Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who Touched My Clothes?

Mark 5:30
And Jesus immediately knowing in himself that Power had gone out of him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”

I love to wear those designer T-shirts with the cross on them. Whenever I go shopping, I’m looking for some cool shirts with the cross because to me the cross is a reminder of what Jesus did for me. How he took my place, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead so that I might have eternal life. That’s what the cross means to me. What a win-win to look good and represent my faith at the same time.

The problem I keep running into is somebody keeps putting skulls in the cross. Who touched my clothes? There is one brand in particular, Affliction, which has crosses and demonic looking skulls embedded in the cross. Skulls to me represent the dead and the demonic. Now some would argue that the cross is a symbol of death and execution so the too should go together. But I disagree because the cross did not end in permanent death for Jesus but it is a symbol of life to me. When you put a skull with my cross to me you are trying to make permanent what was only temporary.

Who touched my clothes?

Affliction means a condition of pain, suffering, or distress. Why would I want to purchase affliction? Why would I want to put on Affliction? I’m too busy trying to take off Affliction. I’m definitely not going to purchase more Affliction. Why do we purchase Affliction? No I’m not talking about the clothing line; I’m talking about the stuff we purchase that causes pain, suffering, and distress.

There was a woman who had been afflicted for 12 years with bleeding. She had a menstrual cycle for 12 straight years. Because she had been ostracized due to her affliction she was ashamed to see Jesus face to face so she said to herself, “if I can just touch his clothes, I know I will be made whole.”

When she crawled through the crossed and touched his clothes with her affliction, something happened. Her Affliction got on his clothes. The skull touched the cross and immediately Jesus felt his power leave him. He stopped in the middle of the crowd and asked who touched my clothes? The disciples thought he was crazy because everybody in the crowd was making contact with him, but Jesus knew somebody with an Affliction touched his clothes because his Virtue left him. When we have faith and an affliction, Jesus recognizes us when we touch his clothes. Something happens when we take our affliction to the cross.

Jesus said, “Daughter your faith has made you well. For those of us who’ve been wearing affliction or buying affliction and you are tired, here’s what you need to do:

1. Crawl through crowd and touch Jesus. That’s faith. Faith gets God’s attention. Don’t let a crowd stop you from getting help for your affliction.

2. She took her affliction to the cross, not the cross to her affliction. Many of us put more emphasis on sporting our Affliction than we do lifting up the cross. What get’s more attention in your life, your Affliction or your faith. What do people see about you when they meet you? Do they see Affliction written across your chest or do they see the Cross?

3. After we have an encounter with Jesus, we need to go in Peace. Peace is a state of being. The word Shalom means nothing missing, nothing broken. Go in Shalom.

4. Be healed of your affliction. Healing of an Affliction is a continued process. It wasn’t just the disease, but the relationship that needed to be sustained, her self-esteem, her reputation needed to be healed. Deliverance from affliction doesn’t happen overnight. It took this woman 12 years to get to Jesus. Now imagine all the people she was estranged from for 12 years. Imagine how devastated her self-esteem was for 12 years. If you have been afflicted for a long time, give yourself some time to be healed of your affliction. Go to therapy, go to counseling, go to detox, go to church, and be healed of your affliction.

Dear God, thank you for what you did on the cross that healed my affliction. I’m glad that I could bring my affliction to the cross and you healed me. There is still power in the precious blood of the lamb. It was at the cross where I first saw the light and the burdens of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith, I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Root Damage

Mark 4:16-17 (New American Standard Bible)

16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
17and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

In a storm, the only thing that keeps trees from blowing away is the strength of their roots. If they have damaged roots the storm will ravage them and move them out of place. God’s word is like a seed that has been planted inside of us. When we read or hear God’s word it’s exciting, it is challenging, it is comforting but it’s not enough to get goose bumps, but there must be some type of connection with the word that causes you to have strong roots.

Your roots ought to be grounded in the earth. The earth gives nurture to your roots that then produces fruit. Alex Haley wrote an award winning Novel called “Roots.” That movie was a pivotal iconic moment in the life of blacks in America. It finally gave us an existential connection with something other than the legacy of slavery and gave us the intestinal fortitude to thrive in a country riddled with racism. We survived slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, Reaganomics, because we had strong roots and the fruit of our ancestors is now leading the free world in the Whitehouse.

But what about your roots? What’s holding you during this time of recession? Today there are too many rootless seekers who are not connected to any ground of being. The Apostle Paul said, “In God we move, live and have our being.” Today so many people seek after truth and for another “word”, but it never really connects because they are not rooted or grounded in something beyond themselves. I’m not simply talking about religious institutions, however the church is a good starting place, it is a good seed bed but the problem with many is the internal root system is lacking. Many of us are not connected to Christ. If you are not in relationship with Jesus then the word will never produce fruit and your roots will whither when adversity hits. This recession has already defeated many people because of root damage. What’s holding you during this storm?

When you are rooted in Christ, in church, there ought to be some evidence of your rootedness in good soil.

1. Good soil is first accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior and then getting in a Bible teaching church.

2. You have to have a steady stream of hearing God’s word on a consistent basis.

3. You have to accept the word. You have to make application to your life. You cannot be hearers only, but doers of God’s word.

4. You must bear fruit from being rooted. Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Dear God strengthen my roots that I may survive this storm. You are my God and I have heard your word now it’s up to me to put it into practice so you can get some fruit out of my life. Have your way Lord and produce a 100 fold crop out of what you put in my life. I know I can make it through my storm if I allow your word to take root in my life.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Will Not Be A Victim

Numbers 14:31
But your little ones, whom you said would be victims I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.

We cannot project our fears upon our children. Young people don’t have the baggage and scars that we have. They are optimistic about the future and it’s our job to make sure they get there. We cannot taint them with our insecurities, prejudices, and fears from the past. We must allow God to paint upon their canvass a bright future free of the restrictions that we lived through. We need to be careful that we don’t create victims. Victims are people who are prone to attack and abuse because they feel they are powerless. Victim thinking blames other people for your plight when you have the wherewithal to go forward. Victim thinking looks at challenges and is defeated before you ever attempt to conquer those that oppose you. Victim thinking leaves God out of the picture even though he’s been there all the time. I will not be a victim.

