“I am sending you out …Be as gentle as a dove and wise as a serpent…Be on guard.” Matthew 16

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                   It’s time to change- are you ready? Are you willing to step out for Christ? I want to see “God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven” don’t you? I want to remind you of who you are in Christ, and what He has commissioned you to do. Be Strong and Very Courageous. Decide today who you will follow. What’s that? You’ve been knocked down and discouraged? oh- get over it! The church needs you- dust of, get back up and hear the word of the Lord:

Matthew  16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.  On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

YOU ARE BEING SENT OUT TO DO THE WORKS JESUS DID. IT’S TIME TO CHANGE- TO BE THE NEW AND DIFFERENT PERSON CHRIST HAS CALLED US OUT TO BE.

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

AND YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT OF THIS; THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL CARRY IT ON UNTIL COMPLETION UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST. THE POWER THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES WITHIN YOU.  YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS YOU.

You have been chosen: Jesus said :“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

We’ve been called to do the Works Jesus did. John 10 :12-18 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Message translation : The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

Think about that: The works Jesus did and even greater works in His name because He has gone to the Father. He walked on water, healed the sick, set the captives free, turned water into wine, feed 5000 men with a small basket of food, calmed the stormy sea, healed disease, brought the dead back to life, restored a severed ear, opened blind ears, caused the deaf to hear, caught a fish with a coin in it’s mouth, healed and freed those possessed by a demon/s, healed the mute, healed a withered hand, healed a paralyzed man, healed leprosy. Jesus said you can do these works, and even greater in His name so He can honor the Father.

I want to see a church on fire for God. I want our lives to Glorify Him. I don’t want to live and learn a life of a watered down gospel. I know God’s word is alive and powerful and I want to see His people Glorify His name in our places of worship.

Easter Sunday is around the corner and yet again I dread going to church.  I used to feel bad about thinking that. It seems nothing has changed since I was that 13 yr old rebellious teen. I loved God, knew He could do incredible things and even had scripture engrained in my heart- but church- ugh! was torture to me. I can remember that Sunday as if it were yesterday.  “ I AM NOOOOOOOT going to church!!” I yelled to my father as I sprinted out the door and down the street. He chased me 3 blocks as I sprinted along the sidewalk.

I see God’s work in my life. I see Him answer prayers. I’ve seen Him do mighty miracles and I ‘ve heard His voice. I know how much He loves us and I know without a doubt every single word in the bible is so true- it’s actually alive.  Sometimes I think I’d find the children’s worship much more fun for me. God’s word isn’t boring, but why is church sometimes so difficult to sit through? Maybe it’s my hyperness , I don’t know- but that’s what makes me ME. It may sound like I’m all over the place- but everything fits like a puzzle within my thoughts. The scripture somehow comes together like a puzzle in my mind and it never stops—it goes on and on and on.

I see something missing :
WHERE IS THE FEAR OF GOD IN OUR CHURCHES?
Love for others?

     Has the church gotten too worldly. I questioned even writing this and prayed about it, wondering- should I really put my thoughts here? I prefer to put only God’s word and what the Lord shows me through scripture, but today  is…different. As I talked to the Lord about my thoughts, I sat down at the computer and opened up todays news- Sun Sentinel. Front page- a church is doing a whodunnit, a who shot the pastor  show for Easter. I want to cry.  God’s word, His power, His Majesty, His Holiness, His Mercy is so amazing, so exciting, so opposite of boring to me- how could any worldly idea even match it? Has the true word of God become so boring and lifeless to people that we have to make our churches more worldly to bring them into God’s house.

