April 8. 2020

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. -Romans 7:15-20 ESV

Warrior;

It is so important that we understand who we are called to be and as you can read above we are called to be WARRIORS! If you are a child of God then you are at war!  And if you profess to be a child of God and you are not in the battle then you’re either NOT really a child of God or you are losing a battle that you are totally unaware of that is even going on. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ‘And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23) There is a battle raging and if you are a CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD, the GOD OF THE BIBLE then you need to be close to GENERAL JESUS so that you know what you are to do, where you are to be, what you are to know and how you are to march ahead.  

Leader, it seems strange to hear our all-knowing Lord say there’s something—or someone—He doesn’t know. Scripture tells us that Jesus is Omniscient, see Psalm 147:5, 1 John 3:20, Isaiah 40:28. What is being references in Matthew 7:21-23 refers not to an intellectual knowledge here but to a relational knowledge. Jesus says this at the very end of the most powerful sermon ever delivered, Jesus is wrapping up His Sermon on the Mount with a final warning about true faith. Jesus predicts that false Christian prophets will be coming as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). They may use all the right “God talk” and even make impressive displays of power, but they will not belong to the Lord. The word “omniscient” comes from two Latin words omnis signifying all, and scientia signifying knowledge. When we say that God is omniscient it means that He has perfect knowledge of all things. He does not have to learn anything, and He has not forgotten anything. In other words, God knows your struggles, God knows where you are at; God knows the battle that is raging AROUND us and IN US! Hebrews 4:15 acknowledges this; For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. So KNOW that there has never been an emergency meeting of the TRINITY, God is not surprised by your circumstances and HE IS NOT disappointed in you!

Conduit, we are in many battles, the battle of being IN THE WORLD, and NOT OF THE WORLD-The battle to honor and respect the name of our Savior Jesus and the battle against the Devil and His desire to remove our usefulness to God. This is what Paul is referencing in Ephesians 6; Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (v 10-12) These are critical battles that every TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS is engaged with. However, all those matter little, if we are not FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT internally, between our outer man and our inner man. This battle, with our flesh and the demonic activity that we have allowed into our experience is the first battle that must be engaged and won through the HOLY SPIRIT who dwells in every believer. The battle is in the mind and we must put resources into our mind daily to fight this battle and be victorious. During the “Shelter in Place” that is happening in our dying world, we must be renewing ourselves daily in and through the WORD OF GOD! Talk to people about God, listen to sermons and music about our Jesus and focus on HIS WORD, HIS WAY, HIS WILL. We can use this slow down time, to focus more on our LORD and HIS COMING- which is soon- to get us in fighting shape mentally. I am here to be a resource and help you GET YOUR MIND RIGHT and get your FOCUS ON OUR LORD and off of our circumstances!

April 7. 2020

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. – Genesis 5: 21-24 ESV

Warrior;
Enoch was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Adam. Methuselah, his son, is mentioned in the Bible as the oldest person to have lived, 969 years. Something happened to Enoch around the birth of his son Methuselah that forever changed the trajectory of his life. Enoch lived his life ONE WAY, then something happened, and He REPENTED, he CHANGED HIS MIND, he TURNED. He turned in such a way that he has a special place in the WORD OF GOD. He is one of 2 men in the Bible who did NOT DIE, he was “taken up” to be with the Lord. Enoch and Elijah are the 2 men mentioned in the Bible to avoid death and enter heaven, the presence of our Lord. And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)

Leader, there is much written on Enoch, outside of the Bible. There are books out there that were not deemed, “Biblical canon”. In other words, they were not deemed worthy to be put in what we today call the Bible. They are something called the Apocrypha, and there is a book in that collection called the ‘Book of Enoch’, which talks about much spiritual warfare and what happened to Enoch that made him change course so drastically upon the birth of Methuselah. Biblestudytools.com says this about the Apocrypha: “Apocrypha” comes from the Greek word apokrypha which means “things that are hidden, secret.” “The Apocrypha” refers to two collections of ancient Jewish and Christian writings that have certain affinities with the various books of the Old Testament and New Testament but were not canonized by Christians as a whole. However, the Bible itself tells nothing of what happened, just that whatever happened it forever altered the life of Enoch. There are clues as to what could of happened when we take a look at what his sons name, Methuselah means.

