Friday, May 25, 2018

If I Had God's Power...

Imagine if God said to you today," I am giving you ALL of my power!"
The power we are talking about is like in the book of Genesis when God said,"Let there be..." and it would happen.  The power of the spoken word to where whatever you speak, it would happen.

What would you do with that power?

You might say, I would eliminate suffering,

remove evil from the world,

fix the problems my friends and family are experiencing....

Although we would hesitate to say it, many of us have thought that, "If I were God, I would do things differently."

Am I the only one who has ever thought this?

Who hasn't asked God why he allows the things that He allows?

Let me say this, if in your mind you are thinking you would do things any way differently from God then you are judging Him as being less than and yourself as being greater.

You see the problem is, we don't have all the information in front of us. The things that look awful and sorrowful and painful aren't always what they seem at face value. God has allowed those things to happen for a reason we are unaware of.

God cannot make anyone love him so He allows people to choose whether or not to pursue Him, even to make choices for good or evil. God wants us to passionately love Him and do what is pleasing to Him. Yet He gives us a choice.

If I were to ask you what does Romans 8 tell you we would think of scriptures like;

 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The scriptures people don't always mention include;

"We are like lambs being led to the slaughter"


"we are daily being given over to death."

We walk through the hard times and we really do feel like lambs led to the slaughter. In the place of passionate love when your heart has been met by Jesus, our heart cry becomes,

"Lord, you are worth everything that I am walking through." 

It is as we walk through these things that God is removing the dross from our hearts. We are brought to the place of, "God you are all I have."

   There was one time in my life that I cried out to God for something I thought was best for me but it wasn't happening and I was heartbroken. Life wasn't working the way I thought it should and I cried out to the Lord, "God why? I can't keep going on like this."

 God spoke gently to my heart, "Andy, when you are ready to say, not my will but yours be done, there will be healing for your heart." Life wasn't working the way I thought it should but I didn't know the things that God knew. I didn't know that what was the absolute best for my life was coming down the road.

God is sovereign and knows what is best for us and He is looking for passionate love from hearts that trust him. Will you let go and trust Him today for your life and circumstances? Will you trade what you think is best for what He thinks is the best for your life? Would you trade what you want in this world to know and love God deeply and passionately?

 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:8-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

Revelation 3:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Fall in Love with Jesus

The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.)
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

    The Pharisees were watching the disciples eat with unwashed hands and began to find fault with them.
The word, “Pharisee,” means, a separatist and the Pharisees were constantly looking to find fault with others because it made them look better. Jesus said that the Pharisees are always looking to put themselves in the seat of Moses, a place of prominence or authority for all to see them. You can constantly see this type of behavior even amongst those in the church. 

One person is upset because their co-worker was promoted but their own hard work wasn’t noticed. Another complains because they didn’t get the raise they wanted. Someone is passed over for a ministry opportunity given to someone with less experience than they have.

We are desperately seeking the acceptance of others and to promote ourselves. We want others to recognize us and say something good about us. 

In the book of James chapter 3 verse 16, we are told that wherever there is strife(selfish ambition), there is disorder and every evil thing. 
Listen, I can remember when Joyce Green first invited me to come into the prison and preach. She would get up to introduce me and would start to share some scriptures with the men. Before I knew it the service was over and I didn’t get to teach anything. This happened many times and I began to get frustrated and grumble in my heart. When I finally came to the place that I was just as content to sit and visit as I was to teach and share, God began to open up doors for me to preach. 

 I remember a few years ago, I was in one of the prison units and a young guy came up to me who was recently saved. He asked me what he needed to do to become a minister. Maybe he thought I would tell him some classes he could take or books he could read. I told him that all he had to do is fall in love with Jesus Christ. 

  The moment you begin to pursue ministry, people become objects to get you where you want to go. When you pursue the person of Jesus Christ, when it’s His timing He will open up doors to minister that no man can shut.

I genuinely believe God is raising up Shepherds in these last days. Shepherds with hearts like His. 

First He wants to get to the root of selfish ambition in our hearts. Then we will be truly seeking to please Him and not just seeking to promote ourselves. 

The word “ear” is in the center of the word “heart”. If you want to know what’s in your heart, listen to what’s coming out of your mouth. Sometimes you can’t really see what’s in there, but God is faithful to show you through those around you. 

As we are steadfastly seeking the Lord, He is constantly uprooting things in our hearts. Our part is to continue to agree with Him and come to the light.

