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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Summary

The first six letters in Christmas spells Christ which is essential for all believers who know Jesus as the Christ, the anointed Messiah who came to earth as humanity deliverer.

Christ’s purpose for coming to earth was to die for the sins of the world. Christ died so that you and I wouldn’t have to die. Humanity’s responsibility is to accept Christ’s atoning work at Calvary because He paid the price and our account is marked PAID IN FULL.
Let’s close this discourse with the following questions, What are your views of Christmas? How do you spell Christmas? It is improper to spell Christmas Xmas because we X out Christ when we do so. Lastly, Christ is the sole reason for honoring His holy birth. Angels and the heavenly host sang praises to His birth while announcing peace had come to earth and this meant Salvation for mankind.
Christ is Christmas!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas "A and S"

The letters A and S conclude our discussion on the True Meaning of Christmas with the hopes that an enhanced understanding of Christmas has been gained.

A-Atonement means to be forgiven of ones sins, or the bringing together of two who have been at odds with one another. Atonement removes the barrier that once existed between man and God and through Jesus’ death on Calvary restored the peaceful relationship between man and God. His blood sacrifice removed the need for animal sacrifices ever again (Hebrews 9:12-18). The difference between animal sacrifices and Christ’s sacrificial death is that animal sacrifices covered over sin whereas Christ’s sacrifice done away with sin. What a difference!
Lastly, Christ’s atonement permanently removed guilt and sin thus turning away God’s wrath and reconciled humanity back to God. Thank God for Jesus----what a fellowship!

S-Salvation means deliverance from evil, the bringing safely through, or protecting from harm, and eternal life (Isaiah 12:2; Luke 19:9). Our salvation comes only through God’s grace, which He freely gives, and our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24) which is based on His death (Romans 3:25; 5:8; resurrection (Romans 5:10) and continued intercession for believers (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is the way to Salvation!

Salvation is described as having two sides or three stages: (1) Salvation is a gift of God’s graces that is received through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22; 24-25; 28), and it is extended to us as a result of His grace (John 1:16) (2) It is received by all believers through ones response of his or her faith (Acts 16:31; Romans 1:17; Ephesians 1:15).

Let's segway to the three stages of salvation, which are past, present and future as outlined below:
Past consists of the personal experience by which believers receive forgiveness of sin as a free gift (Acts 10:43; Romans 4:6-8) and pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. Believers have been rescued from Satan’s powers.
Present is that salvation saves us from the bondage, power and dominion of sin and brings us into a fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit. There is a person-to-person relationship with God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Matthew 6:9; John 14:18-23). Believers are dead to sin (Romans 6:1-14) and believers submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Roman 8:1-17), God’s Word (John 8:31; 14:21; II Timothy 3:15-16), an invitation to be filled with the Holy Spirit and separate ourselves from sin (Roman 6:1-14) and we are called to contend for the advancement of God’s kingdom against Satan and his demonic attacks.
Future stage of salvation is the believer’s deliverance from God’s coming wrath (Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 3:15; 5:5). Believers will share in Christ’s glory as well as receiving our resurrected or transformed bodies (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:49). Lastly, believers will be rewarded as faithful overcomers as this is the goal for all Christians to achieve (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:8-14) (All scriptures are taken from Life in the Spirit Study Bible KJV).

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas "M"

Two days from today (Saturday) many across this nation and in many other nations around the world will pause to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as He is the promised Messiah. God fulfilled His promise by sending His only Son to be the Savior of the world. As the Messiah Jesus became the sacrificial lamb atoning man's sins.

The word Messiah has a lengthy history beginning with its origin and use in OT times and continues to usage in the NT, but for today's discussion let us looks at the letter "M" which represents Messiah in Christmas.

M-Messiah means the anointed one. Therefore, Christ in the English form of the word is the anointed one. Messiah also refers to the coming Savior and this translates to the anointed one or Messiah as He came to save the world and will return to rule the world when He establishes His earthly kingdom. Christ was anointed by God the Father before creation to be the Savior of the world, as He was begotten of the Father. John 1:1-4 refers to Jesus as the “Word made flesh”, which further authenticates Christ as the Messiah. John 1:1 refers to the uniqueness of Jesus the Messiah being the Son of Man which is supported in Romans 1:4 confirmed by Jesus Himself in Mark 14:62; Matthew 26:63f; Luke22:67-70 when He ask the priests and elders "Are you the Messiah"? Being the Son of God and the Messiah gives Him the power and authority from God to carry out His divine plan of salvation reconciling man back to God.

God in His divine wisdom knew that man would need a deliverer and His Son Jesus was prepared by the Father-God for this mission--His birth, death, burial and resurrection. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. What a deliverer- Jesus the Messiah.

Please note that on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 will conclude our discussions on Christmas with the summary as I will have posted the remaining letters (A and S). These discussions were taken from my booklet The True Meaning of Christmas. As always your comments are welcomed.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmnas "T"

Our discussion letter from our Christmas discussion is "T" and its meaning in relation to Christ and Christmas.

T-Temple is the body of Christ and all baptized believers are part of His body. Jesus Christ embodies the meaning of the temple and the church which is His body, then members of His body are designated as “temples of God,” being indwelt by Christ and His Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21-22). The Spirit of Christ lives in His church-believers; this requires His body-the church to be holy. Our bodies are to be holy as God cannot live in an unholy place because He is holy.

God left His temple-the church in the midst of an unholy/corrupt world, but we as His body of baptized believers must remain separated from the world and all its forms of immorality. II Corinthians 6:16 ask a profound question and provides the answer, which read, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Verses 17-18 give specific reasons why all believers are to separate his or herself from the world. This is because believers are sons and daughters of God. What a blessing it is to be sons and daughters of the Almighty God?

It is noteworthy to say that each believer has become a member of "the household of God" as each believer fits jointly together with each other building the temple of God--the congregation/church (Ephesians 2:21-22).

Jesus Christ embodies the true meaning of "the temple" His body. Then all believers of Christ's church are "temples" where Christ lives. We are a holy nation, a peculiar people consecrated for service to Him.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas "S"

Continuing our discussion on the True Meaning of Christmas, today's letter is "S", which means Christ our Savior.

S-Savior is one who delivers or saves. In OT times God is the deliverer of His people. Also, in the OT, Savior applies to the Messiah, but in the NT it is used both as God the Father and Christ the Son. God the Father is the Savior, for He is the author of our salvation which He provided through Christ (Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:10; 2 Peter 1:1; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1 John 4:10). Mary the mother of Jesus recognized Him as her Savior (Luke 1:47). At the birth of Christ, the angels announced Him as “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Lastly, salvation that Christ brought into the world for all mankind makes Him “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). Believers wait for a future work of Christ as Savior when He comes again to consummate our salvation and the transformation of our bodies (Philippians 3:20). Christ is the Savior of the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas "I"

This week's focus letter in Christmas is "I".
I-is for Immanuel which means God with us (Isaiah 7:14; 8:8; Matthew 1:23). Both scriptures support each other as Isaiah prophesied of the virgin birth and Matthew 1:23 record the prophecy as being fulfilled. The importance of Jesus’ virgin birth was for the Redeemer to qualify as the Savior and provide salvation to all He must be without sin, and the only way for Him to be sinless was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit thus He would be human and divine. This means God was His Father. The name Immanuel takes on a newer and deeper meaning with Christ's birth because He is the begotten Son of God. Christ being the begotten Son of God incorporates John 3:16 as it depicts the heart of God and the assurances of our salvation.