Conduit, researching this on the internet brings many answers. Methuselah could mean either: “Man of the dart/spear”, or alternatively “his death shall bring”. Which brings us to what possibly happened that created a radical change in Enoch, so radical that he is famous for the way he walked with God after said event. Many biblical scholars believe that Enoch was visited by an angel and told of God’s displeasure with mankind and that God was going to do something about it, that would leave a mark in history unlike any, up until that point. Enoch and Methuselah are shadows of our Great Lord and HIS Long-suffering and His desire that none should perish. Looking at the possible meaning of the name “Methuselah” we see the 2 possible meanings. Looking at the weapon itself, the “tip of the spear” is the first part of the weapon that hits the target. Thus units who describe themselves as the “tip of the spear” are units who are the first to engage the enemy. The second meaning is about warning, is about getting people ready. When He dies it will come- the flood, God’s judgement on the world! Whatever happened to Enoch or whatever God intended for us to know by naming Enoch’s son Methuselah- we can take heed in the message: People get ready for God is moving and THE TIME IS NOW TO REPENT! It is no longer important to BE LIKE MIKE, the TIME IS NOW to be like John the baptizer: John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’” (John 1:23) Keep It Simple Soldier, its as easy as 1, 2, 3! Whether a flood, a death, or the Corona-virus…God is getting our attention. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” No matter what your status or station in life, God is getting our attention will you REPENT, change your mind- do something differently? Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Amen!

April 6. 2020

but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. – Job 5:7 ESV

Warrior;

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and the first of the five books of the Pentateuch, which were all written by Moses. It is believed that Moses wrote the majority of the Pentateuch during Israel’s exile, which lasted from around 1446 – 1406 BCE. The oldest book in the Bible is, unsurprisingly, found in the Old Testament. The Book of Job is estimated to have been written in the time of the Patriarchs , between 1900 and 1700 B.C. The Book of Job is also one of the lesser read books of the Bible, despite the fact that it is referenced repeatedly throughout Scripture. While the themes found in Job are common across the ancient world, the language is not. This is why it is believed to be the oldest book.  Job is written in a form of Hebrew that is even older than the ancient Hebrew that makes up most of the Old Testament. In fact, the language used in Job is not even usually referred to as ancient Hebrew. Instead, it is called “Paleo-Hebrew.” The book also contains Syriac and Arabic expressions, which support the claim that it is the oldest book written in the Bible.

Leader, people have been questioning why suffering occurs for almost as long as humanity has existed and the book of Job is about suffering. Job endured so much suffering that the world talks about someone who is long-suffering as having the PATIENCE OF JOB. There are many famous scripture verses that come from the book of Job, one of the most famous is; And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) Job was caught in the middle of a battle that we are all caught in the middle of a battle between GOOD and EVIL, Our God and our pride, HIS WAY and OUR WAY. Job had a lot, he was blessed, and he was a good man, a righteous man, a man who feared God and served Him. There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. (Job 1:1-3) Job was blessed and He was ‘Living the dream’ and then everything changed! Job lost his children; he lost his possessions and then Job loses his health and to top it all off- JOB DID NOTHING to create this outcome. It was all about the heavenly battle that has been raging since time began for man, and continues to this day.

Conduit, people have been questioning why suffering occurs for almost as long as humanity has existed. Job did it and many today are still doing it, especially with the pandemic going on and the fear and panic of our “world being shaken’. Job’s world was so messed up that three of his friends came to sympathize with him and the Bible says: And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. (Job 2:12-13) Through all of Job’s suffering he never denied God and He never lost his faith; it actually grew stronger. The world is going through a lot right now and there is much confusion, fear and unknown. In these times, we need to cry out to our God, the maker of the heavens and earth and use this time to get closer to our God and to get closer to what really matters in life; God, Family, relationships and eternity to fulfill our purpose for existence. I pray in this tough time that you reach out to God, spend more time on your knees, CRY OUT to know our God closer and not let this trauma go to waste. We serve a GOOD GOD, a RIGHTEOUS GOD and a PURPOSIVE GOD- HE IS IN CONTROL, seek Him in this tough time. We need help from the government, from each other- but what we need most of all is an intimate relationship with our CREATOR and it can only be established through HIS SON, our SAVIOR- Jesus the CHRIST. We must find the patience of Job in these hard times and remember that Job was better and closer to God when it all ended! Remember the words of Job in this time of suffering: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. (Job 19:25) And like Job’s well-intentioned friends- reach out to someone else in need. Many more are struggling worse than you, empathize with them and share what you have! “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. (Job 6:14)

