Tag: change

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.

What Do You Believe About Jesus?

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Have you ever heard of Jesus? Who do people say that he is?

Or was?

What have you heard?

Some have called him Elijah; others, John the Baptist.

What do you say?

I’ve heard some people refer to him as Lucifer’s brother.

Yes, and there are those who believe we evolved from monkeys.

One of the prophets, the divine light, one of many gods, and eternal guide, to name just a few other purported names and views.

His name is used in many ways depending on the user’s belief. For instance, some use the name when they are mad or upset. Others, when they need heaven’s intervention. Many like to throw it on the end of a sentence as an exclamation point! Considering how many people speak the name, for one reason or another, it must really be a powerful name.

But what you heard? What do you believe?

Some have called him the son of David, the bright and morning star, everlasting father, mighty God, and prince of peace.

Down through the ages people have had varying opinions of this one called Jesus.

Do you have an opinion?

I’ve had different opinions through the years; especially the first twenty one years of my life. I remember when he was a non-entity to me. Jesus? Never heard of him. That’s when I was ten or eleven.

My twelfth birthday rolled around and I attended a Methodist Sunday School class a few times. My opinion quickly changed from a non-person to a mystery man who wore sandals and rode donkeys while crowds threw a bunch of sticks at him. Hosanna didn’t sound like praise. It sounded more like, “Get him! Hit him with the sticks!”

I learned a lot more about Jesus, and a lot quicker, once I began hanging out with older kids. I learned Jesus had a middle name that began with the letter “F”, that he was always ready to damn something, and that he didn’t like cute girls, rock and roll, long hair on guys, cigarettes, drugs or alcohol.

Yep. I never did meet a cute girl in church.

All my teen age friends agreed with me. Jesus might have been cool when he was alive, but that was then. I was told, over and over, God is dead.

My opinion changed when I was twenty one. That’s when I met this one I thought was a non-entity. I found out he did take a beating, and that he took it for me. Oh yes, and he took one for you.

He didn’t come to curse or damn anything. Instead, he came to try and release mankind from the curse they were covered in.

Cute girls? It’s amazing what happens to a person’s eyesight after Jesus has had some time to tweak their heart.

I don’t know what you have heard, or what you believe about Jesus. But whatever it is, you will conduct your life accordingly. And wherever you finally end up, you will be there because of what you’ve believed about Jesus.

Once there was a woman with a severe bleeding problem. She had it for twelve years, and though she kept spending her money on doctors and treatments, she never got any better.

One day she heard something about Jesus. I don’t know what she knew beforehand, maybe nothing at all. But now things were different. She heard he was healing people.

And she believed. And she acted on what she believed. And her life was changed.

“She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.”(Mark 5:27 NLT)

If you haven’t heard this yet, hear it now. Jesus loves you. He’s not willing for you to spend eternity in a hell prepared for someone else. He wants to make you a brand new person with a new mind, new language, new beliefs.

He did it for this twenty one year old; thirty nine years ago.

How about you? Isn’t it time you really considered this one called Jesus?

What you believe determines your actions. Your actions determine your destiny.

So what have you heard? What do you believe? Where are you headed?

And does that make you happy?

Here’s To You

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Here’s to all the people who sit in church every Sunday, sing the great hymns, sway to the latest choruses, but never crack open the Word of God throughout the week.

Here’s to the great television congregation who can find a good message simply by finding the TV Remote.

Here’s to the picky parishioner who agrees with all the words of Jesus; except for the ones he’s not sure of.

Here’s to America’s leaders, who claim to love God yet can’t support legislation for life.

Here’s to all of our judges who wear their long, black robes, who point their fingers and pound their gavels at lawbreakers.

Here’s to the actors and actresses who have the American public eating out of their hand.

Here’s to America’s news media, both conservative and liberal. You’re both selling something, and we, the gullible, are buying it.

Here’s to the person who buys everything the media sells.

Here’s to every person who has heard even the smallest amount of scripture. And to all the preachers who preach those scriptures.

Here’s one for every living being.

