October 16. 2019

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. -Acts 8:30-31, 34-35 NIV

Warrior;

Philip went to Samaria, a place usually avoided by all good Jews. He began to preach the gospel and performed a number of miracles. As a result, people turned to Christ and a revival broke out in Samaria. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8: 6,8) Philip listened to God to BE in Samaria to begin with, and then to leave a prime evangelical situation to go and spend time with ONE- because God told him too!

Leader, when we walk with GOD, it doesn’t always make sense. The Bible tells us that God’s ways are NOT our ways and HIS ways are far BETTER than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) we are told an angel spoke to Philip. The angel told Philip to head out toward the desert. Think about what a strange command this must have been to Philip. There was a revival going on in Samaria and Philip was right in the middle of it. This sure didn’t seem to be the right time to be moving on to some new location. The work was just beginning in Samaria! What an odd request this seemed. God is looking for people who are wiling to AVAIL and COMMIT to our LORD! Are you willing to STAND OUT for the LORD, when you know you are being called to SPEAK UP, STEP OUT or STAND FIRM for our LORD and HIS NAME?

Conduit, Philip obeyed God instead of his flesh or the world! The Bible is filled with those who obeyed God even when what they were told to do seemed to defy conventional wisdom or defy the wisdom of the world. What he heard seemed strange, just like: Noah built a boat in the desert; Abraham left his home, business and extended family to go to a place God would show him; Gideon went to war with only 300 men, Moses took on the WORLD POWER and it’s Pharaoh; Peter walked on water, Ananias went to visit the chief persecutor Saul- what WILL DO YOU FOR YOUR LORD? Philip listened for an opportunity to share the GOSPEL and Philip LISTENED TO GOD! He left a revival and he met the ONE where he was, and he KNEW the Gospel message and HE SHARED with the ONE. Jesus had a message to ONE, Nicodemus in John 3. One of the great pharisees of the time, who was immortalized in time by being mentioned in the Bible. Tradition says that the eunuch carried the gospel back home to Ethiopia and founded the church there. GOD VALUES THE ONE: The ONE IN FRONT of you and the ONE in the mirror. The one on the street corner and the one who works in the cubicle next to you. “I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) Today, instead of focusing on the many, how about focusing on the ONE! Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one-person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19) Today be THE ONE who is focused on THE ONE!

October 15. 2019

They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”- Genesis 11:3-4 NLT

Warrior;

Wow what a lesson and it was written, IN THE BEGINNING! Very little has changed with man, we have become smarter, learned the secrets of science and of life, yet we are still the same selfish, self-absorbed, self-serving, self-righteous creatures that we were IN THE BEGINNING. We were growing in knowledge, now using bricks instead of stones and tar instead of mud\clay, and if we could only DO THIS ONE THING, then we would show God and secure our future. In building there are three types of stones that we are talking about. Capstone, Cornerstone and Keystone. If we want to move from SERVANT to SON-DAUGHTER then we need to know the difference and let JESUS be our CORNERSTONE, our CAPSTONE, and our KEYSTONE! Zechariah 4:7 tells us the future: “What are you great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!”

Leader, a Capstone is the HIGH POINT, something considered the highest achievement of most important action in a series of actions. (Encarta World dictionary). The Cornerstone, foundation stone is the first stone set in construction. The rite of laying the CORNERSTONE is an important cultural component of Eastern architecture and metaphorically in the life of a TRUE FOLLOWER of Jesus Christ. A KEYSTONE is the stone piece at the apex of a masonry vault or arch, which is the final piece places during construction and locks all the stones into position. (Wikipedia) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16) Scripture tells us, the stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.

Conduit, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20) It’s time to REBUILD, our house GOD’s WAY, with GODS WILL being the cornerstone, and with GODS WORD as the architect, constructor and inspector! THE TIME IS NOW to BUILD- first through the knowledge of Christ who is both the CORNERSTONE and CAPSTONE. For His is the only one who can KEEP THE STRUCTURE straight, congruent, symmetrical. And He can be the only source of SECURITY, securing the structure through this turbulent time of tribulation and for the eternity to come. The TIME has come to be like the FATHER of our faith, ABRAHAM and look, seek…DESIRE; hunger and thirst for not only righteousness, BUT looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. For the Psalmist told us: Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It’s all VANITY unless it is centered and built around the BABE IN THE MANGER!

October 14. 2019

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. – Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV

Warriors;

Paul was saying, FINALLY- the last thing I want to leave you with- pay attention- this is IMPORTANT! Why do we put on the ARMOR of GOD? Because our BATTLE is NOT with flesh and blood, NOT WITH the temporal- but SPIRITUAL forces! As was brought to my attention, there are 7 parts to the ARMOR OF GOD; 6- expressed, 1- IMPLIED! We need the BELT OF TRUTH: The belt of truth holds everything together. The belt was the central piece of Roman armor. Everything else buckles into it, attaches to it, and it holds up everything else! Through Christ, everything is held together by His Truth. BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: It PROTECTS the power source, the HEART, and other VITAL things! The Roman breastplate was a fitted piece of armor, constructed in segments to cover back, front and shoulders. It protects vital organs- it was relatively light- like Christ’s righteousness is an easy yoke and a light burden, compared to poorly refined iron and much more effective compared to leather hides.

