Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Light

We all have something that we enjoy the most about the Christmas season. Spending much needed time with family and friends. Giving and receiving gifts. Playing in the snow (if you get some). I personally love decorations. Not so much the putting up or the taking down part. But I love to see homes, trees, and small town parks lite up. The creativity people put into making their homes help guide aircraft (or Santa...lol) just stirs within me the anticipation of Christmas. I love seeing trees take on whole different personas with ornaments and lights that twinkle with holiday music.

Of course none of this really matters. All these things fade. The snow melts, we go our separate ways, the lights come down and get stored until next Christmas. But there is a light that does matter. It never dims. It is eternal. That light is Christ.

John 1:4-5, 9
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 12:46
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

Christmas is Jesus expressed. It's about love, service, praise, reflection and worship.

If this is true than Christmas is an action rather than a holiday.

When the weak are sustained,
When the burdened are uplifted,
When the weary are restored,
When the sick are healed,
When the suffering are solaced,
When a believer proclaims Christ boldly,
When a soul is redeemed THAT'S CHRISTMAS.

Christmas is a time to remember Emmanuel; GOD WITH US.

God in the valley,
God on the mountain top,
God on the homeless street,
God in the midst of the chains of addiction,
God when I'm mourning death,
God when I'm losing my mind,
God when my health is failing,
God when my bills are greater than my income,
God is the midst of war,
God who brings peace, joy, good-will and salvation to every man, woman and child.

So instead of celebrating the holiday put Christmas in action.

When you see a light twinkle on the tree or in your front yard let that be a reminder that Jesus has called us to action and that He is with us to bring light into the darkness. More than just on December 25th but from January 1st to December 31st. The true Spirit of Christmas is something that is year round.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Great Commission

Mark 16:15 puts the Great Commission this way: He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

He is no Christian who does not seek to serve his God. The very motto of the Christian should be "I serve." - Charles Spurgeon

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that. - Charles Spurgeon

If you do not make it a matter of study, how you may successfully act in building up the kingdom of Christ, you are acting a very wicked and absurd part as a Christian. - Charles Finney

Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." - Matthew 9:37-38

Oh, my friends, we are loaded down with countless church activities, while the real work of the church, that of evangelizing the world and winning the lost, is almost entirely neglected! - Oswald J. Smith

Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord," and do not do what I say? - Luke 6:46

My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you're to blame somehow.
On earth I walked with you by day,
And never did you show the way.

You knew the Savior, in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim,
You could have led me safe to Him.

Though we lived together, here on earth,
You never told me of the second birth.
And now I stand before eternal hell,
Because of heaven's glory you did not tell!
- Anonymous

Truly if we want to be like Christ we must accept the very mission He had: to seek and save the lost. - Luke 19:10.

Where do we put our effort in this kingdom business? Is our time spent inside the church? Is our time spent on planning "insider" events? Is it spent worshipping? These aren't bad things. But our time must be spent on what Christ would. Jesus spent time doing things with His followers but that never distracted Him enough to take His eyes off of His mission.

Love finds a way. Indifference finds an excuse.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Best Place To Have Church

The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east...As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?...When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live." (Ezekiel 47:1-9)

I love coming out of a church service feeling pumped up for God. Many times I'd get into a conversation that would get started by saying, "We had church today!" (Waving my white hanky). I'd get so hungry in a sense for God after that service that I would go to my local Mexican food restaurant and grab a bite to eat. I'd get so full that I'd go home and take my Sunday afternoon nap before the evening service. I've come to wonder now if I'd really had church.

These verses have several implications for those who are True Christians. We could look at the depths of spiritual maturity - from ankle deep to in over our head - mostly the location of the water is what I want to look at.

The shallower the river the closer it is to the temple. The deeper the river the further it is from the temple. Now I believe church, the organization, is important to bring a foundation to its people. Where the people know where they stand in the faith (ankle deep). The church has a great place in teaching and training believers. But they still aren't deep yet. They maybe deep theologically but not necessarily spiritually.

The further we get from the church as an organization to the place where it is an organism we see great depths spiritually.

Now this scripture is telling of how the Dead Sea, which cannot sustain any life because of its salt content, will have fresh life sustaining water.