April 5. 2020

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:33-34 ESV

Warrior;
How do we know? How do we know anything? God calls us to discernment. We are called to KNOW. He tells us that the Devil masquerades as an angel of light, and He tells us that ‘sheep know the shepherd’s voice. (2 Corinthians 11:14, John 10:27) Discernment is the ability to judge well. In Christian contexts it is perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. ‘Birdwatchers’ know that there are about 9-10,000 species of birds, although some claim the number is actually twice as much, closer to 18,000 and what watchers of birds use to distinguish birds are their characteristics. By knowing the colors, shapes, markings, spots, stripes, size…they know what bird they are seeing. A good Birdwatcher has knowledge and discernment to spot a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Leader, Jesus tells us that the distinguishing marker of a true follower of His is LOVE for one-another. Love is a nominalization, in other words- you can’t put it in a wheelbarrow. It is a generalization and we can love our spouses, and we can love chocolate cake, however our first LOVE is to be JESUS. One word, love, that has so many different meanings, to so many different people. Love is a VERB; it is NOT a feeling. For God so loved the world He did something about it. For you so love God…DO YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? What are the distinguishing characters of a Blood-bought saint of the Risen King? How do you know if you are in the presence of, or looking at a TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST? If being a follower of Jesus Christ is illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict you? How would people know if they are looking at a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, or a follower of our LORD? What are those characteristics?

Conduit, God gives us this litmus test in the BE-ATTITUDES. These are attitudes, choices, things that a follower of Jesus are seeking, are moving toward, are wanting to become. These are ATTITUDES that God wants us to BE. The Gospel of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount- chapters 5-7- gives us, in the beginning- those attitudes that we are to seek, to desire, to work toward so that others can discern; “That person is a Christian”; A follower of Lord Jesus. Those who are poor in Spirit and realize their need for him, those who mourn, those who are humble, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful, those whose hearts are pure, those who work for peace, those who are persecuted for doing right by honoring the WORD OF GOD! Do you seek after these things? Do you hunger and thirst to be like this? Is there enough evidence that someone with wisdom and discernment can spot you and say, “There is a follower of JESUS?” The Time is NOW to become that BIRD!

April 4. 2020

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

Warrior;
Jesus says “FOLLOW ME” at least 20 times in the four Gospels. Depending on your translation it could be a few more or a few less times. And one of his most poignant times where He alluded to the concept of FOLLOW ME, when He said; Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) Jesus is saying if you want to get to Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shadai, Allah- YOU MUST FOLLOW ME! We would never follow a stranger; we would never follow someone who wasn’t going where we wanted to go- we would never follow someone who wanted to do harm to us or our family. Today people follow people on Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter- keeping up with pithy comments and keeping abreast of what is going on in your life. THIS IS NOT what JESUS MEANS BY FOLLOW ME! What He means is; Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

Leader, Jesus is saying I WANT ALL OF YOU! With the Corona-virus and the shut down of the world for a bug we can’t see, many people are losing money, houses, relationships, and who knows what else will be lost when this is over- but if you are a follower of Jesus- you CAN’T LOSE YOUR HOPE! In order to keep our HOPE and pick up our cross daily and follow after JESUS we must know who He is. Jesus told us 8 I AM statements- He Himself told us WHO HE WAS, so we could FOLLOW HIM and FORSAKE the stuff of this world! 1.“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51) As bread sustains physical life, so Christ offers and sustains spiritual life. 2. “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) To a world lost in darkness, Christ offers Himself as a guide. 3. “I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7,9) Jesus protects His followers as shepherds protect their flocks from predators. 4. “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) Death is not the final word for those in Christ. 5. I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14) Jesus is committed to caring and watching over those who are His

Conduit, . 6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the source of all truth and knowledge about God. 7. “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5) By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father. But the most significant “I AM” statement by Christ is that which He stated in John 8:58; 8. Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” The reason this “I AM” statement by Christ is most significant is that aside from describing Himself analogically throughout the book of John, here He is declaring that He is the Living God, the Creator of the universe. Colossians 1 confirms this: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (v 15-17) No matter what the government allows or doesn’t allow, no matter what we all lose during this forced shutdown we never have to LOSE OUR HOPE! If your hope is in anything other than JESUS right now, things are tough. You don’t have to give up your life, you don’t have to give up all your stuff- the world is taking care of that. All you have to do is PICK UP YOUR CROSS DAILY and FOLLOW the GOD of the universe because in these DARK TIMES- He is the only ONE who knows where He is taking us! Jesus is saying to us today, “ITS OK- FOLLOW ME, I know where we are GOING!” “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