The Children of Israel were on the border of the the Promised Land. They had been stuck in a recession on their way to their possession, but got stopped because of depression. Moses sent over 12 spies to spy out the land to see if it was worth taking. They came back with clusters of grapes that two men had to carry. Ten men came back with negative reports about how big the giants were and why they shouldn’t go. Joshua and Caleb came back with the fruit talking about how they could take the land. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who believed they could take the land; the rest spread fear and negativity into the congregation. They said, “Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? If we take this Stimulus plan our children will have to pay this debt back, this is a spending plan! “Only two people Joshua and Caleb said, “Yes we can!”

These obstructionists wanted to stone their leaders, painted caricatures in the New York posts of monkeys being shot down. Talking about, I guess we need a new leader to write the stimulus plan. They wanted to select a new leader to take them back to Egypt. God showed up and told them there would be no victims. God took action:

1. Joshua and Caleb would lead them in. He picked the youngest and most optimistic to lead. Joshua was able to lead because he had walked with Moses since they left Egypt.

2. The older people would die in the wilderness after 40 years because they refused to believe they could go in. Some people have to die out before you can enter in.

3. The Rebellious leaders who tried to block God’s plan died immediately. They were swallowed up by the earth.

4. The young people who had nothing to do with the negative talk of their parents would live and take their jobs.

In order not to be a victim you have to:

1. Remember what you saw that was good. Joshua and Caleb remembered the grapes, the fruit, not the giants.

2. Separate yourself from toxic people. When Joshua and Caleb heard the people complaining and being negative they tore their clothes which is a sign of grief.

3. Speak those things that are not as though they were. Joshua and Caleb said, “God will give us this land flowing with milk and honey.” We will create more jobs. This recession will end by 2010!

4. Don’t rebel against God and his leaders. You would be a fool to want the President to fail. I rebuke a Rush Limbaugh spirit!

5. Don’t fear man, fear God!

Dear God I will not be the victim when you say move I will move. Greater are you that I with me than those who stand in the way of my promise. I will not be an obstructionist but I will be a revolutionary. We as a people will get to the Promised Land. I am not a victim.

In Jesus Name.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Waiting on Rhianna

Numbers 12:15

So Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again.

We live in a throw away society. WE throw away good things and good people simply because we’ve had our fill, or we think that it or they have become defective. It’s amazing how fast we give up on people especially those in the limelight. We forget they are human and we almost get “secret satisfaction” out of their demise, because deep down we want them to fail. Many of us are not as brutally honest as Rush Limbaugh to outwardly say, “I want him (President Obama) to fail,” but we have thought it about others in the cowardice of our own silence.

Chris Brown & Rhianna have been on my heart for the past couple of weeks. With the surfacing of the photos capturing her face battered and bruised, I feel that I can’t move on without praying for them both. It’s too easy to move from one sensational report to the next without thinking this is somebody’s son & daughter. It’s easy to rush to judgment and say she must have did something to deserve it, which sheds light on our own twisted sense that violence is an acceptable means of retaliation regardless of the conflict.

In the movie “Madea Goes to Jail", Keshia Knight Pulliam who plays Candy and Derek Luke, who plays Joshua, are old friends who are reacquainted after five years. Since that time he has become a successful lawyer and she has fallen to the depths of prostitution. It hurts Joshua to see his old friend as a prostitute and he tries to help her out. His Fiancé wants him to move on and tells him, “you can’t help those people out, they got themselves into this. You made better decisions; it’s up to them to get themselves out.” Joshua would not leave Candy to her demise, he was her friend. We have to stop treating women like Candy, something to be enjoyed and to be thrown away if it falls to the ground and gets covered with grime. We as men are Joshuas. We are leaders who have been charged to lead the next generation, and we can’t leave Candy where she is.

Moses’ sister Miriam and his brother Aaron criticized Moses because he married a “Candy Girl’, an Ethiopian soul sister. They didn’t like that too well so they started an argument with Moses that didn’t have anything to do with what they were really mad about. They challenged his leadership. After all the miracles God did through Moses they challenged his leadership by asking is Moses the only one that can hear from God. God heard the conflict and showed up in a cloud and stood in the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He asked them how they could argue with the man of God who he speaks with directly. When the cloud lifted, there was a photo released of Miriam’s face covered with Leprosy. Aaron cried out to Moses, please don’t let our sister die like this. "I’m sorry Moses please do something.” It’s amazing how we figure out what really matters after a crisis. Moses and Aaron forgot about their argument once they saw their sister’s face. Moses could have said, “That’s what you get!” but love wouldn’t let him. Instead he did three things that we need to do when our loved ones are in trouble.

1. He prayed for her to be healed.

2. He helped her with the consequences. Miriam had to sit outside the camp for seven days because that was the Law.

3. He had the whole community of believers to wait on her until she got better.
Before we move on to the latest gossip. Before we throw Rhianna out and Chris under the bus, stop for a minute and pray for them. Maybe you have your own Candy or Rhianna in your circle of friends. Have you thrown them away or are you waiting on them to get better?

Dear God help us all to be more compassionate than condemning. I’m glad that when I messed up, you didn’t leave me. You had a believing community that waited on my recovery. I pray that you would heal Rhianna and Chris. Restore them after you heal them from the inside out.

In Jesus Name,


I Shall Not Be in Want

Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want

The older I get the less I want, at least on Christmas. My wife always asks me, “What do you want?” And I always say, “I don’t want anything other than for ya’ll to be happy because I have everything I need.

The older you get the more you are able to distinguish between needs and wants. It’s nothing wrong with wanting things but the peace comes when you know that the Lord is your Shepherd and he gives you everything you need. There is this blessed contentment when you learn how to appreciate what God has already given you and you are not anxious about the things that other people have. When the Lord is your shepherd you realize that you have everything you need.

David knew firsthand what it meant to be a shepherd and to take care of his sheep. He had been a shepherd since he was a boy and had often saved his sheep from lions and bears. Many of us are not scared of Lions and Tigers and Bears, but we’re scared of Loving God and trusting in him to supply all your needs.

