New Grace Baptist Church

Fanning the Flame


Thankful…Grateful…Blessed… IN YOUR PRISON!

At this time of year, it’s easy to be thankful for things like home, family, husbands, children……our Bible, grace, strength from God on a daily basis. But how ‘bout when we’re in prison? Can we be thankful, grateful, and even blessed in prison? You say well Marianne, I’ve never been in prison. Webster says that, ”prison is a state of confinement or captivity.” So I ask…Have you ever been in a state of confinement or captivity? Has your life ever been hit with heartache, failure, or depression? Have you ever felt like there was no way out of a situation? [su_spacer size="10"] Paul was in prison for somewhere between 4-6 years, and he served two separate sentences for the crime of preaching the gospel of Jesus. He was unjustly accused and sentenced. He was in prison for serving the Lord. He was being punished for doing right. He was abandoned. He was forsaken. He was likely cold or hot, dirty, and likely hungry. [su_spacer size="10"] Where are you? What are your circumstances? How did you get there? Do you ever feel like you have been forsaken or abandoned? Do you ever feel like God has left you in a prison situation? [su_spacer size="10"] It’s important to note that before Paul became a Christian, he was one of the top Pharisees. He was a well-educated man of clout. He was highly respected and revered. Because of his past, Paul had a connection with men that may never have been reached in these prisons. The prison that you’re going through may be so that you can reach the next soul for Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul says, “ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” To be thankful means ”Pleased or appreciated.” It’s a simplistic, superficial kind of thanks in our culture. It’s the feeling that a child has if you give them a cookie. It’s often times dependent on good circumstances. The word thanks in I Thessalonians, is actually more like our word Grateful which means, “feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; indebted.” It is such thanksgiving that it blesses others. To bless others means “bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune.” We cannot be grateful without being thankful, and we cannot bless others with the light of Christ unless we are sincerely grateful. In the midst of Paul’s prison, here are some things that he was grateful for: [su_spacer size="10"] • Election – II Thessalonians 2:13 [su_spacer size="10"] • Calling – I Corinthians 1:9 [su_spacer size="10"] • Regeneration – Ephesians 2:5-7 [su_spacer size="10"] • Faith of the people to continue praying for him [su_spacer size="10"] • Justification – Romans 5:1 [su_spacer size="10"] • Redemption – Ephesians 1 [su_spacer size="10"] • Adoption – Ephesians 1 [su_spacer size="10"] • Perseverance – Ephesians 1:13-14, I Peter 1:5 [su_spacer size="10"] • Deliverance from sin – Romans 7:24-25 [su_spacer size="10"] • Victory over death – I Corinthians 15:54-5 [su_spacer size="10"] When our heart reaches the place of thanksgiving in the midst of our personal prison, often our light shines the brightest. When others see the way you love Jesus in the midst of hard times and circumstances, it makes them want to love Him too. As Christian ladies, our job is to give those around us the gift of thanksgiving so bountiful that they desire to follow our example. [su_spacer size="10"] Interestingly enough, when we bless others, God blesses us. The other definition for blessed is “those who live with God in heaven.” It is walking with the Spirit of God in heavenly places.  Could there be anything sweeter? [su_spacer size="10"] Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." [su_spacer size="10"] Challenge: [su_spacer size="10"]  This week, ask the Lord to only allow words of thanks to proceed from your mouth. [su_spacer size="10"]  Look for someone to bless and bless them like God has blessed you. [su_spacer size="10"] Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:


