010: The House of the Leper

If you study the life of Jesus, you will find He wasn’t concerned about what others thought about Him. In spite of society’s customs, traditions, or taboos, Jesus submitted Himself to the will of His Father, even ministering to the “rejects” of society. God’s mercy is so eloquently demonstrated in Mark 14:3 as Jesus dines with Simon, the leper. Has God ever challenged you to show mercy to someone who others may have deemed worthless? Just remember at some point, before Jesus came to dwell in our hearts, God looked beyond our fault and saw our need. Without Jesus, we are all just as hopeless as this leper, as destitute as the addict, as unworthy as that prostitute, as condemned as a death-row inmate… Without Jesus, we are just as despicable as those who have viciously hurt us. The truth is, until Jesus visits our dwelling, we are all wretched. As you listen to this podcast episode, whether you have been saved for years, or even if you’ve never received Jesus as Lord and Savior, God has made a way for you to experience His mercy, just as Simon, the leper, did.

The House of the Leper - May 17am

 

 

 

009: As a Mother

Mother… She is patient, kind, nurturing… Her love is unconditional. Okay, it sounds good, but maybe your mother didn’t exactly fit this mold. Or maybe, because of circumstances beyond anyone’s control, you never even got a chance to know your mother. If you have experienced the love of a mother, then you’ll agree, she is to be honored and cherished. However, no matter how high we regard her, even the best earthly mother has one flaw: she is human. Like all earthly things, even a good mother will fail. If you have an indescribable void because of something your mother did, or didn’t do, take refuge in God. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”  Long before we were conceived in our mother’s womb, God loved us with an unfailing love. As you listen to this podcast episode, let God wrap His loving arms around you.  Realize that God is more than just your Heavenly Father; He is everything you need, including a Heavenly Mother.

As A Mother

008: The Supreme Motivator

I can’t function without it!  I can’t live without it! That may sound a little extreme, but it’s all too familiar for the drug addict or anyone struggling with an addiction. Until that craving is satisfied, nothing can stand in the way! Their motives and every fiber of their being is driven by a hunger regardless of who they hurt in the process. Maybe, by the grace of God, you don’t suffer from an addiction. Beware! Today behavior experts are recognizing activities that seem perfectly harmless, and even essential to life, as addictions. Food, shopping, and social media are just a few examples of pleasures that have the potential to become obsessive and destructive. Truthfully we are living in an age of addictions. Consequently, as Christians, we must guard our motives, our intentions, our passions. Jesus was tempted with the same distractions that we face today, yet He stayed focused and never once strayed from His mission. What could possibly have moved a King to willingly give up the pleasures of His Kingdom to suffer an agonizing death on a cross for people who hatefully despised and rejected him? Is it even possible for us to have this same divine motivation to do God’s will no matter what the cost? Listen to this podcast to discover what God expects from us.

The Supreme Motivator - May 3am

DO YOU MIND?

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. – Rom 8:5-8 KJV (Emphasis Mine)

Do You Mind

 

As a child, were you ever told to mind? If you were, you knew exactly what that meant. It meant you’d better obey whatever adult was instructing you or else!

Have you ever told someone to mind their own business? Or are you usually on the receiving end of that comment? :-)

The thing I want to point out is the use of the word mind. It doesn’t always refer to the physical brain. The word mind can be used as a noun or a verb. When used as a verb, it can mean the following: 1) to pay attention to; 2) to obey; 3) to look after or take care of.

Now consider the passages from Romans 8 above. Notice the use of the words mind and minded. What are we to gather from these texts?

1. YOU WILL MIND ONLY ONE OF TWO THINGS: FLESH OR SPIRIT!

What do you find yourself thinking about and tending to most? Spiritual things? God’s Word, His Will, your own spiritual growth? Or do you find carnal things consuming your attention? If your heart’s desire is only toward physical things, then you are carnal. On the other hand, if your are consumed with the things of God, then you are considered spiritual.

2. MINDING THE FLESH LEADS TO DEATH!

“For to be carnally minded is death…” Rom. 8:6 

But why? All of mankind is under the curse of sin. God told Adam & Eve if they disobeyed Him they would die. Not an immediate physical death, but an eternal death. Our flesh cannot be rehabbed or remodeled.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;                                                                                                                     – Rom 3:23 KJV

For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                    – Rom 6:23 KJV

3. MINDING THE SPIRIT IS LIFE & PEACE!

If we are going to follow Christ we must FOLLOW Christ. That means dying to self – just as He did. That means laying aside our own ambitions for a Heavenly calling – just as He did. But remember, it also leads to resurrection life!

