Ok, it’s time for a message. Our Champion is a Champion! Recently, I asked my son Jered to put a song that I like on my phone. Well he did that but he also put a song that he likes on my phone as well and he said “you will like this song dad”. The title of the song is “Champion”. Well he was right – I love the song – it is the basis of this note to you. 1 Samuel 17:37 is part of the account of the fight between David and Goliath. Scripture records David saying “ the Lord, Who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Because of their numbers and the giant size of Goliath, their champion, the Philistine Army had the Israelites afraid to do battle. The Israelites didn’t think they could defeat the champion. But when David showed up at the Israelites camp, he brought their Champion with him – a Champion of Champion – the God of all creation. David reminded the Israelites that Goliath was a champion about to lose to an eternal Champion. Sometimes we face some tough things – things that just seem like we cannot overcome them no matter what we do. It’s at these times we need to remember we have One on our side Who has already conquered everything – we need but to go with Him and He will fight for us. We cannot overcome our challenges when we stand before them in the fear that our strengths are no match for the change needed. Whether it was a lion or a bear or a splinter in your finger, we must always remember the times the Lord came through for us. Only then can we really remember to stop toiling with things we cannot win on our own. Sometimes we can’t change the things we face because we want to be our own champion. Please allow that wisdom to settle in your heart. God is not anxious to fight your Goliath when you want to be crowned the victor. Being a believer means have you a champion – Jesus! Jesus never loses; has never lost; and will never lose. No power is greater than He; no thing can overcome Him. Nothing can stand before Him when we get out of the way and let Him fight for us. Whatever stands before you today that is in opposition to the God of all creation – it cannot stand when you step back and allow your Champion to step forward for you. You have a Champion of Champions Who is undefeated in fighting for you. He will fight and defeat your Goliaths if you allow Him. He is your Champion and you are His! Live a Delivered Life. Love you!
Ok, it’s time for a message. Why don’t we hear more?The scripture says to us in 2 Timothy 1:12 “For I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day”. Many of us will never have changed lives because we won’t give up any of what the world teaches us so we can make room for what the Lord wants to teach us. In this scripture, Paul is telling Timothy that he was happy to give up some things he had so he could have some things he didn’t have. What about you? Often times the reasons we cannot know more or do more or have more or change more is because the world screams at us that we must hold onto more of what we have already. It is unnatural for most of us to want to eat when our stomachs are full from the meal we had an hour ago. What we eat of the world limits what more we can eat and we are unwilling to make room for more until what we ate has all been consumed and digested. But with believers in the Lord, we know that our tanks are not ever full but rather we allow things to pass through our lives so that we can always have room to have more of what God wants to give us. The way to make this room in your life is to be willing to give up on some things the world does each day so you make room to have more of God. You have an unlimited capacity to know and grow in the things of God but you limit your capacity by filling your life with what you have known and grown to be in the world. Can you be persuaded to love who others say don’t deserve love; can you be persuaded to give grace where people in the world say punish; can you be persuaded to say I am wrong when the world says you are right; can you be persuaded to stay where you are when the world says it is right for you to move on to something new. I am persuaded we don’t know more because our lives are too full of world views that keeps us feeling full. God wants you to be hungry for more when you are full; can He persuade you to believe that? And can He persuade you to change some ways so He can make some ways for you? You have an infinite capacity to have with the Lord when you allow Him to punch a hole in your tank so your world view can be pushed out to make room for the power and favor of the infinite presence of His view. If you have ears, hear this. Live a Delivered Life. Love you
Ok, it’s time for a message. Choose ways that pleases Him! Scripture says in Isaiah 55:8 says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord”. Sometimes the circumstances of our lives can become so boisterous, that we take our eyes off faithfully living God’s way and start thinking and living in our own way. When it seems like we are drowning in a sea of bad luck and no luck, we turn to our own thoughts and ways to save ourselves – to turn our lifelong misfortunes into prosperities. The man who has no seed or the woman who is barren may say “look at me, I am half a person”. But the Lord says to both, “live faithfully anyway and keep My Love before you. Choose what pleases Me and keep My ways. And I will give to each of you what you cannot get for yourselves in a house I have prepared for you.” The Lord will fix their problem when they learn to fix their thoughts and their actions. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how to swim when it seems you are drowning in a sea of mess someone else has caused. This is exactly the time when we must not think to fix the people who are causing our problems more than we remember how the Lord has taught us to swim. I learned long ago that if I want to be loved in life, I needed to work on making myself a lovable person – someone that even my enemies would stop and treat in better ways. You may be barren now, but when you think on your circumstances the way the Lord thinks about them you may find a house full of children; a job in the highest place; love like you can’t imagine; respect reserved for a king; all this and more than you can imagine, in your life right now and today, right under your nose. Focus on what the Lord has taught you to be and to do; don’t worry too much about the noise of your circumstances. Flap the wings of your faith and you will fly high, right in the middle of the stuff that doesn’t seem like it will ever change. Stop trying to bring rain when there is a drought or to stop the rain when there is a flood – you cannot control the weather. Remember your umbrella of faith and live justly right where you are. Live a Delivered Life. Love You.
