Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Seeing and hearing

March 23, 2016

Like anything else in life, if we don’t use it or practice it on a regular basis, we can become less acquainted with that which we used to do on a regular basis.

This past Saturday, i was seeking God and wanting to go out again and be led of the Spirit to where He wanted me to go. This is a big part of the ministry that the Lord has given me and called me to over the years. I have seen some really divine moves of God into this realm of the Spirit. My heart craves for more of the Spirit of God to “see” and to “hear”, then to move into that realm.

As we were waiting upon Him, He soon gave us the route to take and the place to go. We were to head out on foot east, then turn north and walk up to the “Target” store. As we walked, we prayed, and at the same time looked around to see if there was any people around that He might be leading us to. During the approximate mile long walk, there was no one who we sensed we were to talk to. Soon we were at the Target store and walked into the restroom. Once inside, we spotted a young guy washing himself at the sink. We knew immediately that he was the one to speak to. However, not at the present time.

We left and went outside after hearing to wait out there for him to come out. After a few minutes, we looked ahead down the walkway and spotted him. Our immediate thought was “wow, he sure looks different from when he was under the lights in the restroom”. We proceeded to follow him. Up ahead, we saw him take a left into the store next door. We heard to wait there for him to come out. After waiting a few, he comes out, and we say to him, “Hey brother! Come on over here and tell me what God is doing in your life”. We saw that he had a shirt on that had a small cross on it and a ministry name under it.

He began to share his testimony of being saved right after getting out of prison, and being now clean for 30 days. He shared how God had delivered him and how thankful he was. I asked him if he has been tempted to use again since being clean. He said “oh yes”. I then heard that i was to pray for him regarding this help. So i asked him if i could pray for him. He smiled and said “sure!”. As we did, we really prayed for his protection. We covered him in the armor of the Lord, from his head to his toes. When finished, he was blessed and encouraged. We soon parted our ways. He went down the walkway, i took off to my left and went across the parking lot.

After about 10 minutes and turning to my right to follow the sidewalk, i look up ahead to the intersection and i see him and a guy standing with him at the light. As i walked up, i immediately noticed that the guy that was with him was the guy that i originally saw in the bathroom. I said to him, “Hey you were the one who i saw in the restroon”. He said that he remembered seeing me also. I then was amazed at what had just been revealed to me…..

Here i was in the presence of these two guys, one who i thought was the one from the restroom in which i prayed with, the other who i didn’t pray with which was the guy from the restroom. Just how did my “seeing” and “hearing” play into this all? Was God once again just showing his sovereignty? Would things of changed out differently if i were to of “saw” and “heard” differently? Was this just how it was all to play out, i.e. the guy that i prayed with was the reason why i was to go to “Target” in the first place?

I find it all interesting.

Then the guy introduces me to the other guy. He quickly shares his testimony of being saved and how he was also clean from addiction. He lit up as he was sharing about God’s power to save and keep him. They were both there that day to also collect money at the intersection for the ministry that they were a part of. All three of us rejoiced at God’s goodness and how our divine appointment all transpired.

Someday we will see clearly, see completely. Until now, i endeavor to “see” and “hear” more clearly as i approach the gates of heaven.

Born of the Spirit

August 10, 2012

God who is Spirit, resides in the spiritual realm (kingdom). He is also Holy. What does “Holy” mean? It means “sacred, whole, pure, or clean”. How can we unholy humans have a relationship with a God who is Holy? Do we need to go through some kind of holy religion with its traditions and rituals to become holy and accepted?

In Jesus’ day, there was a religious man who was a teacher of his religion. After he acknowledged that Jesus was a teacher sent from God, Jesus turned to him and said,“unless one is born again, he cannot see (know, perceive, understand) the kingdom (realm) of God”. Then the man said, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter back into his mothers womb and be born?”. The man tried to figure out what Jesus was talking about in his natural mind.

