Father's House Fellowship
5289 Atwater Drive, North Port, Florida
Pastor Gennaro Russo

Sunday Bulletins by Judy Onofri

ber 2

7/1/2017 You Hold Me by My Right Hand

Psalm 73:23, 24
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive to glory.
Do you sometimes feel alone, or think no one understands you? That isn’t true even if feels like it, God knows you and He is always with you, He will never leave or forsake you. If we keep our mind on God we can know and believe we are never alone. The Bible tells us You will give him perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. What dominates our thoughts will have a direct effect on our actions and emotions. God is love so if we spend time fellowshipping with God our mind is transformed and we walk in love. The Psalmist wrote, You hold me by my right hand.  Think how wonderful it is that God is right there beside you (and in you) walking with you every step of your day! His love for you is perfect and complete. He sees the beauty in you that you probably never even consider. He has placed gifts and talents in you that will touch the hearts of others as you yield to God and are used by Him. The Psalmist also declares that God will guide you with His counsel. Many times we don’t know which way to go, we need only turn to our Father and ask for His wisdom and guidance. It is written in Luke 11:10 Every one that asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocks it is shall be opened. Trust God, He sees everything from beginning to end, seek His counsel and then act on it even if isn’t the direction you would choose to go. God always knows what is best for you. Finally, the Psalmist says, the believer is received to glory. Can we really understand what our final destination is? Our dear beloved pastor recently left earth for glory! It is too awesome and wonderful to understand. God’s glory for His children makes every earthy treasure pale in comparison. We are to think on things above and not on things of this earth which will all be destroyed one day. We are walking on a path that ends in joy unspeakable and full of glory! Don’t allow this world or the wicked in this world to bring you down. God is holding your right hand, He is guiding you and drawing you to Him and all His glory! Amen!

6/24/2017 Dining with Jesus

Revelation 3:20
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 
No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them (John 6:44). When we have a desire to turn to God it is by His grace and through God’s gift of faith that the salvation of Jesus Christ is revealed. This is called the New Birth and is far more reaching in its effect on man than mental acceptance that there is a God and His Son died on the cross. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, first believing the word of God, then receiving the work of the Holy Spirit, we are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Thus we begin our journey with God as we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20 He will come into our heart and dine with us. In the natural we think of a delightful meal with stimulating conversation. Dining in God’s kingdom is different. In John 6:53-58 Jesus speaks these words to His followers, ‘My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed’. Many of Jesus disciples left Him and walked with Him no more because these words were too difficult to understand (John 6:66). John 1:14 tells us the Word became flesh, therefore the word of God is what we must consume if we want Jesus Lord of our life and know God in greater revelation. To be a Christian and not know God’s word is an oxymoron, that is, opposites, it doesn’t work. We must dine on the word of God to grow spiritually even more than we feed our bodies to live. Job said in chapter 23:12 I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Do you feel that way about God’s word? Are you allowing God to live in you and dine with you, or is He a guest you invite to  dinner on Sunday? With God’s word in us we can ask whatever we desire and it shall be done for you (John 15:7). Maybe it’s time you asked Jesus to dine with you every day. Maybe you have neglected God’s word and not known promises that are yours to walk in. God is good, God is love, and Jesus is the Word of life, they are ready to dine with you if you will only ask and seek with your whole heart.

6/17/2017 Our Heavenly Father

John 16: 26, 27
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? All Christians would answer yes, therefore it is imperative they know God loves them. To know and understand the love of God is the greatest thing that can ever happen to a Christian. Often we are burden down by rules or thoughts of worthlessness and we don’t receive the wonderful love God has for every one of His children. Today we celebrate Father’s Day and in the world we could make a list of what we think a good father is. We would say a father is loving, kind, a good provider, caring, fair and just, a spiritual leader, and many other good qualities. If we can so easily come up with a list for our earthly fathers why do we ever doubt the goodness of our Father in heaven? God’s love includes promise after promise in the Bible for whosoever. That means those who come to the saving grace and knowledge of God gladly know His word and want to obey it. God’s word gives us guidelines so we will be safe and secure as we go through this world. If we want to do things our own way, we may suffer and then wonder why God did not deliver us from such trouble. God wants you to prosper and be in health just as your soul prospers. Your soul must come in line with the word of God and that means your mind must be transformed. That only happens to those who know and love God as a dear Father who cares deeply about them.  We must change our mindset thinking we will always have lack and sickness is just part of life that we have no control over. God wants us victorious in every area of our life because it glorifies God, and because Jesus died to give us life more abundantly. When God’s children do well it reflects what God has put inside of us.  If you were blessed with a good earthly father it may be easy for you to believe in a loving God. But there are people who did not have an earthly father to help them grow into a godly adult. That is why the Holy Spirit in you can reveal God’s love and you can trust God with everything in your life. Happy Father’s Day to our earthly dads, and thank you Father God for a Father’s love that will never leave us or forsake us.

6/10/2017 We Have the Spirit of God
1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
God is a spirit. Man has a spirit. Our communication with God comes through our spirit, Paul calls this the inner man. We can only truly understand who God is and what Jesus did for us through spiritual revelation. All Christians mentally acknowledge that God exists and believe Jesus died on the cross for their sins. But it is only when a conversion takes place in the heart of man that there will be lasting change in life. That is why so many people eventually leave the church, or do not find the peace and joy that abides in those who know God. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5 unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. The water is the word of God. We must believe that God’s word is the truth. When we are born of water and Spirit a supernatural miracle takes place inside and you come out of darkness into the light, now you have eternal life in Christ. Then your life is no longer your own, praise God, you belong to Jesus and the life you now live you live to God! You no longer have the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God in you. It is then through the Spirit you will know all truth, and you will come to know the things that have been freely given to us by God. Unfortunately, many Christians do not know what is theirs and do not appropriate what Jesus paid for. Christians have little doubt about salvation and know it is God’s will none should perish but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But many Christians do not know or believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a free gift of God. They do not claim healing in the name of Jesus, they do not listen to and abide by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit concerning their finances or how to live their life. Every answer to every problem can be found in the Bible and the Holy Spirit wants to lead you in all truth. When we believe the truth of God’s word and release our faith the Spirit of God can manifest those promises in our life. Study the Bible then lean on, trust, and rely on the Holy Spirit in your life so you might know and receive the things freely given to us by God.

6/3/2017 Day of Pentacost
Acts 2:1-4
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Today we celebrate Pentecost when God poured out the Holy Spirit on His people. Jesus told the disciples before the crucifixion that God would send them a Helper, the Spirit of truth (John 14:16, 17). Jesus had ascended into heaven and His disciples were together in one accord in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14). The disciples had seen the risen Christ and come to believe all that Jesus told them, but they weren’t ready to fulfill the calling God had on their life. They did not have the sustaining power that was essential to accomplish His will. No matter how significant or important something is, our human side will eventually lose the momentum to go forward to complete our task especially in the face of adversity. The disciples had been given the great commission by Jesus Himself to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Jesus had also told the disciples to go to Jerusalem where they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, THEN they would become witnesses to Jesus in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Pentecost is extremely important because it is written in the Word of God, it was manifested in the disciples and followers of Jesus, (a total of about 120 where in the upper room) and it changed these men and women from strong believers to powerhouses of faith with committed purpose (Acts 1:15). Peter no longer would deny Christ but would preach, teach, and obey His Lord and Master until death. Upon being baptized in the Holy Spirit Peter preaches to those who had gathered, his words penetrated and astounded many who knew about the man Jesus who had been crucified. Those who gladly received Peter’s words were baptized, and that day 3,000 souls were added (Acts2:40)! Paul received the baptism of the Holy Spirit after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and became a mighty man of God. Has your walk with God been powerful, do you desire to win souls but you cannot seem to speak what is in your heart? God’s power through the Holy Spirit is available to every believer. It is a gift that is freely given. As a Christian never give up seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a sign you understand the gifts of God are precious and you want all He has for you. Many important things in life must be sought after, and God is looking for those who fervently desire more of Him. God is good and He wants you to be powerful in and through Him.  He has given us the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus that will defeat everything that comes against us if we live and abide by what He has commanded.

May 28th, 2017
2 Corinthians 1:3
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. 
God is the Father of mercies, not just mercy. We are blessed to have a Father in heaven who is ready to help us in every need and every situation. We can run to Him in times of trouble and always find a Father who loves us and hears all our prayers and petitions. God’s mercy is full of love and compassion, He desires to help us in every way possible though too often we limit God by our own thoughts and words. There is no need you cannot go to God for and trust Him for that He will not supply, even if the answer doesn’t seem to be what we want. Our knowledge of the end result is very limited in every situation but God is not. He sees the future right down to our last breath and knows what is best for us. The trials and tribulations we go through seems so hurtful at the time yet God is always working His purposes in our life. If we dare to trust God in everything we will one day know why we went through some things that were painful, or why things didn’t always turn out the way we envisioned them to.  Before going to the cross Jesus told His disciples “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Do you have the peace Jesus is speaking of? You can if you put your faith in God. Don’t let Satan rob you by putting a spirit of fear on you. This world is only temporary and will soon fade away. The best is yet to come, and for the believer it is nothing but glorious! Jesus’ disciples could not comprehend that the His going to the cross was anything but glorious. Like the first disciples we are limited by the natural man, but let your spirit rise up and let the Holy Spirit bring comfort to you that what is going on around you is not the end. It is just a step along the road to eternity. We have the wonderful positon of sonship with God who created all things and He will guide us and comfort us every step of the way if we will only let Him. God is good, God is love and God holds your life in His hands. Do not see things as the world sees but look beyond to what is too wonderful for words, it is the victory that Jesus died for.

May 20th, 2017Forgiveness For the Believer
Luke 22:31, 32
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus knew Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed, Peter thought he would never do such a thing! Jesus had such love and compassion for Peter that he told him exactly what he would do, but also the wonderful hope for Peter that he would return to Jesus and be a minister to help strengthen others. Have you ever denied Jesus? Most likely we all have when we didn’t speak out against a wrong that should have been righted, or when we knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to our heart to tell someone the good news of Jesus Christ. God is not angry with us He wants us to realize we will make mistakes and He is always there to forgive and to help us get back in right relationship. Satan on the other hand will remind you of every transgression you ever made to bring you into guilt and condemnation. Satan doesn’t want you to have a heart filled with joy and love for God because if you have a strong relationship with God you will be powerful and he cannot deceive you. Like Peter when you repent God’s forgiveness is complete, He no longer remembers your sin, nor will He use it to torment you (that’s what Satan does). The Holy Spirit convicts so we recognize our sin and repent.  For Peter it was a bitter pill to swallow having denied His Lord and Savior. Peter may have denied Jesus but he never rejected Him, that is why it hurt so much. Jesus in loving fashion specifically encouraged Peter that he was to feed and tend the lambs, those being the believers who would accept Christ beginning with the day of Pentecost. For each believer there is the hope of forgiveness at the cross and perfect love that washes away our sins. Your past mistakes (or victories) do not represent who are. It is only when we see our self in Christ and know that as our life is tested through fiery trials that we can come forth as gold and eventually reflect the image of Christ in us. Peter went on to be a great man of God, a pillar in the church, and each believer has the same promise and hope in Christ.  

November 5, 2016 Teach Your Children
Deuteronomy 6:6, 7
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 
Is the word of God in your heart? God wants it to be there because what is in your heart will come out of your mouth. In the Old Testament God commanded Joshua to know the Book of the Law (Joshua 1:8), to meditate in it day and night, to do all that was written in it so that he would prosper and have good success. In Proverbs 4:20 it is written, attend to My word (give it an important place in your life), do not let the word depart from your eyes, keep the word in the midst of your heart, for it is life to those who find them and health to all their flesh. Can you be a successful Christian without knowing God’s word. No, it is through God’s word we know God, we learn what pleases Him and we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ. If parents are not well versed in the Bible how will they teach their children? There are so many ideas today that appear acceptable, but God’s word shows us they are not. Parents are commanded to raise their children up in the admonition of the Lord. We can’t put our trust in schools, relatives, government officials, or media to raise our children with godly values. A parent who is knowledgeable in God’s word can impart this wisdom to their children. Going to church or Bible class is not enough, there should be a daily imparting of God’s word. In Deuteronomy God tells parents to diligently teach His word day and night to children. This is not an option because if we allow the world to teach our children we will one day lose them to the world. Does that mean sacrifices for the parent? Absolutely, you will have to turn away from the entertainment and distractions of the world if you want to make God and His word your first priority. What you do tells your children what is important to you. If the Bible is highly valued in your life it will be for your children, too. Your children are a precious gift from God, to teach, nurture, and one day give them back to God as His inheritance.

October 22, 2016 Fellowship
Numbers 33:55
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.

Israel was given specific instructions by God that when they crossed the river Jordan they were to drive out all the inhabitants of the land, for God had given Israel the land to possess. Why was Israel not allowed to mingle with those people? God always knows what is best for us, and what will ensnare us. The people in the land had great idolatry. God wanted Israel to destroy all their engraved stones, their molded images, and their high places. The inhabitants did not believe or serve the true God of Israel. How does this apply to us today? Do we think times are different and that God doesn’t understand a world of few borders, or the availability of social media? Do we think the inhabitants of the land won’t hurt us if we allow them into our life? In 2 Corinthians 6:14 it is written do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? God calls believers righteous and light, He calls unbelievers lawless and darkness. Those are powerful names for Christians, and for those who are not. We tend to like people because they are nice and have interests similar to ours. But if they do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and they do not serve the God you do, what fellowship can you have with them? The truth is, you can’t. We don’t like to think of someone who is not a believer as lawless or as darkness, we only see the good and enjoy their company.  We think there is no harm having friends that are not believers, and many Christians even marry someone they know does not love God, thinking they will change that person. Who you choose to be close with is important, otherwise as God’s word tells us they will become an irritant to your eyes and a thorn in the flesh.  Do we shun the unbeliever? No, our desire is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. The light that is in you and how you live your life should show others you are different and make a way for you to explain why you are set apart for God and why you love, live, and obey Him.

October 15, 2016 Humble Yourself

Genesis 18:27
Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord.
As Abraham discussed the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah with the Lord, Abraham humbled himself recognizing he was the creation, talking to the Creator. There is a song on the radio entitled, Thy Will, where the singer reminds herself, You are God and I am not. It is wise to remember that what man thinks is good is nothing compared to God. Even Jesus when called good by the rich young ruler refuted such a claim saying only God is good. Man desires recognition and credit for every good thing he does, yet in reality the only good we do is by God’s grace. Lucifer found out how deadly pride was when he thought he was good enough to be like God, he fell like lightning from heaven. Lucifer did not remember that he was created by God. Abraham understood that and we should also heed such a warning. What is important for us to know is that the highest honor a man can achieve is to be used by God for His glory. Christians give God the glory and are thankful to Him for what they are able to do. If we are so full of ourselves (our wants, our needs, our talents) there is no room for God. We want to empty ourselves out and tell God, as Isaiah did, Here I am, send me. Let God know that wherever, or whatever He needs you for, you will do. But too often we want God to fit around our plans, or our lifestyle. That means we are too attached to this world. When you were saved you became one with God. If you are in Christ, you lose your identity and take on His, that is why you are called a Christian. You must die to self and put God first above all, only then will you walk in the grace of God. His will, will become your will. The desire to please God rather than self will become more pleasing to you than anything else.  Abraham was humble before God not wanting to offend Him by stepping out of his positon with questions, and yet it was exactly what God wants us to do. That is, to intercede for the lost in this world by asking for God’s mercy which God said He would do according to what Abraham had asked.

October 8, 2016 Your Way is Perverse

Number 22:32
And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.
King Balak and all of Moab were in fear of Israel because they had heard of the great and mighty works God had done. Balak sent messengers to the seer named Balaam, hoping Balaam could be bought with money and honor to curse Israel. Balaam told the messengers he could only do what God allowed him to do. When Balaam asked God if he could go to King Balak God responded by saying in Numbers 22:12 ‘You shall not go with them you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.’ Balaam understood exactly the word God had spoken and sent the messengers away. But the devil never gives up easily if you have a weak spot, Balak sent princes more numerous and more honorable to entice Balaam to come to Moab. When there is something we really want to do, we hope we can get around the truth of God’s word. Balaam went to God again looking for a different answer and got it. Balaam’s decision to not believe God the first time would eventually cost Balaam his life. Most Christians know what God has said in His word on many hot topics in our nation. We think that because the law of the land says abortion is legal and same sex marriage is legal that it must be acceptable with God. God NEVER changes His word. We can deceive ourselves with experts on any topic we choose, but it does not change God. God is all about life and abortion is not.  In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 God is very clear that homosexuality is an abomination to God.  God told Balaam your ways are perverse to me, and what our government says is legal is perverse before God. Never compromise God’s word to be politically correct or polite to someone. Give them the truth because it is the truth that sets men free. Christians are accountable to God, if we don’t uphold His word, we may hear Him say one day, I never knew you depart from Me. This life is temporary, but eternity is forever. God and His word are one, be sure you are walking in the light of God’s word, there are no shades of gray with God.

 1, 2016 Leadership is by God
Numbers 17:10
And the Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.”
The children of Israel were quick to complain. They thought there was nothing wrong in speaking against their leaders, Moses and Aaron. Korah, Dathan, Abiram and 250 representatives of the congregation protested, saying the Lord was among the people and they were just as holy as Moses and Aaron were.  What does God think when people go against the leaders He has chosen? God referred to these people as rebels and opened the earth to consume Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, their wives, their sons, and their little children. There was a deadly consequence for rebelliousness to these men and their families. After this judgment the Israelites still complained that it was Moses who was at fault, and a plague broke out among the people. Numbers 16:49 Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred besides those who died in the Korah incident. We can learn great lessons from the mistakes the Israelites made. If God hates complaining, especially against the leaders of a church, we should never do it. We think we have the right to say anything we want, but we don’t, if we are a Christian. As a believer you join the army of God, He is your leader, and Jesus is your king to whom you owe allegiance. God’s will should be your will, it doesn’t matter if you agree or not, He didn’t ask for your counsel. Too often we want to put the Holy Spirit in a box and run the church the way we think it should be run. But by honoring those in authority you honor God. For some churches their leadership may be out of God’s will, but it is up to God to remove that person since He is the one who called them.  What the Israelite congregation should have done was pray. Pray that God would give wisdom and guidance to their leaders, and trust God that He will use them, or remove them as He sees fit. You are not responsible for the leadership in your church, God is. God is well pleased when the church is in unity and obedient to His plan and will.

September 24,2016 Signs and Wonders

Acts 4:29, 30
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.” 
After being beaten, Peter and John returned to their companions and told them all that had happened at the hand of the Sadducees for peaching the resurrection of the dead through Jesus. The believers in one accord all lifted their voices to God that there might be signs and wonders, and for boldness to speak His Word. We as a church would do well to follow the pattern of the first church. We believe in signs and wonders, and most Christians have a testimony about themselves or someone they know who has had a miracle in their life. God wants to do so much more if we would pray and believe. It is very easy to get into a comfortable pattern of going to church, and doing good works whenever the opportunity presents itself. But the power of God is something we want to see in our church service, and in the world to draw people to Jesus.  If we are not looking for miracles to happen, they won’t. We need to raise our level of expectation of God. Do you think miracles only happen if someone is well known with a big ministry? In Mark 16:17, 18 it is written “And these signs will follow those who believe; In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Jesus spoke these words to His disciples and for us as well. Don’t limit God, always believe and look for the impossible. What is impossible for man is possible for God. The believers with Peter and John were unified in prayer and seeking God’s hand to show the world the one true God was a God of love who not only saves people from their sins, but delivers them from disease and sickness. God wants to show Himself strong on our behalf but His children must believe and be yielded vessels for the Holy Spirit to flow through. The power the first church had is the same power available to the church today.

September 18, 2016 The God Kind of Love
Romans 5:8
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
What an amazing kind of love God has toward us. If we could really get ahold of God’s love and comprehend what it is, we would never have any doubt about our self-worth. God’s love is perfect and pure, it is full of warmth and light. God loved His creation (man), so much He was willing to become a man (Emmanuel – God with us) and save us from our sin. God knew with the fall of Adam spiritual death reigned in man and that man was incapable of saving himself or getting back into a right relationship with God. So God willingly sacrificed His Son while we were still in our sin. God also knew that many would reject the free gift of salvation, and that few would follow the narrow and difficult path to life. Man without Jesus is prideful, boasting in his own accomplishments, not seeing that everything he does right is a God given gift. But for those who choose Jesus the inward man is born anew and life becomes a training ground to learn, grow, and accomplish the plan of God. This sets man free from worry and strife. The believer has nothing to fear. They can walk in the love of God which is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) and never fear what man can do to them. That love, is the God kind of love, that looks to help others rather than condemn.  That kind of love does not allow the world and its problems to drag them down. How can we be worried about who will be president or the zika virus when we serve a God bigger than all creation? We should always magnify God, never diminish Him by the problems of this world. Consider what the world has gone through in the last 6000 years, or even the last 2,000 years since Jesus died. What we go through does not represent who we are, or whose we are. Are you a child of God? Then God loves you completely and totally! Romans 5:3, 4 tells us tribulations produce perseverance, which produces character, then hope. Your hope is never in this life or your circumstances. Your hope is in Christ and a God who loves you so much He died to be in a relationship with you and spend eternity with you

September 10, 2016 Our Victory in Christ

1 Corinthians 15:54, 57
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Salvation has many ramifications, so many we cannot possible comprehend all that we have been given in Christ. But, we have a lifetime on this earth to delve into God’s word and be filled with the joy from the knowledge that salvation brings. When we focus on who we are in Christ and what is coming one day to all those who hold fast to Him, it is a priceless treasure. Unfortunately, too often we look at our outward appearance and see limitations especially when we watch television which showcases physically beautiful people, Olympians, and talents that attract us in sports, music, art, technology, and a wide range of other gifts. That is why we are admonished to think on those things above and not on earthy things. No matter what shape you are in, the color of your skin, your IQ, or any other ability or disability you have, you are a join heir in Christ and therefore beloved in your Father’s eyes.   The cross is able to lift us up to heights never known by those who have not received Christ. When you were saved a priceless treasure was placed in this mortal body. And one day the mortal will put on immorality. Therefore, there should be no fear of death to those who are in Christ. Our society peddles fear wherever you look or listen. Christians need to look at the payment made for them by Jesus, and understand that this life is only temporary. We don’t have to fear what man can do to us. We are free to step out of the box of politically correct and stand up for the gospel. There is not a believer alive who does not know people who do not know Jesus. Share the gospel with such people, pray for them, give them the opportunity to hear the truth. But don’t let unbelievers influence who you are. Our victory is only in Christ and that gives us great incite to what is going on in this world. Death has no sting for the Christian and Hades has no power over the believer thanks be to God who has given us the victory in Jesus Christ

September 4, 2016 The Book of Life
Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 
Our faith is in Jesus Christ and the completed work of the cross for our salvation. Yet there is no denying that what this verse says may go against some people’s beliefs. We know we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8), it is a gift of God and not of works lest anyone should boast. Salvation puts a believer in the family of God, but with that positon comes responsibility. We are to study God’s word first to know Him so we might live a life holy and pleasing to God. With the knowledge and wisdom of God we walk by the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We walk by faith and trust God for direction in life. Then we can become overcomers in a fallen world. Our mind must be transformed by the word of God (Romans 12:2), or it will conform to the beliefs and ideologies of this world. We need God’s word to counter what the world thinks is acceptable, or we will become like the world. Jesus said in this scripture he who overcomes is clothed in white garments. The white garment represents our life hidden in Christ. If He is holy, then we are to be holy like our Master. In the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22: 1-14) the guest who did not have on a wedding garment was cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. How we are clothed spiritually is important. Jesus said those who overcome will not have their named blotted out of the Book of Life. That means we do not want to take our salvation for granted, we must guard our heart with all diligence. God does not want any of his children to wander off the straight and narrow path. But we have an enemy that will try as many things as possible to distract, oppress, rob, deceive and hurt you so you drift away from the truth and from the lover of your soul. Hold fast to what you have and cling to the author and finisher of your faith. We don’t know when the end is for anyone in this life, or when Jesus will return, but we are called to be prepared, ready, and steadfast in the faith.

August 27, 2016 Ministry of Reconciliation
Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 
These were the last words recorded in the Bible before Jesus was taken up to heaven. We should take these words as seriously as the first disciples did. Going to church is very comfortable for most believers. It does not require any faith to attend church. Some people even like a church where they can slip in and out without really fellowshipping with anyone, even God. The Bible tells us Christ in you the hope of glory. Does going to church bring God glory? In 2 Corinthians 5:18 it is written, Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. It is what we do with Jesus that gives God glory. Wherever Jesus went He talked about His Father and His Father’s will. Jesus’ actions are our example of the faith and lifestyle we are to have. That faith comes alive and is active when we talk to others about the gift of eternal life. When we share Christ with others the Holy Spirit shows up to give us the words to speak, that does require faith, and that does glorify God. Satan’s greatest deception is to make us afraid to offend anyone, or even worse assume everyone we know is saved because they go to church or they are good people. That is the biggest lie of all, and I have personally experienced that. In 45 years of attending church no one ever asked me if I knew Jesus or was born again (John 3:3), I was not. It wasn’t until I met my pastor and heard the words “You must be born again.”  If you have the Holy Spirit in you, you have a well of living water. If you are baptized in the Holy Spirit out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. That water is the Holy Spirit that brings life to your spirit. You are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ. If the reality of what Jesus did for you comes alive you will want to share Jesus with others. Christians have been asleep far too long going to church instead of being a light where God has placed them. Be sure you are well grounded and knowledgeable in the Word. Pray and ask God for boldness. If you love those around you, you will give them the truth and the opportunity to make a decision. We do not save anyone, God does, but we are responsible for sharing the gospel. God always called Israel back when they had wandered away, so much more God is looking to the church to pour out His power on any man, woman or child who will share the gospel with others in faith and obedience to His Word.

August 20, 2016 Love God, Love People

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it; ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

We have the most wonderful Book in the world to lead and guide us each day. But we must be aware that we live in a physical body and have a soul that is often influenced by emotions, causing us to stray from what we know to be the truth of God’s word. God wants us in the word each day to stir up what is in us so that we won’t be deceived by the enemy and suffer, or make choices that harm us. Jesus spoke these verses and they are familiar to most believers, but sometimes they hard to walk in because we forget to think on things above as we should. When we focus our attention daily on God and His plan for us we will find many things are not important. If we are more interested in pleasing the people around us rather than please God, we diminish God and His love for us. We want to be on fire for God, knowing and appreciating His love for us (The magnitude of God’s love was to send Jesus, John 3:16).  But it is far too easy to forget that, to forget the gift of salvation, to forget you are assured of eternal life, or to be too busy to study the Bible daily and walk in the light of the Word.  Your walk with God and your love for God is a choice that no one can make for you. Don’t ever let the flame get low, fan it with worship, prayer, and fellowship so your love for God stays red hot. We must remember that if we spend more time in the world we will become like the world, but when you spend more time with the people of God your identity will be with the body of Christ not those in the world. Next, Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. We see in James 2:8 a corresponding scripture, If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well.  Loving your neighbor is called the royal law, it is very important. When we turn to God and receive His love through the Holy spirit, we are able to love people. When we walk in love we fulfill the Law. Love does not hate, covet, steal, murder, lie, or cause harm to another person. Concentrate on your love for God and you will love people, especially the brethren (the body of Christ). When God’s love in you is shining brightly to the world it will attract the world to the lover of your soul, Jesus Christ.

July 29, 2016 The Wisdom of God
1 Corinthians 1:20, 21
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
In our culture we have become dependent on television and technology to tell us what to think and believe. We are bombarded with visual pictures of what is going on in the world 24 hours a day. Very few homes have the television turned off and are choosing to study God’s word and allow it to mold their thoughts. We are exposed to horrific acts of violence all over the world which causes us to lose our focus as to why we were created and what our purpose is. To establish and keep a godly home is only going to happen to those who diligently and carefully screen what they expose their families to. Christians are called to be sanctified and holy. You will not find purity in the world it will only come through those who know God and seek to walk upright before Him. Pursuing God will make all the difference in where you and your children are ten years from now. We have placed man’s knowledge above God’s wisdom and our nation is reaping the effects. Your children’s education is important, but if you lose their soul you have lost them forever. Wisdom does not come from experts who take man’s knowledge, statistics, and polls and turn them into facts. God’s wisdom is only found in His Word as revealed by the Holy Spirit. God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. The world does not know God, therefore so much of what is believed and is acceptable is an abomination in God’s eyes.  No man knows the day or hour Jesus will return, but it is a fact He will return. Do not put your confidence in man for your future. Most lives did not change as a result of our elected president, or the president before him. The life you live now is a result of the path you are on and the choices you make. As Christians we must continue to share the message of the gospel, though many will think it is foolishness. It is through salvation the process begins to change the hearts, minds, and actions of men. Remember we know the end of the story, God orchestrated it for all for those who would believe. You can have the wisdom of God if you choose to follow Jesus.

July 23, 2016 Don't Complain, Trust God
Genesis 39:2,23
The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man: and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian…because the Lord was with him: and whatever he did the Lord made it prosper. 
Joseph went from favorite son of Jacob, to a slave in Egypt, to prison, to governor in the land in Egypt. The beginning was good and the end was good but what came in the middle was extremely difficult. Isn’t that sometimes like our walk with God? We begin on fire for God, in love with Jesus, and then the struggles of everyday life and hardships make us wonder where God is. Joseph went through broken relationships with his brothers, loss of his father’s love, unfairly put in prison by Potiphar and yet you never read that Joseph complained. That is an amazing! Joseph cared more about God than what happened to him in life. Joseph always trusted God and was handsomely rewarded for his faithfulness. Are there people in your life who do not have your love for God? Often family relationships are one of the hardest things in life to maintain and still keep our joy. Think of Joseph, he was hated by most of his brothers to the point they wanted to kill him. Do you have personal relationships that are stealing your joy? It makes no difference what the problem is God is interested in how you react and handle your relationships.  Christians have the love of God shed abroad in their heart by the Holy Ghost. When Joseph had the power to be cruel to his brothers, or even have them all killed, he didn’t. Joseph weeps for the amazing way God restores all that Joseph had lost with his family. When we stop complaining about the situation, and trust God to either change that person, or help us to walk in love, we will be blessed. The door to prosperity will never be through self-pity or anger about how unfair our life is. Joseph suffered so much it is beyond our comprehension and yet Joseph endured hardship for years trusting God for the outcome. Can we each do that? God is good, but life often isn’t. Look for the good in others but above all keep your eyes on Jesus. Trust God every day whether your life is good or bad. God’s plan to bless you is much bigger than you can ever imagine.

July 14, 2016 Esau's Mistake
Genesis 27:38
And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me-me also, O my father! And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
The life of Esau is an example of a man who was given God’s blessings but did not value them. Esau was the eldest son of Isaac and Rebekah, the grandson of Abraham. Esau was brought up in a godly family, lacking nothing. Esau had the positon in life as one who should have received the birthright of the eldest son. Yet God knew Esau’s heart before he was born, that he would not regard the things of God with fear and honor. Esau, under the deception he was starving to death, sold his birthright to his brother Jacob, for a bowl of soup. Esau lived his life fulfilling the immediate lusts of the flesh instead of seeking God’s will. Esau only wept when he realized how material possessions and his position in life would be effected by the loss of his father’s blessings. Esau was more concerned with this life than his eternal life. Esau then assumes it’s all his brother Jacob’s fault, and in his anger plans to kill Jacob! It is easy to be deceived when problems come into our life and we think the fault lies with others when in reality we have not made God our priority. Like Esau our flesh is probably our biggest enemy. There are times when we are going to have to fight our flesh with determination and perseverance, and with the mindset that no matter what, we will do what is right, and what we know is the will of God. Our future, which is eternal life, must not be neglected. Esau lived only in the present never looking to the future, Esau lost everything. It is a tragic legacy when we read God’s word in Romans 9:13 “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated. “Never take what God has given you for granted. Jesus paid the highest price ever given in the history of the world for you to be reconciled with God through salvation. We want to live a life pleasing to God by knowing Him through His Word and giving God all the glory He deserves. For Esau a point was reached where He was unable to get back to where he had started. As it is written in Hebrews 12:17 Esau found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Our lesson must be to live this life in the light of eternity.

