Love Has Everything to Do With It!

Today is February 14. America is celebrating Valentine’s Day, a day of love. It was named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine. On this day, eros, romantic love is expressed in many ways and some couples get engaged or married. In recent times on this day, people also express their love to their children, parents, and friends.

What is love? Love is an action word, not a feeling. When you love someone, you want to help meet their needs—tangible and intangible. God is love and met mankind’s greatest need–salvation by sending His son Jesus to die for our sins.

One of my former pastors asked everyone at church the question “Who you love”? He wanted you to say you loved him. Who are we to love? In addition to loving God, we are to love…
• family members
• neighbors
• friends
• strangers
• enemies
• all people

Our love for one another must be real, without conditions, kind, tolerant, and sacrificial. Love can be hard work. Let’s give mercy and grace because no one but God is perfect. Let’s be good listeners when people talk so we can hear what they need and provide it even when it requires a sacrifice of our time, talent, and treasures. I heard someone say, “Love does not hurt.” Let’s not hurt those we love but instead be forgiving, compassionate, and kindhearted to them.

Walking in love creates a win-win situation. Our giving of love produces a harvest of met needs, blessings, happiness, relief, comfort, thanksgiving, and rejoicing for the recipient. As the giver of love, we feel blessed to be a blessing.

May our Lord Jesus Christ increase and flourish our love for one another!

TIS THE SEASON TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS!

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  December 25 is not the day He was born but the date chosen to celebrate His birth. Jesus’ exact date of birth is unknown. Christmas is a Holy Day, not a holiday.  But when we look at how Christmas is celebrated, do we see many holy things or activities?

The symbols we see in abundance are Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.  Rarely can we find holy symbols of Jesus’ birth that remind us that Jesus is the reason for the season.

A popular activity in the Christmas season is attending multiple parties. Friends, family members, jobs, clubs, groups, and organizations you belong to host Christmas parties. Is Jesus the guest of honor at these parties?

Is the main activity of the season going to church or giving our talent, time, and treasures to those who really are in need?  No, it’s buying gifts for everyone we know—family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, clergy, the mailman, the garbage man, cat, dog, etc., mainly with credit cards, hoping for reciprocation. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday this year, billions were spent online. In today’s uncertain economic climate, does our discretionary income allow us to meet regular financial obligations and buy gifts for multiple people at the same time? New flash, if you buy items at a sale price but have to pay credit card interest on your purchases, you probably are not saving any any money!

Are we really celebrating the birth of Jesus?  Do we celebrate a loved one’s birthday by buying gifts for everyone we know and giving or attending several parties for them?  A loved one’s birthday is usually celebrated by giving that person a gift, taking them out, or giving or attending one birthday party in their honor!

There’s nothing wrong with giving. God is a great giver.  He gave us Jesus so that we can have eternal life.1 He gives us all that we need 2and when Jesus went back to heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit.3 We were created in God’s image4, therefore, we, too, have the capacity to be great givers.

Since we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and freely giving out gifts, shouldn’t we give Jesus a gift? What will you give Jesus this Christmas?  We can give to Him by giving to one other.  God has given each of us talent, treasures and time, which He expects us to give and share.5

Everyone has something they can give and share with others.  God has given every believer at least one special ability. 6  We can use our God-given abilities to be a blessing to others. Some sing, some prophecy, some teach, some preach, some have a special ability to heal or help others, some to show mercy and compassion, and some to lead.7 God has also given us treasures, talents, and time to share with one other.8

How and to whom should we give?  The Bible declares we should give willingly9 and cheerfully 10 to those who are poor, 11 those who ask,12 those who cannot reciprocate,13 and to our enemies.  Giving to an enemy turns him into a friend! 14

Let’s put Christ back into our Christmas celebrations by giving to those who are in need. Let’s bring joy to those in institutions by visiting and singing Christmas carols!  Let’s teach the story of Jesus’ birth to children in our neighborhood!  Let’s give gifts to a homeless family! Let’s donate money to a charity instead of having a grab bag at work!  Let’s babysit for a single mother who cannot afford a sitter! Let’s take a senior citizen, handicapped, or an ill person shopping or to the doctor!  Let’s invite friends, neighbors, or co-workers to go to church with us!  Let’s invite a one-parent child to a show this Christmas season!

The Bible says we will be blessed when we give.15 God has promised we will receive when we give.16 When we give to the poor, God considers it a loan to Himself and He says He’ll repay the loan and will bless, deliver, and protect us.17

Since Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, what will you give Jesus to celebrate His birth?  The greatest gift you can give Him is your heart.  It’s easy as A, B, C.  If you have not accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord, please pray the following prayer sincerely from your heart! 18

Dear God,

Thank you for loving me and giving me the greatest gift of all, your son Jesus.  I ADMIT that I am a sinner and need a Saviour. I BELIEVE Jesus died on the cross in my place for my sins.  I CONFESS Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.   Thank you Lord for saving me!

Welcome to the family of God!  I pray God will lead you to a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church of His choice where you can fellowship with other Christians, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and discover God’s purpose and plan for your life!

