Don’t Settle!

Are We Too Settled?

When did church become dull and boring? When did prayer become just a duty? Maybe you feel like you lost your desire and passion for God. You have been looking around but can’t find it. There’s something you need to know. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there or gone. You may feel like you have lost it forever but God can still do the impossible.  What are you going to do about it? In John 4, greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.  It’s time to move from religion to relationship, from obligation to dedication and from membership to ministry!

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan decided that hiding in fear wasn’t the right thing to do.  He got a revelation and made a decision to do something crazy. He did the same thing that David did and made a run at his enemy. The enemy has been criticizing you and harassing you long enough so it’s time to break out because nothing will change as long as you are willing to tolerate it. Sometimes, it won’t change until you get fed up. Jonathon decided that he couldn’t stay where he was so he begin to climb up the mountain and God gave a great victory over the enemy.

We want a God who will bless us and be there when we need him but we are a little uncomfortable when Jesus asks us to get out of the boat and walk on water! We want enough of God to make us feel warm and cozy but not turn our world upside down. We don’t want to be a missionary to our community because that’s asking too much! That’s not what we signed up for because we want faith but not that much faith. If Jesus came to give us abundance, why would we settle for average?



Get Back Up!

                                                                      

Get Back Up!

Maybe you have been knocked down or life has thrown you an unexpected curve.  It could be marriage problems, sickness, or a financial disaster. It may have knocked the breath out of you. The bottom line is: that wasn’t a stopping point but a new starting point. Whatever you are going through, it’s just a season. It’s your season to go through it! What you call failure, God may call a window of opportunity for learning. You may have been given a new opportunity and a new open door.  Sometimes your greatest failure brings you to your greatest victory. Refuse to lay there and die but get up and go on!

In John 21, Peter decides to quit and then goes fishing because he feels there is nothing left for him after betraying Christ.  Peter is confused and guilty and he could still hear the echo of the roster crow and couldn’t forgive himself. Why did he choose fishing? Maybe it because it’s where he met Jesus. Go back to the altar! Go back to the Father’s House! Sometimes when you have fallen, it’s good to go back to where it all began. Jesus comes to Peter and offers him another starting point, a second chance. Failure doesn’t have to be a hitching post but it can be a guide post!

You’re not a failure not because you fall but only if you don’t get back up.  If you get up just once more than you fall then you’re a success! Refuse to let your dilemma become your demise! Renew your commitment! No matter what you have done, God can still restore and use you. Jesus will set you on a new course! It doesn’t matter how bad things look, God is still on the throne and he can do anything if you will just believe. Make the choice that you will not go down but will continue to move forward!


How Much Longer, Lord?

There is no person that enjoys waiting in line. If you are in traffic it always seems that your line of traffic is the slowest. That concept is the same in department and grocery store lines and even in church. Often, it seems that our one of our spiritual gifts is impatience and not patience. But the waiting process is not all bad. In this process God is molding us to become more like Him and making us ready for His promises. But the question still lingers is how long will God let this happen in my life? Remember that God is faithful and will deliver you on time.

In John 5, a man has been waiting by a pool staring at the water and watching for the slightest ripple. The man was waiting for an angel to stir and then be the first one in the water to receive healing for his sickness. But he has been in line for 38 years and could only watch other people get healed and blessed. The man probably thought about quitting. This was a real struggle and had to be incredibly frustrating. It looks like from all natural evidence that he will never be healed but Jesus shows up. Jesus is Lord over our circumstances and shows up in perfect time.

Somebody’s dream is on life support and you’re about to pull the plug. You are in the fight of your life and you just don’t feel like you’ve got any fight left. Be encouraged!

Hold on! Jesus is coming! Faith never quits! The difference between success and failure is just getting up one more time than you fall. The main ingredient of this man’s miracle was persistence. Your Faith must never quit! Your money may run out, your feelings may run out or even friends may run out! But your faith will carry you through!