Isaiah 8:8 looks forward to a time in the future when all God's people who remain faithful to Him has no reason to fear because He through His Son Immanuel would be there watching over God's people. This includes past, present and future generations. This authenticates the meaning of Christ's name Immanuel-God with us as God the Holy Spirit is present in all believers.

It is noteworthy to say that the virgin birth of Christ our Savior cannot be overemphasized and its importance in God's plan of salvation. Christ-Immanuel our Savor is born.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas R

Romans 1:4

The "R" discussion in Christmas will focus on resurrection and the righteousness of God and how man is made right with Him through Christ's atoning works.

R-The resurrection established Jesus as God’s Son with power. Resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the Easter miracle validates Christ’s deity as the Son of God and is the heart of the Christian faith. Romans: 1:4 supports this and validates this belief. Christians, God is not simply God, but He is the God who raises the dead, (Romans 4:16-17; Ephesians 1:19-20; I Peter 1:21). More importantly, the Christian’s faith in the resurrection on Easter Sunday morning transforms the tragedy of Friday’s cross into the Gospel message of Christ---He is alive.

“By virtue of His resurrection, our Savior entered upon His ministry as High Priest, presenting His own sacrificial blood to the Father, performing the functions of intercessions” (Romans 8:34 Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary).

Christ's resurrection bring into focus that all believers died with Him to sin and was raised with Him to a life of righteousness. Righteousness is the rightness of God's standards, by which all is measured (Isaiah 41:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21), which includes His justice and fairness. All believers are made right with God only through Him in Christ Jesus. In being made right with God, the spiritual divide that once existed is now restored and all who believe is no longer an enemy of God, but has been born into the family of God. Being in the family of God man now has the ability through the Holy Spirit to live according to God's commandments.

If the question were raised, How can mankind match his life with that of God's commandments, His love and purpose? This is accomplished through man's (humanity) love for God and our relationship with Him. With the bridge of reconciliation now planted firmly in place, man can reciprocate God's love and obey His will in carrying out God's design purpose for each believer. As each believer lives the life of holiness the world can see the brightness of God's glory in us. Thank God that He raised His Son Jesus so that all who believe is raised to a life of righteousness and will live forever with Him-Christ.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas "H"

Luke 2:13-14

Today focus letter from Christmas is "H", which explains the role the angel and the multitude understood in their singing praises to the birth of our Savior.

H-Heavenly Host; “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God saying Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Luke 2:13-14). If the heavenly host can sing praises to His name why can’t you and I. Yes we can. We thank God the Father for what He done to reconcile mankind back to Himself.

The heavenly host (angels and the multitude) understood the full magnitude of Christ's birth on this glorious day that the peace of God had come to earth to save mankind from his sins. Verse 11 provides the reason why the heavenly host as well as all believers mankind can sing praises to His holy name. This is because glorious day in the "city of David a Saviour which is Christ" the Lord is born.

Christ is the Savior because God fulfilled His promised of sending the Messiah. As our Savior Christ was born to die for man's sins and deliver humanity from the clutches of Satan's demonic powers and deliver all who believe in to the family of God. Christ was the anointed Messiah from the beginning of time, which bring into focus the popular phrase, "Christ was slain from the foundation of the world", which means His birth, death and resurrection was necessary to restore harmony between man and God and bring peace to all who believe. This is what the angel and the multitude understood.

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Friday, December 3, 2010


In preparation to honor the birth of Christ our Savior let us look the true meaning of Christmas. This holiday is more than giving and receiving gifts it is symbolic of the greatest gift ever given-God gave His Son and the Son gave His life for the sins of the world. In order to give His life Christ must be born.

Therefore, over the next several discussions we will focus on each letter in Christmas beginning with "C".
C-Is for Christ as He is the Savior of the world. Christ is the Son of God. Christ is God in the second person. He is divine and the last revelation of God Himself. Christ's birth was prophesied many years before His birth. Isaiah 7:14 prophesy reads as follows, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Christ's name means God with us. God fulfilled this prophesy 42 generations later as recorded in the gospels as indicated in Matthew 1:23 which gives humanity assurances that God always keeps His promises.

One cannot overemphasize the importance of our Savior's virgin birth, because in order to fulfill God's requirement as our Redeemer to pay man's sin debt and bring salvation to all who believe in Him, the person must be fully human and divine while remaining sinless. Christ's virgin birth satisfies all three requirements, because He was born of a woman and conceived by the Holy Spirit thus He became divine---God as His Father. Christ's conception was of supernatural means and He is revealed to humanity as one divine person with two natures--God and human, but sinless.

Christ's two natures qualify Him to be the perfect human sacrifice for the sins of the world; we must accept Him in faith and His atoning work. Through His birth and death He became our high priest who makes intercessions for us. Christ our Savior.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thnk God for His Goodness

…I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Thanksgiving is a season set aside to reflect on the goodness of the Lord and give praises to His holy name. His wondrous works and blessings are witnessed daily and His blessings are too numerous to count or name. Let's sing and shout with a loud voice of constant praise expressing sincere gratitude for His goodness.
Thanks You, Thank You for Your grace, goodness and mercy. What a praise worthy God? Glory to His name!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gift of Salvation

II Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift

Much has been written and discussed about salvation, but salvation is a topic worthy of continuous discussions because of the blessing it carries. Salvation is God's ultimate gift and what it does for all mankind makes it worthy of such discussions.

We know that it is a free gift from God through His Son Jesus Christ that was freely given out of love. Salvation was provided for humanity from the foundation of the world as God in His infinite wisdom knew that man was going to sin and would require saving. God also, knew that man was unworthy to redeem himself back to God and regain his right standing with God.

Being that God could not look on sin neither does He tolerate sin implemented the sacrificial systems as a way to atone man's sins knowing that animal sacrifices were insufficient and a permanent human sacrifice would atone for sin once and for all. Christ's one-time death bought man's freedom from the bondage of sin to a life of righteousness. Man has the opportunity to spend eternity with God as opposed to being separated from God our Creator both now and in our after life. Salvation-our freedom is the gift.

To receive and enjoy this gift one must accept Christ as his or her personal Savior because He freed us, redeemed us and then justified us. What a gift to be ever thankful for and offer praises to His holy name.
Have you accepted your gift today? Is joy of thanksgiving for the gift present in your praise and life? Accept the gift.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

The Joy of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

Psalm 100 is often read during the Thanksgiving season, but it is appropriate anytime because it is a song of praise and joy. Given the goodness of the Lord is enough to sing praises to the Lord and come into His presence with great joy.
All nations are to come before the Lord making a joyful noise of thanksgiving and praises to Him with a gladness of heart for His love, mercy and grace (vv 2-3). We are to praise God for who He is and what He has done in our lives and continues to do. He created us and sustains us daily and most of all through His Spirit lives in each of us makes Him worthy of our hearty praise and worship. If we had ten thousand tongues would be insufficient to give Him proper praise and thanksgiving as His goodness reigns supreme and lasts forever (v 6).
In the season of Thanksgiving and as the holiday approaches which is set aside for giving thanks to God for His many blessing begs the question how do you praise God?
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

God's Amazing Grace

We understand that grace is God's unmerited favor where He gave His mercy when justice demanded punishment. I thank God for His grace because through His grace and mercy I am healed, still recovering, but healed. There are many reasons to be thankful to God for His amazing grace. He wakes us each morning with His finger of love, He provides for our every need and most of all He provided salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. What a merciful God?
God's grace is so amazing because of His unending love.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010


