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Building the Local Church

Walking Tall With Humility

desert-sunset-wallpaper-high-quality-resolution-h7c51 Corinthians 1:27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”

James 4:6 “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Humility is a core characteristic of Jesus Christ. It is only fitting then for the followers of Christ to adopt this trait in their own lives. If we are going to be successful in life and ministry then we must learn this trait of humility. The verses we just read show us that God chooses to use the humble heart, while rejecting the proud heart. God will not and cannot use a proud and self-centered individual to do his work. However, when a person learns humility and embraces it as a way of life God can use this man no matter what his deficiencies may be. Let’s look into the life of Moses and see how God made this man mighty and then used him greatly to help others.

Scripture tells us when Moses turned 40 years old he developed a desire in his heart to help his Hebrew brethren that were being mistreated in Egyptian bondage. Acts 7:23-29 says – “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.” (Read Exodus 1-4:20 and Acts 7:18-36) The Bible teaches us that Moses had good intentions in his heart to help and save his people, the scripture even tells us that Moses believed God would use him to deliver his people; but there is one problem, we never see God calling Moses at this time to deliver his people! Moses jumped the gun and followed his feelings instead of God’s word. Yes, God would call and use Moses, but not now, he wasn’t ready for the task ahead of him. We see Moses here as very confident, sure of himself, even a sense of pride that caused Moses to jump in and save the day before God instructed him to do so. Things didn’t turn out like Moses planned, we find him running for his life and spending the next 40 years in the Midian wilderness, a fugitive of the law and living in spiritual brokenness.

For 40 years Moses lives on the Midian campus of God’s Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building, raising his two sons, caring for his wife and working as a shepherd on his father in laws farm; A job that will teach him many lessons for his next assignment. He has left the lush, pleasant palaces of Egypt for the rough, dusty climate of the Midian desert. He feels let down and forsaken by God. He has learned humility the hard way, as many of us have learned. He now realizes he is not the Super Man of his youthful dreams. Time, hard work and a family have tempered this once prideful, self-reliant free spirited Moses into a more humble, useful man. God did not bring Moses to the desert to abandon and destroy him there; He took him there to build and develop him into a rugged, trustworthy hero that would be able to deliver His people from bondage and then lead them for 40 years in a rough wilderness climate and be strong enough to never give up! It’s interesting that Moses spends 40 years in wilderness schooling for 40 years of wilderness service. Never consider long lessons to be a waste of time, but rather a useful investment of time that will pay off at a later date.

God approaches Moses in the wilderness in Exodus chapters 3 &4 to call him into his work, but instead of finding Moses overconfident and ready to burn up the field, we now find him singing a different tune…a tune of humility. As God is calling Moses to be his ambassador to Egypt, he makes excuses as to why he cannot go. Five different times Moses pleads with God to see that he is inadequate and unable to do what God is asking him to do. Moses is not lazy or bitter to go serve God – he is humble! He honestly feels inadequate to serve in God’s work. This is exactly what God was waiting for. Moses’ 40 year enrolment in the Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building has paid off greatly. It’s at this point that he can graduate with honors and move to the next level of service for God. This is the heart condition that God is looking for in all his workers. James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” God can use an inadequate person, once that person realizes he is inadequate and needs God’s help.

 

 

 

 

Liberty

jail-cell-with-open-door-and-bunch-of-keys-allan-swartGalatians 5:1, 13 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Liberty is a wonderful, beautiful and powerful gift of God. The Bible first mentions liberty in Leviticus chapter 25 found in the Old Testament, where every 50 years men looked forward to the freedoms found in the year of Jubilee. On this day every debt and debtor was released of bondage. In this year the land would rest from the toils of farming, so that it could rejuvenate and replenish itself. Slaves and travelers who indentured themselves would be released of their commitments and gain privilege to seek new opportunities. This year was truly a Jubilee of liberty like no other day.

Liberty is such a wonderful notion that is filled with blessings and opportunities that God desired it to not only be once every fifty years, but that it would be something men could experience every day of their lives. Since the sin and fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God has been moving towards and preparing for such a day of liberty. In Isaiah chapter 61, God tells of the day his son Jesus would come to earth and make this liberty possible.  Isaiah 61:1  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”  What a beautiful proclamation and promise found in scripture to the coming blessings of liberty. However wonderful this passage is, it is only the “proclamation” and not the performing of liberty. Here we see liberty being promised only. Don’t be discouraged yet; liberty does not die out here in the Old Testament. Liberty was mentioned for the first time in the Old Testament as a proclamation for liberty, but when liberty is mentioned for the first time in the New Testament, Jesus is procuring liberty for all mankind. Jesus steps onto the world stage that is full of tyranny, bondage, sin and despair and he boldly declares liberty for all who trust him.  Luke 4:18-19  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  The prophet Isaiah spoke of the promise of coming liberty, but it was Jesus Christ who came to make that liberty a reality. When we trust Christ as our personal Savior we receive liberty from sin and death. We now have the opportunity to live free from the bondage of our sinful flesh which brought only corruption and catastrophe with each bad decision. Liberty in Christ gives us the freedom to say no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit of God now living in us, directing us into the good decisions found in God’s word.  Now we can daily find blessings as we serve and obey Jesus Christ.

