Tag: American Church

Step into the Supernatural

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Most people would agree there is a “natural realm”, and a “supernatural realm”.

I do. Do you?

Hollywood does.

So does God.

And although He dwells within the supernatural realm, He can easily affect the natural realm without any difficulty (and He wants to!); He simply wants and needs cooperation on our part.

I’m not referring to some kind of weird hocus-pocus, magical words and incantations, or sleight of hand tricks.

I’m talking about God Almighty suspending the laws of nature in order to perform what we’d call a miracle.

The supernatural world is just as real as this natural one we live in. It has certain laws which govern the activities within, much like the physical laws we contend with every day.

It may sound a little odd, but living as a Christian requires we understand how to live in both realms.

As the law of gravity must be understood and respected to avoid a terrible accident, so the supernatural laws of faith, sowing and reaping, and confession should be embraced if we’re to witness “all things possible with God.”

Without the knowledge of stepping into the supernatural, the Kingdom of God will not penetrate the world’s natural kingdom.

Without understanding how faith and other supernatural laws can change our world, we are destined to live our whole life never seeing “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

For example, Joshua would have had to wait for the Jordan River to dry up before continuing the work of the Kingdom had he not listened to and obeyed God.

The law of faith, believing God’s word in spite of physical “evidence”, supersedes any natural law, as seen in this passage:

“…and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. (Joshua 3:15,16 ESV)

They believed, stepped into the water, and by doing so entered into the supernatural.

Mary did so, as well. The Angel came and told her all the great and wonderful things the Lord was about to do. Of course, she had one big question.

“How?”

How will this supernatural event happen?

Something never heard of before or since?

“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.'” (Luke 1:35 – 37 ESV)

Notice the angel told her how, but it was her response that brought the supernatural into her life.

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38 ESV) 

Isaac stepped into the supernatural when he acted upon God’s word, implementing the law of sowing and reaping. (You reap whatever you sow)

“Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you…'” (Genesis 26:1 – 26:3 ESV)

Isaac obeyed, and in spite of the famine, sowed his seed, believing God.

“And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him…” (Genesis 26:12 ESV)

The supernatural Kingdom of God breaks into our world when we believe what He says and act accordingly.

Peter heard one word from Jesus, “Come”, and it was enough to walk on water. By the way, people do not normally walk on water.

The salvation of man, spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc, is a supernatural act. The supernatural God reveals His will for each person through His powerful Word.

Receiving His word, and declaring what He says with a heart of faith, is how we step into the supernatural. 

It’s also how we combat demonic forces, which are also supernatural.

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

We believe, call with a heart of faith, and salvation bursts on the scene.

It’s really a simple thing, stepping into the supernatural.

Because God took the necessary steps toward us, through His Son Jesus.

And now, all things are possible to those who believe.

Who believe enough to dip their toe in first, and then watch all Heaven break loose.

What would Jesus say to Americans?

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I admit this is my opinion, and I’m not claiming any “divine revelation” or “thus saith the Lord”.

But I do believe this with my whole heart.

I believe, if Jesus were standing in any of our country’s major cities, He’d have some things to say to us.

To His followers the message would be very clear: 

1. Get out of your comfort zone and represent the Kingdom of God. Speak the message of the Kingdom, not your own pet doctrines.

2. Not everyone will receive it, but speak of and demonstrate the kingdom of God.

3. Pray for more workers.

To His adversaries, those who refused to believe Him, He would speak these words:

1. Judgment and condemnation. “But I thought there wasn’t any condemnation in Jesus.”

There isn’t for all who receive Him (Romans 8:1,2).

2. A promise of division. It’s the nature of the kingdom of darkness, not the Kingdom of light. No peace, no future.

And to those who aren’t sure what to believe:

1. If you’ll hear the word of His messenger, you’ll hear His word. And of course, the opposite is also true.

2. Look around you. Notice the signs of the times. If you can forecast the weather, you should be able to discern time is running out for mankind.

Here are the verses I’m referring to; they were spoken by Jesus almost 2000 years ago, but can apply to today’s Americans.

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves…

‘…Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 

‘But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ’Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
‘The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me'” (Luke 10:1 – 10:16 ESV)

“‘I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 

‘Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

“He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?'” (Luke 12:49 – 12:56 ESV)

Which group are you in? 

Followers, adversaries, or the iffy group?

You’re in one of them; so what’s He saying to you?

Listen up, America. 

