Thursday, July 14, 2011

Something Better Than This

Hebrews 11:25

He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.

You can’t stay comfortable in a place you don’t belong no matter how comfortable it is. The pleasures of life don’t measure up to the purpose for your life. No matter how good something is you can’t remain in it, if it does not connect with what God has for your life. Some lifestyles cannot be sustained because the payout doesn’t line up with your purpose. When you know who you are and whose you are you can’t stay in Egypt when you have a Promised Land.

Moses was raised as a prince of Egypt eventhough he was born a Hebrew. Who he was on the inside didn’t match who he was on the outside. While he lived in luxury his people lived in slavery. When he saw his people being mistreated he couldn’t take it or fake it any longer. He rose up and struck down the Egyptian task master and fled for his life. He abandoned his life of luxury to eventually become the Liberator of his people. The bible says, “Moses persevered because he saw him who was invisible.

Moses chose to be mistreated with his people rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. Moses knew there was something better than this. When you know that there is something better than this you:

1. Might have to let go of what you thought you couldn’t do without. No matter how pleasing something is to you, you can’t hold on to it if it is not good for you.

2. Be mistreated for a season until you are delivered out of Egypt. Moses gave up his status as Prince to be treated as a Pauper so that he could see the liberation of his people. The most dangerous man in the world is the one that has nothing to lose.

3. Stay on the back side of nowhere until you see him who is invisible to receive your assignment. Moses was in Egypt for 40 years and then had to hide in Horeb for another 40 years. God had to work Egypt out of his system before he brought him back as liberator.

4. Go back to face your past to liberate your people and connect with your purpose. God told Moses, “Go tell Pharaoh to let my people go.” What is your purpose that will help your people?

Dear God,

Thank you for being with me through my mistreatment. I’d rather connect with my purpose than to be stuck in my pleasure. Move me into my purpose so that I can liberate my people.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Deadly Habit!

Hebrews 10:25

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Bad habits are hard to break. A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. When you do something over and over it becomes second nature. It takes 21 days to form a new habit and after that it just becomes natural to keep doing it. One of the habits that is killing us is when we decide to skip church. It becomes easier and easier not to go to church when you stay at home because it has become a habit. You lose the desire to come to worship and as a result you drift further and further from God until it no longer bothers you. It’s a deadly habit.

As a child it was ingrained in me that you must attend church every Sunday. I could have stayed out all night and dragged in at 3am but I was getting up to go to church that morning. Now some people would ask, “Isn’t that hypocritical to party all night Saturday and then come to church?” I would argue that it’s not hypocritical but helpful because you can’t keep coming to church and be exposed to the word of God and not make changes in your life. What hurts us is when we cut church out and create a void of God in our lives. Oftentimes, when I didn’t feel like going to church but made myself go anyway is when God blessed me the most. The enemy wants nothing more than for you to continue to make excuses for not coming together for worship on a weekly basis.

Jesus said, “Where two or three people are gathered together in his name he would be there in the midst of them. There is no power where we stay at home missing the connection with other believers. Once a week we should meet together so that we can:

1. Encourage one another. Oftentimes, we are able to hear from other believers through testimonies, bible study, and small groups that we are not the only ones dealing with something. When we attend worship regularly something the preacher says or the choir sings can be the very thing that helps us to deal with an issue we could not solve on our own.

2. Serve one another. In church there are so many people with different gifts that we might be missing. Some people have the gift of encouragement where others may have the gift of discernment to help you see something you couldn’t. Some people have the gift of helps where they can assist you where you thought you were all alone. God gives the church different gifts so that we can help each other.

3. Save one another. There is accountability in church. When we are connected to other believers they will not let you drive down a road where they know the bridge is out. We need other believers to encourage us toward good works. We don’t need to be surrounded by people who tell us what we want to hear but instead we need believers to tell us what we need to hear.