Lord help me to love you more than selfish ambition or the approval of others. Help me not to seek to promote myself but to encourage others in knowing you. Open my eyes to see the hurt and need around me. Help me hear your voice and walk in obedience to what your Holy Spirit would have me to do. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Love is Not Optional

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3 

English Standard Version (ESV)

     When I wake up in the mornings my prayer is, "Lord, today to the best of my ability, I want to love you with all my heart and I want to learn to love the people you put in front of me.
 I want to learn what that means."

That is how I usually approach each day.
God teaches us and will put people and circumstances into our lives to teach us to love.
 He'll speak gently to our hearts, "I want to love that person." Then he will guide us how to demonstrate his love to that person.

 As long as we think of love as an option, we will not walk in the kind of love that God intends for us to walk in. So often we know its the right thing to do but we choose not to because we don't want to.
Love is not an option, it's something that's going to happen in our lives if Jesus Christ is your Lord.

   Remember in  Luke 10:25 a lawyer asked Jesus, "What I should do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus asked him what does it say in the law? One of the reasons I think it was important that Jesus pointed him to the law is because there is no way we can accomplish this apart from God.

 The lawyer replied that you must love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
How do you accomplish that? I believe it's accomplished by faith.

We must trust God to accomplish it in us and keep walking in the light He shows us. 

     How often do we pass up the opportunity to love those around us, to show kindness and extend mercy to others. Are we quick to listen and be kind or to judge and be critical?
You would be much less likely to judge and be critical of others if you knew where they had come from and had walked in their shoes.

   Allow the Lord to love others through you today. To listen compassionately instead of expressing your opinions. To not judge or point a finger but to speak the truth with grace as the Lord leads you. Are we willing to be vulnerable and let others know where you came from and what the Lord has done for you?

   Lord teach us today to get out of our comfort zone, to listen, to show compassion and to be ready to share what you ask us to, when you give us the opportunity. Give us ears to hear your still soft voice speak to our hearts when you want us to share and when to be silent and listen.  Help us to be teachable today so that you can lead us into all truth. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Friday, May 4, 2018


On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And he got up and came forward. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?” After looking around at them all, He said to him, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did so; and his hand was restored. 
Luke 6:6 (NASB)

   What is it in your life that has become an obstacle or a part of your life that seems to hinder you?

Jesus, standing in a crowd, called the man with the withered hand to get up and be the center of everyone’s observation. 

He then proceeded to command him to do something he can’t do. To stretch forth his withered and crippled hand. 

At that moment the man had a choice to listen to Jesus or to simply refuse. 

I have been in situations where I was called to stand up and didn’t want to be the focus of the crowd, has that ever happened to you?

Yet here Jesus asked the man to stand and asked him to do something impossible for him to do.

 How many of you reading this have a obstacle in your life and feel like God is asking you to do something you can’t do?

How about in regards to God’s word? Have you ever felt like God was asking you to do something you can’t do? 

You may have said in your mind, “God commands me to love my neighbor and even my enemies but I just don’t know how to love,” or “You just don’t know about my past or my family history.”

I don’t know what your obstacle is but His command is beyond our ability in our own strength.

What it demands from us, is a willingness to believe. That’s the gospel! Believe and be saved!

Do you believe God is able to save you wholly and completely? Do you believe He is able to take the deformity of your life and cause it to be stretched forth and be supernaturally healed? 

What is it in your life that has become an obstacle or deformity to you? Like the man with the withered hand, something you hope no one else notices? Something that frustrates you, that only the person closest to you knows about? 

What will you do when His command comes to you? What if the command is to walk in love, or to be holy as He is holy? What if it’s to be sanctified? 

These commands seem burdensome and we feel like we cannot accomplish them. 

We cannot do these things on our own, they have to be done by faith. 

Are you ready to get rid of the excuses and do what God is calling you to do? 

Listen friends, the man with the withered hand got up and had the willingness to believe. Then Jesus enabled him to do what he was not able to do which was to heal him as he stretched forth his hand by faith. 

Jesus can take that withered portion of your life and bring healing as you get rid of the excuses and stand up when He calls. 

Lord, please help us to be truly honest with ourselves and cause us to believe that you can take the withered portion of our lives and bring restoration. In Jesus name, Amen.

“Draw me after you and let us run together!
Song of Solomon 1:4