APPLICATION
Like never before I want to be one who touches people through Jesus. If this type of ministry doesn’t take place I will preach THROUGH my self, and it tends to leave people with a bad taste in their mouth. When you give someone a drink of water you want them to taste the water – not the plastic cup it is served in. I really want to make sure I’m being led by the Spirit, and not merely doing things by rote.

PRAYER
“Lord, teach me how to live THROUGH You, and merely just talk ABOUT You or live FOR You. May I go through Your tunnel of grace to touch lives. Let me do things through Your strength and ability. Let me see Your glory today, in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Are you experiencing boredom in your walk with Lord, could it be that you are missing one key ingredient?

Daily Bible reading: Acts 1-3

SCRIPTURE

“To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3 KJV

OBSERVATION
This Scripture is so powerful in the King James Version. The “passion” spoke not only of Christ’s suffering, but also the intensity with which he underwent that suffering. It was passionate, it was courageous, it was almost theatrical in its performance. But Jesus didn’t just suffer and die. He put His whole Blood, sweat and tears into it. He gave it everything He had. It’s no wonder that when the soldier holding the hammer said, as he stood under the shadow of this amazing passion, “truly this was the Son of God!”
But I see something else here. It wasn’t until “after His passion” that He showed himself alive. He had to possess passion before He was truly alive.

APPLICATION
I wonder how many of us have tried to be “alive”, full of life, successful, etc, but have no “passion” that ramps up to it? To me, “passion” is that all-crucial ingredient to everything we do. If we’re not into it, who will be? If we’re bored, how will we inspire others? So, my hearts desire is to get Passion, and to possess it. After that, everything will fall into place. I’ll be more alive than I’ve ever been!

PRAYER “Jesus, I pray for a fresh dose of passion. Help me to tap into that Holy Ghost reservoir where all I need is found in You. Remove anything that has the scent of boredom or routine in it. Help me to keep things fresh so that life might spring forth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

When Enough is Enough

Recent investigation has called some Tele-Evangelist to the carpet, and the rest of the world is wondering, “how’d you get so rich??”

Daily Bible reading: Exodus 35-40

SCRIPTURE
And they spoke unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. Exodus 36:5-6

OBSERVATION
In the wake of recent Tele-Evangelist financial investigation could it be that we’ll ever see the Bible verse above shared on one of their TV programs? In Moses’ Day – as God’s people were bringing so much money for the building of “the ministry” it’s amazing to me that Moses had to say, “O.K., O.K. it’s enough! We don’t need anymore! You can stop now!!” But apparently many of today’s ministers haven’t heard “God’s Voice” regarding this subject. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but if ministers are indeed sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit I believe He’ll tell us when it’s enough. He wants to provide for us, the work of the ministry, etc., but if we never know when it’s enough we may be in danger of losing it all.

APPLICATION
I believe the Lord is warning ministers and Christians today – to not be greedy for filthy lucre, but to be thankful and to allow God to be the supreme supplier. If greediness and financial irresponsibility continues it will make it harder and harder to convince God’s people to give. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” [Psalm 127:1]

PRAYER
“O Lord, I come to You today – not wanting be greedy for the things of this world, but to be transformed in my spirit-man. Give me a taste for the things of Heaven, and not for the things of this world. Help me to know that You are sufficient to provide for all my needs. And help me to fully trust You in every way, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Unashamed Gangland

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In last nite’s episode of Gangland the Lord spoke to me about something…