July 9, 2016 "Where Does Evil Come From"
Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
Again we stand in disbelief at the tragedy that has happened in our nation. Many fear the evil from abroad, yet we are in grave danger of falling from within. We desire simple, curable answers, but there are none. As Christians we must look deeper and ask are we in the will of God? God spoke these words to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 The Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Christians should not be looking at a person’s race, nationality, gender, or anything else as a judge of a person’s worth or value. God created man with different physical characteristics, languages, and nationalities, does anyone have the right to think one is better than another? A person not in their right mind when Jesus was on earth was believed to be possessed by demons. Today few Christians recognize and speak out against people who do such atrocities as being demon possessed. The powers of darkness are very real and flourish where God does not reign in a nation. Our country was once a Christian nation but is now a nation of thousands of denominations and religious affiliations. Is God split, do we not have one Bible, and one Spirit to lead us? Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 The gates of hell will not prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. There is one God and one church and it is our responsibility to line up with God and His word. The only way we can understand and deal with such evil in our country is to recognize where it came from and turn to God for His help to stand against the destroyer. The Bible tells us submit to God, resist the devil, and He will flee. We must begin by submitting to God. Statistically only 9 % of Christians read their Bible daily and 3-4% have read the entire Bible. How can we know God’s will and submit to Him if we don’t know His word? We have highly emotional and volatile situations going on in our country, we must turn to God and know that it is not God but Satan that wants to divide people and destroy them. Christians need to pray and seek God’s wisdom, then they must act. How we treat one another is more important than anything we do. Love represents God in every situation, and love never fails. When was the last time you said to someone God loves you, or shared the gospel of Jesus Christ? The evil we see can only be stopped by a people that know their God and submit to His will. J

July 1. 2016 "One Nation Under God"

Exodus 11:7
But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. 
Our country was founded on men and women who sacrificed their lives for religious freedom. Our nation is unique in its origin founded on a document which gives rights to just men and women by their Creator. A democracy is for a moral people and it will thrive only on people whose foundation, integrity, and morals are based on the Bible. Henry Wilson, the 18th U.S. vice president spoke these words, Remember ever; and always, that your country was founded…by the stern old Puritans who made the deck of the Mayflower an altar of the living God, and whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God. The Puritans worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God that sent His only begotten Son to redeem a sinful and rebellious people. Salvation is for whosoever will believe, meaning there is one way and one way alone to get to God, and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Christians in the United States are in turmoil with the direction our country has headed. We don’t want to be prejudice and we shouldn’t be, but we also must not think that God approves when we accept any and all beliefs under the guise of tolerance. God has and will always make a difference between His people and the world. When Egypt was under the rule of Pharaoh, an ungodly leader, God sent the angel of death through the nation and every firstborn son in the Egyptian households died. God never wanted Israel to intermarry or live among those who worshiped other gods. Do we think He has changed His mind? We have many denominations, cultures, languages, and beliefs in America. But who you are and to whom your allegiance is due is God Almighty. This nation was formed so that godly men and women could share the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who would migrate to this country, and to the world. As Christians we cannot afford to be silent, we are called by God for a purpose and we must stand up and speak the oracles of God. If we don’t the freedom and peace we enjoy may turn into fear and terror by those who have never heard the truth.

June 25,2016  "Give Earnest Heed"

Hebrews 2:1
Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 
Being a Christian will never be a simple task because we live in a corrupt world. Christianity is bound up in profound truths that go against what our senses reveal, so we must be led by the Spirit. Everywhere in the world people are saying “Yes” to Jesus as God calls them in. A transformation takes place as we are saved according to His mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). The miraculous change that takes place causes us to be a new creation in Christ. Salvation should be regarded as the greatest gift, protected as priceless and precious. Yet why do so many Christians struggle with life, family, job, health, finances and being led astray by their emotions? The Bible tells us we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If we do not value our salvation as a prized possession, fearing and honoring God in all we do, we will find the world’s system creep into our life and we drift away. How many messages are preached from the pulpit, or read in the Bible, but have not been heeded. Are we allowed to pick and choose what we believe and obey? No! Without diligence to understand and obey the word of God we will be headed for disaster. Satan knows his time is short, Jesus is returning soon, and he will try to cause as many Christians as he can, to fall from following the truth. In the book of Revelation Jesus told the seven churches “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. Those who hear the word, heed it, and obey what is written, will please God and be victorious. Drifting away from the church is far too easy in a world that is based on visual attractiveness and a desire for pleasure. No one will miss the marriage supper of the Lamb who has determined that God and His precepts are a priority and guideline in their life. God loves us with a love that is incomprehensible, we must seek Him and His wisdom or the decisions we make will not lead us on the right path. The Day of the Lord is fast approaching, no one will have time to get ready when Jesus appears, we must do it now, those who are ready will attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.

June 18. 2016 "Only God Creates"

Psalm 139:13-16
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed! And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. 
God knew each and every human before they were ever conceived and born. Only God can create life and therefore the spirit of each man is perfect. Jesus could not have been born human if man begins life as a sinner. Life changes the human spirit as we grow and hear the truth, then other factors affect us such as experiences, our environment, tragedies, and lack of knowledge. Man can choose to believe and live out what is ungodly from an early age, then his spirit is no longer alive to God. In our world we hear many speak what is against God and His word daily. God would be unjust if He created someone homosexual and then condemned that person by His word. (Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination). God is a good God; God is love, but He never contradicts His word. It is imperative that Christians know God’s word and become an apologist, a defender of the faith. Too many Christians are believing man made laws such as those that made abortion and same sex marriage legal, over God’s word. We as believers are accountable to stand up for God and His word even if it cost us our life. Revelation 12:11 They overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did NOT love their lives to the death. Are you willing to die proclaiming the truth? Unfortunately, many Christians are not willing to speak the truth to someone they know who is living a lifestyle that goes against God, or tell someone choosing an abortion that the life in them is precious and cannot be discarded as an inconvenience, for they will shed innocent blood. Today is Father’s Day and we need more fathers to live a godly, moral, life in front of their children, and not be afraid to speak the truth. Children do not need a father as a playmate as much as they need a father they respect and who is fair and just, and who is full of God’s wisdom.   Fathers are called to be the spiritual leader of the home. The father of a house represents God to his children.  Be sure to speak the truth to your children, that is, God’s word, even if you must stand against what the world says is okay because it is never okay to go against God’s word.

June 11, 2016 "The Spiritual Man"

1 Corinthians 2:11, 12
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 

In John 3:5 Jesus told Nicodemus a Pharisee, that unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Man is a triune being, he is composed of a spirit, soul, and body. For a baby that spirit is alive because only God can give life, and the spirit of a human comes from God. But as a child grows and understands right and wrong, and makes choices that are wrong, his spirit dies and he no longer has that innocence or connection to God. In Romans 7:9-11 Paul talks of how he was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and he died. Paul’s spirit died, not his flesh. In Matthew 18:3 Jesus told His disciples unless you become converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Conversion means salvation, you come to Jesus, believe and accept Him as Lord and Savior, and your spirit comes alive (you are born again John 3:3). Then like an innocent child you can have faith for things that are of the Spirit. If our spirit is not alive the Bible may be interesting, but it does not speak the mysteries of God to you. Those mysteries are revealed by the Spirit of God to your spirit. The world has a spirit and it prevails in the hearts of man. Only through salvation can man be alive spiritually. Those who love God are drawn to what is of God because the Spirit of God is in them. Those who are drawn to the things of the world may believe in God but they do not know Him because He is only known by the Spirit of God. The love of God will grow deeper and stronger as the years go by. Make your priority the things of God which honor Him. God is the Father to all His children, that is, those that are born of water and the Spirit.  It is only His children who are able to know and appropriate the things that have been freely given to us through Jesus by the finished work of the cross.

June 4. 2016 "The Same Mind"

1 Corinthians 1:10
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same things, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Paul was correcting the Corinthians because arguments, strife, and division had come into the church. Paul tells the Corinthians in chapter 3:3 that they are being carnal because where there is envy, strife, and division among you, you are behaving like mere men.  The operation of the church must be done through the Holy Spirit under faith filled leaders. The church at Corinth was doing what seemed right in their own eyes but it was causing divisions among the believers. Many were expressing with pride that they had been baptized or were under the leadership of Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or of Christ. We do that today when Christians say I am a Pentecostal, or a Lutheran, or a Baptist or whatever denomination we belong to. Paul asks, “Is Christ divided?” (vs. 13) We are to be one body with Christ as the head. We should proclaim, identify, and live the life style with the name of Christian. All authority comes from God and the only truth given the church is the word of God found in the Bible. Yet there are many manmade doctrines that are not scripturally based causing division among Christians. Why should there be so much confusion among believers? First, many are not born again of water and the Spirit, (John 3:3,5), many people mentally acknowledge God and Jesus, but the conversion must take place in the heart or spirit of man. Second, far too many Christians do not know the Bible. Bible class and adult Sunday school are rarely attended by the majority of believers. How are you going to know if the truth is being preached from the pulpit if you do not know God’s word? Christians should never stay babies; we are called to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Otherwise Satan can easily deceive you and you become a pawn used by Satan to cause discord in the church, or you may be lead away from God. Magnify God in your life, make Him the biggest and most important and you will find grace to live your life as a Christian in harmony with the body of Christ.

May 23, 2016 " Suffering for His Name"
Acts 5:41, 42
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. 

The Bible records many incidents where the disciples and early believers suffered for Christ. We may consider that the first church was going against a strong established religion and paganism, therefore it was a necessary beginning. But do we consider the verses in the Bible that speak of the suffering all believers will encounter if they are in Christ? Philippians 1:29 says, For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only, to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. In 2 Timothy 2:12 it is written if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him, if we deny Him, He also will deny us… and 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. No one wants to share Jesus Christ with someone and then tell them that as a Christian they will suffer. We focus on the amazing love of God and the free gift of salvation because when God comes into a believers heart they will gladly suffer for their Savior. The wonderful knowledge of Jesus Christ and the saving grace given to us is almost too good to be true.  Sometimes we represent Christianity wrong by indicating that life will be perfect with no problems. You will have joy and peace if you become established in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and Jesus will be with you through all of life’s problems.  The Bible tells us many are the afflictions of the righteous and the Lord delivers him out of them all. What were the early believers doing that caused such persecution? We see in this scripture they did not cease to teach and preach Jesus as the Christ. Do you see that today? Do you see believers lifting up Jesus and sharing Him daily? No, we all come short even though the harvest is white and the laborers are few. We are afraid of offending people and we don’t want people to think badly of us. Unfortunately, that is pride and self-centeredness, it makes us more concerned about our self than the person who does not know Jesus.  When you stand before God one day will you be comfortable knowing you did your best to share Jesus with others, or will you have tears in your eyes that need to wiped away for not loving others enough to share the truth? Ask God to open the door so you may teach and preach Jesus with family, friends, neighbors or even the stranger you come in contact with. It will probably cause you problems, but it is better to please God than man.

May 7, 2016 "The Lord's Supper"

1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take eat; this is My body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 

Today we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. This sacrament replaces the Passover celebrated by the Jews once a year remembering God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. A flawless lamb was sacrificed for Passover and the blood put over the doorposts of each home. The lamb was then eaten and any leftovers burned. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper we want to be sure we understand its significance with reverence and godly fear. It is not something to be taken lightly or regarded as a mere custom. What Jesus did on the cross no believer can ever repay, and you are not expected to, because it was a selfless act of love by God. Jesus’ sacrifice destroyed the bonds of sin and death from whosoever would believe and receive the free gift of salvation. The body that was broken provided for every need a believer might encounter in this lifetime. Whatever your problem is lay it at the cross knowing the debt was paid and your deliverance is sure. The blood of the New Covenant frees man from trusting in his own righteousness to the grace and mercy provided by God. The New Covenant was founded on grace, God giving you what you don’t deserve because He loves you. When you eat of the bread and drink of the cup do it in humble adoration of a God who is all powerful, all consuming, and all mighty, but willing to sacrifice His only Son to settle your debt and set you free to an eternal inheritance paid for in blood. In the light of such majesty we are given the privilege to praise God, and glorify Him. Never pass up an opportunity to give God glory He is worthy to be praised. Israel consumed the flesh of a lamb, we consume the bread and wine remembering the death of our Savior, receiving a far greater deliverance from sin and death.

May 1, 2016 "Jesus our Rock"

1 Peter 2:7
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 

How precious is Jesus to you? Are you willing to give up everything to love, cherish, and obey Him? When something is precious we guard and protect that thing with everything we’ve got. Being saved should never be taken for granted. We have Jesus inside us through the Holy Spirit and we must guard that gift of salvation with the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God through His word. If we don’t, then one day we may look back and wonder how we got where we are, and why our life is such a mess. God’s kingdom is about progress, each believer has a lifetime to grow in the word of God and become all that He has called to be. If we are saved but stay stagnate we never reach the level of growth in God’s kingdom to fulfill our calling. Who are the builders who rejected Jesus in this scripture? It was to the Jews that Jesus came, to the lost house of Israel. But they did not want Him, Jesus did not fit the description of the Messiah they had pictured. Jesus became a stumbling block and rock of offense. What about Christians today, does Jesus fit the profile of who you think He is? Many Christians have turned away from God when tragedy strikes with the thought they do not want to serve a God that would allow such a terrible thing to happen. God is love and He wants you to have all the promises Jesus died to give you, but He expects you to know Him through His word and walk in the light of His word. It is not God’s fault when we don’t take our rightful positon in His kingdom. When we stumble and fall it is often when we do not keep our eyes on Jesus. Too often we operate in the flesh and only look to God for help when we can’t figure things out. Tragedies will happen in life where there seems to be no good explanation or answer. God’s throne is righteousness and justice so we can trust Him no matter what has happened though we may not understand it. You were appointed to the word of God just as the Jews were. We each must make the choice whether to believe God is who He says He is through His word, or make God into the image we think He is by our own knowledge and experiences. There is only one choice, the word of God is truth, it will guide you every step of your life if you only believe.

April 23, 2016 "The Day of the Lord"

2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 

Each day brings us closer to Jesus’ return. Things have remained the same for thousands of years so we assume tomorrow will arrive just as today did, but it may not. All that we see and know in this world could end forever. God created a race of beings designed for heaven. The life we now live prepares us for the true life we will live in eternity with our Lord and Savior. Does this life seem difficult with all its trials and tribulations? How does it compare to what the Lord has in store for those who love Him? We look at the heavens and see farther than man has ever had the technology to do so. We see unlimited number of galaxies and can only assume to know what is out there. Yet the heavens will pass away with a great noise and both the earth and the works in it will be burned up. The believer has a promise from God that we will continue to live in spite of all that will happen. The fall of man polluted the earth and the heavens, but God will destroy the physical creation we know and has already designed a new heaven and a new earth for His children. No matter what is going on in the world we have the hope and promise of a new life where God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow nor crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4) The original creation of man was designed to live in the presence of God physically, and commune with Him spiritually. The body we now have cannot do that, and only the born again spirit is able to commune with God. One day our new incorruptible body will stand in God’s glory and we will live as God intended us to from the beginning of creation. Don’t let the world bring you down, stay focused on God and know that you were created for a life that is superior to anything you could possible imagine. God loves you and He is telling you to hold fast to what you have, the time is short, a new day draws nigh, and be confident, the best is yet to come!

April 16, 2016 "Conduct Pleasing to God"

1 Peter 2:11, 12
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

Peter understood that the life we live is temporary and our time here on earth is short. We are not permanent residents of this earth we are only passing through to an eternal glory given to us through Jesus Christ. We must not focus on the little every day trials of life, but keep our mind on things up above. It is easy to think an election, a marriage, a job, a new home is the most important thing in our life, but in light of eternity it pales in comparison.  When we let our emotions lead us we can get off track and miss our calling and our purpose in God’s kingdom. Remember Jesus always spoke about the Gentiles (those without God) who were concerned with the things of the world. Yet many Christians can get so involved in some earthly project they lose sight of the truth, they miss the important question, is what you are doing pleasing to God? The people around you know you are a Christian whether it is your relatives, the neighbors, or those you work with. Most are not reading their Bible but they are watching you. How you live your life is the biggest testimony you have. If you speak and act like the world, then an unsaved person will not see any reason to turn to Jesus. Being a Christian is a life-style it is not something you do on Sunday. We don’t consider the people around us Gentiles, but many are. They believe in God and Jesus but their lifestyle does not reflect an intimate relationship with God. Being a Christian is not in word only. That is why it is imperative for a believer to turn from anything that will bring shame to the name of Jesus. Christians are Christ-like and their life should reflect God’s commandments, precepts, and the voice of the Lord as He leads us by the Holy Spirit. We are living epistles (letters) written upon by the hand of God and we can go to Him everyday for wisdom and guidance so that the unsaved in this world will see a difference in us and turn to Jesus for salvation.
April 9th 2016 "Acting on the Word"
Acts 3:6
Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

We often make what is simple complicated. The book of Acts records the individual acts of the apostles and those in the church who believed the spoken word of Jesus and acted upon it. Jesus said in Mark 16:17,18 These signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Peter and John believed what Jesus said and acted on it. What we believe has no power in our life unless we act upon what we believe. You were saved because you heard the message of salvation, then you confessed it with your mouth and believed it in your heart. You acted on what you believed. Most Christians believe God heals, they believe in miracles, but if asked to pray for someone dying faith seems to go out the window. Our problem is we look at our self instead of God. We think we are responsible for someone to be healed and we’re not. Our job is to release out faith in God through the power in the name of Jesus then we can receive our healing. The same problem exists for many who are sick, they ask for prayer as it is written in James 5:14 but the person with an illness may have more faith in the doctor’s report than in Jesus, and they focus on the person praying, not God. Christians need to grow in the word, be part of the church, and have a living hope. Standing on the word of God is an act if you have not seen a manifestation of your healing. Never give up your hope. When the church comes together in unity the power of the Holy Spirit can manifest with an anointing to heal, save, and baptize in the Holy Spirit. Miracles did not go out with the first church, it was for then and it is for now, God does not change. But we must believe and be ready to act as the Holy Spirit leads us. Never look to man as your source, look to God and give Him all the glory before, during, and after your need is met.

April 2nd, 2016 "Be Established"
2 Chronicles 20:20
Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

God wants us to be established and prosper, this is done by believing who God is and what His word says. To be established one must grow deep roots in the truths of the Bible. As a Christian if we try to survive by having someone tell us what to believe we will not be established and will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. In this day and age with all the teachings and information available to the believer it is very possible to be deceived. Many still hold to the traditions and customs taught over a lifetime trusting in them and not really knowing God through an intimate personal relationship through His word. Religion has dropped the ball and allowed people to believe that going to church, getting baptized, giving money, taking the Lord’s supper all make you a Christian. You are a Christian if you understand you are a sinner and you need a Savior. When you believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead taking the penalty we all deserve, we receive the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. All those things we do in church are a by-product of what has taken place on the inside. Many people think because they join a church they are saved. We are to search the scriptures to know what God says is true and then act on His word. When enemies came against Jehoshaphat God told the King not to worry, the battle was the Lord’s. Jehoshaphat choose to believe God, and God caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to go against one another, and they all died. Judah did not have to lift a finger in defense, all they had to do was collect the spoil which took three days! If you want to be established in the Lord you are going to have to quit reasoning all life’s problems, believe God, trust His word, and walk in the light of His word. When you have a revelation of who God is and you become a yielded vessel, you will be established and you will prosper. When you believe God and His word as Jehoshaphat did you will understand your enemies have no chance against a child of God.

March 22. 2016 "The Word Brings Light"
Luke 24:29-31
But they constrained Jesus, saying “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 

The two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus were joined by the resurrected Christ yet their eyes were restrained and they did not know it was Jesus. Just like the Pharisees and many of the Jews Jesus was not recognizable by the seeing of the physical eyes, it is the heart that knows and discerns the presence of the Lord. That is why you cannot prove God exists, or that Jesus is your Savior. It is only God who draws a person in and opens their eyes to the truth of the gospel. These two followers did not know Jesus until their spiritual eyes were opened, then they knew Him and He vanished. When we worship in church or in our daily life it is with the heart we experience the risen Savior. God does not want us to know Him physically He wants us to know Him spiritually since He is a spirit.  When we rely on our senses we can be deceived and miss Jesus. It was while Jesus broke the bread that the disciples saw clearly. Jesus is the bread of life and Jesus is the Word. When we delve into the word of God and prayerfully seek Him, our eyes will be open to the Lord. In verse 32 the two disciples said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” It was the Spirit filled words that Jesus spoke that quickened the heart of these followers. Lack of the knowledge of the word of God will hurt any believer. How will you know the truth if you don’t know God’s word especially with the world proclaiming its own beliefs of right and wrong. We don’t want to be like the two travelers who did not know Jesus when He was right in front of them. Be conscious that the resurrected Christ is in you and with you wherever you go. Honor Him by knowing God’s word, loving Him with all your heart, and continually offering up the sacrifice of praise from your lips.

March 19, 2016 "Jesus is Coming Soon"

James 5:8, 9
You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Vs.9 Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers. 

This is the wonderful time of the year when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Salvation is for those who believe in their heart Jesus was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and He rose from the dead. This message of grace has been preached to millions throughout the world. We are very aware of the command to go into the world and make disciples, but are we as aware that Jesus will return at any moment to claim His bride?  The idea that Jesus will break through the eastern sky and the end of all things is at hand does not seem to influence most Christians in their daily life. We think and act like we have all the time in the world, and because of television and other forms of media we tend to give more heed to a terrorist attack than we do Jesus’ second coming. The first church eagerly looked for Jesus to come back, many believers were being persecuted and suffered terribly for their faith. We do not have that problem as such, but Christians who do not compromise the word of God are becoming a minority in a nation of people who call themselves Christian because they attend a church. Like God who is longsuffering we are to be patiently cultivating and nurturing those in the church helping them to grow in the Lord, and welcome new converts as they come to know Jesus. But to look for huge numbers of believers as a standard is not scriptural.   Jesus referred to His followers as a little flock, and that few would enter by the narrow gate because the way was difficult. Many acknowledge God and Jesus, but that is not enough. We are called to be an apologist, to defend our faith, not by our opinion, or by our denomination, but by the word of God. Christians should be experts in the Bible, ready to contend earnestly for the faith. Without the knowledge of the word we will fall for every wind of doctrine which is happening in many churches. Since we know the end is near we ought to be serious and watchful in our prayers looking for and anticipating the return of Jesus every day and pray we be counted worthy.

March 12, 2015 "All 
Authority is from God"
Isaiah 40:22, 23

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth. When He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. 

We are in a season of great political turmoil in our country. Emotions often run high when the candidates debate each other. What we see and hear on the news will have an impact on decisions many people make. Emotions should not control what a Christian believes, or decisions we make, our allegiance is to God and our King is Jesus. Isaiah’s words point out the magnitude of who God is, and notice in this scripture we are the grasshoppers, quite a humbling thought. God is much bigger than we can ever imagine and knows all that is or will be.  God is not concerned over who will be our next president, He knew before the earth was created. But He does care why, and who a Christian votes for. As Christians we tend to think and act like there is no God when issues come up in our country, keeping God separate because we place more value on man’s ideas than God’s. The Bible tells us there is no authority except from God, and authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1). God can raise up whom He wishes, and with His breathe cause a man to whither and be gone. The question then is what should a Christian do? A Christian studies the Bible and diligently seeks God’s wisdom. He is not influenced by hype, nor does he vote for the person he might best profit from. God is your source, if you are looking for the government to meet your needs you have wandered far from God. We must remember whether it is the president or the supreme court making decisions, if it goes against God’s word it is wrong. Our time on this earth is temporary, we are but a vapor or a blade of grass. Let God rule in your heart and guide your steps, then the decisions you make will be eternal and pleasing to God.

March 5, 2016 "A Pastor's Role"

Hebrews 12:5, 6
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when your are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. 

The office of pastor is ordained by God. The pastor is the under shepherd of the Lord and has the wisdom and knowledge to help, and correct his flock. Pastor helps us crucify the flesh by giving us the pure milk of the word.  Sometimes it does not feel good when the word of God corrects us, but it is what we so often need. What the pastor does is in love because he knows the pitfalls that accompany those who do not change and those who do not grown in the Lord. We are very blessed at Father’s House Fellowship to have a pastor who loves and watches over his sheep with every part of his being. Pastor has always pushed us to become more knowledgeable and to come up higher spiritually. The kingdom of God is never stagnate. Some churches have tried to attract people by compromising the gospel, but it is the truth that sets us free. Jesus always preached the truth no matter who listened knowing only those who are drawn in by the Father will come to know Jesus and be transformed into a new creation. With salvation you come under God’s authority through the Holy Spirit and must allow God to teach you and correct you, sometimes through the pastor. If we try to hold on to what we are familiar with and be a Christian by what we think we are suppose to do, we will fail. You can only know God through His word and you can only obey God if you are submitted to His will and led by the Holy Spirit. God is a spirit and if we try to be the church through the flesh it will only please our flesh, but it will never please God. Man is talented and can come up with amazing formats to follow for worship, or to run a church. It is only through a spirit led pastor that a church will survive and make a change in this world. God blesses obedience over sacrifice. Stay in the word above all else and fellowship with God, then when you hear a teaching that seems foreign to you God will enlighten you if you wait and seek Him with your whole heart.

July 5, 2015

John 1:4
In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines into darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 
What kind of life did God give us? Eternal life. That life is imparted to man at his conversion. When a man receives Christ as His Savior he is no longer spiritually dead but alive. That life is light bringing man out of the darkness of the world into God’s marvelous light. The world did not know Jesus when He came and the world does not understand the light of God that is in Christians. When man walks in darkness he is not aware he is spiritually dead. He lives a life through the flesh. Whatever seems right in his eyes he does. Until the Holy Spirit draws a person to God that person has no hope of having eternal life. Then one day a persons eyes are opened, they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and they receive Christ as their Savior, now they are alive with the life of God in them. The light of God illuminates man through his spirit and his mind through the Word of God, showing man a new life and direction. Your perspective of life changes, the things
of the world begin to fade away and no longer hold the interest they once did. You no longer focus on earthly things but on things above. You have a Father who loves you and you are secure in His arms. The light of God will develop you if you focus on God and His Word, and you let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. Once saved many Christians do not know what comes next in their life. Our job is get to know our Father the way an adopted child often wants to find their biological parent and establish a relationship. Our true Father is God and you look just like Him. You were made in His image and He adores you. Your Father in heaven gave you the greatest gift any human could desire, salvation. You no longer have to fear anything in life because Your Father is watching over you and desiring you to come to Him just as the prodigal son finally realized his father had all the answers, and most important, his father loved him dearly even though he had wasted
so much. You have eternal life through Jesus Christ, rejoice, sing praises to His name, and enjoy life knowing you now can walk in the light of life.

June 27, 2015
John 15:10, 14
If you obey My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Christians have the Word of God to guide and lead them. We live in a fallen world and we need God’s direction every day of our life.  Knowledge of the Bible is a must for a Christian or we will be swayed by every wind of doctrine or what is considered acceptable by the world. Jesus always did what was right; paying taxes to Caesar what was due him, and giving God what was due Him. No one can deny the church is not influenced by what is going on in the media, television programs, and the entertainment world.  Unfortunately, much of it goes against God’s word. Yesterday, the Supreme Court rendered a decision by a 5 to 4 vote that same sex marriage was legal in all fifty states. How does a Christian respond to what is against God’s word? We use the Bible as our guide. Peter and John were arrested and brought before the rulers of the people and elders of Israel and told not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:17). What Peter and John
answered is important to Christians. They responded saying, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” Christians are accountable to a higher authority in what they believe and live. What the world does should not change what a Christian believes. Making same sex marriage legal does not alter the Word of God. God loves His creation so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. But, no matter what we think or believe God will never go against His word. Why does God give us rules of behavior and conduct? God created us and knows exactly what will produce life, health, and prosperity in the lives of His children. What goes against God’s word is called sin. Christians walk in love but they must also walk in the truth of God’s word. You are accountable to God for what you believe and speak. In John 12:48 Jesus is very clear about the Word, saying “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words,
has that which judges him – the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”  You have the freedom to believe and do anything you want but in the end you will be judged by the Word of God if you choose to not believe His Word. Like Peter and John we must say, whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to man or to God is the choice we make based on His Word, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26, 27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5
June 20,2015
Romans 15:5,6
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
The body of Christ is connected in such a way that the life and nature of God in us causes us to be likeminded and glorify God in unity of spirit. Christians in America live in a highly advanced world where tremendous amounts of teachings are available, but these can also cause confusion in the body of Christ. Television, which has been a wonderful source of Christian information and ministry for millions in their homes can also have the opposite effect and cause strife in the body of Christ. That is why we have the Bible and are instructed to read, study, and meditate in the Word. When we rely on teaching by others we can lose valuable fellowship with God. God gave the Holy Spirit to teach us in all righteousness and truth. Do we want the Holy Spirit to teach us, or do we want someone else’s revelation of the word? Baby Christians need instruction and should be under good teaching but there comes a point when a Christian needs to stand on their own
two legs and become mature in their knowledge and understanding of the word. In the natural a mature tree is one that will produce fruit, it is the same in the kingdom of God. Mature Christians will be of one mind and one spirit. They will not be easily offended or moved by every wind of doctrine. When we are mature we have a close relationship with God and praise comes out of our mouth like breathing. You eyes will see all that God has done in your life and not all the difficulties that come from living in a fallen world. As Paul said the God of patience and comfort is our God and this allows us to have great joy no matter what is going on. The body of Christ is not a denomination it is a group of people who look and act like Jesus because they are one with Him. Jesus always did the will of the Father and listened only to His voice. We also want to grow and be trained to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Your relationship with God is personal and when you know Him, you will hear His voice to lead and guide you in all things.

June 13, 2015
Romans 14:1
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to dispute over doubtful things.
It is wise to be careful when speaking to believers who are new in the faith, or someone who has not grown in the word since they may not understand a spiritual truth that has been revealed to you. In this verse Paul is addressing Christian Jews and Gentiles that had not yet grasped the knowledge that Christ had fulfilled the Law and they were no longer bound to Feast days, or rules concerning food that may have been offered to idols. Even today the church has issues such as drinking wine, tattoos, clothing, hairstyles, body piercing etc. that cause divisions among the saints. Paul told the believers not to judge their brother and sister in Christ because if God had accepted them it is not up to us to condemn them. Romans 14:4 tells us God is able to make His own stand, do not judge another man’s servant. The best thing we can do is walk in love and help one who is weak in the faith grow. A mature Christian knows that growing in the word and applying
it to one’s life is the key to success in God’s kingdom, but we cannot make another believer grow faster than they have a desire to. To help in his explanation to the Roman believers Paul gave a clear definition of what the kingdom of God is, and what it is not, in Romans 14:17.  The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  If we correct a believer for what Paul calls doubtful things we may cause that brother to stumble. Then we could destroy the work of God. Think of how we yearn and pray for souls to be saved and how a religious attitude could undo what we ultimately want to see happen. Remember Jesus had more compassion for the sinners than He did for the self-righteous Pharisees. Look to God for help when someone is weak in the faith. Pray for wisdom and guidance before you speak to a brother. God had great patience waiting for you to grow up and see the light. It is only by His grace
any of us see or know the revealed word of God. Therefore, we should extend grace and mercy to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and as Paul wrote in Corinthians, love never fails

June 6. 2015
1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him
To describe or to make clear to someone the kind of love God has for His children is impossible unless one is born of the Spirit and they know God. God’s love is different from human love. Human love is temporary and connected to the flesh through the senses. We love how someone looks, we love how he or she speaks, we love their touch, and we love how they make us feel. These are all sensual and too often temporary, otherwise there would be no divorce.  People fall in and out of love. God does not; He created man in His image and had such a love for His creation He allowed Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners and enemies. God’s love is eternal and unchanging. If we take time to meditate on God who loves us completely despite all our mistakes and self-centeredness we will be amazed and in awe of such a loving God. The God of all creation, of all glory, who has no limits or boundaries, calls you His child. He loves you, cares for you, protects
and guards you and desires above all else to have a relationship with you. You were created with the capability to commune and worship God on a level that is pleasing to Him by being in Christ. That makes you one with God. That alone seems outrageous. Seeing yourself as one with God does not compute in our brain, which analyzes everything according to sight, experience, and logic. Understanding, knowing and believing you are one with God is scriptural. Jesus spoke these words in John 17:21, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. If there was nothing in this world for you to rejoice about the fact that you are one with God and He has bestowed His love upon you that He might call you His child should be enough to keep you going through all the heartaches and trials of this life. What God has given us through Christ is the most wonderful gift man could ever desire. Claim, appreciate, and
acknowledge that God has made you His very own child. Then worship will flow effortlessly out of you to your Father who loves you dearly.