 

4. THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD!

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. – Rom 8:8 KJV

WOW! That’s quite a definitive statement. Good thing God made it and not me! The natural default for the flesh is to disobey God. That’s one reason for the cross. As we reckon ourselves crucified with Christ, we rob our old flesh of its power. In its place is the new man – born again, and made a new creature by Jesus Christ.

 

5. THE GAUGE OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY – WHAT DO YOU MIND?

Is it the flesh or Spirit? If you’re “after the Spirit” then you will mind those things. Do you dwell primarily upon the things of self or the things of Christ? What do you find yourself daydreaming about? What do you go to bed or wake up thinking about? Is it spiritual matters?

Begin to take personal inventory of your thought life. What consumes your emotions, your energy, and your thoughts? Are you focused on your spiritual development as much as you are the less important areas of life?

What are you minding?

Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

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007: Another Source

Have you ever planted a fruit tree only to have your hopes of harvesting basketfuls of delicious, fresh fruit vanish? You watered! You fertilized! You tried everything in the realm of possibilities, but no matter what you did the tree failed to blossom, lost its leaves, and eventually died because something was missing.  As a Christian, do you find that your spiritual walk is just as unproductive as this barren tree?  Do you doubt and wonder how God can use you despite the hopelessness surrounding your circumstances? Are you tired of going through the motions and doing all the “right” things only to find yourself as empty as you were before?  If you are desperate for a miraculous breakthrough, then consider the source you are drawing from as you tune in to this podcast episode.Another Source - Dec 14 am

006: Always Resisting

This has got to go! I am not going to put up with this any longer! Have you ever felt that way about something in your home? The faucet drips incessantly, the carpet is outdated and smells rank, or maybe it’s your family’s attitudes that stink. Whatever it is, you’ve reached a point where you don’t want to live another second without making changes. Does God have these same thoughts about the conditions His Holy Spirit has to tolerate inside of us? Or have our lives become so polluted that God’s Holy Spirit is too offended to dwell in us? The greatest privilege that God has ever afforded man is the opportunity for God through the working of His Spirit to purge out anything that makes us something other than Jesus Christ! Maybe you’re afraid and don’t even know how to begin to make changes to your life. Or maybe you feel like your life is so out of control and hopeless that it’s too late to change. Then you need to tune in to this podcast episode to learn how to surrender to God and stop trying to do it on your own.  Stop resisting the Holy Spirit and allow God to make those necessary changes in your life to conform you to the image of His Son, Jesus.

 

Always Resisting

005: Yet Not I

It’s all about me! Isn’t this the attitude that drives our culture every day? We are told we can accomplish anything if we believe in ourselves. It’s no wonder that Christians have become infected with this philosophy too. However, the Bible says, according to Gal 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…..” Does God really expect me to die to myself and let Christ take over? How can I abandon the plans that I have for my life? What about my desires, my preferences, my opinions?  Even if this is possible, what’s in it for me? Be sure to tune in to this podcast episode to discover the wondrous benefits of living a life dead to yourself, but alive in Christ.

Yet Not I

 

An “EVEN NOW” Faith

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” – James 2:17 KJV

Do you possess a fair-weather faith or a faith that actually “works”? There is at least one individual in the Bible that had, what I like to call, an “Even Now” faith. What is that you ask? Let me show you.

Even Now Faith

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat [still] in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give [it] thee. – John 11:20-22 KJV (emphasis mine)

The text before us leads to the tomb of Lazarus – a friend of Jesus. Four days earlier, Jesus had received word that His friend was sick. They needed Jesus to come right then. Well, He didn’t!

When Jesus finally shows up, it’s all over as far as they are concerned. The tomb has been sealed, the eulogy’s been spoken, and the flowers are starting to wilt. Lazarus is dead, he’s been dead, and for all practical purposes, he’s going to stay dead.

Enter Martha stage right. She hears Jesus is coming and goes out to meet Him. But there’s something very intriguing I want you to see. John 11:20 says, “…but Mary sat still in the house.” I want you to see the difference in these ladies’ faith during this particular trial.

MARTHA GETS A BAD RAP!

We usually only hear about Martha working around the house while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Now, I have no intention of minimizing Mary’s character or faith. What I do want you to notice is the magnitude of Martha’s faith that often gets overlooked.