Can The NSA Stop End Time Prophecies?

I guess I’m just wondering out loud, as I do quite often these days.

I was watching the republican presidential debate the other night and some of their comments got me to mulling over a few ideas in my head.

Mainly, can the NSA stop end time prophecies from happening?

The NSA (National Security Agency) is pretty much responsible for monitoring all electronic communications, coded and cryptic messages, etc; anything and everything that could pose a threat to our national security.

I’d say they have their hands full.

But why the question?

Scripture teaches that in the end time evil men (and women) will grow worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-13 ESV)

Deception breeds deception. Evil begets evil. Bad people do bad things, and evil folks do even worse.

And so it will be in the end time, which I believe is right at our doorstep.

Good will be persecuted by evil to such a degree evil will believe it has won. “Deceiving and being deceived” spells it out pretty clear.

Mark it down, we haven’t seen anything yet!

Mild tremors of persecution are beginning to rumble throughout the earth, though in some nations the persecution of the righteous is in full force.

The evil one has a taste in his mouth for the blood of the righteous and won’t stop until he’s had his fill, or until he’s forced to.

Deceiving and being deceived. He actually thinks he’s going to win!

I don’t know how persecution of the righteous will come to the United States, but I believe it is coming.

And no, being told to remove a nativity scene, take down the Ten Commandments, or not being allowed to mention God at a High School graduation ceremony is NOT persecution.

Nor is it when a certain coffee shop doesn’t use the word “Christmas” on their cups.

But real, hard felt persecution is coming to those who won’t compromise their righteous walk with God.

And I don’t believe the NSA can stop it.

No matter how many phones are tapped, or how closely they monitor the millions of emails sent each and every day; the end time prophecies are going to happen.

They can fly thousands of drones over our cities, each equipped with the latest spy cameras and ultra sensitive microphones, yet nothing will alter the end time persecution of the righteous.

I’m not saying it’s going to be ISIS, or any other particular terrorist group. But mark my word, it will be a group of people who are deceiving and being deceived.

It COULD even be our own government!

Isn’t that something to look forward to?

Can I offer you a little bit of advice?

Don’t worry about it. Plan on doing the right thing, regardless. Determine to walk with God whether you are in the fiery furnace or the lion’s den. Make up your mind whether the government loves you or not, you’re going to walk with God.

Even if your presidential candidate isn’t elected, make it your aim to please God in all you do.

Paul said his “light affliction” (that’s what he called it) did something more than just make life hard. What light affliction was he referring to?

Nothing more than beatings, shipwrecks, nakedness, a stoning or four; you know, light afflictions.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV)

Persecution and hard times aren’t what anyone really wants to think about.

Ever.

But you’d better think about it, and prepare for it.

Prepare by walking with the Lord Jesus NOW; no matter how many people think you’re nuts.

Yes, the NSA will do their best to keep this nation as safe and secure as they possibly can. But that WON’T keep persecution away from those who have decided that, come hell or high water, they ARE the righteous ones in Christ and they’re going to live as such.

Go for it!

And I’ll see you on the other side!

Our Golden Calf 

imageAaron made a golden calf. Everyone was happy, as they danced the dance of worship and celebration, lauding the golden calf as their deliverer. The one who delivered them out of Egypt.

Everyone except God, Moses, and Joshua. 

America has made, or has at least tolerated, self absorbed, egotistical politicians whom we like to laud as our savior and provider. We dance to their tunes, and raise our voices in praise to our favorite “golden calf”; the one we believe will save us from the dreaded democrats or the repulsive republicans.

We mimic their values, tout their talking points, and dare anyone to tell us we’re wrong. We will fight for our right to worship our golden calf, because that’s the american way.

And all the while God is on the mountain watching. 

Watching and grieving.

Watching, grieving, and telling His people two things.

Come out from among them and be separate. Don’t fall into the dance of idol worship.

Pray for those caught up in the hype, the razzle-dazzle, the dance.

As Moses asked the people, “Who is on the Lord’s side?“, so the Lord is asking you and I.

The Levites responded to Moses call. 

Will we respond to God’s?

The Candidate Most Likely To Be Elected 


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In anticipation of the upcoming caucus and primary season, I’ve prepared a piece describing the candidate most likely to be elected. It’s a little lengthy, but it will only take you a few minutes to read.

Hey, it’s not my fault that there are so many candidates.

