Changed

“Old things are passed away
All things are new
I’m not the same
Yes I’ve been changed, Yeah
It’s true I found my life in you
All things are new
I’m not the same
Yes, I’ve been changed.”

In Tuesday Night Bible Study, we’ve been reading Acts and Romans, discussing the importance of the birth of new church after Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He poured out His spirit to guide the believers in the spreading of the Gospel.

We discuss the importance and necessity of the Holy Spirit operating in a true Christian’s life. What are the signs that you have the Holy Spirit? Is it a feeling? Or is it something more? One clear evidence that should be visible in the life of a believer who is guided by the Holy Spirit is a change in character and temperant. Christian should be going through a process to become bearers of the fruit of the Spirit. Our worship should reflect the transformation in our minds and the dying to our flesh every day.

This song is a declaration that yes, you have been changed. You are not the same and that is only made possible by the Holy Spirit!

Photo provided by Ross Findon

Falling On My Knees+You Are Here

This song is short and simple:

“Falling on my knees I bow, bow down…..I can see clearly now, here on my knees.”

The purpose of worship is to align your heart, mind, body, and spirit in the presence of God. Why is this important? Because we don’t know everything. We can’t see the future. At times we think we’ve got everything all figured out just to have life slap us in the face and tell us to think again.

But we are not ordinary people. We are the children of God. We are the salt of the earth. We must worship in that identity and humble ourselves to a spiritual posture of worship that is submissive to the will and understanding of God.

We are not meant to figure everything out on our own. The Bible says:

Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a] direct your paths.

Some things you’re not going to see clearly or understand fully until you give it all to God. Take a few minutes today to worship God and put yourself in a position to receive what He has for you.

This song has a follow up which also works to usher in an atmosphere of worship:

 

Photo provided by unsplash-logoNaassom Azevedo

Again and Again and Again

First, take a minute to LISTEN TO THIS ENTIRE SONG!

When has God never been there for you? Even when you think you are alone, God is there! And He will solve all your problems. He will heal all your pain. He has the PERFECT plan for your life. When are you going to praise God like you REALLY trust Him? When are you going to truly give up on trying to things on your own and allow God to be GOD in your life? I mean, when are you going to let Him be first and foremost, let Him guide you and take care of you and let the endless depth of His love pour over you? Stop worrying and praise the King of kings! He is the Lord of lords! He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

Psalm 113 “Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.”

AND IF HE DID IT BEFORE, HE WILL DO IT AGAIN! That difficult thing you are going through? GIVE IT UP TO GOD!! LET HIM HANDLE IT! Be empowered! Get up and praise Him now! Selah.

He’s faithful God
He’s an on-time God
He’s a healing God
You will come through once again!
Just in the nick of time!
Satan is defeated!
You WILL come through once again!

He’s a wonder, He’s a wonder! He’s a mighty God!

Photo provided by unsplash-logoJessica Felicio

The Day of Pentecost

Welcome to Summer! In Bible study we have been discussing the book of Acts. Today we discuss the Day of Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost in the Bible? How does it relate to Christians today? Read Acts II.

Starting in Acts II, we read an account of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believers at Pentecost. This is in Jerusalem after Jesus has ascended to Heaven to be with God post-crucifixion and after the disciples are reaffirmed in their mission for the Kingdom of God. The Day of Pentecost signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and we see Peter acknowledge the fulfillment of prophecy from Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He spoke to the believers about being baptized in the Holy Spirit and the significance. This spectacular event not only signified the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and followers of Christ Jesus, but it signified the birth of the new church. Peter spoke a sermon over a crowd of thousands in Jerusalem, converting 3,000 people to Christianity from many nations and backgrounds. From that day on, the revived church began and the good news of the Gospel of Salvation was being spread.

Acts II: 42-47The Fellowship of the Believers: 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

God used the Day of Pentecost as a revival for the Kingdom of God after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ever since that day, believers have been working in as servants of God to spread the message of the gospel to all who have ears to hear with a mission of saving as many people as possible. They met daily fellowship and talk about the goodness of God to those who had yet to hear.

God’s promise is that all people will have heard the good news of Salvation before the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Day of Pentecost signifies a call to action for all believers to spread to gospel of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. The mission began at Pentecost and continues with all of us who have given our lives to God today. It is our calling and the will of God that we use our gifts and the direction of the Holy Spirit to spread the message of love and salvation to all who are lost.

Prayer: Father, allow me to be used by You to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ. Allow the love, grace, and mercy that You have shown me give me the ability to show a lost soul the way to Jesus Christ. Transform my heart and fill my heart with the compassion of the disciples and believers at Pentecost. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead me to those who need to hear about You, and give me the boldness and confidence to share Your gift with the world. Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoSunyu

Man of Faith: Abraham

Happy Father’s Day! Today we discuss Abraham, the father of all nations and a true man of faith.

Abraham is the man who took his son Isaac on a mountain as a sacrifice to God.
Abraham is a man who started out as Abram, who believed in God but was still unsure of his calling.

We are the descendants of Abraham, the father of all nations. We’ll look at Abraham’s life and learn from what God spoke to him. Today we’re going to talk about TRUST.

