Archive for June, 2013

I’m a Survivor: life is complicated, but I will Survive

2 Cor 12:7-9- because of these great revelations, therefore in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I p,eased with The Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

-the Devil sends it, Paul recieves it, God decides to leave it, because Paul needs it!

Sometimes God takes what the enemy sends to destroy us and redeems it, then He uses it to develop us! Sometimes He likes the heat on us, because He likes the fruit it produces!

-God uses a small crisis in Paul’s life to help him avoid a big crisis. God was trying to keep Paul humble.

Satan never sent the thorn while Paul was still Saul. He waited until after his conversion. Satan always knew the destiny of Paul and the damage that he could do. He wasn’t worries about it until Saul saw his own destiny in Christ.

What is a thorn in my flesh?
-an agitating issue assigned us by the enemy to get us to abandon our God given assignment.

Romans 7:14- so the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin,

How do we survive life’s complications?

HANG ON TO GOD AND DON’T LET GO!!!!!!!!!

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I’m a Survivor: who will promote the next generation?

1 kings 1:1-2;5-7- when King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. His attendants said,” let us look for a young virgin….she can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.” Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him…..Adonijah conferred with Joab and Abiathar….

Psalms 75:6-7 for exaltation comes neither from the east not the west, or from the south. God is the judge. He puts one down, and exalts another.

Competition often drives men to be self promoters,but that is unhealthy spiritually. We are not called to be promotion seekers, but God seekers. Promotion follows people who do what they should be doing. God is against self promoters. Become good at what you are called to do now, and let God promote you later.

Every generation is looking for what’s next. We are called to promote them.

In the verse above, David was looking to promote Solomon.

Psalms 145:4- one generation shall praise your works to another. And shall declare your acts.

*every generation must pass the baton to the next generation. *

Adonijah had a self promoting spirit, just as Lucifer had one in the beginning. When we operate in a self promoting spirit, we are acting in a satanic spirit. Pride comes before the fall. But when we serve faithfully and humbly, God takes notice of it and promotes us.

Adonijah became king, but only for one day.

Sometimes, God will give you a promise, and it feels like somebody else is sitting in that spot. We see a false promise sitting where our real promise should be. If God has given you a promise, HOLD ON, because false promises only last for a day.

Adonijah making himself king was just a ploy to keep the real king from taking the throne, too many times, we allow falsehoods and false promises to take what God has promised us. Don’t give up…ever! Only God can put down and raise up. When a promise is near, the enemy will throw things in front of you to sway your focus.

If we are going to raise up a new generation, we have some enemies to deal with who are trying to kill off that new generation, some enemies are outside the church, but many are inside the church too.

Illumination

Hello all. I have something that has been burning in my heart for a couple of days. I want to share it with you all, and I hope that it blesses you.

We all know this verse:

 Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
This verse has been echoing through my mind nonstop. It has been a sermon preaching in my mind. And while I usually wouldn’t preach a sermon from just one verse, God showed me something very simple here, but it is something that could be explosive in our hearts and spirits if we can grasp it. Now, I don’t claim to be a “deep” thinker. I’m only sharing what I believe God would have me to share with you.
Now, think about what is being said here. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And earth was without form and void. It was an unorganized ball of something floating in a defined spot in the universe. It was dark. it showed no potential for anything. I wonder what you or I would have seen had we seen the earth in it’s infancy? Could we have even imagined the sequence of events that would lead to the planet that we know now? I mean, it was without form. It was void. It was dark. It had substance, but no meaning. It existed, but was void of a purpose. It was dark, and there was no light in it. It can’t be stated any simpler than that, folks. Earth was a mess. It was nothing but a newly created thing. But all of that changed when God said, “Let there be light!”
With 4 words, God took what had been darkness, and illuminated every ounce of possibility that this newly formed mass held within itself. God called it forth. With every word that God spoke from that point on, He pulled forth what could only have been conceived in His dreams and by His will. What had been formless took form. What had been void, became a living, breathing thing. What had been empty because full. What had no purpose, now was brimming with it.
And see, it is SO easy for us to look at our lives in the mirror and see a reflection of the early earth staring back at us. Perhaps what we see is a life that has no form. A life with a void in it. A life overrun with darkness. Perhaps we see a life without direction; a life that is nothing more than an unorganized mess of something that God put in a defined orbit for who knows what reason. And thus, we begin to ask God why we were created. We question His plans and purposes for us. We challenge Him to show us where He is taking us, wondering from sun up to sun down about the reason we even exist right now.
We search for definition. We search for meaning. We search for purpose. we search for someone, ANYONE, to take this mess of our lives and make it into something meaningful. But, we forget so much!
 Genesis 1:1 says that God created the heavens and earth. So first off, God created you. That counts for something, actually, that counts for EVERYTHING!! See, while earth appeared to be formless, without purpose, a galactic mess of epic proportions, God saw organization. He looked at the void and saw every single step of His imagination being played out in perfect order. He saw the difference that the light would make. He saw what would come out of that spoken word. He saw how the darkness would relent when the light came bursting onto the scene. How often do we forget the light? That same light that sits in our skies, illumining our days and sending stars to twinkle sweetly at night. it is that LIGHT that God uses to begin our lives.
You might see only darkness and peril. You might be depressed beyond measure. You might be addicted to all manner of sin. You might feel hopeless. You light feel despair. You might want to give up. You might want to die. But guess what….
God says,” NO!” There is a specific purpose for you to live where you live right now. There is a specific purpose within you that is carried within your blood. There is a divine appointment and anointing that has been created for you to uniquely walk in; an anointing that only fits YOUR skills and abilities. Where you see mess, God sees a beautiful creation that was fearfully and wonderfully made. Where you see a void, God sees a space created by Him FOR Him. Where you see no form, God sees a perfect specimen, one suited to carry His LIGHT into the darkness.
See, when God says let there be light, He is essentially saying, “LET THERE BE YOU!” We are the light! I wish that I could show you what God has been speaking to me adequately. You are created for a living! Existing is not nearly enough, nor should it be acceptable.
Our definition is found in the LIGHT! Our joy is found in the LIGHT! Our peace is found in the LIGHT! Our destinies are found in the LIGHT! And in case I need to spell it out for you, JESUS is that LIGHT!
Your life is not a disaster, no matter how low you feel. No matter what is going right and wrong for you at this very moment, I want to challenge you to allow God to release and unleash His LIGHT into your life. Is it easy to feel like nothing and then trust this seemingly amorphous God to cause you to become someone?
It’s as easy as your next breath.
I bet the earth trembled with excitement as it awaited it’s Creator to fill it to the brim and allow the potential lying dormant within it to finally become a living, kinetic energy.
It’s time to live. It’s time for Light.
God says, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”
Amen.

I’m a Survivor: Can You Handle the Heat?

We must learn how to handle the heat!

John 16:33- these things I have spoken to you, that you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

The kingdom of God is not about avoiding tribulation. It’s about enduring tribulation.

2 Cor 4:8-9- we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; persecuted, but not abandoned; perplexed, but not in despair; struck down, but not destroyed.

To survive means to endure tribulation and overcome it. We have to realize that we will endure the heat at time, seasons where we are pushed on every side. I must stand firm! There comes a time when we must look at our trouble and declare that WE WILL SURVIVE!

No matter how faithful to God you are, life will still happen.

How will you handle the heat?

Willpower is very important. It comes down to our will in every circumstance. It can’t be taught. But willpower alone is not enough. There must be some God given skill to go long with it.

Daniel 2 and 3- Nebuchadnezzar had overtaken Israel. He had built the huge statue and had driven the decree that everyone should bow down and worship it when the horn sounded. He recruited the brightest minds in Israel to be his advisors. Daniel as one of them, and he, in turn brought on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Sidenote: Daniel knew these three before he was even promoted. He knew their character and that they treated him with honor and loyalty before he was promoted. Understand, Sometimes, my door is not my door, but it is connected to someone else’s door. So you’d better serve faithfully now, because the person you serve with today might be the one God uses to open your own door! Be careful how you treat people now, because you never know what they may do later. Treat people good now, because those same people may be good to you in the future. Even if they don’t, God will!

You can’t love the door God opened for you more than the God who opened the door! There will be times when God opens a door of tribulation so that you can be refined!

How do you handle the heat?

1. Develop confidence in God before you go through the fire. Dan 3:17- if that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, o king.