Where are the works of Jesus in the Church? Are you seeing them in your church? Really…please share to encourage the rest of us. I see sickness, death, depression, complaining, isolation,  texting, disrespect- yes, now we can sip coffee and dip donuts in God’s house.  We can’t for one hour have a little respect. Where is the Fear of God?   Do you know how terrifying it is to be in His presence?  If we saw Him we would surely die!  The Lord is mighty, awesome and so Holy- words on earth cannot even describe it. Once I was before His throne and I was terribly afraid! We are so unworthy, yet He has made us worthy. His Holiness is indescribable, His absolute love for us is beyond our ability to understand.  Have the “worldly” Christians silenced those Christians who want to do the works of Jesus. Where is it? I want to see it. It has been proclaimed for us. Why do I dread going to church?  I love the word of God, I love the Father and I love to sit and study and meditate on scripture all day, yet Sunday morning rolls around and nothing has changed.

And what about HOLINESS. Aren’t we called to be Holy? then why do I cringe with embarrassment when I ride by some of church signs with obvious double meaning- “hey mom,  why does that church say that the pastor is naked?” ok, kids, don’t look, that’s just a ……. ‘uh, mom, why does that sign say come to my church where everyone is naked” don’t read that kids, that’s someone who doesn’t know God. “mom, what does “****** up” mean on that church sign,;uh…. that means they don’t read the bible. It gets worse, maybe it’s just my area, but a lot of the signs are so ungodly and so unholy. Sure, everyone hears the excuse “it calls in the lost” really???? because that is not the way Jesus called in the lost. If there’s one thing. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it’s a duck” So with that I can conclude- if it looks unholy, if it sounds unholy, if it acts unholy, well then Its unholy! y ya!

BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. FEAR GOD AND DO NOT FEAR MAN. REJOICE IN OPPOSITION AND DON’T LET PEOPLE’S SCORN AND COUNTENANCE KNOCK YOU DOWN.

Isaiah 51: 12-17 “I, even I, am he who comforts you.  Who are you that you fear mere mortals,  human beings who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor,  who is bent on destruction?…..  For I am the LORD your God,  who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

            That is yea and amen!

  He has hidden us in the shadow of His hand, but for some of you, it is time to stand up. He is calling many- but who will listen? Who is bold enough to stand in oppositions to the world? Who is strong enough to proclaim Jesus lives in a world where Jesus is mocked?

   When I consider the cross and what Jesus did for me- he took the chastisement I deserved, he was mocked and hated and treated harshly…am I ready to take that hatred from the world as well? It’s not easy, but I think that if we want to see real change in the church,  we need to be ready for opposition. We need to have no fear of naysayers. We need to have fear of God in our churches. We need to stop fearing the words of people  and live by the word of God. I guess what I am saying is this-  If we really want to see the works of Jesus, if we really want to see the fear of God in our churches, we must be ready to step out in God’s way with no mind to people’s criticism.  I just shouldn’t care anymore about peoples opinion- May the Fear of God be mighty and strong within us. May the Lord fill us with amazing Faith and begin to step out in order to Glorify the Lord- and the Lord only. 

                    I don’t want to hear another watered down gospel message. I don’t want to hear all the ugly things you did in your past as you use them as a badge of honor, I don’t want to praise God like we are a bunch of corpses, I don’t want to hear all the church gossip, I don’t want to do to a class on your religious man made rules, I don’t want to go to your club and work my way up into the church hierarchy. I’m so sick and tired of it!  I want to see God’s prescence. I want to see a fear of God. I want to see people hungry for the word. I don’t want to hear another fake encouragement session with man made ideas and philosophy from the pulpit. I don’t want to hear a sermon on why the sacred rituals and the religious sacraments make your church better than everyone else. I can see right through you holy rollers proclaiming the Spirit’s prescence while the air is thick with greed and absolutely no love for those around you even though you proclaim it so loudly. I’m just so annoyed, can you tell?  Money, greed, fame, popularity- I don’t hear this in the words of Jeremiah, Isaiah, or Ezekiel.  I can’t imagine Jeremiah sporting around town with a starbucks in his hand and a $200 shirt and $450 boots.  All I can say right now is

Many will call out to him saying  “Lord, Lord!” and in turn the lord will say, get away from me, I never knew you.