Daily Bible reading: Proverbs 9, Ps. 24-25

SCRIPTURE
O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Psa 25:2-3

OBSERVATION
Last nite I watched a crazy episode of Gangland. It always amazes me just how bold and brazen these criminals have become. One of the 16 year olds who was being charged for 1st Degree Murder smiled as if it wasn’t even a big deal. He walked into a restaurant and shot a man and then ran out with 3 of his friend. Murder and “transgression without cause”, is how the Bible says it is. How can these people be so unashamed of their crimes, and yet so many of us Christians are ashamed to stand-up for our faith? These guys are willing to take a bullet or go to prison for life, for what? In the end it’s Hell. But us, Christians? We’re afraid to say “Merry Christmas!” or “God bless you”, or “I’m praying for you.” What’s wrong with this picture? I really get tired of Mamby-Pamby “Christianity”. Let these criminals be ashamed of themselves! Let the drug dealers apologize! Let those who transgress without cause re-pay 7-fold and repent of their satanic ways! If I sound a little harse – maybe it’s because David the Psalmist was a little upset too. I think it’s time for Christians to get a little backbone in them, and stop walking of egg shells in a world that’s in such desperate need of help.

APPLICATION
Perhaps it’s a mindset that needs to be adjusted on a daily basis. David said, “let THEM be ashamed!” It’s time to stand! It’s not the time to turn into “Hell-Fire and Brimstone” believers, not to hide in our closets, but I do believe it’s time to stand up for what we believe in. Some won’t name of the Name of Jesus, because they’re afraid they don’t know enough of the Bible. Do you know that Jesus saved you? Do you know what He did for you? That’s enough. No one can discount what He did for you! Why hide it? Jesus said that we’re to proclaim it from the housetops! Don’t be ashamed! Never!

PRAYER
“O Lord, in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation – let me shine as a light. Let me be unashamed of the Gospel and the power of God! Let boldness ooze out of my bones because of the greatness of Your majesty and the Fire of Your Love! Let others be ashamed of themselves, but not me. Let me light a fire of deliverance in this world that will set the captives free! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Coming Out of the Closet

Are you a “Closet Christian”? Does anyone around you see that Jesus is real in your life, or do you merely keep your faith to yourself? Perhaps it’s time to come out of the closet!

Daily Bible reading: Exodus 28-31

SCRIPTURE

And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the miter; upon the forefront of the miter it shall be.
And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead…” Exo 28:36-38

OBSERVATION
Here Aaron was to wear this engraving, HOLINESS TO THE LORD, on this hat, called a Miter. I couldn’t help but think of what it would be like if God required Born Again believers to wear a similar hat everywhere we went. Or what if God made you get that tattooed on your forehead! Just imagine going into a store to get a candy bar. The person at the cash register looks at you with a bit of a puzzled look – no doubt thinking, “Hmm? So he’s into the Lord or whatever….” But there would be no way of hiding that we belong to the Lord! It would make us more confident to stand up for our faith. It would make us more consecrated in our walk with God. It would keep us from going places and doing things that the Lord wouldn’t want us doing or going. “Closet Christianity” would be unheard of! All of God’s people would be the strong witnesses that we have been called to be!

APPLICATION
How I need to realize that, though I may not wear of physical hat or tattoo signifying my faith in the Lord, I am to walk in this world as if I did. God has called us to be holy. “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”, 1 Pet. 1:16. Could it be that we aren’t as set-apart for God as we’re supposed to be, and perhaps that’s the reason we live in constant defeat? No love, no power, no presence of God in our everyday life? The Bible does have good news though! “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place”. 2Cor. 2:14. As the Lord gives us small victories in our life – they begin to add up! And then holiness begins to manifest, and it’s almost like a sweet savor – a fragrance that shows the world that there is hope, and that God loves them, and that you and I have been sent by the Holy Spirit to bring them that hope! Why hide it? Why stay in the closet? It’s time to go forth bearing the Name of the Lord!

PRAYER
“Lord, I want to ask You to forgive me. There’s many times when I walk into a store or am out doing my own thing and I don’t realize that You have called me to bear Your Name, and that I’m to be holy – set-apart for You. Help me to see that to the degree that I am set-apart for You is the degree that others will experience the life You want to give them through the Holy Spirit in me. I give You my heart afresh this morning. Thank You for speaking to me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

What You Build is Where You’ll Live


“What’s the big deal? God understands. I’m not superman or something? Nobody’s perfect.” Have you ever made excuses, but found that in the end it didn’t help you?