The Anti-Rejection Formula

Ezekiel 36:26 says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
Now that is quite a statement! Because we also read in 1 Corinthians 15:53, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
These two verses make me think of someone who has had a physical heart transplant. I am an organ donor. Some people disagree with that, and that's fine. I've often squirmed at the gruesome thought, what if the trumpet sounds, and Jesus calls his children home, and if I'm dead, and the dead rise first...will my eyes pop out of someone's head? "Sorry, I need those!" I would call out to the person who inherited my organs after I died. Nice thing to read this morning with a cup of coffee in hand, right? 
Well the fact is, there are people who have been given a new, physical heart. But here's the downside to that. It is a natural thing for our body to reject anything that is not a part of it from birth. A person who has a new heart must take medication on a regular basis, and throughout the day, in order for their body to accept this new foreign organ. I heard a story of one young man who lived a perfectly healthy life. A young man who was on the track team, was on the dean's list in college, but a young man who had been given a heart transplant as a baby. On a certain day, this young man decided that he was tired of taking so many anti-rejection pills. It is my understanding he took close to 100 pills a day. But on a particular day he said, "That's enough, I'm through with these pills. I've had no problems, I'll be fine without them."
What a foolish thing to say. Why didn't he stop to realize that those pills are what made him the healthy young man he was? 
It was only within a week's time, that this young man went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital where the doctor's did all that they could to stabilize him. He stayed in that hospital for nearly a month. Finally, the doctors were able to regulate his heart again, and for two years, the young man was normal again. In fact, he got engaged during his senior year in college, and had his whole life ahead of him. But one afternoon, as he was heading to a class on campus, he suddenly became very tired, set his books on the sidewalk, stepped onto the grass, laid down, and went home to be with the Lord.
Friend, when you were saved, you were given a new heart; that is to say, a new spirit. But remember what 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption..." You still have a flesh that is daily rejecting this new heart. Peter understood this eventually. You see, Peter had been given a new heart when he trusted in Christ as his Savior. But Jesus came to Peter one day and prescribed to Peter the need to be prayerful, and to be sober of Satan's devices. But like that young man, Peter told Jesus, "I don't need medication, I can do what you do!" Listen to what he said in Luke 22:33, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death." But Jesus said something interesting in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:41 says, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
You see, we've been given a new heart, a new spirit; but we are still waiting for a new body. The corruptible wicked flesh that we are robed in at this moment is constantly rejecting the perfect, righteous heart that we have been given by God.
So what needs to be done? 
Just as a person with a new physical heart must take anti-rejection pills on a regular basis, so must the Christian with a new spiritual heart take the anti-rejection formula found in the Word of God. 
The Bible says in Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
So the Bible teaches us that we must present to God our bodies to him; and that present needs to be regularly, holy, and acceptable to him. In order for us to do this, we need to renew on a regular basis. And so I see a formula, and I want to share it with you. Here is the skeletal layout, and then I will describe each one with a little more detail:
  • Resolve
  • Evaluate
  • Necessitate
  • Exhort 
  • Witness


And so the first letter in the acrostic is RESOLVE. In Philippians 3:13-14 we read, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
My friend, it is necessary that we not dwell on the things of the past. Are you a person who has a new pastor in a church? Does your new pastor do everything exactly like your old pastor? Of course not! But here's the choice you should make. You should resolve to follow the man God placed in the pastorate of your church today. The pastor who did things differently is gone. Resolve today to follow the pastor that you have. 
Are you worried about what you are going to do in the future? Are you afraid that you will miss God's calling? Are you afraid because you missed out on some education that you think you should have had, but you didn't get? Don't worry about tomorrow! Resolve to serve the Lord today!  There's something that I pray every morning that I wake up. "Lord, I may not serve you tomorrow. I may not love you tomorrow. I may not witness tomorrow. But Lord, I am resolving today to serve you, to love you, to witness for you."
Now I realize that prayer may not sound extremely spiritual, but that prayer is not a proud prayer. It's a humble prayer. You see, I don't want to be like Peter. I don't want to say, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee both into prison and to death." No, I want to have the attitude that says that it's possible that I may stray...but for now, I'm resolving to do right.