David had to trust God because there was a period in his life where he was stuck between persecution and promise. He was anointed to be King but he was living in a cave. His boss was trying to kill him and he was economically devastated. He was so hungry that he took the bread from the altar of the church and fed his men for dinner. But somewhere between the time that David was on the run and on his way to becoming leader over his people and writing a new stimulus plan for Israel, he wrote this 23 Psalm, The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

When we put out rust in Jesus as our Shepherd, David said he does the following things:

1. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He lets us rest in places that are full of what we need. He lets us rest in Green eco-friendly environments. Green is the color for life and prosperity. He makes us lie down. He gives us rest while everybody else is worried.

2. He leads us beside still waters. If a sheep tried to drink from raging waters there was the danger of being swept away by the current. God is not going to let you get what you need and put you in harm’s way. That ain’t God.

3. He restores my soul. Sometimes life depletes your hope and your joy. God is the only one who can restore your inner fortitude.

4. He leads me in paths of Righteousness for his names sake. He’s not going to let me embarrass his reputation.

5. He comforts me and protects me in scary places.

6. He will feed me and promote me in the presence of people who wanted to kill me.

7. He anoints my head with oil. He soothes me, heals me, and empowers me.

8. He allows goodness and mercy to follow me all the days of my life and in the end I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Dear God thank you for giving me everything I need and some of what I want. I’m in a good place. You have provided for me over and over. I shall not want. Thank you for keeping me and my family in your care. Lead us into green pastures and grow us up to be devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Think Myself Happy

Acts 26:2

I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews.

When I think about Jesus and all he’s done for me, how he loosed my chains and set me free…I could dance, dance, dance all night! Ya’ll know that lil jingle from church when the saints start dancing in a frenzy at church. From the outside looking in you might think nobody can be that happy, but there is some truth in that jingle. When you do stop to think about every little thing God has done for you, it’s enough for you to think yourself happy.

In life, we will all find ourselves in predicaments and seasons where we are in a bind. We will find ourselves facing opposition on our way to our destiny, but the key to overcoming despair and depression is to start thinking. When you start thinking, you can’t help but to start thanking. When you begin to take inventory of your life you will begin to see a pattern of God’s intervention in your life and it will lift you beyond your present circumstances.

Paul was accused of stirring up a riot in Athens, and he was standing trial in front of King Agrippa. Have you ever stood before King Agrippa? Have you ever stood in the Grip of debt? Have you ever been in the grip of office politics? Have you ever been in the grip of financial strain? Then you have stood in front of King Agrippa.

Standing in front of King Agrippa is your opportunity to share your faith and think yourself happy. The next time you find yourself in the grip of King Agrippa, you need to do like Paul and start thinking yourself happy.

When Paul stood before King Agrippa he said, I think myself happy because today I shall answer for myself. Why was Paul happy in chains standing before King Agrippa?

1. Because he knew who he believed. Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

2. Paul had encountered Jesus for himself. He told King Agrippa of how he met Jesus on the Damascus road. Can you recall when you had an experience with Jesus? That is the only thing that can give you hope when you are bound in chains and standing in front of King Agrippa, because you know there is a king higher than King Agrippa. Jesus is King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s.

Paul knew his mission. Jesus had saved him to Acts 26:18 (New International Version)
18. to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

a. To open the eyes of the gentiles. What unreached person has God put you around so you can open their eyes to the truth?

b. To turn them from darkness to light. There is somebody around you who is trapped in darkness and your faith in God will illuminate their understanding.

c. To turn people form the power of Satan to the power of God.

d. That they may receive forgiveness of sins. Somebody you are in relationship is burdened down by the guilt and shame of sin and they need to know that God is a forgiving God.

e. So that they may receive their inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. The people around you who don’t know Jesus need to know they have a Stimulus plan in heaven that God wants to release when they put their trust in him.

Dear God I thank you that when I start thinking of all you’ve done for me how you opened doors I could not see, my soul gets happy. Thank you for blessing me and loosing my chains, for bringing me out over and over again. Thank you for being my God and for never forsaking me even when I’m in a bind you set me free. I love you Lord with all my heart.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

They Ain't Got Nothing On You

Acts 25:27

For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.

It's been said that if people can't find anything on you they will make something up. We live in a time where people love to bring others down with innuendos and speculaton. Particularly, if you are about something or helping others while eclipsing the dimming light of those that are no longer relevant, people will try to find something on you to discredit your witness.

Paul stood before Festus, a judge in Ceserea, because the Jews were screaming that Paul wasn't fit to live. Has there ever been someone in your life who said you weren't fit to live? If people had their way you'd be dead already. It seems that Americans get no greater joy than in finding things out on people who are trying to do something with their lives, whether it's Michael Phelps with a bong, speculation over Chris Brown and Rhianna, or plain ole everyday gossip, the media loves to investigate speculative evidence of a moral failure. The good news is that when you have Jesus Christ and you are fully surrendered to him, they can't find nothing on you. The reason is that God has purpsoe over your life and they cant find anything on you to stick. That doesn't mean that you haven't done anything. It just means that you are forgiven. The reason they can't find anything on you is because:

1. When we are in Christ old things have passed away and all things become new.

2. God's grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor. He's been good to us even when we don't deserve it.

3. God's forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

One day we will all stand before the Judgement seat. God will look at your life for specific reasons to either let you in heaven or sentence you to hell. The only reason any of us will make it in is because Jesus has taken away all the specifics that would condemn us. When we are hidden in Christ, God sees Jesus before he sees us and in Him there is no sin.

Dear God, thank you for setting me free even though I wasn't fit to live. Thank you for letting Jesus be my lawyer in the courtroom and for throwing out the evidence of my life and the accusations of my accusers. When I wasn't fit to live, you didn't let me die. God I want to give my life trying to show you how much I appreciate you keeping me alive. I love you Lord. and it's in Jesus name I pray.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Striving for a Clear Conscience

Acts 24:10

This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

There is nothing better in life than to live knowing you have not offended anyone and you have nothing to hide. That is freedom. To me that is the essence of being a Christ follower. There are times in life where we experience blocks of time where there is no offense but inevitably we do offend. But as Christians, we must continue to strive toward a conscience without offense toward God and men.

When Jesus met Zaccheus and Jesus came home with him, the hometown folks were quick to remind Zack of his offense. Zaccheus said, "If I have offended anyone, I will pay back four times what I took from them. Why? Why even bother to cover an offense?

Because Zack knew like Paul did that this life we live everyday is not the final frontier. One day when this life is over, we will all have to stand before God to give an account for how we lived, who we helped, and who we hurt.