Here’s a passage Jesus told us all about, but many of us still don’t understand it…

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

Here’s something to notice…

Everyone heard the words of Jesus. Everyone. Some probably said to him, “great word, your holiness. Way to tell it straight! Right on.”

And went on their merry way; without a change. Yet.

Everyone built a house.

Everyone had the Spirit of God deal with their heart; some were saved through the storms, others were destroyed.

The Spirit of God is likened to the Rain, the Flood, and the Wind.

Eventually, everyone and everything was changed. Not everyone liked the change.

One way or another, the Spirit of God demands a change.

Here’s to the person who believes they can continue hearing God’s word, and never respond to it.

Change WILL happen in your life. You will stand or fall based on what you do with Jesus’ words.

The rain will fall, as the Spirit of God comes as an invisible cloud of Glory into the midst of this nation, and into your world.

The floods will do everything within their power to destroy all of those earthly things which demand too much of our attention. Yes, as the floods rise, so will all of our possessions which are not weighed down by the glory of God.

The winds of the Spirit will blow and blow. Only the person with a foundation of righteousness will be able to stand, maintain their position, and help others.

The Spirit of God comes as the Rain, the Wind, and the Flood. You will not have the strength to resist when He comes.

But…

You can be ready for it. If you want to. If you do what Jesus said to do.

How Would You Change The World?

20130427-061340.jpg“How would you change the world?” Quite a question, isn’t it? Well, do you have any ideas?

Here are some:
1. Make the world economy stronger
2. Eliminate hunger
3. Have all nations destroy their weapons
4. End pollution
5. Unite around one world leader

If you were suddenly given the keys to the world, and had the name plate on your office door proving to everyone you are top dog of the world, what would you do? How would you change the world?

Now, don’t be scared. There’re only 7 billion people living in this world of yours. One great idea just might turn everything around!

Okay, maybe you’ll never get the position or have the name plate on your office door. Does that mean you can’t change YOUR world?

Does YOUR world need changed? Are things really fine the way they are? If you could change one thing in your world, what would it be? How would you begin?

Just imagine.

If each of the 7 billion people all asked themselves that question.

And what if we all really listened to, and united around, one world Leader?

Is this too much to ask? Too much to believe?

What do you think?

I know of a world Leader Who is up to the task of changing the world. He’s the Only One Who has really demonstrated His true love for the world!

He’s changed MY world. He’s changed ME!

What are your ideas? How would you change the world?

“Drop Kick Me Jesus…”

“Drop kick me Jesus…” A cute little song by Bobby Bare.

God NEVER intended for His people to barely make it through this life and into the next, without a testimony of His power and victory evident in their life. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”(Romans 8:29-30 NKJV)

The word “predestined” can toss you around if you’re not careful. It does not mean God has already decided who will and who won’t be saved. God’s not willing any perish or go to an eternal hell. Rather He IS willing, and made it possible, for ALL men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So ANYONE and EVERYONE can become a new creation in Christ and spend now and forever abiding in His Presence.

“…He also predestined…” in the above passage could be paraphrased in this manner: “God knows who will come to Him through His Son, Jesus. And all who come to Him are destined to be changed into His likeness, His image. It’s an established plan. God won’t settle for any less.”

God desired to have a family, created in His image, after His likeness. Adam started out well, but ended falling way short. But Jesus, the Second Adam, brought mankind back to the place where fellowship with God is possible. Possible, through faith in Jesus. And our “destiny”, in Jesus, is to be changed into His exact likeness, His image; acting like Him in all ways, thought, word, and deed. As the Son is, so shall we be (see John 17 and Hebrews 1:1-3). “Pre” means “before” so think of it this way: God planned our destiny in Jesus before it was possible. He “prepaid” for our eternal hope and future.

I believe it’s time for us to see ourselves the way God sees us in Christ. Time for us to understand “this life” on earth is only separated from our “next life” by our earthly body. What God has, or hasn’t, accomplished in us while on earth will continue. “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” 

So, enjoy the cute song. Especially if you like country music. But look into God’s Word and discover what He has already accomplished for you in Christ. And don’t be satisfied with barely making it through life. 

