Thursday, October 29, 2009

Find You A Boat

Mark 3:9 - He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.

Life can be stressful and it feels like the world is closing in you. Sometimes life seems to crush the very life out of you. The demands of work, family, clients, patients, and members can get you to a place where you feel tapped out. It is good to get away with Jesus so you can hear Him above the roar and the press of the crowd.

In Mark Chapters 3-4, Jesus gets in a boat at least 3 times to get away from the crowd. As much as he loved to minister, preach, teach, and heal the crowd, he also had to get away from the crowd. You are not going to be any good for the people unless you get away from people periodically and find you a boat to get away with Jesus.

Your boat can be a retreat to a spiritual retreat center. Your boat can be a literal fishing boat. Your boat can be your car to drive you down to a park and sit by the water. Your boat can be an airplane that takes you to a deserving vacation. Your boat can be you walking into your office, closing the door and spending time with God, but you have to find you a boat.

Jesus got in the boat 3 times:

1. He got in the boat after criticism of healing a man on the Sabbath. Mark 3: 9 - whenever you are unorthodox or out of the box people who are stuck in tradition are going to have a problem with how you help people. Even though Jesus handled criticism well, he still had to pull away from the crowd to clear his head and get some rest. When you are criticized be sure to respond with emotional intelligence and spiritual resiliency but make sure you get away afterwards to recharge.

2. He got in the boat to give some distance from the crowd. He taught from a distance. You don’t always have to be in the mix to help people out. Sometimes you need to teach from the boat. Instead of getting involved with the crowd teach people from your boat. Talk to them from the boat phone. Send them a boat email. Inbox them on Faceboat. LOL. Where you are right now it would not be good to try to teach with the crowd pressing in on you. Give yourself some distance.

3. He got into the boat after he finished teaching his disciples. Mark 4:35. Whenever you pour yourself out to the people you care the most about you need to take yourself to the other side for some rest. Don’t be surprised though when a storm arises while you are in the boat. This is just a test to see if you are going to trust Jesus while he’s in the boat with you. When you do, he will give you PEACE in your boat.

Dear God, please get in the boat with me and give me rest, teach me what it means to be a disciple, and get me ready to face whatever is on the other side when you and I get out of the boat.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Acts 27:21 (New International Version)
21After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.

Warning always comes before destruction. God is always speaking to his children but like children we have selective retention. We hear what we want to hear. There are signs up and down the highway of life that warn us of impending danger but you must heed when you read and not speed or else suffer the consequences of your violation. It is interesting that now in many places they have cameras positioned so that when you ignore the signs and think you are getting away, the city will mail you a picture of your violation. We’ve got to take heed of the signs before we find ourselves in trouble.

Paul had told the men on the ship that a storm was coming way before they sailed into it. When they first began their journey there was a wind against them. Sometimes you should pay closer attention when the winds are against you. Whenever I’m feeling consistent resistance for where I’m going I stop and listen for God to tell me if he still wants me to go forward. The times that I didn’t stop and listen usually were the times that I made mess by sailing into a storm. Sometimes, we don’t listen to God until after the storm hits and we have suffered loss.

When we don’t listen to God’s warnings we will:

1. Drive right into a storm. Some of us are in a financial storm right now because we ignored earlier winds. Now we are in the midst of a full blown recession but the good news is that God is still talking you through this storm. You just have to listen more intently because the winds are kind of loud.

2. Be Hungry. Sometimes being hungry is good. It helps you to be more determined to listen to God and to get to your next place of provision. Be hungry for God.

3. Suffer damage and loss. There are some things that you are going to have to throw overboard just so you can make it to your place of destination. It’s amazing what you realize you don’t need after you go through a storm.

God is trying to tell you something but you have to heed the warning. Paul told the believers in Rome that many of them were like the people that the prophet Isaiah prophesied about in Acts 28:27:

Acts 28:27 (New International Version)

27For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'[a]

My prayer is that you hear God today before you suffer damage and loss.

Dear God, open the eyes of our hearts. We want to see and hear you today. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil. Send us into the right direction and order our steps in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Speak Lord, for your Servants are listening.

In Jesus name,


Monday, October 26, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

Acts 26:28-29

Agrippa said to Paul, Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian? Paul replied, “whether quickly or not, I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am—except for these chains.

I saw a movie Saturday night called, “Law Abiding Citizen” starring Jamie Foxx, about a man whose family was brutally murdered, his wife and daughter, right in front of his eyes. All he wanted was justice but the court failed him. From that point on he set out to murder everyone who had a hand in the mishandled case. At one point he stands up to defend himself in court and says, “Your honor I am a Law abiding citizen…” Indeed at one time he was but since his heart had been filled with vengeance he began to make up his own law. A law of revenge and murder.