May 30, 2015
1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.  

Paul understood and appreciated the grace God had given him. Paul called himself a chief sinner knowing that at one time he had been against God, but now by God’s grace his eyes had been opened and he knew the risen Lord. Paul was so thankful for God’s grace he was willing to be used in any manner to further the kingdom of God. Suffering did not matter to Paul, hunger did not mater, cold and nakedness did not matter because Paul knew that God was real, Jesus was alive, and Paul was honored to serve. Until we appreciate our salvation and we really know God personally we will be religious. Religious people are very aware of their giving, their sacrifice, and their time given to the church. Those who are touched by God learn very quickly that there is no life apart from Christ. Self is no longer important; serving God is what matters. Finding out God’s will and doing it becomes a priority in your life. God wants the best for you and He wants to lead
and guide you in life. Our part is to let our spirit man be in control. The flesh is carnal and is influenced by the world. Your spirit is perfect, sinless, and in contact with God. The more you yield to the spirit man in you, the more you will enjoy life. If you are unhappy today with your life it is probably the choices you made yesterday. Your flesh never has time to read the Bible, study, and meditate on God’s word. Yet that is exactly what we all need. Paul never regretted all the work he did for the Lord. He considered the suffering we may endure as light affliction, which is but for a moment working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  In the end we will never be sorry we didn’t make more money or accumulate more possessions, we will wish we had done more for the Lord. You have been given grace to succeed and accomplish all that God has called you to do.  It’s not going to be a lot of big things we do in life but the day-to-day work and faithfulness in the little things that help fulfill God’s plan on this earth.

May 9, 2015
Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Most Christians probably read this scripture and assume it is the pastor’s job to be preaching the word to others. The word preacher translated from Greek means to herald or proclaim. Yes, the pastor is a preacher of God’s word but God is emphatic that every believer has been called to share Jesus Christ with others. In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we are told that God reconciled (re-established a friendship between) man and Himself through Jesus Christ and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. A pastor is anointed to guide and teach his flock as an under shepherd. He represents Christ and will be a light wherever he goes. But what if every individual in the church would share the gospel with people in their own sphere that includes family, friends, and acquaintances?  There is a saying that most of the people you meet today are on God’s most wanted list. Christians actively sharing the gospel with others are not the majority of those attending
church. Many people do not have the knowledge they need to be comfortable sharing their faith. If you are going to be obedient to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20) then you must change. First, study the Bible and show yourself approved to God. Second, begin by praying for others that do not know God and His Son Jesus Christ. Third, give your testimony about the great things God has done in your life as often as you can. Fourth, be a blessing to others, listen carefully and you will hear what people’s needs are and God will work through you to meet their needs. Finally, and most important listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in every situation, God is working and preparing people’s hearts in a way you know nothing about. God does not have hands or feet, He is a Spirit, but He has you. Be a preacher, proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that someone you know can believe and receive the greatest gift in the world,
eternal life through Jesus Christ.

May 2, 2015
Galatians 6:15, 16
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 
Under God’s covenant with Israel in the Old Testament circumcision was a sign of an everlasting agreement between God and His people. Circumcision was a physical act required of all male Jews and those in their house signifying a solemn oath that God was the God of Israel, and that Israel would be His chosen people. God gave Israel everything through the adoption (Romans 9:4), the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises. But Israel never remained faithful to God seeking the world and a system that was corrupt. Are we any different today? Yes, for those in Christ the lure of this world has no hold on them. What is seen cannot rival what we have been given that is unseen. Old Testament believers were under the law and strived to establish their own righteousness.  To Israel what was seen in the world was more appealing than the unseen riches of God. We are under a new covenant of grace; we are born of the Spirit,
and having tasted Jesus, and the goodness of God, we desire things above rather than those things of this world. The Spirit of God, our teacher, opens a world of knowledge, understanding and wisdom about God that is priceless. Nothing this world offers compares to the revelation of God through His word. That is why Jesus died to pay for our sins that we might have a personal relationship with God. Satan will try every trick he can to pull you away from God and your time to fellowship with other believers. Be wary of anything that consumes your time, energy and thoughts from serving God. Many things in this life are good things but they are not God ordained. We have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, if we listen to His voice we won’t make the mistakes Israel did. The rule referred to in verse 16 speaks of a new creation in Christ Jesus, those who walk according to this rule will have peace and mercy upon them, these priceless gifts the world cannot
see or receive, but are free to every believer, Praise God!   

April 25,2015
Romans 8:29, 30
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called, whom He called, these He also ‘justified’ and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  

God knew who would accept Him as Lord, and who would accept Jesus Christ as Savior before He created the earth. We might think it is news to God when someone gets saved, it may well be news to us and to the angels in heaven who shout for joy, but not to God. Those who come to God through Jesus Christ begin a journey of growth in the wisdom and knowledge of God. It is through this wisdom and knowledge we are conformed to Christ’s image. Believers are predestined by God to be Christ-like. It takes time and years of walking out what we learn, line upon line, precept upon precept. If you are not studying the Bible to get a deeper understanding of who God is you will not know who Jesus is.  How then can you be conformed to Christ’s image? Sometimes Christianity is taught as a religion of choice, accept Christ as your Savior then choose to do whatever you believe is right. That is not what God‘s word tells us in the Bible. All believers have been called
for a purpose. God fulfills His plan on earth through believers who are doing His will. Too often we live a life way below what our calling is. Being a Christian is not just attending church and giving to the poor, then living our life any way we please. We were not created to please ourselves we were created and saved to please God. As a believer you are justified (just as if you have never sinned) that makes you like Jesus. What did Jesus do with His life to please the Father? He went about each day living, speaking, and sharing the kingdom of God with others. Someone can go to church and believe in Jesus but not know God. An apple tree produces apples and a Christian produces fruit to the kingdom of God. If your salvation is real and precious to you, you will be sharing Jesus with others. You have been called and justified to lift Jesus up, then you are glorified and that is what pleases God.  

April 18,2015
Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 
Consider how big God is, He created the heavens, the earth, the stars, and all things visible and invisible. If we meditate on the magnitude of God and all He created it will help us put everyday problems into perspective. It is tempting to make life’s problems so big they seem insurmountable. Could it be we only visit God on Sundays, and the rest of the week we are not standing on the rock, we are not living within His fortress, and God becomes a deliverer only when desperately sought after for what we are completely helpless to handle?  Have you considered that if you do not stand on God’s word for a cold or flu you will find it difficult to believe God for a healing if you are diagnosed with cancer? What about your job, or your income, are you secure in trusting God that He will provide for you, or is your faith tied up in the economy because you don’t see God’s help in daily living? When problems come along do you trust God or does fear
replace your faith? Christians cannot walk a double line, one of faith when times are good and one of fear when our circumstances change for the worse. Wherever you are right now in studying God’s word you must make a decision to grow and increase your faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. God is who the Bible says He is, but to each person God is who he or she believes He is. That is why Christians get different results when they pray. Jesus talked about weak faith, little faith, and great faith. The amount of revelation you have in the word of God will directly affect how much faith you have when you pray. Make God bigger than anything else in your life, seek Him with all your being, and rest in the freedom that God is more than enough for all life’s problems. Picture yourself in a fortress, built on a rock, and watched over by God, then think of the problems you are facing, somehow God will take you through the problem,
over the problem, around the problem, or eliminate the problem. Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?  
March 7, 2015
Colossians 1:17
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of God of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Recognizing, understanding, and yielding to the fact that Christ is in you will change the life you live forever. Apart from Christ we can do nothing, but in Him we can conquer our world. The Bible reveals that what you have inside of you by faith is more powerful than any weapon or force that man can imagine. Think on the fact that the Greater One lives in you, and as a result no weapon formed against you will prosper. We wonder how can this be, when we see so many people around us oppressed, depressed, sick, hurting, poor, and miserable. Too many Christians have yet to yield to the One who lives in them. They do not let their spirit dominate them; they allow what they see and experience to influence how they think. As a result Christians go through as many problems as people who do not know Jesus.  Try to imagine one of those inflatable clowns with a weighted bottom. You punch the clown and it goes down, but pops right back up. Christians should be the same way. No matter what comes against you, you have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling in you. That Spirit allows you to overcome and go through fewer problems than those in the world. Christ in you means God in you and that means the One who created all things and knows all things can handle any problem. Be determined to allow your spirit man to dominate you. Say to yourself, I don’t know how I will go through this trial or affliction but I know that I will because the Greater One lives in me. God is watching over us and He has an expected end that will glorify Him when we go over, under, around or through life’s problems. You may see no way out of your situation but believe by faith God has a solution that you might be incapable of imagining, so don’t limit God with your words. Instead of speaking about the problem (which the Bible calls murmuring and complaining) speak to the problem in the name of Jesus. Then praise
God, rejoice, shout to the Lord, smile, be at peace, laugh, and go about your daily business knowing that Christ IN you IS the hope of glory.

February 28,2015

Luke 4:40, 41
When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!’” and He rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that he was the Christ. 
Jesus came that we might have life abundantly. Sickness steals, kills, and destroys. Satan is the author of sickness and inflicts one foul disease after another on the human race. We live in a body of flesh that is subject to the environment and all that pollutes this world. God does not want His children sick and oppressed. Everything Jesus did represented the love and compassion God has for His creation. When the sick came to Jesus he never turned anyone away and He healed all who had faith that Jesus could and would heal them. Today we are so dependent on doctors and medicine that we rely little on the miracle working power of Jesus Christ. Prayer is often used as a last resort instead of a first line of defense. When you are attacked with sickness what scripture(s) do you stand on to believe for a healing? If you have none it is time to get the word in you and increase your faith. It is hard to stand in faith when you are hurting, miserable, and can barely think straight. We are to study the word every day so that we are strong in faith when the trials of life come along. Demons existed in Jesus’ day and they exist today. If we think everything can be cured by a prescription, medical science, and/or counseling we deceive ourselves. God gave us everything we need to fight Satan (who is a defeated foe) and overcome the pitfalls of this world. If studying the Bible is not important you will have a difficult time making it through life. Satan will beat you up. The demons knew exactly who Jesus was, the Christ, the anointed one, and they were declaring it out loud. Can we say the same thing? If you want to rely on man’s knowledge to meet all your needs you can, but Christians should know their God and all that He has provided for them through the power, authority, and name of Jesus Christ

February 14, 2015

John 15:7
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples. 

God’s promises always work, but they work accordingly to what He has said in His word. We learn from this scripture that we are to be in Christ, that is, a born again believer, and that God’s word is to be in our heart growing and producing for the kingdom of God. Being a Christian without the Word in you is fruitless. It is by God’s word we know God’s will and can fulfill His plan here on earth. The Word as it is received in our heart will produce fruit. In the parable of the Sower we know there are four kinds of soil, or heart conditions.  Only one heart that heard the Word of God produces fruit. We need to be as conscious of our spiritual needs as we are of our physical needs. Our spirit needs the Word of God each day. We know that one day without natural food causes uncomfortable feelings in our physical body. The same goes for our spirit if we are sensitive to the leading of God. Without feeding our spirit we slowly drift away from God, and far too often the person does not feel anything or realize what is happening. God created us and knows just what we need to survive. Studying the word of God, spending time in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, and giving thanks to God, is a daily necessity not just on Sunday. When we allow anything to come before seeking God we are on shaky ground. Study the Bible and see how few people in each generation stood their ground and endured until the end, there are very few in comparison to the number of people that were in the world. Don’t let Satan convince you that what goes on in this world (job, family, entertainment, money) is more important than the time you spend with God and the body of Christ. Kyle Idleman wrote a book entitled Not a Fan. Fans love Jesus and give their time when they want to in the church; disciples on the other hand live their life as the body of Christ and are the church. If you want to be a disciple get to really know God then make yourself available to be used daily to be a blessing and share Jesus with others.

February 7, 2015

Psalm 51:6
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. 
When Samuel went to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king of Israel he was deceived according to their outward appearance. The Lord corrected Samuel by saying, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature because the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. David understood this when God sent Nathan the prophet to uncover David’s sin with Bathsheba. David knew that it in the inward part of man God reveals His truth. When we are saved it is the inward man that becomes alive to God. God then imparts His truth to us through His word. David also realized it is the hidden part of man where God makes known His wisdom. Like Samuel we look at the outward appearance, not knowing what God has place in the inward part of each man. Only when we get to know a person over time is their character revealed and whether the wisdom of God is guiding the person through the Holy Spirit. Pilate did not recognize truth when Jesus was standing right in front of him. Without a recreated spirit through salvation and the truth of God’s word, we can make the same mistake. Today everyone has their own brand of truth usually from what they have experienced or have knowledge of. The problem is man’s truth and God’s truth rarely line up together. God loves each and every person so much He sent Jesus to die for them. But God will never change His word to excuse or compromise what man does. In the world freedom is the right to do and say whatever you want. That is not what Jesus died for. We have been given freedom to know the truth, love God, and obey what He has commanded. Many Christians are trying to live their life without the truth in their inward parts. No matter how good you are, how nice you are, how many charities you support, or how many people you help if you do not have God’s truth and wisdom in your heart you are outside of God’s
will. David was deceived when his heart was not right before God, we need the truth of God’s word in our heart so like David we will not sin against God.

January 31, 2015
Romans 1:17
For in it (the gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written the just shall live by faith.
It is through the gospel of truth and the good news of Jesus Christ that we come to know God. God is revealed to us through the Bible, His thoughts become our thoughts, His words our words, His will our will until we are molded into the image of Christ, not in appearance, but as a spiritual being. The more we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God the more we will act like the word of God is true, that is what faith is. When we have faith for what we cannot see it produces a catalyst for the power of God in the unseen realm and what we desire becomes a reality. That is God in action. Then our faith increases and we grow from faith to faith. It is the just that live by faith and please God. For faith to work, a love for the word of God is a must, giving God’s word priority in your life honors God. When we search the scripture for the truth we are armed and prepared for the lies Satan spews out in this world. The Bible tells us faith comes by hearing
and hearing by the word of God. You hear the word in church and equally as important you should hear the word spoken out of your mouth. As you learn God’s word you use it to share Jesus Christ with others and speak the word to problems in life, and over people as you pray for them. The person with great faith will be unmovable concerning the word that has been revealed to them. Even a baby Christian can hear the word, believe it and receive a miracle just by having faith that what they heard is true. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. We expect a college student to study and work hard to achieve success but Christians hope to have great faith by going to church once a week. Faith must be lived day in and day out in little things and big things. The more you trust God and His word the more results you will see in your life. Finally, we must remember that faith works by love. Don’t let the problems and cares of life
limit you, petty arguments that fester in your heart can block your faith. Jesus set you free, walk in the light of that freedom and make faith the shield you carry and the word your sword of the Spirit.

January 17, 2015
1 Thessalonians 2:9, 10
For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe. 
As we begin the New Year we look back to see what was accomplished in 2014 and sets goals for 2015. We are blessed to be in a church where our pastor does not take a salary, and like Paul, toils day and night so that he is not a burden but cares only for the preaching of the gospel of God and furthering His kingdom. Paul not only labored constantly for the gospel but also made sure that he and those who with him set a godly example in all they did. There is great truth in the saying, actions speak louder than words. God said to Abraham, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be perfect”. Father’s House has a pastor who believes exactly what is written. Pastor Russo has gone above and beyond in everything he has done always setting an excellent example for all of us. Every believer has been given the grace of God to be an overcomer and walk in the light of God’s word thereby fearing God and working righteousness. We are called to please God first.
This can make it difficult sometimes to divide our time and energy between the work of the Lord and those we love. God will always give us the wisdom to stay in balance and make the right choices if we let the Holy Spirit guide us. If we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then He will take care of all the other things in our life. We can be very thankful to God for Pastor Russo, for his devotion to God and always being there for us. As we look back over 2014 our financial report is nothing short of a miracle for such a small flock. But, with a man of God, and the support of a strong group of believers, God does mighty things. Today is a new day, we look forward to what God has for us and prepare ourselves to be yielded vessels, God always has more than we can imagine. Be sure to attend Tuesday night‘s Annual Business Meeting and praise God for what He has accomplished and for what He will do this year through Father’s House

January 10, 2015
Isaiah 11:2
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 
Isaiah spoke more prophesies concerning Jesus than any other prophet. This prophesy in Isaiah refers to the coming Messiah. In John 3:34 we are told that He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. Upon entering His ministry Jesus walked in a full anointing of the Holy Spirit. We look at Jesus as separate from us, unlimited in power and wisdom, which He was. What we forget is that it is God desire that we be One with Him and walk with the anointing of the Holy Spirit in all that we do. Notice what was given to Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Jesus was given the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Since we are the body of Christ we should also desire what is necessary for the church to accomplish God’s will in this last days. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 it is written that we have the mind of Christ. Therefore we should have the same desires
as God. We live in a difficult time in this world. We need the wisdom of God to make right decisions. Many things look good but they are not necessarily of God. As we begin the New Year and plan goals for the church we want to make sure we are doing God’s will. Pray for your church that the activities we spend time, energy, money and talent on are what God wants us to be doing. The gifts of the Spirit given to Jesus were for a New Covenant ministry. We are the results of that New Covenant. We also need knowledge, understanding and most definitely a fear of the Lord. When we fear God we honor Him in all we do and our desire is to obey His word and do His will above all else. Don’t feel you are unimportant; you are a child of the King. Your prayers reach heaven and you can change the world. One person with Jesus is a majority in any situation. In 1 Corinthians 12 we have God’s wisdom and knowledge about spiritual gifts, know these, then seek God’s
gifts to fulfill His plan as we enter a New Year and to glorify God as we represent Christ here on earth.

January 3, 2015
Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 
God has created all things and He has made man for His pleasure. When we focus on how good God is and what He has done we rejoice and love life. If you are saved you have nothing to worry about. Satan and those in the world would like to oppress you with details of life that are really not important. Jesus is life all the rest doesn’t really matter except to do God’s will. Too often we dwell on past mistakes, the past is gone, we must live in the present so God can use us. No matter how much you have or how little, you can be thankful and enjoy your life. We all know that it’s not stuff that makes us happy but the peace that comes from within. We can grieve in our heart for those who don’t see the light and continue to pray for them, but we press on knowing our expected end is glorious beyond all comprehension. Christians can be the ones in a conversation that are positive. You will be full of faith and hope if you look to God and realize that
the cares and burdens of today are only temporary, and most are slight afflictions compared to the light of eternity. Instead of focusing on the world, since the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one 1 John 5:19, look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. He will get you through whatever circumstances come your way if you will release your faith and trust God. You have been saved to reflect God’s goodness just as Jesus exemplified God and went about doing good. We are called to rejoice and praise God. Why? because death has no hold over us. That frees us to do God’s will and to do good to the people God puts in our life. Doing good is a reflection of who you are in Christ, it blesses the person and it blesses you. When you help others and walk in love you are the most like God.  Make a point each day to be a blessing and to look at all the good that God has done in your life. Then praise God and enjoy your life. 

December 27, 2014
Acts 2:42
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
The first church was zealously connected by what they had experienced in miracles, signs and wonders, and for many personal contact with Jesus. Having been delivered out of the world they wanted to fellowship daily with other believers. The true gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to them by the apostles, which they received and believed. Two thousand years later we begin a new year, 2015. We can learn from the first church what was important and what was not. Being in the word daily is a must for all Christians. You cannot know God through what you think or feel, or someone else’s revelation. God reveals Himself to us through His word, and when the word is in us we begin to think and act according to God’s will. The first church thought it was important to fellowship with like believers. Don’t let work, entertainment, family or anything else prevent you from fellowshipping with the body of Christ. Too often we spend time with people who do not
know or even care about God. Those who will receive the gospel of Jesus Christ you can help grow, but those who will not we must be careful of. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life’. A Christian should carefully guard their heart because if we make friends of the world they may cause you to compromise your beliefs. Satan will cunningly use any person to draw you away from God. The first church also continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread and prayers. The Lord’s Supper brings our focus back to Jesus and the cross. We must never lose sight of the price paid for our salvation. You owe God everything, but what He wants is your heart and obedience to His word. Obedience comes through an intimate relationship with God through His Word. Finally, the first church was a church of prayer. Prayer is communicating with God, we have much to pray about. Stay in constant contact with God,
when you do you become aware of His presence in your daily life. When an emergency arises or just daily problems your first words will be to God and His provision to meet all your needs. For the New Year be sure to have a spiritual goal. Most believers know exactly what God has been speaking to them in their heart. Don’t ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit; God’s has a plan for you that is perfect. The first church was eagerly looking for the return of Christ how much more should we resemble them, and know that The Day of the Lord is not far off?

December 20,2014
John 1:1,4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 
December 25th we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. We know that this was the beginning of Jesus’ life as a man. Jesus, as God, always existed as spoken of in Micah 5:2 ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting’. The Christmas story has been told over and over and in a few short months we will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. The question that must be considered is what priority does Jesus have in your life? Do you KNOW Jesus? Is He more real to you than the people around you? Do you understand you have been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light? If you do, are you serving God in every area of your life? Those that are His live for and are ready to die for Jesus. God will not accept a life that is lukewarm. That is a compromise and an
abomination to God (Revelation 3:16). Most people believe in God, and believe Jesus died for their sins, but they have no manifestation of the New Birth (John 3:3). If you are saved you are a Christian. A Christian looks and acts like Jesus. Do the people around you see Christ in your or do you fit snuggly in the world unobtrusive so you won’t offend anyone with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Jesus explains in John 17:3 saying, “this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”. If Jesus is not first in your life give God the most precious gift in the world today, your heart and soul. One day very soon the trumpet will sound and Jesus will return for His bride. In the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) five of the ten did not make it to the marriage supper yet they were all (clean) saved. Why? They were not ready. Make a commitment to God to accept Jesus as LORD. Jesus was born, died, and
resurrected, He’s coming back for you, are you ready? 

Merry Christmas!
December 13, 2014
John 14:5, 6
And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

Thomas did not understand what God’s plan was through Jesus. Thomas could not see beyond what was happening in front of his eyes. We live in a world bombarded by visuals, hype, glitz and glitter and we find it hard to have faith in a God we cannot see. We all expect to be with God one day but we have a hard time seeing where that is. We believe in Jesus Christ, we know He was crucified for our sins, He rose from the grave, and we know He is coming back one day. Becoming a Christian was comparatively easy, we accepted and believed in Jesus. Staying a Christian causes many to fall by the wayside. Satan throws curve balls in our path and we get off track and lose our way. Jesus spoke simply and clearly to Thomas saying I am the way, the truth and the life. Meaning there is no other way to God except through Jesus. No other religion has salvation where a god died and paid the price for man’s sin. All other religions have some sort of works attached to
salvation. Christians accept the completed work of Jesus Christ then live their life doing good works for their Savior out of love, respect, honor, and undying gratitude. Our faith is lived out every day in what we do, what we say, and how we treat others. True salvation has a manifestation. Christians are not to keep their light hidden, they are to light up their world in word and deed. Malachi, the prophet, speaks of a book of remembrance written before the Lord in chapter 3:16-18. In this book those who fear God and meditate on His name were recorded. Do you love to talk about Jesus and God; is He part of your daily conversation? God’s word written in Malachi 3:18 says, you shall discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. Thomas did not have spiritual eyes at that time to see where Jesus was going, but whether we understand or not we can believe and carry out God’s plan through the
faith of Jesus Christ.

December 6, 2014
Acts 3:21, 22
For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’
Prophesy in the Old Testament was fulfilled in the New Testament by God in absolute perfection. Nowhere in the history of earth was any man’s entrance and life prophesized and fulfilled as Jesus’ was. Many doubt the existence of the Son of Man as written in the Bible, that Jesus is too confining and not as liberal as many would like. Jesus was uncompromising with religious leaders and those who were hard and calloused against God and toward their fellow man. Jesus came to show the heart of God and to guide all those who believed in Him on a path that is narrow, and opposite of what the world believes and does. As a prophet Jesus wooed Israel, trying to get them to see the wonderful love and compassion God had for them. But customs and traditions are extremely difficult to change in men who have their faith in them. The Jews believed they were righteous because of who they were. Jesus wanted the Jews to know He had a new and better way for God’s
people. That they would no longer need to have confidence in what they had done to receive salvation but to put all their trust in the Son of God. What Jesus preached would produce a new birth with the life and nature of God. That life and nature would give the believer a love for God and a desire to do what was right because of what God had done for them. Unfortunately, most Jews did not receive Jesus and Jesus wept as He looked out over Jerusalem. What Jesus was trying to say seems so obvious to us today, yet it still causes problems with many Christians. They are trusting in their own works (going to church, water baptism, tithing) as the reason they are saved. Salvation comes only through faith in the blood of Jesus. As the scripture warned the Jews in Acts 3:22 concerning destruction of those who did not hear the Prophet, we must be careful to hear exactly what Jesus is saying to us, our eternity is based on His truth alone.

November 9, 2014
1 Peter 2:24
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed. 
Sickness and disease are a very real part of the fallen world we live in, which is why the last part of this scripture verse is often quoted. Many times we handle every day problems without going to the Lord in prayer, but sickness is difficult to ignore since medicine only controls the symptoms, it does not heal.  Having faith in the words, by whose stripes you were healed, does not happen unless there is a revelation of the first part of this scripture. Really knowing and understanding what Jesus did for us on the cross is imperative. Most Christians would say yes, I know Jesus died for me and bore my sins. But do we really comprehend that it was a human body of flesh that was ripped, mangled, and tortured beyond recognition so we could have salvation, eternal life, and be complete in Christ? Probably not, most Christians are told about a God who loves them, and that salvation is free (which it is) without being told that it will cost them everything to live the life of a Christian. Being a Christian is a commitment and a lifestyle it is not just believing with the mind. In 1 Peter 2:21 we are told that we are called to suffer just as Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps.  That’s not the way we like to view our role as a Christian.  We look to God for His help and mercy without wanting to be inconvenienced living the life of a Christian. If we understand and acknowledge what God did through Jesus for us then as it is written, we also must know that we have died to sin and live for righteousness. If Jesus died the death you should have had and gave His life so you could live then we have grace, life for life.  If One died for all then we should live for Him who died and rose again. The question then becomes are you living for Christ? If the revelation of what Jesus did gets down in your spirit then the faith to believe and receive healing will rise up in you. Salvation should be treasured and appreciated every day of our life. Without it we have nothing, with it we have access to the throne of grace to receive all we need in this world.

November 2, 2014
Proverbs 23:4, 5
Labor not to be rich, cease from your own wisdom. Will you set your eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. 

Christians know they are not to be consumed with attaining money or possessions. We live in a society where wealth is flaunted, valued, and highly sought after. Happiness is equated in commercials with owning every product that is being advertised. There always seems to be something that will make life better if we will just buy that item. Advertising agencies are paid millions of dollars to make us think we need to spend money to be happy. People are often willing to go into debt to buy something that they will no longer want before they are able to pay it off. Our country headed into a recession in part from values that teach borrowing money without having any money is acceptable. People grave immediate gratification of their desires without waiting, working, and saving for what they want. Money is made to appear to be the answer to all life’s problems. God knows and teaches us that it isn’t. Riches are something to be used to take care of our needs, bless others, and further the kingdom of God. We are to be satisfied with what we have in life and not be out of balance working for what the world says is important.  What is your definition of success? Do you think it the same as God’s? God desires that Christians reveal His mind and will to others, to God that is success. Every time you turn on the TV you invite the world into your home, we need to counteract a worldly philosophy with the wisdom of God by studying and knowing God’s word in the Bible. The more time spent with the body of Christ, studying God’s word, and serving God will bring your thoughts and actions in line with God. We all know in our heart that we can take nothing out of this world when we die so spend your time on what is important to God. We are strangers, pilgrims passing through this world headed toward our true home with Jesus, keep that focus in mind and you will not be deceived by riches that are fleeting and
temporary. True riches are found only in Christ.

October 25, 2014
Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
Can we ever fully understand what Jesus went through to reconcile man with God? The physical pain Jesus felt is incomprehensible, but the heart pain and suffering of the soul Jesus experienced may have been even worse.  In chapter six of the book of John Jesus declares He is the bread of life and that those who follows Him must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. How difficult it must have been for Jesus to see people acknowledge Him as the Son of God but when He spoke of what they didn’t understand they walked away. The problem was Jesus offended people the way He conducted Himself and spoke. Jesus didn’t line up with their beliefs of the Messiah so they rejected Him. Can you imagine having the Son of God speak to you then walk away from Him? Yet isn’t that what we do today? We have the word of God to study and learn from but we ignore it when we hear something taught that does not line up with our theology. We dismiss it as man’s interpretation not understanding that God is speaking to us through His word all the time. You have been given the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God and identify with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Jesus was often alone even when the crowds thronged around Him. His heart was heavy because the people were looking for what Jesus could do for them instead of who He was and who He represented. Jesus said in Matthew 10:33, whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Many turned their faces away from Jesus because what He was asking was too hard, we must be careful that we also do not turn our face and even our back on Jesus. The road we have chosen to follow is narrow and difficult; it will require fortitude, persistence, and great faith to stay on it. The cross you have been called to bear is of God’s choosing, but know He will be with you every step of the way to complete His plan and bring you to victory.

October 11, 2014
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Paul was excited for the believers at Thessalonica because as the word of God was shared the Thessalonians truly believed it was from God not man.  Why was it so evident to Paul? Because the Thessalonians were willing to suffer to hear the truth. Christians are very accepting of the word as it is preached from the pulpit and they should be if it is a man of God who is Spirit filled and Spirit led. But God is adamant that every believer should know the Bible and discern the truth as it comes forth. There are many false teachers out there who can cause you to believe the wrong doctrine and miss God. The Bible is wisdom and direction from God for every believer. But we do not have the freedom to pick and choose what we want to believe and what we don’t. We live in a country ruled by democracy and this makes us think our opinion concerning scripture should count with God. God does not need your help to explain who He is, what His message is, and how to
apply it to your life. The Bible is Spirit breathed and will work for all who receive it. Notice Paul writes that the word of God effectively works in those who believe. The opposite is also true; the word of God does not work in those who do not believe. Believing the Bible takes faith even when it seems to be the opposite of what the world thinks is true or acceptable. It will cost you if you are going to be a Christian. If you try to get along with everyone and are afraid to share God’s word you are compromising your beliefs and weakening the message of the gospel. Paul spoke the word of God in much conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2), and the Thessalonians received the word in much affliction (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Jesus walked the road to Calvary and gave His all. Are we so arrogant to believe that we will not suffer to be a Christian? God wants to use you but it may cost you your family, money, job, time and much more. The question is, is He worth it
to you?

October 5, 2014

Hebrews 6:4-6
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. 

