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Archive for the ‘change’ Category

Never Changing

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8 KJV

Trust and believe that the Lord is faithful and not fickle.  He is the same.  He doesn’t change with conditions or situations.  He never changes.

He has changed His approach to us in the past.  He once came upon people with His Spirit but now His Spirit dwells within the believer.  He once used signs and wonders.  Now He uses other methods but still has all power.

He never changes. Be assured of that.  You can depend on that. You can believe that.

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Never Changing

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8 KJV

Trust and believe that the Lord is faithful and not fickle.  He is the same.  He doesn’t change with conditions or situations.  He never changes.

He has changed His approach to us in the past.  He once came upon people with His Spirit but now His Spirit dwells within the believer.  He once used signs and wonders.  Now He uses other methods but still has all power.

He never changes. Be assured of that.  You can depend on that. You can believe that.

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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. – Jonah 3:10

God can have a change of heart.

Just ask Jonah.  He found out all too well how God could swiftly shift from fury and anger to mercy and forgiveness.  He learned a real life lesson on how much God rewards repentance.

God had it in for Nineveh.  He was set on destroying the city and its people, but he sent a man of God to deliver His Word and reached their hearts.

If God can have a change of heart for repentant people, can you?

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Feliz Navidad!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Previously, I wrote about the miracles of Jesus and shared some of the inspirational accounts from the Gospels.  The Gospels depict Jesus as a worker of miracles as well as a messenger of God’s redemption while remaining the Messiah who would serve as the Lamb of God.

But when the time had fully come, 
God sent his Son, 
born of a woman, 
born under law, 
to redeem those under law, 
that we might receive the full rights of sons.
– Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

However, the miracle of Christmas is more about God orchestrating everything beyond coincidence.  He set things in order long before they began to unfold in order to redeem mankind.  Christmas marks a celebration of things coming in order to fulfill God’s plan for redemption.

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Morning by morning new mercies I see. . .– “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Every single day is a blessing.  Yes, I know that it can be considered a given, but today I have good reason to say so.  After tossing and turning all night with a head cold, I could hardly sleep.  I awoke in a stuper this morning and in no condition to even try to go to church, possibly infecting everyone near me.  I awoke and celebrated the goodness of God.

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

I celebrate the fact that God is in charge.  He can slow us down when we will run ourselves down to the bone and keep on until there’s nothing to wear out left.  God has stopping power.  He can stop the planets in the middle of their orbit.  He can command the birds of the air to feed a runaway prophet and the fish of the sea to leap into the nets of a small boat for Simon Peter.  God has power.

He gives us new mercies daily.  He doesn’t try to pass off yesterday’s mercies as just as good or in working condition.  He gives us the best that He has to offer.

Lord,
I just say thank you for not leaving me in yesterday’s condition and
allowing me to awake today in a new condition.
Yes, Lord, You are powerful!
Amen.

Read my article. . . Fantasy Sports are More and More Popular These Days

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. . . I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
– 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV)
“Let us long to be used in the conversion of sinners.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

The people of God are called to make a difference in this world.  That’s why the Lord called us salt and light.  We have a calling to make the world a different environment than a realm of sin and debauchery.  He desires us to have a positive impact upon others by serving Him through our daily interactions within this world.  We are to live in contact with the world, both believers and others.  The Lord does not leave us on earth to live in isolation like the Essenes of ancient times, hiding ourselves from others of this world in order to remain pure among ourselves.  We are to live in this world.  We are to be in close contact and proximity with the world around us, making a difference in the world before the very eyes of those who are full of doubt and unbelief.  We, as Christians in this society, must serve as the very salt and light necessary to purify what has become polluted and penetrate the darkness.
God wants us in contact with others.  God wants us actively making connections with the people who live in both doubt and darkness, the ones who live without hope.  Jesus said that we should let our light shine so brightly that others would see our good works and glorify the Father (Matthew 5:16).


In order to connect with them, we have to make contact with them.  We have to shop with them, play sports with them, and hang out with them.  We have to interact with them.  We have to hang out with and be around them.  We have to show them our light as the light of the world.

I know you have heard some interpret Paul’s words of light having no fellowship with darkness as to mean that we should not have anything to do with so-called sinners, but that is an extreme interpretation of that biblical text.  How can we impact a dying world without ever interacting with it? The onus is on us.  We are to share the gospel with the hopeless and doubtful.  It is up to us to reach those who do not know the love of Christ with a message of hope and a ministry of reconciliation.