Ok, it’s time for a message. The Dead Life. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says “Do not quench the Spirit’. God gives us His Spirit which lives inside each of us. The life of the Spirit is there to teach us how to have and to live a life in Christ. The Spirit wants to teach us to learn about life from what is within us more than from what is happening around us. But sometimes we don’t listen to the Spirit. Instead, we listen more to the world, which then shapes who we are. We start to believe we live more before others than before God. So we believe we need to act in ways others will respect and respond. When we do this we start to live a dead life. A dead life is one where we lean more on what we know than on what God tells us; a dead life is one where we talk more about others than we walk more for others; a dead life is when our mouths move faster than our favor; a dead life is when we make a desire of life for us greater than a fact of life; a dead life is when we seek man’s acceptance and submission to our position and power more than we are powered and set in our position and status by God. A dead life listens to what we want more than it listens to the Spirit. In all these things we quench the Spirit of life so that It is smothered out by our own cares. God warns us to be careful and do not quench His Spirit because when we do a dead life will eventually die and we will be as a living dead where we talk more than we walk; where we will have all we want but not the Holiness we need; where we will be loved by man but without the favor and grace and mercy that is of God. When the Spirit is alive in you, you will by your quietness of life, say more to others than the words you say or the things you do before them. So watch that you do not live a dead life because a dead life will eventually lose its appeal and it will die. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.
Ok, time for a message. Be still so you don’t sweat. Psalm 37:1-2 encourages us saying “Do not fret because of evildoers. Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither as the green herb”. Why does it seem like there is more bad stuff happening around us today? Are there simply more bad people now than before? It’s sad and wrong that Mr. George Floyd died as a result of being arrested by police. That can never be changed by anyone. But since his death, we have had people to die protesting on behalf of Mr Floyd, as they tried to do something about what they believed caused his death. Their deaths are sad and wrong too. The Word today encourages us not to worry about what evil people do; but that is a hard thing for many to accept because we don’t like to see or even think that people are mistreated because they are just people. So those people say to themselves, they must do something cause they worry if they do nothing, that nothing will change. God sees all this before we see it. But He is not worrying about the evil doer; He has a time and place in mind to take care of that. He worries however about the good people who cannot wait for Him to deliver us all from this evil. But that is what He needs us to do; to wait for Him. Because to change what we face today; We have to allow God to change something that goes on within us – our hearts. Evil cannot exist where Love exists. If we want what is best for Mr Floyd, we must learn to sit down and Love more and let the process of our laws take care of the wrongs done by evil. I know some of us would say our laws permitted the wrongs to occur but law did not do that – people with evil hearts break the laws but the laws do not make evil hearts. If we learn to love more loudly with quiet lives filled with God’s Love, we wouldn’t have to yell so loudly about the evil that is with us daily; evil that seems to never go unpunished. We want God to change the way things are going on around us, but the way He wants to do that is to change the way we live towards Him and then towards others. God does not protest the work of evil doers; that brings light to evil in ways that others will envy. Laws can never deliver us from bad people nor can laws make bad people good. only Love can do this. So quiet your life and your spirit today and love more. Live in such a way that people come to envy that fact that when they have occasion to interact with you, they find a quiet, caring and loving person who will never wither away even when the evil all around us seems to get hotter. Live a Delivered Life. Love you
Ok, it’s time for a message. A cracked windshield. In the book of Job, 2:9-10 scripture says “Then his wife said to him, do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die! But Job said to her, … shall we accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? In all this, Job did not sin.” Sometimes we can get cracks in the windshields of our cars and we don’t know what caused them. A crack can start from just a small little spot, but over time it can travel across our entire windshield leaving a noticeable crack that anyone could see. When this happens we will ultimately have to replace that windshield. The windshield protects us but the crack makes it unsafe to keep driving what is to us an otherwise good car. Sometimes we can get a little crack in life – like Job did. It could be losing a position at work; having a sick child; having a leak develop in the roof of your house; losing someone close to us and much more. In life we will have some good stuff and some challenging stuff to happen around us. What matters more is how we respond to stuff. Don’t be like Job’s wife, who lived like her integrity was dependent on her circumstance. She was ready to walk away from life because life had a little crack in it. Integrity is more what you make of the adversity that comes into your life. Don’t give up on yourself; don’t give up on your children; don’t give up on your spouse; don’t give up on your friend; don’t give up on things that you can make better. Learn to accept both the good and the adversity in life. When we don’t know what to say or do, we sometimes say “everything happens for a reason”. Well here is the reason – things happen because things happen. A little pebble flies off the road and into your windshield because that is what pebbles do. If you don’t accept it as harm it cannot do you any harm. And if you have to believe that God threw or caused or permitted that pebble to hit your life, then don’t you know He is able to fix the cracks in your life that He causes. Do your part and believe in Him right where you are; don’t be so quick to throw away the good you took into your adversity and the good that comes from enduring adversity while we wait in God. Stuff happens – but God happens even more when we hold to being the best good we can be through our worst adversity. Live a Delivered Life. Love you