This verse in Hebrews is given to mature Christians who do not partake of milk, the elementary principles of God, but are on sold food, hearing and enlightened in the word. If you are a babe in Christ, someone who is unskilled in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13, 14), be diligent to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. We never expect a baby to stay immature so why would it be acceptable for a Christian to stay a baby? God nurtures baby Christians but He does expect as the years go by they will grow and mature so that they can walk in the power of His word and be victorious. Christians who do not grow will find the Christian life difficult, because God’s word is designed to be consumed by studying and obeying. As you grow in the word you fall more and more in love with Jesus. Your relationship with God will get deeper and richer. Mature Christians do not struggle with going to church, reading their Bible, studying the word, and putting the
word into practice. But the mature Christian should never take the gift of salvation for granted. There will always be trials and tribulations that come along in life that will test your heart. When you have received the heavenly gift, Jesus, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God, and the power that comes with the authority of the word and the name of Jesus, it would seem impossible to fall away. Yet it is dangerous to think we are so strong a Christian that nothing could cause us to fall. Unfortunately, there are ways the enemy can get through a crack in our armor if we are not diligent to cling to Jesus. If we take our relationship with God for granted we become a target for the enemy. Satan will do anything to get you to fall away, so keep the main thing (God and Jesus) the only thing, and you will not be drawn away from the heavenly gift.  

September 21st, 2014
Romans 8:23
But we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 
The Holy Spirit has been given to believers as a guarantee (2 Cor. 5:5) of what is to come when this earthly vessel, our body, is swallowed up by life. Our spirit, which has been reborn, is full of the life and nature of God but our body is decaying and will be destroyed one day. For the unbeliever death is the end of life, but for the believer dying is the next step in our walk with God. Paul explains with great confidence in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, how our body will be redeemed one day.  This transition from the present world to the eternal world is by faith not by sight. Many people would like to talk to someone who has gone on to be with the Lord to have that assurance that they are at peace, or that heaven is for real. If you have the Holy Spirit in you then you have access to God and His knowledge of what is to come through His word. If your faith is based only on what you can see, hear, taste, touch and smell you cannot see into the spirit realm
where God exists. We are to be saved by faith, live our life by faith in God, and be ready to leave this world by faith in Jesus Christ.  Abraham, the Father of faith, lived his life as a stranger and a pilgrim. Abraham did not find it necessary to own land but he lived life in tents waiting for the city which has foundations, and whose builder and maker is God.  (Hebrews 11:9,10) We own so many possessions not realizing that each thing has a string attached to it. Those strings can put us into bondage stealing our time by taking care of, maintaining, and often insuring what seems so important. Jesus died to set us free and give us eternity with God. If we spend our time on the things of this world, not furthering the kingdom of God because we don’t have enough time in the day, what have we gained? God has a specific purpose for each member of the body of Christ. You will never know that purpose if you are too busy to spend time with Jesus, or help
your church in it’s ministry. Paul admonishes us to be well pleasing to God since the believer will one day stand before Jesus and receive the things done in the body.

September 7. 2014
Revelation 22:12
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 

If Jesus returned today for His church would you be ready? Are there things you know God has put on your heart to do, but you have put off doing them? The work of the Lord has far more value than anything else in this life. We cannot imagine what reward Jesus will give to those who faithfully serve Him. All the earthly rewards are temporary and fleeting. The trophies, the certificates, the accolades, and the praise of men will disappear as though they never existed. Jesus always did what pleased the Father and we should do likewise.   We are now in the month of September and the Jewish Feast of Trumpets known, as Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated by Jews everywhere. The name, Feast of Trumpets, means He will return for His people. Could this be the year that Jesus returns for His bride? We know not the day and hour Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36), but we know for sure Jesus will return shortly. Why? There are many signs in the world that indicate this,
and the believer has the Holy Spirit to know the Day is fast approaching. The ideas and values of the western world have permeated every society on the globe. Styles, music, and attitudes are of little value to others in the world, but missions done in the name of Jesus have upended many countries and their worship of false gods. No one ever wants war, but every country our soldiers have fought in had men and women who were Christian and displayed Christian morals and values that affected many people who never heard of, or new Christ. The gospel is preached by satellite 24 hours a day to billions of people who are hearing the truth. Could this generation be the last generation before Jesus returns? What do your values say to this generation? What are your priorities in life? Does what you value have an eternal weight of glory? Does your life and actions say you are a Christian and that living for God is the most important thing you do? We don’t know
when Jesus will return, but we do have the word, in 2 Peter 3:11 it is written, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire and the elements will melt with fervent heat? God’s plan is not a mystery attempting to catch us off guard, He gives us His word and then says, He who has an ear let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2; 7, 17, 29)

September 14,2014
John 15:7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

God always does what His word says He will do. We read God’s promises then sometimes wonder why we have not seen our desires fulfilled. Our problem is we fail to see the believer’s part. God’s promises are often manifested as the believer does his part. In this chapter of John as Jesus was speaking to His disciples He used the word abide over and over again. Abide means to stay in one place, to remain, to endure, to conform or comply with. That is a very specific instruction to follow. If we are in Christ we are saved, and must carefully follow the word as it is revealed to us. Jesus said we are to abide in Him, thus we no longer exist, but a new creation in Christ does. We cannot accept salvation then go about our merry way in life doing whatever we want and expect all the promises in God will work for us. God wants us to grow up and become more and more like Jesus. That happens when we abide in His word. It is the word of God that gives us
instruction and reveals God’s nature and His will to us. God is a loving God and He knows we will be hurt in this world by all the evil if we do not abide in Jesus and His word. If abide means to conform to and comply with then we must conform to the word and comply with the knowledge found in the word. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. It is not an overnight transformation it is a lifetime of studying, reading and meditating on God’s word. The word changes us and that is a good thing. God will not force you to grow, but if you find Christianity is not meeting your needs maybe you are expecting someone else, such as the pastor, to transfer his knowledge to you. That’s not how it works. Sermons, Bible class, and Sunday school all help us but it is up to each believer to seek and develop his relationship
with God through the word. When you abide in Jesus and you abide in His word you will know what God’s will is. Then this most amazing promise will happen, you will ask what you desire and it will be given unto you.

August 31st, 2014
Isaiah 45:12
I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
Christian beliefs are assaulted over and over again with what is thought to be the superior knowledge of man. Evolution, or the big bang theory is accepted by many, thus dismissing God who created all things and brought all things into existence by His word. We can ignore what the world believes, but Christians who have compromised the word of God are the ones who do the most harm. If you are saved by believing God’s word but turn around and embrace what human intellect calls scientific knowledge over God’s word you have compromised your faith. How is it possible to believe that God sent His Son into this world to die and reconcile man to God, and then decide we do not believe that God created all things? As seen in this verse God speaks His truth (I have made the earth, and created man on it). Christians seem to think they have the option to believe or not to believe. If you have made Jesus Lord and Savior you are no longer your own, you have been
bought at a price. Your allegiance in all things is to God and His wisdom, which is found in the word. We must never forget what Satan did to  Adam and Eve. On his own Satan could do nothing, but Satan cunningly got Adam and Eve to doubt God’s word. Adam and Eve did not consider the repercussions of breaking God’s word.  We must trust God that there is a reason for everything and that His ways are higher than our ways. If you read the Bible and accept only what man can prove by knowledge you are not walking by faith. Why does that put us in danger? The Bible tells us the just shall live by faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Your salvation was based on faith in God’s word. We understand the value of knowledge in the natural, but the knowledge of God for spiritual matters must come from God and His word. We believed God by faith in the beginning for our salvation and for the end, our home in glory with the Lord. To get from the
beginning to the end you will have to walk in faith in the light of God’s word.

July 20, 2014
John 14:16, 17

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that he may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 

The Holy Spirit was given to the church on the Day of Pentecost. When Jesus spoke these words the Spirit of Truth had not yet been given until Jesus had been crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come (John 16:13). The church needs to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so they can hear the voice of God.  The first church immediately began having false teachers with false doctrines come against the truth of the gospel. How are we to know if we are hearing from the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit will never go against scripture. If a person does not know the Bible then they are open to any wind of doctrine that comes along. Unfortunately, this has happened over and over again causing good people of God to be lead away from the truth and believing what is ungodly. Very few men and women of God are willing to stand for the truth because they
will suffer persecution. We want so badly to keep people coming to church that unknowingly we will compromise God’s word in order not to offend. What we have done is made an unconscious decision as to who should hear the truth, which is playing God. Each person has the right to hear the truth when it is given in love. You are not responsible for how a person hears the word of God. It is between the person and God whether they receive or reject the truth. Many people are going to hell because we are too polite and are afraid to share the message of salvation. Even though a person may get angry or offended you may plant a seed that God can use to draw that person to Him one day. It is God who saves, not you, but you have been given a ministry of reconciliation to reconcile people with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. If every Christian prayed and asked God who to share the message of salvation with and then did it, then Jesus would soon return
for His church.

July 13, 2014
Numbers 16:19
And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

Korah, Dathan and Abiram had decided Moses and Aaron were not the only ones who could lead the people of Israel or come before God with an offering.  They believed they had every right to hold such positions, and that Moses and Aaron had exalted themselves above the assembly. They were wrong. God appointed Moses as the leader over the children of Israel and anointed Aaron as priest. It is very dangerous if we think we can override God’s authority in such matters. Why did Korah, Dathan and Abiram think they had the right to take a position before God and His people? They made the mistake of taking their eyes off God and looking at man. A man or woman of God may not look like an impressive physical leader, or they may not have the perfect speech of an orator. God told Samuel as he was looking to anoint the next king of Israel, “Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart”. It is God’s business whom He calls into the ministry. If you
disagree with the leadership in your church turn to God and trust Him to do as He sees fit. Also, being a church leader does not give anyone the right to speak against God’s anointed. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were sure they were right, but were destroyed as wicked and sinful. God will raise men up and remove them as He pleases. It is written in Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. God knows who is best suited for a position in the church. The body of Christ should pray for their pastor and elders in the church, and continue to pray during good times and even more so if strife rears its ugly head. James wrote in chapter 3 verse 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. That is what God thought of Korah’s rebellion against His chosen
leadership. Be careful how you think or speak about the leadership in your church, trust God and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and then leave it in God’s hands.

July 6, 2014
John 12:48

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 

Jesus was speaking to many who believed in Him but were afraid to confess Him for fear of being put out of the synagogue. Jesus came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But Jesus knew a day would come when He would judge the world. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Jesus paid for all sin in existence with His life fulfilling the will of the Father. Jesus was then glorified and given authority to judge all things. The sad fact is many Christians believe in Jesus but they reject His word (the Bible) and do not confess Him, not wanting to offend others. How is it possible to accept Jesus but reject His word, and does it make a difference? In John 1:1 it is written, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is the word, and if Jesus is the word how can we accept what Jesus did, but reject the words He spoke? Salvation comes only
through the blood of Jesus but a believer does not want to stop there. We are told in the word of God to meditate on God’s word day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written (Joshua 1:8). Proverbs 4:20 tells us to attend to God’s Word for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh. Jesus was telling the people that the words that He was speaking were from God. It was their choice to believe what He was speaking or reject it, but it was the word that would one day judge them. That is why we need to spend as much time as possible in God’s word. It is life to our body; health to our flesh, and it will transform our mind so we can navigate through this world in our choices and decision-making. If you are a Christian and not studying God’s word you are in grave danger. The philosophy and ideas of the world we live in are contrary to what God’s word says. Satan will set a snare for you that will
imprison you in doctrines and beliefs and pull you away from God. You may not even know what has happened until one-day the passion and fire you once had for God are a distant memory.

June 29, 2014
Colossians 1:18
And He (Jesus) is the Head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 
Everything Jesus did was to please the Father. When Jesus was baptized God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. God and Jesus are One, though they have different functions. Jesus was willing to leave the glory of heaven and become a man to be sacrificed for the creation. This was fully appreciated and recognized by God. If God highly praised Jesus how much more should we appreciate what Jesus did for us? Jesus was the firstborn from the dead making the way for all who would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior to have the hope of eternal life. We the believers are the body of Christ with Jesus as the head. Physically the head is where the brain is and where all things are initiated that we do. Our human body works that way and the church should also function that way but on a spiritual level. With Jesus as the head He should be the one who directs us in our daily life. To be in the will of God with Christ as our head we must be
joined in the spirit. The church is one body created by individual members. Each believer has a calling and purpose to function as God created them for His kingdom. If we are sensitive in our spirit to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit we can live and be who God needs us to be in this life. It is possible to be saved but dull in hearing and miss our call in life. Listening to and heeding the word of God will help change and mold us into the image of Christ. If we make decisions based on our own knowledge and ability then disaster can happen in a church, or an individual’s life. When our behavior, our words, or our actions are not Christ centered we cause a reproach on the cause of Christ. God gave Jesus preeminence in all things. Jesus in the form of a man, died, was buried, and resurrected; and therefore it pleased the Father that in Jesus all the fullness should dwell. We as believers have been elevated with Christ and should honor Jesus by
living a holy consecrated life that He died to give us. The believer cannot be separated from the Savior, we are One. You are no longer dead but alive in Christ ready to serve the Master.  

June 21, 2014
John 7:42, 43
Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was division among the people because of Him.

The people who saw and heard Jesus were perplexed. Their religious leaders said he was a false prophet, and anyone who followed Jesus would be kicked out of the synagogue. Yet they saw and knew Jesus had done miracles that had never been seen before. This caused division among the people. Division based on truth and on man’s opinion has been in the church from the beginning. When we rely only on people to tell us what to believe and do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ we will hear things that may not line up with God’s word. Those people knew enough about the Messiah that He was to come from Bethlehem, but they did not know Jesus well enough to find out the truth. Jesus was the truth, He was standing in front of them but they did not pursue Him, except when they were fed by Him or He was doing miracles. Our relationship with God cannot be based only on what God is doing for us. Actually, He has done everything He is
going to do by sending Jesus to the cross and providing all that we need through the name of Jesus.  If you don’t know someone personally you can’t be sure what they will do if you have a need. That is the position of many Christians when it comes to God. Jesus and the word are one, Jesus and God are one, what the Bible tells us is the truth but it must be learned by studying the Bible. Being a Christian is a lifestyle not an organization you join.  You don’t accept Christ as your Savior just to go to heaven then live your life here on earth any way you want to. Becoming a Christian means you are a new creature in Christ Jesus and now you live your life for the One that died for you. If you have many unanswered questions about being a Christian then maybe you have not become a disciple of Jesus Christ. That will happen when you know and obey the word of God. Then life becomes superior to anything you have ever lived before. That is the life Jesus
died for. Jesus said in John 10:10, I am come that they may have life more abundantly.

June 16, 2014
John 6:11
Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

The feeding of the 5,000 with five barley loaves and two small fish is a wonderful encouragement to believers.  Jesus asked the disciples where shall we buy bread that the people may eat? The disciples, looking out at the crowd, could not see any possible way to buy enough food for so many hungry people. The disciples were looking in the natural and could not imagine what could be done in the supernatural. Jesus is the bread of life; the disciples were looking for a way to purchase food to feed the people when they had the creator of all things in front of them. They did not know that God would have honored their petition had they looked to Him in faith. Jesus gave the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people. It was in the disciples hands that the food multiplied as they passed it out. The people had as much as they wanted. That is what God wants for His church, He wants His blessing to flow through His people out to the lost. We must
realize that it is to those who are Jesus’ disciples that the blessings flow. Just believing in Jesus is not enough. Jesus told us in John 8:31 If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. The word of God is the truth; it must have preeminence in your life and it must be obeyed. It is through God’s word that we know God and can have faith for what seems impossible to our physical eyes.  God and His word never change so what He did for the first disciples He will do for His disciples today. What we are given by God we are to pass on to others. We don’t want to be a cistern where the living water will become stagnate, let the river of living water in you flow out to others. When the people had their full they gathered twelve baskets of fragments that were left over. This was a lesson to the disciples that they could have released their faith and believed God for this miracle themselves, and to show the disciples that when God does something
it is more than enough.  Become a disciple for Jesus and allow God to use you for His glory to feed His sheep.

June 8, 2014
Hebrews 13:5
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

How good God is to His children! We can have confidence that He will never leave us nor forsake us. That means we do not have to trust in our own abilities or in our circumstances. When God is asked into a problem the help and solutions are endless. This verse also instructs us not to be looking for more than we need. In our country more is always touted as being better, but that is not what God says. Whether we are rich or poor, with God in us, and working through us that will make the difference, not our possessions. We must focus on God and not on the things we have. It is important that we know God and know what His word tells us. A person who is established in God’s word is wiser than his enemies, he has more understanding than his teachers, and to those who keep God’s precepts they have more understanding than the ancients (Psalm 119:98-100). It is imperative that we pursue a strong Biblical foundation and understanding of God’s word. God is
always with the believer but the believer must know that and be listening for God’s voice. The word that is in you will speak God’s wisdom and help you in any situation. That alone is priceless! Everyday people have decision to make, conflicts to resolve, and personal relationships that need attention, how we solve such problems will be directly related to how well you know God and His word. Those who communicate with God daily and are more aware of His presence wherever they go and find it easier to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Don’t let the burdens of this world pull you down, trust God that He will see you through to the end. He has all the answers and His ways are much higher and more perfect than our ways will ever be. When you make a right decision, praise God. When you don’t, learn from your mistakes and take time to be alone with God to seek His wisdom. A great verse to obey and live by is Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love
Your law, and nothing can cause them to stumble.

May 25, 2014
Psalm 119:15, 16
I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes, I will not forget Your word. 

We are in awe when we read in the Bible that God spoke to an individual. Moses heard God speak from a burning bush, it is hard to imagine what it must have been like, or can we? If you are born again (John 3:3,7) you have the Holy Spirit in you. He is the third person of the trinity, which means you have God in you, what an awesome and amazing fact. People often long for a Word from God to solve their problems. Yet we do have a Word from God it is the Bible. Many Christians try to live a Christian life without knowing God’s Word.  A person who has made a commitment to know God personally through the Word will be a victorious Christian. They will find help in time of need. Salvation is by faith through grace, but it is gospel of Jesus Christ you heard and confessed with your mouth that led you to God (Romans 10:9,10). When we are saved the new creation will be molded and shaped into the image of Christ through the Word. You may think going to church is
enough, your pastor gives a great sermon and your spirit is quickened. But your pastor’s relationship with God is not your own. Each believer is responsible to know God through His Word because it is through the Word we know and hear from God most often. Can you afford to miss any days of God’s wisdom in your life? If you had time to watch thirty minutes of TV, play games on your cell phone, computer, or go to a sports event, movie or other entertainment you had time to read the Bible. Reading the Bible and fellowshipping with God is a choice. God wants to help us go through this life but we must be armed with the Word of God or the god of this world will pull you off the straight and narrow path. Satan is an expert in deception and far too many things appear good on the surface but they will consume your time and draw you away from God. When we meditate on God’s Word we have the truth to fight life’s battles. God and His Word are one. God wants
to speak to you everyday, open your Bible and you will find knowledge for your soul and your spirit you will hear His voice.

May 17, 2014
John 6:27
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him. 

The end of the school year has come and young people everywhere are receiving diplomas for completing their education. Where does the graduate go now? The emphasis for many is higher education or to pursue training in a vocation that will offer job opportunities and financial security down the road. We want our graduates to become part of the work force but we do not want them to lose their focus about what is important. Having goals is necessary but having vision is vital. Goals are often manmade but vision is tied to God’s purpose for your life. The direction a graduate chooses should be tied to the vision God has put in you. Without vision God’s people perish. God knows yours ability and talents, He put them in you, what appeals to you now may not be where you are best suited to serve God. God often puts us on a road where you take one step at a time not seeing what lays ahead but assured by an inner peace you are headed in the right direction.
Believers have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them and if we will seek and wait for that inner witness our path would be much smoother. The world would have you believe that keeping your nose to the grindstone is the only way to accomplish your goals. God says differently. God does not want you studying or working so hard that your relationship with Him suffers. The world labors for food that quickly perishes and must be replaced by something new that appeals to the senses. Christians want to keep their focus on what is eternal over what is temporary. Look at adults who have been in the work force a long time. Does their job or their possessions give them peace? People who are truly happy have the joy of the Lord because God is first in their life. Whatever your career choice make it with God’s help, honor your parents in all you do, and don’t let the world’s standards change your standard. This is no time to have a dormant season in your life
with God, pursue Him in everything you do and all will be well.

February 9th, 2014

Job 42:56
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. 
When we sit under the teaching of a pastor or a minister of God’s word it is easy to hear what we want to. Job found out that what he had heard of God and who God really was, was vastly different. Job was righteous before God by obedience to His word, but when hard times came Job found out that hearing about God was not enough. Christians know that Jesus paid the price required for sin and that they are redeemed by the blood. We are thankful that we are going to heaven and not hell. Salvation implies more, it is the privilege to enter into a relationship with God through Jesus and come to know God in a personal way. Job thought he knew God, as do many Christians. As Job went through a horrendous trial he did not curse God and die as his wife suggested. Instead God allowed this righteous man to experience the magnitude of His wisdom. Job upon learning the truth repented and loathed his own reasoning based on his limited knowledge of God. God knew the
end intended for Job and allowed Job to go through this trial that he might know God better. God questions Job in Job 40:8 ‘Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified’?  We like to believe that what we think must be right.  But it is dangerous to apply what we know to God and His judgments if it is outside of God’s word. Man in his wisdom likes to change God’s word to fit his beliefs so he may be justified in doing what is often contrary to God’s word. We live in a society that does not glorify God, but every indulgence of the flesh is gratified. Purity and holiness is considered old fashion so that low standards and decaying morals may be justified, tolerated, and even considered acceptable. God’s standard will never change. We live under grace but it does not give us the freedom to sin. God’s grace allows us to come to know Him in a way that is so amazing, so wonderful that we desire never to sin.
Job lived a righteous, obedient life before his trial; what kind of life do you think Job lived after he saw God in His manifold wisdom? That is what God wants for the Christian. He wants us to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of who He is and come up higher in our life. God wants to reveal Himself to each believer as He did to Job, but we must get rid of our ideologies, our preconceived notions, and manmade beliefs of who God is. God is a spirit and if we allow the Holy Spirit and the word of God to prevail in teaching us then God can reveal Himself to us.

February 1st, 2014
Psalm 105:37
He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. 
Upon being brought out of Egypt the Israelites had great wealth thrust upon them by the Egyptians and they were all healthy and whole. Israel was given the promise from God that if they would diligently heed the voice of the Lord and do what is right in His sight they would not have the diseases put upon them that had been brought upon the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26). Under the law there were blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Israel suffered terribly when she wandered away from God. What Israel did is given to us as an example. The church must come out from the world and be separate and holy. The world does not fear God, does not know God through His word, and is daily oppressed by Satan, the god of this world. Sickness is a terrible thing and many people feel hopeless when doctors and medicine fail. But there is a Great Physician, a Healer who heals the spirit, soul, and body. The world does not know how
merciful and gracious our God is. It is up to us to help those in need by sharing Jesus Christ and the promises available to the believer. God wants us to prosper and to receive our healing, but we must be in line with God’s word. Unlike the Israelites who were not spirit filled we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in all truth. The Israelites had the law to obey but we have grace. Grace gives us the power to obey God in all things. Just as the Israelites it is our choice to seek God and follow His precepts for our life. The success of the life we have been given has a great deal to do with our love and obedience to God. You may not be wealthy according to the world’s standards but you can be happy and content knowing God and living your life in Christ. Health is a major blessing when we are walking with the Lord. You will be attacked in your body as long as you live in this world but you do not have to succumb to sickness. You have been
given authority to stand against sickness and disease in the name of Jesus. What you know about God and the keys to His kingdom will help you to prosper and be in health as you journey through this world.

January 26th, 2014
Ecclesiastes 2:16
There is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever. Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!

Solomon’s desire was to know how man was to live in this world. God had given Solomon the wisdom that he had asked for and Solomon used that wisdom to search out what was important in life. Solomon came to the conclusion that all he had done brought him no satisfaction; instead he called it vanity and vexation of the spirit. There is no true satisfaction in the accomplishments of man, only what is of God. Many people strive to be the best in their profession; this is not a bad thing, since a Christian should be a role model of excellence in their work. The problem comes when we are out of balance. When we take our job so seriously that it leaves us no time for the important things in life. When we have no time for God, to study His word, to pray, to enjoy the beauty of His creation we miss what is important.  Solomon saw that all the works of his hands were vanity and vexation of the spirit. Solomon realized that if what we do in this world glorifies
man it is pride. If we have no peace in our soul it is a result of where our focus is. Solomon did everything he wanted leaving no desire unfulfilled and found emptiness. God gives us the wisdom in Ecclesiastes so we can find out before it is too late that life has no meaning to those who trust in their own works. Solomon notes that the wise man and the fool die the same death. It is not something we like to think of. We prefer to believe that those who work hard in life and are honest and generous will not end up the same way the fool does. But without God the wise man and the fool are on the same path. Think how we admire and place so much value on the gifted and talented, those who have degrees from the top universities, and those who achieve worldly excellence in sports, music, and technology. Yet when we look around at the world and see what our dependence on man’s wisdom has done we must consider this is not the right path. God did not create
man to be his own god. Man tends to worship the creature rather than the Creator. God created man to fellowship with Him and live within the principles of His kingdom. Are you trusting in your own goodness to get you to heaven one day? Or do you treasure your salvation and use the righteousness you have in Christ to live a holy, sanctified life apart from this world? The wise man knows who he is in Christ and lives accordingly because nothing that man does will be remembered forever only what God has done through man.
January 12th, 2014
Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
There are two powerful truths found in this proverb. First, when God’s people have no vision they perish. The church, the body of Christ is ever growing and changing. We need revelation as to where we are headed and what we are to do. This does not mean we need to change God’s word to fit the times; it does mean we cannot be lax in our work to reach the lost. In this day of technology the Bible is available to billions of people but most are not reading it. We need to listen for God’s voice as to when to move and when to wait. As the early church learned in Acts 2:47 it was the Lord who added to the church daily those who were being saved.  People need a vision, or revelation, of their purpose in serving God, and the church certainly must have a vision of where it is going in 2014. Pray for the leadership in your church that they will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and continue in God’s will.  God has so much He desires to do
through His church but He can only accomplish what we are willing to do if we are listening to Him.  The second part of this proverb deals with our happiness. God wants us to be happy but it must be done within His word. Find out what God’s word says and obey what He has spoken to you. Far too many people are searching for happiness in this world. They hope to find it in relationships, careers, money, possessions and other worldly priorities yet nothings seems to work because no one will ever find true happiness outside of God. In Proverbs 3:13 it is written, Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. Wisdom is found in God’s word where we come to know God, understand Him, and learn to trust Him. Obeying God’s word is the means to our happiness. Our relationship with God is the most important thing we have. When we know God His love washes over us and we want to do everything possible to please Him. This means we will
honor God’s word by obeying it. God’s kingdom is orderly and run with perfection, God created us to live under such guidelines and our spirit, soul, and body rejoice when we live within these boundaries. That is happiness.

December 29th, 2013

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippi was possibly the first church that Paul established in Europe. Paul, who normally did not take pay for preaching, did accept money from the Philippians. These saints were near and dear to Paul and he made mention of them always in his prayers. Paul’s confidence was that it was God who had started the work in Philippi and that it was He who would complete it. When a work is started we must be sure that it is the work of the Lord. Many things look good on the surface but require great amounts of work and money yet they do not produce fruit for the kingdom of God. Many good meaning Christians have worked diligently in their church but are worn out and frustrated not seeing the purpose that originally motivated them. We must carefully and prayerfully examine what direction we are to go before we do something just for the sake of being busy.  Often work in the kingdom of God is not glorious or glamorous but it is beneficial. If we are sure that
what we have started is of God then we must hold fast and continue even though the results may not be evident. Paul believed that the good work God had started in Philippi would continue until the day of Jesus Christ’s return. We at Father’s House Fellowship come to the end of another year in the work of the Lord. We will have an annual business meeting in January, but it really is an annual rejoicing meeting in all that God has done. Every person in the church should share in the thanksgiving of what God has done and have great expectation of what He will do in 2014. The church is a body of believers; and God’s work is accomplished through His people. If you have not felt that you are doing the work the Lord consider asking the pastor where help is needed. When we step out even one small step at a time to help we find great joy and satisfaction. Jesus is coming back soon and the work must be completed. Service to God is an honor and a privilege.
God never takes away from your life instead He blesses you abundantly because He is a good God. 

December 23th, 2013
1 John 1:1
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life. 
John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, gives a first hand confirmation that Jesus was a real man, someone that they had seen, heard and touched. The incarnation of man and God began in a small manger where a mother picked up her baby and held someone the world had never seen before nor ever will. Jesus did not come into existence on the day He was born; He always existed with the Father. Jesus was the Logos, the Word by whom all things were created. Though the Jews knew and expected the coming Messiah when He came they received Him not. They rejected this man, the Son of God, and miss the message He was speaking. What does Jesus mean to us as we celebrate His birth? Is it just a temporary celebration where we look to God one day a year and acknowledge that Jesus was born? Or do we live a life every day that honors God for what He gave us through His Son Jesus Christ? Being a Christian is not going to church or following customs and traditions that are
often seen in the church. Being a Christian is a lifestyle. You come to identify with God more than you do with anyone else in this world. What God gave us was eternal life. Our physical bodies are temporary, they wear out and will one day go to the grave. But inside your body is a spirit man, that person will live on forever. Without Jesus becoming a man and redeeming us from captivity we would never have the hope of eternal life. Many people assume they will go to heaven because they are basically a good person. The truth is no one has ever lived that was good until Jesus lived and died sinless for us. We spend a lot of money on Christmas presents to give others, what will you give God? Jesus honored God by doing His will, which pleased the Father. As John said, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. God wants to spend time with you, are you available? Accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior opens the door to
fellowship with God, it is the Greatest Gift from God to you. Don’t chase what is temporal when God wants to give you what is eternal. 

December 9th, 2013
Proverbs 21:3
Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.

Helping the poor or less fortunate is brought to our mind at this time of the year. When we look at all that God has blessed us with we should realize that it was by God’s grace we have what we have. America has been a blessed nation with an abundance of goods and material wealth. We as Christians do not want to be caught up with the same mentality as the world to buy, buy, buy. Take a good inventory of what you have and be mindful to be a good steward of God’s money. How many presents do we really need to buy? The kingdom of God is in soul winning it is not being preoccupied with possessions. If we are honest much of what we buy is not needed or wanted. Instead of looking to ourselves we should be looking outward to people in need. Most churches have missions to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and food and clothing drives to help others. But each individual must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to the people around them. There are many needs in
the lives of people we see at work or come in contact with everyday. The personal human contact of one on one is important; it opens the door to share Jesus and His love with someone who may not see God as real. Is it possible we resemble Sodom’s attitude as it is written in Ezekiel 16:49, her iniquity was pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Has the church become too much like the world? We even try to insulate our children from hard times and the poverty that is out there in the world. Children will only know there are people who need help if we are willing to demonstrate how to look for and give to those who are in need. Make giving a lifestyle and look for ways to bless others. Whether it is a lonely widow who lives in your neighborhood or a single working parent having a hard time making ends meet, ask God to help you help those in need. Our children don’t need one more
gift to open at Christmas they need to see the world as God sees it through the eyes of love. It is up to us to show them the blessing that comes from giving instead of getting.