Good Friday

The Cross is everywhere even more than Santa Claus and the Easter bunny. We see it on the church, in the graveyard, on a ring or a chain. It is odd that a symbol of pain has become a movement of hope. Why is the cross the symbol of hope? In Romans 5:8, God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still crosssinners, Christ died for us. It’s simple because 2 boards and 3 nails changed the world. Good Friday provides the opportunity to profess that once you’ve been to the Cross, everything changes! The events of that day should be ever on our minds because the death of Christ on the cross is the paramount event of the Christian faith. It was termed as the victory of good over evil and since then, the day has been celebrated as Good Friday. It also speaks that no matter what you are going you’re going through it won’t last forever. The storm that you’re going through will not last. That emotional battle isn’t eternal. Friday is on the road to Sunday. It was the road for Jesus and it is the road for us. On Friday, the birds refused to sing, and the sun refused to shine. On Friday, the demons of hell rejoiced and thought they had won a great victory. On Friday, Jesus is dying on the cross and the world is turned upside down. On Friday, the apostles are broken and it appears that evil has won. But it was only good-friday-640x230Friday but Sunday is coming! You may have been knocked you off your feet but this is the enemy’s biggest mistake. When a Christian is knocked off their feet then they land on their knees. Whenever Christians fall on their knees then they will touch heaven. Whatever you are going through- it’s only Friday but Sunday is coming!


Cough It Up!

We live in a land where things get stolen all the time. We try to guard and protect, but we fall victim to such things as credit card theft and even car theft. In the spiritual realm, stealing is going on in too many Christians because the devil has a strategy for theft. The enemy is in the business of ripping off things that eab911541c72664a8f1a0782cadf8e10don’t belong to him! The devil doesn’t need your car or your house or even your money, but he wants to steal your spiritual treasures.
 
In John 10, the thief comes to steal and destroy but Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness. In Job 20, God will make the devil cough it up and not keep in his stomach. Restitution is divine reversal!  Restitution is the legal act of restoring a condition or restoring to the rightful owner to its previous state. It means to get it back and to get it back like brand new.
 
 
From Genesis to Revelation God is a restorer! Job lost everything that he had including all of his flocks, his children, his wealth and his health. The devil took everything he had but God restored JobGive-me-Back-my-stuff-Email and gave him double for his trouble. Stop giving the enemy cough drops and cough medicine! Instead, make him cough it up! Maybe it’s physically where the enemy has attacked your body or your finances. Maybe your peace and joy have been stolen. We still come to church, but not with the same the energy and passion. Your fire has been stolen and you have been ripped off!  You could feel like God has lost your number or God has forgotten you. But God has every hair on your head numbered and He has not forgotten you. God remembered Hannah and gave her a son! God remembered Noah and dried up the flood!
 
 
God, remember me and give me back my stuff!


Sometimes The Road is Bumpy

 Take a look at your life this year. 
 
It has been said “an unexamined life is not worth living.” In 1 Samuel, Israel did not seek the Ark of the Covenant for most of King Saul’s reign. The Ark represented the presence of God and no one seemed to miss it. Saul had the looks of a king and the blessing of a king, but didn’t have the presence of the King. They continued to conduct business as usual.
 
If God’s primagesesence leaves us – will we miss it or even notice it?  The church can do without a lot of things! We can do without stained glass windows and without padded pews, but we can’t take a step without the Holy Presence of God!  So, when David becomes king, he decides in 2 Samuel 6 to go get the Ark. David and the people were celebrating but used the wrong method to retrieve it. What seems to be the easy or quick way, may not the right way.  Biblical blessing comes from doing Biblical things. Also, just because everyone is excited and clapping doesn’t mean everything is okay! Along the way, David hits a bump. It doesn’t matter how strong you thinka87305788ebc752b8de60afb0f8eb783 you are! You must watch for the bump, because a bump is coming. Maybe you thought that your relationship was alright, your habit was unnoticed, and your attitude was overlooked, but then BUMP. Hope can be lost and dreams broken in painful potholes on the bumpy road of life. David decided to embrace the bump. He realized that he had to get it right. David did his homework, gets the priests together and they bring the Ark back home.
 
 
Be sure not to despise your bumps, instead let them prepare you to receive God’s presence!


He Will

Many of us don’t understand why things happen in our lives. Maybe in your past, there have been some very negative things and hurtful things happen and it has left you wondering why a God who is so just and loving would allow it to happen. It brings the question, “Does God care?”  The Bible says that He knows the number of hairs on our head. In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. We know that we can have an assurance that God loves us and promised never to leave us nor forsake us. God uses broken things. It takes bbrokenroken soil to produce a crop and broken clouds to give rain! It’s broken grain to give bread and broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, broken and weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever. So, hold on to hope!
 