Paul stood in court in Ceserea in front of Felix. He stood there with a clean conscience to defend his faith. In this life, you need to know that people will try you because of what you believe, but make sure when you stand up you have a clean conscience so it won't hurt your witness.

How do we strive to have a conscience without offense:
1. Watch what you say. Always taste your words before you let them come out of your mouth. You can't take back words. They go out and do something so be careful what you speak.

2. Treat others like you want to be treated. Enough said.

3. Be the first to apologize. Even if you feel they owe you one first. As a Christ follower you have to set the example.

4. LOve the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Dear God help me to live a life consistent with your values. Keep me in right relationship with man and with you. I know that when I speak truth that I will offend men, but when my ways are pleasing to you my offense will ultimately lead to reconciliation. If I have offended anyone by not being in your will, forgive me and help me to restore relationship. Most of all, if I have offended you, forgive me and restore me back to fellowship with you. Help me to strive for a conscience free of offense toward you and men.

In Jesus Name ,


Monday, February 16, 2009

What You Do Determines How You Do

Leviticus 26:3
3'(F)If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out,
4then …

God has so much in store for us and much he wants to do for us but he’s waiting on our obedience. Much of the heartache and economic struggle we are going through as a Nation is due to the anarchy and fallenness of our Nation. There is no way that a Holy God is not offended in the perversity of our sin in America with our corporate greed, moral depravity, global espionage, local terrorism, and religious adultery.
America is in danger of losing its place as God’s chosen vessel for world leadership and significance if we do not turn back to God and follow his ways.

As individual Christians, we too are in danger of losing our place of favor with men and God when we forsake God’s will and way. There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to destruction. God’s way is the best way.

Leviticus 26:3 states that if we do three things God will do five things:

1. If you walk. Walk has to do with lifestyle. How you walk determines whether or not you will continue to experience God’s blessing in your life.

2. Keep my commandments. Jesus said, “If you love me then keep my commandments.” Commandments are God’s teaching or rules for life. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20); Jesus gave the beattitudes in Matthew 5:1-11. If we are really followers of Jesus we will keep his teachings.

3. Perform them. James 1: 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

When we Keep God’s word, walk in his statutes, and perform it, God promises that he will:

1. Give you rain and produce in your season. The opposite is true when we don’t keep his word, even though you work hard the ground will be like bronze and the heavens like iron, which means that God will work against the work of your hands and you will not be productive without him.

2. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last to the time of saving. The NIV says, 5 your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. In other words there will be no gaps between paychecks. God will keep blessing you so you won’t be living paycheck to paycheck.

3. You shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely. You will have groceries and not have to worry about home invasions.

4. I will rid the land of evil beasts and the sword will not go through your land. You won’t have to worry about sexual predators and drive-bys.

5. You shall chase your enemies and they will fall by the sword. Instead of being chased by the majority God will allow the minority to chase the majority, and he will make your enemies your footstool.

Dear God teach me to keep your commandments. You have given me your word that I might not sin against you. Lord keep me day by day. If you lead me, I will not stray. Lead me, Oh Lord, Lead me. Guide me along the way, For if you lead me I cannot stray. Lord, let me walk each day with thee, Lead me, Oh, Lord lead me.

In Jesus Name,


Friday, February 13, 2009

His Life Is Still In Him

Acts 20:10

But Paul went down fell on him, and embracing him said, Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.

We fall down but we get up, for a Saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up. This simple but profound song was one of Donnie Mcclurkin’s greatest hits because it resonated with so many people. Because in life we all make mistakes and find ourselves falling. Romans 3:23 (New International Version)
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The higher up you go the more careful you have to be because it’s hard to recover from a fall if you are too high up. Many people are buzzing about Chris Brown and Rhianna’s big tiff. Two wonderful young entertainers at the height of their careers had a public fight and did not have the privilege of resolving their differences privately because they were so high up in terms of visibility. The headlines on MTV News said, “Can Chris Brown and Rhiana’s careers survive after this crisis? What they really wanted to know was could they survive this fall?

It’s easy to give up on people after a fall. How many people have written you off because you messed up? We all can recall a time when we had a crash or a mess up and there people standing around pronouncing our death. What do you do when have fallen and folk have written you off?

The Apostle Paul was preaching one night and got to talking too long as preachers sometimes do. (Present company not excluded, smile.) There was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window getting sleepy. There is a danger when you are sitting three stories up sitting in a window and falling asleep that you could fall. There are three dangers that many young aspiring talented people face, like Chris Brown and Rhianna that you need to be aware of.

1. Don’t fall asleep on God’s word.

2. The higher up you go the more careful you must be.

3. When you are highly visible, (sitting in a third story window) the chances of falling are greater)

Eutychus fell asleep and fell out of the window. The people that saw it said he was dead. But the Apostle Paul wasn’t ready for that verdict. He did four things that we all should do when we see people fall.

1. He ran down to where he was. When people fall they don’t need you to stay “up there” preaching, they need you to come down and see about them.

2. Paul fell on him or covered him. Similar to when the prophet Elisha lay on the dead boy, and brought him back to life. 2 Kings 4:33-34 (New International Version)
33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm. We have got to cover young people who have been given up for dead and speak life back into them.

3. He embraced him. When people fall they need somebody to embrace them and tell them, “I still believe in you.” I still love you. It’s okay I’m here.”

4. Paul said, “His life is still in him!” This is powerful. You are not your career. There is life still in you. No matter where you have fallen from if there is life still in you, you can get back up. You just need somebody to tell you this morning there is life still in you!

The people brought the boy back in alive and the people were greatly comforted by him being back. Somebody is waiting for you to get up and come back. There is life still in you! Don’t give up on people when they fall. Don’t give up on yourself if you’ve fallen. You can get back up again, get back up again!

Dear God, thank you for picking me up when I fell. Thank you for seeing life in me when everybody else said I was dead. I’m coming back up stronger than I was before because you covered me. Bless those young people who have fallen Chris, Rhianna, Kwame Kilpatrick, Michael Vick, and now unto him who is able to keep us from falling we pray all these things and ask you to pick us all up.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, February 12, 2009

How Long, Not Long?

Psalm 13:1

How Long O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
There are seasons in our life when it feels like God is not listening. There are times when our prayers seem like echoes in an empty building, and we wonder how long will I have to go through this.