As wonderful as this liberty is, there is a downside. We are prone to “use” liberty for selfish pleasures. God gives us liberty so that we can be free to serve him and help others, but too often the enemies of liberty would persuade us to use our freedoms to please ourselves.  We are warned of this in scripture, from the passages we read first in the book of Galatians. We are not to “use liberty” for our fleshly lusts and desires, but rather we are to “Stand fast” in the liberty of Christ. It is our duty to hold high the integrity of the liberties and freedoms God gives us. Keep them for their intended purpose; to serve God and others. Yes they are a blessing and opportunity given to us, but they also carry a great duty and responsibility in upholding them.

God grant us strength and courage to stand in this sinful and selfish day. Please help us to never be selfish with our liberty, but to use our liberty to serve our God, our Family, and our Country, and to be ever mindful to meet the needs of others.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love….As Thyself

j0442995Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 22:39 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus teaches his children to treat others the same way you would want others to treat you. In a healthy and spiritual atmosphere, most people love and respect themselves. It is not normal for people to want to hurt themselves, lie to themselves, or treat themselves cruel or unkindly. We are to love and treat people the same way and with the same love wherewith we love ourselves.

Christian people by nature should be kind and thoughtful people. Jesus is our example of this. Everywhere he went he showed love and kindness to those he met. He went out of his way to help the sick and poor, he made it a point to stop and talk to the ones that others passed by. He willingly laid down his life for a people who did not know him, and many of which would even reject him. He died to save sinners; not the good man, but the bad man, not the righteous man but the ungodly man. Christ’s life and sacrifice on the cross are the greatest and clearest display of love and compassion the world will ever know.

What will you do today? Who will you come into contact with and how will you treat them? Will you show the love of Christ to the nice people only, or will you be kind also to the mean and lowly people as well. If we will move FORWARD in our Christian walk, then we must move FORWARD in this area of love and kindness toward others. Pray for the heart of Christ to come alive in you. Think of people as precious and needy souls instead of just people who sometimes get in our way or make us angry. See them through the loving eyes of Jesus Christ. This will not only help you enjoy your day, but this will also make your home and community a much more enjoyable place to live. Think of a kind gesture and commit a “Jesus Act” on someone today!

 

“I go a fishing…”

fishing boatJohn 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”

What’s so bad about going fishing you ask? Nothing is wrong with fishing as long as you’re not putting it before the Lord’s work. In the previous chapter, Jesus tells his disciples to get busy preaching the gospel; instead, Peter is found 8 days later going fishing. Not only did he disobey, but he influenced 6 other men to disobey also.

As Christians we have a great work to do. Christ left us on earth not to occupy space or accumulate goods, but to spread his message of forgiveness and hope. There is a generation present in the world today that knows not our God. They have no clue about Christ and his love for them, nor do they care. They think not at all about sin, hell, judgment and the coming wrath of a holy God if they do not repent of their sins. They only mention God in curse words, or when they hit bottom and need a leg up. This problem is not just in the unregenerate men of the world, but also within the church walls. Many Christians today are blinded by the watered down gospel sermonettes, the popular health and wealth prosperity preaching; the all smiles tickle your ear with cotton candy motivational speeches, or the ever growing modern worldly church with their rock and roll worship tunes and their laid back, casual philosophies to approaching God. These are just to name a few, but in every case the modern church with its modern Christians is lacking much of what the early church possessed. We have busied ourselves to the point of comfort and conformity and the result is a powerless, carnal Christian generation. A generation that has a very tainted view of the holiness of God at best! A Generation that is misled and misdirected because they have not a strong prayer connection with God, nor a knowledge of the Holy. John 21:3 says they went fishing “and that night they caught nothing.” Our disobedience not only affects us, it affects others also. Notice how many fish they caught…none! It is very unprofitable, as well as a big waste of time to disobey God and walk in our own way. No wander we have very little joy and prosperity; if we disobey God then His blessing is far from us.