April 3. 2020

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. – John 14:27-31 ESV

Warrior;
What a GIVER our LORD is! In addition to giving us SALVATION, JUSTIFICATION, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and the PEACE we will focus on today- He also gave us the Holy Spirit as earnest- as a down payment on our inheritance: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. (John 14:16) The Holy Spirit is the ONE that helps us to find the PEACE OF THE LORD! Peace is such an elusive thing on this cursed rock that we live. Many of us have never opened the GIFT OF PEACE from our LORD. Peace is a nominalization, you CANNOT fit it into a wheelbarrow- it is self-defined by each individual. Peace to many is passive. To many peace is the absence of civil disturbances, hostilities in relationships- a person or personality free from internal and\or external strife. Ronald Reagan said, “Peace is NOT the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

Leader, it was Gandhi who said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it. “Both Reagan and Gandhi were mere men, and they were MERELY paraphrasing the KING OF KINGS and the LORD OF LORDS. From Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary we learn the biblical concept of PEACE is larger than that of man and rests heavily on the Hebrew root, “SLM”, which means to be sound, to BE COMPLETE! The verb is more dynamic and static- to be COMPLETE, WHOLE- to LIVE WELL! We cannot LIVE WELL apart from the PRINCE OF PEACE! The noun of SALOM can be categorized in 4 ways; 1-Wholeness of life or body, 2- Right relationship or harmony between two people, 3- prosperity, success, fulfillment, 4- victory over one’s enemies or absence of war. To the JEW, Shalom is like ALOHA to the Hawaiians, it was used as a greeting and a farewell. It was meant to act as a blessing to the ONE upon whom it was spoken! “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Conduit, the Holy Scriptures tell us that GOD alone is the source of PEACE. Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. (Judges 6:24a) Reconciliation is a word that is about bringing SHALOM, PEACE to a broken relationship between a HOLY GOD and a FALLEN MAN! One of our LORDS main ministries is RECONCILIATION, BRINGING PEACE to the GOD-MAN relationship. And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. (2 Corinthians 5:18) Did you catch the last part, OUR TASK…? Now that we have the PEACE OF THE LORD, we are to HELP OTHERS find “Jehovah Shalom”, our GOD WHO IS PEACE! The TIME IS NOW to realize and help others do the same: KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE- NO JESUS, NO PEACE! “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) SHALOM and AMEN!

April 2. 2020

Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. – Exodus 1:15-21 ESV

Warrior;
The World tells us to DREAM BIG, but sometimes we need to DREAM SMALL- to be used by God in a BIG WAY! We can change the WORLD for GOD, BY changing our WORLD, based on our DESIRE to live a good life and our FEAR OF THE LORD! The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. (Proverbs 9:10-11) Interesting, there are still debates on the name of the KING of EGYPT at the time, for his is NOT named, but we know the names of the 2 Egyptian midwives!

Leader, Shiphrah and Puah give us shining examples of this understanding of the power of the FEAR OF THE LORD. And consider their circumstances, they were NOBODY in the world. In this scripture verse we have the PHARAOH who rules the most powerful nation, at that time- he got to play BIG. And then there were midwives, who were NOBODY’s in the world, who were playing SMALL in their own little world, but they allowed for one of the greatest events in the HISTORY of the WORLD, the birth and survival of one of the most important MEN in the HISTORY of the WORLD- Moses! It was their FEAR of the LORD that guided them. They were most likely EGYPTIAN, not HEBREW and their FEAR OF THE LORD, directed them to be used by GOD in a BIG WAY!

Conduit, you don’t need to go to a foreign country to serve the LORD! You don’t need to GO ON A MISSION TRIP, you are in your MISSION FIELD! Your life is your MINISTRY, God will use you, if you will just have AWE and REVERENCE for the GOD who made it all; Yahweh, Jehovah, El-Elyon, El-Shaddai, Elohim, Adonai! Let me introduce you to the SIMPLE Path- SEE A NEED, MEET THAT NEED! Avail and COMMIT soldier! Here I am Lord, USE ME- I am your hands and feet and HEART! Love the LORD and Love the stranger and let everything else become everything else! Josh Wilson wrote a great song, “Play Small” and it shows you the power you have to be used by God and to change your WORLD and those whose worlds rotate around yours! “It’s a momma singing songs about the Lord. It’s a daddy spending family time that the world said he cannot afford. These simple moments change the world. It’s a pastor at a tiny little Church, forty years of loving for the broken and the hurt. These simple moments change the world. Dream small, don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all-Just let Jesus use you where you are.” Today, FEAR THE LORD and DREAM SMALL!