I was talking with two teen-age sisters after church the other night. They were upset because their mother forgot to pick them up on time from cheerleading practice. They waited over an hour while their mother was at church caught up in Bible Study. Do you remember that anxious feeling waiting on your mama or daddy? Everybody else’s parents have already picked them up and you are the last one to go. That’s a terrible feeling; it gives you an aching in the stomach like they might not show up. You have faith that your mother and father are coming, but you are wondering what’s taking them so long?!

Somebody this morning is wondering like David, How Long? David was anointed to be King over Israel but he was hiding in a cave. He had been faithful to King Saul, but Saul was jealous of David and was trying to kill him. He was in his own recession, fired from his job, evicted from his house, his wife was taken from him, and he was surviving in a cave. He was anointed, gifted to be King but now suddenly he was without a job, a house, and his wife waiting for God to fulfill his promise of making him King over Israel. How Long? How Long do I have to be unemployed? How Long do I have to live with substandard housing? How Long to have to keep running from people trying to kill me? How long?

David is specific with his questions:

1. How long will you forget me? God promised David he would pick him up after Saul was no more. But Saul is constantly trying to kill him, David even had a chance to kill him but he would not touch God’s anointed. God did you forget about me? When God doesn’t move on our times table it makes us anxious.

2. How Long will you hide your face? I know you are there but I just can’t see you right now. There are seasons when you know God is there you can see him in all the good that is happening, but there times when nothing is going your way and it feels like God is hiding.

3. How Long shall I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart. Sometimes I get tired of encouraging myself. I get tired of talking to myself. How Long must I feel like I’m talking to myself?

4. How Long will my enemy be exalted over me? How long are you going to let them walk around and think they have defeated me when in reality you are getting ready to promote me in the presence of my enemies? I know there is going to be a shift but watching them gloat over me is driving me crazy. But then David breaks up the Pity party and puts the devil out the house when he breaks into praise. Sometimes even when you ain’t feeling it you got to praise your way out of “How Long?” David does it in four ways:

1. I have trusted in your mercy. David says I put my stock in the fact that God will not put more on you than you can bear. He’s not just going to sit back and watch his children suffer forever. He’s merciful and mighty.

2. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. Salvation simply means that God has come to the rescue. If you are a believer and Jesus is your Savior, then you need to rest assured that he has me in his hands and he’s not going to let the enemy triumph over me.

3. I will Sing to the Lord. When you are going through seasons where it seems like God ain’t saying nothing, you need to start singing. That’s what Gospel music is all about. We sing until God shows up. We remind ourselves of who God is and what he’s already done. Keep you a song on your heart. I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.

4. David could do all three of these because he looked back over his life at how God delivered him from the bear and the lion, he looked back over how God helped him defeat the giant Goliath, he looked back at how God favored him over all his brothers to be anointed King. He looked back over how he got a promotion to work for the King. He looked back at how he defeated 200 Philistines by himself. He looked back at how God let him marry the king’s daughter, and if God did all that then I can do all of this. He has dealt bountifully with me!

Dear God,
There are times when I feel so all alone, like you are not listening but I remind myself that you said, “You would never leave me nor forsake me.” How long, not long?! I know you will bring us through this recession. You will shut the mouths of our enemies. You are Sovereign. I bless your name. Cover our president and our country. Give jobs to the jobless, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, peace to the war torn lands. We need your Salvation Lord, thank you for coming just when we need you the most.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Night Vision

Acts 18:9, 10
Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you, for I have many people in this city.

It is darkest at night. It is at Night when you can’t see as good as you can in the day. It’s at night when everything quiets down. It’s at night when God speaks.

It seems that we are in the nighttime of our discontent with our economy the way it is. It seems we are in the Nighttime of unrest with the wars raging across the world. At the dawning of a New Day with a New President many of us struggle with the Night.

The Apostle Paul struggled at a city called Corinth. He was not sure he could make a difference there with all these Gentiles with their heathen practices and allegiances. He didn’t know if he could come up against old Religious Regimes who wanted to stop this New Way of Following Jesus Christ. He had been attacked so many times in his ministry that he began to wonder is it even worth trying to save people that sometimes don’t want to be saved and go through so much adversity trying to do so. Have you ever wondered is it worth it? With all that I'm up against in the Nighttime of my discontent, is it worth it?

How many times have you almost given up in the night when God showed up with a vision? The bible says if we faint not we will reap an unfading crown of Glory but you got to make it through the night. Kevin Davidson and the Voices sang, " Hold on through the night, everything will be alright, Come along to Victories Side, you were born to win.”

God shows up in the Nighttime of Paul’s perplexing Predicament and gives him Night Vision, the ability to see in the dark when everybody else can’t and he tells him these 5 things:

1. Do not be Afraid. This is the time to operate out of faith and not fear. David said, Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”

2. Speak and do not keep silent. Don’t second guess yourself when God gives you a word.

3. I am with you. God told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:6, I am with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

4. No One will attack you or hurt you. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

5. For I have many people in this city. Once when the Prophet Elisha was surrounded by the enemy he told his servant who was afraid, 2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid” those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me “Night Vision.” There are so many that wanted to run me out of this city but you gave me favor. You made a banquet table in the presence of my enemies. You gave me courage to speak in the face of injustice. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power unto salvation. You gave me peace in the midst of it all. Lord I thank you for showing yourself strong and for protecting me and my family. Lord I Love you and appreciate you for all you’ve done in my life. I will forever praise your name.

In the Name of Jesus


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

American Idols

Acts 17:16

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

i•dol ( d l)
a. An image used as an object of worship.
b. A false god.
2. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
3. Something visible but without substance.

One of the most watched TV shows in America and maybe across the world is “American Idol,’ where they scour the United States in search of the next big Star who has that crossover appeal and wins the adoration of many viewers. The whole premise of the show is to find someone who is talented enough to merit the adoration of the American fans, but the problem is America already has too many idols. When you look at the definition of an idol we have too many idols that we worship. We have traded our allegiance for God to false gods who are visible but have no substance. We put more passion into our flag than we do our faith. We are more concerned with stabilizing our political base that we are coming up with a stimulus plan to stabilize our economy. On the back of our money it says, “In God We Trust” but over the years God has lost our trust and money has become our god. Rappers, athletes, and actors have taken the place of Parents, Pastors and Leaders, and some Preachers have taken the place of Jesus.