The Apostle Paul stood trial as well. He stood up before the court with the opening statement found in Acts 24:16 “Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience toward God and all people.” He was a law abiding citizen. He followed the law of his fathers, and worked as a religious mercenary bringing down those who were followers of Jesus. He even gave consent to murder them. Until one day he had an encounter with the risen Savior, Jesus. That day he really became a law abiding citizen of God’s kingdom and stopped killing and started saving people by preaching Jesus crucified and resurrected. He started preaching that people should repent of their sins and be baptized. Paul made this appeal to King Agrippa. He had a grip on King Agrippa’s attention and the king was almost persuaded. The king said, “Are you trying to quickly persuade me to become a Christian? Paul said, “I’m not worried about how long it takes but my prayer is that everyone listening to me today would be just as I except the chains. Powerful!

When people listen to you today, will they hear a law abiding citizen filled with the Love of Christ or will they hear someone filled with the vengeance of a killer? Will your mission be to save more or kill more?

I want the people listening to me today to experience Jesus like I have, minus the chains. My chains were necessary to get me in front of the king. My chains got me close to the people who denied me justice but I don’t want you to have to be in chains to get the joy I received. I do want you to be persuaded to follow Jesus. My chains are the consequences of my choices but they have worked out for my good because I never would have had the opportunity to share with you had it not been for my chains. The reason I share my devotions is because I don’t want you to have to experience my chains, just my Joy.

I am a law abiding citizen of the Kingdom of God and as much as it depends on me I’m going to live with a clear conscience before God and people so you too can be persuaded to be a Christian.

In Jesus Name.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me!

Acts 16:25
About Midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

There’s a crazy little commercial out now from Geico where a stack of money with two eyes is staring at different people. Their friends ask them, “what is that?” They respond by saying, “Oh that’s just the money I would have saved if I would have used Geico,” while the old song by Berry Gordy’s son Rockwell plays in the background…”I always feel like somebody’s watching me…”

That song whose chorus is sung by Michael Jackson is an ode to those who are paranoid that someone is always watching them. To a degree we all have a tinge of paranoia that somebody could be watching us, hence the shades on the windows pulled at home or the shades over our eyes on cloudy days. Oftentimes, if we would look in the spirit we would see a stack of people staring at us. You might ask, “Who are they?” Your spirit would reply, “Oh those are the lost souls I could have saved if I would have served Jesus.” I always feel like somebody’s watching me!

People are watching us particularly when we call ourselves Christian. They want to know how we are going to handle ourselves at night. Night represents the time when we are going through our most tempting circumstances. Night represents the time when life is at its toughest. Night is the time when the only hope people have is the hope that lies in your faith because they have none. I always feel like somebody’s watching me.

Paul and Silas had just been stripped naked and beaten with bamboo rods, thrown in jail for nothing else than casting out a tormenting spirit out of an exploited girl. They exorcised a demon out of a girl who was a fortune teller and was making a fortune for her owners. When the men saw they had lost their chance of further exploitation they brought trumped up charges against Paul and Silas. When you come in and mess with the money of those who’ve been exploiting the community of the oppressed all eyes will be on you.

After they were beaten and jailed, it was midnight. Now if you were beaten and bloody in jail at midnight what would you be doing? Crying? Trying to call your lawyer? Sleeping with your back against the wall with one eye open?

Paul and Silas started praying and singing hymns and the bible says that the prisoners were listening. If it wasn’t so dark they would have been watching so instead they were listening. In your most trying hour people are watching and listening to see how you are going to handle yourself. In the midnight hour Paul & Silas had people watching them and this is what they saw:

1. They were praying. V. 25 who are you calling on when you are going through? Call on Jesus before you call anybody else.

2. They were singing. Eph 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

3. Prisoners were listening. V. 25. There are other people locked up around you who are looking for a reason not to give up. You may help them to get free by what you do.

4. God worked a miracle. V.26. God sent an earthquake and broke the chains on everybody and set them physically free.

5. People got saved. V. 30-34. The jailer almost killed himself but instead accepted Jesus and brought Paul and Silas to his house where his whole house was baptized.

6. Justice got served. V. 35 Paul reminded them that they had dealt with them unjustly and made them bring them out in full view.

