Monday, September 29, 2008

Is it the Truth or is it a lie?

My heart is broken, because the enemy has came in like a thief and taken captive one of our own. But alas sadly it was this person's choice. I just got word yesterday that Ray Boltz has “came out.” When I first read about this I had a lot of mixed emotions. At first I felt my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. Then I got angry with righteous indignation because of the lies of the enemy and those who turn their backs on what they know is God's Truth and begin living a life that is in direct rebellion of God.

These people know the Truth and the good news of Jesus Christ and they have even ministered to others. At one time they gave their lives to the Lord to be used by Him, and they even took part in making a difference in the lives of others by being a blessing of God’s Word in music and song. Now they say they have been living a lie! And what do they do? They walk away from what they know is the Truth and begin living a lie. See, they got it all backwards. They will say they have lived a lie when all the while they were actually living the Truth, because they were denying the lust of the flesh and walking in the power of the Spirit. They will say their sinful lifestyle feels right and because it feels right this must be how God created me. The Word of God says that we are to mortify the sinful deeds of our flesh.

Which will we yield to, the flesh/lies or the Spirit/Truth? Sadly most will yield to the lies because it makes the flesh feel comforted. Thus, people are making their own flesh their god, instead of the Creator their God. Look at what the Word of God says in (Rom. 1:24-28 AMP) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another-men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution. And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome.

When I first read this about Ray Boltz I thought to myself, “now that he has decided to rebel against God’s Truth and give in to the lusts of his sinful flesh, how many babes in Christ who hear his statements will be lead astray, because they are still in need of some guidance?” Some may think to themselves, “Well, if Ray Boltz (of all people) has come to the conclusion that he has lived a lie, then maybe it’s okay for me to draw this same conclusion for my own life,” God forbid! I pray that this does not happen. I pray that the people of God will realize that denying the flesh is living the Truth and not the lie.

When we are negligent in our spiritual walk the enemy can creep in with thoughts to drive us further from the Truth. I heard a minister once say, “The higher we go in Christ, the things of this world/flesh will fall away.” The thing’s of the world/flesh does not like Spiritual altitude. The flesh wants us to stay on the world's plane. This is because it cannot understand the things of the Spirit, and when we go skyward they have to fall away. When we neglect our spiritual life, STINKIN THINKIN will quickly become the norm in our life.

There is a song by Rich Mullins. It's a beautiful song titled, “My Deliverer is Standing By”. This song tells us that Jesus is coming and he is standing by. You see it is never too late. The Lord’s arm is still out stretched to all those who stray from the Truth. Yes the Lord is a God of Love but also a God of Truth. Pray earnestly that all may come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be brought back to the narrow way.

If you want to read about Ray Boltz's coming out statement you can go to this Link:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tenacity will take you up and over

Have you ever thought that tenacity, strategy, determination, ingenuity, thinking outside the box could be characteristics that are very appealing to the Lord. In fact could this be so pleasing to the Lord that He could possibly say, "My child since you have shown me your heart of tenacity and ingenuity in thinking outside of the box and beyond the normal/natural scope of things and have shown a sense of determination I am going to grant to you the desires of your heart."

I was thinking about this the other day after reading about Christ Jesus healing the man with palsy in (Luke 5:18-25) And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Did You catch that? When Jesus saw their faith He said, "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." The men showed their trust and confidence in Jesus by being ingeniously determined to get their friend to Him. The men did what they felt they had to do for their friend and then Jesus took it from there.

Have you heard the old saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat?" No offense cat lovers, I love cats myself, so don't get your panties in a tuft. These men were determined to come up with a strategic way to get their friend to Jesus so that he could be healed and they were dramatically successful in their conquest. Because of their faith and ingenuity, this man so far, has been spiritually healed (his sins have been forgiven).

We must go a little further because this man's physical healing is about to be granted by Christ Jesus as well. And the Scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up they couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that wheron he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God.