We have too many idols. Even our Patriotism has substituted our defense of all things American for what Jesus would have called hypocrisy. Some of our religious beliefs have become ends within themselves while ignoring the need to reach the heart of the sinner.

Paul walked into a city overtaken with idols. They had so many that even had a statue dedicated to the “unknown god” just in case they missed one.
There are many different faiths and beliefs in America. When we use to say, “In God We Trust,” we knew which God we were talking about. How we navigate through this landfill of idol gods will determine whether or not we will be the next American Idol or actually turn people back to the true and living God. Christianity itself is in danger of becoming America’s next great idol, an image used as an object of worship on that is adored, often blindly or excessively, something visible but without substance. We have a form of godliness but no power to go with it.

Paul shows us how to navigate through idol worshiping and connect to the hearts of people in search of the Unknown God. John Maxwell in his book “21 Laws of Leadership” shows us seven steps Paul used in the Power of Connection:

1. He began with affirmation (v22). Men of Athens I perceive that in all things you are very religious.

2. He bridged his subject with the familiar (v.23) He started with the statue of the Unknown God.

3. He enlarged their vision of God (vv 24-25).

4. He used inclusive Language (v. 26). Red, Yellow, Black and White they are precious in his sight.

5. He gave them encouragement and Hope. (v. 27). We all are looking for God.

6. He identified with some of their own poets. (v. 28) Even Tupac wanted to know doesn’t Heaven have a ghetto.

7. He gave them specific action steps (vv. 29-31) once you know better you do better.
Effective leaders connect before they expect. Only when Paul had built relational bridges with the people did he issue a clear call to repent.

Dear God help us to connect with people where they are so we can lead them to where you are. My goal is not to get them to worship me but to lift up Jesus that they may be drawn to him. You are the true and living God, there is none like you. I can search for all eternity Lord and find that there is none like you. Thank you for being my God and not my American idol.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, February 9, 2009

Everyone's Chains Were Loosed

Acts 16:26

Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Everett McBee has a song entitled, “Set me Free” in which he describes how the lord when he is on our side can deliver us from the chains which bind. All of us can identify with being locked up even if we have to go all the way back to slavery or to the Civil Rights marches up to post-modern day Recession. Everyone can identify with the restriction of oppression. The Chains I mention are not the chains of consequences for illegal activity but the chains of persecution for doing right. Have you ever been locked up while trying to do the right thing? Has your money ever been tied up and you were just trying to help your family? What do you do when you are like Akon, “locked up and you can’t get out?!” The answer is in Acts 16.

Paul and Silas had set a young lady free from demonic possession. She had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future but she was being prostituted by two men. She kept bothering Paul and Silas by following them saying, “These men are from God.” Paul got irritated and told the Spirit to come out. She was free. But the men who made money off her got mad and told the officials that Paul and Silas were stirring up trouble in the city. When you cut off the profit of predatory lenders and stop the income of hustlers in your community don’t be surprised when the officials want to throw you in prison. They beat them and jailed them.

Instead of giving up and feeling sorry for themselves they got up at Midnight and started doing something that we need to do if we want our chains loosed:

1. They Prayed. A friend told me last night to kick my prayer life up a notch because of all the warfare coming against me. Whenever you have snakes around you, you have to go up past the snake line on your mountain of prayer because snakes can’t exist past a certain altitude. Prayer chokes out the enemy and opens up divine possibilities.

2. They Sing hymns. I love gospel songs and hip hop gospel but it’s just something about those old hymns. Yesterday at church Jermeal Cowans sang, “I have decided to follow Jesus, though none go with me still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.” The church went in. It’s the purity and simplicity of those hymns that can get you through when you have no where to go but to God.

3. They sang and pray in the presence of other prisoners. What you are going through isn’t just for you. For the benefit of those standing around God is using your “jail time” as a witness that God is able.

4. When they sing and pray the foundation started shaking, the doors flew open, and the chains fell off of everybody. Now you would think that this was the time that Paul and Silas run out. The jailer came in panicked and was about to kill himself. But Paul said, “don’t do yourself any harm we are here.” Just because the doors are open and your chains are off does not mean it’s time to run. God has you where you are to save somebody else. They didn’t leave until the jailer and his whole house got baptized.

Whatever it is that you have been bound up in, if you pray and praise God in the middle of it, he will shake some things ups and release you from your bondage. But before you leave make sure you save some folk around you.

Dear God,
Thank you for shaking things up in my life and causing the doors to swing open. Make me sensitive to the people around me that need to be saved even as you free me up from what was holding me. I’m free, no more chains holding me, my soul is rested, it’s just a blessing, thank you lord I’m free! Lord Today help me to be aware of the people around me. Give me a song in my heart and help my prayers to protect me from all of my enemies who would do me harm. I bind every demonic attack against those listening to this prayer right now. Shake some things up and loose everyone’s chains, in Jesus Name!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Shake the Dust Off!

Acts 13:51-52

But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconimum. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Whenever you have position you will always have opposition. Jesus told his disciples, “No Student is above his teacher, if they hated me, they will hate you also.” In life everyone is not going to be happy about your God given purpose and your anointing. When you stand for Righteousness and work for Jesus get ready for those who want to block your move. In the book of Acts, the Apostles were having great success in spreading the gospel of Jesus. In one particular instance, they ran upon a false prophet named Bar-Jesus who tried to block them form preaching Jesus to an influential leader.

Paul stepped to him and stared him straight in the eye and told him, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord and now, indeed the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind not seeing the sun for a time.“

Immediately a black mist fell on the man and he was begging people to lead him around. Now I know that you want to say this to every person that’s been hating on you, but you can’t. You can’t go up to your boss and say, “O full of all deceit….” No No…LOL. There are some instances where you address people head on when lead by the Holy Spirit, but there are other times when you are out numbered by negative people. When you are no longer welcome in a particular place that you simply have to shake the dust off your feet. Or like President Obama had to do when he was campaigning against all the negative things people were saying about him, his wife, his family, his pastor, he said, sometimes you just have to (President Obama gestures as if wiping dirt of his shoulder) go on and brush your shoulder off. I think he got that from Jay Z.

How do you shake the dust off?

