Dear Church, We need….

Holy Spirit we need you to invade.

We need you to invade the church.

We need you to draw us with your strong strength.

We need you to soften that which has become hardened.

We need you to heal hearts.

We need you to strengthen marriages.

We need you to break bondages.

We need to be taught.

We need to remember whose we are.

We need to magnify Jesus.

We need to magnify in prayer.

We need to magnify in our speech.

We need to magnify in opportunities.

We need freedom.

We need your Word to explode into the core of our being.

We need barriers removed.

We need chains broken.

We need honesty.

We need transparency.

We need healing.

We need not desire to just do church.

We need to be Your church, Your body.

We need to bring you glory, praise and honor.

Please begin go draw us with your strong strength.

Right now.

May this time be Yours and Your alone.

Is Christianity Wearing You Out? Lesson 13

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Lesson 13

Wrong Motives Create Tired Lives

I can say I have lost my focus more times than I really want to admit. It watching the move Won’t Back Down this weekend I heard something like, “What are you going to exchange this one life you have for?” That will make you think. A life is about years and years are about months and months are about days and days are about hours and hours are about minutes and minutes are about seconds (you also get a free education by reading my blog). There are 86,400 seconds in a day. How I live each second is prompted by some motive.

This past week in prep for Sunday’s sermon and reflecting back on the previous weeks sermons God revealed a powerful truth to me, at least powerful for me. We are going through the beatitudes and this week were were looking at “merciful” (Mt. 5:7). God taught me:

Many Christians try to start here. They try to start here because this is where Christianity become visible. They try to live out merciful lives. They seek to love, forgive, heal, give, etc. They do it because they know they should. But if you have not been through the process of poverty in spirit, mourning, meekness and hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy will wear you out; it will make you tired. The reason is that the motivation is wrong. We find ourselves seeking to show mercy in an effort to be obedient because we know we should be obedient. The motivation for mercy has to be motivated from a seed planted in your soul and spirit at the time you experienced poverty of spirit and finds itself ready to bloom in “hungering and thirsting for righteousness”. If you have never came to the place to realize the gravity of your sin (Rom 6:23) you will never see other people’s sin correctly. You will find yourself judgmental instead of compassionate, bitter instead of forgiving, hurting instead of healing, greedy instead of giving. You will live saying “I Can’t!” instead of saying “I Care!”.

You are tired because you are not feeding on Jesus and His righteousness. You are not spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. So, you get caught up in doing all the right things for all the wrong reason.

How will you spend your 86,400 seconds today? What will motivate you?

Some Shoot, Some Walk Away, Some Help

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The Bible is clear that confession and repentance are good for the soul.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV)

So it’s good for our relationship with God.
It is good for our own personal cleansing.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16 ESV)

So, it brings healing.
The reason one confesses is usually because they realize sin hurts.
I have found there are 3 responses from people.
1. Shoot the sinner.
2. Walk away from the sinner.
3. Help put the pieces back together.

Shooting the sinner is why so many do not confess sin. If one admits to sin, people begin to shoot. They remind you how stupid you are. The remind you how weak you are. They tell everyone how bad you are.

Walking away from the sinner might be growing in popularity. Walking away makes it where we just don’t have to get involved. However,it’s amazing how the sinner sees close friends walk away. It is like you have the plague. They don’t call, write or send carrier pigeon. They just kindly disappear.

Those that seek to help put the pieces back together realize that real Christianity is messy. They know that love cost. They believe the words of Paul.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 ESV)

Hunt them up.
Help them up.
Hold them up.

Let us not release the sinner from responsibility here. True confession seeks to right the soul with God. Many times the sinner has been down this road before and the issue other people face is trust, not forgiveness and restoration. People can forgive you and help restore you while still not trusting you. Trust is earned. Jesus even earned our trust.
The sinner cannot let the shooters and walkers discourage their desire for soul healing. Confession is good, godly and right. Thank God for the few who seek to put the pieces back together.

A Needed Prayer – Will You Pray It?

I ask you to read this prayer and if you agree, pray this prayer.

“Holy Spirit we need YOU to invade our lives. Not buildings but in the lives of your children. Into the hearts of dads and moms, sons and daughters, grand moms and grand dads, employers and employees, singles and married. Into faith families across our land. We need YOU to draw us with YOUR strong strength. We need YOU to soften that which we have allowed to become hardened. We need hearts to be healed. Marriages to be strengthened. Bondages to be broken. We need YOU to teach us. We need YOU to help us remember whose we are. We need YOU to magnify Christ through every song we sing, every prayer we pray, ever word that is spoken, every opportunity to participate with you. We need freedom. We need YOUR Word to EXPLODE from the pages of our Bibles into the core of our being. We need to remove everything that hinders. We need YOU to break down every barrier that we have allowed to be raised between YOU and us. Break down those barriers that we have constructed and those we have allowed others to construct. We need honesty, transparency and healing. We do not desire to just do life, family or church. We desire YOUR life, godly families and obedient faith families. We desire to be YOUR church, YOUR body, bringing YOU glory, praise and honor. Please accept our weak offering and use it. Right now please begin to draw us with YOUR strong strength. May this time be YOURS. I come to YOU as YOUR child, not in ignorance but in simplicity. I love YOU. In Jesus name and under His blood. Amen.”

 

Let the Awe Return

Why don’t we feel a great deliverance as Christians? Why do we not so cherish our relationship with Christ and His Church? How is it that we have lost the awe (a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder) of our salvation or maybe never had any awe to begin with? How is it that we can slip back into sin so easily? How is it that we choose hate over love, division over restoration, fractures over healing, bitterness over forgiveness? How?

I have mentioned the book Jesus + Nothing = Everything several times over the past few weeks because it has been speaking to in my spirit. Sometimes I find a book and sometimes a book finds me. This book found me. He writes,

“The reason this news is so vast and wonderful is that the bad new is so huge and horrible. The gospel is big because our sin is big.

You and I will never know Christ to be a great savior unless we first understand ourselves to be great sinners. We’ll never really feel deliverance if we don’t first feel desperation. We’ll never experience the glory of real freedom if we don’t first experience the grief of our own slavery.” 1

Christ’s work for us was so enormous that we cannot even begin to understand it, but we do understand unmerited grace, favor and mercy. We all have been given what we do not deserve (Grace). We all have receive a standing we did not earn (favor). We all have enjoyed not getting what we do deserve (mercy). Let the awe return. Let it return in me.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. (Eph 2:1, ESV)

1 Tchividjian, Tullian. Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print. p. 78

This Lesson Cost Too Much

Some say that failure is one of the quickest ways to learn. This lesson cost too much. Leadership fails and the innocent suffer. The decisions by the NCAA in regard to Penn State University has brought various responses from both extremes. However, here is the lesson that we all must learn. When leadership fails the innocent suffer. Leadership clearly failed and the suffering of the innocent continued. Any time that someone chooses to cover up sin there is going to be a higher price to pay. The cover-up is often worse than the sin. The cover up allowed more children to suffer while the “program” succeeded. We must all be very careful in covering up our sin and the sin of others because the cost most likely is going to be more than any of us want to pay. Sin destroys. When will we ever learn? Or, Will we ever learn?

1 John 1:9 (NLT) But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Watch Your Mouth

Proverbs helps me everyday to understand more deeply how important wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understand are.

But here is how we were taught.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

That is just wrong. Here is the truth. Two verses jumped out at me today from Proverb 12.

v.18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

v25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Today bring healing and gladness. Watch your words.