This is a weekend of celebration where treats are given and people often dress as other characters and sometimes pranks are played on people. Given the history of this day dating back to the 1800's when it was designed as a time of community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghost, witchcraft and pranks as we see today. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday (Taken from research on Halloween).
It is my prayer that all celebrations are done in love, joy, peace and safety without pranks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Intercessory Prayer

I Timothy 2:1

I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

What is intercessory prayer? The word intercession is to make a plea for others or the mediation, which is to act as a go between for two or more parties. Also, to be an intercessor is to make a petition to someone for someone else. With that being said, then our intercessory prayers become our petition to God for others as Jesus Christ is our intercessor to God for all mankind.
If the question were raised, Why should we pray for others as many we may not know or what their condition is? First, it is good to pray for others as an expression of our care for all mankind. Second, there will come a time when we will need others to pray for us. Lastly, our scripture text encourages praying for others as this denotes a caring spirit as this spirit exemplifies that of Christ.
This question comes to mind, in our intercessory prayer, what should we pray for others? We should pray for the well being of others as it is the desire of all mankind that all is well in his or her daily lives. Lastly, we are to pray a prayer of thanksgiving as an expression of gratitude for God’s many blessings and difficulties as well because problems grow faith. Intercede for others as Christ intercedes for you and I daily-pray.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adhere to God's Instructions

Proverbs 23:12

In every aspect of our lives we are guided by instructions; there are instructions or manuals on how to assemble many manufactured products that man has made. These instructions/manuals or procedures are designed to guide the consumer in a step-by-step approach in assembling the particular product. There are procedures on how to make our favorite dishes for eating, many are written and many are passed on from one generation to the next. With that being said, the question now becomes Why are God’s instructions so important?

God’s instructions are important because they are designed for guidance and directions as His instructions are recipes for holy living. God provides instructions for His people just for that purpose so that they will not go astray or be tempted by Satan and his deceptive schemes. It is noteworthy to say that God’s instructions are constantly being revealed to all who read study and meditate on His Word.

It is wise to adhere to God’s instructions because He is all knowing and has the ability to guide His people around any and all hurt harm or danger if adhered to. Providing instructions is part of God’s provisional care for His people. God’s value of teaching children is recorded in Deuteronomy 6:7 where He instructed parents to teach their children in their going out and coming in. In Joshua 4 God instructed Joshua to erect a memorial using stones as a teaching tool to the younger generation of Israelites of where and how they crossed the Jordan. Adhere to God’s Word.

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Purpose of Instructions

II Timothy 3:16

All scriptures are given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous.

Our scripture text provides the answer to the implied question of what is the purpose of instructions. Also, stated in our scripture text is who gave the instructions as there would be no doubt of the legitimacy of the Bible as it is one love story with instructions for man’s benefit.
Providing an explanation of doctrines we see that these teachings are to preserve God’s holy laws as mankind is to abide by His law that is designed for man’s holy and righteous living. Doctrines can be seen as traditions, a policy or conviction as man’s convictions are to first believe there is a God who created and sustains all that exist. Also, it is all believers’ conviction that God breathed His breath into man and he became a living soul. With that being said, then it is both God and man's (believers) conviction to live in a harmonious relationship with each other.

If the question were raised, What is a conviction? A conviction is a persuasion or belief. The believer’s persuasion to obey God’s instructions, obey them as they are to correct man when he/she go contrary to God’s commands, or provide proof that man is living according to God’s laws.

Instructions are guidelines or a plumb line for righteous living as they are good in every way.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Christian Leadership

During the year I have attended workshops on Visionary Leadership sponsored by the Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education, which has proven to be very enlightening and spirit-filled. These leadership workshops support the Congress' mission of "Equipping Church Leaders For Effective Ministry (Ephesians 4:12).

Some of the workshops addressed Pastors receiving the vision and effectively communicating his or her vision to the congregation. This week's workshop addressed with "Giving Birth To Your Vision 1 & 2" where the topics were "The Vision Personnel and The Vision Process." These presentations were presented by two dynamic pastors as each provided some very enlightening points. Presenter one, Dr. Nathan Johnson expounded on the "Who Develops the Vision, or Who are the Personnel Involved in the Envisioning Process?" under the section of "The Point Person" it was stated that "The ministry leader is the sole point person or primary leader of the ministry. In the church, this person is the senior pastor." Point well stated. Another point that struck a cord with me is "There is no biblical foundation for co-leadership, people cannot follow a group" (A Single Leader section). My mind went to churches that have co-pastors.

Some of the other high points of Dr. Johnson's presentation were the Visionary leader and the characteristics of visionary leaders. An explanation of what the point person does as this person is the vision cultivator, communicator, and clarifier. These duties are very important for the vision to become a reality in that it involves what was termed as "Significant Others" which is made up of the leadership team. It was pointed out that "Wise leaders know that if they get the driving wheels (leadership team) committed, they will bring others along, and without the commitment of the driving wheels, the organization moves unsteadily." (Dr. Nathan Johnson).

After identifying the leadership team, Dr. Johnson, provided the functions of the leadership team, which is four-fold from their cooperation, contribution, support and their communication.

Dr. Johnson closed his presentation by saying, "Visionary leadership is needed in the kingdom of God in order to fulfill the outline that God has for reaching the world. Individuals who live in obedience to His direction can implement God's vision and plan for individuals, churches, communities as well as the world. Leadership with insight is not about mighty exploits of human creativity that end in successful praise of the followers. Rather, a Christian leader with a spiritual goal is one who receives directions from God then launches out into the deep by believing that "faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Powerful!

The second presenter, Pastor Reginald Flynn presented the "Three Critical Stages in the Vision Birthing Process." Stage one outlined "The Conception of Your Vision", in stage two Pastor Flynn outlined "The Source of the Visionary's Vision (Birthing) and in stage three he outlined "The Development of Your Vision--The Dream Grows To Becoming A Vision.) In each stage of the birthing process the presenter provided very important points in bringing your vision into reality. They are far too many to list here.

The workshop session closed with a powerful sermon "Another Way of Crossing Over, (Joshua 3:1-8) by Dr. Marvin Smith. Our next session is expected to equally as powerful.
In closing, the Holy Spirit is at work calling willing hearts that are willing to obey God's call world over and lead others to Christ (soul harvesting). I say this because as I travel, communicate and network with others many are hearing and obeying the call of God as they recognize the importance of God's kingdom building. Reflecting on my ministry which is a church without walls and I will continue to share His Word as He gives me strength.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Ephesians 4:26-27

The Holy Spirit is at work because last week we discussed peace and anger was my topic for this week. During worship service Dr. Charles Stanley sermon was on conflict. In his sermon he gave the destructiveness of anger from the stand point that anger wreck lives, destroys marriages, wounds children, separates friends, and causes disunity in churches. I concur with all of anger's destructive effects.
Our scripture text gives advice on dealing with anger by suggesting that we are reframe from sinning in our anger and "let not the sun go down upon your wrath"(v 26) "neither give place to the devil" (v 27). What these verses are saying is for us to deal with our anger by identify the source of our anger, "deal with it quickly,"(Dr. Stanley), by confronting the person or persons and forgiving the person(s) as God has forgiven us all. Was God angry when He forgave us? God was angry when He pronounced the whole world guilty because of sin, but His love, grace and mercy took precedence and He provided salvation which freed us from the bondage of sin. We are to replace our anger with a spirit of compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12-13).
With that being said, we are handle anger according to scripture, which states "vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12: 19c). Put away your anger.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Peace of God

Jeremiah 33:16

Continuing our discussion on peace we will define peace, its origination and how we can have peace while waiting for Christ's return. What is the true definition of peace? The Hebrew word for peace is shalom; which is far more than the absence of war, conflict, or stress. It is the positive presence of harmony, wholeness, soundness, well being and success in all areas of life (KJV commentary). This peace can be seen when one is at peace within him or herself and God. It can be said to be in acceptance of where you are at that present time. Regardless of physical, mental, or surrounding conditions God is always near. Paul stated that he knew how to be happy whether he had a little or a lot.
Peace or shalom originated when God created the heaven and earth and all that is within was created in perfect harmony and wholeness with God. Remember the harmony that existed between God, nature, animal and man until it was disrupted by sin. When Adam sinned his sense of inner peace was lost forever until Christ returns to restore men shalom.

