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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Let It Rain 4


If you were lost in the woods for several days, could you survive? Do you think you could identify the foot tracks of a deer, pig, fox or even a bear? It could be the food for your survival. It might be what saves your life from death. Each of us is leaving a trail. Our kids, peers, friends and family probably have a good indication of what we are leaving behind with our foot tracks in life.

 People leave tracks with their work, sports, cars, boats and motorcycles. The top 10 things people love to do are: “Sleep, listen to music, read, watch movies, play sports, exercise, make love, play games, communicate on their smart phone, social media, and visit family and old friends.”

 If someone were to assess your life today, what kind of TRAIL would they say you are leaving behind? Each of us would hope our kids would say, “Dad, Mom surely we’re passionate about loving God.  They refused to allow this world to become their first love.” Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, “I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” (Revelation 2:4) Jesus was tracking His church who had lost what they once had.

 Each of us will face the test of our life “In the desert.” I personally don’t relish these tough seasons of life. His Word says, “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 12:10)

 Matthew 3:16 says, “After Jesus’ baptism, He came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” NEXT came His forty days in the desert. The beauty is,                                                 HE OVERCAMEAll TEMPTATIONS

·       HUNGER, when Satan said, “Turn these stones into bread,” he was wanting Christ to live a life about “Me, Me, Me.” This life isn’t about me, but rather it’s about living out God’s agenda and mandate. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me.” (John 4:34)
 
·       MANIPULATING. Jesus could have tried to control His Father to do what HE wanted instead of living out His Fathers plan. He prayed, “Not my will, but your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” IF you listen to Lucifer, he will lead you down the wrong path of destruction. Jesus refused to listen to Satan’s cues.” There is a way that seems right, but the end is destruction.”
 
·       WORSHIP, Satan craves the world’s worship of himself. He is the most egotistical creature who ever came into being. Worship God and He’ll NEVER leave you empty or void. Only Jesus can satisfy you loneliness, emptiness, and thirst for fulfillment. Listen to Him now; He truly is the Living Water who will quench your thirst in the desert forever!


 



Monday, July 21, 2014

Let it Rain 3

Have you ever had a plan backfire on you? Mickey Mantle tells the story of taking his friend Billy Martin on a hunting trip in Texas. He stopped at the house of a Doctor Friend who had some farm land. He went up to his door and asked if it would be okay to hunt on his property. The doctor enthusiastically said, “Absolutely,” but I do have one favor to ask. I have an old mule that I have had for years that needs to be put down. I have really taken a liking to him, could you please lay him down for me? Mickey said, “I’ll be glad to.” 

On his way back to the truck, Mickey decided to play a trick on his close friend Billy Martin. He grabbed his rifle and said, “The Doctor friend has refused to let us hunt on his land and I’m going to shoot one of his mules”. So he takes his gun and heads to the barn and shoots his old mule. About that time Mickey hears three more shots. Mickey shouts over to Billy, “What was that noise?” Billy said, “I got three of his cows too,”!

I’m sure that wasn't the way Mickey had planned for the scene to go down. Sometimes we do things in life that backfire on us. I’m not too sure how Mickey explained that to his friend but all of us have done things that didn't go down the way we intended.

 Moses in his anger ended up killing an Egyptian solider that caused him to run from the Egyptian ruler Pharaoh into the desert for safety. That one action alone caused him a desert season for forty years. Have you wandered if God would ever get you out of your desert season? Listen, When God gives you and I an assignment, He never changes His mind about the call on our life. The calling of God is without repentance.” (Romans 11:29) One translation says, “For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable.” NIV

The last thing you need to do is to desert God’s dream in your desert. Choose today to see beyond this season and into your tomorrow. Use your faith and believe that what God has spoken, He will bring to pass. Moses could have quit in the desert, but he chose to act on Gods voice that led him to a great deliverance for the people of God in Egypt.

