Monday, October 31, 2011

November 1, 2011

EKG Day 25 Devotional

"The meek shall inherit the earth" Matthew 5:5

Jesus said the meek, the gentle, would inherit the earth. But our culture has created a different breed of inheritors. Thereis nothing remotely meek about the heroes of our day. Meekness and gentleness are not virtues we greatly admire , and this beatitude ma not appeal to us.

In our minds meekness is often associated with weakness, passivity, or even cowardice. Or we may think it's simply a person's natural disposition, a tendency to be quiet and mellow, which some have nd some don't. If either of these two is correct, (1) Jesus wouldn't have praised it, and (2) those of us who aren't so calm and collected by nature would be out of luck satisfying Christ's command.

The Bible says that gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23) - a Christlike character trait prodced in the believer's life by the Holy Spirit. And furtermore, meekness is not weakness, it is power under control. Power restrained by gentlenes. I like that.

We see this quality in Jesus. In the wilderness Satan offered Him all a man could want. Jesus could have had physical satifaction, public acclaim, universal power. But He chose to submit to His Father. In Gethsemene, His human flesh begged to avoid the cross, but He submitted to the Father's eternal plan."'Not what I will, but wat you will.'" (Mark 14:36). Do you remember the taunting cry of the criminal? "Aren't You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!" (Luke 23:39). Everything in Jesus' human nature must have desired to come down and show them the fierce anger of the Lord. If we were there, we would have cheered if He had torn Himself free of the cross and taken His own revenge. But it was His meekness that held Him there, enabling Him to endure the shame and buy mankind's redemption.

Our ability to be meek - or not to be - is most often seen in our relationships with other people. When you're in difficult situations, are you in control of your emotions? Do you have meekness - power under control?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 31, 2011

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

I grew up loving God. I have been a believer for 54 years.

Even though I have never seen God He is more real to me that any person I know. I knew intellectually He was the one thing I needed most of all.

But, there was a time in my life when it seemed I had lost just about everything that mattered to me. I was devastated and complained to God, "I have lost everything! All I have left is You!" This was in the early hours of a sleepless night as I was having a pity party. God broke the silence when He answered, "What else do you need?"

That was a turning point in my life. I went from knowing God to KNOWING GOD! When I was at the point of really understanding God was all I had - I discovered God was all I needed.

Even though I was a believer. Even though I was a pastor. I lived with the silent and mistaken assumption that what I needed for happiness was God plus....... What I discovered was that God IS the plus. True happiness is God - period! Living under the assumption that God plus anything will bring happiness elevates the plus to equal status with God. That sounds like idolatry to me. God isn't really God until He is unrivaled in your life.

Once I discovered that God IS ALL I NEED and once I committed to become complete in Him, I understood that everything else is a bonus!

What is your formula for happiness?

Complete this equation: God + _______ = Satisfaction.

Whatever you write into that blank - a person, a possession, a relationship - whatever, commit that to God and discover that there is no plus there is only a period! When you come to the place where you discover God is all you really want that is the place you will discover He is all you need!

Ready to REALLY know God?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 30, 201

How many of you believe in eternity?

How many of you are sure that you will spend your eternity in Heaven?

So you believe Heaven is a real place – right?

How many of you have seen Heaven?

How many of you know exactly where it is or what it looks like?

So you haven’t seen it?

Have you touched it?

Have you heard it?

Have you tasted it?

Have you smelled it?

How are you able to know something is real that you haven’t experienced with your senses?

Isn’t that how we usually determine what is real, through our senses? If you can see it then it must be real. If you can touch it, it must be real.

So how do we, as flesh and blood, finite, physical, flawed creatures connect with a reality other than the sights, and sounds, and sins and sufferings of this life?

That is the final thought in this “Terms of Endearment” series:

REPENT – Turn from sins and turn to God

RESTITUTION – Making things right because you’ve been made right.

REDEMPTION – Bought back from sin and slavery by the blood of Jesus

REGENERATION – Spirit brought to life by the Holy Spirit

RECONCILIATION – Connected to God in personal faith relationship

RIGHTEOUSNESS – Made right with God through the righteousness of Christ

The last term associated with salvation is “REALITY”. When you come to Christ in salvation you get a new reality.

(Like People Who Lose Much Weight But Still Think Of Themselves As Heavy)

(Like People Who Suddenly Become Wealthy – Sports Stars, Lottery Winners)

(FPU Is Teaching Us A New Reality About Money – Paper or Plastic Has New Meaning)

These are examples of people who experience a new reality that they will have to adjust to.

Becoming a Christian, a child of God who is redeemed, regenerated, and righteous, is indeed, a reality we have to adjust to. It is a fundamental transformation of how we think, how we love, how we believe, how we see, and what we value. Now we “walk by faith not by sight”




“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” HEBREWS 11:6

This verse reveals how the spiritual reality of faith develops in the life of a believer.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God…..”

The new reality of faith is that I now live to please God. No longer do I live for what pleases me. I don’t expect God to please me, but I live to please Him. What pleases God is my obedience to His will.


Do you live to please God? Is that your primary reason for doing what you do?

How many times this week did you face decisions between what you wanted to do and what you knew would please God? How many times did you choose His will above yours?

The reality that guides a Christian is pleasing God.

“…..believe that He exists…..”

Believe God exists and is more real than your reality. Real reasons to know He exists:

a) Creation

b) Christ

c) Changed Lives

If God exists – and He does – then He is real and you need to know Him.

If He is Creator, and Christ and if He changes lives – and He does, then you are accountable to Him and will have to answer to Him – so you’d better be in a faith relationship with Him!

“….and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

a) Abundant Life, John 10:10

b) Eternal Life, John 3:16

c) Crown of Life, James 1:12

d) Jesus IS Our Reward, Philippians 3:7-10

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”


ENOCH –“ By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

Enoch was the poster child for faith!