7. The disciples grew after this victory. V. 40. They rejoiced over the miracle and they encouraged the other believers.

Dear God, help me to be strong in my hour of testing so that the people watching can see you through me. I always feel like somebody's watching me so let me have integrity, boldness, and be righteous in the way I carry myself.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Your Feet!

Acts 14:9-10
He listened to Paul as he was speaking, and Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet,” and the man sprang up and began to walk.

Whenever someone of a higher rank comes into the presence of soldiers, someone would yell to them, “On your feet, look Alive!” The soldiers would scramble to their feet and stand at attention in respect for their superiors.

When God comes into our room we ought to stand on our feet and be ready to do what he says to do. When we are standing on our feet, we are in a position of readiness. Today ought to be a day where you stand on your feet.

For some of us, we might not feel like we can get up. We are in a lame situation. We’ve been down for so long we feel like our muscles have atrophied. Unemployment has a lot of people feeling lame. High Costs of living make us feel lame. This recession has us feeling like, “Why get up?” But I hear God saying, “On your feet!”

Paul and Barnabas were teaching in Lystra and there was a man that had been lame since birth, but the writer says he was listening.

1. The first step in curing lameness is listening to the Word of God. Something in what they were preaching stirred this man’s soul. What you listen to determines how fast you get up.

2. He was looking with the expectancy of healing. He had that look. When you look for a job are you expecting to get hired? When you go to the doctor are you expecting to get healed?

3. He obeyed the man of God. Paul said, “Stand upright on your feet!” He sprang up and began to walk. Today, you need to get on your feet and walk. Get on your feet and walk to that job interview. Get on our feet and go to class. Get on your feet and go workout. Go get your blessing!

When God speaks through the man of God you have to get upright on your feet. Today is the day to get on your feet and expect a miracle.

Dear God, I’m ready to get on my feet and start walking. I’m ready for my healing and to head in a New Direction from the inside out. Strengthen my legs so I can make the journey. I’m ready to jump up and reach my destiny.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yes, God Is Real!

Acts 12:9
So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

"Religion is the opiate of the people" is one of the most frequently quoted statements of Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" and is often referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses." In other words religion was a way for the masses of people to escape the realities of the world. There is some truth to that statement. When people are committed to dead rituals that no longer bear any relevance nor sustain connection to a living and vital God it is an Opiate or numbing influence. But when we are in communication and relationship with a dynamic, and energizing force or as the German’s would call a Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist (pronounced [ˈt͡saɪtɡaɪst] (help • info)) is a German language expression translated as: Zeit, time; Geist, spirit, meaning "the spirit of the age and its society". When we have relationship with a living God he enables us to better understand our world. Yes God is “Real” for I can feel him in my soul. You know God is real when he is existentially relevant. Paul said, “In God we move, live and have our being.” You know God is real when you experience him in your time and space. Sometimes you don’t know God is real until you find yourself in a bind.

Peter was thrown into Prison by Herod just because he was a follower of Jesus. He saw that it pleased the Jews to kill James so Peter was his next victim. As the world becomes more and more anti-Christian don’t be surprised to find yourself picked out to be persecuted. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me they will persecute you also.”

The good news in this text is that when they arrested Peter the church started praying and they were in constant prayer for Peter. He was chained up between two guards in a cell guarded by four Soldiers. He wasn’t going anywhere, so they thought.

That night God sent an Angel who told Peter to put his clothes and shoes on to follow him. The bibles says that Peter didn’t know that what was done by the Angel was real. Have you ever been so sleepy you really didn’t know what you were doing? Peter had to have been in some kind of state of semi-consciousness because he didn’t know this was real until he got all the way out. Sometimes as God is taking you out, your mind doesn’t want to believe that God is really doing it until you get on the other side of your situation and you realize that couldn’t nobody but God do this!

Three things that helped Paul realize that God was real:

1. He had a personal relationship with Jesus. Matthew 16: 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,a the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

2. He had been filled with the Spirit. Acts 2: 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

3. The church was in constant prayer.
Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

Dear God, open our eyes and show your people that you are real. We are in some hopeless situations and only you can bring us out. Deliver us from the deadening of irrelevant religious tradition and awaken us to a living relationship with the risen Christ. Yes God, you are real for I can feel you in my soul.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, October 19, 2009

How To Get God's Attention

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

So many times we look at God as some distant cosmic creator who is not concerned with the insignificance of one such as ourselves. When we look at the vastness of the solar system, let alone the expansive planet earth, we have to ask like the psalmist, “what is man that God is mindful of him?” Jesus Reassures us that just as we think of ourselves as small and insignificant in comparison to the enormity of creation, he reminds us that if God watches over a little sparrow and gives him food surely he watches over you and me. In fact, Jesus says that God knows every hair on our heads, now that is an eye for detail.