Man has always tried to understand God, and the ways of God, through his natural mind. He forgets that God is Spirit and his ways are spiritual. The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. In fact, they are usually ridiculous to him. He cannot know the things of the Spirit because they must be spiritually discerned.
After Jesus talked about how to understand the things of the Spirit, he addressed how to enter the realm (kingdom) of God. He said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.

What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit?”. First off, to be “born of water” has to do with an internal washing of the heart which is the center or core of our being. In the heart resides all our offences towards God and others (our sins). A holy God which is Spirit, will not come into a heart that has not been washed clean of all its offences. How then can this “washing” take place?

God in his love has provided a way for us to be washed (made clean) and thus accepted with him. By believing (putting your trust in) Jesus and what he did on the cross by the sacrifice of himself for our offences, we are made clean. This is an act of faith. Faith is something that you cannot see but yet you believe it. After the heart is washed clean, then the Holy Spirit which is God, comes in, and one is “born of the Spirit”.

After Jesus told the religious teacher that he must be born of the Spirit, he reminded the man about Moses and how in his day he “lifted up” a pole with a bronze snake on it and everyone who was bitten when they looked on the snake, lived. And Jesus said that just as that was so, even so I must be lifted up. And whoever “believes” in Me will not die (spiritually), but receive eternal life. When Jesus spoke of being lifted up, he was looking ahead to the cross where he knew he was going to be sacrificed for the sins of all humanity. All those who believe personally by faith that Jesus died on the cross for their sins receive forgiveness, which results in having their heart washed and cleaned from sin and filled with God who is the Spirit.

Also, by faith believing that Jesus not only died for our sins, but was buried and rose again to conquer death for us, one receives life.
In closing, Jesus said “You must be born again”. He didn’t say, I think it is a good idea or a good philosophy. He said “You must” if you want to “see” and “enter” the spiritual realm where God is. So what’s keeping you? What’s holding you back? Unbelief? Fear? Pride? Self? Give it all to Him. You will never be sorry. Then you will know what you were created for, and what you are to do. Revelation can only come by the Spirit of God within you. “Ask and you shall receive”. Keep your heart open.

The onward progression of trusting Him

May 3, 2012

Trusting God to provide your needs is a choice we have to make. It is also a “new life” long process. Like anything else in this life with God, when you think you have arrived, look out. And, it doesn’t matter how long you have been trusting Him, it will always have new challenges, trials and testings. Of course, this is how we grow in trusting Him more, right? And, do we ever completely learn?

I have been blessed to have a guy who sells me a bus pass each month for half price. Our relationship has been going on for about six month’s now. This month however, I came up short for the money. I had been praying as the month drew close to the end and I knew that I would have to contact him again to set up a place and time to get it. I was believing on the last day of the month that the money would come. I even believed when I had went to bed that the money would arrive some way, some how.

The morning came, and no money. Now, what was I to do with this guy who I had been getting the pass from each month? I had always had the money before each time. Was I to tell him that I just don’t have the money this month? I couldn’t do that. After all, we have this good thing going and I didn’t want to jeopardize that. So, I prayed on and off through out the day. Finally, later in the afternoon, I shot him a text and explained to him that I still wanted the pass, but ran short this month and was waiting for the money. He understood and said that it would be no problem.

That night as I was heading to the mall for our weekly gathering, I was still expecting. Long story short, I had mentioned during the testimony time that I was trusting God this month for rent because I was a little short. And, that I was able to take in some change for bus fare to ride in that night. Also, I had forgotten that I had a couple of dollars in my savings account and transferred that to pay rent. So, I praised God for that.

When the meeting was all over, a brother opened up his wallet and pulled out a pass and handed it to me. At first I said, “what’s this? But this is your pass!” He said not to worry about him. Wow! I thought.  I thanked him and God.

So that night, I thought to myself, what about my pass guy? What now? What am I supposed to tell him now?

This morning after study, I thought that I would text him sometime during the day and tell him that I still wanted the pass and was still waiting for the money. However, if he had to sell it, go right ahead and that I understood. (I was figuring that I would get the pass either before the 10th or on the 10th when I got paid. I could always find someone who needed it). This way, I would not jeopardize my relationship with this guy, right?

