Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 211-215 of 285
April 19, 2017, 5:00 AM

Anyone other than me ever thought, “Because of what I did, it’s over with me and God.”? 

Anyone other than me ever thought, “Because of what I did, it’s over with me and God.”?   Have you thought that you had blown it so bad, and that the way you lived your life was so horrible that there’s no possible way that God would ever want anything to do with you again?  Have you ever thought that you’d disappointed God so greatly that He threw His hands up in disgust over you? 


If you listen to enough people you will definitely come to that conclusion.   Combine that with the fact that the devil wants you to buy into that garbage.  All you will hear is things like God cannot hear you when you pray over your sin or that in order for us to really be able to connect with God we need to clean up our lives before He’ll listen to us.  But that is exactly what it is, garbage!


First of all if we are in Christ, God isn’t counting our sins against us anymore. 2 Corinthians 5:19 “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” If that is so, then how is it that He can’t hear me over something that He’s not even counting against me?   He said that our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west.  He said that when we confess our sins that He remembers them no more.  So if it’s clearly stated that as believers our sins aren’t keeping God from hearing our prayers, then why do we keep hearing it?  Because it sounds religious, it sounds holy, but the truth is it’s a lie straight from the devil to keep you from talking to God.


Secondly we can’t clean up our own lives.   Have you ever decided to quit smoking, drinking, or doing anything that you felt like you needed to quit on your own?  You couldn’t do it could you?  Yes, I know some of you may have had success for a while, but eventually we all go back to those things.  We cannot break strongholds off our lives by willpower alone because strongholds aren’t physical they are spiritual in nature, and therefore in order to break them we cannot do so with natural means.  There’s no natural remedy for spiritual conditions, the only way to break and heal spiritual conditions is through the Holy Spirit.  The only way to receive His help is to communicate with Him.  “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”  2 Corinthians 10:4


When we have those kinds of things in our lives that we feel are keeping us from approaching God, that’s the exact time we need to run to God!  If I become aware of a stronghold in my life, that’s the time I need to approach God’s throne.  What’s going on in your life that you need to boldly approach God to help you?  What are you trying to clean up on your own?  What are you trying to do without God?  What spiritual conditions are you trying to cure with natural remedies?   


This is my Prayer:  God I come before you today and confess my mistakes and my sins.   Lord help me to see past the lies of the world and the tricks of the devil.  Help me not loose communication with You.  Holy Spirit I need Your power to over these strongholds in my life.  Teach me to seek Your help and not try to do it on my own.  God I know I can’t do it on my own; I place it all in Your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 18, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you ever find yourself stuck saying: “I can’t”?

When I hear the name Moses, I picture a great giant in faith with arms outstretched performing miracles of God. But I think I identify more the Moses of early Exodus. A younger Moses who tried to accomplish his calling in the flesh, ending quickly with a corpse buried in the sand. Then forty years later God gave Moses a second chance but he seemed stuck with one response, “I can’t.” In Exodus 3, God appeared to Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” (v.2) that burned but was not consumed. In response to God’s call, Moses refused to be God’s messenger of deliverance. Instead he tried to wallow in his own inadequacy. I’ve done that too; have you?


I’ve told you before, that it took a decade before I was ready to step into the vocation in which God called me to? I was stuck with that same response. I kept finding myself stuck on saying: “I can’t”. I found myself again and again looking at my qualifications, and feeling disqualified to do what God was calling me to do. I’m telling you all this again, because there’s been a transformation in my thinking from “I can’t” to “as long as God shows me, I can.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 I’ve come to understand that I really can do all things through Christ and that’s the key. I know there are a lot of you who are reading these messages that know and sense that God’s called you to use your gifts and talents for His work, but you are like Moses and I, you are stuck looking at them through your own eyes and you're saying: “I can’t.” You’re right, you can’t. But if you’ll surrender to God and allow Him to show you, you’ll be able to do things that will blow your mind.


A.W. Tozer said “True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do.” This is why our prayer lives suffer. We tend believe what God says about us is all bad, but when He says that we’re bad that doesn’t mean that we’re unqualified to serve Him or approach Him in prayer. In fact, He means just the opposite. It means we realize our true need for Him and that our only hope is in approaching Him.