Friend, your life isn't over until God says it’s over! Moses allowed God to write the final chapters of his life. Had he refused to listen and believe in his God, he could have died in the desert with a broken dream. Was it not better for him to complete his reason for being? Are you living out the reason God created your life? Each of us will face failures, setbacks, and disappointments; and yes things will backfire on us from time to time, But it’s up to us to keep pressing toward the call and the mark that is on our life with God’s grace, For His mercies are new each and every morning!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Let It Rain 2


I don’t know anybody that hasn’t faced some tough droughts in life. “What happens to you is not nearly as important as how you respond to what has happens to you.”  Many STRUGGLE when they face hardships. Some will say, “Life isn’t fair.” “Why did they do me wrong?” “When am I going to get a break?” “No one cares about my hurt and pain.” Somewhere in life, you have to see that God in heaven knows your name, address and the number of hairs on your head. If nobody else in the world knows about your pain and sorrow, God does and that’s what matters most.



 Moses made a terrible mistake with his anger in killing an Egyptian soldier who was beating a Hebrew. Moses ended up running for his life. He ended up in the desert for forty years. Did God forget him? Was he now finished? Would his past mistakes define his future? “Don’t desert your dream in your desert.” "Where you start is not nearly as important as where you finish." Zig Ziglar 

We can all learn from Moses Desert Experience!

God isn’t finished with you when you RUN. He ran 285 miles from Ramses Egypt to Midian. It might have taken him a month to three months or so to make that fearful, dreadful, difficult journey. Anxiety gripped his heart and he thought the only answer for him now was to run. God can still bring some good out of your wrong turns in life. God would work on his inward life in the desert. I have learned that God never will waste anything if you’ll see the good in it.

God isn’t finished with you when you FAIL. Moses could have allowed self-pity for the next season of life, or He could look for the good in his failure. John Maxwell says;”When you fall down, pick up something while you’re down there.” Life is constantly about learning and growing so you can move ahead.  God is trying to take you somewhere if you’ll look for the good.

God isn’t finished with you when you’re DEEP in the DESERT. “The worst thing you can do is to desert God in your desert.” Listen, God knows where you are and He knows how to get you out of your desert experience. But don’t anticipate coming out until God has finished doing His work in your life. One day in the desert watching sheep, God sends fire to a bush. It gets Moses attention and the bush wasn’t consumed. A voice from heaven says, “Moses, take your shoes off, you are standing on Holy Ground.” (Exodus 3:5) God would use him to see Israel delivered from a nation who had held Gods people in bondage for 400 years. God would take his weakness and make him strong.

God isn’t finished with you until He makes Himself Known. God wasn’t finished with the assignment that was on Moses life. God used him to part the Red Sea so Israel could go across on dry ground and then see the enemy destroyed. Never Never quit until God shows Himself STRONG!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let It Rain 1

One of the farmer’s worst enemies is a lack of rain. When there is no water, the soil can’t produce strawberries, peaches, oranges, blueberries, potatoes, peanuts and grapes. The bugs, birds and deer can all be controlled, but rain from the sky comes from our God in heaven who blesses the earth with his moisture and rain.
In the Bible we read about many droughts throughout history. Famines happened to Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, King Ahab, Haggai, and even the early church days written in the Book of Acts. To everything there is a season. Just how do you handle the droughts that come your way? Business owners, churches, families, relationships, governments, the stock market and one’s health can all face seasons of drought.
I recently was out on the west coast of America. My wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Hoover Dam. I was amazed to see what a man had built in the desert. Through many men who designed, engineered, labored and even gave their lives, today there is power and water that flows into California, Arizona and Nevada. Someone had an idea on how to make the desert bloom. You may be in a season of your life that you’re losing hope that God could make your desert bloom again. Has your marriage, business or ministry seemingly lost its vigor and life?
What could have gone wrong? Was there a reason for the famine? History tells us that King Ahab married a woman named Jezebel who introduced other gods to Israel. So then God sent a famine in the land to get their attention. Don’t ever think that God doesn't know how to get your attention. Three and half years went by with no rain which led to days of grief and sorrow for Israel. Finally, God leads Elijah to a showdown match with the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. He proclaimed that whichever God answered by fire on the altar sacrifice was the one True God. After the Baal prophets cried all day, nothing happened until Elijah prayed and God sent fire out of heaven that burned up the sacrifice on the altar. The false prophets were then destroyed.
Then Elijah told his servant to go look out over the mountain. He went and looked some seven times before he came back and said, “I see a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand”; it wasn't long until the clouds turned black and it began to thunder as the sound of an abundance of rain fell. 
Are you ready for rain on your drought? Are you ready to seek God’s face to see Him change your life, your world, and your situation? Nothing is too hard for God! If He sent rain then, He can do it again IN your ordeal. “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Friend, don’t lose HOPE that God has forgotten you in your drought and despair. "God, do it again for those who will turn their face and hearts towards heaven”. I’m looking and listening for the sound of an abundance of rain.