So this afternoon, as I got off the bus and walked down the sidewalk, I looked at my phone and noticed that he had called me. I thought, “hmm. Well, I needed to rehearse my line to him before I call”, right? Without delay and thinking, I just called him. I just unloaded on him what had happened the night before. But, I also said that I would still get it from him when I had the money. He said, “are you sure? But you have a pass now, and could save yourself the money”. I said, “yeah, but I can probably find someone to give it to so don’t worry”.

He says, “Hey, don’t worry. I have someone who wants it this month anyways. We can hook up next month and continue on as before”. Wow, I thought, as it all flashed before my eyes. How God worked this whole thing out. Once again, what a God! I was so thankful as I walked up my stairs to my room. You would think, that after the countless times of provision it would be easy and not so thought-provoking, wouldn’t you?

Ah, the onward progression of trusting Him. It comes home new and fresh every time.

Radical Meth addict has change of heart

April 19, 2012

I have known this guy for about six years. He has battled Meth and pornography ever since I have known him. He shared with me how the last time he was high (approx. 90 days ago) it sent him over the brink. It was the one high that scared him enough to want to start to change and to continue.

Of course, one of the major effects of Meth is “paranoia”. And, it gets worse and worse with each use. His last time using, he was on one of the commuter trains in the city and saw this guy who he taught was staring at him. Then his mind (through the demonic spirit of the drug) told him that this guy was after him and was out to kill him. This night, my friend had taken a knife with him. Now, he was contemplating slitting this guys throat. He was just seconds away from going up to some innocent man and doing him in. It was all played out in his mind.

THEN GOD STEPPED IN

The next stop, the train security boarded to do their usual ride along. This of course took on a major turn in his paranoia. The next stop, out he bolted and took the back alleys home. He basically went back to his apartment and stayed inside the rest of his time while still high. God had him locked up inside until he came down.

A couple of days later we heard of this story.

He shared how this had never happen before. Never was there such deception and fear. This time he was truly fearful. He had never thought it would get to this point. So close to something that would change his life forever. And, the guilt that he would have to live with the rest of his life.

This brother has always had a heart for God. He would come around when we were preaching, passing out tracts, or just talking to someone about Jesus. On many occasions, he would ask for tracts to pass out himself. Most of the time when he wasn’t high, he would be seen walking or sitting around downtown. Many have prayed for him for a very long time.

And now, I am blessed to say that he is 90 days clean. He is coming to our Tuesday night mall gatherings and we are seeing great advancement spiritually. God is doing an incredible work in this mans life. He has had enough. He truly wants change. His last time was enough to scare him into change. That is God’s love in real action! Loving him enough to allow this to happen, to allow it to get to this point to where he would change. What a God!

Just to share a testimony of how his heart has been changed since. Last week, he was walking down the sidewalk, he heard this girl screaming. He looked across the street and this guy was beating this girl to a pulp. So, he ran over there and jumped in to help. He got between the car door and the girl when the driver punched the gas and it knocked him over the door on to the road. Later, all bruised up and bloody, he saved the girl. The police, the paramedics showed up, and they went to the hospital. A bystander was able to get the licence plate number, and by now, hopefully they are locked up.

Here is a guy that once used prostitutes. Now he was saving their lives at the risk of his own. Now that’s heart change!

 

Are we open to God?

October 30, 2011

Don’t choose or base your faith on what other’s say or do. God is personal, and we are ultimately accountable to Him. We must base or choose our faith according to what is being shown to us personally. He speaks and reveals Himself in many different ways. He is not confined to a box. However, we must keep our hearts door open to receive what He is trying to show us, or reveal to us. Yes, He most certainly speaks through His written word, but He also speaks through our conscience within. The “still small voice” can be Him speaking to us. This understanding is gained however, as we progress in our walk with Him. Also, a lot of the time, He speaks through people. So, we must be open as He speaks and reveals Himself to us personally.