He Pleased God

He Knew God

God Was His Reward

Because he let God be so real to him – he got a new reality! ALL THESE SAINTS IN HEBREWS 11 DID!


That’s what real faith does!

Are you living to please God?

Are you living to know God?

If you died tonight what would your reward be?

October 29, 2011

"We walk by faith, not by sight" II Corinthians 5:7

This is a very simple sentence and it sounds relatively easy doesn’t it?

Walking by faith implies trust on something known but unseen.

It brings to mind a time Barbara and I were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late afternoon just before dusk. As the sun dropped lower and the air cooled, fog began developing. We were near Boone, NC and were trying to get to US 421 and get down the mountain before the fog became too thick. It was a nice plan but it didn’t happen. So heavy was the fog that I could not see more than ten feet ahead on the roadway. I didn’t know it I had room to pull off to the right side. Sometimes there is room on the shoulder and sometimes there is a several hundred-foot drop off so I did not want to risk that. All I was able to make out the center line so I slowed down and focused on hugging the center line. Literally, I was driving by faith in the center line rather than by sight. To this day I do not know how far we drove before we got out of the fog but it seemed like one hundred miles. Pavement never looked so good!

What does it mean to “walk by faith and not by sight”?

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Walking by faith means pleasing God!

God is pleased by our obedience and He is pleased by our dependence upon His Word. When you live to please yourself or you choose to do what you want rather than do what pleases God you are not walking in faith.

Walking by faith means proving God!

God is pleased when we believe what the Word says about Him and live for Him. He wants to be known and He delights in us actively seeking to know Him. Pursuing Him is evidence that we believe He exists. Three ways to believe He exists are: 1) His Creation, 2) His Christ and 3) Changed lives! Allowing Him to change our life is the greatest proof!

Walking by faith means pursuing God!

Like the line on the Parkway in the fog, faith fixes a focus on God and follows Him. Faith earnestly seeks God to know Him, to be known by Him and to make Him known. Faith keeps pursuing God even when life is hard to figure and God is hard to find.

Are you walking by faith?

Are you living to please God?

Are you living proof of God’s existence?

Are you pursuing God passionately?

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

“He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel:” Psalm 103:7

Moses came to know God as few others did. He got real good looks at God because he allowed God to be real to him. It is interesting and instructive, as well as inspiring, to trace how God made Himself known to Moses.

It began with the bush that burned but was not consumed. Burning bushes were not that unusual in the arid desert heat, but a bush that burned but was never burned up WAS unusual. And a bush that burned and was not consumed AND that spoke to him – well that got Moses curious. From that bush God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.

Next, we see Moses before the Pharaoh demanding that he let God’s people go. Of course the Pharaoh refused so God brought the series of plagues that eventually broke the Pharaoh’s resolve. But it took a series of ten supernatural plagues from the hand of God to do so. However, in those plagues Moses saw how powerful His God was.

From there, we see Moses and the people of God trapped between the Red Sea and the invading Egyptian army. God instructed Moses to raise his rod over the waters and when he did, God opened the sea so they could walk across on dry land.

Then God revealed Himself in the pillar of fire and the cloud that lead Israel through the wilderness. That was followed by the miraculous provision of the manna and the quail.

All those experiences with God had prepared Moses to climb the holy Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive the Commandments. That was the first of several encounters with God on Sinai for Moses. On one occasion Moses asked God to reveal Himself to Moses, but God only consented to allow Moses to see His backside as he passed by. So, Moses looked at God but only from behind.

Few, if any attain to the level Moses did in his relationship with God. Therefore, God was more real to Moses with each successive God-encounter they had. As a result, God was more real than any of the challenges or problems that confronted him.

How real is God to you? Are you in tune with the power of His presence and are you living to please Him as Moses did?

Are you living in the reality of a God Who is bigger than life and bigger than death and able to deliver His people. That was REAL important to God and Moses!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 27, 2011

“ Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.” Exodus 3:1-6

God had been active in Moses’ life from the time he was an infant who was hidden in the reeds along the shoreline of the Nile River. And God orchestrated him being found by the daughter of the Pharaoh and then arranged for him to be raised by his own mother. Being taught by a Hebrew mother grounded him in godly faith while growing up in the palace gave him stature with the Egyptian hierarchy.

His passion for his Hebrew heritage flared against an Egyptian taskmaster when Moses saw a Hebrew slave being brutally beaten. In his rage he killed the Egyptian and was forced to flee into the wilderness to escape punishment.

This young man who was groomed to be a prince of Egypt was now herding sheep and goats in the desert. Moses had seen a serious change in his status and prospects. Once a favorite of the Pharaoh he was now a fugitive from the Pharaoh. But, unknown to him, God had him exactly where He wanted him. His crooked path had swerved him into the place where God could meet Him. Moses’ life was about to make another dramatic turn. God was about to call Him to a great task that would change the course of history. God would have to change his story in order for him to shape His story.

Moses, the Hebrew raised in Egypt was about to meet God and experience a new reality. Whenever you meet God it challenges all your previous assumptions and opinions about what is real and what is not. I don’t think that happens in giant steps but in baby steps. Moses and the burning bush is an example of how God leads us from the limitations of our sinful nature to the largeness of His spiritual nature.

I believe this shows us that God gives us supernatural touch points to help us get our heart and mind around a new reality. For Moses, that was a burning bush. For us, it begins with salvation. “If anyone be in Christ He is a new creation. The old is passed away and all becomes new.” II Corinthians 5:17

Big faith comes one little reality changing revelation at a time. As God becomes more real to you, the worldly things become less real and less relevant than spiritual things.