Let It Rain Video Message 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Strategically Reaching Others

 
 
Who is on your radar that needs the Lord? Have you thought about how to reach that friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor next door? One day this life as we know it now will come to an end. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go I will come again to receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)

Will your family or friends be left behind? Will they face the wrath of God that will come on this earth? The Book of Revelations makes no bones about it that what’s coming on earth after Christ return isn’t going to be pretty. Famine, financial collapse of the worlds markets, wars where millions will be killed, and the great deceiver called “The Anti-Christ” will appear just to mention a few things that are coming.

We are living in a time where many are being lulled to sleep. I believe Satan has blinded and drugged up people on the things of this world where they can’t even see what’s coming. Is there hope for your family and friends? Let God use you!

HE WILL USE YOU’RE:

ENCOURAGMENT, Each of us has the power to encourage someone with our actions. Buy someone a cup of coffee, a lunch, mow their grass, or put some gas in someone’s automobile. God can give you the thought to encourage someone in some way that REACHES and touches their heart.

CHARACTER, No one is perfect but each of us who have surrendered our life to the Lord has a new heart to live right and do right. I am not saying that we pretend to be people that have no hang- ups or hick-ups in life. Thank God I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me to deny my fleshly desires and live an overcoming life.

BOLDNESS, This world would like for us to cave in under the pressures of this sinful society. Satan hates those who will stand up for what is right. God gave Peter a new boldness when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Let God refill you today with His Power to stand up in the work place, the market place, or among your family who thinks you’re crazy.

KINDNESS, Don’t tell anybody how in love you are with Christ and then spout off at them every time they unnerve you at work or on the highway. Have you thought about letting someone else have your parking space, buy them lunch or a cup of coffee. Yesterday this guy walked into the restaurant who had tattooed his entire face. One of our men from church was moved to buy his breakfast and leave a card that said, “Something extra to show you that God loves you.”  Be kind to people and watch God work.

COMPASSION, The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was known as the way of Blood because of the blood which is often shed there by robbers. It was a drop in elevation from 2500 feet in 15 miles to 850 feet below sea level. A priest, Levite passed by a robber one day but one man stopped and said, “I must do something to help this man.” Let God use your compassion to change a life.

TIME Dwayne Jones said, “were not running out of money, but we are running out of time.” Will you let God have your days that are left? Make the best of the days you have left to give.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

No one wants their ship to sink in the Harbor - Part 2

Many adults and students enter college with great passion and graduate and go into the workforce looking for success in their future. Is success making the big dollars?

Ships were not designed and built to just sit and surely not to sink in the Harbor;  rather they are designed to sail in the seas regardless of the tough winds and waves they will encounter. But what about ships built that never get out of the harbor?

Some ships are made for trading, others for entertainment, some for fishing and some even for combat in protecting our shoreline. The bigger question for each of us today is “Why were we personally created?”