While waiting for Christ’s return and the restoration of God’s peace, how can we have peace now? Peace is available to all believers through the Holy Spirit as we remain united with Christ in faith. Also, we are to seek to live in harmony with others as peace is one of the fruit of the spirit, which is an indicator of who and where we are—at peace.
The peace of God rules supreme and is misunderstood by the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jesus the Man of Peace

Micah 5:1-5

For our mid-week discussion I felt the need to talk about peace as true peace rests in Jesus Christ.

….Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting….And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God…And this man shall be the peace….

The prophet Micah’s hometown was a small place known a Moresheth-gath in the southern region of Judah which was approximately 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Micah’s prophecy was pointing to God’s punishment of Israel long before they were carried into captivity, but Micah looked beyond that time and even their return to their homeland into the future when Jesus would come, rule and restore everlasting peace, He will rule with righteousness and justice will prevail.

When Jesus comes again, He will reign with true peace, which will be restored just as it was before sin entered the world. He will have destroyed all evil, and Israel and all believers will live in safety as Christ will then be established as the true leader of the world.

When Jesus came the first time He forgave sin and provided salvation to all who accept Him in faith and all believers’ salvation are assured. Remaining steadfast in ones belief and commitment to Christ will not face God’s condemnation. Jesus is the man of everlasting peace.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bedbug Pestilence in America

Is the outbreak of bedbug pestilence America's modern day locust plague? Listening to the news of the bedbugs that has now spread across the US brought the above question to mind. While reflecting on how blessed this country has been over the years and considering the many natural disasters that have come upon this country in recent years this question came to mind, Have America lost its first love?

After pondering our bug situation my mind began to travel back in time to recorded biblical history when God used locust as one of the plaques to get Pharaoh's attention to persuade him to let His people go. II Samuel 24:15 records God sending pestilence upon His people (Israel) to get their attention for the sins they had committed as many of them died during this time. Amos 4:4-6, God asked His people to return to Him and after failing to do so God reminds Israel of His withheld blessings of the very things they needed to survive (vv 6-9). Verse 10 speaks of the pestilence God brought upon Israel for their backsliding. God is always merciful to remove the pestilence and any other negative situation if true repentance takes place. Each time Israel repented and turn back to God blessings flowed the same applies to all who repent today. It appears as if we have forsaken our first love--God.

As I continued pondering the bug situation I asked myself where did these bugs come from? They used to be a thing of the past. The second question that came to mind was How did they spread across the US so rapidly? The last question that came to mind was Will any part of government, state, local or national step in to try containing or get rid of these bugs? While lacking adequate answers, I thought of precautionary measures that all should adhere to, which is to spray your homes and when traveling take the necessary bug killing spray with you and spray everywhere they may hide. My traveling custom is that I pack my clothes in plastic bags within my suitcase and spray before unpacking and leave personal items in their respective bags after spraying the drawers.

Bedbug outbreak or not we are one strong nation and united we stand.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Healing of a Nation

II Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by mane, shall 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.

If the question were raised, What does it take to heal our nation? Our scripture verse provides the answer as the conditions are set forth by God Himself. God ask mankind to do four things and He will do three. God has proven Himself to be faithful to His promises.

God ask mankind to do the following:
Humble ourselves. The meaning here is that man must recognize our failures and then show sorrow for our failures and sins with a renewed commitment to God and His Word. By doing so believers will again make God first in his or her life and non-believers will begin to recognize God for who He is. Lastly, the spirit of humility is having the right view of self, others and most of all God.

Pray. What is prayer? Prayer is our communication with God. However, in this scenario man is to cry out to God in despair for His mercy. We must petition God in sincerity, honesty and in complete trust knowing that God hears and is faithful to answer as promised. Lastly, our prayers must align with the Will of God as it is His desire to be in fellowship with man and to be our God.
Seek my (God's) face. How must man seek the face of God? Man, God's people must read and study His Word daily with an open heart to hear and obey His Word. Also, man must have a heart-felt desire to be in the presence of God and live according to His Will and ways.

Turn from their (our) wicked ways. True repentance is required. This is turning from sin and all forms of idolatry. Man must avoid conforming to the world's standards as only God's standards are what man will be judged.

Let's segway to God promises--He promised to hear, forgive and heal. With that being said, the question now becomes, What is God saying?
God will hear. What God is saying here is that He will turn away His anger as He will have heard the desperate cry of His people. Remember Israel's cry while in bondage in Egypt. God moved with compassion and sent Moses to lead them out of bondage. The lesson to be learned is that when God delivers us (man) we must not forget His deliverance and remain committed to Him.

God will forgive. What does this mean? It means that God will cleanse us from our sins and restore His favor. His presence will return to us (mankind). We will once again find peace in Him and His truth, righteousness and power will once again reign among His people. In a word, turmoil and strife will no longer be the order of the day.

God will heal our land. In the healing process God will rain down His favor both physically and spiritually through the Holy Spirit. Even those who are spiritually lost will see God's favor and say "there is a God." O What favor! God said in His word that He would pour you (mankind) out blessings that there would not be room enough to receive (Malachi 3:10). I want His blessing what about you?

How do we heal our land? II Chronicles 7:14 has the answer. Let's continue in prayer and do what God asks, and then we will see a change--a restoration and revival.
Comments are welcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harmonious Living Among God's People

Romans 12:14-21

What does it mean to live in harmony with one another? To live in harmony with one another each person must be at peace within his or herself as the definition of harmony means to be at peace, on accord or agreement.

The question now becomes, How does one obtain inner peace? To have inner peace one must have a right relationship with God, self and then others. Because peace is the absence of conflict and believers are no longer in conflict with God nor an enemy of God. When each individual comes to terms with the fact that God is our creator and sustainer, He then becomes our Savior then humanity is at peace with self and others. Being in harmony/peace with God brings the highest blessing from Him.
It is noteworthy to say that God is a God of peace and not confusion.
Another school of thought on harmonious living among God’s people is that when each person has peace then this peace reverberates throughout the community thus rendering a community in harmony with one another and God. What a blessed community!

Our scripture text outlines the essence of harmonious living which answers the question am I my brother’s keeper? Yes in that all believers are to provide need when required and love and compassion always just as Christ did regardless of social status or ethnicity.

Blessings abounds man and community in harmony- live in harmony and be blessed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

God's Power and Wisdom

Saints of the Most High God;

For today's weekly discussion I felt the need to talk about the power and wisdom of God taken from my monthly devotional, Heavenly Bread, which can be found on
www.issuu.com/white8613. In the weeks to come will be posted on my website ar www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com.

God’s Power and Wisdom
1 Corinthian 1:17-31

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church he makes a profound comparison between the power and wisdom of God and that of the world. It is through the foolish preaching of the cross all men are saved who believe. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God because the world feels that humanity is the highest order of authority and with this kind of wisdom humanity will never come to know God for who He really is and what He has done and continues to do in the lives of all mankind. Preaching the crucified Christ is foolish to the world because it lacks the ability to conceive the magnitude of God’s love for mankind that He would give His only Son to take on the sin-debt of man.