Ok, time for a message. You always have a reason to hold your head up. Philippians 4:13 says “ I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”. We have to be careful that we do not listen for God and to God through the filters of our lives. I mean, some of us are naturally negative people – we are wired to see what is missing or what is wrong or what someone is doing to us. Then some of us are naturally positive people – we see what we have and we see the good and we see what someone means to us. One person sees the glass of water and says it’s almost empty and I’m not full yet; the other sees the glass of water and says it’s almost empty but I’m almost full. God wants us to see our lives through His lens and not our own. Some of us hear the Words in Philippians and we say – I heard what God says but unless He works a miracle I cannot change this circumstance; I cannot make myself well; I cannot heal my child. Then others of us actually hear the Word this way – “I alone may not be able to change my circumstance; I may not be able to make myself well; I may not be able to heal my child but I can do this. I can do all that I will do through Christ, who strengthens me”. When we live and when we do all things through Him, we have reason to believe He will change the things we cannot change ourselves. The believer’s belief is the reason he can be positive and hopeful no matter the circumstances he may face. Do all your things through Christ and you will discover how to live high when others are low; when others run from their most painful circumstances looking for joy, you will change your circumstances by your joy cause He will strengthen you so that you can change yourself. Nothing can take this joy from you – nothing. Don’t always be so quick to change your circumstance so you can be happy. Let Him change your attitude and change your heart so that you can be happy and have a joyful heart right where you are. Live a Delivered Life. Love you
Ok, it’s time for a message. What brings you joy. 1 John 2:15-16 says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but of the world. I have three warnings today – don’t let what you see around you determine the path you take in life – be careful what want to look at; don’t let your natural inclinations drive you to indulge yourself in the good things the world is willing to give you – control your desires; and don’t set yourself and the things you have above those who have less – choke out your pride. The lust of the eyes will lead us away; the lust of the flesh will make us stray; and the pride of life will make us pay. If seeing it makes you want it – run from it; if the appetite for it makes you hungry for it – starve yourself from it and if it makes you feel good to stand above it – humble yourself and lift it above yourself. The one thing we can all want that is good for us and of value to us is the Love of the Father. Having God’s love in our lives is what enables us to live not by our lusts for life but by the joys of life we have and can share with others. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.
Ok, it’s time for a message. A different office but the same call to Be. Titus 1:7 says “For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick tempered.. but hospitable , a lover of what is good”. Not everyone is called to operate from the office of a bishop. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have what it takes to be like the person of a bishop. Since man is involved in selecting bishops for office, the Lord tries to give us something to see in them, that helps us make the best choices in who holds the offices of church leaders. We have to learn then to get past looking simply at what a man does as the basis of who a man is. Now being blameless does not mean never doing anything wrong or we’d never have a preacher or bishop or even a Sunday school teacher. Being blameless means we resolve to live before God as true and honestly in heart as possible, learning of Him and learning from Him as He makes us stewards of Him. And God knows we cannot truly be learners of Him until we have been made to be not self-willed. Now better English might say until we learn not to be self-willed. But God is not just after what we learn to do. He is after making us be who we should be so that what we do is natural for who we are. He knows the first thing that has to go is the sense of being self-willed because this will keep us from listening first to Him and it will keep us from listening to others. So we must not be self-willed but rather God and others-willed. When we have learned to be what makes us to not be self-willed, We can be calm when others are angered; we can forgive when others condemn; we can give when others seek to get; we can be lovers of others when others are loving themselves; we can be dependent on God when others can depend only on themselves. God doesn’t need us all in the office of a bishop. He has something greater for us and He asks the bishop to be the same thing that He is asking of us. We all are to be blameless in heart before God so that others, when they see the mistakes we make, do not judge us forever by the things we do wrong. As a believer – someone who is living out the transformation of person and heart the Lord is presently working into them, you will find it difficult to escape the blame of man if you are still self-willed as a person. Live a Delivered Life. Love you
Ok, it’s time for a message. Win the battle to trip you up. Ephesians 6:10 says “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the Power of His might”. Finally, means that after all that is said and done – is in fact said and done – do this one last thing to secure things for you. The devil wants to kill who you are; he wants to steal what God has given you and he wants to destroy what you believe so you don’t do what you should do. He is not ready for you to die now, for that is a loss to him; he simply want to trip you up daily – over and over again – for that is victory for him. He wants you to question who you are because you do a lot for God, but nothing seems change for you. He is tricking you to believe that as a believer things should go your way more than they do not. Don’t listen to the ways of the devil but listen to and learn to live by the ways of God. We are not fighting to get our way; we are not fighting to have what is right for us; we are not fighting against other people and even what they do; we are fighting to stay in the way of God; to live His way so that we are not tripped up by something that satan uses against us. The battle is not for those you pray for; it’s not for those you love; it’s not for the sick or the hurting. The battle is for you. The battle is to cause you to slip and fall and to hurt; to become sick; to be unloving; to live like you are a defeated believer. Put on God’s armor and you will be ready to win the battle that is for you; then you will have success against the things that come against you. Live a Delivered Life. Love you