Isn't Jesus cool? The Son of man (Jesus Christ) has not only the power upon earth to forgive sins which is spiritual but He also has the power upon earth to heal the body which of course is physical. I can just see the Scribes and Pharisees now, standing there with their mouths agape in total amazement and perplexity.

This story was a subtle reminder to me by the Holy Spirit that we can possibly stop short of seeing the physical miracles in our lives because we limit our vision of hope. We can look at circumstances as hopeless and get tunnel vision which then causes us to lose our faith/determination and thus we can overlook the one possible way that will birth a miracle. The men had hopes that if they couldn't get their friend through the crowd then they would go over the crowd. They were tenacious, determined and strategic. I can just see Jesus smiling as if to say, "That's my boys! and I am so proud of them for showing so much determination in their quest to get to me and having confidence in me."
If it seems as though it is impossible to get to Jesus because circumstances are blocking the way ,then we must look up and go over them. Circumstances should never stop us from our pursuit and appointed destination which is Jesus. Jesus is our Hope and He is our Answer both now and forever!

May we all be honest with ourselves and ask this question, "Am I looking up and going over the circumstances in life and trusting in Jesus or have I stopped short by looking at the overwhelming crowds of circumstances in front of me and think that all is hopeless?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Troubled Heart???

(John 14:27b) Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Wow, have you seen how the economy has spiraled out of control? How about the banking system, or the housing market? There is a whole plethora of things that are going south. How about the upcoming election. He said, she said, what a mess. And the mess in some of the churches today. Crazy. We can get so spun around it's dizzying. Can someone please tell me which way is north? So I can get the true bearings?

President Roosevelt once in his inaugural speech,"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It seems in these days and times there is a whole lot of fear going around. At times we can feel like Peter. We are out of the boat. We are supposed to have our eyes on Jesus, but alas the things of this life rise up to steal our attention. The wind and the waves and the depths begin to call to us. We turn to look at these things that we feel are important. These situations are fleeting at best. Thinking "we" can fix this, only to become frustrated. This can only destroy our joy and peace.

You see the word gives us our bearings for truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. We can look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Yes, I can hear some of you. You do need to get up and begin walking out what you know is the truth. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Jesus has called us to three things. 1. Believe His word. 2. Trust He will do what he says He will do. 3. By faith we walk it out.
Jesus said I will be with you forever even till the end of the world. Believe it, Trust it and by Faith walk it out. We need not look at these temporal things because soon enough they will be gone and it will be only you and Jesus. Rejoice, we have overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

I looked at my compass and seen the needle point to what I thought was true north, but................................ this is magnectic north not true north.

Jesus is our compass and He will point us to true north.
He shall lead us to our true home. These times are a time to rejoice because we shall see the power, glory and love of God in our lives. Glory to the lamb of God!
                                                                                                                Joe Greenwell

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Day

Above is a picture of a beautiful sunrise welcoming the beginning of another new day. Today is my birthday. The Lord has given me another year of life which I am very grateful for. I was sitting outside this morning having my quiet time in devotions and prayer. The sun was shining and the sky was so blue. I said to myself, "I have been given a new day and another year." And then I began thanking the Lord for new days, new beginnings and fresh starts.

When we sin and mess up, God doesn't say to us, "now that you have messed things up you must go back to the very beginning and start again." No, He just says, stop right there and repent and continue moving forward from that point. Don't fall for the lie that you have come so far for nothing and that it was all in vain. This is a lie from the enemy.

I am so thankful that God's mercies are new every morning. When we repent, God hears us and comes running to meet us right where we are at. Have you been caught up with the issues of life? Have you fallen down in the dirt and maybe laid there awhile. Just get up my friend. God will meet you there and will never reject you.

Listen to the words of Paul and what he said about himself, "I am the worst of all sinners, but this is why God has had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst of sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life. (1Tim. 1:15-16 paraphrased).