Do you know that reality?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 26, 2011

“While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”  Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.  Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region.”  Matthew 9:18-26

“What determines your reality? How do you decide what is real?”
That is a very important question. You need to have a very good answer. Over the next few posts I want to share some examples of people whose faith shaped their reality. They believed what they believed more than they believed what they saw. Christ was more real to them than their circumstances.

Two great examples are shown in these several verses from Matthew 9.

The local synagogue leader – and position of respect and influence in any community – came to Jesus bearing news that was all too real, his beloved daughter laid dead at home. But he made an amazing statement, ““My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”

Wow! Here is a guy who should have been grieving but instead – he was believing! This dad refused to let death have the last word with his daughter. Though there was nothing he could do he knew that Jesus was in town and was convinced that Jesus WAS the Son of God. So his thought process went something like this – Jesus is in town. Jesus in the Messiah come from God. God is the Creator and Giver of life. Therefore, Jesus is connected to the source of life and He should be able to raise my daughter from the dead. THAT was his new reality – his faith in Jesus.

Since he believed so strongly in Jesus, Jesus was able to believe in this guy and He arose to follow this fellow home to raise his deceased daughter. But before they made it to the end of the block a woman with a debilitating blood disease took her opportunity to touch the Master’s garment. There is an important reason she reached for the hem of his garment and I recommend you do some research on it.

Matthew reveals what she was thinking as she reached to touch Jesus, ‘She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’” Her affliction was real, but her faith was more real. She had a faith that changed her reality. She came with a disease and went home completely healed.

Jesus and the synagogue leader then sped their way to his home. As Jesus entered the house He saw the evidence of a death – mourners and music. Speaking to them, Jesus ordered them to leave. Mourners are for the dead and this girl was not going to be dead. That caused them to mock Him because they were locked into a different reality than He was.

After the commotion was stilled, Jesus went to where the daughter was laid and He proceeded to raise her back to life in respect to the great faith of her father. The father’s faith became reality. By letting Jesus have the last word, death did not.

So, I ask you, “Does reality shape your faith or does your faith shape reality?”

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 25, 2011

"Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

This is another unexpected secret of satisfaction. Kingdom mourning is not depression but grief over our own spiritual bankruptcy. It is the result of seeing God in His holiness and seeing our own sinfulness in stark contrast. When confronted with God's purity , "those who mourn" are utterly striken by the enormity of debt the owe.

This is the mourning of Isaiah, after seeing "The Lord seated on a high and lofty throne," angels encircling the room, the very foundation quaking beneath his feet, the whole templ filling with the smoke of God;s glory. And without stopping for throught or explanation, Isaiah blurts out the only thing his soul knows to say, "Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am ruined, because I an a man of unclean lips and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts." Isaiah 6:1,5)

This was the experience of Paul, who cried out conerning his ongoing struggle with sin, "What a wretched man I am! Who shall rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24)

It is the experience of every kingdom ctizen.

But - good news! - those who mourn over their sin are "comforted" by their forgiveness. While our awareness of our need never departs, God's comfort their forgiveness. While our awareness of need never departs, God's comfortis also continual. Our tears are tears of joy. We hurt, but we are satisfied.

This is more than a personal mourning. It's also a shared mourning - a sadness over the damaging effects of sin in our world, in our churches, in our extended families, among our friends. But for us, the sorrowing poor, our tears are turned into happy laughter through the intervention of the Messiah, whose kingdom pleasure is to "comfort all who mourn" (Isaiah 61:2)

Do you mourn today over the sins of your past? Over the sin of someone you love? Find comfort in knowing that through Jesus, God offers forgiveness. Continue to pray for those in sin.

October 24, 2011

Day 23 EKG Devotional

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3 

I have walked with people through the experience of financial bankruptcy, so I understand the humiliation it causes. Spiritual bankruptcy ("poor in spirit") is humbling as well, but that's where the similarities end. There's no guarantee in bankruptcy that the person will ever recover financially. But Jesus promised that when we file for spiritual bankruptcy - when we recognize our complete inability to pay our debts or dig ourselves out of the hole - the "kingdom of heaven" is ours. (Matthew 5:3)

To enjoy the satisfaction Jesus offers, we need to know what being "poor in spirit" is. It is emptying ourselves before God, humbly acknowledging our impoverished spiritual condition.

The more we recognize the  enormous depth of our spiritual need, the more we will seek the reign of God in our lives. The less attached we are to this world, the more passionate we are toward the kingdom of God.

Declaring spiritual bankruptcy goes counter to our human nature which is proud and self-reliant. We would rather believe the lie that we are in control and we can work it out. All we need is a better education or a promotion at work, or different friends, or a better church, or a better attitude, or any number of other "props". Many people live under the delusion that happiness is just "out there somewhere" slightly beyond our reach.

The truth is happiness is not "out there" it is in welcoming the total and complete reign of Christ into your heart and mind and living for His kingdom. It seems the desparation of poor people allow them to recognize that easier. They are more open to becoming "like children" in order "to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3). They are the least and yet "the greatest in the kingdom" (Matthew 18:4). They have nothing but God, but when you have nothing but God is when you discover He is all you really need. He satisfies. Are you counted among the "satisfied"?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 23, 2011

How many of you enjoy being right?

How many of you wish you could be right every time?

Do you know someone who is always right?     (Rush Limbaught – 98.6% of time)

Here are some people I want to get it right every time:

1) Surgeons

2) Airline Pilots

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT: - Understanding all the great things that happened the moment you were saved!

1) Repentance – Turning from away from sin and toward God

2) Restitution – Making things right because you have been made right

3) Redemption – Bought out of slavery and bondage by blood of Christ

4) Regeneration – Made spiritually alive by the Spirit of God

5) Reconciliation – Personal relationship with God restored by Christ

6) RIGHTEOUSNESS – Being made right with God in every way

As I mentioned last week righteousness happens in three steps:

1) Justification – being declared “not guilty” because of the sacrifice of Jesus

2) Sanctification – being set apart to God, cleansed from sin, and Spirit-filled

3) Glorification – righteousness made complete in Heaven

Emmanuel Ninger was a great artist and a brilliant man, but he misused his talent as an artist and, along with his pictures, painted phony 20-dollar bills. Finally, he was caught and convicted. After his arrest, his portraits were sold at public auction for over $5,000 each. The irony of the story is it took him almost exactly the same length of time to paint a 20-dollar bill as it took him to paint a $5,000 portrait.