This is a cooperative effort. Because 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Now, in order for you to understand exactly what this means, it is necessary that we look back at the two previous verses. "But if we walk in the light, as He [JESUS] is in the light, we [ME AND JESUS] have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
Now I want you to notice that verse nine does not say sin, like verse eight, but sins. In verse eight it is a general summary of the problem we struggle with in this corrupt flesh on a daily basis. But when it comes to verse nine, there's a call to be specific. Can you define evaluation? The dictionary, which is not a reference for spirituality by the way, defines evaluation as "a diagnosis or diagnostic study of a physical or mental condition." I'd like to help the dictionary out by defining it like this, "a diagnosis or diagnostic study of a physical, mental or spiritual condition."
I want you to think of a time when you had a serious physical problem and you weren't sure what was wrong, but it was bad enough to get you into the doctor's office for an evaluation. Now, how would you feel if the doctor said, "Yep, there's something wrong, but I wouldn't worry about it."
I want you to think about what was just said. "There's something wrong...but I wouldn't worry???" I'd suggest finding another doctor if that's what was said to you. Because the doctor should have said, "Okay, tell me what hurts," which normal follows with rubber gloves and contact with that area, and then a check of the heart, of the throat, of the ears, etc. An EVALUATION.
Now lets look at that in light of the passages of scripture we just read. Are you struggling with your Christian walk? Do you realize that all revival means is bringing something or someone back to health? Evangelist Rick Flanders compared revival to a person who is choking, and someone coming over and performing CPR and bringing that person back to health.
This makes me think of a situation with a lady at a restaurant my wife and I went to one afternoon. I remember passing by a table and a woman was coughing and struggling with something she ate. My normalcy bias wanted to believe everything was fine, and so I walked off to the bathroom to wash up before eating. When I returned, the woman was blue in the face, and the lady across from her began to call out, "Help! Somebody help! O please help!" 
In a crisis situation, I have a habit of acting without thinking many times. Sometimes it gets me into trouble; but not this time. I immediately walked up behind the lady, and placed two fingers on both hands under both of the elbows of the choking woman from behind and gently pushed upward, to which the woman responded by standing. She knew that she was getting help. I then positioned myself for the Heimlich maneuver, and prayed, "O Lord, I've had training, but this is the real thing...please help," and I then pushed up under her rib cage, and out popped a big olive that landed right into one of the glasses on the table! Man o man, it worked!
So what happened? She was brought back to health! Now I want to compare that to the need of the church. We need revival, and it needs to be regularly. Unfortunately, churches ignore their need for it many times. Did you notice what got my attention and put me into action at the restaurant? It was when the lady across the table began to cry out, "Help! O help! Somebody help!" Now, I obviously saw what needed to be done, but suppose the lady that I was trying to restore back to health resisted me?! That would be odd, wouldn't it? She then turns to me and tries to shape the words with her mouth (because she cannot talk due to a lack of oxygen) I'm fine. That's what the church is doing! You see, confession is not promising to be better. It's a response to what God already knows about us. When Jesus was talking to the seven churches of Asia Minor in the book of Revelation, he said seven times, "I know thy works." So many times the church goes about it's business as hypocrites. Acting as if God doesn't know. We are choking! We are dying! And yet we continue to act like everything is fine. Did you know that hypocrisy means pretending? I run into a lot of people who say, "I don't like church! To many hypocrites!" I'm not sure if they know what they are talking about. Because if they don't like going to church because of hypocrites, why don't they go and show those hypocrites the real thing? If you don't go to church because of hypocrites, and you know what that word means; you're simply saying that you don't go to church because you're not good at pretending, and so you might as well not go at all. But the truth is, the church is full of hypocrites. Churches are filled with people who are empty inside, but put on a facade of being full. And for God, it's like going up to a person to help restore them back to health, and they look back pretending and saying, "I'm perfectly fine! I'm perfectly normal!" 
Do you know what's really sad about everything I've just been saying? Because there are so many hypocrites, many of the people who come to Christ think that emptiness IS the norm! I write this moment to tell you, it's not! A normal church is a church that is overflowing with life, abundant in joy, and restful in peace! And how does this happen? It happens when we evaluate what we truly are, go to God, and say, "Father, I'm empty, I'm barren. I have no joy, I don't love my brothers like I should. I have no peace." To which God responds, "I know it, but I can change all of that!"
Confession is simply agreeing. Just look at the first part of that word, con. "Con" comes from the Latin word meaning "with." It's simply telling God what he already knows. So many times, Christians act as if God comes to them and says, "Hey! What's the matter with you! Do better or I'm going to come down there and give you a whipping you'll never forget!" It would be like me going to that lady at the restaurant and saying, "Hey! Get it together lady! Breathe!" You'd think I was crazy! But we treat God like that all the time! Instead, it should be like the woman on the other side of the table, "Help, Lord! O Help, Lord! Lord, I need you! Help!" And I promise you...HE WILL.