God’s call is a call to trust.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Abram’s journey to becoming Abraham in the Bible reveals a man who was obedient but struggling with depending completely on God. It is fascinating to think that the same man who lied to protect himself would end up taking his only son to serve as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham’s overall growth is a journey we all face, to lean not on our own understanding but to depend completely on the direction of God and the Holy Spirit.

Abraham’s growth reveals man who learned to trust along with his obedience.

God established his covenant with Abram, changing his identity to align with the calling that is on his life which is signified by the change in his name from ‘exalted father’ to ‘father of many’ (Abraham).

Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

God uses people He calls to fulfill His promise.

God’s promise was fulfilled through the birth of Abraham’s eight sons, and nations would be forthcoming that would lead to the birth of Jesus Christ. God accomplished this through His servant Abram who He called, just like He has called and chosen each one of us to fulfill a promise and purpose in our own lives that will impact the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Father, let my faith be made strong in mt weakness and just as You established Your covenant with Abraham who struggled with trust, establish Your will with me that I may fulfill the purpose You have designed for my life. Teach me to trust in You and learn to lean not on my own understanding, but instead follow Your guidance and direction, and be obedient to Your word. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoAaron Burden

Smile

Romans 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Let us remember that God takes joy in our worship, that our main purpose as worshippers of Christ is to show Him our love and submission. Not as slaves, but as children – as sons and daughters of Christ. As the adopted, the chosen ones. We want God to know that it is better to be in His presence for these moments of praise and worship than anywhere else in the world.

“Better is one day Your courts, better is one day in Your house…than 1000 elsewhere.”

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoTaylor Grote

Something about Mary.

Mary.

We all know her, the mother of Jesus. She’s probably the most well-known woman in the Bible throughout the world.

I was having a discussion with someone the other day about a conversation between Mary and a certain angel. You may have heard of him, his name is Gabriel. And you’ve probably heard the conversation before. If not, you can read it here.

Our discussion centered around Verse 37, which is quite popular:

“For with God, nothing will be impossible.”

As Christians, we reference this scripture quite often. It is mentioned in various ways throughout the Bible: the sheer ability of God is so overwhelming that we often operate in ways that contradict it. We place God in a box. We may acknowledge that He can do anything, yet often times we put a ‘but’ in there for good measure.

Personally, I’ve never doubted God’s ability in a general sense – in my nature, the question is never can God do this, but will He do it….and will He do it for me?

As Christmas is a few days away, my mind is on Mary. What was so special about her? I don’t think there was anything particularly special about her, except her humanity and willingness to be obedient. Her obedience cast her into a load of responsibility that changed the face of the world. And all she did was say yes.

How much can God work miracles in our lives, if only we will cast fear and doubt aside, and say yes? Can we also be impregnated with a remarkable destiny if only we believe?

“For with God, nothing will be impossible.”

 

 

 

 

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoRyan Riggins

 

The Truth Be Told…

The word is in your mouth. God spoke His Word out into the dead world, giving it life and fulfilling His will.

Words are spirit; and when spoken, a word will search for a body to be established, because it cannot return. The preacher has to establish the word in himself; until the word is established in a body, the word remains spirit.

When we speak a word that comes from God, it is intentional – there is someone with a certain situation who is meant to hear and receive. That’s why it’s dangerous to listen to gossip, and listen to garbage; it will influence what we preach – it weakens discernment. It is also very important to function under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore the speaker becomes the carrier of the Word, which is the Holy Spirit established in us (The life I live not I that live but Christ that lives in us), if we are given the authority to speak the Word, then we are also given the authority to unlock any barrier to the establishment of the word. Until the word is established it remains unfulfilled.

The word needs to become flesh. If our hearts are not right, the word will not germinate and produce. The word is not the problem, the ground of our hearts is; until we fix our hearts to receive, we will remain a un-fertile ground. The word is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, it will accomplished the task it sets out in the lives of whoever has prepared themselves to receive.

What soil are you?

The Truth Be Told…

The truth be told: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
We often wonder why we have to deal with so many challenging situations. Why do I have to deal with so many problems? I am a good person and yet I have this weight carrying. That’s what’s wrong, the weight I am carrying. A problem is defined as an unintended deviation from a plan or objective. Without complete trust in the leadership of the Blessed Holy Spirit, it is very difficult to identify and appropriately deal with the devil’s traps. His traps are specifically and meticulously designed to cause problems for US. The devil’s goal is that we end up living in our deviation not or destiny.
So, brothers and sisters, I implore us all to put the weight down, without which we will never be able to objectively run this race to a successful conclusion.

The Truth Be Told…

The truth be told:  A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
Leaven : (A pervasive influence that modifies something, or transforms it for the better)
This is a wonderful use of metaphor. There are things (Especially ones we consider small and harmless) in our lives that are modifying and transforming God’s plans for our growth and development (blessing) and causes us to focus on our ability to acquire (prosperity). These can be people, habits, misguided desires, works of the flesh (Gal 5), and poor choices.  The scriptures teach us to lay aside every weight and sin. Today we are talking about weight, and how God will not take away any weight we don’t first lay down.(Heb 12:1)

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoArtur Rutkowski