Our depth in the Spirit depends greatly on how much we impact the "Dead Sea" around us. How Christian am I if I only live my life in Christ at my local church? How much am I like Christ if all I do is hang around saints?

We seriously need to get in over our head in the Spirit of God to where the current takes us where God directs and a long that way give the life giving message to those who are dead spiritually.

Would your community weep if your church suddenly vanished or would it not even notice? A church that impacts it's "Dead Sea" is a spiritually deep community changing organism. The church that has little to no impact in it's community is spiritually dead and is nothing more than an organization.

So maybe the best place to have church is not in a sanctuary but at the local tavern.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Have We Come To?

"Believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Believe in the Deity of Christ. Believe in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; and you will become a Christian."

So the whole plan of salvation is to give intellectual assent to some doctrine?

A person is considered a "Christian" because they could say "Yup" at places they were asked to? A simple cure for the spiritual issue.

Colossians 2:8
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."

Have we been cheating people of true salvation by giving them philosophy and doctrine instead of giving them the Spirit of God that gives us life and that causes all spiritual change? We have removed ourselves from the spiritual because it is uncontrollable. We have a few moments in the Spirit here and there but where is the consistency of life that the Spirit gives the believer? There are great cathedrals that have been built in honor to God but have the people who worship in those beautiful establishments honored Him as well?

Don't get me wrong. I know salvation is not earned and that it is a free gift of God. But here lies the issue as well; just like every free gift I must take ownership of it. For example, if I were given a gym membership as a gift but I never spent time at the gym would I really know what it is like to workout in that gym? No. I can show you my membership card...but the evidence of me being at the gym is missing.

I fully believe that salvation comes through a truly repentant heart but I believe it also goes so much deeper. Paul told the church in Philippi to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". It is not a 2 minute prayer at an altar. It is taking that 2 minute time at an altar and letting God take our life time to alter us.

We act as though we are doing God a favor by accepting His salvation. We are not saved so we can go to heaven. Salvation is not a fire insurance policy. We are not saved to see what we can get out of God; salvation is about God getting glory out of our lives.

We work out our salvation by devoting our LIVES to God. Letting the spiritual impact our physical. We must start to let God interrupt how we usually act toward people, how we work, how we play. It all is affected by our salvation.

Psalm 42:1
"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God."

Does that sound like a person who let their salvation become a thing to be forgotten? That is the heart of a person truly repentant and needing more of their God.

The question boils down to this...how's your salvation? Is it being worked out or is it some vain philosophy?

I guess if we take it a step further still can Jesus be our Savior and NOT our Lord? This question however has an easy answer but a harsh reality.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Have you heard anyone use the word "reconcile"? I hear it all over the place now. First, with Oprah and her New Age beliefs. She reconciled her idea of God with other ways of thinking (kinda old news there). I hear it from those who reconcile their faith in Christ with their homosexuality. These are not the only two instances of people or groups of people reconciling themselves with God. Those who abuse much of anything try to reconcile their actions with God. This goes beyond justification (being declared righteous). Their reconciling is saying that my acts or thoughts or beliefs are "OK" with God because we've worked out our differences.

Those who do such make it almost sound spiritual their act of reconciling. Yet, they are far from being truly reconciled to God.

Do they really know what reconciliation is? And who does the reconciling?

The dictionary definition and most common usage of reconciling is to: bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or balanced. For example, when you balance your check book to your bank account. When it is balanced then it is reconciled. There is no disagreement in either record.

At some point we've got the reconciliation process flipped. We've reconciled ourselves "with" God; rather than us being reconciled "to" God.

Here is what I mean...

In order for someone to be reconciled there must be something broken between the offended and the offender. When we look at scripture the roles that are played as mankind being the offender and God being the offended. The act of reconciliation must be initiated by the offended party.

