Posted by: Bro. Stephen | January 27, 2016

Find Life

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

With each passing day, we find ourselves busy and consumed with various responsibilities. It seems that in the midst of our busyness, personal time in God’s Word seems to be set aside for another day. While reading in Psalm 19 this morning, I’ve have been reminded of the necessity of spending time in God’s Word. In verse 7, we see that God’s instructions for us found in the scriptures revive the soul. God’s Word, when studied, preserves life by making known His will to the one that studies His instructions. Knowing the revealed will of God gives the believer wisdom on how to live a life that is pleasing to God, a life that avoids offending Him. Simply put; we are made wise through the Word of God. Godly wisdom acquired through the study of God’s Word leads to a life that flees sin and seeks to please the Father in all he/she does, think or say. Find life in the Word of God today!

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Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 17, 2015

Resolved to Walk with More Care

During my time with the Lord this morning, I called upon the Lord and asked Him to show me the sins in my life that have broken my communion with Him. As I read the prayers of Ezra and Nehemiah, they were both truly broken over the sins of the people as well as their own. Both men cried out to God trusting Him to hear their prayers and bring about restoration. I personally pray I will walk humbly before My God and be more careful with my thoughts, words and actions. I understand I’m a sinner that will fall from time to time but I deeply desire to walk closer with my Savior. I often feel like Paul as I find myself saying and doing the things I hate. I found it easier to walk with the Lord in Haiti this past week as I was removed from earthly distractions and busy telling people about Christ. It’s obvious to me through prayer and the Word, I need to be more about Kingdom business and spend less time with trivial matters. Do you find yourself consumed with Building His Kingdom or more focused your own earthly pursuits?

Scripture Reading: Ezra 10:1-17, Nehemiah 1:1-11

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 18, 2014

A influential companion

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Those that we regularly hang out with always influence us, either for the good or in a negative manner. We must be serious about who we include in our circle of influence. Those people we spend the majority of our time with could radically shape our lives. We might even recognize people in our life right now that have had a negative influence on our lives. A good question to always ask is… Does this friend push me towards or away from Christ? Is Christ honored by this relationship? Pray even now that you will choose wisely and surround yourselves with people that protect you from sin and push you towards your Savior.

 

 

 

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 7, 2014

A Chosen People & A Faithful God

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.  “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.   “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.  “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction. Deuteronomy 7

Israel was God’s chosen people but not because of who they were or anything they had done. There was nothing desirable about Israel besides that God chose them as His special possession. God desired His people to be Holy, set apart. God had been faithful to deliver His people from Egypt through many powerful acts and He called Israel to simply obey His commands. Utterly destroy all the Nations He had provided for destruction. He did not want His people to be influenced by these pagan nations. We seem to think we know what’s best but God is always working for the ultimate good of His people. The key to radical obedience, following God when it seems impossible is remembering His past faithfulness. God is good and He is Always good! Trust and Obey!

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 5, 2014

If we would only ask

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways. So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life. So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.Proverbs 2:1-22 

We wake up to decisions to be made each and every day. More often than not we are confused and troubled over what to do. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Who should I date?, What advice should I give?, What job should I apply for?. We could go on and on about the decisions we have to make but we must pause and realize Godly wisdom is right at our finger tips. We often have not because we ask not. God is offering wisdom and is willing to answer our plea for wisdom. We usually choose to act like a chicken with our head cut off instead of receiving wisdom from God. So what application do we see here in Proverbs? Ask for wisdom and gain understanding! Be warned though! Once you receive wisdom from above your decisions will be based on God’s revealed will and purpose and not for simple selfish gain. Are you ready to make decisions that ulimately might not benefit you now but will eternally. Are you willing to focus more on being a God pleaser than hearing the praise of man? You want wisdom and understanding? Ask for it then but be ready to leave your selfish desires behind. Ask for it then but be ready for God to guide your every step. We live in a dangerous and depraved world and I would rather not take a step without God leading the way. Wisdom leads along the path of righteousness and delivers us from evil. Ask for it today!