Verses 25-29, Paul expounds of the fact that God has chosen the foolish things because His strength and wisdom far exceeds that of man as His moral and standards differ from those of the world. It is noteworthy to say that it is by God’s standards the world will be judged.

The question now becomes, will all humanistic philosophies, psychologies and other worldly systems last an eternity? Absolutely not, because God said in His word that His word will stand when all else passes away. If the world looks upon things as wise, then choose the foolishness of God because through Christ Jesus we have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption unto salvation. Be wise choose God.

Thanks for reading and as always comments are welcome.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Perseverance In The Face of Persecution

Ephesians 6:18; 2 Timothy 3:12

What is a believer to do when being persecuted by a fellow believer even if the persecutor is within your local congregation? Our scripture outlines the reason all believers suffer persecution and the answer is to persevere in faith while being dressed in the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
In II Timothy 3:12, Paul explains very thoroughly why believers suffer persecution as this persecution will come in one form or another to all believers living a godly life. All true believers living his or her life according to God's holy standards and refuses to compromise will suffer persecutions
However, some persecutions can be faith testers as God is preparing the believer for an even greater works in His kingdom building.
While suffering persecution from a fellow believer can and will strike at the very core of your faith and love. What is the believer to do? First go to God in sincere prayer for your brother or sister in Christ asking God to create a clean heart in the person. It is important for the persecuted to stand strong in the Lord and let God fight your battle, because He is your deliverer and will deliver you every time. This is considered taking the high road. Second, the persecuted must reframe from taking matters into his or her own hands because "vengeance is mine saith the Lord." Reflect on Daniel and the three Hebrew boys and how they were persecuted for worshipping the true and living God. They faced imminent death at the hands of the king, but God delivered. Remember Paul and how he was persecuted for preaching Christ and while in prison the jailer and his household was saved. Prayer and faith in God is evidenced in both incidents. What a powerful God?

Believers as we are persecuted for whatever reason stand fast in the Lord, because our enemy cannot harm us. God has the situation worked out.
Comments are welcome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Believers Are Living Sacrifices to God

Romans 12:1-2

Given that Jesus Christ is now seated on the right hand of the Father where He has prepared all believers/Christians heavenly home begs the question what must we do while anticipating His return to take us home? Taken into account all that the Godhead has done and continues to do mankind must do the following; first, all Christians must accept Jesus as Lord and Savior; second, Christians must have a renewed mind to live for Christ. Third, all believers/Christians must present his or her body as a living sacrifice to God as it must be holy, and acceptable to God through our service, dedication and commitment to Him.

An expression of gratitude for God’s grace, goodness and mercy is witnessed through our lives of holiness, holy worship and sincere devotion to God. What this means is that believers have separated themselves from the world and no longer conforms to its morals and values. This is because all believers are a consecrated people that have been set apart to a lifetime of worship and services to God.

It is noteworthy to say, believers offer their bodies as living sacrifices to God because all believers have died to sin with Christ and rose with Him and the believer’s body are instruments of righteousness and temples where the Holy Spirit resides; for He is God and will not reside in an unholy place.
Believers, live so God can use you in His kingdom building. Make the sacrifice—Christ did.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Stand Fast in Christ

2 Thessalonians 2:15

In Paul’s writing to the Thessalonian believers he provides instructions concerning the day of the Lord from different aspects on how to live and what to expect when Christ returns. In verse 3, Paul warns the Thessalonian believers when the time would come when there would be a great falling away as he encourages them to refrain from being deceived by “the son of perdition”—the antichrist. The great falling away means that many will depart from the church and or profess any connections with the church because of deception. There will be both moral and theological apostasy during those days.

Therefore, in verses 13-17 Paul outlines his encouragements to the Thessalonian believers in their stand for Christ as only God and His righteousness will last. It is important for all believers both then and now to remember we have victory in Christ as this was won on Calvary’s cross. Revelation 19:19-21 records the events of the war where Christ will defeat the antichrist and all the ungodly as this war will end quickly with the antichrist’s destruction.

How must believers to stand fast in Christ when sin is raging? Believes have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide aid and protect all who yield to Him in faith from Satan’s demonic tactics. The believer’s prayer life is vital on this Christian journey as believers are engaged in a spiritual warfare as all believers are to put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Stand for Christ---victory is assured.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Nehemiah 1:4; 2:4

For my weekly discussion I felt the need to talk about prayer and the power of prayer. This is due in part to the prayer group (The Association of Christian Teachers) led by Sister Yvonne Anderson out of Georgia that the Lord led me to. During our prayer sessions our country, schools, teachers, children and leaders in this country and the entire world is lifted up in prayer. I feel God's blessings moving in that direction. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer because I have many personal testimonies of God answering my prayer. I am very fond of II Chronicles 7:14 because it talks about the promises God made and if His people would humble themselves and pray what He will do. I am a living witness God never fails or failed to keep His promise.

Throughout the Bible and the history of the nation of Israel we see the power of prayer. When prayer warriors went into prayer, then God moved with answered prayers. Our scripture text is an example of God moving as the outcome of prayer. Nehemiah was a righteous man and sought the Lord in prayer before undertaking the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The result of Nehemiah's prayer was God moved with favor on the task given to Nehemiah. God will do the same today for you and I. Jesus prayed so did King David and Solomon. Solomon prayed for wisdom, what happened God answered with much wisdom.

What is prayer? Prayer is communicating with God, simply talking to God asking Him for what you want or saying what is on your mind. God knows before hand, but He wants His children to come to Him in honesty and sincerity. God promised to hear and answer your request.

It can be concluded that sincere prayers are powerful weapons against Satan and his attacks on all humanity. Pray! Pray! Pray!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


II Chronicles 7:14-15

If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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. Now mine eyes shall be open and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place (KJV).

Today’s discussion is humility and what God is asking His people to do and what He will do in return. First, God want His people to humble themselves, which is to recognize who God is and His awesome powers, as He has the power to save, destroy and or punish sin. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah and how Israel was punished with seventy years of captivity because of their sins. The same can and will occur if repentance does not take place. Second, God want His people to pray. God promised that where two or three is gathered in His name He would be in the midst. God is faithful to His promises. Also, the prayers of the righteous availeth much. Third, seek God’s face in all that we do as it should be done to His glory; then there should be a turning away from wickedness to a life of righteous living. Another thought on seeking God’s face is to align our wills with that of God. It is God’s will that His people enjoy a harmonious relationship with Him and all the blessing that He has to give.

God promised that He would hear, forgive and heal the land. What this means is that God will turn away His anger and hear the desperate cries of His people and then He will attend to those prayers. God in His compassionate way will begin to heal the land, because He would have forgiven them of their sin. In the forgiving process there will be a cleansing as sin and wickedness will be replaced with righteous living. Imagine the glorious revival there would be if some sin and wayward living as we know them today is replaced with holy living and obeying the moral standards of God.

Let’s pray, Father God, breathe on this nation, and strike down any and all unrighteousness where ever it may be. Cover our children with Your spirit as they return to school, let them be on good behavior. Touch the teachers and all who are affiliated and come in contact with our children let Your spirit rule. Then touch leaders in every position, let them lead as guided by Your spirit. Then touch the hearts and minds of every person that they may turn to You and live according to Your standards. In Jesus name Amen.
Comments are welcome.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sodom and Gomorrah

The last two weeks I have talked about faith and trust respectively, but they were written so that everyone could take a personal look at ones faith and trust, and then take a panoramic view of today society.