We must make time for God. Ephesians 5:16 says, "Redeeming the time because the days are evil."
How necessary is time with God to you? Once you begin to evaluate yourself, you'll realize that it is a true necessity. So many people sing songs like, "O How I love Jesus," not realizing why they love Him. Even thought the next phrase is, "Because he first loved me," they don't stop and think that this love was commended, or proven by what he did! 
Isaiah describes it perfectly in Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Think of what that is saying! Are you grieving? Jesus bore that for you! Are you sorrowing? Jesus took that upon himself! And it says in verse 5, "The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed." O hallelujah! Do you not see that there is so much more than being saved from Hell? He took my grief so that I could have his joy! But in order to enjoy it, I must take it from Him moment by moment! As a branch, I must feed on the sap of the vine! I must necessitate time with Him! There's plenty of time spent in the world, and the world will bring me to the grave. 


All of the anti-rejection drugs work together. You can't have one without the other. You can't necessitate time without understanding your need for the revived Christian life, without confessing your need for Christ to help you. And you can't get to that point unless you resolve to do so. It all works together...for good. And so once you've stepped out of the state of hypocrisy, pretending to be a peaceful, spirit-filled Christian, into the genuine Christ-life, now you have the ability to exhort others to do the same. 
This is the biggest reason I simply love being a pastor. I get to exhort other Christians to live the genuine Christ-life, to live a real life of peace and joy. I used to be a pastor who would preach the word, but deep down would feel so false and so empty. I used to ask myself every time I'd finish a sermon, "What's the point of telling people to rejoice when I'm so full of sorrow inside?" But when I realized that I could not live the Christian life apart from the Life Himself, suddenly the joy of serving Jesus began to flow from me like a river, and I actually believe that what I have to preach will truly help those listening find rest! O let us exhort one another to continue walking in the light AS He is in the light. 
This wonderful experience of the overflowing life transforms us from prideful critics into compassionate people longing for others to know the joy of the abundant life of Jesus Christ! 


Now for just a moment, let's review over the last four medications that we've covered. Meditate on these, and see why witness comes last. Imagine you have found the exceeding riches of his glory, the overflowing abundant life of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, self-control...yes! We can have these! I love the song, Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. Listen to the words of the third stanza:

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease, just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace!

Did you know you could do that? Did you know that you can just simply reach out, by faith, and take love? Did you know that you can just simply reach out, by faith, and take joy? O yes! When I discovered this, and have seen the proof of it in my own life, I finally found rest! I finally found rest from having to try all the time! My friend, this is revival! And it's something I want people to know about! Not to show off my knowledge. But because the Bible says there's a world of Christians who struggle just like I do, and just as there are many who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the sinner, there are many Christians who have never heard the glorious Gospel to the Saint! 

But upon experiencing such joy, such love, in the faith and power of the Holy Spirit, partaking of the perfect, and wonderful life of Jesus Christ, suddenly, the need to share the gift of Christ becomes that much more real. You can't even begin to imagine how many people are out there ready to take their's just that some are bold enough to actually do it. You don't know how many marriages are on the rocks; how many children are hurting because of a broken home; how many drug addicts cry themselves to sleep with no hope...LOST! You CAN'T know. But can I tell you something? God does. And in order for the world to see God, they need to meet him through the yielded saint who is a partaker of the TRUE Christian life. The life that many Christians live is what Major W. Ian Thomas calls a "Christ-less Christianity."


So have you taken your meds today? I hope some of you had the light turned on when you read this. It's so simple. The reason you're so down all the time, and your saved, is because you're not taking your medicine! You've been given a new heart, a new spirit. The battle against you is impossible without God's help. Do you realize what's against you? You have a powerful foe named Satan who wrestles against you; laying traps, attacking, tempting, accusing. On top of that, the world is constantly enticing you to do wrong. And then on top of that, you are wrapped up in flesh that longs to do what is wrong! You're surrounded! Following the commandments of God are not hard...they're impossible. But "with God, all things are possible," and "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me!"