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At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
– Acts 9:20-21 (NIV)

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. – Acts 9:26-27 (NIV)

Look at Paul during his transition from persecutor to preacher.  He was constantly met with opposition to his change.  People repeatedly questioned him.  After all, he had been on his way to persecute the church more than what he had already done.  In their opinions, he was still “the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem.”  From where they stood, he was still a persecutor of the church.

Thank God that Paul didn’t fall for it.  If he had wimped out and succumbed to their views, he would have never accepted going forth with the message as a missionary.  He would have wallowed in self-absorbed pity and kept to himself.  He would never have raised his voice beyond his original detractors.

God inspires us to go beyond the thoughts and ideas of the very people around us.  He inspires us to impact others beyond our family and friends.  He offers us fuel to fortify us against the negative perceptions of the people that we may very well be trying to help and who act like we are not worthy of offering such help.

Think for a minute back to 1992 and the riots in Los Angeles that immediately followed the verdict of the Rodney King trial.  Many will recall the looting and burning of many parts of the city of Los Angeles.  There was Reginald Denny, the white man pulled from his truck and beaten in the streets.  The media made that gruesome footage part of our daily diet as it replayed it again and again. 

However, few will recall the name of the man who stepped in to help Denny.  Bobby Green was his name.  He witnessed the mayhem and decided that enough was enough.  He made the trek about a half a mile from his home to where Denny was being beaten on live television and saved the man’s life.  It is a shame that we cannot recall such a man as Bobby Green, but we surely must understand that we, too, must impact this very world where evil gets splashed on the front page and scandal makes the eleven o’clock news broadcast

Imagine what breaking news it would be if we all started impacting our world because we were inspired to do so.  Don’t simply go with the flow.  At times, God will direct you to simply go against the grain.  Bobby Green did so in our times.  Paul did so in his times.  John the Baptist did so.  Jesus did so. 

Let yourself become inspired to impact others.  Let God use you for you to do so.

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3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Truly, this psalm hits home for a lot of us.  Let’s keep it real.  We can do that.  Right?

Keeping it real, we know that we have some deep-rooted contempt for certain folks.  You know, we may have it in for rich folks, other-colored folks, same-sex folks, can’t-get-enough-of-whatever folks, and countless others.  We just may not be able to identify well with them or all of the baggage that they bring. 

It’s really not about them.

Yep.  I said it.

It’s really about you.  I guess I should say us, but let’s stay on you for a minute.

. . . we are exceedingly filled with contempt. . . exceedingly filled with the scorning…and with the contempt

Why ask someone else: “What’s your problem?” when some reflection and examination will reveal the problem-holder in a second? Look at our language when we speak of ourselves.  We tend to come up short when it comes to coming clean about our stuff and owning our own issues.  Let your “I” message be about how you will handle your problem with others and deal with your own contempt for others.

This psalm pointed out that those who were at ease and the proud were targets of the contempt of the faithful.  The faithful sought the right resource.  They called upon God to have mercy upon us in a repetitive phrase in both verses 2 and 3.  It demonstrates the realization that God who sits high in the heavens is watching over his own children. 

Let us go to God and seek His mercy upon us as we seek to be delivered from our own contempt.  We want God to purge and purify us.  We want God to cure and cleanse us.  We ought to know that we cannot deal with this on our own.  We need His mighty hand.  We need His awesome power.  We need God to work on our behalf.

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A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.“Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ministers have been involved in social movements for years.  I pray that many clergy who ponder and contemplate the political and social justice arena see the dire need for more ministerial influence over the matters of society today.

Expect A Miracle, My Life and MinistryLook at the YMCA, Salvation Army, and similar organizations that were launched on Christian principles.  The Temperance Movement had faithful forces such as Billy Sunday and the American Tract Society behind its work to outlaw alcohol.  Look at the work of evangelists like Billy Graham and Oral Roberts to spread the Good News as well as start schools, missionary field work, and other ventures beyond simply preaching from town to town and from tent to tent.  Look at the SCLC and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and their work with the Civil Rights Movement.
Billy Sunday, Home Run to Heaven (Sowers)
Eyes on The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965The church needs to see where it is being called to serve today.  We need to find where God wants to use us and discover how the new wine will pour out from the new wineskins.  Pray for God to guide today’s ministry leaders in a way that will lead today’s people for the change that God has in store for them.

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