Thursday, October 29, 2009

What you want...

Do you want your soul to be revived? Do you desire wisdom beyond your years and beyond your peers? Do you long for more joy in your heart? Do you want to see the world in a new light? Do you desire to stay out of trouble and to succeed where others fail? What you want are the things of God. What you want is His truth. What you want is found in God's Word - the Bible. Go after it; read it; trust it; mediate on it; devour it and you will be filled. Do what it says and you will be blessed.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. - Psalm 19:7-11

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Forgiveness is hard, but...

God never told us it would be easy to forgive. He never said that showing mercy was easy – it cost Jesus His life to show us mercy. But, Jesus has clearly told us that it is the only way; that it is a non-negotiable. We have to forgive because we have been forgiven much. We have to show mercy because we have been shown much mercy.

Left to ourselves, we couldn’t do it. But, we are not left to ourselves. We are in Christ Jesus. We are Spirit led people who are no longer controlled by our flesh: our own mind, will, and emotions. And in Christ, we can do all things. In Christ, we have been given all we need for Life and Godliness. In Christ, we can forgive. In Christ, we can show mercy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sow justice - reap justice. Sow mercy - reap mercy.

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Luke 6:37-38
The principle of sowing and reaping is always at work:
  • When you don’t judge others for their junk, you will receive good measure (loads) of mercy.
  • When you don’t condemn others for the things they have done against you, then you will not be condemned.
  • When you forgive others (even forgive them for the extremely hurtful, horrible, sick stuff), then you will be given complete forgiveness – overflowing.
  • When you give out this mercy, it will be given to you in such large amounts that it will be running all over you and this will make you happy in God. AMEN!
Notice the context of this passage. It isn't talking about financial sowing and reaping. Jesus isn't talking about receiving amazing gains in the area of money and finances. Rather, He is talking about reaping amazing gains in the area of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. That blows away financial blessings any day of the week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Judging others is a way of seeking justice

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2
This is a very clear statement from Jesus: If we demand justice and repayment for the sins that others have committed against us, then we will be dealt with in the same manner. OUCH! Let God judge. Leave any vengeance to God. We are called to be merciful.

The way we treat others is the way God will treat us. If we seek justice for others, then God will hand us over to justice. I don’t know about you, but I can’t handle that kind of justice. I can’t handle what I deserve - not from God, not from Satan, not from this cruel world. But, when I extend mercy to others; when I don’t judge others; when I forgive others for their sins against me, I then remain in the place of mercy and escape the place of justice – Hallelujah.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Got Mercy?

Our flesh cries out for justice. "They owe me and I want it. What they did to me was wrong and they should pay. Give me justice!" Our world is built on the principle of justice. Look at the court systems, look at the massive numbers of lawsuits. It is all about justice, but where is the mercy?

Even though we have received ultimate mercy from the Creator of the Universe – God almighty. Even though He has forgiven our gross actions and our hard hearts, we still gravitate towards justice. But Jesus tells us many times, “Don’t go there.” In fact, He says: “You really, really, really, don’t want to go back to that place of justice.” He is warning us; He is pleading with us to stay away from justice and to remain in the place of mercy. Why? Because when we seek justice from others, it requires us to step down from the place of mercy. Jesus paid the ultimate price to get us to the place of mercy.

You see, we can’t have it both ways; “I want mercy for me, but I want justice for others.” It just doesn't work that way in the Kingdom of God. When we seek justice for others, we forfeit mercy.

GOT MERCY?
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Justice, Mercy, Grace

Justice is giving someone what they deserve.
Mercy is not giving someone what they deserve.
Grace is giving someone what they don’t deserve.

It is justice to send me to hell.
It is mercy to not send me to hell.
It is grace to send me to heaven (to be in God’s presence for all eternity).

When we received God’s mercy given to us through the sacrifice of Christ on that cross, we were lifted out of the place of justice (getting what we deserve) and lifted to the higher place of mercy. Hallelujah!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Desperate for the Righteousness of Christ

The righteousness of Christ isn’t something we just wear like a mask. Rather, it is who we must become. His righteousness must be allowed to fill us to the full; to take us over. So that, we begin to become righteous as He is righteous - "Be Holy as He is Holy". So that we think like Jesus and act like Jesus. That is the real transformation that happens to those who are in Christ, who are meek, who are led by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matthew 5:6

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Finding Happiness in God - Audio Teaching

At Evident Life Church we started our journey through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount three weeks ago. For the past two weeks I have taught through the first 4 Beatitudes. God is blowing our minds, bringing us to repentance, and filling us with a happiness in Him that the world can never come close to delivering.

You can listen to these teachings at www.EvidentLife.org. Click HERE.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Got mourning?

Do you need to be comforted? Do you need the comfort of your Heavenly Father? Well, Jesus tells us that “those who mourn will be comforted.” The specific word that Jesus used here refers to the mourning that we should have, not over loosing a business deal or the loss of a pet hamster, rather a mourning that we should have over our sin.

So, when we are truly sad for our sin; when we have godly sorrow; when we then humbly ask for forgiveness and repent of our sin; then we will experience the comfort of God. This comfort is the forgiveness given by our Creator and a freedom given to us to live for Him and not for our sin. God will comfort us by releasing the grip that the sin had on us. WOW!

So, do you “got mourning?”
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

Friday, October 02, 2009

Life after death

New life only comes after death. If we want new life in Christ, we must die to self. This is true about our lives and it is also true about ministry. We must allow our plans to die so that God can bring His plans to life.

I just experienced this kingdom principle at work as I laid down something I was holding too tightly. In fact, holding on too tightly caused God’s plans to come to a screeching halt. Well, I finally woke up, released my grip, and laid down my plans. Immediately, God showed up and brought everything to life. That ministry is now the East Valley House of Prayer. You can check it out at ArizonaPrayer.com.
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. – Luke 9:23-24

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds – John 12:24

Thursday, October 01, 2009

In the battle? Start crying.

When we find ourselves in the middle of the battle. When we find ourselves under attack. When our lives feel threatened and when things are spinning out of control all around us, we must not retreat, we must not despair, we must not look to our own understanding or our own strength. Rather, we must cry! We must cry out to the living and powerful God of all creation. We must trust in Him and His ability to deliver us. We must allow the battle to be the Lord’s. This is when we will find victory. This is when we will find our prayers answered.

20 They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21 They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22 and many others fell slain, because the battle was God's. And they occupied the land until the exile. – 1 Chronicles 5:20-22