After taking a panoramic view of today’s society these questions came to mind, are we a Christian nation whose trust in God is being tested? Is our faith/belief being shaken to its very core? Is America becoming the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah? Prayerfully no!

Why these questions you may ask well, sin of every kind is rampant, murder and mayhem is everywhere, homosexuality has made its way into high places; it too is a sin. Many are using their bodies as walking advertisements for Satan and his demonic messages (Romans 1:24-32). There is a debate regarding the “Pledge of Allegiance,” where it talks about “One Nation Under God.” There a move to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency as well as the push to remove the Ten Commandments from many of our court house buildings/entrances. The Ten Commandments are the foundations for society’s laws.

With that being said, this question comes to mind, weren’t this country founded on godly principles believing there is a God who created, sustains and will punish all manner of sin in His own time. Just as God punished Sodom and Gomorrah He will punish America. Sodom and Gomorrah have become the symbols for wickedness and destruction. Let’s not wear the symbol of wickedness.

Join me in prayer for the well-being of this country. Prayer changes things.

Next week’s topic is humility.
Comments are welcome.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trusting God

Isaiah 26:4

Today’s discussion is trust, which is defined as confidence, or placing assurance in someone or something. With that being said, we place out trust in many things through the course of our daily routines and during the course of our lives. We trust the food we eat, the water we drink, the car we drive and we have confident that we will be awaken each morning from a night’s sleep.

We have the assurances of God’s grace, love and mercy that He will grant us a long life well into our 60’s, 70’s 80’s and even 90’s, but when trouble come, how well do we trust God? Do we cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7)? Do we say like David in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod, thy staff they comfort me.”

Friday, July 9, 2010

Faith Testers

Hebrews 11
What do you do when your faith is tested? This discussion question is best answered by how well the person who is facing his or her challenge trust God and his or her relationship with God. Do we draw closer to God or turn from Him and ask why me?

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews provides examples of heroes whose faith was tested by God and their actions speak to how one must react to challenges when our faith is tested.

In my humble opinion faith testers/challenges are designed to give each of us personal knowledge of God and His deliverance. It is one thing to know of God quite another to know Him personally--with each deliverance there is a personal testimony.
God is still testing and He is still delivering.
Comments are welcome.

Friday, June 25, 2010

God Is Our Refuge

Psalm 118:5-9

The term refuge denotes a place of safety, protection or shelter; in our discussion we will look at God being our protection or shelter in a time of storm. If the question were raised what does God protect us from and how He does it? First, God in His provisional care made provisions for all man’s needs this includes our safety. He provides for all necessities of life which includes bread, water, shelter, and healing regardless of the nature of healing.

When man encounters adversities, God is there in the presence of the Holy Spirit as stated in Psalm 23 which includes all protective elements. Verse 4 which states, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” Verse 5 speaks to the issue of God caring for all needs even in the midst of evil as these evil attacks are designed to destroy both life and soul, but there is refuge in the safety of God’s love and mercy—so much so until the Holy Spirit overflows our cup with His grace. What a mighty God!

Our scripture text drives home the point of God being our refuge by stating that when one calls on the Lord He answers, because if the Lord is on your side, then there is nothing to fear. God is present to give strength and the ability to overcome any situation.
God our safety valve!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wolverine State Congress Reflections

I apologize for being tardy with our weekly blog discussion. Needless to say I was teaching in the Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education in Saginaw Michigan all last week. This was a spirit filled week of worship, singing and giving praises to the Lord and fellowshipping with other spirit filled Christians/believers. I wish that all who are reading could have been in attendance and felt what I felt—high on Jesus.

Classes were well attended and class attendees were eager for the word. This tells me that if the Word is taught people will hear and respond. It is my prayer that attendance will increase twofold as the Congress continues to grow. Blessings to all.

Friday, June 4, 2010

God’s Son Full of Grace and Truth

John 1:14-18

There are several definitions for grace and some are, “favor (Genesis 6:8). It is God’s free and undeserved love that never quits (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is the gift of God that comes as eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)”. Student’s Bible Dictionary (P. 106). Then there is the profound definition of grace as God’s Righteousness at Christ’s Expense. All definitions of grace paint a profound picture of God’s love for mankind and the unity that exist between the Father and Son. This is because Jesus Christ-the Son willingly came to earth to be the human sacrifice in bridging the spiritual divide between man and God. This is love in action by God and His Son all who believe will have eternal life—salvation. It is noteworthy to say that salvation does not come by man’s action, but by the Holy Spirit and Christ coming into the believer’s life thus making all believers a new creature in Christ.

Through Christ grace and truth is available in its fullest extent according to Romans 5:17-21 to all mankind who believe. Then what is truth? Truth is an actual fact not what claims to be the truth or appears to be truth. Then God is the source of all truth and John 14:6 states that “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life”. This mean then that man’s existence is grounded in Jesus Christ; Christ is the way to the Father and all life exists in Jesus.

Good Shepherd Writing and Publishing LLC

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Reflections

As we celebrate this weekend with family and friends join me in remembering our love ones in prayer and all who have sacrificed so much for Democracy and freedom as well as our fellow countryman who are currently away from their love ones serving for the same cause. Let’s celebrate in love, peace and joy in our activities.

Willie B White

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Loving Community

Philemon 1:7

Our scripture text is taken from Paul’s personal letter to the man named Philemon during his time of imprisonment at Rome. Philemon was a slave owner and church member of the Colossian church. Philemon’s slave was Onesimus who escaped Rome for his freedom and through divine intervention made contact with Paul and the two became father and son in the ministry as Onesimus was a faithful and loyal servant to Paul and Christ. When the time came for Onesimus to be returned to Philemon Paul made several appeals on Onesimus’ behalf, one of which was to receive him back as a brother in Christ (vv 15-16) and stated that Onesimus was useful/profitable to him and could have the same profitability to Philemon if treated as a brother in Christ.

This story has some appealing love affects in that through Christ love supersedes all boundaries; all humanity owes a debt of gratitude to Christ for his immeasurable love. In regards to the Christian Community it displays immeasurable love for all while recognizing there is no respect of persons in God’s eye sight. Verse 16 solidifies this fact when Paul states that Onesimus is no longer a slave but a beloved brother in Christ.

This question comes to mind, being a loving Christian community how do we receive and treat one who is less in social status? There is a saying that one must be careful how we treat others because we may be entertaining angels unaware?
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Called Ministerial Leaders of Christ’s Church

Ephesians 4:11

Today’s discussion is the last component of our study on called leaders in Christ’s Church; our focus today will be evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

Let’s begin by asking the question; who are evangelists and what is their ministry? According to the New Testament evangelist were those persons called by God as they were gifted, anointed and commissioned to proclaim the gospel of Christ-the Good News. Evangelist were to carry the message of Christ and His kingdom to cities and all unsaved persons (individuals) to stir up their faith (Acts 8:4-40). There is salvation in the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit by which all men can be saved (Romans 1:16-17). Today, evangelists are to serve the same purpose as they are called by God.

In Acts 21:8, we see the ministry of Philip, the powerhouse evangelist, and his ministry paints a clear picture of the work, ministry and importance of evangelists. From the evangelistic ministry of Philip we have the following (a) he preached the gospel of Christ (Acts 8:4-5.35). (b) Many were saved and baptized with water from Philip’s preaching (Acts 8:6, 12). (c) “Signs, miracles, healing and deliverance from evil spirits accompanied Philips preaching” (Acts 8:6-7, 13). (d) Philips desired that all new converts be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts8:12-17; 2:38; 19:1-6).
If the question were raise, what happens to those churches who fail to support evangelistic ministry? Will they experience church growth by gaining new converts? According to Acts 2:14-41 churches who value the ministerial gifts of evangelists and have a sincere love for saving the lost through proclaiming the gospel message of Christ and its convicting work will witness growth.