Just in case you’re wondering how I, a nobody in any circle of political analysts or pundits, could feel so confident in my prediction that I’d post it on the world wide Internet, it’s really quite easy to explain. I’ve simply looked at the data from the past three general elections, moistened my index finger, then raised it as high in the air as my modest 5’8″ frame would allow. And I think I’ve come up with a pretty accurate prediction of who could be the next President of the United States of America.

I’ll begin my description of the candidate most likely to be elected by saying it won’t be a woman. While there are many men and women ready to welcome a female Commander in Chief, the country as a whole hasn’t totally warmed up to the idea. Sorry, no Hillary or Carly this time around.

The candidate most likely to be elected will have a smooth tongue, but not necessarily a truthful one. And it’s my opinion that the one elected will be even more determined to meld America into the world’s mixing pot of socialism and a one world government than any previous president.

I know it’s hard to believe, but watch and see. Despite the rhetoric, the democratic and republican platforms, and all of the red, white, and blue lapel pins, the American way of life is close to extinction.

My opinion.

Patriotism is huge in some parts of the country, and among certain age groups. But people primarily vote according to their bank balance, not moral convictions. When the time comes, and come it will, to either vote for America’s sovereignty or join with the “prosperous” One World government, it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what will happen.

You say people would never go for that? Well, you might want to pull your head out of the sandbox. It’s gonna happen. Plain and simple.

People MAY slow things a little, but they can’t stop the inevitable.

Economics has a much louder voice than patriotism.

Okay, back to the election.

I like Carson. He’s a very smart guy. Too smart, though, for most voters. And the comment he made saying a Muslim should not be in the Whitehouse didn’t help him among the freedom in diversity crowd.

So Carson’s out.

Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindahl are non-contenders as I see it. I like what they say, but they are too radical for the ones who vote.

Jeb Bush is a Bush – ’nuff said.

Mike Huckabee is a Southern Baptist preacher. Can you imagine people who have swallowed the diversity and tolerance message hook, line, and sinker voting for a Baptist? Hardly. No, Huckabee isn’t going to make it all the way.

Chris Christie talks tougher than he really is. Of course, I’m only looking at his record, his comments, and his “let’s show the dems just how tough I can be” lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. I see him trying to play the role of a tough appeaser.

Was it Confucius who said “He who tries to play both sides against the middle ends up in a tangled mess”?

Maybe not.

Lindsey Graham has a great southern accent, but he’s too liberal for staunch conservatives, and too republican for the democratic vote.

Besides, he’s too short.

Jim Gilmore says he’s a republican, but thinks like a liberal. He would probably do well as a last days commander in chief, so I’ll let him stay in the mix for a bit.

Rick Santorum? Talks too much like a Bible banger. Doesn’t he realize this country needs more than God? Well, if he doesn’t yet, the voters will let him know.

John Kasich, George Pataki, and Rand Paul? Of the three, George is the most qualified to lead us into union with the rest of the world. Why do I say that?

Two words. New York.

John Kasich talks a lot, and no one cares what he says. Rand Paul hates the rest of the world, and doesn’t mix well with Iraqis.

Probably got beat up on the school playground a lot.

And yes, there’s the Donald to consider.

But why? Mr. Trump is in love with Mr. Trump. He’d be the first to cave to the one world government, if he thought he was getting a good deal.

In case you’ve forgotten, the next four years will not be about returning America to its greatness.

America has been throwing that away in the name of perversion, I mean, diversity, for the past umpteen years. Republican, Democrat, Independent… it doesn’t matter. Our course is set, and that’s that.

We’re gonna have a one world government, Americans be darned!

There’s not a single politician declaring the message of Jonah the prophet. Though it’s what this nation needs, the future president knows it won’t get him elected.

Nor will it fit well with the rest of the world.

Oh, and let’s not forget the rest of the candidates; the ones braying like jackasses, touting all the wonderful things they’ve done.

Things like supporting same sex marriage and abortion on demand. Funding Planned Parenthood as though it’s part of the American Dream.
Family planning services, what a joke. China has basically the same kind of FPS. Back in Moses’ day, Pharaoh had a similar plan. Kill all the boy babies. China, their planning service is simply limiting the amount of children a couple may have. Pregnant again? Oh well, time for an abortion.

Although the House passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood for one year, the Senate will probably fail to follow suit. But if they do, the President will certainly veto the bill.

And the nation that swears in her president with one hand placed on a bible, and the other raised to God, will cheer wildly as another nail in her coffin is hammered in.