It is amazing, however, that God has the time to watch over so many of us at once. I used to wonder what we would be doing for eternity after we became angels. How would we keep busy for eternity? It just dawned on me that just maybe we will be responsible for attending to those who get God’s attention on a daily basis and need a reply.

In this text Cornelius, a Roman centurion, is visited by an Angel. He is a believer but he is not religious. He is not a Jew or a Christin but he has been seeking God. As a result, God sends an Angel to complete his search. Cornelius “googled” God and an Angel showed up with a response. When he sees the angel he is alarmed, “What is it Lord?”

The angel told him that he had gotten God’s attention: “your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”

1. Prayer is a way for us to talk to God. In this instance his consistency has allowed God to hear continual communication from Cornelius’ house. He was so consistent God was curious who this man was who had the faith to keep talking to him. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing. Don’t allow doubt to stop your transmission which can also lead to your transformation.

2. Your Alms. Alms were not tithes. Alms were gifts to the poor. Cornelius' heart for the poor got God’s attention. Jesus said, “When you do to the ‘least of these’ you also have done unto me.”

When we pray and give, it gets God’s attention but we are not complete until we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. As a result of Cornelius a gentile seeking God, Peter was sent to preach the gospel and his whole house got saved.

God is waiting on your prayers and your generosity to get his attention so he can send an angel with a message and a preacher with the gospel and the Holy Spirit with Salvation. Call him up and tell him what you want!

Dear God, thank you for hearing my prayers. Thank you for stopping by my house and saving my entire household. I know you hear me and you love me because I see the evidence of your salvation in my house. Thank you for showing me that you care for me and you know all about my struggles. You are a great and loving God.

Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Unholy Alliances

Nehemiah 13: 4 Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, 5 and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.

On the tv show, Survivor, many people compete to see who can be the last person to survive on islands that are barely inhabited by humans and their challenge is to survive the wilderness but more than that to survive the desperate politics of alliances. There is usually two tribes competing and it is almost inevitable that someone from different tribes make alliances so they can improve their chances of surviving longer and not getting voted off the island. Your alliances can either hurt you or help you survive.

This can translate into real life as well. Life is like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under. It is important to make the right alliances with the right people, but you have to make sure they are from the right tribe.

Nehemiah had rebuilt the walls in Jerusalem. He helped to bring about economic, spiritual, and communal revitalization to Jerusalem but not without resistance from three foreigners named Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. These three had been pretty much exploiting the community when there were no walls to keep the city guarded. When Nehemiah started rebuilding the city they would mock him and eventually threatened his life.

Nehemiah strapped up and encouraged the people to keep on working and they finished the work because the people had a mind to work. Upon completion, Nehemiah discovered that Tobiah had set up shop in all places, the House of the Lord. They had rebuilt the walls to keep him out and here he was in a room in the most sacred place, the House of the Lord. How could this happen?!

Eliashib, the priest, who had authority over the storerooms of the House of God, was allied with Tobiah. There was corruption with the priest. He abused his authority by making alliances with the enemy, and as a result the enemy took up residence in the storerooms of the House of the Lord.

What Spirits have we let in God’s house because of our unholy alliances? What enemy have we let move in because of our political posturing? You have the authority over the storerooms of God and you let the enemy movie in because of your alliances.
Did you know the devil has to have your permission to come in your house? As the priest had of all believers you have been given authority over God’s house and you have power over the devil, but when you make alliances with his people you give the enemy access to God’s storerooms.

When we make alliances with the enemy and let him come in the storerooms something happens to the contents of the room. What was in the room can’t stay because you have to make room for the enemy and his stuff.

This is the stuff that got moved out:

1. The grain offerings are gone. This represents the offerings from your harvest. You have nothing to show for the harvest God gave you.

2. Frankincense represents the presence of God. There is a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place and I know it to be the presence of the Lord. God’s Spirit can’t dwell in an unclean place.

3. The articles. The instruments used for worship and for inquiring of the lord are missing. When the enemy moves in he affects your worship.

4. Tithes. Your tithes and offering go down when the enemy moves in.

5. The new wine and oil. The anointed new believers end up missing because leaders made unholy alliances. You can’t pour new wine into old wineskins.

The reason this happened is because Nehemiah had gone back to his job as cupbearer to King Arterxes, Eliashib, the priest, did this while he was gone to the king. Since Jesus has been gone back to the Father, we as the priesthood of all believers have made some unholy alliances and God is about ready to snuff out our torch but thanks be to God we still have a chance to survive!