So who will preach the cross of Jesus Christ today? Who will count the cost and pay what is necessary to see people saved, lives changed and real power restored to the Church of Jesus Christ? We must stop praying for leaders and stand up ourselves and lead. God will empower any Christian to serve Him. God has already purposed and chosen us to good works even before the foundation of the earth. We don’t need to pray about doing the right thing! It is not a question of “should I serve” but rather “will you serve?” In verse six after obeying the command of Christ they caught an enormous amount of fishes. God blessed them for obeying his word. Later in the chapter he told Simon Peter to feed his sheep, he told him to get busy serving and doing what he had already told him to do! Will you be faithful where God has put you? Drop the fishing rod of the world and pick up the Sword of the Spirit of God! Start seeking God’s direction, pray for strength and guidance and begin now doing what God has shown you is right. Many are counting on you. You can make a difference with the power and help of Christ on your life. Someone is ALWAYS watching you….be a good example. Move FORWARD in your leadership.

 

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Leadership Helps

 

Stronger & Stronger

MP900321192Job 17:9 “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.”STRONGER &STRONGER!!! What a blessing to know that as a Child of God I will not decrease but only increase. Those who choose to walk in righteousness and keep clean hands will grow stronger and stronger in the things of God and of life. It pays to walk a righteous and obedient path. It may not always be popular, but it will always be prosperous! As we look at the life of the apostles and early disciples of Christ, we see not many popular, not many noble, not many of great financial stature; for as they followed Christ and stood for the truth they paid a great price. It cost them their homes, friends and positions in the community. It cost them dearly; but even in great sacrifice they had joy and confidence.

It was the apostle Paul who said at the end of his life in Philippians 1:20-21 “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”Paul said he would gain! He knew that serving Christ meant certain present sacrifices, but knew that he would be more than repaid when he entered into the Celestial City of God. Serving Christ over the years produced a stronger confidence in Paul for that day when he would have to face death. Death for most means an end, loss or sorrow, but for Paul it meant glory, reward and relief. It meant that he would finally see the Christ he preached about for so many years face to face. He said in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Stand strong Child of God; the most Royal and Noblest blood of Christ has covered you completely in salvation & safety. You have been given a promise and a confidence in God’s Holy Scripture that you WILL grow stronger and stronger. Time will NOT decrease or hurt you but rather increase and help you. By faith, grab hold of this great truth and never let it go! Never let the enemy steal it from your mind and heart. Never forget it and never be talked out of it. Trust it, believe it and live it! Love God and live for Him.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Leadership Helps

 

Thank God for You!

MB900262946Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

“Constant fault-finding, scolding, or fretfulness, does no good in a family, a school, or a church. The tendency is to dishearten, irritate, and discourage. To commend a child when he does well, may be as important, and as much a duty, as to rebuke him when he does ill.” – Albert Barnes

It is important to offer words of encouragement when you see someone doing well! Under direct leadership of the Holy Spirit, Paul starts out his letter to the church at Philippi with just such commendation. He was so proud of them that they had maintained a steady and consistent Christian growth from the very day of their conversion up to this point in time. What a testimony for these believers; they stayed true and faithful all this time, and not just maintained a status in mediocrity but flourished in Spiritual fruit and progress. Find someone to encourage. Pray and ask God to show you the good in others and then point it out to them. Your kind words just might be the fuel that keeps them running another mile. It’s true that wrongs must be set right, but equal to that truth is that “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23. Our words bring joy and encouragement; let’s use them wisely.

 

I am Gracious

j0435912Exodus 22:26-27 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

God says if someone owes you a debt and they cannot pay, and they used their clothing for collateral on the loan, and you take their clothing as payment, take it for principle sake, but give it back by the end of the day so they don’t freeze at night. God wants his people to be kind and gracious as He is. How often could God take our clothing? How often would He be entitled to take our home, our vehicle or our health? How many times have we robbed Him in our tithes and offerings or used all the time in the day for ourselves and have given Him nothing but a passing prayer. How many times have we sat at home when we should have and could have been in church with Gods people? How many times have we had the opportunity to say some word for Christ, but being ashamed we kept silent? How many opportunities have we neglected to share the gospel message with some precious soul? How easily we use God’s minuets, His resources and His breath without a thought of repayment or obligation; we take, take and take and rarely give thanks or service in return. Oh dear reader, how God could easily and rightfully take all he has given…but HE IS GRACIOUS!!! Praise our good God and His Son Jesus Christ we are not given what we deserve! Psalms 103:10-13 says “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” Love God and give Him praise today, give Him honor today, and give Him his rightful place in your heart…the number one place!

 

 
 
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