Oh yeah. The election.

Who do I predict will be the candidate elected to be the nation’s 45th president?

Sanders is cool. Cool as a cucumber grown on a state run farm. Share and share alike. Raise the minimum wage so everyone can have a livable wage.
Sanders is socialism at its finest. His world view may fit with the one world government, so let’s wait and see.

Joe Biden? I’m truly sorry he lost a son. I can’t imagine what that’s like. But I also can’t imagine him as our next president.

Andrew Cuomo? Al Gore? Dennis Kucinich (how many times has he run, anyway)? Brian Schweitzer? Montana, it’s nice to see you tossing in a name.

Whoever it will be, I predict it will be the most liberal, diverse, one world government, socialist candidate on the slate. Because it’s basically what this country has groomed itself to become.

I know this isn’t a very encouraging post to some of you. I’m sorry. I hope I’m wrong. I pray I’m wrong.
I’m going to vote to make me wrong.

How about you?

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared…” (1 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

 

Safe Christianity 

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Believe it or not, I really do enjoy messing with people and their religious minds. Not because I want people to hate me, or call me a jerk or an idiot.

Nor is it because I feel I have all of the answers to the Church’s problems.

One of my favorite verses explains why I write the way I do:

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)

Stir up one another to love and good works… Yep, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Okay. With that out of the way, I’ll move on to today’s topic.

In my opinion, the number one problem in this nation’s Christian population is something I call “Safe Christianity”.

What do I mean?

Safe Christianity is a form of political correctness, only from the church’s vantage point.

A few examples:

1. Because people aren’t comfortable addressing such topics as pornography and other sexual sins, it’s a huge problem in the church.

Paul and other New Testament writers talked about it. We should as well.

2. Because many have bought into satan’s lie regarding money, wealth and possessions, some ministers are afraid to say much about money for fear they’ll be labeled as either one of those money grabbing “prosperity preachers”, or they’ll offend the flock and lose some donations.

Again, Jesus, Peter, and Paul all discussed money and giving.

Safe Christianity robs not only the church, but also those the church has been commissioned to reach.

3. Because we have defined “let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40) to mean “that which we can understand, control, tolerate, be comfortable with, and doesn’t make us look foolish”, we have lost the “suddenly” of God; the spontaneity of true spirit led worship.

Many have come to participate in Christian Thinking, rather than living a life of God pleasing faith. They can recite the creeds, the doctrines, and have all the correct answers to questions no one is asking. 

Safe Christianity never needs to be concerned with wild fire.

4. Because church leaders have been so concerned about keeping their non-profit status, they are afraid to declare the word of the Lord.

Safe Christianity doesn’t agree with John the Baptist’s style of ministry. In fact, Safe Christianity doesn’t see eye to eye with any of the New Testament writers. 

Safe Christianity is an enemy to New Testament Christianity. Safe Christianity will never win the world, or even a portion of it, to Jesus.

Oh sure, Safe Christianity will feed the poor and the homeless, build hospitals in third world countries, and embrace diversity with many hugs and kisses. 

Which is all fine and dandy.

But if the Church, the one and only Body of Christ, is going to truly fulfill its mission of going and making disciples of Jesus, we’re going to need the real deal.

Not Safe Christianity.

Real Christianity is not safe!

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Timothy 3:12 ESV)

The Closet

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It seems like the world is all geared up for house cleaning. Do you know what I mean?

When I was a teenager, my little brother, who is nine years younger, had a messy closet. From time to time I had the chore of “helping” him clean it out.

You wouldn’t believe the things we’d find in the closet.

Toys, socks, books, more toys, and lots of miscellaneous articles of clothing.

By the time “we” were finished, the closet would be nice and neat, but the bedroom would be a wreck.

Kind of like today.

The closet is getting cleared out, but now the junk is everywhere.

Quite frankly, I think it would have been just fine for the closet to stay messy.

But that’s not how people are.

We like to think we know best about everything. We’re happy with our choices, especially if we can get everyone to agree with us.

So instead of peeking into our closet full of questionable and messy things, we take the closet door off its hinges so everyone can see what we’ve allowed to grow in the dark room.

Only now, and unlike my chore of years ago, rather than properly disposing of the junk and odd socks, people expect everyone else to applaud the mess they’ve made.

They parade their closet junk in front of everyone, just daring someone to tell them it’s wrong.