1 John 3:16 2 Phil. 4:19    3 John 14:16 4 Gen. 1:7 5 Luke 12:48b Rom 12:6-8 7 Eph. 4:11-12 8 Luke 6:38   9 1Chron 29:9 10 2 Cor. 9:7 11 Deu. 5:11 12 Matt. 5:42 13 Luke 14:12-14 14 Prov. 25:21-22 15 Acts 20:35b 16 Prov. 11:25 17 Ps. 41:1-3 18 Rom.10:9-10

God is Omni

The word “omni” means all. God is omniscient, omnipresence, and omnipotent.  These are His natural or absolute attributes.

God is omniscient.  This attribute means God knows all things—past, present, and future.  God is all knowing, has infinite knowledge, awareness, and understanding.  When God asks you a question, He is not looking for information because He already knows what you are going to say.

God is omnipresent.  This attribute means God is present everywhere at once.  He is always present everywhere at the same time. In Jeremiah 23:23 He says, “…am I only a God nearby and not a God far away, can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him.  Do I not fill heaven and earth”?  Adam, Eve, and Jonah in vain tried to hide from God.  God is in the window and sees everything.

God is omnipotent.  This is His attribute which describes Him as having all power.  He is all powerful, almighty, infinite in power, has unlimited power and authority.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:18 “all power is given unto me in heaven and earth.” God has the power to do all things but fail.

God is all knowing, always present, and all powerful.  He knows everything about us and still loves us unconditionally, that’s agape.  God has the power to help us and fix anything that is wrong in our lives. God with us all the time and has promised to never leave nor forsake us regardless of what we have or have not done. 

As Christians in covenant relationship with God, let’s be intentional in getting to know who God is!  As we get to know who He is, we will also discover who we are in Him! 

Thanksgiving is a Key Discipline for Christians!

Body of Christ, let’s remember that physically we are in the world but spiritually we are in the Kingdom of God.  Thanksgiving is a gigantic part of the Kingdom lifestyle.

Gratitude is a feeling but thanksgiving is an action. Thanksgiving is expressing to God the gratitude that is in our hearts. We express it to God through prayer, song, and bringing sacrificial gifts to Him. When we fail to express thanksgiving to God, we take God’s favor, grace, mercy, and blessings for granted.

Let’s remember to continually express the gratitude that is in our hearts to God for…

  • the body and blood of Jesus when we celebrate Communion
  • daily blessings (soteria, Greek word for salvation includes forgiveness of sin, healing, deliverance, guidance, provision, protection, and preservation)
  • the possibility of having the abundant life
  • grace, mercy, favor, and help
  • the Word of God
  • the local church
  • our spiritual gifts and the opportunity to serve Him and man
  • the privilege of prayer 24/7
  • the fact we will live eternally with God the Father and Jesus
  • the empowerment and leading of the Holy Spirit
  • the love and support of family and friends
  • all things and in all things

The season that the world calls “the Christmas holidays” begins the day after Thanksgiving. Let’s remember God commands us to overflow with thanksgiving to Him and that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s give thanksgiving to God for salvation, the greatest gift the world could ever receive made available through God’s Son Jesus!

Express Your Thanks

In the past few years, I’ve noticed many children and some adults have a spirit of entitlement. This causes them to fail to express thanks. My Mom taught her children the significance of giving thanks. She said “be thankful for anything someone does for you—big or small—because people don’t have to do anything for you. “

Thanksgiving is giving thanks to God and to people for what they have done. We express our thanks to God and to people because God is the source of all our rewards and often works through people. God and people expect and are blessed when we do.

When we thank and praise God, He blesses us with His presence, power, and provision, resulting in joy and strength. People respond to our giving them thanks with thanksgiving, happiness, and gladness.

Someone I know always responds “I’m thankful” when you ask “how are you”. Her response blesses and motivates me to reflect on my reasons to be thankful. Now my response to the question how are you has also become “I’m thankful”.

As Jesus passed through Samaria and Galilee, he encountered ten lepers. They asked asked Him to have mercy on them. He instructed them to go show themselves to the priests. En route to the priests, they were cleansed of leprosy. I’m sure they all were grateful but only one of the ten returned and gave thanks to Jesus.

A church hymn’s refrain says:

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Unlike the nine lepers, let us count our blessings and express our thanks for them.

Every Day is a Day of Thanksgiving!

Annually, America celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November. We gather with family and loved ones to thank God for all His blessings–past, present, and future–and to enjoy a sumptuous turkey feast complete with all its trimmings.

The word “thanksgiving” means to acknowledge God’s goodness by expressing thanks to God—in prayer, in song, or in giving a sacrificial offering. As Christians, we know that God is the source of all our rewards. We know He commands us to give thanks in all things and for all things. Since we know these things, why not consider everyday as a day of Thanksgiving!

Let’s daily thank God for what He has done for us. Because God loved the world so much, He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross in our place for our sins. In addition to forgiveness of sin, deliverance, healing, guidance, provision, protection, and preservation are in the salvation package.