That is exactly why we need to be made righteous – we have a strong bent toward evil.

When we speak of righteousness, what are we talking about? OT word = “justice, justification, and salvation”.

In the New Testament the Greek word = the “state of him who is as he ought to be…”

Righteousness = being acceptable to God. In this state that God approves, are character qualities of “integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting”. Righteousness thinks and acts right.

So here, we see that righteousness is our position in life that is approved by God, and based on the character qualities of God.

Paul declares that the gospel reveals, or shows us, what it means to be righteous- a “condition acceptable to God”.

How does the righteousness of God, become righteousness from God, and credited to us as righteousness? What does Paul mean by this and how does it happen?

There are two ideas about righteousness that come from two different theological views: one is called imputation and basically believes that because of what Jesus did for us, God looks at us through His blood and declares us righteous. That would be like the surgeon going through school and residency and then being given his Dr.’s License and pronounced a surgeon. He is “imputed” as a doctor. He is legally a Dr. even though he hasn’t started his practice. Or, it would be like the pilot getting his hours in and passing the test for his license but not yet flying an airliner. He is “imputed” as a pilot – declared a pilot by one with authority.

As a Wesleyan, I have always been taught that righteousness in imparted to us – God actually makes us righteous He doesn’t just pronounce us righteous. So I have always been an imparted righteousness guy not an imputed righteousness guy. However, as I studied for this message I messed up my theology by realizing that both are true! God imputes righteousness to us by the sacrifice of Christ and then imparts it to us as we walk in the Spirit.

I. Righteousness Is Imputed Through Christ, Romans 5:9-19


Imputed righteousness means God put all His money in your account to settle your debt. Some powerful things happen because of that!

Christ’s righteousness imputed for your wrath!

Christ’s reconciliation imputed for your alienation!

Christ’s grace imputed for your trespass

Christ’s gift imputed for your judgment

Christ’s life imputed for your death

When you trust Christ for your salvation and accept His sacrifice for your forgiveness, that connects you to the righteousness of God.

II. Righteousness Is Imparted Through Christ, Romans 6:11-19



You got out of a bad relationship because it was bad, but you are still resentful and angry.
(You let the devil leave his bags.)

You got out of financial debt, but you still can’t control the desire to spend on frivolous things.
(You let the devil leave his bags.)

You got out of a bad habit or addiction, but you still long to try it just one more time.
(You let the devil leave his bags.)

You said, I forgive you, but you can’t seem to forget and have peace with that person.
(You let the devil leave his bags.)

You got out of that horribly oppressive job, but you are still trying to sabotage the company after you’ve left. (You let the devil leave his bags.)

You cut off the affair with that married man/woman, but you still lust after him/her.
(You let the devil leave his bags.)

You broke off your relationship with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet.  (You let the devil leave his bags.)

You decided to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable environment, yet you believe you are unworthy of love from others and you refuse to get attached to anyone. (You let the devil leave his bags.)

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” I John 1:7-10

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Ro. 12:1-2

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:15-17

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ II Peter 1:4-8

God’s righteousness is imputed to you through your faith in Christ and then it is imparted to you in Christ as you walk in obedience and are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Impartation means that God not only put money in your account to cover your debt, he gives you access to His account!


Do you want your surgeon to get it right?

Do you want your pilot to get it right?

Do you think God wants you to get it right?

Why go through life always wrong when you can live in His rightness?


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6


“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:7-9

Watch this........                                 http://youtube/GpB-FUg9PD4


Friday, October 21, 2011

October 22, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 22

I was never a Rolling Stones fan, but I do remember their song "(I can't get no) Satisfaction." Its lyrics are nearly without rival in capturing the emptiness of humankind. This song - in its day - echoed the prevailing sentiments of a generation.

Has anything really changed over the years, through? We will see the many futile attempts people make - and we make - to find statisfaction. Bigger houses, better jobs, more money, faster cars, classier clothes, more outrageous and expensive thrills. These are all part of the quest to fid satisfaction in life. We may call it fulfillment, happiness, or status , but we're all seeking to find meaning and purpose.


The miracle of the kingdom, though, is that when Jesus told us to pursue righteousness, to set our hearts on Him and His kingdom, He was actually offering us the only satisfaction life can give. In pursuing His kingdom, we discover that all the things we once considered worthy goals take a backseat to knowing God and experiencing the freedom that comes from His rule in our lies.

So do you want satisfaction? Then you want the kingdom because nothing else satisfies...though we try and we try and we try and we try.

The week read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, chapters 5-7 in The Gospel of Matthew. How does Jesus' radical plan for finding satisfaction in life compare with what society says? How does it compare with your experiences?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 21, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 20

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."  Matthew 4:1-11

After Jesus had fasted forty days and nights in the wilderness - a reminder of the forty years Israel spent in the wilderess (Deuteronomy 8:2-3) - Satan came to Him. (This is typical, Satan always approaches us when he thinks we're at our weakest,) The first temptation struck hard at Jesus' immediate needs: lonliness, hunger, and credibility.

All alone out here, Jesus? What kind of father leaves his son all by himself in the middle of nowhere  with nothing to eat?

Hungry, Jesus? Surely for a miracle worker like You, these little loaf-sized stones are only bread in disguise.

You're the Son of God, Jesus? I might believe it myself if you'd prove it to me.