Lessons from A Water Glass

As a pastor, one of the things that I do is to have a Bible Study at the Fountains in Tarboro every Monday Evening. The Bible Study is called, "Life Again." I call it this because I want to get people's attention. I want them to ask me why I call it this, and my answer is, "It means REVIVAL!" Well that gets them even more curious. And so they talk further, and it always gives me a chance to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.
One of our ladies who attends the study is a blind lady named Anne. If you saw her, you'd never guess she was blind. She is a beautiful lady inside and out. She invited me to have dinner with her in the cafeteria so that I could answer some of her questions one evening. The cafeteria is very ornate. You may not even consider it a cafeteria if you were to walk in. It has a grand piano to the side, a podium at the entrance, and waiters and waitresses. For a retirement home, it was pretty neat.
We sit down, and as usual, the waiter comes and begins to fill the water glasses. After he fills mine, he places it in front of me, and I noticed that there was some kind of scum all over it. I guess it must have been soap scum, but it didn't look like anything I wanted to drink out of. So I held it up to where the waiter could see it and asked if I could have another glass. He reached for the glass at an empty spot at the table, and it, too, was grimy looking. I then began to look around the table, and noticed that they were all in the very same condition. I then looked at the waiter, who grimaced and said, "They are clean...I think we're having issues with the dishwasher."
Well, they might have been clean, but they were not clean to my liking!
The look on the waiter's face told me everything I needed to know. So I smiled and said, "It's fine, really." But it wasn't fine! My glass was dirty!
Needless to say, that was a pretty disgusting experience, but I learned something that has changed my life since then. As I was driving home after the study, it was as if the Lord hit me right between the eyes with this statement, "Michael, are you clean?" Immediately, my mind went back to those glasses, and the excuse that the waiter made, "They are clean...I think we're having issues with the dishwasher."
I was so stunned, I had to pull over and sit for a minute and ponder what the Lord just asked me. I thought of all the times I hurriedly confessed my sins with this in mind, "Okay, I gotta get to the good stuff (the stuff about what I want to ask for) but in order to see that happen, I gotta confess my sin.
Did you know that if you rush a dish cycle, you'll end up with soap scum all over the glasses? Did you know that if you cut corners, there are always going to be spots? Did you know that when you're washing clothes at a laundromat, and you turn the dial of the washing machine to speed up the process, that you'll wind up with spots on your clothes? 
Are you in a hurry? If you're not too interested in confession, you're not in much of a hurry to be used of God. It's not so much about being clean, as much as being clean to his liking. What does God think of you? When you go over the list of things you know you need to get right, are you specific? Or do you just say, "Lord, forgive me for pride, lust, hate, lying, and um...whatever else there is?" Or do you stop to reckon how much pain you caused your Savior over 2,000 years ago when he took those sins to Calvary? Something to think about. 
And then, not only should you be specific, but are you allowing God to turn the spotlight on you, to point out spots you overlooked?
The Bible says in Psalm 139:23, 24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Finally, are you truly sorrowful over your sin. God tells us plainly that the sacrifice of what you have is nothing to him...but he loves the sacrifice of who you are. Psalm 51:17 says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Are you sorrowful over what you've done...or do you just flippantly say, "Lord, I did this, forgive me, amen." 
Ah, but "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:" and it also says in Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
Are you Specific? Are you allowing the Spotlight? And are you Sorrowful? Are you clean in HIS sight...or yours?


A Design Without a Designer 

  The Big Bang Theory is a theory that defines the origins of the universe as we know an explosion from nothing 13.7 billion years ago.  It is like nails on a chalkboard to me when I hear people state that a star is 3 billion years old, or a dinosaur to be 265 million years old as though it is fact. To state such a theory as fact is to convince people that no one ever designed airlines...they just showed up one day and we started to fly them, and found that they made for excellent transportation. It is like convincing my kids that my brother-in-law came to our property with boards, nails, shingles, bricks, mortar (unmixed), water, flooring, mud, Sheetrock, doors, hinges, pipes, faucets, toilets, wire, fuses, windows, siding, tyvek, light fixtures, screws, nuts, bolts, and whatever else materials were needed for my home...piled it all in the yard, inserted 20 sticks of dynamite underneath, lit it...KABOOM!!!...and the house is perfectly together. If I waited 13.7 billion years, that house would never show up! Sounds silly? So does the Big Bang theory, and evolution. You cannot have the marvelous magestic design of earth, space, and all of its order...without a designer! So the next time you hear someone say, "It took the woodpecker 3 million years to evolve," look at the woodpecker's anatomy; an evolutionary process is an impossibility...there must be a designer. When you hear that it took the giraffe 42 million years to evolve, ask yourself how the giraffe managed to survive and develop a special artery tissue that squeezes the artery each time the giraffe goes down to drink to protect the giraffe from a massive brain aneurism from his large heart above his brain as he is knelt down!  How foolish to hear men blaspheme God with their evolutionary religion, and to hear the audience applaud them for it. Oh, beloved, judgement day will be very interesting. 