“I don’t know, I’m not from around here”

September 25, 2011

Imagine with me for a moment…. You’re riding your motorcycle way out in the country. You are lost, and trying to find a certain lake. You are driving in an area that is nothing but apple, cherry and pear orchards. The country roads are narrow and windy, and every farm-house is about a quarter of a mile apart. It’s a beautiful sunny day, but you are getting frustrated because you can’t find the road that goes to the lake that you came up here to visit.

You have been running from God for years now. You no longer believe that there is a God. All the stuff that has gone bad in your life, you blame God for a lot of it. You are bitter and angry at God.

Stay with me now……

You come upon the crest of the road and it heads down hill now. You haven’t seen any sight of a human for miles now, but way up ahead, you see a guy in a bright yellow shirt, standing off to the side of the road. Your not sure what he is doing just standing there by himself way out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s worth a try to ask him

As you get close to him, you shut off the motorcycle, and coast up to him and say, “excuse me, but do you know where the road that leads to “lost lake” is? The man smiles and says, “I don’t know, I’m not from around here.” You say, “oh sorry, maybe I must have passed it back there some where.” The man says, “yeah, I don’t know”.

You proceed to start your motorcycle up, but before you do, the man says, “wait, I have something for you”. He pulls a postcard out of his pocket, and you notice “John 3:16” on the top of it. The man says, “what about Jesus?” You start you motorcycle up and say, “I don’t believe in God”. The man says, “but God loves you!”

You make a quick u-turn and head off in the other direction.

NOW, BACK TO REALITY.

What do you think the man on the motorcycle would be thinking as he drove further down the road? Here he was out in the middle of no where, and a man in a yellow shirt appears out of no where, just standing off the side of the road? And this guy mentions Jesus of all things to him? What about John 3:16? Did the man hear that verse a few times in his life? Did he use to quote it?  We will never know this side of eternity, what that man thought of the rest of that day. I can only imagine because of what I know about God. Small it may be, but I know that He is always pursuing people with His love and giving them many opportunities. And His love has to do with His Son Jesus (Jn 3:16). God also makes no mistakes in everything he does.

Do you think it was just a coincidence that he was searching for a lake that had its name “lost?”

In the right sence, may this man not be at rest until he makes his peace with God through Christ. Eternity is too long to be without Christ.

I WAS THE GUY IN THE YELLOW SHIRT. Do you think it was just “happen chance” that this happened?

All I knew, was that I was on a prayer walk after parking my car at a remote park that was back down the road. Why was I standing there on the side of the road? Why didn’t I just keep walking, or cross the street?

I must admit, that it was strange to watch the guy slow down way up the road, then shut his motorcycle off and coast like a magnet right up to me. Fortunately, I knew that it was a “divine appointment”. Sometimes I miss it.

This is what I enjoy in life. Watching God at work. Investing in the Kingdom of God for eternity. Trying to always be aware of what is going on with people around me. Looking forward with anticipation. Nothing else in life comes close to experiencing God at work. Nothing

The demonstration of God’s Righteousness

September 2, 2011

….being made right (righteous) with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe. Why? Because all have sinned and fallen short… Justified without any cost, by His grace. How? Through the redemptive work of the Christ, whom God set forth as The Atoning Sacrifice, by His blood, and only through faith. And why was all this so? For God to demonstrate His Righteousness, so that He might be Just. And also, that He would be the Justifier of all who have faith in Jesus, The Christ. (taken from Rom.3:22-26)

Pursuing Life

May 25, 2011

The physical existence of life here on earth consists of being alive physically, but yet, dead spiritually. Why? Because of our sins, which produce spiritual death in us. Our inner spirit searches for life, while the physical man tries to find life in physical pursuits. One will spend their whole life trying to find true contentment, peace, love and joy, but will never find it outside of receiving the Spirit of God. Why? Because the Spirit is true love, joy, peace and inner contentment.

Big sinners and little sinners?

April 10, 2011

We might classify them this way, but does Christ?

