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Friday, July 14, 2017

Enduring Unto The End



Matthew 10:22

And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The setting for this text is Christ talking to His disciples informing them that as the gospel go forth they will be hated and have to suffer for His name sake, but never give up because: (a) He would be there with them through His Spirit, and (b) just as He suffered we as believers must suffer also.
Our suffering brings into focus the conversation Paul had with his listeners, when he told them that it was profitable for him to die because he would be in the Lord's presence.  Paul also warned all believers that this Christian journey is a race that in order to win we must endure unto the end. This is because the race isn't given to the swift, but to those who endures. Consider a marathon race where runners must endure many miles to constant running and the race isn't complete until the runner crosses the finish line.
That said, when this Christian race is over believers will be in heaven with the Lord where there are many rewards waiting for us.
Enduring this Christian journey one must be spiritually fit by eating spiritual food daily, which consists of daily Bible reading and meditating on the Word, daily prayer and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian journey is a long-term investment in salvation-our eternal lives.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Preaching To A Stiff Neck People



Ezekiel 2: 3-4

Then He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day."I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, 'Thus saith the Lord."

Throughout Biblical history we have seen the stubbornness of the nation of Israel and how the Lord God would constantly send prophet after prophet to preach to them, but they refused to hear the preacher. This scenario is prevalent in today's society, but like the prophets in the Old and the apostles in the New Testament we are to continue saying what thus saith the Lord.
Ezekiel 3:5 answers  an implied question as God said, whether they hear or whether they refused, they will know that there has been a prophet in their midst (partial paraphrased). That said, we a preachers and teachers are to water the ground; proclaim the word, and let God give the increase because in God's own time He will cause the people to hear and adhere to His Word. Every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that yes Jesus is Lord (Romans 14:11).
Reflect on Pharaoh and his stubbornness and refused to let the nation of Israel go, but when God finished sending plagues Pharaoh's heart soften. God can and will soften any heart.
When preaching to a stiff neck people just preach God has the tools to cultivate and soften their hearts.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

God's Help



Isaiah 41:10-11

Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Today's topical discussion focus of God's Help is another discussion deigned to give encouragement while in the midst of the storm as the result of society's values filled with hate and immorality. We sing songs of encouragement have early morning and midnight talks with God through prayer knowing that God hears and answers prayers and keeps His promises. He promised never to leave nor forsake His own. All promises made are kept and keeping this promise is no exception because we serve a God who changes not. God being true to His word is praiseworthy and gives us the confidence we need to trust Him.
Our scripture texts also give us the assurances we need to trust God in every situation because when He says I am with thee believe Him. When He says I will destroy your enemies, again believe Him. When God says He will uphold you with His hand of righteousness, believe Him. It is His righteousness that all other righteousness is measured; there is no righteousness except the righteousness of God.
Philippians 4:19 support today's texts of providing for all our need; take God at His word. Reflect on God's history of being faithful to His word; you will find no failure in Him. He made a highway in the Red Sea for the Israelites; He fed them with manna from heaven, and water from a rock. He won many battles then and now.
God our helper is near.
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dressed For Battle



Ephesians 6:11-18

Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

These are powerful scriptures in that they give a clear picture of the powerful forces believers are fighting against. Evilness begins in the spirit realm and then manifests themselves in the natural.
Therefore, God being love and made provisions for man would leave us defenseless in a sinful world. God knew that man is powerless against sin; therefore, He dressed believers in the necessary battle armour to be successful in this spiritual warfare. Take note of the weaponry, and they are: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation all are defensive except one, which is the sword of the Spirit-the Bible. We are encouraged to pray always because prayer is our close communication with God and when Satan sees believers praying he knows there is a close connection between the believer and God.
Let me encourage all to wear your body armour proudly because it is of God with victory written all over it, and then commence to wheel your sword, take the fight to Satan and his army even in high places.
We are victorious warrior because Christ defeated Satan at the cross of Calvary and now we can sing Victory is mine; I told Satan get thee behind me; because victory is mine.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An Assured Hope



Psalm 34:18-19

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

If the question was raised, why are you talking about hope? It is because our nation is in chaos. It appears as if wrong have replaced right and there seem to be no end in sight. Lies are everywhere and the truth seems to have disappeared from the minds and hearts of man. Let me assure all truth is still the truth and will resurface as never before and all men will hunger for the truth.
Another school of thought on hope is that many in the faith community and others are calling on the name of the Lord while knowing that our true hope rests in the Lord. In God's own time He will bring all this foolishness to an abrupt end. I and many others across this nation have been praying for a healing of this nation (2 Chronicles 7:14) with assurances that God will answer our prayers.
It is noteworthy to say as I interact across social media I am seeing more and more inspirational postings. What this tells me is that people realize that yes there is a God who is supreme and is in control. He allows situations to occur to get our attention. Our nation's current situation is no exception, but the end is near as there are many who still hold to the truth and believe it is right to do what is right.
Another thought is that all of us are not shame to tell the world of our faith and where our true hope is-Jesus Christ.
Let me close by saying, our assured hope is in Jesus Christ as we take the fight to Satan who is wearing three piece suits (Ephesians 6:11-18). Let's stay involved as we continue the fight because the battle is already won. Satan, you have to flee.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Obedience



Acts 5:29

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.

Growing up as a child I often heard the phrase, "obedience is better than sacrifice"; I learned the true meaning of this phrase and as I matured in my faith it became more meaningful to me. What my mother was teaching me was to obey her and God's laws instead of what man may say. This teaching is supported by scripture as noted above.
Early in my teaching career, I taught Critical Thinking, which incorporated the philosophy of obedience because life is about choice and when one make an unwise choice it has consequences whereas making a wise choice there is a reward. It is wise to give thought to a decision or action before making either. God has laws that are given for our benefit and are to be obeyed. There are civil laws that are to be obeyed and when broken there are consequences, but when man's laws contradict God's laws then His laws is what we should follow.
Therefore, Peter's sound advice to his audience then and for generations to come has a profound effect when followed. This is because God is supreme and knows all. His ways are best as is His thoughts are far better than those of man.
We are to live holy unto God and obedience is the beginning to holy living.
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