I spent 10 years refusing to believe that I was a pastor or that I could be of any good to the Kingdom of God at all. I was certain that no one would listen to me or be helped by anything I have to say or that God would want to use me to say anything. I was wrong and you are wrong too. I found that when I approached Him about my inadequacies and my fears, “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. He showed me how to change my mindset, and it helped me to understand that the reason I was qualified to do what God called me to do is because He gave me the ability, and if He gave me the ability then He would see to it that my ability was developed. The only way for my ability to be developed was to begin to use it. It’s the same with you!


This is my Prayer: Father God, you know my struggles, how I refuse Your call and even try to run away from it. Lord when I get stuck with “I can’t” remind me that Your call always comes with whatever else I need to do it. Jesus show me the steps I need to take to do what You ask of me. God teach me always approach You in my weakness and rest in Your power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 17, 2017, 5:00 AM

The great news about God’s invitation is that it allows us to call on Him any time and all the time.

 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 The great news about God’s invitation is that it allows us to call on Him any time and all the time. The situation in which Jeremiah found himself when this invitation was issued holds a significant lesson for us. “While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time.”Jeremiah 33:1 That’s a way of saying he was in prison.   Can you say that you sometimes find yourself in some kind of a prison?


More often than not the prison I find myself in is the one of guilt.  That’s one of the biggest struggles in my relationship with God.  As I have said before, if satan can get us to a place where we feel like we’re unworthy to come before a holy God as we are, we won’t.  But we truly can call upon God at any time and any moment, in any condition, and not only will He hear us, but He will answer us.  Why?  Because there isn’t one of us that He’s expecting to be perfect because it’s not our perfection that He sees, but His Son’s.  The reason we’re eligible to come before God is because we’re in Christ, and let me just say that the reason that 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” was written is so that if we are being attacked by guilt we can bring those things before God and know that the moment we confess them they’re forgiven. 


Listen to Hebrews 4:16 which says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Do you know when my time of need is?  It’s when I feel ineligible to approach God because of sin in my heart.  I need grace and mercy at that moment and God’s word says I can receive by approach His throne or “Calling on Him”.  Some of you have things on your heart and minds that you really need God to move upon in your life, but you feel like you can’t take it to Him.  You feel like you can’t because of that prison of guilt.  I’m here to let you know that God wants to remove the shackles of that prison.


This is my Prayer: Lord Jesus, I need You, but I feel like I’m ineligible because of sin in my heart.  Your Word says that if we confess our sin that You are faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness.  So, I ask You, Lord to cleanse my heart and forgive me for anything that’s in my heart.  I ask You to release me from the guilt, shame, remorse, and condemnation over the sin in my heart.  I thank You for hearing me, for forgiving me, and setting me free. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 


Do you hear God extending that same invitation to you?  Let Him take those shackles off and take a moment to answer God’s invitation.  “Hello, it’s me God what’s on your mind? I am free of guilt, I am free of shame, I am free of condemnation, and I am free to approach the throne of grace to obtain the mercy and grace I need.  I receive the grace, mercy, and cleansing of the blood of Jesus, right now.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 16, 2017, 5:00 AM

Shameless is a word that we need to be more familiar with in the Body of Christ.

When God says, “Call to Me” it’s an invitation to shameless and loud intimacy!  I can’t quite move past this point yet.  Shameless is a word that we need to be more familiar with in the Body of Christ.  Do you know why we don’t pray with the passion and intensity as we should?  I submit to you that it’s because we’re ashamed or concerned about what that looks like to the people around us.


How would you feel if your significant other treated you the way you treat God?  How would you feel if every time you wanted to hold their hand, they looked around to see who was watching?  How would you feel if every time you wanted to hug them or kiss them in public they looked around to see who was watching?  How would you feel if you were extremely excited about something, and you went to tell them about it, and they were like “calm down, don’t make a fool of yourself, you’re embarrassing me.”?


Did I hit a nerve yet?  Good because that’s exactly what we do to God.  When the pastor gives an altar call on Sunday morning, you know what happens?  You look around to see who is watching, and sometimes you know God’s tugging at your heart to respond, but no one else goes up front so you don’t either, and you miss out on what God wanted to do because you were ashamed to take a step towards Him because you were afraid of how it made you look.  I’m saying this, because I’ve done this before myself.  Can I get to the heart of that problem?  We’re full of too much pride!