December 1, 2013
Matthew 1:18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
By believing the words spoken by the angel Gabriel Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirt and the baby Jesus came to life inside her. We the church have a similar reasonability like the angel Gabriel, but ours is to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we do, the unsaved hear the message and to those who believe Jesus comes alive in them.  In Galatians 4:19 Paul spoke these words, My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. Paul wanted to see the work of the Holy Spirit overshadow people and Jesus birthed in the hearts of those who would believe. Just as in Paul’s time many hear the message of salvation but have not had Jesus formed in them. Salvation has a manifestation. Unlike Mary who physically grew as the baby Jesus developed in her the transformation that takes place in our heart is done where no one can see what is happening. But what happens on the inside does change the outward man. The things you use to do you no longer do.  To have the life and nature of God come inside a man and there be no change in thoughts, attitudes, and lifestyle is impossible. All change is not immediate it does take time as your mind is renewed by the word of God.  If you find going to church, reading your Bible, sharing Jesus with others, or a heartfelt joy at what God has done in your life lacking you may not have had Jesus birthed in you yet. The idea of a Savior is very easy to accept but wanting to know Him intimately only comes through the life giving Spirit of Jesus in you. Mary believed in her heart what Gabriel said and spoke what she believed with her mouth. We too must believe in our heart and confess with our mouth what we accept as the truth.  Some Christians have let the fire in their heart grow cold and they need to stir up what salvation once meant to them.  For others they may need to seriously consider the question has Jesus been birthed in my heart, am I born again? Salvation is your most precious possession; it should be cherished, guarded, and highly esteemed as priceless all the days of your life. Judy Onofri

November 5, 2013
James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble.
 Have you ever asked someone the question do you know Jesus? Christians believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Asking someone if they know Jesus is more personal than asking them if they are a Christian. I have heard of Bill Gates but I do not know him, so my relationship with Bill Gates is nonexistent even though I believe he exists.  That is what happens to many Christians, they believe God exists but they do not know Him. Salvation is the hope of eternal life and eternal life as written in John 17:3 is that you know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Knowing God and believing God exists are not the same.  Our relationship with God is personal, intimate, and one of great joy. When we are in a close relationship with someone talking to them is easy and we can put great trust in that person because we know them. That is why families are so important and it is to family members most people turn to for help and support. But believing God exists does not make you saved. James, a half brother of Jesus, said the demons believe and tremble yet the demons were not saved. In Mark 3:11 as Jesus was healing many who had unclean spirits, Mark observed that the unclean spirits, when they saw Jesus, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.”  Satan’s evil spirits do believe in God and Jesus, they were unable to stand in His presence, and addressed Jesus by His rightful position as the Son of God.  That should give us a sobering thought that people may believe and recognize the name of Jesus but they do not know Him personally. It is only when we are born of the Spirit that we can come into relationship with God. To those who believe and know Jesus as Lord and Savior He reigns in their life. God will not share you with anyone or anything. Your focus, your concentration, and your life will be centered on God. Not just an obligatory hour in church on Sunday, but a lifestyle that reflects who and what God means to you. We must consider that if you believe in God and Jesus you know them personally and they are more important than any one else in your life.

November 16,2013 
Psalm 22:8
He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver him; let Him deliver him, seeing He delighted in Him.

This scripture is one of the Messianic Psalms written by David.  Those seeing Jesus on the cross ridiculed Him saying if He really was the Son of God He could come down off the cross. Even the chief priests, scribes and elders said He saved others: Himself He cannot save. If He is the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him (Matthew 27:42). It would have been easy for Jesus to come down off the cross to satisfy man’s unbelief but He didn’t because there was a much bigger picture that had been orchestrated since the beginning of the world. Jesus only did what pleased His Father.  Many Christians are going through things right now that don’t seem fair because they have been so faithful to God. When you are going through a difficult time and your trust is in God many people will think it is a lame excuse. Don’t let them deter you. The unbelievers around Jesus wanted Him to prove He was the Son of God. Jesus
didn’t need to do that; He had already fulfilled prophesy in the three and a half years of His ministry. Even if Jesus had come down off the cross there would have been doubters. Jesus rose from the grave and still people did not believe!  When you are going through something difficult you will always find people who think trusting in God is not as profitable as finding another doctor, lawyer, or expert to help you. Be careful, the enemy wants you to get offended at God if you are in pain and going through a trial. Don’t listen to his lies, believe that God knows exactly what you are going through and will see you through no matter how long it takes. Trials, pain, and difficulties make some stronger in the Lord, and for others it dismantles their faith.  The final results will not be from our own doing, it is not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. Jesus had tremendous opposition, and we live in a world that will always oppose
God. We must be prepared spiritually to fight the battles of life, stay in the word, study, pray, memorize scripture and speak the word.  When we delight in the Lord and submit to His will then the enemy cannot prevail.

October 5th, 2013
Psalm 119:127, 128
Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way.
 Do you believe the word of God is true? Do you believe ALL the word of God is true? If we try to judge God’s word by our own experience or knowledge we will miss it. God’s word is higher than man’s knowledge or intellect. One reason some do not believe God’s word is that many people do not spend time in the word daily.  Then when scripture is read it is not heard with a heart of understanding. The Bible must be revealed by the Holy Spirit to a prepared heart that is hungry for God or the word may be lost by the wayside.  Higher learning is usually accompanied by attending classes, studying a manual or textbook, and thinking or meditating on the information presented. Yet far too many Christians do not know the Book God gave us to help us to gain wisdom, understanding and, knowledge of Him. The writers of these Psalms found God’s word to be more valuable than the finest gold and absolutely right in all things. You will find the more you study God’s word the deeper your relationship with God will be and the more you will cherish the Bible. We live in difficult times and in a world where wrong is right. If your opinions and what you choose to believe are based on what you see, hear, and know you will not understand God’s plan for this world. When you make a decision that the Bible will be your source for what is happening in the world it will completely change your viewpoint. This world will not end one second sooner than when God chooses to end it. (Read 2 Peter 3:10) God reigns in the affairs of man but man continues to do things his own way which causes most of our problems. We are to abide by God’s standards not man’s. If you live your life according to the laws, commandments, precepts, and promises found in the Bible you will please God and you do not need to fear man or man’s opinion. If you compromise your beliefs so you can be at peace with all men you will find you have compromised your relationship with God. It is not worth it, God and His word are one, He does not change.

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Psalm 119:50
This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.
 It is very easy put off reading and studying the word of God. When life is good we get busy doing other things and forget what is written. We may even think because we go to church faithfully and attend a Bible class that reading God’s word daily just isn’t that important. Then one day we get hit with a sledge hammer and we don’t know which way is up. Affliction strikes in one way or another and we are unprepared. When affliction comes we want the word of God imbedded in our heart and mind so we will have the wisdom of God to get us through any tough situation. The man or woman of God who knows their God will not be blow over by the storms of life. They will stand their ground and be in peace knowing that God is with them and they will go through the storm. Jesus came to give us peace. We need that peace everyday so that the small and large problems of life do not overwhelm us. The word of God will quicken you and produce life so that death will not get a foothold. Sickness is always some form of death trying to destroy a healthy body.  Satan is peddling death wherever he can but God has provided the antidote, His word. You can’t afford to live your life as a Christian without being in the word every day.  We are willing to believe and accept the word of God but too often we dismiss some scripture as not practical. The problem is we don’t understand   what God’s word does for us, if we did we would never have to be told to read, study, and meditate on it. Many verses in the Bible tell us the blessings found for those in God’s word. God told Joshua that if he would observe to do what was written in the Book of the Law he would be prosperous and have good success. In Proverbs 4:20-22 it is written that putting God’s word first in your life will be health to all your flesh.  And in 3 John 2, John’s prayer was that above all things the believer be in health and prosper just as your soul prospers. We need God’s word to guide us and direct us in this life, and that word will quickened us so that the life of God in us will overcome anything the enemy tries to defeat us with.

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013
Isaiah 48:17
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel; “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.
 God wants to be Lord of our life. He wants to be in every part of our life every day. He wants to have a say in our thoughts, our words, our time, our money, our life. When God is Lord of your life He is there to help you with decisions you must make. God gave us the Holy Spirit as an inward witness to lead and guide us. It is written in John 16:13 when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit as an inward witness to help make decisions in life. Many mistakes happen when we base our decisions on what we see and hear. The Holy Spirit knows what our future is, we don’t. He has been sent to guide us in all truth but He cannot if we are not looking for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Maybe you think you should move to another town for job opportunities or you want to buy something but are not sure if that is where your money should go. It is time to pray before you make a decision and wait upon the Lord. Our scripture verse today says it is God who teaches you to profit. When we wait upon the Lord we listen for that still small voice or an impression inside that yes, it is the time for me to move, or a check in our spirit no, that is not the direction I should take. Naomi, her husband, and two sons left Bethlehem and went to Moab during a famine. This decision was not based on God’s will it was based on circumstance. Bethlehem means “house of bread”, you do not leave your provision from God for a foreign land or place where the enemy can harm you. Naomi’s husband and two sons died in Moab. God always has the right answer and guidance for us if we are listening to Him and not to our flesh. God wants to see His children profit but we must train ourselves to wait upon the Lord and base our decisions on His wisdom and guidance. Begin with small things in life then when the big decisions come along you will know His voice or that inward feeling that this is the right decision to make.

September 15th, 2013
Colossians 1:12-14
Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins.
What happened when you were saved? The greatest miracle in the world! Inside you the life and nature of God was imparted into your spirit.  You became a new creature in Christ Jesus. You were in the kingdom of darkness and you were dead in your trespasses and sin. But then through salvation we pass from spiritual death to life. The kingdom of darkness belongs to Satan; the kingdom of light is God’s. Both kingdoms are in the spirit realm and are as real as the physical realm. Because we can touch, taste, feel, smell and see a world around us it appears to be more real than the unseen world. God is a Spirit and without His Spirit infused into our spirit we are spiritually dead. Salvation happens when we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. God brought peace between man and God through His beloved Son Jesus. When we are converted we now have access to God and to our inheritance in Christ. We are redeemed, brought back from the kingdom of darkness. Now as believers in the kingdom of light we can walk in the light through God’s word. As a Christian you are called to read study, and meditate on the word of God.  We need the light, the revelation of God’s word so we can have knowledge and wisdom of what belongs to us in Christ. Satan is the prince of the power of the air; he is entrenched in this world and rules in the sons of disobedience. Satan does not go on vacation and stop trying to steal, kill and destroy. Satan does not care how long it takes to pull you down. He is far more patient than many Christians to sow his tares and wait for you to get into unbelief. That is why it is important for us to know the word of God so the sword in our hand can be wielded with strength and power in the name of Jesus. Your redemption has placed you in the kingdom of light it is up to the believer to know all that Jesus paid for and appropriate what belongs to you.

September 8th, 2013
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus for help actually had no legal right to ask Jesus to heal her daughter. She was not of the household of Israel and at that time Jesus had come only to minister to the lost sheep of Israel. This woman was willing to be ridiculed rather than let go of her faith that Jesus had the power to heal her daughter. She easily could have been offended when Jesus ignored her but she pressed in with worship, an undeterred attitude, and words of faith in Jesus. Can we be willing to do that? Is there something from God you are looking for but have settled for less because standing in faith over a long period of time is hard? Sometimes our faith is tested and it becomes difficult to hold fast to what we believe. Have you believed for a healing that has not manifested and decided it just not God’s will for you to be healed? Are you financially strapped and don’t know which way to turn and your prayers seem to go unanswered? Unfortunately with human nature if everything we desired materialized at the moment we wanted it we would turn God into some sort of magician not a God who operates through faith in His word. Sometimes we do have to wait for what we know is God’s will for us. The Canaanite woman would not give up, she asked for what she wanted and she believed that she would receive it through Jesus. We too must ask for what we desire according to God’s word and then believe we receive it. From that moment on thank God for answered prayer knowing that what you need will happen. God wants to help us more than we could ever know; your answer is not being slowed down because God is evaluating you or your situation. We are not to judge we are called to believe, we take God at His word and we don’t stop believing until we have our answer. Satan wants to neutralize your faith with lies about why your answer has not come yet, don’t believe him. God wants to build your faith with trust that your prayer has been answered so stand your ground.

September 1st, 2013
Psalm 35:27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” There are many words in scripture we read and fail to consider their importance. The word continually is used in this scripture to praise God and confess a spiritual truth, yet do we really thank God each day for what we have and for what the future holds? God wants us to be thankful for the blessings in our life. Prosperity is easily recognized though too often we only equate it with material possessions. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above, but far too often we forget what we have received from God. Also, in our heart we may believe it was our own hard work and diligence that gave us what we have therefore we do not glorify God. God loves us more than we can imagine. He takes great pleasure in His children who are blessed spiritually and physically. For Christians it should not be about what we can accumulate it is about what we can give. When we are prosperous we have an ample supply to take care of our family and to give to others. Our country has experienced a deep recession, there have been many hardships, few people have not felt it or had family members who are struggling. If you are one of those people going through a difficult time and there seems to be little hope begin praising God for what you have and trusting Him for the future. Praising God should be a lifestyle not just something we do once in awhile. See God everywhere in your life, in the little things and the big things. If we suffer a loss don’t make that your focus no matter what it is. God always has a light at the end of the tunnel for those who are looking up. But if your eyes are cast downward you will not see the light only your failures and problems. If God is for you who can be against you?  Say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” If you allow this to penetrate your heart and you confess this all the days of your life no man and no devil can stop the blessings God will flow into your life.

August 18th, 2013
atthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The Pharisees objected to Jesus sitting down and eating with tax collectors and sinners. They cast a disapproving look and avoided anyone who was not holy like they were. We probably all need to face the fact that we too, would much rather hang around our church friends and those who believe the way we do. People outside the church, who are immersed in the world  talk differently than a believer, they have a different set of values and sometimes we judge what’s inside people when we see pink hair, nose rings, and tattoos. At the center of those judgments is pride. That is just what the Pharisees were guilty of. They felt by their own actions they were better than others. We as believers must recognize that it is by God’s grace that we are what we are. Anything you consider good in your life came by God’s mercy. You did not get saved on your own; God drew you in and gave you the gift of life. The things you have worked hard for in your life education, family, possessions are because of God and his wonderful mercy and grace. That is why we should be in awe and appreciate what God has done for us. When we have that kind of understanding we turn around and pray for others and share Jesus with those who have not yet seen the light. Think seriously about everything you are able to accomplish because you can walk, talk, and have been blessed with many natural abilities. There are people out there who are burned out and so messed up that if the wounds and hurts were visible we would be ashamed to ever have a judgmental attitude. Under the same circumstances we might not have done as well. Jesus came to bring the wonderful gift of repentance to the sinner and wash Him in His blood. Jesus’ blood can heal, prosper, and change the course of a life that could never happen any other way. If you only talk about Jesus to your church friends it’s time to look outside the church and share God’s mercy with others. Many people look good on the outside but inside they are dying. The light in you can be a beacon of hope to others but only if you are willing to share the Christ in you.

August 25th, 2013
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified Version) Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, it is not boastful or vainglorious does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances; and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. We all have some relationships that are difficult to maintain. The Bible tells us that God is love. Jesus said “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  Jesus loved us while we were yet His enemy. That is not the kind of love we are used to. We love people who love us, our family and our friends, but God wants us to walk in a higher level of love than that. Can you love the unlovely, those who rail against you, are self-centered, arrogant, and full of pride? Those who would do you harm? That is when true love, agape love, the God kind of love will surface. To those on the outside someone willing to love when they have been mistreated appears to be weak. It is far harder to walk in love and control our feelings than it is to be touchy, fretful, and resentful. We quickly get on the defense and far too often use words as a weapon. God wants us to walk in His kind of love and be ready to believe the best of every person because we never know all the circumstances. Too often we make judgments and form opinions when we don’t know all the facts. If you are having problems with your family, relatives, co-workers, neighbors or any person read this amplified version of love often. Let God change your heart and watch the end results because love never fails.

August 11th, 2013
Matthew 4:3,4 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But Jesus answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Satan is called the tempter because he desires to put our Christian faith to the test. We need to be well grounded in the Word of God or we will fail. Jesus did not need to prove Himself and He did not defend Himself, instead He used the Word of God to defeat Satan. If we would live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God we would go through life with far more joy and peace. We are tempted to go through life trusting both God’s Word and man’s word. That is why Christians do not have the joy and peace that Jesus spoke of in their life. God wants you to put all your trust in Him and not man. God will use man to bless you and fulfill His plans, but as Jesus declared He did not put His trust in man because He knew what was in man. Satan tempted Jesus in the physical realm, Jesus had a human need, He was hungry, but Jesus wasn’t willing to give into the flesh when Satan was trying to use it against Him. Satan also tested Jesus’ devotion to God. Satan wanted Jesus to bow down and worship him promising Jesus the world in return. There are many things in this world today we worship even though we would never use that term.  Anything that consumes your time, your energy, your thoughts or your resources is a god to you. It can be something good such as a job, but if you are out of balance and do not have time for God, church, and family you have been deceived by Satan. Satan’s last temptation against Jesus was to get Him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple and have angels rescue Him. Each time Satan used his voice to tempt Jesus; Jesus used the voice of God, the Word, to defeat Satan. What you know, obey, and speak of the Word of God will determine your success in this world. When the spirit of this world, where Satan reigns, attacks you, do you have the two edge sword of God’s word in your mouth to defeat the tempter? Get in the word and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, only then can we hold fast to what we have and make it to the end.

Sunday, August 4th
Psalm 37:18 The Lord knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be forever. Christians are called to be upright. The word Upright translated in the Hebrew means blameless, complete, integrity, and to walk in the truth. One other meaning for upright is to be perfect. God told Abraham walk before Me and be perfect. We don’t like the word perfect because we see ourselves far from perfect. In and of ourselves we are not perfect, but in Christ we are. The New birth (being saved) changes our sinful nature to the life and nature of God who is perfect. Our inward man is perfect and righteous, our outward man, the flesh and our mind will be transformed as we read, study, and obey the word of God. We should look at our self as a new creation in Christ and walk in God’s grace one day at a time so we identify with Jesus more than we do with our old man who was crucified. Peter talks about the manner of person we ought to be in holy conduct and godliness in 2 Peter 3:11. In verse 14 Peter says we should be found by Jesus in peace, without spot and blameless. Without spot and blameless are both words translated for upright. God’s people are a different people from those who are in the world. Christians do not check their morals, values, and integrity at the door when we enter the business world or any activity outside the church, we walk upright. Being saved means there is a transformation, what you used to do you no longer do anymore. Sadly there are millions of people who attend church each week who do not read or study the Bible. Without knowing the Bible you cannot know God. Without knowing God you cannot walk upright. You need the daily manna to be prepared and armed for the day. Satan is ever ready to make an attack against you. The upright will be those who know their God and do what is pleasing in His sight. The inheritance for the upright is eternal life and the promise of living and reigning with our Lord and Savior. In Psalm 37:18 as in all God’s word we can rely that what God says is the truth and will come to pass exactly as written. We would do well to grow day by day in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ that we might walk upright through Him.

Sunday, July 27th
John 2:2, 11 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.Weddings are a wonderful celebration of two people united in marriage. It is a milestone in life that we celebrate each year on our anniversary. As society has changed so have weddings, even in the church. Most weddings are planned for months in advance with attention given to every detail. Great amounts of money and time are spent hoping for the perfect ceremony and reception. The marriage in Cana of Galilee was no different, it was planned with great care but the most important decision this couple made was inviting Jesus. This wedding celebration ran into a problem when they were out of wine. Today we might think of it as running out of food and the effect it would have. What the wedding lacked does not matter; it is the fact that there was a need. When we have Jesus in our life He is ever ready to fulfill our needs. This was the first day of life together for this couple and already a problem arose. Problems happen in all marriages some big and others little. If our focus is on outward materials things we will run into problems that one day may crack or even rip apart a marriage. Divorce in the church is said to be as high as the divorce rate in the world. That is sad because it seems like Christians are somehow missing it. Think back to when you were married, was Jesus the main focal point of your wedding or was Jesus invited then left at the church because now it was time to party at the reception? Jesus needs to be part of every area of our lives. When He is recognized and honored then the problems that come will not be insurmountable, we will be victorious in going around, through, under, or over them. We are able to be overcomers with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. A couple beginning their life together that attends church, reads the Bible, and obeys God’s word will be much stronger than those that do not. Marriage with a foundation in Christ will not be destroyed by the storms of life. Whether you have been married one year or fifty you can bring Jesus into the center of your marriage. Marriage is God’s plan for a man and woman; through it we can glorify God by our commitment to Him and to our spouse.

Sunday, July 20th
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.The devil cannot easily harm those who are steadfast in the faith and know to whom they believe. The devil is real and it is important we recognize his attacks. If you are a strong Christian you become a more appealing target for Satan’s fiery darts. Satan’s darts are often personal. His attacks are against you or those closest to you, which will cause you to slow down from your calling. If we make individual problems into mountains we become busy trying to solve them instead of doing the work of the Lord. We must recognize we do not have the ability to solve many of life’s problems, but we do know the Problem Solver. When we trust in God we can stand back, evaluate the problem, and with His wisdom do what we can. Then we must believe God will intervene with the solution as He sees fit. Too often we have our idea of when and how the problem should be solved. Then if things aren’t happening the way we think they should we feel God is not doing anything. That is not true, we just don’t see the problem in the same perspective that God does. God is righteous and just, God answers prayers. Leave the problem with God with the same trust a small child has who gives his mother a shoe with the laces tied in knots knowing she will fix it. We don’t like it but many of our problems last for years. There are many things we focus our attention on that we would like changed quickly. For some it is a job they don’t like or a coworker who makes their life miserable. For others it is children who are unruly and disrespectful. For many Christians it is family members or relatives who have not been saved and we become weary with their unbelief. Anything that steals our joy can be a fiery dart that we must quench with faith in God. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. If we lose our joy we are no longer strong and become a target for the enemy to devour. God wants us, His children, to rest in Him, trust Him and go about our life with joy and peace knowing that He will handle each problem His way with perfection.

Sunday, July 14th
Ephesians 5:1, 2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. How can we be an imitator of someone we cannot see, we look at Jesus. Jesus came so man could see clearly what God is like. Jesus told Philip, he who has seen Me has seen the Father. You begin to see Jesus when you are born again (John 3:3). Only when we are born of the Spirit can we become like God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us if you are in Christ you are a new creation, old things pass away and behold, all things have become new. The new creation you have become wants to be perfect like God. You hate sin and are grieved when you break God’s law. The desire to be like God will not be fulfilled unless you know God intimately through His word and through Jesus. Jesus reflected God in everything He did. Jesus had compassion and mercy for sinners. Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Jesus wanted to help the poor and down trodden. The only ones Jesus could not help were those who rejected Him as the Son of God or believed in their own righteousness. Every attribute found in Jesus is a quality that we can copy and imitate. Our young people have few role models in this world, but the church is designed to be a place where young people see and hear the word of God spoken and acted out. Jesus willingly emptied Himself out to be a man and did all God commanded Him to do, can we do the same thing? The world has its priorities and God has His, we get to choose the path we take. The time you have in this world is precious, make sure what you spend your time and resources on has God in it. When we become imitators of God it will go against many people around you, but it will be well worth it. If you walk in love that alone will make you unique in this world. And if you are willing to sacrifice and give up all to be a vessel for God, for His use, you will be a sweet-smelling aroma that flows up to heaven. Every believer has been called by God for His purpose, have you asked God what He wants you to do? Think about what Jesus gave up for you and be willing to make the sacrifice to serve and imitate Him

Sunday, July 7th
Hebrews 8:12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. It is difficult for us to believe that God will not remember our sins and transgressions. We unfortunately are able to tell with great detail any suffered wrong. God tells us in Isaiah 43:25 ‘I even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins’. God loves us and He loves Jesus, it would diminish what Jesus did on the cross if God remembered the sins that are now under the blood. Choosing to forgive and let go of a hurt is a supernatural gift from God, it is called grace. Grace will always provide what we need if our faith is in God. We have heard people say I forgive them, but I will never forget what that person did to me. That is not walking in love. True love, God’s kind of love, is willing to forgive and forget. By forgiving and letting go we are free from repeated pain and suffering which is one reason why God tells us to forgive. We can never do this on our own we can only do it if the love of God is in our hearts. Horrible things happen in the world today, we live in an unprecedented time when people can sit comfortably in a chair behind their computer and throw fiery slings and arrows at others that they would never do in person. No matter what the situation or how lawless deeds are accomplished we are called to be like Christ. Through God’s grace we can love others and go forward preaching the kingdom of God. It seems like an impossibility sometimes, but it isn’t. Where you have your trust and focus is what you will talk about to others. If your focus is on yourself and your problems God’s love will not flow through you. When talking about John the Baptist, Jesus said blessed are those who are not offended by Me. At that time John was in prison and was no longer sure if Jesus was the Messiah. Satan wants to shift our attention from God to our self by arranging for us to be offended, don’t let that happen. It will take time to get over some hurts, but if we allow God’s word to dominate our thinking we will walk in God’s grace each day and trust God to take care of tomorrow.

Sunday, June 30th
1 John 3:14, 15 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.God is love. When we are born of God we are born of love. In Romans 5:5 it is written the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Love is a fruit of our recreated human spirit. It is important that we walk in love in order to overcome what is in the world. Everyday people are hurt by the words or actions of others. We have a choice to forgive or hold onto the hurt. Trust God that He will take care of every wrong, He is a just God. If we let a seed of bitterness take root in our heart it can have serious consequences. God is unyielding when it comes to unforgiveness, He will not tolerate it. If we take forgiveness lightly we do not consider how harmful it is to our relationship with God. What Jesus did on the cross to forgive our sins is of upmost importance to God. When we appreciate the gift of salvation we won’t be so quick to harbor ill will towards someone. We need to take a humble position if we try to judge people least we fall into the same problem or something worse. If the word hate comes to your mind over anyone you should deal with it immediately. Hate is the opposite of love and as it is written in 1 John 3:15 he who hates his brother is a murderer. In the body of Christ we are brothers and sisters, we are God’s children. God does not like it, no matter what someone has done, for a believer to harbor hate in their heart. Hate is when we are unwilling to forgive and we continue to bring up what that person has done. Turn such people over to God. Talk to your pastor about the problem. Pray to God and ask that by His grace He gives you the power to forgive and forget. God knows everything that is in your heart you cannot fool Him. If you are unwilling to forgive you are in danger of judgment from God and that is not worth holding onto anything. God wants you to love your enemies as Jesus did, and He can help you do it. Trust God, He is merciful and would never ask you to do something you couldn’t do.

Sunday, June 23rd
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. This scripture verse is familiar to most Christians. When we hear the good news of the gospel and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are saved. The foundational principle of Christianity is based on the fact that Jesus is the only one who can reconcile and make peace between man and God. If you believe this then you must apply that knowledge to the world we live in. Unknowingly, many Christians fall into wrong thinking that the people they know are basically good and believe in God so they are saved. Many Christians do not take the time to consider if the people they work with, family members, neighbors, or any other person they spend time with knows Jesus. The old adage is never discuss politics or religion with anyone so we don’t offend. Satan doesn’t care if you are a Christian so long as you never share Jesus with anyone. Each person lives in a sphere of people that is unique only to them. It is no accident the people you come in contact with daily. God has specific people for each of us to talk to. The Holy Spirit often puts someone on our heart, it is important that we respond. We can begin by praying for that person. There are four soils talked about in the Bible when it comes to receiving God’s word. As any good farmer we should prepare that soil (heart) against the power of the enemy so the heart will not be hardened to receive the word. We do not save people, but we are the instrument God uses to share the gospel. Proverbs says he who wins a soul is wise. For many it is uncomfortable to share their faith, but how uncomfortable will you be attending a funeral of someone God wanted you to speak to? If a person rejects your good intentions do not feel bad, what happens when the good news is shared is up to that person and God, it is God who saves. Also, you may never know if the seed you planted produced fruit until you get to heaven. Trust God and fulfill His commission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing else you do will have more of an impact on a person’s life than sharing Jesus. Listen to the Holy Spirit and be ready to share all God has done in your life since you found Jesus.

Sunday, June 15th
Romans 14:17 The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.When you were saved you were taken from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Satan’s kingdom is governed by worldly principles. In the world we judge people by how they look, how much money they make, what possessions they have, and the favorite of the media, how famous is that person. The Romans were still using the Levitical law to judge people in things such as food and drink. Unfortunately, this practice is still used by many Christians today. Paul asks the believers in Rome why do you judge your brother, or why do you show contempt for your brother, for we each shall give account of himself to God. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Righteousness, peace, and joy are all products or the result of a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. God is present in us through His Holy Spirit. When we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit we make right choices and walk in the righteousness that Christ died to give us. When we are walking in that righteousness then we will have peace. Oh, how precious peace is! The world looks for peace outwardly through man by being tolerant with one another and trying to resolve every situation fairly and equitably. Those are important characteristics of a believer, but we must also realize Jesus never backed down from the principles of the kingdom of God. Jesus rebuked those who rejected Him as the Son of God because He knew they did not know the Father. Our joy comes from the results of the kingdom of God inside us as we are ruled and reined by the living word of God. The letters in the word JOY could stand for Jesus first, others second, and you third. We are most miserable when we put our self first. You were designed to put God first in your life. If you find you lack peace and joy in your life it is time to make an adjustment. Change may seem painful but it is temporary. The lifetime rewards of putting God and His Son first in your life will be priceless. The Holy Spirit will point you to Jesus and Jesus will reveal God to you. When you know God you will know peace.

Sunday, June8th
Colossians 1:13, 14 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. To be redeemed means to buy back, to free from captivity by payment of ransom. If you are saved you have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of light. Being redeemed cannot be a doctrine it must be a reality, one that you walk in every day of your life. If you no longer live in one kingdom but now live in another that would be a major change in your life. Even in the natural world if you move from one country to another your life would change significantly. Salvation should be life changing! You were bought (redeemed) with the blood of Jesus. You are so important, so precious, that God allowed Jesus to pay for all your sins so you might be brought into the kingdom of His beloved Son. If this has not penetrated your heart and soul you would do well to meditate on these verses until your heart is filled with joy. The joy that you are not going to hell, but now reside in a kingdom that will provide your needs while you travel through this world, and the knowledge that your destination is eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When we have a revelation of who owns us and where we will live, the world has no power over us. Yes, it can hurt you, maim you, and even kill you but it cannot stop you from your destination. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt as written in Psalm 105:37 He brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. If it was God’s will for Israel to be brought out of the Egypt with health and prosperity it is also His will for you. There is no want or lack for any good thing in God’s kingdom (Psalm 34:9, 10) It is those who fear God by honor, reverence, and service that prosper in His kingdom. You cannot live by the same rules of this world and be successful in God’s kingdom. All the promises of God are yes and amen but they are activated by grace through faith. You are only passing through this world; keep your eyes on the kingdom of God that is your real home.

Sunday, June 1st
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet appeared what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like him for we shall see Him as He is.Believers were first called Christians in Antioch because disciples of Christ talked and acted like their Savior Jesus Christ. When we first come to salvation and are born again as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 our inner man is changed. The old man dies and the new man on the inside is a new creation with the life and nature of God. The new man dwells in a body that often acts as it did before, and our mind has not yet been renewed by the washing of the Word. That is why we are called to read and study the Bible daily. John was talking to believers who as children of God were growing and becoming more and more like Jesus. Most of us have a lifetime here on earth to grow and change into the image of Christ. We error if we think we know all we need to, in fact that is dangerous ground to be walking on. The more we study the Word, the more we share the Word, the more God is able to reveal Himself to us. There is no limit to the manifold wisdom of God; we are called to come up higher and higher in His wisdom. A year from now you should be able to look back and see the growth you have made. What you will not see is God molding you more and more into the image of Christ. Many of the things of this earth will no longer interest you; your focus will be on heavenly things and that which is eternal. Jesus never worried about food, clothing, or where He would spend the night. He did not worry about owning a house, a donkey or any other possessions. All Jesus cared about was revealing the truth to save souls and fulfilling His Father’s will. Do you feel the same way as Jesus? Probably not to His degree, that is why we want to continue to grow day by day. We should also try not to let the things of this world which are temporal take priority over what is eternal. Being one with God, having the mind of Christ, and walking in His righteousness will change us from day to day. Jesus is returning soon, is there anything more important than God’s will for you today? If there is, ask God to help you be more like Jesus that is God’s will for you.

Sunday, May 25th
Philippians 3:18-20 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.When Paul was writing to the Philippians he shared a truth about believers whose end would be destruction. They were people who saw Christianity as a means for gain and profit. When our god is our belly then the riches of this world hold an attraction over what is spiritual. What each person is attracted to varies, but Satan is very good at tempting us so we miss what is important, the heavenly manna. When the world captures our attention it robs us of our faith and trust in God. Christianity was seen as a gold mine for people who saw the potential to make money off healings, gifts of the spirit, and even eternal life. Simon the sorcerer had believed and was baptized yet when he saw the baptism of the Holy Spirit asked to buy this power (Acts 8:9-24). Do we not see this today? We need the discernment of the Holy Spirit that we may recognize false teachers who come seeking money for their glory and not God’s. The Bible tells us freely we have received and freely we give. If a church uses gimmicks to get money for whatever reason we become like the world and we all lose. When God is on the throne in your heart and He reigns in your life you will give freely as God leads you. Giving becomes a way of life for a Christian to further the kingdom of God. The true church is successful and lasting because it is by the leading of the Holy Spirit through the man of God. Anyone who tries to use Christianity for their profit and their glory becomes the enemy of the cross of Christ, a sobering thought. If we live in the light of eternity our thoughts will turn from earthly things to what lies ahead being mindful of those who have not yet received Christ. Diligently spend time with God and walk with Him each day. When you are one with God you will have an impact on the lost around you and Satan will have no power to tempt you with the false manna of this world.