Verse eight tells us what we need to do break our unholy alliance:

1. We should be grieved in our Spirits or somebody who has some anointing should be grieved and help us get these people out of God’s space.

2. Throw Tobiah’s stuff out. Whatever you have allowed the enemy to bring in, get it out. Soul ties are made by gifts the enemy gives you. Get them out!

3. Clean the room. Once you get the stuff out clean it and anoint it with oil.

4. Bring God’s stuff back in the room. Once you break unholy alliances it’s important to put God’s stuff back.

a. Bring God your first fruits from your harvest.
b. Invite the Holy Spirit back in your life through prayer.
c. Attend worship on a regular basis
d. Give your tithes on a regular basis
e. Go make disciples by reaching out to people who don’t know Jesus and don’t have a church home and bring them into the House of the Lord.

Dear God, forgive me for making unholy alliances. You’ve given me all I need to survive within me. I don’t need unholy alliances to make it through the Jungle of life. Today I’m restoring your room with the offerings that will please you and I’m getting the enemy out of your house.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Just Wanna Be Successful

Psalm 1
BOOK I: Psalms 1-41
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

I want the money, money and the cars, cars and the clothes
I suppose
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful

Drake and Trey Songz have an anthem for the young 20 Something’s that speak to the superficial strivings of many young Americans. Like many young rappers of their generation and even before them, they speak of the material trappings of “success” but in this particular song there is almost a somber undertone of confusion that these material assets can’t really bring you happiness….I suppose.

Success is not what we put on; it is what we put in. Success is when you are happy or blessed with a life that is prosperous.

Another young man wrote a song about Success, his name was David. He started out as a shepherd boy and eventually became one of the most powerful kings in History! (Talking about Success!) He was knows as having a heart for God. The women even wrote a song about young Dreezy….I mean young David. “Saul has Killed his thousands but David his Tens of Thousands.” If David was a successful recording artists as he was a warrior he would have been Platinum.

David was kind enough to leave us steps to being successful, but he starts out telling us how not to go about success.

1. Blessed is the man who does NOT walk in the counsel of the ungodly. In this early stage a person is walking or browsing for advice with the wrong crowd. David admonishes us not to walk amongst the wicked. Make sure you are browsing in the right crowd.

2. Nor stand in the path of sinners. Notice he went from walking to standing. Now the person is no longer moving but idle because they are listening to the wrong people.

3. Nor sit in the seat of the scornful, that is in the seat of people who just sit around talking about people. As a result of joining the wrong inner circle this person has become stagnant and sitting with the wrong crowd. These three steps are a digression toward stagnation instead of steps toward success. The key to success is in the next verse:

But His (the blessed man/woman) delight is in the word of God and in his law he meditates both day and night and (he will be successful) he shall be like a tree planted by the Rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf will not wither. Whatever he does he/she shall prosper. I just wanna be successful! When God’s hand is on you and you are prospering just as your soul is prospering that is Success!

Dear God, I just wanna be successful. I want to be pleasing to you. Help me to put more emphasis on what I put in than what I put on. Give me the wisdom, courage, and discipline to step away from people who are bringing me down. My delight is in your Word. Plant me by the rivers of water so that I will produce in my season and whatever I do for you it will prosper. I just wanna be successful!

In Jesus Name!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be Saved From This Perverse Generation!

Acts 2:38 Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.” These were the words to a popular rap song in the late 90’s by E-40. The Urban Dictionary gives more info on this urban phenomenon of Captain Save a Ho.

E-40, the rap artist, coined the phrase "Captain Save A Ho".

Where a guy will take care of a goldigger, pay for everything, pay for "Goldie" to get her nails done, hair done, get a cellular hooked up. The guy will be a sucker for the girl and take care of paying for her kids. He will come to the girl's rescue like a superhero in attempt to get some play. Dine her and she will take advantage of him. He would actually say, "I will save a ho baby I am here for you."

Make "Captain Save A Ho" take care of your kids. Make your kids his. It is all part of that take care of me like a superhero with an "S" on the chest. When I call on the cellular you hooked up, come and save me.

It was a comical song about how nice guys waste their time trying to save women who are not wife material. These particular kind of women are only out to play games and manipulate men for money but this nice guy can’t see through fame he only wants to save them.

There is deep truth even in shallow songs. For in this song we can see ourselves if we look close enough. Jesus is the Captain of our Soul and we have played the Harlot, he wants to save us, but we don’t want to be saved.