They want people to affirm their closet lifestyle as the norm.

But you know what? I’m not going to affirm the closet stuff as good, or normal, or the way God made them.

Why? Because it isn’t the norm.

It’s only the mess from the closet.

Seven Churches

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Have you ever considered Jesus’ words in the Book of Revelation: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”?

Brethren, I don’t believe those words were meant solely for those seven churches mentioned in chapters two and three.

I strongly believe those words belong to us, the Church, right now in 2015.

Realizing that some may be offended, or think I’m taking wild potshots at ministers, ministries, and churches in America, I’ll say it up front.

I am not. 

I’m not writing to offend or wound.

I’m simply trying to make sense of some things.

You see, just as Jesus stood in the midst of the candlesticks (representing the churches), I can see Him doing the same today. As He stood inspecting (“I know your works”, He’d say), He listed deficiencies and adequacies within each church.

And He’s standing in our midst, inspecting, saying,

“He who has ears, let them hear.”

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God.” (1 Peter 4:17 ESV)

But what could He possibly want us to hear? Would His message be one of affirmation only, or could there be a few words of reproof?

Can we even hear His voice? Are we prepared to hear words of correction, or would we, upon hearing such words, rise up and shout, “Get behind me, Satan!”?

Imagine what it must have been like back in the first century churches. They were people much like you and I. People who had learned how to play the church game; you know, do certain things, speak with a holy sounding voice, and ostracize everyone who doesn’t look or act exactly like you.

Well, not everyone acted that way, but some did. And not everyone acts that way today, but some do.

“You folks know how to recognize false apostles”, the Lord told the Ephesians. Quite the commendation, don’t you think?

I wonder if they were too busy slapping each other on the back to hear His next words, “But you’ve left your first love!”?

See what I mean? What would Jesus say to our churches? To our pastors?

Here are a few things I believe He’s saying; some of the same things He spoke to the brethren some 2000 years ago.

“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:9-10 ESV)

Suffer? The devil attacking our church? Our parishioners? No!

Tribulation and poverty are not fun things to talk about. And I wonder how many people are members of our churches who aren’t genuinely born of God?

I don’t believe we ought to take a vow of poverty or invite persecution just so we can earn our “Badge of Holiness”. But all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. And living right, doing right, seeking first the kingdom of God is much more important than living a life of comfort and ease; if a choice must be made between the two.

Could His words to us, the American Church, be somewhat like those mentioned above?

I know this; it would certainly be hard to grow a “dynamic, world-changing church” if a pastor repeated the words Jesus spoke to those in Smyrna.

I’ll stop for now. But read through the second and third chapters of Revelation and ask the Lord, “What are You really saying to us?”

I’ll write more later.

By the way: please comment. What do you believe we should be hearing from the Lord?

 

 

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

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As someone who loved to watch Star Trek as a kid, I love the classic picture of Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr. Spock. To me, his “live long and prosper” sign is just flat out cool! 

This is probably one of the few aspects of life the Vulcans and the God of the Universe have in common. “Live long and prosper.” Or, another way to say it would be to quote the Apostle John; “Beloved, I wish (pray) above all things that you prosper and be in health, as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 

God wants each and every person to prosper and be in health. Regardless of your religion, denomination, status in life, He has plans to prosper you. Notice I said, HE has plans. 

However, there is a part of John’s letter we sometimes overlook; “…as your soul prospers.”

Man was created as one person, yet with 3 parts. Someone once said it like this: “we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body (much like an astronaut uses a space suit).” 

Paul referred to our makeup this way: “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT

Let’s talk about the soul. Basically it consists of our mind, will, and emotions. It is, along with our spirit man, the part of us that is eternal. Our body will perish, returning to dust, but the spirit and soul live on. From the time we were infants, our soul has been in training. We’ve generally been trained by our upbringing, surroundings, peers, schools, and people we trust. Of course, the training could have been good or bad, depending on the morals, faith, ethics, etc. of our “trainers”. 

But in spite of how wonderful our trainers have been, there is not a one of us who doesn’t need to have their soul “retrained”, or “reprogrammed”. Another way of saying it would be, “everyone needs their soul saved.” 

James tells us, “receive with meekness the…Word which is able to save your soul.” Save means to restore, deliver, and heal. Paul told the Romans, “don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” 

So our souls need to be saved and transformed! The more the soul is saved, trained, transformed by the Word of God, the more it prospers. As the soul prospers, the body and spirit prosper as well.