If you don’t have confidence in God before the crisis, the heat will reveal our true make up. You must have the confidence in knowing who God is! You may not be in. Crisis right now, but God is trying to build confidence in you before your crisis comes. Growth is proved in how we respond to crisis.

2. Cultivate commitment to your convictions that is greater than your commitment to your convenience. Dan 3:18- but if not, let it be known to you that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the golden image which you set up.

If we don’t make up in our hearts now that we have convictions that we are willing to die for, we will fall for anything. The world will try to mold us into their convictions, but we must know who we re in God, and what God wants us to do. Choose to be solid in your convictions, regardless of your convenience.

3. Remain calm in the middle of the crisis.

Sometimes you have to speak to your subconscious and say its ok. WE WILL SURVIVE.
Sometimes, Gods answer is not to get you out of the fire. Sometimes God is looking to make us free IN the fire!

Dan 3:27- then high officers….crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

What are you seeing?

The Bible is clear when it comes to vision. Habbakuk says that we should write the vision and make it plain. Vision is important. Why else would God give us eyes if we weren’t supposed to be able to see what is on the horizon. Yet, our physical vision can only take us so far.

Vision. Vision. This word has given me fits for most of my life. I would venture to say that I have not had a vision, a real vision. Of course, I’ve had visions of grandeur- that I would be a famous singer or songwriter, that I would be a Pastor of a huge church. Those are visions that I have had based on my selfish desires. I’m talking now about the kind of vision that shapes our lives; a vision that inspires us to run toward the greatness that God dreams about us. Tonight as I listened to some of our college Pastors talk about their visions for that group, I was intrigued. It was evident that God had given them a firm and tangible vision for where they were going, and how He was going to get them there. it was really riveting stuff, until I felt like I was intruding on something special, and dismissed myself from my interloping.

Thing is, they know where they are going and how they are going to move towards getting there, and as they talked about different ideas, it just made me wonder. I’ve never felt a particular calling to any specific group of people. Not just children or young adults. Not just married or divorced people. Not just broken or whole men. As I have grown older, I simply feel the call of God on my life to serve people, and reach each person the way that Christ would. That is a realization that has taken me years to come to grips with- that God has not specialized me for any one thing, but as equipped me for whatever He sends, and whomever He sends, across my path. Which leads me to my next line of thinking.

The Bible says that where there is no vision, people perish. it makes me wonder if I have been perishing for most of my life, however , this can’t be true. So, I wonder if I have been living life out of the vision that my spirit knows is on the horizon. What has my spirit seen that continues to press me and push me, never allowing me to be satisfied with any one thing? What has my spirit seen that causes me to believe that I can give more, that I can do more, that I can make a difference? What has my spirit seen that defines parts and pieces of me against where my destiny in God lies? What has my spirit seen that is keeping me from perishing? cause I don’t think that my physical vision is truly the issue. Our spiritual sight is where we see God moving and shifting things around us. What has my spirit seen?

Better yet, what has YOUR spirit seen?

I guess the gist of this is that it doesn’t matter whether you haven’t seen something. It only matters if you have “seen” something. The more time we spend with God, worshiping and reading His word, I am convinced that He shows our spirits things that our physical minds can not handle all at once. I believe that He allows snippets to filter into our minds on His timetable. So, by some measure, we all have seen something. We all have a vision. it just depends on whether or not the time is right for us to access and move on it.

Just my thoughts.

 

Be blessed!

Trusting through the Trial- Wayman Ming

1 Peter 4:19- therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

3 ideas in this verse

1. The idea of suffering
2. The idea of surrender
3. The idea of sovereignty

Mark 6:45-52- the story of the crossing over to Bethsaida and Jesus walking on the water.

The disciples didn’t even think Jesus was watching them. They had been rowing for lost 6-8 hours, but Jesus had been watching them the entire time. He walks to them on the water, and comforts them in the midst of their trial.

James 1:2- count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptation, knowing that the trying of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing,

In this passage, count actually means “command”. Therefore we are commanded to be joyful when we go through trials. This verse refers to being surrounded by trials, the kind of trials designed to produce health in the midst of adversity. Count those kinds of trials all joy. God uses patience to help us trust through the trial. In this verse, patience means “cheerful endurance”.

Matthew 14:22-33 same story as Mark 6, with the addition of Peter walking on water