Jesus responded by quoting from Deuteronmoy 8:3: "He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers alone had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live by bread alone but on every world that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Jesus knew what Israel had failed to comprehend - that we, God's people, can rely on the Father for our every need. But we have to put first things first.

Jesus first desire was unquestioned obedience to the Father's plan for His life. Thus He would do nothing - absolutely nothing - that would compromise their relationship. This "first things first" reality is what Jesus would later teach His disciples, telling them to "seek first the kingdom" and trust our spiritual needs, God takes care of our physical needs without even having to think about them.

When does temptation come to you? When you are hungry, lonely, afraid? Reflect on your temptations and the events and emotions surrounding those times. Ask God to help you through such difficulties in the future so that you can put first thisng first and focus on the kingdom.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 20, 2011

"When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." Matthew 7:28-29

Jesus' message was not like anything these early disciples had ever heard. Everyone was amazed at the depth of his understanding and the authority with which He taught. Never had anyone taught with His methods or His message. His promise that God's rule and reign would be ushered in through His own ministry. A passion for His righteousness would penetrate their very lives, and they in turn would spread the news of this kingdom,, becoming fishers of men.

The Master was not merely inviting them to become recipients of the kingdom. He was empowering them to become agents of the kingdom, giving them the joy of encouraging others to experience this blessing, now and forever.

Yes, even to this very day, God promises blessing - not to the strong, the powerful, and the mighty but to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, who are gentle, who hunger for his righteousness, who are merciful and who ar gentle, who hunger for His righteousness, who are merciful and who are gentle, who hunger for His righteousness, who are merciful and pure in heart, and who seek peace even when it's returned as persecution.

And how does God bless them?

He declares, "The kingdom of heaven is theirs."

They hall be comforted, the shall inherit the earth, enjoying the kingdom benefits even on this side of heaven. They shall be satisfied in their quest for righteousness. They shall be shown the indescribable mercy the sons and daughters of God. They will not always be spared the sting of suffering, but they will receive the eternal reward of their Father. They enjoy the blessing of God, a constant relationship with the King of glory.

Does your heart swell with gratitude at God's forgiveness and blessings in your life? Express your love to God by sharing His love with someone who has not yet experienced the gift of salvation. God will thank you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 19, 2011

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  Jeremiah 31:33-34

Not only was Israel set to receive a new heart, but God also promised, "I will place My Spirit within you." God's Spirit would enable them "to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances." Ezexiel 36:27

The promises of God's covenant had been based on Israel's obedience to His Word. But their struggle to obey the law demonstrated that the human heart is wicked. In our own strength we cannot keep God's law. We need our hearts rest, restored, and revived. We need God's life inside of us, His eternal Holy Spirit. There's no other way to live the kingdom life. Kingdom people don't pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. They submit to God and give God's power a clear, obedient path. Jeremiah described that path in the above Scripture.

We are the recipients of this new covenant. These prophetic Scriptures were a sign that a new age was dawning, a time when God would "pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground (and) pour out My Spirit on your descendants and My blessing on your offspring." (Isa. 44:3) It foretold of a coming One who would have "My Spirit on Him" (Isa. 42:1) and would epower the people of His kingdom to obey His Word and experience His full blessing. The world was preparing for Jesus. The kingdom was coming in force!

Thank God for the presence of His Holy Spirit in your life today. Pray for His ongoing guidance to help you to obey His Word and experience His blessings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 18, 2011

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26

When God brings restoration, He doesn't stopwith the cleansing pat. He doesn't just remove our sins; He also heals and reives. He performs radical surgery on us, enabling His people to live in obedience to His Word. He gives us a "new heart" removing our "heart of stne" and giving us a "heart of flesh" - a heart that's alive and healthy and thriving.

The heart is not just one individual part of a person's makeup. It repesents our total personality. We use the term heart to refer to our mind, will and emotions. In the Bible it stands for the seat of our personality.

Jesus, you may remember, called the scribes and pharisees "'hypocrites'" because they honored Him with their lips "'but their heart is far from Me'" (Matthew 15:7-8 quoting Isaiah 29:13). These men, unrivaled in their obsession with ceremonial purty, were greatly offended. Christ's disciples, too, appeared somewhat shcoked by His implication. Didn't Jesus know that these mn had every appearance of holiness and uprightness? Yes, but Jesus kne more.He knew their evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies." (Matt. 15:19) and al the rest, and He knew from where these secret sins came. "From the heart" come the things that define a person. Our hearts tell us who we really are.

Israel's heart had become fossilized, like a stone, unfeeling and unresponsive. But God promised to do for them what they could not do or themselves. He would give hem a heart of flesh, a heat He could mold and move and fashion, a heart that cold hear Hi Word and react in obedience.

Will you pray this prayer that the Psalmist prayed?

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalms 139: 23-24

October 17, 2011

EKG Devotionals Day 16

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols."  Ezekiel 36:25

It's not enough for you to be rescued from your sins, to be pulled from harm's way and returned to safety. You must also be removed.

The promise of restoration comes hand in hand with amoral and spiritual change of heart. So God told His people Israel that they must be purified from the filthy buildup caused by their rebellion and idolatry. Ezekiel used the terminology of sprinkling with clean water, a reference to a temple reitual that symbolized spiritual uncleanness from the people. But this cleansing is much more that a "lick and a promise" you give yourself.

God's demands for holiness and purity have not changed since Ezekiel spoke these words. If you desire restoration today in your life and church, you must also allow the Father to cleanse you from your filthiness.