It is easy to look around us and see or hear people who we would consider to be “big time sinners”. Many times I hear people say, “oh I am certainly not as bad as that guy.” Or, “I’m a good person, I try to treat people right.” Well, trying to be good is good, and treating people right is also good. However, in God’s eyes, we all have sinned (countless times, in fact) and fall short of sinless perfection.

There were some people in Christ’s time that tattled on others and said that they were “worse sinners” than all the rest. We pick up the story in the Gospel according to Luke.

“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or how about the eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Lk.13:1-5)

So in Christ’s eyes, there is no “worse sinners”. The main point that He address here on both occasions, is that unless we “repent” (turn from sin) we will perish. This word means, “to destroy fully”. And also comes from a word that means “separation” and “departure”.  And it is all because of sin. The wage for sin is death. Not only physical death, but more importantly, spiritual death. This type of death is separation from God. That is what sin does, it separates.

So all the time, Christ is being offered as the cure for sin. He paid the debt for our sins on the cross in which He died. We are not sinless. We can’t approach a righteous, Holy God, unless we receive the Righteousness of Christ. The sinless sacrifice for all of our sins, is Christ. Sacrifice for sin, dates way back. There must be a sacrifice for sin. And, it’s an Old Testament law that states, “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin” Along comes the “sinless” sacrifice that God offered, which was His only Son. This He did, because of His love for us.

“God is not willing that any perish, but that all would come to repentance”(the turning away process from sin). That is the heart of God’s love.

“For God so loved the world (human’s) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (Jn.3:16)

So, no “big sinners”. No “little sinners”. Just the message of the Christ. Repent from your sins and believe the Good News that God gave His Son for our own personal sins that separate us from God. The really good news is that you no longer have to be separated from God because of sin. If, you choose Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Because without Him, there is no eternal life, just eternal death. Life or death? Which choice will it be?

“I Refuse!”

March 7, 2011

 

Like I have said many times, it’s all by choice. You and I can choose each day how we want to live. I am not talking about circumstances that are beyond our choice. In life, there are many things that happen to us that we have no choice over. But, we must not camp there. We must take a hard look at our life, and see how we are living. Are we satisfied? Are we content? I am talking about deep down inside. Only we can answer these questions. We can all put on a real front to the outside world.

The main reasons why most people are not truly satisfied, is because first off, they are living for themselves. Our world cries out for us to live more for ourselves than for anyone or anything. It is and has raised, more self-seeking individuals then ever before. It yells out to us, “it’s all about me”.

So, we must ponder within ourselves what must change? I have lived on this earth for X amount of years, am I truly satisfied? Do I enjoy daily living? Or, is the only time I enjoy living is when I am off doing my own thing? Off somewhere besides work?

In my life, I have found out what makes true peace, contentment, joy and satisfaction. It is coming into a relationship with our creator. It is getting to know Him on a personal basis. I am not talking about some religious siff-coat life. I am not even talking about church going. While, church can be good and encouraging, that is only 2 to 3 hours a week, out of 168. I am talking about daily living for something other than ourselves.

Besides this developing relationship with God, which has to do with people, life takes on real meaning and purpose. You began to live for God and for others. Does this mean that it will always be easy? No. But satisfying? Yes. I have tried both in this life, and I can truly say that not living for myself is far more meaningful and purposeful.

If you have been living for yourself up until this point in your life, why not choose to change? If you’re not truly happy and content with daily living, then what have you got to lose? I can’t stress enough that I am talking “Daily living” here. Not “evening living” or “weekend living” or not even “vacations” or “retirement”. No, I am talking “Daily living”.

The following is a song by Josh Wilson. You can go to the video at the end and hear it. God bless you!

Sometimes I,
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright
When I know they’re not.
This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch.
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong.

But I refuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately,
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of you, oh God.
So, if you say move,
Then it’s time for me to follow through,
And do what I was made to do.
Show them who you are.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

To stand and watch
The weary and lost
Cry out for help.
I refuse
To turn my back
And try and act like all is well.
I refuse
To stay unchanged,
To wait another day,
To die to myself.
I refuse
To make one more excuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move, but I refuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY4iILWisIg