You are not a football. 

Transformer or Transformed?

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Transformers. What a strange world it would be if those things were real!

But, wait a minute. This IS a strange world! So maybe…

I wonder what my Outback does at night. Does it change into a super hero or a villain? What super power does it possess? Is the vehicle/transformer covered in the standard vehicle maintenance program?

I don’t know. Maybe Transformers aren’t real. I mean, I’ve seen a number of tractor trailers on the highway and have even ridden in a few. Not once did I ever see one of them pose for a picture like the one shown in this post.

But transformers ARE real! Just different than the ones shown on the silver screen.

Really? Really!

The Apostle Paul wrote about them in 2 Corinthians 11…”For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NKJV)

I noticed something recently about these “transformers”. Their transformation entails donning a costume, a mask, a disguise. In fact, the Greek word used for “transform” in this passage means “to disguise”. Notice they disguise, transform, themselves. They are attempting to APPEAR to be something they really aren’t. Why? To deceive, to trick, to confuse. Their heart doesn’t change just because they wear a disguise.

Ultimately, false apostles, deceitful workers, even Satan himself has one goal. To steal, kill, and destroy.

A “transformer’s” life and ministry is purely selfish. It’s all about them. It’s not about serving, it’s about being served. They don’t live to give. Rather they see how much they can take from others. Other people’s money, time, affection, etc.; and it takes a lot to keep a transformer happy.

On the other hand, there IS a transformation that takes place in the life of someone who is determined to know God. Really know Him!

They don’t try to disguise themselves, acting like they’re someone different than they really are. They are attempting to follow Paul’s admonition…”And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”(Romans 12:2 NKJV)

Notice a couple of things. First, they don’t transform themselves. The transformation that happens is a result of embracing and submitting to the Word of God. Yes, they want to be different than the world, but not just while in public. They want to know the will of God; the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Second, the Greek word translated “transformed” is different than the other one discussed. This one means “to morph”, change into a different form.

The world doesn’t really need Transformers, or people disguised as the righteous. It DOES need people who will allow the Word of God, the Love of God, and Peace of God to TRANSFORM them. The world needs THE REAL DEAL, not impostors.

People who have been, or who are being, transformed by God, make an eternal difference in their world.

They may not be able to fly, shoot flames from their legs, or do anything like in the movies…but they’ll please God.

So be transformed…

Could Jesus Be An American Preacher In 2013?

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What if Jesus was a Preacher in the American Church in 2013?

What would that look like? Would He know how to grow a church? Would He have a “staff” and what would that look like?

Could the Apostle Jesus plant a church in today’s society, economy, and denominational organizations?

How would He go about doing it? Who would He ask, what forms would He need to fill out, what extra training would He need before He would be given permission. Would He need to have a core group before beginning the work and what if He wasn’t the right age to connect with what the demographic researchers determined was necessary? Would He wear the title of “Apostle” like a badge that demanded recognition and obedience? Would He demand the tithe from His “children in the faith”? Would He serve others or expect everyone to serve Him?

Suppose Jesus came to church this year as a Prophet of God?

Who would listen? Would He even be invited to speak “a Word from God”? Who would give Him permission to speak? If He revealed too much of our hearts and lives, would someone shut down the meeting? Would He advertise in Christian publications, using full page, full color ads, describing Himself in such a way so He could get more meetings and publicity? Could He hold citywide crusades? Would He go to small venues, or would there need to be enough people to “support the ministry”? Would He “sell His services and prayers” for a nominal offering to help support the ministry? Would He promise a hundred-fold return for every nickel given? Would He be a person of integrity – and actually pray over each letter received, like He said He would – or would His staff collect the money from the envelopes and toss the letters?

Maybe Jesus would arrive as an Evangelist!

Healing, casting out devils, preaching the word of deliverance to those who come to the meetings. But, who would come? In fact, who would even schedule Jesus to have a meeting? The American church doesn’t need evangelistic meetings anymore, do they? After all, the local pastor can give “his” congregation everything they need. So really, no need for an evangelist. Just forget it.