Study after study has indicated that the lifestyles chosen by many believers are much more like the world that like the Kingdom of God. Compromise with sin and worldly values has significantly dimished the impact of the witness of the Kingdom. It seems the Church today is in desparate need of this cleansing of heart and mind. The formula has never changed - never will, you must turn from your wickedness in true humility and allow God's Word to purify you. Just as Jesus asked the Father to sanctify the disciples with the truth of His Word (John 17:17), you too must seek the deep cleansing of God - if you are serious about being a Kingdom person.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011

Amy Biehl died a violent death in 1993. She was a 26-year-old Fulbright scholar who had gone to South Africa to help register black voters for their first free election. But even though she was seeking to help the people of South Africa, as she was driving one day, she was dragged out of her car, stabbed and beaten to death by a mob which was committed to violence in order to overthrow of the apartheid government. Soon afterward, Amy’s parents, Linda and Peter Biehl, quit their jobs and moved from their Orange County, California home to South Africa — not to seek revenge, but to start a foundation in Amy’s name. Today, two of her killers work for the foundation. They call Mrs. Biehl “Makhulu,” or grandmother, because of the way she treats them. She says, “Forgiving is looking at ourselves and saying, ‘I don’t want to go through life feeling hateful and vengeful, because that’s not going to do me any good.’ We took Amy’s lead. We did what we felt she would want.”

That is the picture of reconciliation. It not only forgives, it reaches out to restore. It pays back good for evil. It is following the heart and character of God. I am so grateful that God made the sacrifice to reconcile me to himself in spite of all that I have done, and now I want to follow Jesus and offer that same reconciliation to others — even those who may have harmed me.






Today, another great benefit of your salvation - Reconciliation

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”  Romans 5:9-11

Paul is using a form of argument called a fortiori, or “how much more.” It basically works like this: If the greater thing is true, then the lesser thing is of necessity also true. If God has done the harder thing, then surely He will do the easier task. – EXAMPLES - verse 9: “Since we have now…how much more shall we be…” And verse 10: “For if when we were…how much more…” Even verse 11 employs something similar: “Not only…we also.”

Since God did the more difficult task of justifying weak, wayward and wicked sinners, then to rescue us from wrath is relatively effortless. We could say it this way: If God has already done the difficult, can we not trust Him to do the comparatively simple thing of completing the task?


Look at verse 9: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

STATEMENT #1: “We Have Been Justified By His Blood,” V. 9

At conversion our sins are forgiven, and all charges against us are dropped. This is a legal term from the world of law ----- in God's eyes justification is "just as if I've never sinned."

Don’t miss the fact that we are saved by “His blood.” As the song says, “there is power in the blood” not in pop psychology or in other blather baptized in the waters of Christian words. Why is the blood of Jesus so important?

• There is no forgiveness without blood. Hebrews 9:22: “…Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

• The blood satisfies the Holy claims of God. Exodus 12:13: “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

• The blood redeems the believer. 1 Peter 1:18-19: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

• The blood cleanses us from sin. 1 John 1:7: “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

The blood of Jesus justifies us. That’s conviction #1. Here’s what that means:

Significance #1: We shall be saved from God’s wrath. God’s righteous wrath was unleashed on Jesus, who died as our substitute, in our place. The word “wrath” means “an inner, deep resentment that seethes and smolders.”

The word for saved means, “to deliver or preserve a person from extraordinary danger or destruction.” Loved ones, Jesus intercepted and absorbed the wrath of God for you on the cross, where all of God’s fury was poured out.

A man died and was transported to the pearly gates. He was met by an angel who said, “All you have to do is perform one task correctly and you’ll be granted entrance into heaven. It’s really pretty easy. All you have to do is spell ‘love.’”

The man sighed in relief and quickly answered: “L-O-V-E.” The angel then asked the man if he could watch the gate for a few minutes because he had a couple errands to run. The man immediately agreed. As he awaited the angel’s return, he saw another man walk up the pearly gates. He recognized him as someone he couldn’t stand when he was alive. In fact, he had incredible conflict with him for many years. Seeing who was manning the gates, the man became noticeablyanxious. The gatekeeper said, “Don’t worry, all you have to do is perform one task correctly and you’ll get in.” The man breathed a sigh of relief and said, “What do I have to do?” To which his enemy said, “Spell ‘chrysanthemum.’”

Aren’t you glad that there’s no human gatekeeper to God’s kingdom? Flawed people cannot judge whether someone makes it or not. The task that needs to be performed has already been completed by Christ. It’s through His blood that we have entrance. We are justified by Jesus through faith, and we’re saved from wrath because we’ve been declared righteous.

Verse 10 gives us the next pair of truths: “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

STATEMENT #2: “We Are Reconciled By His Death”, V. 10

Before we come to Christ, the Bible says that we are at war with God. The word “enemy” was often used to describe bitter military foes and meant “hated, odious and hostile.” In our context, it would be like the U.S. and North Korea. Amazingly, Jesus now refers to us not as foes, but as friends in John 15:15: “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I made known to you.” If God did all that He did for us when we were enemies, what will He do for us now that we are friends?

Significance #2: We are saved by His life.

BY THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION - Since a dead Savior can redeem us, don’t you think a living Savior can keep us? Christ not only gave His life for us, He gave His life to us



BY THE POWER OF HIS PRAYERS – “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

This passage helps us see that there are three dimensions to our deliverance: past, present and future.

1) Justification

2) Sanctification

3) Glorification

First, we are justified by His blood and saved from His wrath.

Second, we are reconciled by His death and saved by His life.

Thirdly, verse 11 teaches that we have received reconciliation and therefore we rejoice in God:

STATEMENT #3: “We Have Received Reconciliation,” V. 11

Would you notice that reconciliation must be received in order for it to be activated in one’s life? God initiates reconciliation with His enemies and we are recipients only when we receive what He offers. John 1:12: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Jesus said it this way in John 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” Perhaps you’ve been trusting in other methods but I’m here to tell you that if you’re in the wrong vehicle you’ll go to the wrong place.

