GET UP OFF ’a THAT THANG’!!

Get up off of… what?

That’s right! Sometimes we’ve just got to shake ourselves out of the funk that we’re in. At times life is so predictable: Eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep. And we wonder why we feel so depressed sometimes? There’s no sense of adventure being cultivated in our lives.

Have you ever wanted to be adventurous, but your body simply said, “Not tonite…. you’re too tired, just rent a movie and order a pizza.” Or maybe you wanted to do something, but you felt like a prisoner of your own apartment. What’s that about? It’s like once you get home you can’t leave. Ever been there? How do we overcome our emotions, our physical tiredness, our slothfulness? I like how the Apostle Paul said it, (in the Message Bible):

Rom 12:11 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master.

My “Inner-City-Version” would be… “Don’t be depressed! Get up off ‘a that thang! Get excited about Jesus again!!”

Someone once said, “the jouney of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I believe it’s time to take that step. You might not be sure where it will take you, but that’s the exciting part. Step out of your boat today. Do something different, and watch how exciting life can be again!!

“Church Molesters”

So horrible and sick! This is happening in Churches around the world, and the Lord of the Church is about ready to lock somebody up!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Cor. 15-16

SCRIPTURE

“For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence]. 1 Cor. 15:9 AMP

OBSERVATION
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase of molestation. I’m not taking about priests, pastors or Sunday school workers. I am talking about those who are molesting the Church. The apostle Paul was once guilty of such a heinous crime. Back in the day he would do such cruel things to these kind saints. I wonder how many of us have forgotten just how bad we have been before we came to Christ. Even Paul here, after being used so mightily by God, stands his ground by saying, “I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving.” Why is it that after awhile of being a part of the Church that we somehow think we deserve so many things? We used to be so grateful just to be saved. And yet after being saved for a few years and after attending Church Sunday after Sunday we begin to get a little rough around the edges, and then we spite the Church and, in a sense, “molest” it by our critical attitudes. We become “Church Molesters” by speaking against the way “they do” Church. We speak against our precious leaders that God has set in place, and thus we spear at the very heart of Christ and slap His innocent children in the back room of our griping sessions. If we’re not careful the Lord of the Church will incarcerate the “Church Molesters” and throw away the key.

APPLICATION
I am just amazed at the holy humility I see here in the apostle Paul. He is so real and transparent. He knows he doesn’t deserve the blessing of being apart of the ministry – the work of God. He seems to be living in such a way that he knows where he is going because he understands where he has comes from. This morning I want to remember all that God has done in my life and how grateful I am to be where I am. God doesn’t owe me anything. I’m fortunate to be alive, not to mention be in the ministry. I want to gain a new appreciating for the Church – God’s House and make sure I’m doing all I can to protect and stand up for her.

PRAYER
“Lord, I know I’m unworthy to be called by your holy Name. Please forgive me for taking your Holy Spirit for granted and for not maintaining the humility that I see the apostle Paul. No matter what others do or say empower me today to stand firm until the very end. Let me be a blessing, and not just seek a blessing. Fill me afresh today. Give me a new perspective. Anoint me with fresh Oil I ask. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Prepared for Battle

So many today are not prepared for spiritual battle. Worse yet, those who are suppossed to be used of God to set others on fire are wasting their life.

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Cor. 12-14

SCRIPTURE
“For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” 1 Cor. 14:8

OBSERVATION
Though in the context Paul is talking about speaking in tongues it is a very interesting analogy that he uses. Here’s the deal. We have been called to fight the good fight of faith [1 Tim. 6:12, 2 Tim. 4:7]. We are not only called to be ready and prepared for battle, but we are commanded to prepare others! “Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples!” [Isaiah 62:10]. Isaiah 58:1 declares, “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet…” So, I am called to be ready and prepared for battle – fighting the good fight of faith as well as training others to do the same. My voice is actually to be like a trumpet. Think of that! Here’s the question. How clear is the sound coming forth from my mouth, and my life? How clean is that sound? Or is there any sound at all? A good way to gauge these questions is to ask myself, “are others around me desiring to fight the good fight of faith because of my life? If not, I need to see what kind of sound is coming forth from my life. Is it uncertain? If so, why? Is there insecurity? Is there sin? Does my trumpet need a little adjustment? Or do I just need to go back and learn to “play the trumpet” in the privacy of my own prayer closet?

APPLICATION
Before I preach to others I must first preach to myself. Before I prepare a message for people I need to prepare my heart before God. After I have does the necessary “heart maintenance” then (and only then) can the Holy Spirit begin to use my life for His glory. Once I have sincerely prepared my heart I had better use the trumpet of my life! There’s too many “silent witnesses” these days who sit around on Church chairs doing a whole lot of nothing. The Apostle Paul said with heart-wrenching tears… “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” [1 Cor. 9:16]. Wrench-out your heart here, or wrench it out on Judgment Day, but we must awaken ourselves to the signs of the times and rise up like never before to declare this glorious good news of the gospel of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s all or nothing. Are you ready to start preparing for battle?

