Faith Exercise

Proverbs 20:6 – Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

When you exercise, you increase the strength of the muscle by the more repetitions you do.  The same holds true with your faith.  The more you exercise it, the more it increases. 

When we look at the 6th verse in the 20th Chapter of Proverbs, there is a confirmation as well a question that asked.  The confirmation is that every man will proclaim his own goodness.  This means that a man will in fact, tell you that he is, for the most part, a good man (I use man in the general term).  In other words, I can tell you all day long that “Hey, I’m good.  I try to live right.  I try my best to be responsible”.  However there is also the question, “who can find a faithful man?”  This is where the numbers start to drop considerably.

 As we look all around us, there are many, MANY good people that will do good things but, there are fewer and FEWER people that are faithful.  When I say faithful, I mean in the sense that they are not exercising their faith in God.  The second passage, very familiar to a lot of us, says that you have to exercise your faith DAILY.  When you are in the Will of God, you can rest assured that what he has in store for you will be given to you according to HIS will in the name of Jesus.  To paint a picture for you, let’s say that you are waiting on something that will bring about changes in your life for the better.  You asked God, through lots of prayer, and meditation to bring these changes into your life.  Now here is where it gets interesting.  The prayer for the changes is the substance of things hoped for.  Since you already know that you can trust God to supply ALL of your needs according to his riches (That’s a lot, by the way), and you are trusting Him to deliver you from all hurt, harm, and danger and you are taking Him at His word that “A change is gonna come”, that is the evidence of things not seen. 

That’s it!  That’s the exercise that we have to do daily.  The Faith Exercise is designed to increase the size of your Faith.  How many reps are you going to do today?

Until next time…

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The Jesus Agenda, Part I

Good Day Readers:

The Holy Spirit moves!  Instead of giving one blog post, it was revealed that I give this in parts.  I hope you’re blessed by this:

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If we were to search for the word agenda, we may find these two meanings

  1.  A list or outline of things to be considered or done (as in an agenda of a faculty meeting)
  2. An underlying often ideological plan or program (as in a political agenda)

When looking at the agenda itself, there is often a template associated with it.  An example of an agenda template can consist of:

  1.  An Objective
  2. The Attendees
  3. Date, Time, and Duration
  4. Location
  5. What to bring
  6. The Presenter
  7. Topic
  8. Allocated Time

Having said all of that, and for the sake of the text we are sharing with you today, I would like to talk about the Jesus Agenda

In the eleventh chapter Matthew’s Gospel, we find Jesus selecting His twelve disciples and commissioning them to teach and to preach in their various cities. Once they had gotten their assignment, word got to John the Baptist, who was in prison awaiting execution at the hands of King Herrod.  In light of this information, he sends two of his own disciples to find Jesus with only one question in verse three:  

“Art thou he that should come or, shall we look for another?” 

To this question, Jesus simply replied in verse four and five: 

“Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

As we look at the text more closely, we can see that Jesus came down to Earth with an agenda in place.  The first part is that Jesus’ had an objective to his Ministry.  Jesus tells the disciples of John to “go” and to “show” the things that ye do hear and see but if we break that down even further, Jesus is telling us that we need to GO and SHOW:

The things that we do – that means the way we SHOULD be living our lives as Christians.

The things that we hear – that means that every now and then you need share a testimony or a praise report with someone that may be going through the something in hopes that we can be a blessing.

The things that we see – that means that we need to look around us and witness the hand of God.  Like the songwriter said:

Oh God, My God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works thy Hands have made

The Jesus Agenda also shows that there are attendees listed.  In verse five, Jesus said that:

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

That’s part of the Agenda!  If we go back and study this chapter, we can clearly see that the attendees of this Agenda start way back in chapter nine.  In Chapter, nine:

Jesus heals a man sick with the Palsy

Jesus raises from the dead, the daughter of a ruler named, Jarius

Jesus takes the time to open up a drug store in the hem of His garment in order to hear a woman that has been hemorrhaging for 12 LONG years

Jesus cleansed a dumb man possessed by a devil.  When the devil was cast out the man was then able to speak.

All of which was done in the presence of the Pharisees which, by the way, are also requested to be in attendance.

In chapter 10 Jesus chooses the Twelve Disciples , gives them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and diseases, he requires that they carry nothing with them.  No gold, no silver, no brass, no script for the journey, no coats and no shoes.  He also reminds them that they will be sheep among wolves and that they will be hated by all men for His name sake but, to be as wise as serpents yet as harmless as doves.  That’s the Agenda of Jesus!

In Acts 3:2-8, the Agenda of Jesus is further evident through Peter and John:

 2And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

   3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

   4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

   5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

   6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

   7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

   8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

   9And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

The Agenda of Jesus is a wonderful thing because we now have the template in place.  More to come…

Until next time…

Update Post…

Hello Readers:

I just want to go on record and say that I am not neglecting you or this blog.  I am preparing something that will, hopefully, be worth the wait.  As you know, life happens and when it does, certain things have to get taken care of rather quickly.  With that, I ask for your continued prayers for this post that I am writing.  In the meantime, please PLEASE feel free to view some of my other pieces and comment where you feel.  I am on the grind, as they say so, you will be hearing from me soon. 

Untill next time…

The Wrong Crowd

Good Day Readers:

Another short week is in the books and I am ready to get to the weekend.  How about you?

10And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

   11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

When I read this passage the other day, one thing stuck in my mind.  Wherever Jesus went, He was with the wrong crowd.  What am I saying?  I’m simply saying that Jesus hung out with the wrong crowd.  If you look at Matthew Chapter 9, you will see several instances of Him being with the wrong crowd:

2And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

18While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

   19And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

   20And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

   21For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

   22But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

   23And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

   24He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

   25But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

 

32As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.

