Year: 2014

Joy Is…


Most of my reading and preaching this month has been about Joy. I just completed a three part Christmas Series on Joy at my Church. And you can discover how to increase your joy here. In this post, I want to, at least try to answer the question – “What is Joy?” I made a statement during one of my sermons about joy that left a lot of questions. I could hear the murmuring in the congregation while I tried to explained what I meant. Let me share it with you and you can leave a note about your feelings or thoughts about it: Joy is not affected by afflictions; it’s only affected by sin. Sin decreases joy; affliction increases it. I believe joy is … An indestructible Assurance in who God is and everything He promised. This includes the following: The assurance of his covenant relationship with each and everyone of us. The assurance that comes from the joy of His salvation within us. That he is able to save to the uttermost. That …

All of me for the King


Have you ever had the experience of feeling closer to God than anybody could ever be, only to have that feeling changed by one verse from His Word? It hits you and you come to the realization that you’re still a fellow struggler and it’s only because of his grace that you stand. Matthew 1:19 will do just that for you. We read: “And Joseph was a just man.” Now, that may look like just a simple verse, but I assure you, there are layers of truths to uncover from that sentence alone. A closer look will bring you to your knees. The story unfolding here, tells of the love between a man named Joseph and a very young woman named Mary. Her dress was purchased and His tux tailor made. The date was set and the guests were invited. He was so excited that he walked the streets of his little town singing at the top of his lungs everyday. Just before they could come together, he finds out that she is with a …

This is my season


Every time the Christmas season comes around, and when you read stories like that of Elizabeth’s, it invokes a sense of expectation. Like, this could be my time to bring forth what I’ve been praying for. Nine decades had pass. Old age had set in. The possibility of conceiving a child; the shot at giving birth to one or the hope that one day this could happen was no longer on her mind. Her best friends, some of whom she still prays for, as part of a priestly family, were now enjoying the laughter of grand babies, great grand babies but she was still without child. Anyone of us, even the strongest among us will begin to think that God has forgotten us. But God makes “everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 “Your times are in His hands.” Psalm 31:15 “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither, the son of man, that He should feel repentance. Has he said and shall he not do? Or has he spoken and shall he …

7 Reasons why God won’t use you


Throughout time, God has, in His Sovereignty, chosen to use people to accomplish his purpose. When he needed a deliverer for his people in Egypt, he called Moses. When he needed to finally save men from sin and damnation, he chose Mary to bring Jesus into the world. He used a stick to part the Red Sea, a little boy’s lunch of fish and bread to feed thousands. He even spoke through a donkey at one time. So God is in the business of using people to accomplish his plan. But as much as God wants to use us, sometimes he cannot adequately use us because we get in His way. The following are 7 reasons God cannot adequately use you. 1. You steal His Glory I am the Lord ; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.  Isaiah 42:8 ESV Satan was banished for it Nebuchadnezzar regretted it Herod was killed for it. Simon was cursed for trying to buy for his glory Paul …

What does it mean to really love God?


And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17, 18 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome …

Prodigal Comeback


The statistics are unbelievably staggering: over the last 10 years, 28 million have left the church – making America the third largest mission field in the world. 72 churches in America close each Week and attendance in 66 % of America’s churches has either plateaued or is 2/3 in decline.  I hate to report this one, but truth is – Islam is the fastest growing religion in America. Yet, as Paul would say, “we are hopeful of better things-things that belong to salvation.”  We are hopeful our generation will see another great revival.  We are hopeful that there will come another great awakening.  We are hopeful that the prodigals will return.  The question is: Why are they leaving? There are several reasons people are leaving the church. But allow me to highlight a few here: Apathy and the deceitfulness and hardening of sin Shallow soil, not grounded and without roots Hypocrisy, sin among clergy and offense from others, inner hurts Drifting, one bad choice after another bad choice The seeker experience never turned into a …

Singing with the Enemy


Every day in December – leading into Christmas, I have planned to have or experience joy in every area of my life.  As bold and ambitious as that is, I am very hopeful and confident that nothing will derail me from knowing indestructible joy – every day in the month of December – even in difficult times. So here is a story that will help you do just that.  I started a 23 days devotional a few days on YouVersion.  This post contains the 3rd day notes from “Joy! to the world countdown to Christmas, which was written by Carol McLeod and Just Joy Ministries Here is the story British soldiers were spending Christmas Eve 1914 on a French battlefield during World War I. After four months of fighting, over a million men had perished in the bloody conflict. The bodies of dead soldiers were scattered between the trenches of the opposing armies. It was in the middle of a freezing battlefield in France, that a miracle occurred! British troops watched in amazement as candle-lit trees …

Ignite my Soul: Consume these idle sticks


“God consume these idle sticks in my life that may burn for thee.” Jim Elliot What does the word idle mean? It means – not active or in use. synonyms: inactive, unused, unoccupied, unemployed, disused. It speaks of a person – not working; unemployed. Synonyms: unemployed, jobless, out-of-work, redundant, between jobs, work less, unwaged, unoccupied. It also speaks of a person avoiding work; lazy. Synonyms: lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, sluggish, lethargic, listless It means to lack or be without purpose or effect; pointless. Synonyms: frivolous, trivial, trifling, vain, minor, petty, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, inane, fatuous It defines a person who spends their time doing nothing; be idle. Synonyms: do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, take it easy, mark time, twiddle one’s thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, lounge, loll, loaf, loiter. The Scripture warns about it A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. Matthew 20:3 But …

Happy Thanks Giving


Here are 3 Bible verses for your Thanks Giving Holiday Let it be filled with joy, gladness and lots of singing For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord ; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.  Isaiah 51:3 Let it be filled with unceasing prayers and unconditional rejoicing Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Let it be filled with memories of God’s goodness as you thank him for future blessings. When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”  The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.  Restore our fortunes, O Lord , like streams …