Sunday, May 4th
John 14:21He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.When we come to God and accept Jesus as our Savior a miracle takes place in our heart. Our spirit becomes alive with the Spirit of God. A new man is created and the person you were no longer exists. To believe Jesus is the Son of God but see no change in your life shows there is a problem. God’s Spirit inside of you will produce effortless change. A change takes place that goes from I ought to do what is right and live for God, to the words spoken by Paul after encountering Jesus, Lord what can I do for You? That will never happen by our own effort. Only by the Spirit of God can we come to know God and grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Him. In this scripture Jesus knew that when the love of God comes into a believer’s heart His commandments will not be burdensome. Choosing to walk in righteousness will not be an effort. If believing in Jesus is only a good idea, or birthed out of desperation, no change may take place in the person. The new birth (John 3:3) is being born of the Spirit. Our spirit can communicate with God and it is our spirit that is quickened when we hear God’s word. Some Christians may feel that God has never been manifested in their life. But the word says He will so there is a problem somewhere, and it is never with God. If we are too busy to take time to have a relationship with God and know Him through His word He will never be real to you, and you will miss His manifestations in your life. When God is manifested in our life we will have testimonies. It is through these testimonies we share God with others. This glorifies God. The more you talk about God to others the more you will see God manifested in your life. Satan would love for you to keep your mouth shut and not give God the glory for the blessings in your life. That is how Satan stops many unbelievers from seeing how real God is. Don’t be afraid to be bold and praise God to all. The more you are in the word of God and share God’s blessings the more joy you will have in this life and look eagerly to promise of eternal life. 

Sunday, April 28th
Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.It seems impossible to be far from oppression, fear, and terror in the world we live in. God’s promise is based on our being established in righteousness. We desire all the goodness God has for us but we would like it in under our own conditions. God’s condition is that we be established in His righteousness. In 1 Corinthians 10: 6-13 we are told of the mistakes the Israelites made so we won’t do the same and suffer as they did. The Israelites were established in righteousness by obeying the law; we are righteous because of what Jesus did for us. When we look at the events that happen in our world this seems impossible, but with God all things are possible. God will always back up His word, but we cannot have the promises without living out the precepts taught in the Bible. When we are enlightened in the Word we know the difference between good and evil then we must make the right choices. We cannot live in the world six days a week then expect going to church will transform out mind causing us to live for God. God wants all of you; He is a jealous God and will not share you with the world. Who is on the throne in your heart, if it is anyone or anything but God then Christianity will not work. We must be sold out for Jesus and make living for Him a lifestyle. When we are obedient then our faith works and we are blessed. In Isaiah 54:17 it is written ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.’ You are righteous because of Jesus and it is your heritage or birthright that when Satan tries to attack you he will not prosper. We are to live our life trusting God that whatever comes along in life we have the authority to bind and stand against the powers of darkness. We are not at the whim of fate, we are hidden in Christ and God is your Father. If we fear God (honor and reverence Him) we do not have to worry about our life, God is watching over you and you are secure in Him.

Sunday, April 21st
Ephesians 6:12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.The tragedy and terror that unfolded this past week puts fear in the heart of many people. Since 911 we have not experienced the terrorism seen so often in other countries, but we have seen far too much domestic violence. Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). How do we have peace when bad things can happen at any time? When our focus is on people who do random acts of violence we think it is impossible to protect our family. As seen in Paul’s writing to the Ephesians it is not flesh and blood we are fighting against but the kingdom of darkness. Unfortunately, most people do not really believe there is a devil or there are spiritual powers that influence the behavior of people. They do exist and the believer is to take authority as part of the body of Christ over the powers of darkness. People are either the Lord’s and have been translated into the kingdom of light or they are ruled by the kingdom of darkness. If you have made Jesus Lord of your life then you have all of heaven to back you up and bind the power of the enemy. That is what God wants you to do in the name of Jesus. When Jesus took the keys of Hades and Death from Satan (Revelation1:18) He did it for you. Jesus did not need power over the enemy, He already had it. But God’s creation, man had a fallen nature and God loved us so much He initiated and completed a plan to put us back in fellowship with Him. All those who live their life without God and do not have Jesus living in their heart can be taken by the snare of the devil to do his will (2 timothy 2:24). It does not need to be a stereotype of a nationality or race it only needs to be someone who has rejected Jesus as their Savior. If you are in Christ it is your responsibility to know your place and authority, and walk in the light of the word. It is only there you will find peace to live in a world that is under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)

Sunday, April 14th
 Luke 18:19 So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.Aren’t we like the ruler in Jesus’ day, when we find a person who is compassionate and caring, doing kind deeds we use the word good to describe that person. As Christians we become Christ-like created for good works. But Jesus was careful to point to God and that it is He who is good, not man. We have all done kind helpful things in life and usually assume it was our own initiative so we take credit for what we do. Helping others makes us feel good and if it is a job that entails much effort and energy we like the recognition. This is normal, but we must not forget that anything we have ever had the talent and ability to do it was because God put that in us. The Bible tells us apart from Him we can do nothing. When we look to God and recognize how good He is we will begin to see God everywhere. The world likes to focus on the tragedies and negative side of life, there is no doubt plenty of that. For the Christian we should avoid the negative like a plague and focus on what is good and edifying. This is a challenge, but a very necessary one if we are to walk like Jesus. If we look only for the amazing and spectacular to praise God we miss a hundred things each day that are small but precious in their own way. If you got up today and were able to get dressed on your own, praise God. Do you have enough food to eat, praise God? Do you have a family to love and help, praise God? Do you have a job, praise God? Do you have a church family to worship with, praise God? Can you hear, smell, touch and look at a flower or sunset, praise God? We take for granted so many things each day and never take the time to look up and say thank you to God. Everything you are and everything you do is an incredible testimony to God’s creation. When we begin to praise God we will see God’s hand everywhere in our life. When we praise God openly it points people to God just as Jesus did. Open your eyes and begin looking for all the good things that you can thank God for. If Christians don’t praise God, who will? Praise God as often as you can each day, God is worthy of all our praise, then we truly know we are alive in Him.

Sunday, April 7th
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.Jesus our High Priest has been perfected forever. He was tested in all things and never sinned. Earthly priests were subject to weaknesses and were required to offer a sacrifice for themselves. Jesus never sinned so He was able to be the sacrifice for all mankind. Therefore, we can put our hope, trust, and faith in Jesus and receive eternal salvation. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and being a Christian is a lifestyle. Many have raised their hands in church, gone to the altar, or prayed the sinners prayer in an emotional state of mind but never received Jesus in their heart. It is what happens in our heart that is everything. What is birthed in our heart is love, a love for God and a love for His Son Jesus Christ. That love will manifest itself in a desire to please God. Paul wrote that Jesus obtained eternal salvation for those who obey Him. Obedience should not be a burden. When we truly love someone we do what is expected and much more. The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit. That love will motivate you to joyfully adhere to all God’s commands and precepts. We have been given the power of God by His grace to break every shackle that binds us. We can go to the throne of grace daily and receive help. Your actions are a result of what you believe in your heart. If your heart is filled with love for God then you will have corresponding actions. We would like to believe we are not accountable for our actions but we are. The system of the world we live in has nothing to do with Jesus or His teachings. Many Christians have bought into the lie that they can do what they want if they believe it is right. That is not true. Your life must line up with God’s word no matter what society thinks is acceptable. Sin will cause you to lose your inner peace; you know something is wrong inside. Listen carefully to your inner man and allow God to show you if you have missed it. Knowing God’s word is how we know what is right and what pleases Him. Sin will hurt you, which is why God wants you to walk uprightly. God loves you and will always be there to help you, but His word cannot be dismissed.

Sunday, March 24th
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?Lazarus had died and Martha was deeply grieved. Her thoughts were if only Jesus had been here Lazarus would not have died. Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead and this resurrection would glorify God. Too often we are more concerned with physical death than spiritual death. When sickness strikes we naturally do all we can to stop and rid the body of what is attacking it. Yet day after day we walk around with people who are spiritually dead and give it no thought. We reason that each person must make their own choice whether to believe in Jesus or not. We make the assumption that because a person goes to church or is agreeable to the idea of Jesus they are saved. If Jesus lives in us His light needs to shine out to the world by who we are, what we say, and how we live our life. There are not enough Christians shining their light into the darkness. Do you talk about Jesus and all the good things God has done for you? Every day make a point of sharing how God has blessed you in your life. It will make a difference to the people around you. It draws their attention away from the negative and points to the goodness of God. No one will enter the kingdom of God without Jesus and yet many people think they will go to heaven because they are basically a good person and believe there is a God. Jesus’ resurrection is the focal point of Christianity. If Jesus had not risen from the grave we would still be in our sins. The resurrection life in Jesus has the miracle saving power of changing a spiritually dead person into a new creation. That power is also life giving power to the physical body. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave with a few words. Words that were faith filled and anointed by God. Jesus wants us to be like Him, walking in the light of the word and speaking faith filled words over every situation that comes against us in life. Jesus is at the right hand of God, He has given all power and authority over to the church. The same resurrection life that is in Jesus is in you, do you believe this?

Sunday, March 10
1 Corinthians 2:3, 4And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.Paul wanted the Corinthians to know that the power of God will be seen and heard through the Spirit of God. Faith should not be of persuasive words of human wisdom but what is of the Spirit. In many churches there is little demonstration of the power of God. We have become so refined that church resembles more a timed social gathering than a holy assembly for the power of God to be manifested. Why is that? Many people are coming to church that never read their Bible. They do not have an intimate personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They have heard the message of salvation and think if they believe in God and Jesus they are saved. The Bible tells us we must be born of Spirit and water. Salvation is a life changing experience. Your spirit becomes alive with the eternal life of God. You become a new creature in Christ. What you use to do you no longer do. You step off that broad path onto the straight and narrow path. It is there you will find the things freely given to us by God. From the New Birth, water baptism, and then baptism in the Holy Spirit you become a new creation where being a Christian becomes your identity. The things of the world will no longer hold you as they once did. The Holy Spirit will lead you in all truth and you will want more of God than the world. As we grow in the Lord church becomes a place of rest where you step out of time and into the unity of the body of Christ. When the body of Christ is compelled and lead of the Holy Spirit we will no longer look at our watches to see when the service will end, we will come with expectation of the demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit. When that happens people will get saved, healed, answers to prayers will penetrate the hearts and minds of those who are in need. If our eyes are on man and his wisdom we will miss the power of God. It is the Spirit of God behind the word that we must listen to carefully for God speaks to all His children. Now it is up to us to be in tune with God and allow His Spirit to have His way in the service.

Sunday, March 3
Matthew 25:23Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.God honor faith and faith honors God. Last week we had a guest speaker who asked all those who would like to unify the church to stand and be prayed over. A commitment to God should never be made lightly. God saw the hearts of each person as they stood. God has great things He would like to do through Father’s House Fellowship. Father’s House Fellowship is not a building it is the people in it. God needs you. Every person who calls Jesus Lord has been called by God for a purpose, a specific purpose to fulfill His plan. If you stood up last week think carefully about what you have committed to and what you are willing to sacrifice to see your commitment through. First, you must take God’s word seriously. Paul told Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth. Studying God’s word, coming to Bible class, and obeying His word is critical. Next, you must be willing to come under authority through the leadership in the church. God has appointed leaders to watch over His flock who lead and guide the sheep. We have excellent leadership under Pastor Russo and your willingness to help and obey him pleases God and it will bless you. A sign of a true believer is love. Our church is filled with people who pour out God’s love in many wonderful ways. But we must be careful to not let any bitterness or anger in our heart. We are to be Christ-like; Jesus loved those who hated him. We can do the same by His grace. We are also called to be faithful in all things. Your faith shows up when you come to church no matter what is going on in your life. Satan’s biggest ploy is for us to believe it doesn’t matter if we miss gathering with the brethren. Think about it, is there any part of your body you would leave at home when you walk out the door? No! Each part of the body of Christ is needed for God to use at any given time. You may have not found your purpose yet in the body of Christ but you can still report for duty. Ask Pastor Russo where he needs help and then be willing to help even if it doesn’t seem like something you are good at. We don’t have to be great to serve God we only have to be a willing vessel He can shine through

Sunday, February 24th
Matthew 8:8
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
The centurion received what many had not because he understood authority and he believed that Jesus was who He said He was. The centurion was not bound by man’s laws he simply believed Jesus and acted on what he believed. That is what Christianity is all about. We come to Jesus and listen to the words He has spoken then we have faith in His word and act on the word because we believe it. The centurion recognized it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his house to heal his servant. The centurion put his faith in the spoken word and the authority behind that word. If Jesus was not who He said He was coming to the centurion’s house would not have healed his servant. But if Jesus was the Son of God His physical presence was not necessary because the centurion understood those who are in authority do not need to go, they only need to speak the word and it will be done. Jesus marveled at such great faith, it was so amazing that Jesus said He had not found such faith in all of Israel. Many of the words that Jesus had been speaking to the children of Israel had fallen on deaf ears especially those who felt they were righteous by their own works. Do we find that problem in the church today? How many believers think if only this person or that person would pray for them or lay hands on them they would receive their miracle? We miss our miracle when we place our faith in man. Our faith must be in God and His word. If it has been spoken by God or His Son Jesus then it is ours and we can claim that promise with assurance. Unfortunately, for many people the word of God is not enough. They need to see something visible to release their faith. True faith comes by studying and meditating on the word of God. It is written in Psalm 138:2 that God has magnified His word above His name. That shows us the importance God places on His word. God’s word is above every situation in life and you can release your faith in His word with total confidence

Sunday, February 17th

Romans 5:5
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Life is filled with trials and tribulations, most small but some big enough to consume us. What is inside of us will come out in words and actions when we are tested. The word that you have sown in your heart will have preeminence if you have valued God’s word. If you have not, then things may come out of you, you never imagined you would say or do. If we know and understand God’s love for us and cultivate that love in our heart towards people life will be much easier. God loved us while we were yet sinners and we are to be like Him. When we have problems with other people we usually think they are in the wrong. If we would not judge but look for the best in people it would bless us as well as the person who irritates us or has a difficult disposition to be around. In every situation we encounter go to God and place your hope in Him it would make you much happier. Our problem is we think we can handle everybody’s problems when in reality we don’t do a very good job with our own problems. The world is in a fallen state and nothing will change that except those who come willingly to the Lord Jesus. Looking for other solutions is a temporary bandage and often wastes our time. What God can do through one man or woman willing to trust Him for everything has probably never yet been seen. But to be aware of your limitations and trust a loving God will take the burden and pressure off you when you are facing life’s toughest problems. If we would walk in the God kind of love we would rarely sink low or get depressed. You are not going to change this world but God can. When our life is over it will not be the hours spent at work or the good projects we were part of, the question will be have you let God’s love flow through you to the world around you? If you do you will impact your part of the world far more than any natural power or creativity you had on your own. Place your hope in God and walk in love, it will not cost you anything but it will determine your happiness and reflect Jesus to those around you.

Sunday, February 10th

James 5:10, 11
My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
The prophets went through great suffering and yet endured. No one goes through this world untouched because we live in a fallen world. Satan is a defeated foe but he has gained access and oppressed many people’s lives. If you are a Christian and stand for the truth you will find much opposition especially from Satan. How did the prophets make it through as they spoke for the Lord to many who did not want to hear the truth? They endured and they held fast to what they believed. They did not give up even though they were beaten, imprisoned, ridiculed and ostracized. They had something no one could take away, a promise of a new day, a kingdom that could not be shaken and a Savior that would change the world. These men did not see these things in their lifetime but they saw it by the Spirit of the Lord. Job was in a position that none of us would ever want to be in. He lost everything including his health and yet he endured. We are blessed that we have the word of God and know what Job did not; God knew what the end was for Job before his terrible trial began. Are you going through something that seems so horrible you feel that you cannot make it one more day? Does it feel like you whole world is caving in and there is no one there to help you? Even though you may feel like God is nowhere in sight, He is. God is very compassionate and merciful, He will take you through the valley of the shadow of death when you health is gone. He will take you through the bank foreclosure, the broken marriage, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one. Our life here on earth is constantly changing but our future is not if we have Jesus. The promise of eternal life will not change; no one can take that from us. Hold fast one day at a time, trust God that all things will work together for good because His word is higher than your circumstance, and He is not going to let go of you.

Sunday, February 3rd
Psalm 107:8-9
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Do you see yourself as an independent person able to take care of yourself? It is admirable to be a hard worker, one willing to take on challenges and completes each task put before you. For a Christian being an excellent worker and success is to be desired, but even more important is acknowledging that who you are and what you do are all owed to God. The truth is apart from Him you can do nothing. It is a priority with God that He receives the glory for every good thing that happens in our life. When we recognize God as our source and appreciate all He does it will satisfy the longing of our soul. For a Christian we need not fear this world but we do need to fear God. That is honor, respect, highly esteem and value His presence in our life. When we give God the glory it is reflected back to us and we bask in His light and warmth. When we crave the glory it will be temporary and it will not satisfy us. If pride rears its ugly head we have taken our eyes off God and focused on our self and our own ability. If we think about it, man is incapable of creating one living thing on His own without copying what the Creator did effortlessly. When we marvel at what God has done and what He is doing in our life it satisfies the hunger in our soul. We were never created to be independent; we were created to exist in unity with God. Each day be sure to thank God for what is great and small in your life. Appreciate everything you have. Share your triumphs and joys with others giving God the glory. Expect greater things when you allow God to use you for His glory. When God is able to use you for His kingdom He is able to effect and change the lives of those who need help in this world. The world will never change the way we think it should through man’s independent efforts, but God’s plan and life changing effects will be produced when we are receptive to God and allow Him to work through us. It is then miracles take place and what man sees as impossible happens in ways we could never have imagined on our own.

Sunday, January 27th
Psalm 119:130, 131
The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.
When we come to God we don’t need a list of degrees or accomplishments to show God we are worthy of His knowledge. God desires to impart wisdom to His children but first He must get our attention away from the world and onto spiritual matters. God is a spirit and we are born of Him so we are spirit beings, too. Jesus said the word is spirit and truth. The best possible way to know and understand God is to study His word. Not just on Sundays or in a Bible class, but daily spend time in God’s word. God reveals Himself to those who eagerly seek and long for Him. When we are lead and guided by the Holy Spirit God will take His word and open our spiritual eyes to wonders and mysteries that even kings wish to know. When we hear God’s word or read it our mind often has a hard time understanding the implications but our spirit rejoices in the word and gives us a green light that it is the truth. The light that is within our spirit must be fed daily on God’s word so it will shine brightly and guide us through this world. Man looks at a person’s IQ as a measurement of intelligence but God looks at the heart. If we are a willing vessel that will simply receive God’s word and act on it, we can impact our world and the people in it far more than any human effort based on man’s natural intelligence. Do you long for God’s word as the psalmist did? It will fill the desires of your heart. The Bible is food for our spirit. Studying God’s word is a kingdom principle. If we neglect it we will not have the success we desire as a Christian. You were saved by hearing the word of God, that same word applies to every area of your life. Wisdom, health, prosperity are all found through the light of the word. Satan likes to steal from every Christian but those who are knowledgeable in the word of God can walk in the light of the word and not be deceived easily. God expects us to grow our entire life so we will bear much fruit. Be diligent to study God’s word, it honors Him, and it will give you the light and understanding you need to live your life for Him.

Sunday, January 20th

Hebrews 11:25-27
(Moses) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasure of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
How was Moses able to look into the future and see Jesus who was not yet visible? Like his forefathers Moses had the promise of the coming Messiah, and by faith it was as real to him as the world he lived in. Faith is the only thing that will unlock the mysteries of the kingdom of God and let you live physically in one world while spiritually you have access to another world. Each day believers are confronted with a world system that speaks, thinks, and lives opposite of the kingdom of God. Moses was privileged to be educated and live in the highest society known at that time. Yet the calling on his life and the promise of what was to come was stronger than the passing pleasure of sin that was available in the palace of Pharaoh. We too have what the world calls fun and entertainment that is temporary but does not edify our spirit in any way. The spirit man in you must be cherished and regarded with great reverence. Be careful what you do and where you go, Jesus is always with you. We can become so saturated in our culture that we forget what the words holy and consecrated mean. That is why we are instructed to be in the Word of God everyday to protect us from the lies and deceit of Satan that appear harmless, but are really a snare to our soul. Moses walked away from limitless pleasures offered him as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses probably could have done or had anything he wanted. Yet Moses knew by faith that the life he lived was temporary and the reward of life in Christ Jesus is eternal. We have opportunities every day to do what pleases God or do what our flesh is drawn to. What you do when no one else sees you does matter. Don’t compromise your faith for the passing pleasures of this world. Jesus is worth whatever it takes to crucify the flesh and live by faith in Christ alone.

Sunday, January 13th
Hebrews 11:17-19
By faith Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called, concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
Life holds many tests for us all. When we are tested we are able to see if the truth is in our heart, or if we need to grow in some area. How we go through a test is a testimony to God and often to those around us, especially to those who do not know God. When adversity strikes if we are able to go through it with calm patience and make wise choices it says a lot about the God we serve and His power working in us. The beauty in these verses is the relationship Abraham had with God based on the spoken word. Abraham and Sarah had both been dead physically, but by faith in God’s promise they found the strength to believe God to conceive and bear the promised son. When Abraham was directed by God to sacrifice Isaac Abraham was strong in faith. Abraham would willingly sacrifice Isaac, believing that God was able to raise him from the dead. Why? Because Abraham believed what God had spoken, “In Isaac your seed shall be called”. God cannot go back on His word. Therefore Abraham was able to do what many are not; Abraham believed God’s word and acted on it. We also have that opportunity for our family. We can find God’s word about our children and speak that word for their life. In Psalm 37:25 it is written that I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Don’t expect your children to be hard off in this life no matter what the economy is. Believe God’s word and apply it to your children and grandchildren. Speak words of life over your family and stand firm trusting God. If it looks like the enemy is trying to steal from you, you have God’s promises to believe in and resist the devil. Our words and our actions either line up with God or they line up with the god of this world. Abraham had results that were supernatural by faith in God; you can do the same if you have more faith in the written word than you do in the words spoken by the men of this world.
Sunday, January 6th

1 John 2:3-5
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
 Jesus died so we could know God. Millions believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ but not all know Him. You also may have wondered if you truly know God. These scripture verses give us a clear understanding of how to know if we know Him. Do you keep God’s commandments? Is it your desire to please God by what is revealed to you in His word? If you are saved the answer will be yes. Then we must determine what God’s commandments are. If we love God with our whole heart and we love one another as He loves us we are His disciples. Disciples are followers of God’s word. The way we fulfill God’s commandments is by knowing the truth, His word is the truth. It may seem difficult to follow God’s commandments because you focus on all the imperfections instead of the spirit man in you that wants to do right. That is why feeding on God’s word is so important. Through the word we know God and begin to think like Him. We know what pleases Him and what does not. Our love for God will grow deeper and stronger as we are watered by the word and allow God to change us. This will only happen if we are willing. Stubbornness and pride must not be allowed. Nothing is worth damaging your relationship with God so we must be vigilant to monitor our daily life. Each day we come to God as a little child with a humble attitude and let God open our eyes to His glory (goodness) and His will. Then obeying God’s commandments will not be burdensome. It is when we think we know better than God that conflict will arise. God has demonstrated that He loves us completely and asks in return that we love and obey Him. If we do then the love of God is perfected in us and this life with all its problems will not be overwhelming. Our life then becomes a testing ground where we have the opportunity to be like Jesus and share with the world what so many hunger for, the perfect love (God) found in the perfect sacrifice (Jesus).
Sunday, Decemebr 30th
Luke 12:6, 7
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is aware of everything we do each day. There are times we feel alone and think that no one cares about our situation. But your Father in heaven knows you and cares for you more than anyone in the whole world. When we have people with us who are sympathetic to our situation we find comfort even though they might not have the means to help us. That is why your relationship with God is the most important relationship you have. When you talk to God often and you are aware of His presence in your life you will find it much easier when problems come along. The One who has all the answers is only a whisper away. The moment you focus on God and seek His help you are headed in the right direction. Jesus said come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Jesus can handle the burden of all your problems without it taxing Him. Jesus has already provided all the answers you will ever need. Don’t require a quick answer to every problem in your life, it won’t happen. We are told not to live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. God knows what problems are ahead in your life. He knows everything down to the smallest detail. He has given you His Word to help you fight the good fight of faith and He expects you to win. You have a choice whether to allow yourself to be so busy you don’t have time in the Word, or set aside time each day to read, study, and pray so that you are prepared for the day ahead. Then you are ready for any arrows the enemy might throw at you. God loves you completely and totally but He cannot go against His Word. The kingdom of God is within you and it runs by the Word of God. The New Year is here and many people make resolutions to improve themselves. There is only one decision you need to make that will make 2013 better than you ever dreamed, get in the Word of God, let God and His Word lead you in the life He has planned for you.

Sunday, December 23rd
Acts 10:36
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all—
Is Jesus Lord of your life? A lord is ruler and master over his dominion. Matthew 1:21 tells us Mary would bring forth a Son, she would call His name Jesus and He would save His people from their sins. Jesus was born to die for you that you might have life. The message of salvation has been preached for two thousand years, and a majority of Americans call themselves Christians. If we want the title of Christian then it comes with a commitment to make Jesus lord of your life, if you have, then Jesus owns you. Many people rebel at the idea of anyone owning them. This is a different type of ownership, not one where a taskmaster dominates with a fist of iron, but one who secures you out of love and tender mercies. To be owned by Jesus and live your life in the hands of God is the most secure position in the world. It is written in 1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. To accept Jesus as your Savior will cost you nothing, but it means you will submit to God as ruler over all. Too often we evaluate Jesus by looking at other Christians. He has been rejected by many because Christians have hurt one another, had holy wars, lied, cheated, and done many ungodly things in the name of Christianity. We must make our total focus God and the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, not man. You may think you are free and owned by no one, but in reality you are either Christ’s or you are a slave to the enemy, Satan. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Don’t wait, today is the day of salvation. If you are tired of trying to take care of yourself, and the world seems empty, give your heart to Jesus. It will be the best decision you have ever made. When His light enters you heart be determined to be lead by that light. When Jesus becomes Lord of your life the darkness will no longer seem so dark and the light will give you the strength to make it through this world. Judy Onofri
Merry Christmas!
God bless you,

Sunday, December 16th
 Hebrews 9:26
He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
We celebrate Christmas with the knowledge that a special sign was given to man showing that God loves and cares about us deeply. Incarnation brought God into this world through His Son in the form of a human body to save man. This appearance of Jesus was at the end of the ages. This should hold special significance for us for we live in a time where prophesy is fulfilled and knowledge is revealed in an ever increasing flow to the church. When the Light came men did not comprehend it but now it has been openly revealed to God’s people with amazing clarity these last days. Jesus is coming! The significance of God with us depicted in the manger is not diminished, but our focus should not be on the beginning but where we stand at the end. The world is worried about a fiscal cliff when it should be preparing for the return of Jesus. For the unsaved a spiritual cliff is very real and millions will fall off into eternal damnation, separation from God. But thankfully the good news will go forth in churches everywhere during the Christmas season. Many who have wandered from their foundational beliefs will hear the message of hope and eternal life and turn back. Others have come to the end of them self and will finally be willing to listen and hear the message of the cross. Jesus has appeared to put away sin and open the door wide to all who believe in His name and want to know the truth. We must never lose hope no matter what is happening in the world. The signs are everywhere that we should look up for we are standing at the edge of eternity when the world as we know it will no longer be. Philippians 3:20 tells us our citizenship is in heaven from which we eagerly wait for the Lord Jesus Christ. This world should never become so comfortable you are not looking for Jesus to return. As in the days of Noah people did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so will be the second coming of Christ. For Christmas share Jesus with someone who does not know Him, we never know when it will be too late.

