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Finding the Wilderness

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Finding the wilderness

Finding the wilderness In this world of constant distractions and noise, it can be very difficult if not impossible to hear God and what his spirit is saying to us. I find it interesting that like Jesus; John the Baptist also retreated to the wilderness for a great period of time prior to starting his ministry. There’s something about being alone in silence while in the presence of God.  Something rejuvenating and intimate when you put away all other things in your life and are focused solely on Him.

80 John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. (Luke 1:80)

John the Baptist was known as a bold preacher of the word of God and a great spirit filled man. He dedicated his life to Christ and paved the way for His coming.  But how did he become so close and intimate with God? How did he receive such great revelations from the Lord and know what God had planned for his life?

Think about it…. John grew up in the wilderness, away from the noise of the world. Away from the shouting in the streets of the merchants and the mindless gossip of society.  John had only the Lord to converse with and without any distractions. The Lord blessed John with great revelations about the coming King and the role that John would play in His life. Now what if John did not live his life in silence? What if he was like those who would only give God a minute a day to talk to Him or listen to what He was saying? Do you think John would have had the deep intimate relationship with the Lord if that was the case? Would John the Baptist have been the great figure in the bible that he is today without spending quality uninterrupted time with God? John could hear God speaking to him because he blocked out everything else and sat in silence listening to what God was telling him.

Imagine for a moment what the Lord might be trying to speak to your spirit today if you would only give Him some quiet time alone with you. Think about that important life decision you have been contemplating. What if the Lord has been telling you all along what path you should take but you have not been able to hear Him over the television. Maybe He has been trying to tell you all the great things that He has planned for your life but you are always in a crowd and to busy to be interrupted. Thank about all that time you have waisted taking part in everything in this world except for just being alone with the lord. Think of all the revelations that you have missed out on that the Lord wanted you to know. Think of all the wayward paths in life that you took when all along He was shouting at you to go the other way but you just couldn’t hear Him over all the noise. Silence is deafening only to the physical ears, but to the spirit the silence is a revealing sound.

He is in the silence. He is there waiting for you. Find your wilderness.

Verse of the day:

16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:16)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to give twenty minutes of complete dedicated and focused time to the Lord. Turn off the television, radio, telephone or anything else that may distract your time with Jesus. You can go into your bedroom, backyard, or anywhere that is quiet and peaceful and just be still in the Lord. Hear what he is saying to your spirit and meditate on Him.

What Are You Waiting For?

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Slave of Christ

Slave of Christ16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (Romans 6:16)

Slave is such a strong word is it not? No one likes to be controlled or told what to do. Its in are very nature to rebel against authority. You would never be slave to anyone right? Well I’m sorry to burst your bubble but you are a slave.  Everyone who has ever lived has been a slave. Look at the above mentioned verse. “You become the slave to whatever you choose to obey.” You can be a slave to the world who has given you nothing but pain and heartache or you can be a slave for Christ who has given you everything. Do not be fooled. One way or another, you are a slave.

Take an honest assessment of yourself and how you are living your life. To whom are you a slave to? Your lustful pleasures and the sins of the world or Jesus who died for you and saved you from death? Well Can’t you be a slave to two masters? The world and Christ?

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

So who are you devoted to, Christ who loves you or Satan who is trying to kill you? You need to take a stand here and now! To be a slave is to wholeheartedly devote all of yourself to your master. To do whatever He tells you to do and go wherever He tells you to go. Slaves don’t serve half heartedly or ignore certain commands of their master. You are either fully committed or not at all.

30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. (Matthew 12:30)

So are you with the great “I AM” or are you actually working against him. Are you His servant or Satan’s servant? We all stumble and fall as we go through life but He is forgiving and full of grace. Be a slave to the One who paid the high price for you. Be a servant to Him and obey his words and commands and he will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. What are you waiting for?

Verse of the day:

30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge you to submit yourself to Christ. A slave does what his master would have him do. His yoke is easy to bear and His love for you is great. Model your life after His and live as He has told you to live. Be the good servant just as Christ came and served us.