Most of us will beat ourselves up and fret about issues that are nothing in comparison with some of Paul's sinful issues. Paul is telling us that God's saving mercy and Jesus patience is greater than any sin in our lives. Paul even acknowledges that he still falls short, which you can read about in (Rom. 7:21-25 and Rom. 8:1-2).

When you believe that you have fallen short my friend don't start moving backwards. Stop, right there. Acknowledge your sin, repent and move forward. It is gone the very moment that you confess. So don't keep thinking about it and churning it over and over in your mind. Whatever your situation might be, you have been given permission to be free and move forward. If Paul who was the worst of all sinners can acknowledge his imperfections and shortcomings, and forget those things that are behind, than so can you. Take comfort in Paul's words. "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven (Phil. 3:12-14 N.L.T.)
It is time to move forward my friend and embrace a new day, a new beginning, a fresh start and stop dwelling on the sins of yesterday, and set yourself free. Because of the cross of Jesus, He doesn't remember your sins any more thus neither should you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hope always shines through

Despite everything that might be going on in the world or even your own personal life don't give up hope. You may be looking at your situation and it seems to be as big as a mountain standing before you. But I am hear to say that hope always shines through the most darkest of storms. Don't forget what Jesus promised you, He said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." The Word of God also says, "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." This is a promised truth that the Lord has given to you. Hold onto it with all of your might and don't let it go. Cling to Him.

There will be times of trouble in our lives but all in all He has made us more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus and we must know that if God is for us who can be against us? And we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
There will be battles if there are going to be victories. So take heart my brothers and sisters and know that there will be seasons when He will cause you to lie down in green pastures and He will lead you beside still waters and restore your soul. God can give you His supernatural comfort and encouragement and His grace in these times of trouble. Through it all lean upon Him and trust Him for it.

At these crucial times in our lives it is so very important that we listen to the voice of Truth and not the voice of lies. Listen to the voice of Truth straight from the Word of God;

"You may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed, you may be perplexed, yet not in despair; you may be persecuted, but not forsaken; you may be cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:8-11).

During these troublesome seasons in our life this is our opportunity to come to know Christ more intimately by being still and knowing that He is God and listening to His voice of Truth. Allow His Truth and Love to take precedence in your heart and make it's abode there.

Truth and Love have even a greater name which is above all names and that name is Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man can come to the Father except through Him.

Our Good Shepherd knows us better than anyone else. He calls you by name, He knows your person/heart, He knows you intimately. When our Good Shepherd speaks may we listen and hear and know that we are His and nothing will separate us from His Love, and we can continue to always place our hopes in Him for our lives.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

His peaceful freedom!

Life can be hard and very cruel at times. But we can take heart and know that God does care about our trust and peace remaining in Him in the midst of the storm.

With God's peace in our lives comes ultimate freedom. Peace of mind, a sound mind, and contentment; this is the BIG one people. Without His peace in our lives we would be totally miserable and in constant turmoil. (Is. 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

The word perfect in this scripture means complete. No matter what has happened or what is happening or what might happen you can have complete peace. Why? Because you have placed your trust in the Lord. Now this is true FREEDOM. The battle that might be raging in your thoughts or in your life right now needs to be told to BE STILL.

Ask yourself; am I trusting God with this or not? Obtaining peace is simply trusting God. Are we going to trust God or lean upon our own understanding of things? This is our decision, we have been given a free will by God to make the choice to trust Him or not. This takes a renewing of our mind which will then bring about a transformation.

Here is what the Word of God says; (Rom. 12:2 Amp.) Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Let go and abandon yourself to God so that you can experience His peaceful freedom in your life. The world around you might look bleak, but you can have peace and be free despite it when you make the decision to trust the Lord in and for your life.

A New Year Praise!

Upon entering the year 2018 I am seeing just how great our God is. He is forever faithful and worthy of all praise. He is the God of all glo...