Let’s daily thank God for what He is doing for us. God, our spiritual Father, supplies our needs and give us the desires of our heart.

Let’s daily thank God for what He will do for us. God is going to send Jesus back to personally escort us to heaven to live and reign with Him forever.

Giving thanks to God changes our perspective from earth to heaven, from our problems to the problem solver, and gives us an attitude of gratitude.

Let’s practice the presence of God by living in a perpetual state of thinking about the blessings of God and giving Him thanks for them!

CHRISTMAS IS THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS!

The world has labeled this time of year as the “holiday season.” It is Veterans Day and already it has begun preparing for Christmas and New Years. Stores are decorated and full of items for gift giving and celebration. I even saw a roadside Christmas tree market the other day.

Body of Christ, let’s join them! Let’s not wait til December but let’s NOW begin our annual observance of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus! Let’s…
  • walk in love in greater measure
  • shine the light of Christ in our hearts brighter than ever
  • tell those we encounter that God loves them, sent Jesus to save them from their sins, offer them the gift of salvation, and lead them in the Sinner’s Prayer
  • embellish our dwellings with Christ-honoring decorations
  • maintain our Christian witness during this season
After you lead a person to jesus…
  • tell them that if they said the Sinner’s Prayer sincerely from their heart and in faith, God has saved them that fast
  • rejoice with the angels in heaven that they have been born again, are now a Kingdom Citizen, and a member of God’s family! Hallelujah!
  • encourage them to go tell someone they just got saved.
  • advise them that this Christmas season will hold new meaning for them as a Christian
  • suggest to them to include the greatest gift of all–salvation through Jesus the Christ in their gift giving
  • remind them that Jesus is not a baby, is not in the manger, but in heaven praying for them
  • pray for God to direct them to the bible-believing, bible-teaching Church of His choice so they can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Body of Christ, TODAY, let’s begin our celebration of the greatest gift of all!

3 R’s in God’s Kingdom

Do you remember that when you were a child in elementary school, your teacher taught you the 3 Rs? They were reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.

Well, did you know that God has 3 Rs that He wants to teach you? They realize, remember, and raise.

Father, please give your people a revelation of your 3 Rs. Father, help us to realize that you are with us always because you promised to never leave nor forsake us. Father, help us to remember that you have a good plan for our lives that includes hope and a future. Father, help us to raise our faith level by giving us a desire to hear your Word daily because your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Father, thank you for hearing and answering this prayer, in Jesus name we pray, amen!

Is God’s Church Dying???

Unfortunately, someone started a myth that the Church is dying? Do you believe that to be true? Someone heard it, maybe even believed it, and repeated it. Now that lie is being spread across America. Negative thoughts don’t come from God but they come from our adversary, the devil who Apostle John describes as the father of lies in John 8:44!

On my television show, What Did Jesus Say, I did an episode to debunk that myth and lie. Click on the link below to view the episode, What Did Jesus Say about the Future of His Church. https://lnkd.in/eK2jwUE

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 7

The last diagnosis I want to teach you is being a mature Christian.  Just as a child desires to be a grownup; likewise, every Christian should have a goal of being a mature Christian.

A baby and a carnal Christian’s lives exemplify the Greek term “kata sarka” which means abnormal, out of harmony with their new identity.  As they grew spiritually, they put off the old man (practicing sin) and put on the new man (practicing righteousness).  In addition to Jesus being their Savior, He is now their Lord.  They are led by the Holy Spirit and have grown into a mature Christian. Now their lives exemplify the Greek term “kata pneuma”, normal and in harmony with their new identity. 

Mature Christians are “souled out” to God and have a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him.  They pray without ceasing as commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:15 and have become prayer warriors.  Hebrews 5:14 says, “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Because of a steady diet of the solid food of the Bible, they are able to operate in discernment.  In obedience to Joshua 1:8, they meditate and do God’s Word day and night resulting in a prosperous and successful life. 

Mature Christians are active church members.  They attend Christian Education classes, prayer meetings, and are cheerful givers and willing servants in the House of the Lord.  They know what God has anointed them to do and use their spiritual gifts to serve in God’s Kingdom.  They are “nevertheless Christians” and are working to fulfill God’s unique purpose for their life.  Mature Christians are living to hear God say to them one day “well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

Mature Christians exude forgiveness and love for God and all people in their walk.  They exhibit an uncompromised lifestyle and are consistent faithful witnesses that glorify God.   Keep doing what you are doing so others will be inspired to continue to grow to spiritual maturity also. 

This concludes the It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup series!  Its purpose was to help you truthfully reflect and examine yourself.  If you self-diagnosed yourself as a baby, carnal, or a maturing Christian, follow the treatment plans and prescriptions given for each diagnosis. As people get older in the natural, people may say “you look like your father or mother.”  It is my prayer that all Christians will grow into a mature Christian that resembles God, our spiritual Father.  God is willing and able to help all Christians grow as they seek, discover, and fulfill His unique purpose for their lives!