Statement #3: We rejoice in God. The Greek word joy means “to exult and rejoice jubilantly, or to be thrilled.” Notice that we are to be thrilled with God Himself. This could be translated this way: “glorying in God.” Psalm 35:9: “Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.”



1) You have been justified by His blood and we shall be saved from God’s wrath.

2) You are reconciled by His death and we are saved by His life.

3) You have received reconciliation and we rejoice in God.



The son was hoping to get hired as a servant but got much more:

RING – Authority To Do Business

ROBE – Righteousness

SANDALS – Son Not Slave

PARTY – Celebrate Return

You got all of that and more when you were reconciled with God through the blood of Christ!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011

“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!" Ezekiel 36:24-32

In the middle of crisis, with Israel at its lowest ebb, Ezekiel declared God's intention to revive His people, to rally His Kingdom. Many years before, of course, God had redeemed Israel from Egypt. And by His transforming power, they had emerged not as a loose collection of families but as a nation, a kingdom of priests. And He was about to do it again.

The long night in Babylon would make another turning point in the life of Israel. They had been taken into captivity a proud nation, but they would emerge as a new spiritual entity, a revitalized remnant that would return home with a new and responsive heart, a transformed people who would possess God's Spirit within them.

What we are witnessing here is the forerunner of the New Testament church, God's messianic community. We are witnessing God's kingdom rousing from the appearance of sleep, yet marching (as always) to the beat of God's sovereign purpose and perfect timing. We are witnessing what happens when God revives us from our rebellion.

Revival always begins with a righteous remnant. We see this truth coming to vivid life in the prophecy of Ezekiel, through words and phrases that still have the power to renew our troubled souls. When we hear Ezekiel speaking to the people of Israel (Ezek. 36:24-38), promising them God's cleansing, His renewal, His empowerment, and His restoration to fruitful ministry, we can feel our own sins falling away, the tug of temptation lossening its grip, and our spirits taking deep breaths of hope, vision and freshness.

This is the kingdom, this is the power of God rushing through our veins, restoring our weak and damaged arteries, perfoming His sovereign act of revival so that His kingdom can pour forth through us in power.

Take a moment to let the truth of God's forgiveness penetrate your soul. Whatever your sin, god's promise is that you can be clean and a vital part of His kingdom.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 14, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 13

When God acts in human history, it is always for our good and His glory. Lest you wonder which one of these is the most important of the two, God's glory always comes first.

For exmple, when God began to ove on behalf of His people being held captive in Balylon, He made clear through the prophet Ezekiel that "it is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went." Exekiel 36:22.

Their deliverance was about God's desire that the ntions see and come to know Him as the living God. Everything is about God, and His kingdom people must embrace His mission as their own.

Like Israel, we are tempted to think that we are the center of the universe, that our desires and prayers determine God's agenda. Part of me wishes this were true. This kind of message has an immediate appeal. But when I consider the end result of this kind of theology - the self-centered emptiness of expecting God to bow to your personal wishes - I don't want any part of what it offers. It's like peeling away the layers of an onion, working our way furher down into ourselves until there's nothing left to show for all of our struggle.

When we pray that God will be glorified, He will send us deliverance, or faithfulness, patience, strength, wisdom - whatever is required to reveal His presence and draw oters to Him. The sooner we understand that God is King - that He alone is the cener of the universe - the sooner we'll come to experience the freedom of living in His kind of purpose and protection. It is indeed the only way to live.

Do you have self-serving layers you need to strip away to see that God is King and the center of the universe? What must change to make Him the center of your universe?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 13, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 12

"When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”  I Kings 10:1-9

Soon after the dedication of the magnificent temple in Jerusalem, the Queen of Sheba traveled 1,500 miles from the Persian Gulf region, her camel caravan loaded down with spices abd precious gifts. She ame partly because she had heard of the wisdom of Solomon. But she had come for more of a reason than that! "When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions."

The temple was impressive. Solomon's splendor was immense. But the thing that turned the head of the queen was the incredible stamp of God on the life of one of His people. That's why, after sufficiently picking his brain, she concluded the rumors she had heard of Solomon's brilliance didn't tell half the story. This pagan queen recognized God's blessing in Solomon's life, saying,  "Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”

God's name is visible in His people, even from a distance. We continue to see througout he Scripture the weaving together of three threads:

1. God called a people to embrace His mission - to be His chosen instruments in drawing the nations to Himself.

2. He established a covenant realationship with them so they would embody His name and represent His nature and character to the world.

3. He commanded that they obey His Word and demonstrate holiness, the noticeable difference He made in their lives.

You can be a welcoming reminder that God is waiting for those tired of slogging through a world of sin and disappointments. Let them see God's light in your window. It may seem as impressive as Solomon's temple.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 12, 2011


The name we bear is the only that will last forever. That's why we cannot talk about God's name without a final glimpse at the promise on an eternal kingdom. When the Lord told David that he would establish the work of Solomon's hands in building the temple, he went on to say that he would "'appoint him over My house and My kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever'" (I Chronicles 17:14)

We know now that the Lord's reference to "forever" in His message to David found its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus, the Son of David....who was born in Bethlehem, the city of David....and who lives forever on the throne of his Father's kingdom. We, too, will live with him forever.

Still, we may long to see in our lifetime the fulfillment of all the things God has started in us. But neither we nor God's kingdom are limited to a human lifetime. Because we will walk on streets of gold and live forever in the glory of God's eternal kingdom, we can live free frim the restraints of now and next week.

Yes, those of us who embody His name today can already enjoy a taste of His eternal kingdom. We live and serve and work and play in a kingdom that has no boundaries, no restrictions, no limits, and no end. This joyful task of embodying God's name places us squarely in the middle of God's will for this hour and forever in the freedom of His purposes for eternity.

Someone may ask you, "How can you be nice to that guy after he's been so awful to you?" or, "How are you able to be so patient with your children?" or, "Why does your family seem so happy and connected?" If they do then there's a name for what they see in you.