We live in a perverse generation where every person is living life by their own rules and following every fleshly pursuit that Is not pleasing to God. We don’t want to be saved. Jeremiah said, “the harvest has come, the summer has passed, and we are not saved.”

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were on one accord, in one place and were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Each one spoke in a different language so that even foreigners heard the Gospel being explained. When they could hear clearly, their conscious was convicted and they wanted to know, what must we do to be saved? They wanted to be saved! They realized that their lives were out of alignment with God’s Will and his Word. If they didn’t change their ways they knew in their hearts they would die in their sins. They wanted to be saved. After hearing the Word of God they realized they couldn’t hide anymore and participate in ungodly lifestyles. They wanted to be saved. And they asked Peter, “What shall we do?”

Peter replied:

1. Repent. The good thing about God is that he allows legal U-turns. Whenever you realize you are traveling in the wrong direction God will let you turn around in the middle of your life and head in a New Direction.

2. Let everyone be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Baptism is an ordinance of the Church that symbolizes the washing of your sins. It’s not the water that cleanses you but your obedience and the symbolism of going into the liquid grave to come up a new person.

3. For the remission of your sins. It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses you of your sins. Jesus substituted his life for ours and his life was without sin. He who had no sin became sin for us and his blood caused our diseased souls to go into remission.

4. You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is what helps us live our lives like we are saved. WE are empowered to live lives that are pleasing and acceptable to God. Every believer receives this gift when God saves them.

Dear God, help me to live a counter-cultural lifestyle. Show me how to live clean in a dirty world. I want to be saved! All of our righteousness is like dirty rags; no one is Righteous but Jesus. Fill me with your Sprit so that I can be delivered from that which pulls me from you. Let me influence this perverse Generation instead of being tricked by the Harlots. I want to be Saved!

In Jesus Name!


Monday, October 12, 2009

What Are You Waiting On?

Acts 1:8
But you shall receive Power when the Holy Sprit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem; and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.

Everybody is waiting on something. Somebody is waiting on a phone call for someone to say, "You’re hired." Somebody is waiting on a check in the mail. Someone else is waiting on a donor to save their life. Someone is waiting for the right time to say something that may change the direction of a relationship. But a lot of our waiting could be over sooner if we learned to wait on God. Those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as Eagles, and they will run and not get weary and walk and not faint.

How is this possible? It’s possible if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells his disciples before he ascended back to heaven, ‘You shall receive Power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you!’

When we are born again of the sprit, we all receive what we’ve been waiting on Power! Power to live right, Power to talk right, Power to think right. The Holy Spirit is the mind of God in the form of wind.

Jesus said," the Holy Spirit blows where it wishes" but for sure when you are a believer it’s going to blow on you.

Every morning you should ask God to stir afresh his Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit is also the breath of God. Each morning you should ask God to breathe on you.
God doesn’t just give you the Holy Sprit to feel good but to do good. The Holy Spirit is not reactive but Proactive.

Jesus said, when the Holy Sprit comes on you something happens, “You will be my witnesses.” A witness is one who vouches for another. Jesus gives us power to go and vouch for him that he is the Son of God raised from the dead and still alive in us. The word "witness" also means martyr. We have to be willing to die for what we believe whether literally or symbolically.

We must be witnesses in:

1. Jerusalem that is our hometown or city. There is so much work to do where we live that we could be busy for a lifetime trying to get people to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

2. Judea is a town nearby but different than your hometown.

3. Samaria is a different region or culture. This is when you get out of your comfort zone to witness to people whose belief system is totally different from yours.

4. To the end of the earth. With the invention of technology, we all can be global witness. We can witness to people across the Globe through Facebook and our blogs.
Whatever you are waiting on, you will find it when the Holy Sprit has come upon you. When it does go be a witness.

Dear God, breathe on me. Let your Holy Spirit fill me so that I can be what you want me to be. Endow me with your Holy Spirit so that I can be your instrument to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. I receive the Power of the Holy Sprit on Today!

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Your Redemption Is Near!

Luke 21:28
Now when these things begin to happen look up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.

There is a movie coming out called “2012” which depicts the beginning of the world's end. The special effects are astonishingly devastating. It is eerie to see Los Angeles fall into the ocean and see skyscrapers tumble like a deck of cards. Many people have predicted that something catastrophic will occur in “2012,” the truth of the matter is that no man knows when the day or the hour will come but God is giving us signs that the day of our redemption is near.