We owe it to ourselves, one another, and to God to start a new habit of regular worship attendance. For the next 21 Sundays make a new habit of coming in the building and worshipping with other believers. This habit will save your life.

Dear God,

Help us to create healthy habits that will bring us closer to you. Please break the habit of skipping church because it's killing our power, robbing our anointing and hindering our community. Give us the discipline to get back in church on a regular basis.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mix With Faith Before Stirring!

Hebrews 4:2
For we also have had the gospel preached to us just as they did but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with Faith.

Whenever you get juice from concentrate and it is shipped to be consumed it must always be mixed with water before serving. The concentrate juice will go further and be consumed by more people if it is mixed with water. You can't serve the juice to others if it is still in concentrate form. Then you also have to be concerned with the purity of the water that you use to mix with the concentrate. You can have some good juice from concentrate and mix it with some polluted water. It only works if it's combined or mixed with the right thing in the right way.

God's word is pure concentrate. His word does not come back void, it goes out and accomplishes God's will. God's word is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Every time we hear God's word preached it's like receiving pure concentrate but it's no good if it's not combined or mixed with Faith. We can hear the gospel preached but if it's not mixed with faith it stays with us but never gets served to others.

1. It is impossible to please God without faith. When we come to God we must believe that he is able to do what he said he would do.

2. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. You have to see it before you see it or you never will see it.

3. We walk by faith and not by sight. Quit focusing on what can only be seen but instead focus on What God said can be and mix it with your faith that he can do it.

4. Faith without works is dead. It's not enough to believe God can but you've got to act on what he tells you to do. You have to pray like everything depended on God and act like everything depends on you.

5. Ask God to help strengthen your faith. Paul told Timothy, "I am reminded of the same great faith that was in your grandmother and your mother and is now also in you, Stir up the gift of God that is in you!" Paul told him to, "Fan into flame the gift of God." Sometimes, our flames of faith go down because of the hardships of life but you have to mix some faith with God's word to get your flame back up.

This morning, before you start serving anybody, make sure you mix the gospel you have already received with the faith that can move mountains. People are not going to get God if you don't concentrate on His word and mix it with your faith. Get out there and serve them up!

Dear God,

Please increase my faith so that I can effectively serve you and your people. You've already given me your word, now I have to mix it with my faith. My faith looks up to thee thou Lamb of Calvary. I believe but help me with my unbelief!

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

He's Able

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Sometimes, when we are struggling with our humanity we feel ashamed of our failure to live up to God’s standard of Holiness. It is Satan’s job to entice you then condemn you. It’s Jesus' job to free you then fill you. Jesus knows all about our struggles. He became a human like us so that he could fully understand the weight of our human condition. Jesus was tempted in every way but he did not sin. The writer of Hebrews says, “He suffered when he was tempted.” When you resist temptation there is suffering that comes along with it because you are fighting against the gravitational pull of animalistic inclination as well as the repercussion of the backlash from a culture that does not understand your resistance to conformity. Holiness is what I long for but brokenness is what I need and brokenness hurts.

Jesus went through the gauntlet of being tempted. He resisted and his reward was crucifixion. Chuck D in his song, ‘Welcome to the Terror Dome,’ said, “Crucifixion ain’t no fiction still they got me like Jesus.” The terror Dome of life can be excruciating because of the crucible of life. Jesus absorbed all of our sins on the cross. By his death he destroyed Satan and freed us from the fear of death.

Jesus is able to:

1. Give us strength while we are being tempted. Jesus gets up under our heavy load to help us to bare our cross. In the poem, Footprints in the Sand, a man wonders why there was only one set of footprints in the sand during the hardest part of his life. He thought God had left him. Jesus said, “That was the time I was carrying you.”

2. Provide a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

3. Set us free from the grips of sin and death. Hebrews 2: 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Dear God,

Give me the ability to successfully navigate my way out of temptation. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. Don’t move my mountain but give me the strength to climb.

In Jesus Name,