Sunday, December 9th
Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected by men. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
 The baby born in Bethlehem is easy to love and endear to our hearts. The story long ago of a young unwed mother with child, spoken to by an angel, who gives birth in a sable, and eventually flees her homeland with husband and baby, evokes all the drama of an exciting movie. But the baby grown as the Son of Man and Son of God, a Savior to the world, seems hard to accept for those who rely heavily on their own efforts and modern technology to solve their problems. Jesus as a living sacrifice is not realistic to those who have evolved to a level where reason takes precedence over spiritual matters. Even in Jesus’ time the Jews would not accept this man, the son of a carpenter, as their Messiah. Miracles, compassion, love, and a new covenant was not what they were looking for so they despised and rejected Him. What are you looking for? Someone who can magically deliver you from all your problems? Children love to believe in Satan Clause for the answers to fulfill their dreams. Many grownups look for the same idea of a gift wrapped solution for the problems in their life. God provided all the answers we will ever need through His Son. Thomas refused to believe Jesus was the Messiah without seeing the nail prints and pierced side. If you are waiting to see Jesus before you believe it will be too late, He will not be your Savior He will be your judge. What Christians have can only come by faith and it is not even our own, it is a gift from God. What many deemed as weakness in Jesus before His accusers was really strength that few men ever possess. Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified for you out of sheer love and obedience to God. It was not a baby on that cross, it was a man in the prime of life that was willing to die for you. This year give yourself the greatest gift you will ever receive, a gift of eternal life. It is a very simple process that will cost you nothing. Being born again is looking to God, recognizing you are a sinner, and you need a Savior. God gives you the faith to believe in your heart what seems impossible to your head. When you receive Jesus a miracle takes place in your heart. You are no longer who you were; you become a new creation in Christ. You are God’s very own child. The problems of this world will not end but now you have an advocate who will lead and guide you through this world. And the peace that is utterly missing in this world can now be yours as you begin a lifetime journey to know and love the one who was born to die for you.  
Sunday, December 2nd
Matthew 2:9, 10
When they heard the king, they (the wise men) departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Christ was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly great joy.
 For the wise men the star that appeared to them was a sign of something wonderful. They were willing to travel a great distance to find the King of the Jews that they might worship Him. These wise men knew that this was no ordinary king. This king had been given a sign in the heavens from God. Is there something about Christmas that causes you to rejoice exceedingly? Is there a sign that fills your heart with joy knowing that Immanuel, God with us, was the greatest gift ever given? If we look around at the stores and decorations we see little that would tell someone that a Savior was born to give hope of eternal life. Believers should be filled with joy and show their faith before those who see nothing but hard times, broken marriages, strained family relationships and sickness. Christians rejoice everywhere celebrating the birth of Jesus, but it needs to be something tangible to touch the heart of the lost. It is a time of the year we can shine for Jesus because even those who do not believe get in the spirit of giving and recognize this is special time of the year. In whatever way, small or big, help others to see the Jesus you cherish so much. Words cost nothing but are powerful in lifting someone up that has had a bad day. Look for ways to help people from a compliment, to helping unload a grocery cart, to donating to all the wonderful charities that ring their bells or collect toys for families who cannot afford such things this year. Listen to what people are saying they usually will mention what they are in need of. Help someone out with food, clothes, a gift certificate to a local retailer or market, there are many things we take for granted that others cannot afford.  Christians should be the best givers in the world in word and deed. Let people know that God cares about them by saying God bless you, or send a note that says Jesus loves you. Your kindness may allow the birth of Jesus in the heart of someone God is trying to reach.
Sunday, November 25th
Hebrews 1:1-3
God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged out sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
 As we enter the Christmas season churches everywhere share the story of Emmanuel, God with us.  God in flesh fulfilled prophesy through Jesus who became man. We cannot show anyone what God looks like but we have Jesus to draw upon limitlessly and see the true heart of God. The prophets spoke God’s words for thousands of years, often on deaf ears. Now God speaks to us through His Son. God’s plan of salvation for the world was done through a unique creation of man and God.  The man Jesus Christ, born of flesh and blood had a human body. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure, making Jesus the only man who could function in this world without sin.  Jesus was the brightness of God’s glory, all the love and goodness that was in God was in Jesus. Jesus was the express image of God in a man. Everything Jesus said or did glorified God and opens our eyes, ears, and heart to the truth about who God is. Jesus was such a perfect representation of God we can do nothing but praise God for His perfect plan to redeem man and teach us through Jesus. It is also written in this scripture that Jesus upheld all things by the word of His power. God’s power is in His word. What we have, who we are, and where we are going are all in God’s word. What God speaks is what happens whether we believe it or not. That is why Jesus, the Word, became flesh; and it is the name above all names we use in prayer. We have the opportunity to read, believe, study, learn and speak God’s word in our own life, thus releasing the power of the Word to change who we are and receive eternal life through the Word. Think on what it meant for God to become man and how important that gift is to us. The world gets lost in what has nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas. The truth is no one will ever know God except through His Son, Jesus Christ.
November 11, 2012
1 Peter 2:13
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Our nation has completed the election process as governed by our country. Whatever your feelings were towards the candidates it is not our decision whom we will obey or not. The Bible states clearly in Romans 13:1, There is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. The message is that rulers are not a threat to those who live godly lives and seek righteousness and peace through the kingdom of God. Our final authority is God and obedience to Him, but if we do not respect authority that is seen we will never honor authority which is unseen. Christians are not to be like the world and tear down leaders or dignitaries. It makes a very poor witness if say you are a Christian yet you complain and backbite every politician you disagree with. God is able to fulfill His plan no matter who is in office. We as Christians are given a great opportunity to do good no matter what a person’s beliefs are. The work of the Lord is done in everyday life by Christians who see the need of a neighbor or someone at work, and lend a helping hand to ease their burden. Those who look to government to solve their problems will usually be disappointed. Our king is Jesus, and His commandment is to love one another. Love and obedience to God was why Jesus died. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 that we are to pray for kings and all who are in authority. What power we have in our prayers! We can change the world on our knees by praying for wisdom for our leaders. We can pray for godly men and women to surround our leaders with wise counsel. Your vote was registered once by people, but your prayers can be heard in heaven day after day by One who has power to change the world. Your allegiance, your love, and your heart should be God’s, four years from now God will still reign, He is eternal, and He will not change.
November 4, 2012
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest you hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
 Peter’s letter was to the Jewish believers who had been exiled and persecuted because of their faith. Peter wanted the believers to be strengthened in their mind resting in the knowledge that Jesus had provided grace for all they were going through. This wonderful grace is understood and manifested through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Grace was given to all men apart from their deeds or actions, but we need a revelation of who Jesus is in our heart so we can receive this grace and walk in it. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior then God and His Son must take first priority in your life. This does not happen one time when you give you life to Jesus, it is a daily occurrence as you deny yourself and pick up your cross (God’s will for you today) and follow Jesus. The believers Peter wrote to were being physically persecuted. We suffer a different kind of persecution. The world and its system places demands on us every day. Satan’s goal is to get you to compromise your faith a little bit at a time by being too busy, too tired, and over committed. Being a Christian is a lifestyle. If you live a long life on this earth Satan has plenty of time to deceive you and get your priorities out of whack so you will draw away from God. Are you as passionate or even more in love with Jesus than when you first got saved? Have you grown in the word so that people see Christ in you by your words, actions and priorities? We are told to examine our self. If God is not first in your life go back to where your first love was so you can renew and rededicate your life to God. Nothing you have or do in this world is more important than Jesus. Jesus said narrow is the way and difficult is the path and few find it, He is warning us that all who have called on the name of the Lord are not His. A good way to measure how active your faith is would be to consider if you stay home from church would anyone notice? You are the body of Christ your help is needed every day and the time is short. Make each day count for Jesus and the kingdom of God.

October 28, 2012
Proverbs 11:23
The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
 What are the characteristics of a righteous person? The righteousness under the law was a limited type of righteousness because sacrifices had to be made each year. The righteousness of Jesus is complete and eternal to all who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Abraham became righteous by believing God and we do the same by believing Jesus and accepting His righteousness. By receiving Jesus we become dead to sin and alive unto righteousness. Sin is no longer appealing or attractive because it is the opposite of what was created inside of us. Our spirit man knows God and is righteous but our soul (the mind, the will and the emotions) will still have desires that must be brought in line with the word of God. The desire to be perfect is in us and we walk out that goodness by reading, studying and living the word of God. You will not become more righteous because your righteousness is not your own; it is a result of salvation. But walking in righteousness will be a choice each day. Many things are accepted in this world that are not accepted by God. You may believe each person has a right to do what they want, which is true, but if you have proclaimed you are a Christian you no longer have the luxury of doing whatever pleases you. You now want to please God. A righteous person is going to be someone you can always count on. What they say is what they are going to do. A righteous person is not going to lie, they understand that God’s word created heaven and earth and that what comes out of their mouth must be true or it will affect their faith. A righteous person will swear to their own hurt. Even if it costs you something you will not compromise your word or God’s word. A righteous person will defer to others and attempt to keep the peace. Strife is not from God. Wisdom will guide the righteous person because the word of God lives in them and through them. We may not all be there yet, but if you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus then you desire only good and you are changing day by day.
October 20, 2012
Romans 6:4
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Have you ever wondered why some churches do water baptism by full immersion in the water? Paul speaks of baptism as identifying with Jesus’ death and resurrection. If you are saved then you were saved by faith through grace. Your faith is founded upon the word of God and believing that Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus represented God on earth and what He did had God’s full approval. Your faith began on the inside and is manifested outward through another act of faith and obedience by water baptism. When a person goes beneath the surface of the water he is saying no longer do I live but the righteousness in Christ is now who I am. I am dead to sin and resurrected to a new life in Christ. Is it necessary to be fully submerged? When you read the Bible you will see that Jesus was the perfect example of obedience to God in Matthew 3:15-17. Jesus went down under the water and immediately came up, and then the Spirit of God descended upon Him. If Jesus was sinless why was He baptized into John’s baptism of repentance? Jesus did it to fulfill all righteousness and we are to do the same. In 1 Peter 3:20, 21 Peter talks about a type of baptism that saved Noah and his family in the ark through water. In verse 21 of the New King James Bible it is written, There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Greek definition of antitype is a corresponding action that is done instead of what is already known. So our baptism, unlike Noah’s which was above the water, is now done through immersion below the water. What God instituted through Jesus should not be altered. When we obey the Bible we have a good conscience before God. After Jesus had been water baptized God spoke and said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. If it pleased the Father that Jesus was baptized how can we do anything less than obey the word of God in the same manner?
October 14, 2012
Psalm 34:1
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 If you are going through a serious problem read Psalm 34 and rejoice in God’s deliverance from the pitfalls in life. David begins the psalm with words of praise and thanksgiving. We honor God when we praise and give Him glory for who He is before our requests come pouring out of our mouth. God is always bigger than our problems and it is important to recognize that. We often forget His blessings in our life and focus on the problems. For some it will take a conscious effort to look around and consider what you are thankful to God for. If you are saved that alone is a treasure beyond all compare. You have Jesus living inside of you and you have the hope that is laid up in heaven of eternal life. This life is short lived, wonderful for some, average for many, and tragic for far too many. Praising God will lift you up out of your circumstances and fill you with trust and confidence. The burden you carry does not have to be yours alone. Roll your burdens and cares over on Jesus; He has already born all the hardships this world can or will produce. Jesus paid the highest price ever to give the church power to be victorious no matter what happens in life. In Psalm 34:4 David wrote I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears. Is there something going on in your life that is gripping you in fear? Begin to praise God, magnify the Lord and exalt His name (Psalm 34:3). When you praise God He becomes bigger and bigger in your sight, and your problems become smaller and smaller. God’s promises are real and full of power compared to the devil’s threats. Fear is the negative perception of what might happen. Faith is the belief and knowledge that God is bigger than your problem. God’s word is the truth, but it is requires that you act on it, instead of talking your problem start praising God. It does not mean you are sticking your head in the sand, it is knowing for certain who God is and the belief that what He said, He will do. God cannot go back on His word, if by faith we confess and believe God’s word it will change everything about us and how we go through life.

October 6, 2012
Isaiah 32:17
The work of righteousness will be peace. And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. When we allow righteousness to work in us we become a changed person. Isaiah 32:15 says the wilderness will be fruitful when the Holy Spirit is poured upon us from on high. Our world is a wilderness that will only be productive when the righteousness of God flows out of His children by the Holy Spirit. On our own we overcome very little in life. We work hard to change our self and the people around us with little results to show. When righteousness is cultivated through the word of God, your circumstances will no longer be in control, you will be. Yielding to righteousness will produce a peace that will permeate your being and touch those around you. Your talk and actions will become quiet and reserved because the pressure and problems of life will not be able to penetrate the core of your being or your soul. The world is craving peace but they don’t know how to get it. It’s unfortunate that we do not see the work of righteousness in our leaders as they strive to gain the confidence of the people. Accusations, criticism, verbal warfare, and emotional opinions do not come from a heart of peace. Peace comes from knowing who God is and putting His will above your own. Our country will not change because of who is elected president. Our country will change when Christians will humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways, and seek God’s face. Knowing the issues that face our country is important. Praying for our leaders, the military, and our country is important. But we must be mindful that Jesus said in Luke 16:15 What is highly esteemed among men is a abomination in the sight of God. Know what God values above all else. God’s righteousness reflected in us is important and will allow you to go through the chaos of this world with assurance that God is in control. Eternal life is your destiny which allows you to have joy in the face of adversity. Peace is found in God’s righteousness and reigns in His kingdom. Its effects are desperately needed in this world; we have been called to be the mirror to reflect the work of righteousness to others.

Sunday, September 23rd
2 Timothy 3:16, 17
All scripture has been given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The word of God is one of the most valuable gifts given to man by God. The word shows us who God is, and it opens our hearts and minds to God’s amazing grace. Memorizing scripture is important, but it is also important to understand the context of the scripture, know to whom it was written to, and what application there is for your life. God’s word as doctrine teaches us how to live. It is through the word that God predominately speaks to us. By the word we can know God better, learn what pleases Him, and lead a holy sanctified life. The Bible is not an accident written by men who made a decision to put the Bible together. In 2 Peter 1:21 it tells us scripture came by holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Being lead by the Holy Spirit is imperative to understanding the Bible and it is the basis for knowing God, for God is a Spirit. Scripture can also be used for reproof. When people are out of line in the church it is God’s word that should be used to reprove or correct that person. Trust your leadership to do the correcting. God’s word is valuable for correction and guiding our lives. When you are in the word daily you will receive correction as needed so you can make adjustments in any area of your life if you are missing the mark. Many Christians try to know God through their pastor, you cannot do that. You must have your own personal relationship with God as you would with any person you love. Also, church attendance is vital to help you grown but it is not enough, you must study the word yourself. Sermons, worship, and fellowship will be much richer when you know the word, live the word, speak the word and obey the word. God wants your relationship with Him to be based on the truth. The word is truth; it will help you make changes as you grow. If you have a teachable heart when you receive correction you will be thankful and filled with joy that God wants to personally help you as He speaks to you through His word.
Sunday, September 16th
Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of the things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Noah took God’s word seriously. Noah was asked to do something that seemed absolutely impossible, build an ark to save his family and the creatures of planet earth. We too have been divinely warned that this world is on a collision course with God. A Day is coming like no other day in the history of the world when Jesus will return and be glorified in His saints and admired among all those who believe. But to those who do not believe the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8,10). If we believe the Bible and are wise, we like Noah, will move with godly fear and prepare an ark for our family. How do we do that? First, we must live the Bible in front of our loved ones. We can only do that if we are studying the word daily, and praying for understanding. Then we must walk in the light of what has been revealed to us. Second, we must put God first in all things. When we miss church, Bible class, and other church activities we send a message that God is not as important as our worldly commitments. The lost are not reading the Bible, but they are reading you. You speak volumes with what comes out of your mouth and especially with what you do. If God is first in your life people will see it, and if what you have is real many will be drawn to it. Next, your faith must be solid; you cannot waver in what you say you believe, and what you do. This can be difficult because like Noah when you walk the walk many will condemn you as radical. That’s okay because the world condemned Jesus. The truth is going to hurt when people are on the road to destruction. Noah took God at His word and became the heir of righteousness while those around him thought him a fool. When your faith is in God alone you will be crazy for Jesus and that will change your life, your loved ones, and the people you come in contact with in this world

Sunday, September 9th
Philippians 1:27
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he is adamant that the body of Christ should be of one mind. Without unity in the church there is confusion which leads to strife. In a day and age when people think their opinion and ideas are equal to everyone else’s we find the church struggling to complete its mission. Many people think their way is the right way without being lead by the Holy Spirt. In Philippians 2:3 Paul writes, Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Is this the way you conduct yourself in the church and to those on the outside? Or do you think you have a right to state your mind no matter what? To be a Christian means to lose your identity and conform to the image of Christ. Jesus always conducted Himself in righteousness while fulfilling all commands of the law and statutes. How we act and behave as a Christian reflects on Jesus. Dying to self is one of the hardest things to do for most people. Jesus never backed down on the word but spoke the truth because He loved man. We can also speak the truth but if it must be done in love or it will alienate instead of draw someone closer to Jesus. In Paul’s day the world was hearing about these Christians and they were turning the world upside down. That is what we want to do, too. Paul told the Philippians their conduct was to be worthy of the gospel, standing fast in one spirit, with one mind. Each member of a church should be committed to learning the Bible, attending Bible class, and above all coming under the authority and supporting the leadership in their church. Unity will only happen when people are willing to lay aside their own opinions and stand on the foundational principles set in the Bible. The bottom line is we want people to get saved and that will only happen by the grace of God and our willingness to empty ourselves out and be of one mind in the Holy Spirit. People are looking for the truth but they are also looking at us, they should see Jesus.
Sunday, September 2
Leviticus 23:22
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, or shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger; I am the Lord your God.
What was God’s plan for Israel to help the poor and stranger in Biblical times? When the harvest was gathered the command was given not to take the entire crop but deliberately leave some for the poor and stranger. Israel had no welfare or government programs but God made provision that those who were able to work would be able to find food for their families. God has a plan for everything and it is usually much better than what man creates. In Proverbs 19:17 it is written He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given. God is very interested in what we do with our blessings and how we treat others. Right now there are many people going through hard times, all we need to do is look around. God gives us discernment and wisdom in giving and we should be sensitive to His guidance. If you are in a situation where you are not sure about whom or what to give talk to your pastor. God has anointed him to give wise counsel. Christians are not to become weary in well doing, they are to be filled with compassion and maintain good works. As James wrote in James 2:15, 16 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? A prayer when a physical need is present does no good if you have the means to help your brother or sister. Also, blessing people often opens the door to those who do not know Jesus for spiritual guidance. Once a person finds relief for a physical burden they may receive what is most needed, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spiritually, the poor are those who do not know Jesus, and the stranger is he that is alienated from God. The time, the effort, and the money, will never be lost if you are doing God’s will. You will be repaid above and beyond anything you could have imagined when you lend to the Lord.
Sunday, August 26th
Hebrews 10:24, 25And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
 The Day is approaching, Jesus will return soon for His church. We have been blessed with the Bible to know what to expect in the last days as described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. What are we to do? Look around you in the church and wherever the body of Christ is and be sensitive to the difficulties people are going through. As Jesus was, so are we to be, compassionate, loving one another, and encouraging one another. Satan would like nothing better than to stir up strife among the brethren. God is telling us to do the opposite, consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. In Proverbs 13:10 it is written Only by pride comes contention. We must put aside our own self interest, our own ego and come together in unity. When you have been offended by a brother or sister examine it in the light of what Jesus silently bore for you. No matter what happened, there is no comparison of own difficulty to His. Some people stop coming to church because of an offense. Who do you think is behind your making a decision to stop going to church, God or the devil? Many Christians find staying at home and watching Christian television a substitute for actively participating in a church. If you are saved you are part of the body of Christ and you have a purpose to fulfill in the church. If we can’t get along in the church family how do we expect to draw others to Jesus? It will only be by the God kind of love for one another that we will impress those in the world. We are to love God, love one another, and have compassion for those on the outside. God is well pleased with those who seek peace and are willing to go the extra mile, or 10 miles if needed, to keep strife out of the body of Christ. Don’t look to the other person, you make the decision to hold fast to the doctrine of Jesus Christ and walk in love. Jesus is returning with His reward in His hand for those who were willing to endure and hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 12th
Hebrews 12:1
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Those who have participated in the Olympics have been cheered on by thousands of spectators, family, friends, and millions of viewers at home. Support is important for every individual. As a Christian it is possible to feel you stand alone in your workplace or family, having no one with like faith. But there are many, many Christians that have gone on before us who suffered far more than we do holding onto their faith, and trusting God even though they had not seen the promise of the coming Messiah. We may not see these saints but we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who know their suffering was worth it. Their good testimonies obtained though faith are written for us, to encourage us, and cheer us on to victory. When watching the Olympic athletes compete one is aware of the commitment, dedication, and sacrifice each athlete made, and most of their families. Their goal is to perform at the highest level possible in their event. We too, are running a race though we may not see it. The believer is on a straight, narrow, and difficult path as they live for the Lord. Jesus told us there would be tribulation in the world so it should come as no surprise when we see what happens in the world. We cannot control other people, but there are some things that we can control in our life being watchful that Satan doesn’t ensnare us. Each Olympian medalist made a conscious effort to rid themselves of any weight that might hold them back from achieving their goal. As a Christian we must do the same. Whatever is in your life that dominates you and keeps you from your relationship with God, and fulfilling the call on your life, must be dealt with. Our race is to be ready at all times for God’s guidance, counsel (through the Word), wisdom and direction. Not one person has to be told what weights are in their life slowing them down for Jesus, they know. You must choose to lay them aside to win your race. The winners of the Olympics have a metal while here on this earth, but the believer will receive a crown of glory for all eternity.

Sunday, August 5th
1 Corinthians 11:28, 29
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
We remember the Lord’s death as we partake of the bread and the cup. The Corinthians however were coming together in an unruly fashion, eating and drinking not to the Lord, but to their own appetites. They had not discerned the Lord’s body and were suffering consequences. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to examine themselves as to what manner they were coming together, it was not to eat the Lord’s Supper. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:30 that many were weak and sick among them and many sleep (died prematurely). Eating in an unworthily manner was bringing judgment upon them. The body of Christ has a twofold application. First, Jesus’ body was broken that healing, wholeness, and soundness could be ours. Read Isaiah 53:4, 5, 1 Peter 2:24 and Matthew 8:17. The second representation of the body is recognizing that Jesus is the head and we are the body of Christ. The Bible tells us that we know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. How important do you think it is to God that you have love in your heart for the body of Christ and care passionately for the members individually? The Corinthians had divisions among themselves and were not caring or waiting on one another. Instead they were eating and getting drunk! Of course we don’t do that today, but we still must be careful to examine our hearts that we are discerning the Lord’s body. Do not let anger or bitterness creep into your heart over your brothers and sisters in Christ. God has put up with far more than we are often willing to. God cares passionately about Jesus and about the body of Christ. The price that Jesus paid was too high for any believer to casually take the cup and bread without a holy reverence of what they stand for. Prepare your heart to receive all that Jesus died for and give God the glory. Rejoice in what Jesus has done for you and let love and compassion pour out of your heart for one another as you discern the Lord’s body.
Sunday, July 29th
1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
We often attempt to do everything we think is right on our own and live up to God’s standards; we fail, and then wonder why. As we read the word we see what needs to change in our life then try to do it on own. That is not how God created us to be. We are a triune being, we have three distinct parts and it is imperative we understand that. Our spirit man is the most important part. When we are born again (John 3:3) the life and nature of God who is a Spirit comes into our own spirit giving us life where there was none. It is our spirit man that is our core or center of who we are. It is through our spirit that we must control our soul and body. The Holy Spirit indwells our spirit and that is how we receive instruction, revelation and understanding of who we are in Christ. If we try to control or change our life through our soul, which involves the intellect, the sensibilities, and the will, we run amiss and true change is unlikely. Then we are frustrated and want to give up thinking we can never change or rise to the level the Bible speaks of for believers. The most harmful thing we can do is rely on our soul to understand the things of God. God has given us His Holy Spirit to teach us in all truth and help us in every area of our life. In this verse Paul prays for the whole man to be set apart (sanctified) and states that it is Jesus who called you and He is faithful to guide you to where you should be. Because we do so much in this world on our own we try to apply the same practice to our life as a Christian. It doesn’t work. Believers are called to be separate, holy, and used by God for His kingdom. We need a prayer life that is as natural as breathing. Our focus is to be on God looking to Him to complete His plan through us in every area of our life. Our spirit must dominate us and become what we lean and rely on to accomplish all that we want for our own life and to help others. Your soul and body are important but your spirit is your guidance system, let it lead you and you will be complete and persevered blameless

Sunday, July 22nd
Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
God desires to keep life simple for us by giving us scripture that is clear in its intent. This verse tells us what God considers good. We are to be just in our dealings in life. To be just means being fair and honest in how we treat others. If we know God by His word and through the actions of Jesus, then we need to apply what we know to our life. It is not difficult to make the right choices if you desire to please God. It is only when we let our flesh rule that we have difficulty. Being just and being righteous are closely related. Righteousness is right standing with God which means choosing God’s way over whatever anyone else thinks or believes, including yourself. The world is going in one direction and the word of God will take you in the opposite direction. When you choose God’s way it appears you are giving up what this world thinks is valuable when in reality you are choosing riches that can never be purchased. God also desires us to love mercy. Mercy is what you want when you mess up and justice is what you want the other person to get if you have been wronged. Mercy may be painful at first but it shows a love of man from your heart. Justice is given out in civil court, but true justice comes from God. Someday when you are full of anger because you have been wronged, sit down and make a list of all that God has forgiven you is this life. Then consider whether you want mercy or justice from God for your mistakes. Be thankful God’s mercies are new each day and He is faithful to forgive us all our sins. Finally, we are told to walk humbly with our God. Humble does not mean to see yourself as unworthy. God see you as a valuable treasure so much so that He gave up His Son for you. God wants us to be thankful and filled with joy at the new life we have been given. We have been taken out of this world and set on a rock. We need not fear, but walk in total peace and assurance that our Father will lead and guide us through the pitfalls of this life. It is a quiet confidence and self-assurance of who we are that produces a humble heart and so endears us to God.

Sunday, July 15th
Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.
Hope is important; it provides a goal we can focus on. When we have hope we think something is possible and we look for a change to happen in our life. When we lose hope we are defeated. Whatever we have need of, a healing, a job, or a relationship mended, hope is the first step and should never be put off or given up on. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hope does not produce our miracle but it is a goal that we can release our faith to. We should be like a bulldog when it comes to hope, latch onto it and never let go. It is important to continue to hope no matter what the circumstance is. We should also be ready to give a good report even when nothing is happening or the situation appears worse. The world puts their hope in man, but the believer looks to God for their answer. Many people in the world are hoping to win the lottery believing all their problems will be solved. Paul finishes his first sentence in1 Timothy 1:1 with “the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope”. Our hope is not in the things of this world but in God and Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins that we might have eternal life, He also came to give us abundant life in this lifetime. We will never be disappointed if we put all our hope in Jesus and we are willing to do our part, too. God can, and will, do mighty works in people who put their trust in God and claim the promises of the Bible. Being in a position where we put all our hope, trust, and faith in God takes time. We must grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can expect great things from God, it is written He will do exceedingly, abundantly; above all we ask or think. Hope in God will create a desire that will grow and grow; it is a tree of life. That life comes from Jesus who created all things and who paid for all that you will ever need in this life. That hope will continue to produce fruit in your life to the end. Read the word of God daily and it will give substance to the things you hope for.
Sunday, June 17th
Psalm 46:1, 2
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear, even though the earth be removed.
The dictionary defines strength as the power of resisting force or stress, durability, impregnability, moral courage or power.  The type of strength we receive from God is not physical strength as much as an inner strength to endure and go through anything in this world knowing with confidence that God is with us and He will help us through to the end. Man admires strength in a sports figure such as a boxer or a long distance runner who endures a grueling course. God does not delight in the strength of the horse and takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 147:10). When we look to our own strength to get us through in this world we will manage most of the time. But everyone will come upon trials or situations that they cannot handle on their own. Those who have built their house on the rock and have built it stone by stone with the living word of God have the strength and guidance they need in time of trouble.  Those who have not may run to God and plead for His help.  God is merciful or we would all perish, but God expects His children to look to Him for strength each and every day in the small trials of life as well as the big life shaking problems.  Most of the time we have small problems that we handle, but God wants to be part of your whole life.  We need to be established with God and begin our day looking to Him for everything we do.  When we put our confidence in God and look to His strength then when the big trials of life come along we are not fearful but expectant of our God to honor His word and protect, guide, and lead us. God spoke to Paul about his trials in 2 Corinthians 12:9 and said ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’. We do not need to be strong on our own, in fact we are far better off knowing our weaknesses and boasting in them that the power of Christ may rest upon us. Paul was a chosen vessel and so are we. Stop trying to be independent and rest in the loving assurance of God’s strength in your life.

Sunday, June 10th
Ephesians 1:17
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
 You are not here by accident. If you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior you have a purpose and a destiny. When Jesus knocked on the door of your heart you were called and ordained by God as His child. You are a son or daughter who is highly valued and loved with tender mercy. We often look at our daily life and do not see the purpose or the plan that God has. We feel insignificant and small in a world that changes its priorities each week. But the life, the light, and the nature of God have transformed your inner being which is now full of potential and life changing ability. God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we can receive clear guidance and direction for each day. We must not look back or forward but trust God and focus on the present. Your priority is not your family, your job, or your life, it is Jesus. The question Paul asked Jesus on the road to Damascus was “Lord, what do you want me to do?”  We need to ask God the same question each day. God wants His Son to receive the glory due Him and it will come through the church. Jesus is the head of the church and we are performing God’s work in Christ. Jesus receives glory when we live our life through Him and for Him. Jesus is ready to flow through each person who has consecrated their life to God and allows the will of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to control their life. Keep pointing to Jesus in everything you do and you will find you are the richest person in the world. God is watching the saints, the body of Christ, to see if they are pushing forward with His kingdom. Are we willing to give up this life for the far richer life He offers? Take time to consider whether you are really doing what God wants, or are you doing what you want and hoping God will bless it. Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind, it is the spiritually blind that are in worse condition than those physically blind. If we know we are blind then we can receive healing to do the Master’s work. By living for God you are outwardly honoring Jesus and fulfilling the riches of His inheritance in the saints.

Sunday, June 3rd

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
 God is love, Jesus is love, and we are children born from perfect love. John says in 1 John 4:17 love has been perfected among us, and that as He is, so are we in this world. Love is the heart of Christianity. We are commanded to love God and love one another. God is Spirit and truth and to walk in love and be like God we must be born of the Spirit. When we yield to God’s Spirit through our spirit we have the direction we need to move through the world we live in.  God’s Word is wisdom and must be sought after above all that is in this world.  If we try to function on man’s wisdom and knowledge we will quickly get over into fear because we know how limited man is.  If we put our faith in a doctor or a treatment to be healed we may be disappointed.  If we trust our employer that our job is secure we may end up where our needs are not met.  God wants to meet our needs; He wants us to trust in Him alone by knowing Him, believing in what His word says, and obeying Him so we can have all that Jesus died for.    If we continually pour more into our head that is of this world you will most likely be a person who fears many things.  Satan is the god of this world.  You can expect nothing but fear, deception and lies from a system backed by a thief and liar (John 10:10). Fear is bondage and stops God’s flow of life into our being. Fear paralyzes our will and acts like poison to our body, creating havoc with our health. Fear can only be eliminated by our knowledge of God and through a close relationship with Him.  Jesus paid it all that we might live in freedom, walk in faith, and live an abundant life. Unplug yourself from this world and plug into the kingdom of God where His Word rules and is the key to accessing all we need in this life.  Fight doubt, fear and unbelief as the worst enemies you have.  Take time each day to fellowship with God through His Word, if you are intimate with the Word of God you are intimate with God. Pursue the love that God has and you will be made perfect in His love, and fear will have no power over you.

Sunday, May 27th
John 14:11
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
After Jesus ascended to heaven and was glorified, God did not leave the church orphans, He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit. In John 14: 17 Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” The Holy Spirit was with the disciples when Jesus was present and in the word Jesus was speaking. But the apostles did not have the Holy Spirit in them until the Day of Pentecost was fully come (Acts 2:1). The baptism of the Holy Spirit has been taught many ways depending on the denomination, and received by many believers according to what they are comfortable with. If a Christian wants to know the truth God will present it to them. What they do with the truth is up to the believer. Pilot had ‘The Truth’ standing in front of him (Jesus) and asked, what is truth? Satan has worked very hard to divide the church so that manmade doctrines take precedent over the word of God. Many Christians love God and His Son Jesus Christ, but they are not fulfilled and believe that the power displayed by the early church is not for today because it is too rarely seen in most churches. Many preachers have brought sensationalism into the body of Christ through television and other forms of media that leave doubt and unbelief in the mind of Christians. That is why God is a personal God. We are not to look to a variety of preachers and ministers to tell us what to believe we are to go to the source, the word of God, and ask God to teach us. But it is important you do not have a predetermined mindset and only read the Bible to confirm what you already believe. If you are looking to find fault or evidence for what you don’t want to believe, you will find it. Scripture can easily be twisted and used against the truth. If you are reading the Bible with a pure heart and really want to know the truth God will get the truth to you. Then a decision must be made that God’s revealed word is the final authority in your life, and be committed to obey it.
Sunday, May 20th
Nehemiah 8:8
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for who nothing is prepared: for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Israel had acted corruptly against God and had paid a high price. They had been taken into captivity to Babylon. When Nehemiah heard of the plight of the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem he mourned and turned to God through prayer and fasting. God answered Nehemiah by giving him favor with the king and allowing Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to help the Jews physically restore the walls, and spiritually through the word of God. The broken down walls around Jerusalem represented a far deeper problem for Israel, they were still far from God even though they were no longer in Babylon. When our outside world is in shambles too often it reflects where our heart is with God. In chapter eight of Nehemiah, Ezra the scribe, opens the book of the Law of God and reads to the people. They humble themselves by standing, bowing their heads, and worshipping the Lord with their faces to the ground. Ezra the scribe, Nehemiah the governor, and the Levities helped the people understand what was being read. The people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. The people now understood what God had spoken to their fathers and recognized how far they had moved away from the truth. With repentance comes sorrow but there is also great joy. Joy of knowing that God is merciful and desired that Israel be restored spiritually to Him and begin the life He had called them to. Their strength was not in their numbers or position in the world, their strength was in God alone. Many have fallen far from what God wants for His church. So many who call on the name of the Lord do not spend time in the word, attend Bible class or stand in honor and reverence of God spiritually and physically. When Israel acted like the world they got the same results as the world. The people of God should always be different, set apart and holy. Going to church, serving God, and growing in the word are all a joy. We do not rejoice in our own strength but in God who is our strength and redeemer. Sunday May 13th
John 14:27
Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Inner peace can be a gift that is worth far more than any worldly possession. Peace is something very few people seem to possess. It is very easy to focus on the negative rather than the positive. Satan does not want us to have peace. He wants us to be in turmoil, strife, and worry. It is easy to spend much of your day worrying about real or possible problems, from finances to safety for your family to health issues; there is no end to what can consume our thoughts. Jesus did not die so we would be bound by the turmoil of this world. There will always be problems, even when you think everything is fine you just really don’t know all that is going on. Negative thoughts and words steal our focus away from thinking and talking about Jesus. Jesus is the only real peace in this world. Peace won’t come from the absence of war or a life without problems. Peace comes from knowing and trusting Jesus as your Savior and God as the Father who loves you. You will have to make a deliberate effort to have peace. You must cast down every imagination that you know is not from God and replace that thought with scripture and thoughts about how much God loves you. As it is written in 1 Peter 5:7, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. We cannot force people to love Jesus or want to hear the word of God, but if you walk in peace when the storms of life come people will notice and desire what you have. If Christians live and act like the world what are you offering someone to be saved? Yes, going to heaven instead of hell is paramount to anything else, but Jesus died to give us much more than we seem realize. Jesus died so we could live a life above what the world lives in. Walking in the peace that Jesus gave frees us from the bondages of Satan and gives us a confident assurance that our help comes from the Lord. Jesus is the answer to all our problems but you must see Him as your deliverer and rest in the knowledge that He will see you through no matter what happens in this lifetime.
Sunday, May 6th
Genesis 17:1
I am the Almighty God walk before me and be thou perfect.
God desires we walk before Him perfect. How do we do that? The growth process of a Christian’s life should be the immersion of self with Jesus. Spirit, soul, and body become one with God as we become Christlike. Man’s idea of being perfect is through outward actions, words, and thoughts. Those come from the flesh which on our own are not easily controlled. God knows if we will seek Him and desire what He desires we will become the perfect man He sees within each of us. It begins when we are born of the Spirit and become alive with the life of God. We confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead. From there we surrender all and make Jesus Lord of our life. We need to be conscious that God is in us and with us at all times. If you had someone walking next to you, you would talk to them often and be aware of their needs. When we are conscious of God’s presence in our life and live our life through Him we will walk perfect before God. Being perfect is not doing as man thinks it is being or existing in Christ that makes us perfect. If we try to do perfect things without the heart and mindset of God we will fail and be a miserable Christian. A Christian can move effortlessly through this life if they surrendered all to God and allow His presence to completely fill their being. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 “It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me.” Paul immediately changed his focus when he was aware of who Jesus was on the road to Damascus, Paul asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” Paul knew that what Jesus wanted was far more important than his own thoughts or ideas. Have you asked the Lord what He wants you to do today? Most likely you have your day planned without praying to God for His direction for the day. The kingdom of God works by an army of volunteers that look to their Master for orders. We are called to serve and fulfill God’s plans not our own. When we do we will be content and full of joy thus fulfilling our destiny. Being perfect in God’s sight is possible when He becomes your life.