For example, if I had offended my wife in some way that caused our relationship to be broken; no matter how much I apologized and sent sweet messages and all those types of things to her we would not be reconciled. I was the one in the wrong and therefore cannot bring harmony to the situation. Now if my wife comes to me and forgives me and starts the process of reconciliation then we will have our relationship restored.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

The message that Christians should preach is the message of reconciliation that God will not hold the sins of mankind against them if they come to God through Christ. God wants to have mankind's relationship restored with Him. And that comes through being reconciled. We cannot do the divine act of reconciliation and believe that all things are peachy. If we want to be reconciled then we must come before God in the light of our actions and be forgiven. And keep in balance with God and that means the actions that cause us to be separated or in disagreement to Him should be abandoned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"By My Spirit"

Zechariah 4:6, 7
"So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts. 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'"

First I just gotta give props to Zerubbabel. He had to have been awesome to rock that kinda name. I wanted to name my son that but my wife wouldn't even consider it. Seriously, if you got mad at him and like most parents start stuttering their kid's names; you'd get caught on the "bbabababel's" and start to laugh and calm down before you disciplined your kid.

Anyway, to be more serious. The Israelites were in a building program. They were trying to build a new temple. The temple is significant because it symbolizes the place where God dwells. It wasn't like the church on every corner. It was the one and only.

Well in taking on any task of this magnitude it was going to take all of their might and all of their power to accomplish it. What this verse is saying though is that the obstacles that are and will be before it are much greater than the people are and it will only be by God's Holy Spirit that they will overcome those "mountains".

According to 1 Corinthians 6:19 True Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit (if you want to know my thoughts on TRUE Christians check out my September 2008 blog: Who in Hell are You?). And according to Romans, True Christians have been given a new nature and a new way of life. A nature and life that are led by the Spirit of God.

Matthew 16:18 says that hell cannot withstand the Church or aka the body of Christ. Well, I'm not a doom and gloom type of person but I look at the news and see the people on the streets of my small town and see how hell has overcome the Church. I believe it is because the Church has forgotten what it should have been. The Church has used it's own resources, it's own agenda, it's own authority to become the "body of Christ". The Church has negated the Spirit and by doing so crippled itself. It was in the days of Zechariah as for today that the place where God dwells must be built upon the Spirit of God.

As a nation when a horrible tragedy strikes we act swiftly to take care of those suffering (i.e. those who helped their neighbor or flew across the country to give aid to the Katrina victims). How often is it that we act as selflessly during normal business hours to our neighbors? We want to show people the love of God. We want to show compassion to the widow and orphan. To be charitable to those who are less fortunate. Surely, we can do all these things with our own might and power but what makes the biggest impact and causes those efforts to have an incredible force to make a change is the Spirit of God.

The reason for this lack within the Church is because it has focused on and became a Physical Organization and left it's origin as a Spiritual Organism. I feel this to be our primary "mountain" that must become a "plain" if the Church is to be what it was intended to be. An organization can still thrive and be successful if the founders are no longer present. All they need to do is establish new leaders that will direct that organization into the future. However, the Church cannot do so. If you remove the Spirit the organism dies. All that is left is a corpse. Proof that it once had life but no longer has a future. The Church needs it's life back. There is no life-support. Either we live by the Spirit or we don't have life at all.

I am a Pentecostal. Not because I think the name is cool but I believe in the prompting, leading, and guidance of the Holy Spirit in my daily life. I want the might and power of the Holy Spirit flowing through me. Because I know that the only way the Church will prevail against the spiritual darkness in this world is to operate in the Spirit. The only way for the Church to truly be established as the dwelling place of God is to allow the Spirit of God to reign.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus Covered It!

Exodus 25:22

There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all My commands for the Israelites.

The Atonement Cover was a very ornate object that was the cover for the Ark of the Covenant. Make a mental picture of the Atonement Cover. On one end there is a pure gold angel and on the other side is another pure gold angel facing each other with their wings raised and their heads bowed.

Inside the Ark were a few things. One thing in particular was the 10 Commandments, also known as the Law. This was where God would meet with the priest. The Atonement Cover was also known as the Mercy Seat. God’s presence was there and His mercy rested on it

Leviticus 16:15 tells us that the Atonement Cover had the blood of the Sin Offering sprinkled on it between the angels. This only happened once a year on the Day of Atonement where the priest would meet with God and made atonement for the sins of the people.

So put these two things together so far. The Atonement Cover had two angels on each end depicted in worship to God. This is where God met with the priest on the Day of Atonement. It is where the atonement took place. Without the Atonement Cover there wouldn’t have been fellowship between God and man. Finally it is where the requirements of the Law were Covered by the Atonement.