Ritual versus Relationship

   This post is more testimonial than anything, and I imagine it will be brief. I figured it might help some of you who become frustrated with your spiritual walk.  I want to give you a quick admonition. If you are becoming frustrated and feel that your walk with God just isn't right, and you're not sure what is wrong and you begin to wonder, "What is it that I'm not doing?" Or perhaps, "What is it that I'm doing?" Stop right there! Your walk has suddenly turned from relationship to ritualistic. This is where Satan gets a foothold in the lives of many Christians.  The Bible says in Colossians 2:6, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." How did I receive Him? I simply trusted in His Word and depended on Jesus Christ alone to save me. I didn't have to try to be a Christian, I became one...and it was all His doing.  The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." A fish can act like a bird all he wants to, but it still doesn't make him a bird. He must be born again into the fowl family, for as of yet, he is still in the fish family.  My daily walk is to be identical to my receiving of Christ! Many Christians focus on what they do to have a good walk instead of depending on Jesus Christ to help them every step of the way! Have you thought of this? Your dependence on what you do to have a good walk is equivalent to the man who depends on a prayer to save him as opposed to depending on the Person, Jesus Christ to save him.  There are times when my walk with Christ is sweet, and because of that vertical relationship, my horizontal relationships are sweet as well. But then there are times when I seem to lose that peace. Like a cloud of mist, something comes between my soul and the Savior. It can be only one of two things: sin or Satan.  It is good to start your day by asking God to search your heart and to show you any impurities; once you have cleansed your heart of impurities, if that peace is still seemingly hazy, then ask yourself if you are depending on your steps for peace more than you are on your Savior.  Satan will always try to use rituals to interrupt your walk. For example, "Tisk Tisk! You failed to read a whole chapter this morning," or, "I can't seem to come up with a sermon, I must be doing something wrong!" Refuse this. Satan will always try to get you focused on yourself instead of the Savior, when all along it is him clouding up your mind.  "Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you!" 


At 5,000 Feet

    As I was flying over Chicago en route to The Christ Life Conference in Anarbor, Michigan, the Lord strongly impressed on my heart that it is possible that the homes you see in the picture are u reached. Now I realize that they may very well have been, but imagine, this is just a small portion of the world. There are no doubt over a million people inside this photo...have they been told? Has anyone given them a tract? You know, I've been alive for 36 years, and only twice have I been asked if I was saved! One was an old man with a tract, and the other was a lady just recently at the Golden Living Center, a nursing home, and I'll never forget what they look like. I trust ONE reader will see the need to give out the good news, or that perhaps one would be stirred to action. Claim God's provision of power! He promised he would give it (Luke 11:13, Acts 1:8). Just ask for it, and then take it by believing on the promise and saying, "Thank you!" And then act! Go in the POWER of God and win one! One is better than none. The Harvest IS—not was—PLENTEOUS!



IMG_3756.JPG Has anyone ever given you an I.O.U? That's when they are unable to pay you what they owe you at a certain time, and so they give you an "I.O.U." as a promise for future payment. I choose to look at the initials in this particular blog as "Infernal Opposition Undetected." Satan is constantly writing "I.O.U.'s" and many are completely unaware that it is him. As a result of this, many Christians are defeated and discouraged because they don't know how to resist the feelings of failure and defeat that Satan is constantly hurling at them. Why don't they resist him? Because in many cases, they are completely unaware that he is involved. (more…)


CSI Revival

IMG_1040.JPG "Search me, O God, and know my heart..." ~Psalm 139:23
There are many times when Christians will pray for revival, and it never comes. And we know it's sin, and we keep on confessing those sins, but it just doesn't seem to do any good. God has been dealing with me personally with this particular issue. God wants to send revival! He will send revival; but he won't do it without a thorough investigation. (more…)

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