AN “AFTER THAT” FAITH

Mary usually gets all the praise. Why? Well, she’s the one we find worshipping at the feet of Jesus in John chapter 12. She had every right to worship for multiple reasons.

  1. JESUS DESERVES IT!

  2. LAZARUS HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD! (John 12:2)

  3. SHE, BY FAITH, WAS PREPARING JESUS’ BODY FOR BURIAL. (John 12:7)

So, she did right. But how was her faith at Lazarus’ tomb? It’s wonderful to praise Jesus for raising Lazarus from the dead, but how’s your faith right after the funeral?

When Martha went to meet Jesus, our text tells us that, “…Mary sat still in the house.” She wouldn’t even go out. According to John 11:28, she only came out because Martha convinced her to.

AN “EVEN NOW” FAITH

Now notice how Martha reacted after the funeral.

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat [still] in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give [it] thee. – John 11:20-22 KJV (emphasis mine)

 She believed Jesus could’ve healed her brother – same as Mary. Yet her faith differed in that she said, …”even now.” Where Mary had an “After That” faith; Martha exercised an “Even Now” faith. It’s easy to trust Jesus when you’re sitting at the table with Lazarus fresh out of the casket! Can you trust Him though when things haven’t worked out your way?

Notice something else. Martha wasn’t saying that she believed Jesus could even now raise Him from the dead. I know many read the story and believe that, but that’s not the case. Look carefully at John 11:39-40:

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been [dead] four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? – John 11:39-40 KJV

She had no concept of Jesus speaking life back into his cold corpse. So what did she mean when she said, “even now”? In spite of the fact that everything hasn’t worked out the way she had hoped, she still trusted Jesus!

So, how’s your “even now” faith? Do you still love Him when He doesn’t do things your way? Do you trust Him enough to believe that He knows best?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Cursing The Clouds

What comes to your mind when you think of clouds? Thoughts of depression, storms, doubt, bad news, etc? But I want to direct your attention to other thoughts for a few moments.

Cursing the Clouds

 #1 CLOUDS ARE GOD’S CALLING CARD!

“And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies. 12 At the brightness [that was] before him his thick clouds passed, hail [stones] and coals of fire.” [Psa 18:10-12 KJV]

 

#2 CLOUDS ARE A REMINDER OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!

 “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which [is] between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] upon the earth.” [Gen. 9:13-16 KJV]

I’m going to be very blunt and honest. The rainbow is God’s symbol of HIS faithfulness & mercy – NOT A SYMBOL FOR A LIFESTYLE OF SIN! It was God’s reminder to Noah, and all that would follow, of God’s mercy.

That rainbow could only be seen in the cloud. We dread the clouds but sometimes it’s the only way to truly see God’s faithfulness! It takes those clouds to bring to light the proof of God’s promises.

#3 CLOUDS PROVIDE GUIDANCE!

 “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.”  [Exo 13:21-22 KJV]

Admit it, there are places in life you would’ve never chosen. And from our limited perspective, things do not always look like the right direction. In this passage in Exodus, God used the pillar of a cloud to guide His people Israel. God had a destination in mind, but He knew there would be challenges for them along the way. So He used His cloud to make sure they pressed onward.

There have been dark and cloudy times in my own life that have pushed me through unchartered waters. Places I would have never picked on my own, but places God knew I needed to be.

#4 CLOUDS ACCOMPANY THE LORD’S ARRIVAL

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” [Dan 7:13 KJV]

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” [Mat 24:30 KJV]

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” [Rev 1:7 KJV]

Notice especially the last Bible verse, “Behold, He comes with clouds.” Those clouds that we are so quick to curse will escort the Lord’s return!

#5 CLOUDS WILL ESCORT JESUS’ FOLLOWERS TO HEAVEN!

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” [1Th 4:16-18 KJV]

One day, and I believe very soon, every born-again believer in Christ is going to be called out of this earth. With the call of God Himself, we’ll rise to meet Him in the clouds. Even if we go the way of the grave before that happens, we’re still going to meet together in the clouds. What a day that will be!

What’s the moral of this blog post? Don’t be so quick to curse the clouds. Clouds have a number of very significant meanings. And what clouds exactly am I referring to? Not just the physical clouds we see in the sky. Rather the storms of life that we see as so negative.

Always remember:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”  [Rom 8:28 KJV]

 

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004: A Golden Thread

Is there a “Golden Thread” in Scripture that ties all things together? Can there really be one central theme of God’s Word? Find out in this podcast episode.

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