Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

The prodigal daughter

November 22, 2016

Blessed yesterday to be back in downtown. We even got to do some preaching :).
Towards the end of the day, God brought “Brandi” by. My guess is that she was around 30 years old. She is your typical homeless girl bound by heroin. She was raised in Alabama in a southern Baptist home. She has two kids who are being raised by her parents in two separate homes.

We listened to her story. And as we did, the Holy Spirit gave us some insight into where she was currently at spiritually. We shared and encouraged her that God is not very far away. In fact, he is just camped out next door. He is just waiting for her to turn to Him. She listened.

We reminded her of the “Prodigal son” story, of which she had heard many times before. However, we put her into the story as the “Prodigal daughter”. The Father is there waiting with open arms to through a party upon her return, but she just has to get to the point where she “has spent all”, and “comes to herself”.

We also reminded her that she is indeed responsible for that which she knows. And of course being raised “Southern Baptist”, she knows about Jesus and the salvation that He alone brings. It was good for her to be reminded of this, because in her sharing, she has allowed some demonic influence to change her thinking, which is so very common out on the streets.

We asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and said, “well, as long as I don’t have to stand here and close my eyes” . So we did.

She shared how she misses her kids. Heroin is no doubt nullifying the pain.

She seemed to have hope as we parted. Please pray for her. She could have been any one of our daughters. Thank you.

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Want to

July 30, 2012

It a good day to “want to”. Want to draw close to God. Want to love God and others. Want to be used by him. Want to enjoy his company. Want to enjoy his creation……want to…..want to….want to….

Hurt, Pain and the Healer

April 7, 2012

“The Hurt & The Healer” Song by Mercy Me

Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide Breathe
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me throughSo here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide [x2]

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here

When the hurt and the healer collide [x2]
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXq-6UloF9g&feature=related

“I’m not afraid to die”

January 2, 2012

There is something very special and powerful about listening to a person share their testimony. It’s one thing to read it in a book, or hear one give testimony publicly on stage, but truly of a different kind when you meet someone for the first time and they share how God has change their life.

Such was my experience the other day, as the Spirit led me to the local courthouse. He was a thin man standing there with a cane. He was maybe 4o yrs old. When I approached him and said hello, I smiled and handed him a card. This card said, “The free gift of God’s love”. When he looked down at the card he smiled and said, “Oh I know what this is about”. I said, “really”. He said, “I am not afraid to die, I know where I’m going”.

Then he began to share, as I stood there listening to him. He said that he had received Christ as his Lord and Savior a year ago. Then he went into his testimony about how that a few months ago the doctors had told him that he had only two months to live. He shared how that because of his past drug usage he had acquired hepatitis C, and because of his past drinking habit, together, his liver was giving up.

As he shared, such hope came out of his mouth. He shared how that Christ was the center of all he lived for now. He knew that death was certain at anytime for him, and that he was ready to go at anytime also. Each day for him was another gift from God.

Even though we know the uncertainty of life is always present, somehow we think we are going to be here for a while, don’t we? We know that death is certain, that is easy to comprehend, but when given the “bill of death” from a doctor, that would be rather final to some extent, wouldn’t it? But yet this man lived each day as a gift, and all the time knowing that death had been pronounced upon him.

It’s the same with us. Death has been pronounced upon us also. We just don’t know when. While we haven’t received word from a doctor, like this man has, we are certain to die. And, not knowing when, we should also be ready just like this man.

An old song goes like this, “Would you flee from sin and serve the Lord? He will soon appear with His reward. It is not His will that you be lost. Would you save your soul at any cost? Do you know the end of time is near? Can you live and die in sin’s career? There is awful danger in delay. Will you cast your only hope away?”

“Be ready when He comes. Be ready when He comes. Be ready, Be ready, Be ready when He comes”

“Take heed,watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming- in evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-

lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.”

“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mk.13:33-37)

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.

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?

Experiencing God while your living

March 4, 2011

To me, this is the single most worthy reason for coming to Christ and receiving life through His name!

Christ said, “I have come that you might have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.” (Jn.10:10) The abundant life is experiencing God each and every day that you live. It’s waking up in the morning, and saying to God, “all right, what do you have for me today?”  “Who do you have for me to meet today?” “What do you want me to do today?” Where do you want me to go today?” “I can’t wait!”

So many people today are down and depressed. Why? Because they have yet to come to God through Christ, than experience God as they set about their day. Their day could be going to work. It could be filled with the usual run around and get things done kinda day. Or it could be just staying at home with a occasional trip outside. Whatever the case is, it doesn’t matter if you are living for God. Life then takes on meaning and purpose. What are we (God and us) going to experience today? It should be every believers question each day? Anticipation should swell up within each one.

It always has to do with people. Why? Because, people are the object of His love. “For God so loved the world”, that’s you and I, people. The apex of His creation, people. So, if God is going to bless you today, people are going to be involved in it. He is going to lead you to people. Why? If you have a relationship with God through Christ, and you are living that out, then He is wanting to have you share it with others. Again, because He loves people. He wants them to be blessed. He wants to impart life into them. Not physical life, but spiritual life. That is what Christ meant, when He said, “I have come that they might have life, and life more abundantly”.

So, no longer do you need to set about your day with your head down, saying, “oh no, here we go again today, off to work” “Can’t wait till the weekend” “I wish it was Sunday again” “Can’t wait for the next meeting”. No, you don’t have to live that way any longer! Come to Christ! Receive forgiveness for your sins that separate you from God! Then start a relationship with Him that has to do with experiencing life while your living! Then you can look forward to each and every day! Why? Because now you are truly living! You have received life! You have been born again through Jesus! A spiritual birth has taken place! Now you have true life that’s worth living!

Reconciliation

December 10, 2010

“To be restored to the divine favor of God”

HOW AWESOME IS THIS!

When sin entered the world through one man, Adam, the judgment of “Guilty” came to all mankind (all of us). His sin brought forth death, both physical and spiritual (separation).

BUT, then comes God’s free gift of His Son, Jesus. Now, the undeserved gift of “Not Guilty” is available to all who put their trust in Him. All who receive (by choice) God’s abundant grace are freely put right with God. They will rule and reign in this life through Christ, and Christ alone.

God’s Righteousness for Us

December 8, 2010

The only way to be made right (righteous) with God is through faith in Christ Jesus. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We are all not right before God. We have no righteousness in and of ourselves.

There is only one way to be justified (be innocent, be just, set free, be made right) before God. It is offered freely to all without charge. It is by God’s grace through the redemption (deliverance) that is found in Christ Jesus.

God gave Christ as the atonement for our sins. It is by His blood, through faith in Christ, that God demonstrates His righteousness.

God righteousness proves that He is just and the justifier of all those who put their faith in Christ Jesus.

(taken from Rom.3:22-26)