Take a Look Around

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end times

end times37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.38 And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” 39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved. (Hebrews 10:37-39)

Doesn’t it feel like theres something in the air today? Like theres something big coming? The days seem to go by faster and yesterday just seems like a blur now. The world seems to be in a constant state of chaos and traveling at break neck speeds toward a final conclusion.

I believe the reason for this is because Jesus is coming soon. This surely seems like the time in world history that His return was prophesied in the bible. Look around you; Right is wrong, up is down, and political correctness is trumping the word of God in todays society.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:9-12)

Jesus made the above statement in the book of Matthew. Does that not seem like the world we are facing today? It will only get worse until the day he returns. People have grown cold toward one another. They are killing each other just out of pure boredom. They put no thoughts into their words so they spill out garbage. Sin is running rampant today just as Jesus foretold. Christians are being persecuted more and more everyday. The world is learning a politically correct way to push us out.

I could go on and on about the signs of the times that we are living in. Please be prepared. He is coming soon and His reward is with Him to give to those who live Him.

Verse of the day:

27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 24:27)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to think back to when you were a kid. Do you remember the television shows that you watched and the radio programing that you listened to as a child? Now compare those shows with the programing you see on television today. I believe this will really give you a better perspective on how fast the world has changed and how close we are to the Lords return.

Gangland

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gangland

ganglandI have a confession to make. I am a gang member. I know by my opening statement that you are already drawing conclusions about me. Stereotyping me and my lifestyle. Well Im not ashamed to be in a gang. In fact I could not live without my gang family. Like any other gang, I need protection, acceptance, and security to survive. I would not be here writing you today if is was not for my gang family. I don’t know where I would be but I can only imagine it would be a very dark and lonely place.  

You see, the gang I am affiliated with is more powerful then any other gang in the land. We are loyal and devoted to our gang family even unto death. There is no life outside of our gang family; no hope, no future, no peace.  

So what is the name of my gang? Well we actually go by several names. Many people call us Christians, Bible Thumpers, and Jesus Freaks. I am proud to be called by anyone of those names but I prefer to call the gang Warriors 4 Christ.

Just like every other gang out there, we have identifying hand gestures, symbols, and even our own gang colors.  People all around the world have seen our symbols, signs and colors. Its no secret and we don’t try to hide it. In fact we actually flaunt it openly. We want people to see what we represent.  

You may have seen our gang signs, symbols, and colors before. Our symbol is the cross or crucifix. That is where the leader of the gang lost his life for his gang members. That symbol is very important to the gang.  In fact, we would not exist as a family if it were not for that cross. Our gang color is red which represents the blood of our brave leader who fought the gangs greatest battle and won through the shedding of his blood. Our gang symbol and color goes hand in hand. Last but not least we have our gang signs. Now there are several different methods that will work here but I will discuss one of these methods with you now. I will actually teach you how to “throw up” our gang signs with your hands. Heres what you do, its very simple.

Take your right hand and press it against your left hand with both palms touching each other. Once the palm of both your hands are closed together interlace all your fingers. This will look like you have made one big fist using both of your hands as seen in the picture below

hands

                                                                                                                                            

There are many other gang signs that Warriors 4 Christ “throw up.” This is just one example that should get you started. (For other examples study our book, The Holy Bible).

 I highly suggest that you practice this method on a daily basis if you wish to join my gang. I never go a day without “throwing up” gang signs. 

These are only a few of the basics, there are so many other things that I could tell you about my gang. There is no other gang like it in the world. We are currently recruiting new members. The gang is fighting battles on all sides. To learn more about my gang,  just look to those whom you see wearing our gang symbol around there necklace or those that you see throwing up our gang signs. Ask them any questions you have about the gang and they will answer them if they are true members. We also have a club house that we meet at every Sunday morning. You will know it is our club house if you see the symbol of the cross displayed on the outside of the building. And if you are thinking of joining the gang but you are fearful of the initiation phase, don’t be. Someone has already paid your way into the gang. All you have to do is come.