Now skip forward many, many years to the time of Jesus Christ. John chapter 20 verse 11 & 12.

but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

Mary saw what? Two angels. Where at? At the head and at the foot where Jesus’ body was laid.

This is what I think is awesome. We have a picture of the Mercy Seat inside the tomb. The perfect sin offering was in between these two angels (check out Hebrews 9:12-28). Colossians 2 says that the requirements of the Law that were against us were wiped out because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

The first Mercy Seat had to have a sacrifice sprinkled on it once a year on the Day of Atonement. The new Mercy Seat had a sacrifice laid upon it that made atonement once and for all.

Jesus brought more out of the Mercy Seat that Resurrection morning because the power of the grave had no power over the mercy given by God through His Son.

The Old Testament Mercy Seat covered the Law that was against us temporarily. The new Mercy Seat covered the Law permanently.

The Law had been fulfilled by the death and Resurrection of Christ. We have mercy because the wrath and judgment was poured out on Christ..

The very place where God had fellowship with the high priest in the Old Testament during the Day of Atonement has greater power because of the Resurrection. God could only abide on the Mercy Seat because of the sins of the people. Now He can move and abide in His people because of the Resurrection power of Christ.

God was showing in the days of Moses and throughout the religious history of Israel to the day Jesus rose from the grave that the Law will be Covered by the Atonement. God wants to meet with His people. And it is only through the acceptance of Jesus Christ’s atonement that we can have fellowship with God.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You Might Be A Preacher If...

You Might Be A Preacher If...

10. You've ever dreamed that you were preaching only to awaken and discover that you are.

09. You've ever asked for a clergy discount at a garage sale.

08. You get your home and church address mixed up.

07. You get paid weakly.

06. You've checked your fly as you stood for an opening prayer.

05. When you talk to people it always has a happy ending - everyone is happy it ended.

04. You suffer weekly form P.M.S. (Pre-Message Syndrome).

03. You've fantasized about re-baptizing a deacon.

02. Instead of getting "ticked off" you get "grieved in your spirit".

01. You've secretly wanted the worship team to drench you with Gatorade after a particularly good sermon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parable of the Rich Fool

Luke 12:19-21

And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good
things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat drink and be merry." But God
said to him. "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.
Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" This is how it will be
with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.
In this parable this dude had everything materially. He was not in want of anything. The one thing he lacked though was a good relationship with God. It wasn't a bad thing that he had wealth. It wasn't a horrible thing for this guy to want to take life easy for awhile. We can all use a break now and then. But the problem was that this guy from morning till evening strived to prepare for himself a home here. He wanted to be like the Jeffersons and move on up to the east side. All of this was taken in one swoop. This parable ended with this dude's life being taken. Everything he had was now forfeit.

Seriously we need to evaluate our lives. As Christians we should give a portion of EVERY DAY to God. As much as we do to make sure we provide for ourselves here on earth we should strive with as much effort to prepare for our home in heaven. How often do we read the Bible? How many times do we pray? How long are we in His presence daily? If we give poor answers to these questions our fate will be the same as that dude in the parable of the Rich Fool.

Friday, January 9, 2009

LIFE Journaling

Hey everybody -

Just wanted to tell ya what has been going on recently since I haven't blogged in a bit. The beginning of this year myself and the leaders of Lapwai Assembly of God have committed to LIFE Journal.

What is a LIFE Journal? Well the idea came from Wayne Cordeiro, pastor of New Hope in Hawaii. It is a fabulous tool for every Christian to grow in their faith. There is a Daily Bible Reading Plan that you read each day. When you have completed the reading for the day you write down the scripture(s) that spoke to you. Then you write down what you have observed. Then of course you write down how you will apply this in your life. Finally, take it a step further and write out a prayer asking God to help you become different because of what was read.

We have read for over a week and I have been extremely blessed. I would encourage you to do a LIFE Journal. You can find the Daily Reading on our church's website: www.LapwaiAssembly.com. If you would like to purchase an official LIFE Journal with the Daily Reading Plan and other helpful tips for journaling visit www.lifejournal.cc or call 1-877-755-9555. It is worth the investment of your time and money for your relationship with God to flourish.

Many Blessing to you and to yours.