A prosperous soul. The mind, will, and emotions nurtured, transformed, and submitted to God’s Word. God’s Word is His will; so with a renewed mind, you can 

 I believe there are a lot of unhealthy desires among Christians. Listen to yourself talk. How prosperous is your soul? Pay attention to your reaction when trouble strikes. Have you learned contentment? “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Are you continually striving for something bigger, better, faster, more memory…? 

Is your soul prospering?

Do you feel the need to “pray” your needs to others or to God?

Preacher, what about your church’s finances? How long does it take “receiving” the offering? Are you always on the lookout for a better church, better salary, better program, or is God’s provision and calling enough? 

Some believers play what I call, the “Ministry Money Market”, trying to get God to supply all their wants by giving to the “big name” ministries, rather than taking the time to retrain their mind and heart to hear the voice of God; to live and give accordingly.

Paul said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” In the preceding verses, Paul wrote about being content, giving sacrificially, giving with a heart of love. He wrote in other places about giving, not grudgingly but cheerfully. 

The promises of God are not for those who obey out of duty, but who obey out of love.

After all, God doesn’t give to us out of duty. He gives out of His love. Paul told Timothy to “warn those who are rich in this world, that they The promises of God are not for those who obey out of duty, but who obey out of love.

After all, God doesn’t give to us out of duty. He gives out of His love. Paul told Timothy to “warn those who are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the Living God who richly gives us all things to enjoy.” 

The soul that prospers is the soul that moves beyond the dictates of the flesh and society and begins applying the principles of God’s Word to each and every situation. 

I believe even Mr. Spock would find that statement to be logical.

American Idols

American Idols (3)

The following is part one of a new eBook which will be published on 8/15/14. American Idols, the Final Call?

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.  (Acts 2:17)

Dreams can be SO real. At least this one was. I remember running through a town in the middle of the night; a sleepy little town of about two thousand (which included dogs and cats). I recognized the town as one we had lived in some twelve years earlier.

I shouted, “Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!” I was like a mad man. Like a man rushing into a burning apartment building with only one thought; rescue the residents from the tormenting flames.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!”

People were yelling at me as I ran, wondering why I was acting so bizarre, so intense. I shouted, “First Samuel three twelve”, and kept running.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols! First Samuel three twelve!”

And then I awoke.

Here’s the passage I was referring to:

In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.(1 Samuel 3:12)

The complete paragraph, from the Message Bible, reads:

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. The time has come for me to bring down on Eli’s family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. I’m letting him know that the time’s up. I’m bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God’s name and God’s place, and he did nothing to stop them. This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli’s family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering.” (1 Samuel 3:11-14 MSG)

I had not been thinking about idols, Samuel, Eli, or anything else from that “neck of the woods”. But the dream sure got my attention.

A number of people in the Bible were given dreams which God used to speak to his people, and to nations. Joel prophesied, and Peter quoted:

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:28)

“…your old men shall dream dreams…” At sixty, I guess I fall into that category.

Here are a few examples of God-given dreams.

Daniel interpreted two of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. Jacob’s son, Joseph, was referred to as “the dreamer” by his older brothers. Jacob himself was known to receive a message from God from a dream.

God used dreams to warn  people: Abimelech, Laban, Esau, an unnamed baker, and of course, Egypt’s Pharaoh.

King Solomon had a visitation from God, as God appeared to him in a dream. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was warned in a dream, as well as were the Magi. Pilate’s wife tried to persuade her husband to release Jesus; saying she had “suffered many things in a dream because” of him.

Dreams. Specifically, God-given dreams.

I believe my dream is a warning for America; but not just a warning for Hollywood or Wall Street. It’s also a warning to the Church. Much of the American Church seems preoccupied with the ways of the world. A growing, one-sided love affair has the Church courting the world’s acceptance. Seeker-friendly services are used to promote church growth; while society does all it can to exterminate Christianity as if it were the Black Plague.

Time will reveal whether I’m right or wrong, but it’s really not too hard to see. Just look around. The United States of America is in a condition of decline and decay. It is not the great nation it once was. It is no longer the “city set on a hill”.

Wars and rumors of war, the national debt, liberalism, conservatism, religious cults and sects, promiscuity, selfishness, and the like. What a mess. Issues such as “gay” marriage, abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and illegal aliens have polarized this nation like never before.

Where is the greatness of America these days?

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