Jehoshaphat had to be devastated as he watched his ships after being built sink before they ever set sail on the sea. All his time, energy and investment ‘down the tubes’. The big question is WHY? Was God getting his attention in sinking ships that were built to seek gold? Had this great man of God who had seen great victories asked what had gone wrong?

Anyone that experiences losses should ask, “Lord, why?” We know that God wasn't against blessing him with treasures and riches. Earlier in his leadership he watched God single handedly defeat three nations without him lifting a hand. They took three days just to collect the riches! So it’s not that God was saying “No” to his entrepreneurial spirit. There is one other interesting development that we must take note of.

After his failure in joining partnership with King Ahab, he also joins up with King Amaziah. When we go against the grain of God in one instance, you would think the wakeup call would be loud and clear. Jehoshaphat came close to losing his own life in the partnership with King Ahab; now he sees Gods rebuke in teaming up with his son. “35 Some time later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked.36 Together they built a fleet of trading ships at the port of Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Because you have allied yourself with King Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy your work.” So the ships met with disaster and never put out to sea (2 Chronicles 20:35-37).

Be cautious who you team up with in life. God wasn't about to allow him to have success in his new partnership and investment with a wicked King. Keep God as your partner in pressing forward in life. God’s advice in partnership and collaborations is priceless. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in his way. (Psalms 37:23)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

“NO ONE WANTS THEIR SHIP TO SINK IN HARBOUR.”


Early in the morning on December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise torpedo attack on the US Naval Base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On December 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech, also known as the “Infamy Speech” to the American citizens, informing them that this happened while the US was in the midst of talks to keep peace. That same day, America entered into World War II.

Close to 360 Japanese planes attacked about 33 American ships. America sustained a loss of 170 aircraft that morning as well as 18 ships. 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded; few Japanese died.

Another man in history also watched and LOST his ships as they sunk in his harbor. The King of Judah experienced his own loss, pain and sorrow. “Jehoshaphat also built a fleet of trading ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But the ships never set sail, for they met with disaster in their home port of Ezion-geber. (1 Kings 22:48)

So just what went wrong with this Kings success? He reigns at the age of 35 for 25 years. He also came under attack from three surrounding nations that attempted to wipe his nation Judah off the face of the map. Jehoshaphat immediately sought the face of God for direction. Ammon, Moab and Mt Seir came with a vengeance to destroy them but met their own fate by turning on each other and destroying one another. Judah never drew a sword in the battle but instead lifted their voices with great praises to their God. As a result it took three days for Judah to collect all the plunder, riches and treasures from off the dead bodies.

So what caused Jehoshaphat to build ships in order to seek after gold? Could that have been a sign that his focus was in the wrong place? God’s Word tells us prior to this move that he was asked by the King of Israel, “Ahab” to partner with him in fighting against the nation of Aram. Jehoshaphat quickly agrees without even asking the Lord what His will would be in this matter. Ahab was a wicked King who worshipped false gods. Why would he so quickly agree to partner in this battle with this king? What can we learn from Jehoshaphat’s Losses?

PAST SUCCESS DOESN’T GUARANTEE FUTURE VICTORY.” If King Jehoshaphat had asked God the right questions, (not if they would win in this battle with Aram), but are you for me making this NEXT move with this King?

“HE PARTNERED WITH WICKED MEN, AHAB AND AHAZIAH.” Jehoshaphat had always leaned on the Lord as his partner, for his next move in every battle. Not this time, he moved without God’s direction and approval. God tells us not to be unequally yoked. What does light have in common with darkness?  Be careful who You get “in bed with” in business, marriage or this world.

“HIS FOCUS SHIFTED FROM CHASING GOD'S GLORY TO CHASING GOLD.” There is nothing wrong with God blessing you with gold; but what’s more important is a heart chasing after God. Chase after God and He will more than give you blessings.  What are you chasing these days?


"WE MUST NEVER FORGET TRUE SUCCESS COMES FROM GOD.” God’s the REASON that King Jehoshaphat experienced Victories, Relationships, Riches, and Blessings. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”(Matthew 6:21) NLT