   33And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

Do you see the common denominator here?  All of these people were of the “wrong crowd” , according to “church folk” who are in church day in and day out.  These same “church folk” that are praising God so that anyone in earshot can hear them are the same type of folk that are accusing our Lord and Savior of blasphemy every time He heals someone, raises someone from the dead, gives sight to the blind and performs any other type of miracle throughout all four Gospels.  But wait, wasn’t that why he was here?  If you look at Chapter 11 of Matthew’s Gospel, two of John the Baptist’s disciples were sent him to ask Jesus if He was truly the Messiah.  They asked him:

Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

To which Jesus replied:

5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

THAT’S IT!!!

In their eyes they are the “wrong crowd” but in His eyes, these are the people who benefitted from His Grace and Mercy.  I don’t know about you but I AM IN THE WRONG FOLK CROWD because I need His Grace and Mercy now more than ever.  What about you?

Until next time…

Preparations for a Blessing

Preparation for a Blessing

2 Kings 3:14-17

When we look at the key verse that we are sharing tonight, there is one thing that is definitely certain. 

That is the fact that God does want to bless.  When we look the different passages of scripture; some

familiar and some that we have had to do some searching for in our individual periods of study; we do

see in these passages that God does indeed want to bless.  We have even quoted that same familiar

saying that “God is in the blessing business”.  However, for the sake of this preaching hour I would like

to share with you that even though God is still in the blessing business, even though God want to bless

you according to his riches, and even though God will provide all of our needs, we must STILL make

preparations for our blessing.  This point comes into focus as we walk through the corridors of chapter 3

of the second book of Kings and more importantly verses 14 through 17. 

Verses 14 through 17 find King Jehoram of Israel, along with King Jehoshephat of Judah, and the King of

Edom ready to do battle with the kingdom of Moab.  However, we also see that in the midst of this

impending conflict, there is a dire situation that they have gotten themselves into as they have now run

out of water for their troops as well as the cattle that was to feed the troops by taking a longer route in

order to attack Moab from the east.  Once word got around that the situation was as serious as it could

get, they took it upon themselves to call upon the prophet Elisha in order to get some guidance on their

next move.  Once Elisha had informed them that even though the reason he would assist them was

because of the presence of King Jehoshephat, he received a strange word from the Lord:

And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches…”

 

What is resident in this word is that, in order to receive a blessing from God, there must sometimes be

some work done on our end.  Many, many times in our lives we will ask God to bless us so much to the

point we even begin to lose count. Sometimes He does bless us even when we really don’t deserve the

blessing in the first place but I have come to let you know that there will be a time when you are looking

for one of those blessings YOU WILL have to dig a few ditches.  In Mark, chapter 10:21, Jesus spoke of

work that needed to be done in order to inherit eternal life.  That verse says:

 

21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell

whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take

up the cross, and follow me.

In other words, if you really want to inherit eternal life, you’re going to have to dig a ditch by taking up a

cross and following Jesus.  Yes, there are days when we get tired of Satan’s dashers breaking and trying

to conquer your soul. Yes, there are those days when your good foot can’t seem to be gotten on but if

you want a blessing from God you will have to dig some ditches. 

Since you know He’s got the whole world in His hands…Dig some ditches

Since you know He’ll make a way out of no way…Dig some ditches

Since goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life…Dig some ditches

Since you are looking to the hills from which cometh your help…Dig some ditches

Since want His will to be done and not your will to be done…Dig some ditches

Since you’re not as smart as you think you are and you know you can’t run this race without Him, why

don’t you get over yourself and…DIG SOME DITCHES!!!

There is more to this word than just that.  When we are asking God for a blessing there is some work

that needs to be done but, but in the process of doing what you’re doing, remember that God always

keeps God’s promises.  If we look further down in the text we that Elisha told the three kings that “…You

will not see any wind, nether shall ye see rain.  Yet that valley shall be filled with water…”  Now, when it

appears that God is late, we have forgotten that HE is, always, right on time.  When it appears He has

forgotten you, you have forgotten who HE really is.  When we are working on man’s time, we forget that

God is working God’s time.  If you still don’t believe God, let me call a few people to the witness stand:

Noah was afloat on a boat with nowhere to land but God remembered

Moses was standing in front of a sea with nothing in his hand but a stick and about to go down for the third and final time, but God remembered.

Shadrach, Meshach and, A Bad Negro(Abednego), were about to become toast, but God remembered

Daniel, who sitting in a lion’s den, was surely to become meal for a day, but God remembered

Lazarus was dead for four days but, when Jesus said, “come forth”, God remembered

In other words, God always keeps God’s promises and God always remembers YOU!!!

There is one more thing that we need to realize when we make preparations for our blessing. 

Sometimes, there will be some work to be done.  When you are doing the work to get the blessing,

remember that God keeps His promises. Once we have done the work and have looked for the promise,

you can expect a change in your atmosphere!  Once Israel, Judah, and Edom dug the ditches, and after

the meat offering was made early the next day, there was a change in the atmosphere and the valley

was filled with water.  They were able to go and defeat the Moabites once the Moabites saw that the

valley looked as red as blood.  They got the blessing that they needed because there was preparation

made. 

The preparation was made when Isaiah said: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the

government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The

mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The preparation was made when Isaiah foretold of John the Baptist when he said:  The voice of him

that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway

for our God.  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the

crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

The preparation was made when Jesus said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my sprit…”

 

But the Blessing came when Jesus stood on resurrection ground with all power in His hands!!

We have to remember that when we want a blessing from God we need to make preparations for the

blessing because God is still in the blessing business…