Hope is that little four letter word that carries such a powerful meaning. The problem is that we put a question mark where God has put a period. God is bigger than any mountain that you can or cannot see. In Ephesians 3, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”  Remember, God can still save the unsaveable! Just ask Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9. God can restore the eph320, just ask David in Psalms 51. God can do the unthinkable, just ask Elisha in 2 Kings 5, when the ax head floated.  We long to hear those words spoken into our lives, especially in our hour of desperation. He is not only the “God Who Can”, but He is “God Who Will”.  
 
He will answer! He will provide!  Jesus is willing to save us and forgive.  Are you willing to call on his name?


Fire Makes The Difference

     In 1 Kings 18, Israel is in the midst of a devastating drought that has resulted in kingdom-wide starvation. People were dying in record numbers because of the hard-heartedness of their king. The prophet Elijah emerges from 3 ½ years of God sanctioned seclusion to challenge the king. Elijah simply states: If God is God, serve Him! If Baal, then serve him! Let’s have a duel and the God that answers by fire will be declared the winner.  The prophets of Baal tried all morning but nothing happens. Then it is Elijah’s turn.
 
 
     First, Elijah has to rebuild the altar since an altar represents being in a right relationship with God. What does a “broken altar” look like? What does a broken relationship look like?  The altar is a place 5249699744_4112043092_zwhere we can get right with God and with others. The altar is the meeting place with God.  It’s where You climb the mountain and give your Isaac’s up to God!  If you want to feel close to God like you once did, you may need to do again the things that you once did. That applies for relationships too. Somebody said that you don’t get anything for nothing.  This is true in the spiritual realm as well, because the action of God is generally preceded by the action of man. It’s a simple formula- Man prepares and God provides. Don’t miss the significance of the people’s actions because they filled the barrels with water and poured on the sacrifice. The truth is -The fire will fall when the wood is wet. The fire of God came in response to the efforts of the prophet and people of God! The people thought they needed water, but it was the fire of God that changed their perspective!


Yes, Lord!

In Numbers 13, Moses sends out 12 spies to check out the Promised Land and most of them returned with -We can’t do it. A negative report poisoned the spirits of a whole nation. They should be breaking through and birthing their promised destiny, but instead they had a breakdown and aborted the promise of God. What caused th04302012_BillR_yes_you_canis denial of their destiny? Was it the devil? Was it the giants? What was it that had the power to reach into the hearts and minds of millions of people? It was four words -We Can’t Do It! Moses tried to disqualify himself because he had a speech impediment. Jeremiah who tried to run from the call of God, saying that he was just a child. Gideon argued with God that he was the least qualified of anyone. These were truly great men of God, but they all fell into the same trap.  Different excuses, but they were all saying the same thing. No, we can’t do it. But there were two spies responded differently. They said, “Let us go up at once, for God has given us this land!” Their answer was, “Yes, we can!”
 
 
christ-strengthens-me
Words are containers that we can fill with faith and courage or even fear and doubt. When Israel spoke those words they excluded God and voided out the God factor. There is life and death in the power of the tongue! Words can move you from weakness to strength and from stressed to blessed! One word from God can put meal in your barrel and oil in your cruse! Only with One Word, Peter stepped out of the natural and into the supernatural. One man with a crazy faith made up his mind he would rather be a “wet water walker” than a “dry boat sitter”.
 
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Yes, You Can!


It’s Only The Wind!

     Too often we look at storms and dislike the fierceness of the wind. But the wind has many helpful purposes! It can carry the seeds of plants to other places or it can bring a cool breeze on a hot day.  And, it’s also a great source of energy. The wind is defined as the flow of gases on a large scale. God always runs aax8hp_76445_990x742on a large scale! Winds can shape landforms, and affects the spread of wildfires. Many great moves of God are preceded by the wind of God. The flood waters are dried by the wind in Genesis 8 and the Red Sea is opened and closed by the wind for the Israelites to cross over to the other side. In Acts 2, like a mighty rushing wind, the Holy Spirit came into the upper room.
 
     In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah is discouraged and ready to throw in the towel and is hiding in a cave. But, God caused a wind to blow that day. It was not a gentle breeze, but this wind ripped the mountains downloadapart and broke the rocks into pieces. This wind transformed and reshaped the landscape. After the wind, there wasn’t even any evidence that a mountain ever existed. You may need a mountain-busting wind to blow in your life. You may have a mountain-sized problem that looks impossible, but let God’s wind blow and those mountain can be moved in your life.  It doesn’t matter how big or even how long that mountain has been standing in your way, because when the wind of God blows, it crushes the mountains! Let God’s wind crush your fears and your doubts. Let the wind destroy your depression. Let the wind of God blow!