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 4, 2014

Better than Animal Blood

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:11-14

When we sin our conscience condemns us. The moment we sin we become just like Adam and Eve. Our sin causes to run and hide from God. Our sin causes us to often shift the blame to others. Our sin exposes us and reveals who we really are. Our sin fills our life with guilt and shame. BUT… Praise God for the blood of Christ. The one time sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross purifies our consciences. During the Old Testament days the animal sacrifices were unable to cleanse the conscience. The Old Testament sacrifices were sufficient for cleansing the flesh but not the conscience. Animal blood simply could not cleanse the conscience and rid one of their shame and guilt of sin. BUT… Praise God for the blood of Christ. The death of Jesus satisfies God’s righteous anger towards our sin. The final sacrifice of God’s son covers the sins of His people. Our consciences still testify that we are not good enough to come to God and were not. BUT… Praise God for the blood of Christ. Yes, we are defiled by pride, envy, fear and much more. We are all filled with dead works such as lust and jealously. These dead works lead to death. BUT… Praise God for the blood of Christ. When our conscience condemn us we turn to Christ and His blood. His perfect sacrifice on the Cross paid our sin debt in full and completely satisfied God’s wrath towards us. We as believers have now been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. When God sees us, He sees His Son. The blood of Christ has cleansed us and washed away our sin forevermore. Now our conscience can have relief. The blood of Christ has secured us an eternal redemption. As we see in 1 Peter 2:9-10, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,  and a people for His possession. We are God’s people that has been called out of darkness into marvelous light. We have received mercy and grace through the blood of Christ. I am thankful for the blood of Christ and the fact I longer have to live with the shame and guilt of my sin. My sin has been covered!

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 3, 2014

Already Perfect

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:14

The suffering of Christ on the Cross has perfected us but we are being sanctified. We are already perfected but not yet who we will be. We are Holy but not yet completely Holy. We are striving daily to become more like Christ. We don’t strive to earn favor with God but to actually become more and more like Him. We are imperfect now but we are making progress. The believer finds joy in knowing we are reconciled and becoming closer to who Christ has made us to be. Becoming more and more like Christ is the proof of our salvation. We are becoming what we are. Our perfection is secured and is a reality. Today we fight against sin and the tactics of the Devil not to become perfect but because we are perfect. How exciting is it to just imagine who we are and what we are quickly becoming. We are already perfect but are being sanctified. We are not sinless but Christ has fully earned our perfection. Our eternal perfection comes from the one time sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Grateful!

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | June 2, 2014

Praise Him!

1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Psalm 150

Everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name! Consider His mighty acts. Consider all that the Lord has done. Consider the gift of your salvation. Consider the gifts He has freely given. Praise the Lord! Consider His greatness. Consider His perfect character. Consider His faithful love towards us. Consider His perfect patience towards us. Consider that His character is unchanging in spite of our sinful tendencies. Praise the Lord! Everything that has breath praise the Lord! He is worthy of worship!

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | May 29, 2014

God is Big Enough

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
Psalm 147:4-5

God determined the number of stars in the sky but it’s humanly impossible for us to count the stars. God doesn’t just know the number of stars but He knows them each by name. I believe we would all agree that we serve a Big God! God is all powerful and His wisdom is beyond our comprehension. We serve an awesome God but still seem to worry as if God isn’t big enough to guide us through our troubles. The simple reality is God is Big Enough! He is sufficient no matter what circumstances we are faced with. That being said, I know I’m guilty of worrying about everything. I profess with my lips He is strong and mighty but prone to live like He is powerless. I live as if He doesn’t exist. The psalmist gives us a wonderful reminder… God is Big Enough! God can handle (Fill in the Blank).

Posted by: Bro. Stephen | May 23, 2014

Dangerous Lips

Set a guard, O Lord , over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3

Have you ever considered the danger of your words? More often than not foolishness floods from my mouth. Whether it’s my times of gossip, an untimely word, or simply talking when I should be listening.  I am ashamed at times of what comes from my lips. I join with the Psalmist… Guard my mouth O Lord! Dear Lord, please keep watch on what proceeds from my mouth. May my lips Exalt the Lord, Encourage the Believer, and boldy speak the truth of the Gospel to the lost.

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