From this segment of our discussion, we will segway to pastors and their ministry. Pastors are those persons/individuals whose calling and ministry gifts cause them to devote themselves to shepherding, overseeing and caring for the spiritual need of a local congregation. Acts 20:17 pastors they are called “elders” and in 1 Timothy 3:1; Titus 1:7 they are called “bishops”. Regardless of their title they are the overseers of Christ’s Church called by Him. Pastors have two main functions as overseers of Christ’s Church; they are to promote faith and guard the faith. This is accomplished through teaching God’s Word (Ephesians 4:15-16) and exercising spiritual leadership in the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy3:1-5). According to Titus 2:7-8 pastors are to be an example of purity and sound doctrine, and they are to see that all believers remain in God’s grace (Hebrews 12:15; 13:17; 1 Peter 5:2). Also, pastors are to safeguard apostolic truth and they are to watch for false teachers and doctrines within the church as they guard God’s flock (Acts 20-28-31). More importantly, pastors are to function/serve as shepherds as Jesus Christ is their perfect example as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16; 1 Peter 2:5; 5:2-4). With that be said, pastors are essential to Christ’s Church and it behooves every church to call godly and faithful pastors who will govern/oversee the church as God designed through the leading of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Any church that is not being led by godly and faithful pastors is ripe for the destructive forces of Satan and the world (Acts 20:28-31). This is because God’s Word will become distorted and the standards of the gospel will be lost (2 Timothy 1:13-14). Church members and their families will not be cared for according to God’s plan, and then the church ceases to be the light of the community or a spiritual healing station for sinners. While on the other hand churches that are being led by godly and faithful pastors will persevere in the teaching of Christ and the apostles as this ensure salvation for self and all who hear (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:2).

Now that we have discussed evangelists and pastors; let us look at teachers and their importance in Christ’s Church. Teachers are gifted spiritual leaders alongside apostles, and prophets who has a special gift given by God to clarify, expound and proclaim His Word with effectiveness and power to build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:12).

The question now becomes what are some of the tasks/duties of teachers? 2 Timothy 1:11-14 states in part that teachers are to guard the gospel that has been entrusted to them with the help of the Holy Spirit. Teachers are to remain faithful and point the church to Biblical revelation and the original message of Christ and the apostles. Teachers help equip “the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).

More importantly, teachers are vital to God’s purpose for His church as their principal purpose is Biblical teaching to preserve truth and produce holiness in God’s people. This is accomplished by leading Christ’s body—the church into an uncompromising commitment to the godly lifestyle set forth in God’s Word. The evidence of Christian learning manifests itself in ones life because ones life shows love, purity, faith and godliness. I Timothy 1:5 describes the attributes of true Christian teachers by what they teach out of the purity of their hearts, genuine love for God and His message, as well as their call to teach, their faith in their ministry and the godliness of their lives.

The question now becomes, what happens to the church that rejects or refuses to hear God’s called teacher and theologians who remain faithful to scripture? The church that rejects and or refuses to hear the “Word” runs the risk of being swept away by any and every new wind of doctrine as these teachings will be uncritically accepted as well as religious experiences and human ideas rather than the revealed truth that God Himself ordained. It is noteworthy to say the “church” that listens to godly teachers and theologians will have its teachings and practices measured by the testimony of the gospel that was handed by Jesus Christ Himself. Lastly, God’s Word is the ultimate measure and authority of all teaching and the church that stands on God’s Word will prevail over other churches and institutions that operate in name only.

Concluding this discussion, the ministerial gifts discussed is essential to Christ’s Church in that He set forth these leaders to carry on His church. Therefore, answer the call when called.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


Mothers you are the epitome of proverbs 31:10-31, a virtuous woman, priceless in your value, having immeasurable strength, and possessing godly character in all that you do in your home, church and community.

Mothers, today is your day of recognition for all that you do daily.

Willie White
Author, Publisher, Christian Educator
Good Shepherd Writing and Publishing LLC

Apostles and Prophets

We will begin our discussion on the five leadership positions in Christ’s church. Tod day we will discuss Apostles and prophets.

I. Apostle- an apostle referrers to those persons or individuals called, commissioned and given special authority by Jesus Christ to be His representative in proclaiming His gospel and establishing His church (Ephesians 2:20;3:5). In Hebrews 3:1, Jesus refers to Himself as an apostle and the 12 disciples in Matthew 10:2, Paul is a notable apostle (Roman 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; I Corinthians15:9 and there are others, Barnabas and James Jesus’ half brother, Andronicus and Junias (Acts 14:4, 14, Romans 16:7; Galatians 1:19; 2:8-9; 1Thesalonains 2:6-7). Also, the term apostle means being used in a special way to identify those qualified to bear Spirit-inspired witness to Christ. The twelve disciples fit this category. The first century apostles lay in their calling to write Scripture and having the same authority as those in the OT. The apostles who wrote scripture are distinguished from all Christian leaders who followed them. However all apostles and Christians leaders are spirit-filled. What is the apostolic deposit? It is the safeguards the integrity of Christian teaching in all ages. To reject the inspired revelation of NT apostolic truths is to cease being a church according to the Biblical patterns and is essentially rejecting the Lord Himself (John 16:13-15; I Corinthians 14:36-38; Galatians 1;9-11). What are we to do? We are to believe in the NT apostolic message, obey it and guard it against all distortions and remain true to the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28; II Timothy 1;14), as this guaranteed God’s continues blessing and presence within the church (Ephesians 2:20). It is noteworthy to say that certain aspects of the apostolic leadership were intended to continue throughout the church history (Ephesians 4;11-13), but to encourage the recognition of apostolic ministries in the church today it is helpful to use terms like “apostolic” leaders or functions rather than the office of apostle as this point in history. However, to discourage the misuse of the title “apostle” is to place the importance on apostolic functions and Biblical services associated with pioneer ministries.