Listen, if you’re too ashamed of God to go to the altar even when no one else is going because you’re worried about what so and so is going to think.  You don’t need to walk to the alter you need to run.  I just told you I’ve done it, so don’t think I’m scolding just you.  I’ve missed out on something God had for me because I knew He had something He wanted to do in my life, but I didn’t go to the front because no one else did.  I didn’t want to look like a fool.  I was worried about what everyone was going to think of me instead of what God thought of me, and that’s too much pride.


We all know what Jesus said about those of us who are ashamed of Him before men don’t we?  “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 That’s correct, He will be ashamed of them before His Father. I don’t know about you, but I do not want Jesus to be ashamed of me.  So I need to learn to lay down my pride and whether it’s an altar call, praying out loud, or whatever it is.  I need to learn to not be ashamed, embarrassed, or worry about what everyone else is thinking of me.  We need to stop worrying what everyone else thinks and worry about our heart’s condition towards God.


I know if my heart isn’t right with God, I’m not going to cry out to Him with the passion that I need to. When I’m not right with God, it’s allows for guilt, condemnation, shame, and worry to creep in and I wind up feeling unworthy to approach God, so I don’t!   I let that get in my way of answering God’s call to respond to Him, to “Call on Him”.  How about you?  Can you hear God extending that same standing invitation to you? “Call to Me, My child!”  We need to get this point right here in our hearts.  God wants us to call upon Him.  Wither you feel like you can or you can’t, you must respond and call on God.


This is my Prayer:  God help me have the courage to approach You even when I’m feeling unworthy.  Lord teach me how relinquish my pride and respond to Your call, whatever it may be.  Jesus show me the relationship I can have with You, if I am willing to call on You.  I do not want You to be ashamed of me Lord, teach me to call on You shamelessly.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 15, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Lord says "Call on Me!"

Are you one of those people who like to talk?  Do you have the gift of gab? The average person speaks 34,000 words a day. I you think about that, you talk a half a book every day!  I wonder if we’re talking a half a book a day, is there even a page of dialogue with God?  When was the last time you gave half a chapter, a page, or even a paragraph in a single day to the God who says, “Call to Me?”

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:2-3


That’s an invitation to intensity. God invites us not to whimper to Him. God is not telling us “Say something to Me.” Notice the word call, it means to be proclaimed loudly and summoned by named. “Call to Me”.  Have you ever had a pet get outside, and you couldn’t find them?  Maybe you were somewhere and you lost your child for a moment.  What do you do?  You called their name and searched for them with intensity, tenacity, and feelings that couldn’t be uttered with words, could they?  I remember as a boy one my sister wondered off from our family while we were at the beach.  The whole family searched to find her she was nowhere to be seen.  I remember the anguish my parents experienced. I remember how scared I felt as I looked and searched and called for her.  I sought to find her with all my heart.  We later found her and I remember the joy and celebration we experienced.  How many of you maybe had a similar experience with a pet or child or some other reason that you lost something and you sought to find it with a tenacity and intensity because it was near and dear to your heart.  Heck some of us get that way when we lose our car keys or misplace our wallets, but now we get to the important question.  Do we have that same anguish and intensity with calling on God?


I’m willing to be transparent and honest with you, and my answer to that question is no, at least not all the time.  I do have a burning passion and desire for God, but sometimes that fire loses its intensity.  I don’t always seek God with that tenacity and anguish, and that’s part of having a powerful prayer life, we need to.  We need to seek God with that kind of anguish and passion. We need to have a raging fire in our hearts when it comes to seeking God, not just the smoldering ashes of a once hot and intense fire.  I admit sometimes I’m the smoldering ashes, but I don’t want to be.  I desire to have the flames of passion in my heart fanned into that raging inferno that the early church had.


I know I’m certainly not the average person.  I probably talk more that 34000 words a day, I like to talk, that’s the way God made me.  But I can freely admit that I don’t spend nearly enough time talking to God, even though I talk to Him quite a bit, I still know I could spend more time in prayer.  I think if most of us we can admit that we could spend more time in prayer. “‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” That’s an invitation to shameless and loud intimacy with God.  God says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 We need to “call on” God is such a way that we can’t picture our life without communicating with Him, a calling on God with a desperateness for His presence.   When is the last time you felt that way in your prayer life?   Could that be the problem with your prayer life?


This is my Prayer:  God I’m desperate for Your presence.  Teach me Lord to call on You with all of my heart.  Help me to have a burning desire to communicate with You.  Jesus show me how to seek You with passion, urgency, and intensity.  I am calling on You Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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