What You Build is Where You’ll Live
Daily Bible reading: Exodus 16-27, Ps. 17-23, Pro. 1-8

SCRIPTURE

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. Exo 25:8-9 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Exo 25:22

OBSERVATION
There’s a story of an old carpenter who was ready to retire, and his boss said, “I want you to build me just one more house before you retire.” The carpenter wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it, so he cut corners and didn’t do the best job that he could. He just wanted to get it over and done with. As he told his boss that he was finished – the boss did something unheard of. He reached in to his pocket and gave his faithful employee the keys to the brand new home and said, “you’ve been so faithful all these years I wanted to give you something very special.” Who knew that when he was building this house that he would end up living in it? I’m sure if he had known that it was going to be his he would have, no doubt, done a much better job.

APPLICATION
In our Scriptures this morning God told Moses, in effect, “Moses, build me a house, and what you build I will meet with you there.” I hardly doubt Moses did a shoddy job. Why? Because the Lord was going to meet him there. I’m coming to realize that day-by-day I am building a Devotional-Life, a Prayer-Life. If I don’t build it well still the Lord is going to meet me there. Perhaps though, if am not diligent about it, could it be that the welcome won’t be as special as it could be? If I was inviting the King of Tonga over to my house how bad would it be if I didn’t clean my house and make it as special as possible? But if I took special means to make the best preparations, when he arrived I would be very excited, and not ashamed.

PRAYER
“O Lord, I want to build You a spiritual sanctuary so that each day I may welcome You there. If my prayer-life hasn’t been all that special perhaps I have been neglecting my spiritual house where You meet with me. Help me to understand today that what I build is where You’ll meet with me. I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be excited about my relationship with You. I look to You today, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

The “Good ‘Ol Days”

Ahhh… don’t you just remember the fun you used to have back in the world? Oh, man, it was so fun!! All the parties you used to go to! The late nites, the laughter, the Night Clubs… Oh Yeah!!! The Disco Ball was spinning….

Daily Bible reading: Exodus 15-20

SCRIPTURE

Ex. 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

OBSERVATION
Chapters 15 and 16 of Exodus are the beginnings of the notorious murmurings and grumblings of the forgetful Children of Israel. Here they are talking about the “Good ‘Ol days”. It’s crazy how we, as Christians, get caught up in this whole “Good ‘Ol Days” thing. We look back at our old life of sin and seem to have selective amnesia. We seem to only remember certain aspects of it. Here the Children of Israel were in effect saying…

“Oh great, I can’t believe God allowed this in my life!?? Sometimes I wish I wasn’t even a Christian! I remembers back in the world – having no worries, smoking dope, getting drunk, going to parties – I could do anything I wanted! But this whole “Jesus thing” is really starting to get on my nerves!!??”

But they forgot that their bondage in Egypt wasn’t just sitting around by the flesh pots and gorging on anything they wanted, they were slaves. Day after day they made bricks in the hot sun. Yeah, sounds like fun. Apparently they forgot about that. The “Good ‘Ol Days”? What about their cruel taskmasters [Ex. 1:11]? Doesn’t sound like such a good time to me.

APPLICATION
I think we need to be careful about drinking in that dangerous beverage called, “Good ‘Ol Days”. Selective amnesia will bite us like a rattlesnake in the end. Although I don’t recommend doing a whole lot of “looking back”, I do feel it’s healthy to remember just how bad our life without Jesus Christ was. It was slavery. We were working for Satan. Sure, it’s all fun and games until you HAVE TO have a drink everyday. I’m sure the person first trying Crack Cocaine at a party thought it would be fun to take just a puff of it, but never imagined that they would be enslaved by it, and having the shakes when they couldn’t get any from their master – the drug dealer.

PRAYER
“Dear Lord, let me not every think back on the days I suffered under the cruel taskmaster of my flesh with delight. Help me to see that You have a plan for my life, and that You are taking care of me – even during the tough times You will lead me. Empower me today to look ahead with faith, trust, and obedience. In Jesus’ Name, Amen