1. Ignore them and keep on moving. Don’t waste your time on ignorant people. Jesus said don’t cast your pearls amongst swine. Never waste your time arguing with religious people. There are too many unsaved people to be helped than to waste your time arguing about whose church is more theologically correct.

2. Say a prayer and Refocus. When you feel yourself getting upset go somewhere and pray and refocus as to why you are there. Don’t let them rattle you to the point that you forget your mission.

3. Look at where you’re going and don’t get stuck where you are. If you allowed every person who didn’t like you to slow you down you would never get to your destination.

4. Hold your Peace and keep your cool. Never let them see you sweat. When they get you emotional they have won.

When you are successful in shaking the dust off your feet, the bible says that God will fill you with the Holy Spirit and you will be full of Joy. The good thing about Joy is that it’s different from happiness. Happiness is contingent on outward circumstances; Joy is an inward condition because of my relationship with God. This Joy I have the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away. Now go on and brush your shoulders off!

Dear God move all my haters out of the way today! Help me to brush my shoulders off and shake the dust off my feet. You said you make my enemies my footstool and feed me in their presence. Thank you for the Victory!

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Steal God's Glory

Acts 12:22-23

And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!" Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give Glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine said: "Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him." (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio (Rio de Janeiro), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: "God, that's for you." He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic: After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: "Not even God can sink it" The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

It’s a dangerous thing when we start thinking that we are little gods when there is only one true and living God. There is a danger in having too big of an Ego. Because when you think more highly of yourself than you ought to your Ego takes over. Ego stands for Edging God Out.

It’s not just the cockiness of a Kanye West or the bravado of a Jay Z who calls him self Jay Hova that can get you in trouble with God, but its when we allow our God complex to start eclipsing God’s glory and giving him the credit that can lead us to an early death.

Herod was an evil king who had executed James, one of the apostles and he had his sights on Peter. The only reason he didn’t kill Peter is that an Angel came and led him out of Prison. Herod murdered 19 guards that were guarding Peter. He was a notorious leader but the thing that caused God to kill him was that he stole God’s Glory.

He gave a speech and the people were shouting, “the voice of a god and not a man!” Herod didn’t stop them no did he correct them and God sent an Angel to strike him down. Wow. There are two contrasts here; when Peter healed people and they started worshipping him, he would stop them and say, “No I’m just a servant of the Lord.” God sent an angel to rescue him from prison. Herod falls in love with people calling him a god, God sends an angel to strike him down. Either you are giving God the Glory and living, or you are taking the glory for yourself and you are dying.

It’s dangerous being a leader, preacher, President, entertainer, who is up before people and you are gifted because when the people try to lift you up as an idol there is a danger that you fall in love with your own voice and with the shouts of the people and God has to take you out of the way.

John Maxwell warns us to avoid the Character flaws and demise of Herod by:

1. Search for the cracks. Look at the major areas of your life. Identify where you’re weak or have taken shortcuts.

2. Look for patterns. Do any weaknesses remain? Patterns can help you diagnose character flaws.

3. Face the Music. Character repair begins when you face your flaws and apologize to those you’ve wronged.

4. Stay teachable and rebuild. Once you face your past, create a plan to build inward strength.

Dear God don’t let me fall in love with my own voice. I am not a god. You are the one and only God. You are God alone. I am only able to do what I do because of your Sprit that lives in me. Thank you for using me.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Global Recession

Acts 11:28

Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and shared by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Right now in the United States, we are experiencing one of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. There is a water shed of unemployment with power house companies like Macy's, Google, Starbucks shedding thousands of jobs. Just yesterday, a thousand people were standing in line in Miami for 35 job openings for city jobs. America is feeling the squeeze of this financial crisis. But what is even more disturbing is that while we are consumed by our won crisis the whole world is experiencing this global recession.

According to the IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook published on October 8th, the world economy is “entering a major downturn” in the face of “the most dangerous shock” to rich-country financial markets since the 1930s. The fund expects global growth, measured on the basis of purchasing-power parity (PPP), to come down to 3% in 2009, he slowest pace since 2002 and on the verge of what it considers to be a global recession. (The fund’s definition of global recession takes many factors into account, including the rate of population growth.) Given the scale of the financial freeze, the fund’s forecast looks optimistic. Other forecasters are convinced that a global recession is inevitable. Economists at UBS, for instance, expect global growth of only 2.2% in 2009.

In the book of Acts, the new Christians were beginning to pick up momentum, lives were being saved, people outside the faith were being converted, thousands were coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was one of the greatest movements of the Christian faith, but in the midst of that great move and awakening, a prophet stood up by the Power of the Holy Spirit and announced a Global Famine.

Here we are in the height of Hope and Change with a New President, breaking the barriers of racism and Hate. Embracing at last the true meaning of our creed that all men are created equal. Millions of people black, white, Latino, Asian, pacific Islanders, Christians, Jews, and Muslims are starting to come together but in the midst of hope and change, there is a global recession. Is there a Prophet amongst us who can stand up and make the pronouncement that our world is in peril?
This is not a time to despair but a time to Pray, a time to evangelize, a time to turn people back to God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 - If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I like what the early Christians did in their time of Crisis

Acts 11:29 (Amplified Bible)
29 So the disciples resolved to send relief, each according to his individual ability [in proportion as he had prospered], to the brethren who lived in Judea.
During this Global Recession each one of us can do something to bring relief to our area of the world. Wherever you are in the world and you are feeling this recession you need to:

1. Look at your ability. What are you able to do? Each of us has something no matter how small or how large the offering, whether it is your tithe, time, or talent, you have the ability to offer something.

2. Determine. Scripture tells us that we need to make up our minds as to what we are going to give. What happens to many well meaning Christians is that we always get stuck on “I should give something.’ But we never move to Determination. Determination means that you’ve made up your mind, set aside something to help.

3. Send relief to Judea. Judea is an area near you that has been affected. Judea was the area closest to Jerusalem where ministry was going forth to reach the lost. Put your money in an area near you that is helping people through this recession and bringing people to Jesus.

Dear God help us during this Global Crisis to help those who are struggling. There is some ability you’ve given us to bring relief. Whether it’s volunteering, giving our resources, our time, or our talent, show us how to help our piece of the world and bring relief to this Global crisis. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

In Jesus Name.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

God Can't Forget You!