Jesus spells out the signs of the end of the World in Luke 21:25-26
25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

After that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. For those of us who belong to Christ this is good news because we will be redeemed! When you have a coupon worth a certain amount of money you cannot spend that coupon as currency just anywhere. It can only be redeemed by the person who issued it. In order to redeem your eternal Life coupon issued on the day you accepted Jesus as Lord, you have to present yourself as a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable act of service. On the day that Jesus returns you will be redeemed.

Many people are anxious about that day because of the devastation that comes prior: global warming, earthquakes, pestilence, War, but Jesus tells us that when these things start to happen we should:
1. Look up. Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
Where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

2. Lift up your head. Psalm 24:9
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.Psalm 24:8-10 (in Context) Psalm 24 (Whole Chapter). When you lift up your head in expectation that’s when the King of Glory can come in. Lifting up your head shows that you have nothing to be ashamed about.

3. When these things happen Jesus is about to return and if I belong to him, I will be redeemed.

Dear God, thank you for redeeming me. I’m not going to be anxious like everybody else when “these things” start happening because I know I am redeemed. Whether it’s 2012 or next week I want to be ready when you come. I surrender my life to yours and I’m getting my house in order so I’ll be ready when Jesus comes.

In his Name,


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How Much Did You Get From Your Trade In?

Luke 19:15 (New King James Version)
15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

I’ve learned that when you trade in your car you are fortunate if you get the book value for your trade in. Sometimes the dealer shows you on paper that you got some money but by the time they finish marking up the prices you’ve got nothing for your trade in. It’s better if you sell the car yourself and come with cash in your hand to negotiate your purchase.

When we trade in our lives God always gives us more for our old “Clunker of a Life” in exchange for our new life. When we make a trade in with God he puts change in our hands along with being made new. He gives us life and life more abundantly.
When God puts money, change, and new life into our hands he’s expecting for us to make more in our trading.

Jesus uses a parable of a man going out in search of a Kingdom and he leaves some servants with some money to be stewards over until he returns with his Kingdom. Jesus is the man who is establishing a new kingdom and we are the servants he gives the money to. The money is whatever God gives us after our trade in. For some of us it is literally, money, new life, a second chance at life, promotion, or a healed body.

Now the question is how much did you gain by trading?

Two out of three Servants invested the man’s money and gave him back double, but the third servant said he was scared because his master was an austere man. The word "Austere" means economically rigid. He knew the master didn’t play with money, “he collects what he did not deposit and reaps what he did not sow.”

Jesus said, “If you knew that to be true, why didn’t you put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?”

Whatever God gives us he’s expecting us to give him more back. What have you gained by trading?

1. Your Time. God has redeemed time for you by giving you an extension on your life. Are you using your time to give God glory through ministry, volunteering, missions or do you make excuses when it’s time to serve?

2. Your Talents. Whatever we are gifted in we should use a portion of it to bring more people to the Kingdom. You should be using your gifts and talents to bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ.

3. Your Tithes. We should invest our money into Kingdom initiatives. Your tithes should go to a ministry that is about the business of helping people transform their lives and their neighborhoods. The ultimate goal for Kingdom living is when you are able to live off of 60% of your income and invest the other 40% with 10% in tithes, 10% in savings, 10% investments, 10% philanthropy.

What will you have to show for your trade-in when Jesus returns?

Dear God, thank you for giving me more than my trade-in was worth. My intentions are to invest my life in Kingdom initiatives and not waste my life being idle and being fearful. Use me as your servant to increase whatever you put in my hands.

In Jesus Name,

Monday, October 5, 2009

That's What You're Supposed to Do!

Luke 17:10
So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded say, “we are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.”

It’s funny to me when my boys ask me for money when they clean up their rooms, take out the trash, or make good grades. I keep reminding them that these are the things that they are supposed to do. As provider, it is my job to make sure they have food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and a good spiritual environment. All they have to do is what they are supposed to do without looking for something in return. Sometimes, I don’t believe children know how good they have it.

Children of God are the same way. We think when we Love our Neighbor, feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, heal the sick, teach bible study, witness to non-believers that we deserve a congressional medal of honor or favor from God. Favor is not earned it’s given. What we get from God is at God’s discretion. The things we do for God is what we are supposed to do when we are servants of God and disciples of Jesus.

Jesus uses the analogy of a servant when he tries to explain to his disciples that this is what they are supposed to do:

Luke 17:7-10 (New International Version)
7"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

So why should we expect to get special treatment just because we did what we were supposed to do? God has already been good to us. He let us live another day. He saved us from our sins. He put a roof over our head. He put food on our table. The least I can do is be faithful in my service.