Sunday, April 28th
Ehesians 4:32
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
God has given us two commandments to follow, love God and love your neighbor as yourself. When we walk in love we will do no harm to anyone. What God has given us to do is very simple, yet we find it difficult to follow. Why is that? Too often we are controlled by our flesh, that is our emotions, and get angry with people. When we give place to anger we entertain thoughts that are not godly and may hold a grudge against someone even though we know we shouldn’t. You can justify your unforgiveness because others agree how badly you were wronged, but Christianity is different. We don’t seek vengeance we turn the pain, suffering, hurt, or damage over to God. Our flesh doesn’t want anyone to get away with anything. But if you trust God you can lay the matter down and believe God to help you handle the hurt and pain. God knows all the circumstances in every case and His justice is far better than our own. We may not like that God is a god of mercy, remember Jonah with Nineveh; Jonah did not want God to be merciful to them because he didn’t like the Ninevites. It is more important that you are obedient to God than to be right. Man can harbor unforgiveness in his heart a very long time and not realize how much he is hurting himself and his relationship with God. Jonah took the hard road before he listened to God. We have the Bible and know what we are to do. God will not force you to forgive, but He knows how important it is to your life and even your health. You can walk in the spirit or let your flesh rule. The flesh will bring you down and the spirit will raise you up, it is your choice. If you have a problem forgiving someone, ask God to help you and every time you think of that person say “Thank you God I have forgiven them.” When you are willing to allow the love of God that is shed abroad in your heart to overflow in the world you will find the same love being poured back to you. Pray for those who spitefully use you and trust God for what happens in other people’s life. We are the body of Christ and called to show God’s love to a world that has seen great violence and too little love.

Sunday, April 22nd 2012
Hebrews 2:14, 15
…that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Without Jesus death will always keep you in bondage and fear.
If there were a door marked death and you had to open that door and go through it how confident would you be about what was on the other side? We typically fear the unknown especially if it has to do with death. When the doctor says the word cancer many people are overcome with fear and often despair if it is a serious cancer or other life threatening disease. Anything that attacks our body is not of God. God is life; sickness is death trying to attach itself to you. Jesus conquered death for us. Man fears physical death, pain, and suffering most of all. The true death that should be feared is death that brings separation from God. That is the death for those who do not know God and have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Death is not to be feared for the Christian, we have the gift of eternal life. Those who are born again (John 3:3) have a personal relationship with God through Jesus and have found true love. A believer can face death full of joyous expectation because the lover of their soul, Jesus Christ, is waiting for them. People often wonder why they were created; they see no purpose for their life. We were created for God’s pleasure and in Him we live and move and have our being. When you find Jesus you begin to see the big picture of creation and what your destiny is on this earth. Unfortunately, people look to this world for happiness and purpose but they never find it. The things of this world oppose God. When you find Jesus the pursuit ends and you now can begin the life you were created for. As a Christian you have been given the gift of eternal life, the most precious gift there is. One day when you walk through that door marked death the joy that will overtake you is unimaginable because your best friend, Jesus Christ, is there to greet you. We have been set free from this world of bondage where death reigns and can live a life hidden in Christ, knowing that our future is secure and this world has no hold over us
Sunday, April 15th 2012
Psalm 128:1-4
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, in the very heart of your house. Your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be who fears the Lord.
What are the biggest problems in life for most people? Strife in the home, broken marriages, rebellious children, debt, out of work, foreclosure on a home? Man has a need for peace in his soul and that peace begins in the home. God knew this and gave us the means to achieve it. To fear God means we recognize and honor God for who He is. Those who desire the blessings of God heed His word and walk in the truth. When someone fears God they have put God at the center of their life and they desire to please Him. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God has said if you obey Me and keep My commandments then it will be well with you. People who fear God want to know God, that begins by reading the Bible and spending time with God. Going to church once a week is not enough, being a Christian is a lifestyle, you live it twenty four hours a day. It is who you are. It affects what you say, what you do, and how you act. This Psalm is filled with promises to those who fear the Lord. When you work you will be satisfied with the labor of your hands, and you will be happy that you can provide for your family. Too many people have complained about the job they have, who the boss is, and how much they are paid. God tells us to be satisfied with our wages. If you need more, talk to God about it, don’t complain to others. Be positive instead of negative no matter what your situation is, it could be worse, but even more important you are indirectly blaming God that you don’t have enough. God wants your home to be a safe refuge, filled with the love of a good marriage and family. Children need to see their parents fear God, and know their parents are using the Bible to train them in the way they should go. What we need and want to be happy begins on the inside and that stems from our relationship with God, then it will flow into our home
Sunday, April 8th 2012
John 11:25
Jesus said to (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live.
He is risen! Praise God! When Lazarus was dead four days Jesus was already proclaiming who and what He was. Jesus said to Martha, I am the resurrection, meaning she did not have to wait, she had the resurrection life standing in front of her, she only needed to see that and believe. Who Jesus was brought mortal life to Lazarus’ dead body. Jesus spoke only a few words, “Lazarus, come forth,” and Lazarus was alive again. All people living are alive in their flesh, but that is not the true life. In fact the bodies we now live in are not capable of living in heaven and we will receive a new incorruptible body. When Jesus rose from the dead He gave eternal life to those who believe in Him. Our spirit man, the new man on the inside is made alive when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Death of our mortal flesh is not to be feared if you are Christ’s. We have been resurrected, right now, into a new life as part of the body of Christ. The life we now live is for Him. Our mortal flesh is not saved and undergoes a change as God’s Word transforms our thinking. When we think right we will act right. Upon receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost the disciples were changed from a fearful group of men into leaders and founding fathers of the church, they were ready to change the world. Just as the disciples were called, you were born for such a time as this. A time when few people honor and revere God in our world. It is time to wake up from our relaxed posture and share the truth of Jesus Christ with others. Only Jesus saves. If you know someone who is not Christ centered begin a concerted effort toward winning that one person. Start with prayer then move as the Holy Spirit leads you. If we want to glorify God for what Jesus has done what better way than to do God’s will and reach out to others with Jesus. We all want to change this world and it will be done by saving one soul at a time. It will take love, time, and patience to change many who have hardened their hearts. Make this Easter one of new beginnings by asking God who He has for you to share the good news about the resurrected Lord Jesus.
, April 1st 2012

1 Corinthians 15: 45, 46
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
Easter brings us the joy of a resurrected Christ who spoiled principalities and powers and triumphed over all the works of the enemy. By His death on the cross Jesus provided man with the opportunity to become a new creation through the atonement of His life giving blood.  Adam, made in God’s image, was a living, breathing soul he was not a spirit being as God is.  The natural man fell into sin and was unable to understand God’s thoughts and desires, and man was incapable of living up to the standard that God required. God knew all this from the beginning and orchestrated a plan to be carried out that started with the first Adam and ended with the second Adam, Jesus Christ.  Over time God showed man that his righteousness was like filthy rags.  When man fell into wickedness only Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and was saved with his family.  Later, Abraham would fulfill God’s plan by believing the spoken word of God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Abraham’s faith was God’s ultimate goal for man, salvation by grace through faith in a Savior. Adam being born of the earth was an amazing creation but not the final creation God desired.  God wanted a man that would be filled with His Spirit and be delivered from the flesh, the devil, and the world.  The second Adam, Jesus Christ, was willing to take on a body, to be tempted in all things, and die a horrible death for all, even though many would never accept the precious, priceless sacrifice Jesus made. We so easily take for granted what Jesus did so we must remind our self each day and give God praise and glory for the gift of salvation. When we are truly thankful for what Jesus did we will live our life for Him.  Don’t let Easter become just a high point of recognizing what Jesus did for you.  Vow to be thankful everyday that Jesus is your Savior and you are now a spirit being molded and shaped into the image of Christ.  Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, only those born of the Spirit

Sunday, March 25

2 Kings 4:26
(Elisha to Gehazi) “Please run now to meet her, and say to the Shunemite Woman, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” And she answered, “It is well.”
It is rare for most people to call those things that be not as though they are when tragedy strikes. For the Shunemite Woman her son that she cherished so much was stricken and died on her lap. The Shunemite Women did not let her emotions take hold of her and fall apart.  This godly woman had recognized Elisha as a holy man of God and had prepared beforehand the miracle she would need one day by taking care of Elisha, and by believing that God was bigger than her circumstances. Too often we do not see God as bigger than our problem.  When we focus on the problem, talk about the problem, and continually think about the problem we make the mountain so big it overwhelms us and the devil deceives us into believing it can never be overcome. We limit God when we don’t focus on Him as the solution to our problem.  Everyone has problems in life that sometime seem insurmountable.  In our everyday life we are told to look to God to meet our needs.  We must know God as our source for small things before we will have faith and trust Him for the big things in our life.  If we go about our daily life and we are too busy to develop a close personal relationship with God through His word, and take time  to commune with Him, we will be bankrupt when a mountain looms in our life.  The Shunemite Woman put all her faith and trust in God.  Then she was able to do the unthinkable and told her husband and Elisha’s servant that it was well when in the natural her son was dead.  The Shunemite Woman was able to tap into the supernatural and push through to a miracle that brought her son back to life. Don’t wait until the big things in life bury you in a pit.  Begin saying it is well even when the small things in life are stressing you out.  Trust God that He has an answer to all your problems. God has provided everything you need through His Son Jesus Christ and has given us the power and guidance to seek the path that will bring about our miracle when it is needed.

Sunday, March 18 2012
Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews chapter eleven is a wonderful testimony of men and women who trusted and believed God resulting in amazing miracles and mighty feats. Faith is believing God’s word with confidence. Faith resides in our inner man, in our heart where our spirit is located.  Faith is not of the head. Thomas had head faith and could not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead without seeing and touching Him.  If you must see something to believe it, it is not Bible faith, and it will not please God. Faith believes God is who He says He is without seeing or knowing all the answers. Faith can see the future because it trusts God.  When you believe all your days are fashioned by God then you can enjoy one day at a time without fear or worry about what tomorrow holds. Faith can move mountains, because who you are trusting in is not a man; it is God who created all things.  The world we live in works by self effort, God’s kingdom works by faith.  God spoke faith and took what was in the unseen realm and produced what is now visible.  Can you do that?  If you are a believer, you can! God wants us to speak His word and by faith call those things that be not as though they are.  Faith honors God and God honors faith. God wants us to never lose hope no matter what the situation is but have faith in His kingdom, His Word, and who He is.  Our world and our universe is evidence that there is a God and He is good.  Everyone has a choice of whom and what they believe and focus their attention on.  A believer should avoid doubt and have faith in God.  Doubting usually means we are trusting in man’s ability not God’s. Unfortunately, we see little proof in many people’s lives that God is working through them.  We cannot have faith in God by what we see man do, but we can have total faith in what God’s word says and to the best of our ability live and speak in line with His word.  That will make you different from the world, but God’s people should be different.  When we operate in faith based on the Word of God we allow God to do the impossible through us, then we are blessed and He is glorified.

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
God is good to us, instead of trying to be righteous by the law He imputed righteousness to those who believe in Jesus. Abraham was the father of faith but it was Jesus who paid the price, thus fulfilling the law for all mankind that we might become righteous before God.  Man still falls into the trap believing that he is righteous based of what he does when in reality we can never be righteous on our own.  What we need to do is transform our mind by renewing it in the word of God, and understand that we become righteous by faith in what Jesus did. Then by believing in our heart that He is righteous we should confess it with our mouth.  That is how we got saved, (Romans 10:9, 10) and it doesn’t change as we live our life day to day. From the day you were saved until now you are to believe the word of God above your circumstances and above what the world considers righteous.  When we accept the gift of Jesus’ righteousness we can glory in Him and not in any of our own accomplishments. This is a good thing because Jesus never changes, but too often we do.  We are given the word so we can look in the mirror of liberty and change as we are led by the Holy Spirit. We cannot change on our own but we can change because of who we are in Christ. Just as the father of the prodigal son ran towards him when he came home God wants you in His kingdom more than you can imagine and has provided what is needed through His Son.  Stop trying to be good and become good because of who you are in Christ.  When you meet Jesus you can’t help but want to do what is right and be what God wants you to be.  God opens our eyes to what is really important and the world fades away.  The laws and rules you have tried so hard to follow and failed will no longer be a burden because God changes you from the inside out.  God loves you and is drawing you close, give up on yourself and having things your own way and live for Christ. The approval of this world pales in comparison to Christ in you the hope of glory.

Sunday, March 4th, 2012
Luke 10:41, 42
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
 Have you ever noticed that if you have a problem you get distracted worrying about that problem until it’s solved?  That is what happened to Martha, she could not concentrate on Jesus because at that moment serving a meal seemed important and needed to be done.  Have you ever noticed a person who is relaxed and enjoys the moment? They are not concerned about the minor details in life but enjoy life as it is happening.  Our personalities dictate a lot about how we react in any situation but they do not have to dominate our life.  Satan would like nothing better than for you to be too busy to listen to Jesus.  Salvation paved the way for us to have an intimate relationship with God, how would you rate yours?  Is God who you think about every chance you get?  Are you always looking for ways to spend time with Him or fellowship with others members of the body of Christ?  If you have given God a time slot in your life and have kept Him there chances are you don’t really know God, you are familiar with God.  We all have many acquaintances but those who are blessed have one or two intimate friends.  The friends are the ones we are always glad to see and talk to. They are the ones we look forward to doing things with. That is how our relationship with God and His Son should be.  Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.  He wants to fellowship with you as much as you will let Him.  God is the father who wants to guide you as you go through this life with wisdom.  What Martha was doing was important but she failed to realize that Jesus was more important.  Every Christian must guard their time as something precious and give God the best part. The more time you spend with God and Jesus the more real they will be to you and the more you will walk in the light of the word. All the things in this life will be gone one day but the good part, the time spent with Jesus will never be taken from you.

Sunday, February 27, 2012
Matthew 8:2, 3
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
For most Christians there is no doubt in their mind that God can heal they just aren’t sure if He will heal them.  This is what the leper was saying to Jesus when he said Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.  Jesus removed any doubt for the leper and for all believers by saying I am willing; be cleansed.  When we view healing as only a possibility we neutralize our faith and what we desire may not happen.  It is impossible to pray the prayer of faith if we don’t know God’s will. God has provided healing for the church allowing us to pray knowing the provision has been made rather than petitioning God from a desperate need out of fear. Faith does not happen overnight for every area of our life.  It is God who gave us the faith to get saved, but now we are called to grow and learn through the Word who our Father is and what is ours as His children. We must spend time in the word and find scripture to plant in our heart so when a day of need comes we have a harvest to reap from.  As our relationship with God grows we honor, reverence and value who God is through worship. The leper came to Jesus and worshiped Him.  Worshiping God and Jesus should be the very essence of a believer’s life.  Worship comes from a heart of thankfulness.  We must fix our eyes on all that is good in our life and magnify those things rather than what is difficult or negative. No matter what your situation is in life you can find something to be thankful for and begin thanking God for it.  When we have an attitude of gratitude our relationship with God will be much fuller and we will be happier.  Thanking God for all that is good will produce a deep trust and conviction that God is faithful and He will do what He says.  Jesus came that we might know what God is like.  When Jesus said I am willing then you can know with absolute certainty that it is God’s will to heal you. In Acts 10:34 Peter said, In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.  What God does for one He will do for all who believe and receive by faith.
Sunday, February 19th, 2012
Romans 6:21, 22
What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
 God is interested in increase.  Every living thing God created has a seed within itself to yield according to its kind (Genesis 1:11). Man also produces fruit. The fruit we produce is important to God whether it is the procreation of man or the fruit of our labor or even our words.  Before man was saved what he produced did not glorify God.  As Paul said we have been set free from sin and its bondages to become a slave of God to righteousness.  For some reason this seems impossible to most people because they know their human nature which gets them into trouble too often.  If we are born of the Spirit then our old man is dead, the man with the sin nature.  Think about it, do you really want to sin? No, you don’t!  Each day we start off with the best intentions of doing everything right, then something comes along that pushes our button and off we go into the ditch.  That doesn’t mean you are not saved it just means you missed the mark of living up to what you know is the truth in the Bible.  God is just and forgives us from all unrighteousness.  We learn from our mistakes and we turn to God for help if there is a weak area in our life.  Don’t dwell on the one thing you did wrong when you have done so much right.  Jesus died for all our sins past, present, and future.  You are producing holiness, and you do have everlasting life if you gave your heart to Jesus and you are striving to obey God’s word in your daily life.  What many Christians lack is the inner peace and confidence that comes from the unshakeable belief that God loves them and cares about them. When you have peace you know God and you want what He wants.  We get caught up with too many details that we think are important when we have the gift of salvation that is more important and more precious than any other thing that exists in this world.  Satan likes to play mind games and beat you up, BUT God is saying well done My good and faithful servant.

Sunday, February 6th, 2012
Romans 6:3, 4
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Baptism begins with a decision to believe and hold to the doctrines of Jesus Christ.  Paul begins by using baptism as a total immersion into the beliefs and profession of the gospel.  If we choose to follow Jesus then it is imperative to be committed to the teachings of Jesus and not pick and choose what agrees with our own theology.  Paul says those who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death.  Jesus died that man who was separated from God through sin, might have the barrier of sin taken away and regain fellowship with God.  Salvation implies wholeness, a completeness that man can never obtain without Jesus.   Many Christians have accepted salvation and then live life as though they were on their own.  If you want to be baptized into Jesus’ death and all that it purchased you must become a disciple and learn all you can about the promises of God. As you grow you will change and you can walk in the fullness of life that Jesus died for. When the new birth takes place in your heart then it will manifest on the outside through the choices you make.  In Mark 16:16 it is written He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  We cannot choose to believe some of the Bible, some of what we hear at church, and some of what our friends tell us or we will never know the truth.  It is up to each believer to read the Bible and search for the truth.  God is blessed when we want to know the truth.  Reading the Word and acting on the Word is how faith in God is established. If the Bible says you must believe and be baptized, then do it. Through water baptism we have the opportunity to glorify God and identify with the death of Jesus. Man has many ideas about how to get to heaven, God said there is only one way, and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. If we immerse our self in Jesus our old man will die and we will be resurrected in Christ and walk in the newness of life.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29th, 2012
1 Corinthians 11:26
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Remembering and proclaiming the Lord’s death is of paramount importance to Christians. The basic foundation of our belief is that Jesus lived a sinless life in human flesh, received the wrath of God in His body as full payment for sin, then rose from the grave giving all men, who would receive Him, eternal life.  Our human frailty is that we can accept what Jesus did but too often lose the awe and reverence of what His death accomplished.  For many, church has become a forum for attractive events at the cost of sound Biblical principles.  As we come together we must be careful that church does not become casual and common especially as we partake of the Lord’s Supper.  We are told not to forsake the gathering of the brethren that we might be blessed by what the Holy Spirit is doing through the body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit does not work on a schedule accordingly to man’s time. We need to be open to the moving of the Holy Spirit.  If a church becomes complacent with its own events and does not prayerfully and reverently seek God’s presence then much is lost. Jesus is the living bread who has imparted eternal life into your body through the Holy Spirit.  This is not the natural life that all men have received at birth, but life that brings health to the flesh and a life that goes beyond this world into eternity. Never take your salvation for granted. It is the most precious possession you have and should be highly valued above everything in your life. As you partake of the Lord’s Supper be aware of Jesus’ body and the price that was paid that you might stand holy and righteous before God because Jesus paid for your sins. We would do well to thank God everyday that Jesus died for us and we aren’t going to hell. But it is even more than that; we can have fellowship with God through His Son, and boldly come before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Whatever you are going through in your life lay it down at the cross and eat the bread and drink the cup to wholeness in your life.  Jesus paid it all, it is up to each believer to respond by faith and receive what He died for.

Bulletin January 22nd, 2012
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit John speaks about the Word, the Logos, Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Word and the Word was God. God’s Word is who God is. God spoke everything into creation through His Word. The Bible is Spirit breathed and must be interpreted by the Holy Spirit. When someone is born of the Spirit then reading God’s word becomes a gateway to the mysteries and the wonders of God. When we read that the Word was God we come to a simple but eternal truth that God and His Word are One and cannot be separated.  Salvation comes by hearing the word of God, and through the gift of faith by God.  As Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. God’s word is filled with faith, it can penetrate the darkest heart and perform a life changing miracle in someone who appears hopeless.  If that can happen from hearing one sermon or one person sharing their testimony of Jesus Christ, how can we possible neglect the rest of the Bible?  To say you are a Christian and not read your Bible is a dangerous thing to do.  The Bible has all the instruction and life giving information every believer needs to survive in this world.  We would never show up at work and do a presentation without having researched all we possibly can to make our ideas clear to our colleagues.  Yet Christianity is often seen as people who go to church and try to do the best they possibly can if they are having a good day. But to do something like love your enemies as Jesus commanded does not work in the natural. It takes supernatural power to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply.  When you have planted the incorruptible seed of God’s word in your heart you will have the strength, patience, and endurance needed to forgive your enemies, and to even pray for them.  God’s word has been given to the believer to know, study, listen to, share, and live.  God and His word are One and the same. God’s desire is to help you and bless you with everything Jesus paid the price for. Your faith to receive begins when the knowledge of God’s will is known through His word.

Bulletin January 15th, 2012
John 1:12, 13
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 
God is clear in His word about what is and is not of God.  It is important to be careful what we believe because many people have listened more to man’s opinion than have knowledge of the word of God. Christians believe in salvation and eternal life, but when asked why they are going to heaven you get many different answers.  Those who have received Christ as their Savior, having understood they were once a sinner, are confident of their destination upon leaving this earth because their hope and trust is in the word of God, not man. The word written in John clearly states what salvation is not.  We are not the children of God because we are born into this world, and God so loved the world. Our human birth and belief in a loving God does not give us entrance into the kingdom of God.  Nor is salvation by the will of the flesh.  Many people believe if they are a good person they will go to heaven. Salvation is not based on your righteous but God’s.  Jesus said in John 3:5 unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. You have the freedom to believe whatever you want, but God will NEVER go against His word. John also says we do not become the children of God by the will of man.  Because you participated in a ceremony in church and a priest or pastor prayed over you does not make you saved. God is a Spirit and we must be born of the Spirit. When Mary was in agreement with the word of Gabriel the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and the Seed of Jesus was planted in Mary. Our heart must also come into agreement with God’s word.  We must believe the written word and receive that word into our heart, then the Holy Spirit overshadows you and a miracle takes place.  That miracle is Jesus Christ coming into your heart whereby you receive a new spirit and the nature of God. Then you are a child of God, born of God. This new birth is the beginning of your walk with God. It will manifest in a wonderful way changing your life and your destiny forever.

Bulletin January 8th, 2012
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
But concerning the times and the season, brethren you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
We long to see peace in our world and be safe from trouble in the coming year. We often think of peace as being the absence of war. Yet Jesus said in Matthew 24:7, 8 Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. The world we live in is not the world God intended for man. God created a perfect Garden of Eden for Adam to live and reign in. How could anyone ever be dissatisfied with total peace and safety? Adam did not recognize his perfect completeness in God and chose to listen to Satan over God’s word. Who are you listening to in this world? Even as we sit comfortably in our church pew there is always a voice of the world that tries to get us to see many things as important and on our must do list that have no relevance to God or His will for us. In this letter Paul told the church that they did not need to discuss the times or season that the second coming of Christ was inevitable and would happen when it was least likely to be expected. The return of Jesus Christ should be something you are very much aware of and looking for. It does not put our life on hold in fact it should be an underlying factor in our work for the kingdom of God. Putting things off that we know we should do may result in missed opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your life on this earth is short whether it is eight years or eighty. Each day is a gift from God and we are to use it wisely. When the world speaks of peace, usually the absence of war, or safety because of our technology, do not be deceived only God can provide safety and lasting peace. Jesus is returning soon, those who are hidden in Christ will escape the wrath of God on those who do not know Him and obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

Bulletin for January 1st, 2012
John 14: 21, 23
He who has My commandments and keeps them, is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
The fact that God loves you is probably one of the most difficult concepts for a Christian to walk in the light of. Someone reading these scriptures might think if they love God more He will show Himself to them, or if they try really hard to keep God’s word God and Jesus will make their home with them.  If you believe that it is by works you earn God’s love and grace you are mistaken. A Christian must empty himself of all hope of being worthy to receive God’s love. You cannot earn God’s love. He loved us while we were yet sinners sacrificing Jesus on the cross. (Romans 5:8) When you turn your eyes to God with expectation and trust, you will not see a judge but someone who loves you so much He was willing to leave heaven and its glory to redeem you back from Satan. Once you see God as a God of love who accepts you just the way you are you are ready to know God. When you know God then you will want to worship Him.   Too many Christians spend their life trying to win God’s love when they already have it.  Our reaction to the fact that God loves us is how we become useful to the kingdom of God.  When you love someone totally you will not have to be told to obey their word, you will desire to do it above all else.  You will look for ways to please God with your life, your time, your money, your all. The love of God has been shed aboard in your heart by the Holy Ghost, when you allow that to manifest in your life you are actually letting God manifest Himself in you. If you want more of God in your life, instead of setting goals of what you can do in 2012 go back to your first love.  Focus on God’s love by meditating on scripture about His love. Paul’s prayer to the church in Ephesus was that they might know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that they may be filled with all the fullness of God. When we are filled with God obeying His commandments is a product of the life in us.

Bulletin for 12/25/2011
Hebrews 10:5
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.
Jesus existed always with God as the Logos, the Word.  His birth was planned and calculated before the creation of the world.  The baby born in Bethlehem was not the beginning of Jesus, but it was the most wonderful exhibit of love from a Father that could ever be imagined. The saddest thing about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus is that so few people really understand and appreciate what God did for mankind.  We were created so close to the image of God that too often we think we are God.  Man loves to rule and reign in his own domain thinking that he is in control of his life.  We marry, have children, take a job and move from here to there by our own thoughts and merits rarely giving God due respect and honor by seeking His wisdom in important decisions of our life. If we truly understood salvation we would be on our knees from morning to night thanking God and His wonderful Son who came to save us from our sins.  Not many people deny there is a God, but few really know Him, are you like that?  If you know God He is part of your everyday existence, what you do, who you are, and how you speak reflect God in your life. Everywhere in this world at Christmas time and the other 364 days Christians are leading people to Christ, feeding and clothing families, helping the sick and needy and being Christlike in their life and purpose.  When Christmas is over will someone have seen Jesus in you?  It does not have to be a preached sermon but you can show the goodness of God in many ways. Don’t let Christmas end with a pile of bills and a worn out tired feeling.  Let it be said, ‘Yes, I made a difference in someone’s life’.  The Holy Spirit will impart ideas to you but it is up to you to fulfill them.  God wants to use you because that is how He works in our world.  We are all accountable to God for the works we do on this earth, and Jesus is returning with His reward in His hand.  Do what you do every day to please God not man, and look with anticipation for Jesus to return, the best is yet to come.

Bulletin for 12/18/2011

John 20:9
For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
John and Peter had been to Jesus’ tomb and did not know why the tomb was empty.  Jesus had told His disciples many times that He must leave but would return.  The disciples had seen Jesus with their own eyes and heard Jesus with their ears and yet did not understand His words. The Word is the priceless gift we have been given to know and understand God.  We have been given God’s word to tell us all we need to know so that we do not need to fear when darkness surrounds us. Without the Word, Jesus, being revealed to us we cannot know or understand God’s purpose. What is God’s purpose for us? It is to glorify Jesus in everything we do. For Christians everywhere Christmas is a marvelous time to thank God for the birth of His Son and to give God the glory.  We know that Jesus gave His life for us but it was more than that. In 1 John 3:8 it is written For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. God combined deity and humanity to pay the price man could never pay. Satan is defeated and whatever comes against you in this life has already been provided for, you do not need to fear but stand strong in faith.  Had John and Peter known the scripture and believed that Jesus had risen from the grave they would have acted differently.  How we react to any situation in our life shows either faith with knowledge, or doubt with ignorance. To be victorious we must have the revealed word hidden in our heart.  The birth of Jesus is a wonderful time to witness to others about your faith and your victories in this life.  It is not a baby we come to worship, it is God who blessed us through the death of His Son so we might live. Seek God each day for what is important for you to do and what isn’t. Have you thought about what God wants for Christmas?  He wants you, all of you, now, and every day of your life.  The world will not end if you don’t make, or bake, or buy everything on your list. Listen to your heart and choose the path of peace, it is there you will walk with Jesus.  When you have peace with God nothing else matters.

Bulletin for 12/11/2011 by Judy Onofri

Matthew 2:11
And when they (the wise men) had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The wise men were given a divine appointment by God to find the Christ child and worship Him.  The wise men traveled a great distance and came prepared not only worship, but give gifts of the finest quality.  The extravagant gifts would provide the necessary means for Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child to escape to Egypt when Herod wanted to destroy the future king of the Jews. The wise men came to honor the birth of the Jesus.  They had no idea of God’s plan to provide help for Joseph and Mary because of Herod’s deadly plot. God’s plan for this world is always much bigger than we will ever know or understand.  Giving cannot be done only by what is seen on the surface in your church.  So much of what is done in any church is not known by its members.  Pastors do not stand up in the pulpit and tell of the heartbreaking stories they listen to so often. Our trust should be in God and who He has called and appointed to watch over His flock.  Each of us is responsible for what God has given us.  All you have that is good came from God and you need to be sensitive about when and how God wants you to spend your resources.  The gifts we give our family are important but not life changing.  The money that is used in your church can touch more lives than you can ever imagine.  Instead of pastors asking, pleading, or needing to pray over church finances, ask your pastor if there any area that you can help in, or even better just given an extra amount anonymously. What you do in secret God will reward openly.  The wise men provided the financial escape for the child Jesus, the money you give also has a plan and purpose by God.  As we go about our holiday shopping be sure to pray and ask God if there is something you can do for your pastor and/or his family.  Being a pastor is a work of love for God and His children but it is nice to be recognized too.
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