II. Prophets - in the NT were those gifted spiritual leaders who were uniquely gifted in receiving and communicating direct revelation from God by the Holy Spirit to the people. One of their main concerns or functions of the church was its purity and spiritual life. Under the NT they were raised up and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring the message from God to His people (Acts 2:17; 4:8; 21:4).
a. The OT prophets are the foundation for understanding the prophetic ministry in the early church. They spoke the Word of God by the Holy Spirit to encourage His people to remain faithful to Him in their covenant relationship. They sometimes predicted the future as the Spirit revealed it. Christ and the apostles serve as examples of the OT ideal (Acts 3: 22-23; 13:1-21).
b. How do prophets function in the NT church? In the NT church they have a five-fold ministry, which are (a) they are Spirit-filled proclaimers, called by God to warn, exhort, comfort and edify (Acts 2:14-36; 3:12-26; I Corinthians 12:10; 14:3). (b) They exercised the gift of prophecy. (c) At times seers who foretold the future (Acts 11:28; 21:10-11). (d) like the OT prophets they were called to expose sin, proclaim righteousness, warn of judgment to come, and combat worldliness and Luke warmness among god’s people (Luke 1:14-17).
c. What are the character, burdens and desires of the Prophets? Prophets’ character, burden, desires and abilities include (a) a zeal for church purity (John 17: 15-17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:22-25). (b) A deep sensitivity to evil and the capacity to identify unrighteousness (Romans 12; 9; Hebrews 1:9). (c) A keen understanding of the danger of false teachings (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15; Galatians 1:9). (d) An inherent dependence on God’s Word to validate the prophet’s message (Luke 4:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15; 3-4; 2 Timothy 3:16). (e) A concern for the spiritual success of God’s kingdom and a sharing in God’s feelings (Matthew 21; 11-13; 23:37; Luke 13:34; John 2:14-17; Acts 20:27-31).
d. How are the prophets’ message validated? The prophets messages were validated through the church, other prophets, and God’s Words to test whether their witness was from God (1 Corinthians 14:29-33; 1 John 4:1).
e. Prophets remain essential to the church and God’s purpose. The church that rejects God’s prophets will decline in their spiritual discernment and begin to drift toward worldliness and comprise Biblical truth (1 Corinthians 14:3; Matthew 23:31-37; Luke 11:49; Acts 7:51-52). If the church with its leaders hears the voice of the prophets, it will be moved to a renewed life and fellowship with Christ, because sin will be forsaken, and the presence of the Spirit will be evidenced among the faithful believers (1 Corinthian 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; Revelation 3:20-22). Lastly, if prophets are not allowed to rebuke sin, and unrighteousness (John 16:8-11) as well as bring words of encouragement, then the church will become a place where the voice of the Spirit is stifled or muted (II Timothy3:1-9; 4:3-5; II Peter 2:1-3, 12-22). If the voices of the prophets are muted, then Ecclesiastical politics and worldly powers will replace the Spirit III Timothy 3:1-9; 4:3-5; II Peter 2:1-3, 12-22). The question now become, do we want the voices of the prophets silenced?

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Clall of Abraham

Genesis 12:1

Last week we discussed the “call” in general; now let us look at Abraham being called by God. Verse 1 state, “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” This separation was necessary for Abraham and all believers as they must be separated from the world. Hebrews 11:13 describes Abraham acting in faith in God and journeying to a foreign land promised by God.

There are six (6) components in Abraham’s call. The first component involved Abraham separating himself from his countrymen and the significance of this separation is that God’s people must separate themselves from all that hinders them from doing His purpose in their lives.

The second component involves three (3) promises God made, and they are: (1) a land, (2) a great nation through his (Abraham’s) descendents, (3) a blessing that would affect all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:2-3). The last element of this promise is being fulfill in the missionary proclamation of the gospel of Christ (Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8).

The third component of God’s call to Abraham involved both an earthly and a land where God is the architect and builder—heaven. Abraham desired to live forever in the presence of God--this is the desire of all believers.

The fourth component of God’s call to Abraham contained both promises and obligations which includes obedience and commitment to Him in order to receive the promises. If the question were raised, what is included in God’s obligations and commitment? What’s included is (a) trust in God’s Word, (b) obedience to God’s command to leave his home, and (c) a sincere desire to live a righteous life. All believers must adhere to these obligations and remain committed to God.

The fifth component of God’s call entails the blessings that would extend beyond Abraham’s physical descendents but to all who in faith believe in Jesus Christ, who is the true seed of Abraham, and all who with him (Abraham) will receive the promised blessings. Galatians 3:14 states that all who believe in Jesus Christ shall receive the “promise of the Spirit.”
The sixth component of Abraham’s call is the beginning of the Hebrew nation and because of Abraham’s obedience to God’s call he is looked upon as one with true saving faith.

Allow me to segway to some of the notables who exhibited great faith and they are, (a) Abel’s faith in God cost him is life. (b) Enoch’s faith resulted in him not seeing death and was transported to heaven by God. (c) Noah’s faith cost him his reputation in the community, because he stood on God’s promise of rain. (d) Sarah in faith conceived a son in her old age. (d) Isaac by faith blessed both of his sons, Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. (e) Jacob before his death blessed his son Joseph. (f) The parents of Moses hid him for three months believing that he would be saved from the king’s command to kill all boy babies of a certain age. (g) Moses himself through faith refused the easy life of Pharaoh and his sister to live among his people and became Israel’s leader. (h) Through faith the walls of Jericho fell under the leadership and direction of Joshua. (i) Through faith Rehab, the harlot received the spies with peace and was rewarded.

Hebrews 11:32 records many other heroes of faith who did great things for the Lord. Verses 33-34 provide us with some insight into the greatness of faith in action. Kingdoms were subdued, mouths of lions were shut and fiery furnaces failed to consume God’s faithful. What faith!

If God calls you to special service for Him, answer in faith.

Your comments and thoughts are welcome.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

A Call to Service

Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

Today’s discussion is a continuation of March 18, 2010’s discussion titled, Ministerial Leadership Gifts for Christ’s Church: Ephesians 4:11 in preparation for my lecture series on said topic. I felt moved to discuss at length the different ministry leaders as it relate to the body of Christ and spreading His message of the gospel.

There is an on-going discussion taking place regarding women preachers. The question was, If God called you (woman) to preach? This discussion began on one of the Christian social network sites where I am a member. My answer to the question was who am I to say who God calls. For me personally, if God call me to preach that what I will do---God called me to teach. Simply, He is the creator and keeper of my soul, then, why fear man and others when neither have a heaven or hell to put you in. It is better to obey God than man any day! What did God say about pouring out His Spirit on all flesh?

Getting back to our topic of being called, as a believer in Christ each of us have been given a gift of ministry in the body of Christ, it may not be in a leadership position, but each member of His body have the responsibility to tell others about Christ and what He has done in your life---witness.
Let’s answer the question, what is a call? According to Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary (P. 143), the word has over 20 different representation in the Hebrew and Greek text, but it has four different meanings as it relate to our discussion and they are (a) “To speak out in the way of prayer—“Call unto me, and I will answer thee” (Jeremiah 33:3). (b) To name a person or thing—“and God called the light day” (Genesis 1:5). (c) To summon or appoint---“I will call all the families of the kingdom of the earth” (Jeremiah 1:15). (d) To invite men to accept salvation through Christ. Most importantly, a call is by God through the Holy Spirit, and is heavenly (Hebrews 3:1) and holy (II Timothy 1:9). I Corinthians 1:26 and 7:20 use the word in a particular sense, as referring to that condition of life which men (humanity) were when they became Christians.

Before I close today’s discussion, let us compare the definition of “call” as recorded in The Student Bible Dictionary (P. 55) which states that “the noun form of the word is a summons or an appointment from God to serve Him in a specific way for a specific purpose ( I Samuel 3:4; Isaiah 6; 49:1). The verb form of the word is to “invite to become a follower of Christ---a Christian (Matthew 9:13; Philippians 3:14. Depend on God; invite His attention in prayer (Genesis 4:26; Jeremiah 33:3). Also, it means to name or describe, which often includes the beginning of a relationship with a person or thing (Genesis 1:5; 2:19; Matthew 1:21; Mark 10:18). See the similarities in the two definitions?
Allow me to close today’s discussion at this point and we will continue this discussion with the Call of Abraham and other patriarchs and notable women in the Bible as our examples of God’s calling persons to ministry in next week’s discussion. I am laying the ground work for Ministerial Leadership discussion by pointing out the fact God call whomever He please as all believers are called to service.

Closing thought and question, many Christians are called to be ministers. What do you think God is calling you to do or be? Have you answered your call?

As always your comments and thoughts are welcome. Post them to my website or blog site noted below. I am in the process of establishing and implementing the upload and interactive capabilities from my website.

Contact: wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpbulishing.com