Acts 10:4 - Your prayers and your Alms have come up for a memorial before God.

There are some people that pass through your life that you just can’t forget about. They make such a huge impact in your life that there is a permanent place in your heart that is a memorial to the contribution they made in your life. Cornelius was one of those people. Luke describes him as a centurion, a devout man and one who feared God with his entire household. He gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always but he wasn’t even a Christian yet.

He was on the right path in the way he was living his life. You could call him a God seeker but he wasn’t a Christ follower. But when you seek after God, Jesus will eventually find you. Around 3 p.m., while Cornelius was praying, God sent an Angel to his house. The Angel told him your prayers and your giving has come up as a memorial to God, in other Word’s, “God can’t forget about you.”

There are times in our lives when we think that our giving and our living are in vain. When we continue to struggle, and continue to have hard times, sometimes we wonder is it worth it. Sometimes life is like looking in your 401K during a recession and the numbers keep going down, and you ask yourself why put money into something that is taking away from my future? But experts will tell you in the Long run it’s important to keep investing because the economy will eventually turn around. When you keep living for God and giving to others it blesses you in the Long run.

The angel said, Your Prayers and your alms (gifts to the poor) have come up as a memorial before God. God can’t forget about you.
When I looked up the word memorial it said, me•mo•ri•al (m -môr - l, -m r -)


1. Something, such as a monument or holiday, intended to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or an event.

2. A written statement of facts or a petition presented to a legislative body or an executive.


1. Serving as a remembrance of a person or an event; commemorative.

2. Of, relating to, or being in memory.

But here is the definition that grabbed my attention - credit, recognition - approval; "give her recognition for trying"; "he was given credit for his work"; "give her credit for trying"

God had sent an Angel to Cornelius because he had good spiritual credit. There was a monument in God’s heart that had been erected through the actions of Cornelius. God sent deliverance to his house and Cornelius and his whole family became followers of Jesus, got saved because of three things:

His Living. He was a devout man. de•vout (d -vout )
adj. de•vout•er, de•vout•est

1. Devoted to religion or to the fulfillment of religious obligations. See Synonyms at religious.

2. Displaying reverence or piety.

3. Sincere; earnest:

Now remember, it’s not enough to be religious or sincere. It’s only a starting place in seeking God. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It’s good to have ritual and to seek after God, but Religion without relationship is not spiritual. It’s just a ritual.

1. Devout. Cornelius was devout. Going to church is good, but it’s only the beginning, it’s a route to seek God but you must meet Jesus when you get there.

2. His Giving. Cornelius gave alms. Alms in any religion is Money or goods given as charity to the poor. It is a basic understanding in all faiths that we are to give to the poor. God loves a cheerful giver. When we give to the ministry of the poor, God remembers it.

3. His Prayers. The effective and fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. When we pray it moves God to act on our behalf. Our prayers go up to God as a memorial. When you put all three of these together, God can’t forget about you and he’s about to send an Angel to your house to tell you about how he’s going to deliver you.

The thing I like about this is that while Cornelius was praying at the ninth hour, Peter was praying the next day at the sixth hour. God connected Cornelius with a man he had never met who would help him get saved, and Peter was about ready to connect with his next assignment because he was praying as well. God can’t forget you when you live Right, Give Right, and pray right.

Dear God, Help me to be like Cornelius. Help me to give and to live in a way that pleases you. Let my life be a living sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to you which is my reasonable act of service. Help me to be remembered by you for how I’ve lived my life for you. Send an Angel to deliver me and my household that I may follow Jesus for the rest of my life.

In Jesus name,


Monday, February 2, 2009

You Can't See Me!

Exodus 33:22

So it shall be while my Glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but my face shall not be seen.

There are seasons in life where you can't see God moving. One theologian describes him as the "unseen Mover." You know that he's there but yet you can't see him. There is in all of us this desire to see before we move. we wan't to know God is with us before we move out into the unknown. Just because we can't see him doesn't mean he's not there.

Why can't we see him?

God told Moses that he would send his angel in front of them to drive out their enemies so they could inhabit the promised land but God said, "I can't come up in the midst of you because you are a stiff-necked people and I will have to consume you.

We ought to be thankful that sometimes God chooses to pull back and we not see him because his Holiness would consume us. Moses wanted Re-Assurance that God was going with them. Exodus 33:45 Moses said, "If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here." I don't mind facing what I got to face but I ain't going unless you go with me.

Moses also wanted God to show him his Glory. God was reluctant because no one can look at God's face and live. he's just that Holy! God has to hide his face from you so his Glory won't kill you.

When Jesus appeared to Saul on the Road to Damascus, the Glory blinded Saul. He asked Saul why he was persecuting him. Saul asked, "Who are you Lord?" The men with Saul could hear the voice but they could not see God. Paul was blinded by the Glory. While he was blilnd the bible says that God sent Ananias to give Saul his sight. God said Saul has seen you in a vision. Sometimes when God blinds you with his Glory, you can see better. Some of you can't see him but your vision is better.

Moses said God let me see you. This is what God does to give you a glimpse of his Glory:

1. He will hide you in a cleft of a rcok. This is for your own safety. He will put you in an obscure place to give him room to come by you.

2. He Covers you with his hand. If God had not covered you then you would have died from his presence. There are times in your life when God showed up, you couldn't handle it and he covered you so that he could pass by without consuming you.

3. God will do a Pass By. Anthony Hamilton sings in his song, "Pass me over", Pass me over till my savior comes. We used to sing, "Pass me not O gentle savior". But you ought to be glad that there were times when God did pass you buy. You weren't ready for his Glory but he still covered you while he passed by.

4. He pulls back at the last minute to give you a glimpse. When Jacob wrestled with God all night. The bible says that God touched his hip and broke his hip socket. The word touched means literally a touch. While God was wrestling with Jacob, he purposely witheld his power so he coulnd't kill him but when he touched him, it shattered his hip. Ain't you glad he just showed you a little bit?

5. The little that he shows you will be too much for other people to handle.

Exodus 34:50 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

Dear God show me your Glory. Go before us and show yourself strong. Drive out all our enemies. Let your signs and wonders give you Glory and give us assurance that you are with us. Thank you for taking us into the promised land and for giving me a glimpse of your glory.

In Jesus Name.