I’m supposed to:
1. Treat others like I want to be treated, not how they treat me.
2. Help those who can’t help themselves.
3. Give my tithes and offering in support of ministry to others.
4. Share the gospel with unbelievers through my witness and my words.
5. Use my gifts in serving others
6. Attend worship regularly
7. 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

Dear God, thank you for being my provider. It’s my Joy to serve you. If you don’t do anything else you’ve already done enough. Thank you for blessing me! Now it's time for me to be a blessing to somebody else. That’s what I’m supposed to do!

In Jesus Name!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Be Tardy for the Party

Luke 14:18
But they all with one accord began to make excuses.
"Excuses are tools of the incompetent, and those who specialize in them seldom go far."

Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build monuments to nothing. For those who specialize in them shall never be good at anything else."

An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded. Alexander Pope

On a recent episode of Atlanta Housewives, Lisa threw a fashion show party to display her new clothing line. She invited Sheree to come but for some reason she came late to the party. One of the designers stopped her in the parking lot and asked her why she was late? She said, “I had to go to my son’s recital.” He called her on it and asked incredulously, “Now come on Sheree, you know you came late on purpose?” She got visibly irritated and said, “{Psssst!} please don’t go there with me.” I thought it was bold but needed for the man to bust her out for that excuse. This is your friend’s party, why can’t you come and celebrate her like she celebrated you? Don’t be tardy for the party.

I recently threw my wife a surprise birthday party which I planned a whole year in advance. What a challenge!

1) To keep it a secret from my inquisitive wife
2) to get friends and relatives to come to Memphis for the party.

In my mind, I thought with advance notice it would be easy to get loved ones to come in and celebrate with someone who had meant so much to them in their own lives. The majority of the people I invited came, she had a wonderful time and I’m grateful for the turn out, but what surprised me, what was interesting, were the excuses of some of the people that didn’t come. The feast is prepared, I’m paying for the venue, it’s for somebody you love, all you have to do is show up but there were so many excuses.

If I was let down by the few, I can only imagine how God feels being let down by so many. Every week God throws a party in honor of Jesus, a rehearsal dinner, if you will, to get ready for the big party when Jesus returns for his Bride (the church). The rehearsal dinner is every Sunday in a local church but when the invitation is given there are so many loved ones who have benefited from the life of Jesus who refuse to come. Now these are not strangers or unchurched people I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who already know Jesus. People that don’t know Jesus understandably have some reservations about coming to a party for a person they don’t know but for those of us who know him it is surprisingly hurtful that you show up late or not at all when the party is for Jesus and you have excuses as to why you are not coming.

I got to work, my spouse don’t like church, it’s too early, they keep too long, too many hypocrites, too loud, too many young people, too many old people, it’s too far…and God is saying but I prepared a banquet table for you in my house. Jesus paid the price for your salivation by being crucified on the cross, can’t you show up for an hour and a half. He hung for you form the Sixth to the Ninth hour?

But they all together on once accord began to make excuses:

1. I just bought some land. Land represents our homes and real estate. One of the first things we jeopardize when we avoid God’s invitation for kingdom is our home. When we are in proper spiritual alignment with Jesus, there is a covering over our homes but when we choose our home over Jesus, we put our homes at risk.

2. I just bought some oxen. I need to test them out. Oxen can represent cars we’d rather test out on Sunday by driving anywhere but to God’s house. Maybe the reason we aren’t going anywhere is because we aren’t driving towards God.

3. I just got married. Many of us put our relationships before God. Jesus said, unless you hate your mother, father, wife, children, brothers and sisters and even his own life cannot be my disciple. Jesus didn’t literally mean “Hate” he meant prioritizing God before all other relationships. Our marriage can’t last if we don’t put God first.

This invitation was for people who already know God and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. When they turned God down, God sent His disciples out to the streets, the hedges and highways to invite in people who don’t know Jesus, the lame, the blind, the poor so they could come in and take your place. It is our job to get people into the Party. Sunday’s are just rehearsals for the big dinner. If you have not RSVP'd by the time of the Party, you will not get in. Don’t be Tardy for the Party! What will be your excuse when Jesus catches you in the parking lot?

Dear God, thank you for inviting me! I can’t believe you want me at the party! I will be there on time and I can’t wait to see Jesus and tell him thank you for all that he’s meant in my life. If it’s alright I’d like to bring a friend with me this weekend because I want them to share in the celebration. Thank you again Jesus for hanging in there for me, you didn’t have to but I’m so glad you did. I will not be tardy for the party!