His name is JESUS!

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 11, 2011


Many writers have offered numerous suggestions on how we can achieve purity of heart and soul. Some people read these books looking for a simple formula, hoping to find a low-commitment path to holiness.

It's kind of like dieting. The experts lead us from fad to fad, creating as many side effects as they do success stories. But basically it always boils down to this: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more. It's a fairly simple formula.

For those who may be looking for simple steps to holiness, I'll give you just one: we experience holiness by being obedient to the Lord. This is because partial obedience is total disobedience. Delayed obedience is present-tense disobedience. Thus, full obedience is the only cure for disobedience.

I Know that many people today - many Christians, in fact - do not live consistently be the teachings of God's Word. Truth is, we all face a daily struggle to let His truth capture our affections and control our behavior. But obedience is the only proper response for a kingdom person.

Why obey? Because He has redeemed us. "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,"  Titus 2:11-12

Why obey? Because He is holy. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

Why obey? Because this is His purpose for us. "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;" Deuteronomy 11:26-27

Obedience opens the floodgate for blessing, which enables us to be a blessing to others!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 10, 2011

Serving is at the heart of the priestly role. Through poetic prophecy Isaiah challenged Israel to take on the priestly role they were called to embody. We, too, can learn from wat he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners." (Isaiah 61:1)

Jesus Christ read from this text at the synagogue in Nazareth and declared, "Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled." (Luke 4:21) As followers of Christ, these same ministries are also our priestly calling; to share the good news of salvation, to minister to the hurting to make God's love more real to the world.

The prophet Isaiah was speaking to Israel when he reminded them, "You will be called the Lords priests; they will speak of you as ministers of our God." (Isaiah 61:6)

Isaiah also prophecied about the good news of salvation being meant for more that the nation of Israel. As Isaiah gave God;s message concering Jesus and the fulfillment of this priestly prophecy, he said, "It is not enough for you to be My servant raising up the tribes of Jacob and restoring to the protected ones of Israel. I will also make of you a light for the nations, to be My savation to the ends of the earth," (Isaiah 49:6)

To be God's priests is a calling for all of us to serve all people, to the eand of the earth. Serving others is how we obey God's Word, embrace His mission, and embody His name - the role of a priest.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 9, 2011

I am going to be really hip and trendy with this message. Unlike many of you, this will be a new experience for me you are probably used to it. I am going to talk about the living dead.

No, it’s not the Twilight vampire stuff.

And, no, I am not talking about zombies.

Well, okay, maybe I am not that hip. The walking dead I am going to talk about are those millions of people who are walking through life without a relationship with Jesus Christ. While they are physically alive, they are spiritually dead. To me, that is the most frightening type of living dead because unless something happens they will be dead forever.

Vampires know they are dead. Zombies don’t seem to care. But those who are spiritually dead are totally clueless about their spiritual condition. THAT IS SCARY TO ME!

Vampires don’t exist (except at the IRS). And there are no zombies. But these walking dead are everywhere and that’s what I want to talk about today. But first, let me review:

Terms of Endearment:

Repentance – turning from sin and self to become a devoted follower of Christ

Restitution – making things right around you because you have been made right inside

Redemption – being bought back from sin and slavery by the blood of Jesus

Regeneration – being made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit

Just because you are alive doesn’t mean you’re not dead.

“ As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:1-10

I. The Exclamation of Regeneration, Vv. 1- 5
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved”


“dead in your trespasses and sins”, V. 1
“darkness”, V. 2

“disobedient”, V. 2b
“dominated by desires”, V. 3

“deserving of wrath”, V. 3b

“alive with Christ”, V. 5

Here are some Scriptures that talk about being REGENERATED or BORN AGAIN:

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:1-3

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” I Corinthians 15:22

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” Colossians 2:13

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”  I Peter 3:18

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

II. The Explanation of Regeneration, Vv. 6-9

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Nicodemus was a dead man walking and had no idea. He must have known something was wrong because he DID come to Jesus with a searching heart.

“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:1-16

III. The Expression of Regeneration, V. 10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Regenerated people do good works – godly works!

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to 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, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:1-11

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “ For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter .”Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39

Nicodemus was a walking dead man. Are you?
Nicodemus needed to be born again. So do you.
Nicodemus was trusting in religion not relationship? Are you?
You’re not alive until God says you’re alive!

It is time to come alive in Christ.  Have you been born again? Will you?

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 8, 2011

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. "  Romans 12:1-2

We - the people of God, His prized and movable treasures - are the "living sacrifices" God uses to advance His kingdom on earth. But what kinds of "living sacrifices" does a kingdom person make to God?

Our Bodies - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. As you continue to read through Romans 12 , you will discover the Apostle Paul is not only talking about the purity of our personal bodies but also the united sacrifices made by the body of believers, the church. By offering back to im all the physical abilities and spiritual gifts He has given to us - as individuals and as churches - we fulfill a major part of our priestly duti

Our Worship - "Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name." Hebrews 13:15. Have you ever thought about worship as being a priestly sacrifice you can offer to God? This perspective should arrest your attention the next time you approach worhip halfheartedly. True worship occurs when we focus on God as the object of our praise and adoration.

Our Service - "Don't neglect to do good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." Hebrews 13:16. By actively planning to be thoughtful, watchful, caring, and compassionate, we meet the needs of those around us and please our Father at the same time.

Our Witness - Paul talked about being a "priest of God's good news." with His purpose being that "the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable" as a result of receiving God's salvation Romans 15:16. He saw his sharing of the gospel message as a stewardship, an act of priestly service and oedience a way to help others experience the joy of Christ's presence and acceptance.

Worship, service, witness - three ways to love God and love others. You can show you love for od this week by worshiping Him and being His movable possession as you tell others about God's love.