Verse of the day:

 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge you to throw up some gang signs! Pray for more recruits. We need more brave and loyal members to strengthen our gang family for battle against our adversaries. Our enemy will do anything to win the turf war in this gangland.

The Troubles That Chase You

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The troubles that chase you

The troubles that chase you21 Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous. (Proverbs 13:21)

It doesn’t get much more clearer than that. Are you living a righteous life or a sinful life? You can use that verse as a unit of measurement to answer the question. Are you always chasing happiness and joy in your life without ever finding it? Are you quick to anger and feeling unsatisfied? Or are you filled with love and peace as you walk through this life. Do you see God’s kindness in the sunrise and his mercy in the face of a smiling infant? Are you content in all the circumstances that you find yourself in or does depression and fear live in your heart?

12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)

God is so pure and perfect that he cannot stand to look upon sin. The above mentioned verse states that he turns his face against those who do evil. On the other hand he hears the prayers and request of those who do right. So if there were two people and one was doing the will of God and the other was not, then who do you think the Lord would bless? He blesses those who do good and live a holy and righteous life.

So do you find that you are really struggling through this life? Does it seem like your prayers are falling on deaf ears? Then change the way you live and turn your life around through Christ. He has told you what you must do to live a blessed life and have your prayers heard. Why would you do anything else?

So now you have been educated on what you must do to receive blessings in this life and the life to come. Its up to you now to receive these blessings and stop running from the troubles that chase you.

Verse of the day:

17 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. (Proverbs 8:17)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I challenge you to repent of you sins. Ask Jesus to forgive you of all of your sins so that he can cleanse you by washing them all away. Ask him to guide you in living a holy life for Him. Tell Him that you are tired of being chased by all the troubles of this life and that you want to live in His blessings. Then take comfort in the fact that He will hear your prayers and shower you with His love.

Sin V Sinner

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Sin V Sinner

Sin V SinnerThe new testament of the bible is full of examples of Christ’s never ending forgiveness. The word forgiveness means to pardon or acquit of sins. You see, Jesus loves the sinner but He despises the sin that is in the sinner.

One day while Jesus was preaching in the temple, the teachers of rebellious law and the Pharisees brought a women before Christ who was caught in the act of adultery. The jews in those times had a very strict law that any women in those days who was found to be an adulteress should be stoned to death.  It was a very serious offense.  The Pharisees asked Jesus what should be done about her sinful act. Jesus stated “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” The crowed was amazed by His answer and they all walked away without there being one stone thrown at the women. Jesus then said to the women “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? The women replied no and Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

I’m sure you have probably heard that story before but have you ever really examined it to see the multiple messages that it conveys? Adultery was punishable by death and when the religious leaders brought the women to Jesus he said “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” He did not say, whoever is a sinner may cast the first stone.  There is a big difference. Jesus loves the sinner, He just hates the sin. If anyone was eligible to throw the stone at her it was Jesus because he was the only one without sin but He forgave her. In fact He did not even pick up a stone.  Jesus told the women that He did not condemn her and to go and sin no more. Did you catch that? He forgave the sinner and told her to sin no more.

Anyone can be forgiven no matter had serious the sin in their life is. How do I know? Because the bible says that Jesus came to die for the sinner’s. He would not have had to come and die for the pure because what would be the point of that? He did not come to save the saved He came to save those who were not saved. If you were already saved you would not need to be rescued right? That wouldn’t make any sense. Jesus forgives the sinner if you will sincerely ask Him.

Dont think that you cannot be saved because you are a sinner or you have committed too many sins in your life. Christ came and died for you because you are a sinner so that you can be forgiven of that sin. He will forgive you. You are not the sin, your the sinner. Now go, and sin no more….

Verse of the day:

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to read 1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 12-17. This passage of scripture may be the most insightful example of forgiveness in all the bible. I really believe that if you take the time to read it, your eyes will be opened to the magnitude of Gods forgiveness. It is a life changing message that will pierce through any sin that is holding you back from truly accepting Gods gift of forgiveness.