Do you really think Jesus could last as a Pastor/Shepherd in 2013?

For how long? Could He make it 7 years? Could He handle loud music or old hymns? Would it make any difference to His church if He was bivocational? Would He sit in His office before “service”, not speaking to anyone so He didn’t “lose His anointing” or would He greet and hug, receiving all who came to Him? What organization would He have His preaching papers with? Would He go to “ministers meetings” for fellowship or would He stay in His own little world, complaining of how busy He always is? Would the congregation have to wait for months to schedule an appointment with Him? Would He return calls to missionaries or another minister, or would the calls be ignored? Would He allow His tee time to be interrupted by a telephone call from another minister, who just needs some encouragement? Would He realize Who is supposed to lead the local church, or would He maintain His “called right”?

Possibly, Jesus would show up as a Teacher.

Would He arrive with certain demands regarding His accommodations and meals? Would He speak at the people or to them? Would He have well staged theatrics and cute sayings, or would His teaching go beyond the use of clever and persuasive words designed solely for crowd pleasing. Would the message taught change lives or only sell books and build publicity? Would He speak to a waitress in a restaurant with the same “sincerity” He uses to teach the masses? Could He work hand in hand with the other ministries in the church? Would He yield the platform to someone less “gifted” if Father God had a different plan that day? And, how many houses would He need to demonstrate just how prosperous God had made Him?

We’re going to find out!

Jesus is wanting to minister as an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher – through you and I! I recall Jesus’ ministry throughout the Gospels, ministering as those gifts mentioned above, and I see the need for a lot of change. In me.

Maybe in you.

You and Jesus will determine that.

 

 

 

Next Year (as I see it)

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2013, I believe, will be a tougher year in every area but one. Social, financial, political, physical, even spiritual struggles will increase. People’s thought life will be challenged beyond what they’ve experienced and it will take a great degree of discipline to keep focused on truth rather than fantasy.

I see a Divine Separation taking place in 2013. As believers contend for righteousness and holiness, there will be a greater divide in the Church. While fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, will be connecting spiritually in a way not seen in the past 3 generations, spiritual brothers and sisters will lock horns. This is part of the “sharpening process”. Though many will not survive the process, it must take place. “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, so that which can’t be shaken may remain.” The Lord’s work will be completed by vessels that have been tested in all ways and have become sharp and unshakeable in Him.

I believe there is one area that will NOT be tougher in 2013, in the sense of hard work with little results. But this will require much from those who want to see the Glory of God change multitudes of lives. That area is loving the world without reservation or hidden agendas. To those who will set aside their titles, ministries, programs, biases, doctrines (yes, doctrines), time, money, and simply love their world with God’s love they will see more people come into the kingdom than the church has seen in many, many years. This will be extremely hard for large ministries and those comfortable and secure in their churches. The process will require radical change in their philosophy of ministry. They will feel like they have become stripped bare and exposed to their congregations, peers, and the world. But the Lord will remind them His love should be their covering. Remember, He left His comfort and security to come to earth and ultimately was left exposed to His world; and while His people didn’t respond as they should’ve, multitudes did! And as many as received Him, He gave them the authority to become sons of God, even to as many as believed on His Name.

Quite a year is ahead! I sense the Spirit of God saying, “For too long the love of God has been hidden by the selfish works and ideas of man. It is time to expose the love of God for what it is; something bloody and raw that will go to the ends of the earth and give the ultimate sacrifice for someone else. The love of God makes you vulnerable, but extremely powerful. So don’t fear when you awake and find yourself spiritually and emotionally naked. Proceed to your world in My Name! They won’t see your nakedness, rather they will see My love.”

One last thing. I not only see testing and preparation increasing in the Body of Christ, I see the world’s trials increasing. What do I mean? I have a picture of Pharaoh, in the book of Exodus. God’s workings weren’t just for Israel, but also to bring Pharaoh and Egypt to a place of decision! Remember, there were many Egyptians who decided to leave with the Israelites.

What a time to be in the Kingdom!

“Then he instructed me, ‘Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near. Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.'”

“‘Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.'”
(Revelation 22:10-13 NLT)

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