 What do you want to see in the Church? How can we call in the Lost, when there is no where to bring them? Let’s start with this :  Fear of the Lord, Holiness, Faith, Knowledge of the Scriptures, Love for God and a love for all people,Compassion, Mercy, Humility,  those with humble and contrite hearts, Fire of the holy spirit ablaze in believers,Boldness for Christ ,Passion for the lost, Works of the Holy Spirit,Works that Jesus did, and even greater – I want to see.- don’t you?

Lord,  give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hands with healing powers. May miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Jesus Christ. Lead us along the right pathways and teach us and lead us as we bring in the lost as you have commissioned us to do. In the precious name of your son, Jesus, Amen (Act 4:27)

Luke 10:22 You have been chosen.

Don’t let the sun go down on your Anger Ephesians 4:26

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Tremble with fear and stop sinning; 
think deeply about this, 
when you lie in silence on your beds. Ps 4:4

           One night I was furiously mad at something.  I was trying desperately to forgive so I could go to sleep. I tried and tried on my own- but I was still ANGRY! God showed me something supernatural that night as I lay awake-but before he showed me this… I kept reciting and remembering the following passages as I tossed and turned late into the night:

    In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  for anger gives a foothold to the devil. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. ’ Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Col 3 :13 Eph 4:26 Matt 5:22 James 1:20
( This was easy to remember, recite and ponder on- but why was my anger still raging within me? Why did I keep forgiving, but needed to do so every second as it entered my mind again?)

REVENGE IS NOT MINE

  To be truthful, I wanted revenge, I know, it’s horrible- but I did! How could this be? me? a christian? a student of the word? One who claimed to “Love the Lord” and to always walk in obedience.

 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer 17:9

         Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Romans 12:19 Lev 19:8

GOD HAS FORGIVEN ME- I NEED TO FORGIVE OTHERS

   I tried to remember all God had forgiven me.
    Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. luke 6:27,Eph 4:32, John 20:23

   As I night went on I prayed out to God, ” O Lord, help me forgive this person- let me not seek revenge. Clean out my heart O, Lord and renew a right spirit within me. This is just to hard for me, I don’t want to forgive, but I know I have to, help me, help me Lord- don’t let me fall asleep angry. Help me forgive”

I SAW JESUS ON THE CROSS

    At that moment I closed my eyes and I saw a cross. I opened my eyes in shock, what was that? I closed my eyes again and saw Jesus on the cross. I was scared and opened my eyes again, so I wouldn’t see. I closed them again and saw more. It was as if I was there at the time Jesus died. I could see a panoramic view of everything as if I were standing to the left of the cross. 

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I looked and saw the sky dark like night and a huge dark cloud coming behind the cross moving across the sky as the land got darker and darker. On the cross, the Lord had died- his head hung down to his left and his body limp. I opened my eyes again and when I closed them I saw a man go up to the cross, he was bald and in my spirit I immediately knew that this man approaching the cross loved Him. The nails in the hand were taken out first. The body of Jesus lay over this man’s head as the nails in the feet still had not been taken out.

1st- I saw only the cross with dark skies, then the cross with Jesus, bottom right of picture shows the man taking Jesus down from cross and to the bottom left is what it looked like when they took Jesus wrapped and carried him away.

    The next thing I saw -as if I were hoovering above him- I saw the Lord’s face and I looked down and His body was wrapped in a white garment- but not His face because I could see Him. He was in a wooden box so they could carry Him- but the box had no covering. The sky was still dark as the men and the man who loved Him carried Him off.  The last vision I saw was Jesus’ body being carried off by the man who loved Him and with about 5-6 other men- 3 on one side of the box and 3 on the other side and the land was dark.

(As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth Mt 27:57)

        Do I understand what my God did for me? I’m crushed in my spirit and broken for my selfish ways as I think on what Jesus did for me. “Jesus said, Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” He forgave those that hurt him, killed him, mocked Him and He was God, surely I can forgive someone who has hurt me. I was created to be like Him and that I will strive to do.

 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.