PRAYER
“Lord, I feel a sense of urgency. Too long I have been sitting around polishing the trumpet, but not blowing the trumpet. I’ve been “blowing it” in the flesh, but haven’t yet understood just how crucial my role is in your Kingdom. Help me today to be re-awakened to be prepared for the battle – to fight the good fight of faith. Today I take hold of Eternal Life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Re-Establishing Priorities

Have you ever felt like your priorities are out of whack? Then you’re not alone, because millions of us are in the same boat.

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.” 1 Cor. 9:26

Here the Apostle Paul is sharing how he lives the Christian Life – not with uncertainty, hesitation, insecurity or vagueness. He runs and then he fights. It seems to me that someone who is running most likely knows where they’re going. Now, might be a marathon runner that would say, “Uh, I’m not sure about this.” But those who are serious, determined, and well-trained have a fire in their eyes. They know why they’re running. These kinds of people are unstoppable.

Many times I find myself having to “battle” certain situations, but I feel as though I’m hardly even running, let alone walking strong. How can I win like this? I’m reminded of Watchman Nee’s book on Ephesians, Sit, Walk, Stand. There is a progression in the Christian Life that cannot be side-stepped. I feel I need to come back to re-establish the order of the Spirit. Jeremiah 12:5 comes to mind:

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?” NKJV.

If I get tired just jogging in my daily schedule how will I handle anything else? I feel I need to take a breath and get rested in my spirit. I need to be re-tuned in prayer. I need to re-establish my priorities.

“Lord, I come to you today seeking to do things in order. So often I’m rushing ahead where you are not leading. I’m like Martha – busy, busy, busy, but accomplishing very little. My Love-level is dry because I have not sat before you like Marry. Lord, help me today to seek first the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Gearing-UP for Greatness!

There are specific times, ordained by God to be “received up”, to go up higher, to go to another level. Jesus, knowing this about Himself didn’t just sit around waiting for something to happen.

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51

He shifted in the next gear. It wasn’t a “slow-gear”, it was a “stead-FAST-gear”. What I mean by that is that this gear is GOING FAST, but in a steady way. See, many today can “go fast” for about a “spiritual minute”, but then quickly run out of gas. Jesus was gearing-up for something great. He was shifting up, because He was going up! He knew it.

What are you gearing-up for? Anything great? Anything? Are you believing, like Jesus, that it will come to pass for you? The time will come! So, why not think about gearing-up for something great NOW?! But you say, “will it be hard?”

“And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem.” Vs. 53

When you begin “gearing-UP” you can be sure that certain people will not be excited about it. But that’s alright, because you are going up higher! Many times the enemy of our souls catches a glimpse of where God is taking us and tries to stop us dead in our tracks. But the very fact that you are experiencing opposition is the proof that you are gearing-up for something great! You, like Jesus, are putting on your “game face” because you’re serious this time. You can always tell a good athlete on the court or on the field. You can see it in their face. They’re different from the rest, and they know it too. What do they know? They know they’re gearing-up for greatness!

SPEAK TO YOUR MOUNTAIN

Not too many people know the “Real Jesus”. Most picture Him with the fluffy white lamb wrapped around His shoulders, speaking softly, and never getting too loud about things. But if you check out Mark 11 you’ll see a “different kind of Jesus”. This Jesus is turning-over tables and getting a little bit upset. I guess you would too if you came home from school and someone you didn’t know was in your house eating pizza, drinking beer and playing with birds. You’d throw-down! And so did He.

In Mark 11 we also see Jesus doing something that you don’t usually hear about too often in Church. Jesus talked to a tree. Yep. Just let that marinate a little bit…. Good. Then after that he spoke to us how we could speak to mountains and see them removed. Listen, this is so radical! Forget the physics, forget black magic. Listen, the heart that’s been Born Again has POWER on the inside, and yet it’s released through our voice!

Are you letting Mountains of Depression overwhelm you? What about that Mountain of Sin that you can’t seem to beat? It’s time to Speak to your Mountain! And see it removed once and for all. Below are a few of the Rhema Card entries that I learned from my training at The City Church in Seattle with Pastors Wendell & Judah Smith… say these out loud everyday and see what happens!!

“I have faith in God. Therefore I will say to my mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea.’ I will not doubt in my heart, but believe that those things I say will be done. Therefore I know I will have whatever I say.” MARK 11:22,23

“If I am going to speak to my mountains, I will speak as the oracles of God.” 1PET. 4:11

“And I will prophesy to the mountains, and say, ‘O mountains, hear the Word of the Lord!” EZEK. 36:1

Start seeing your Mountains removed today!!