Leader, the SHIELD OF FAITH: The shield of the Roman soldier was a BIG DEAL. It was a full three feet tall and curved around the body. One could fully crouch behind it and be safe from whatever the enemy threw at you! (Eph 6:16) The soldier could TRUST in that protection! In Greek, the word for faith and trust are identical! The HELMET OF SALVATION: this protects our HEAD! The helmet of salvation protects our thoughts. Our enemy falsely accuses and lies to us- this helmet allows us to remain FOCUSED on HIM and HIS WORD. “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8) The SHOES OF THE GOSPEL: If we stand firm in the GOSPEL (Good News) of Christ, we bring peace, and it is this good news that anchors us against the assaults of the world! If we are going to be successful in the LORD, we need a PAIR OF CLEATS (parakletos)- the Holy Spirit, who gives us a FIRM FOUNDATION to STAND FIRM! These FIRM FEET are beautiful to the recipient and the LORD! (Isaiah 52:7)

Conduit, the last of the EXPRESSED Armor of God is our only OFFENSIVE weapon in our arsenal! The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, is the WORD OF GOD, the Bible! Held in one hand opposite the shield, the Word is what we use to “take all things captive for Christ,” for Jesus Himself is the “Word made flesh.” When we need to fight- to mount an attack on the darkness of this world and in our lives, our only weapon is Jesus and HIS WORD! Jesus did the work, He paid the PRICE and IN HIM, THROUGH HIM- we have the victory. The final piece- the 7th, and it should be accessed FIRST, is PRAYER! Eph 6:18: Praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Priscilla Shirer put it this way: “If we wear our armor daily we are prepared physically, however, we are not covering the area in which the battle is fought, attacking the enemy spiritually with the only part of the armor that breaks down walls and cuts the enemy to shreds.” Why are we COMMANDED to put on the Armor of God? Because we have a GOOD, GOOD FATHER- ABBA! So, when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself, that you may be able to stand your ground, you shall be able to confront The Evil One, and when you are ready in all things, you shall stand! Glory to God in the highest and PEACE to HIS PEOPLE in the battle! Remember, ‘The Battle’ is the LORDS!

October13. 2019

“So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant” (1 Kings 19:21 NLT).

Warrior;

Elisha was out in the field, minding his own business, when the man of God, Elijah, came up and threw his cloak over his shoulders. Elijah was telling Elisha, “your prayers have been answered, you are taking over when I am done”. It was a proposition- An was most likely, an answer to prayer that showed up in the form of an invitation! Elijah was a shadow of a Man who later would invite fishermen who were also busy about their work to come and follow. Elisha not sure of what to do, wanted to do the right thing and asked if he may say his goodbyes, his answer was similar to one that Jesus would express later. Matthew 8:22; Jesus said, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” He was responding to a request from one of His followers who asked to be excused from his responsibilities to “go and bury [his] father” (Matthew 8:21). So, Elijah shows His commitment and he burns his equipment; and slaughtered his animals- destroying any possibility of returning to the life he once lived. Talk about removing any way of retreat- there was NO GOING BACK!

Leader, God is still looking for people with GREAT FAITH, warriors who are ON FIRE and ON PURPOSE for our LORD and HIS way, HIS will, HIS WORD! But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) Too many people are praying to God to play big for Him, while wanting the WORLD and its WAYS and TRAPPINGS! No one is able to serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and he will love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) Are you ALL IN for God or are you still attached to your WORLDLY relationships, passions and the WAYS OF THE WORLD?

Conduit, many self-defined followers of God are participating in the “religious” experience of making God a part of their life, a small part, a private part- but don’t want to offend anybody with their personal beliefs about God. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:25-26) God is looking for HOT FOLLOWERS! Tepid is an abomination to our LORD! “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”. (Revelation 3:15-16) God is looking for COMMITTED FOLLOWERS, NOT seasonal participants. The difference between participation and commitment is best understood by looking at a bacon and eggs breakfast and the roll of the chicken and the pig in that meal. In that breakfast the chicken participated by providing eggs. But there is only one way to get bacon from a pig, and that pig must be COMMITTED; Heart, Body and Soul! John 12:24 reminds us oink, oink; “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Elijah when given the chance like Solomon to request anything, he requested a double portion of Elijah’s Spirit- confirmation of Elisha’s first love- God; see 2 Kings 2:9. Dear God like Elisha prayed for his servant, I pray for this reader, ““O LORD, please open his\her eyes that they may see.” Please let them see that THE TIME IS NOW, to leave things of this world and to focus on the KINGDOM for the TIME of REDEMPTION is near! Please Lord, let us all ACT AS IF, Jesus is returning today and LEAVE THIS WORLD and its WAY! Amen.

October 12. 2019

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”- Luke 12:13-15 ESV

Warrior;

Covetousness is the sneakiest of all the SINS against the commandments of God. Most of you reading this text would say you are NOT covetous. It is the 10th and final commandment of God’s law. It is the hardest to identify and it is the ROOT of every other sin: I WANT, I DESERVE…what about me? In 1 Thes 2 Paul tells us how deceptive this sin is: For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness. (v5)

Leader, in the Bible dictionary it says of COVETNOUS: Strong desire to have that which belongs to another. The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything that belongs to a neighbor, including his house, his wife, his servants, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to him ( Ex 20:17 ). Jesus listed covetousness or greed along with many of the sins from within, including adultery, theft, and murder, which make a person unclean ( Mark 7:22 ) Covetousness, therefore, is basic to the commandments against murder, adultery, stealing, and lying. Coveting a neighbor’s wife is a form of adultery. Proverbs warns that a covetous person brings trouble to his family ( 15:27 ). Jesus warned, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed” ( Luke 12:15 ).

Conduit, all this PRIVILEGE talk is COVETNOUS! Read the BIBLE and you will learn 2 things. #1- LIFE AINT FAIR. #2- LIFE IS HARD. God says,” I will REPAY!” We need to quit WANTING what others have or have accomplished and allow GOD TO guide our life! There has never been an emergency meeting of the trinity, GOD is JEHOVAH JIREH, the God who provides! God didn’t leave you, nor forsake you, nor has he been removed from THE THRONE! Quit coveting your brother’s STUFF, worldly success, and significance – BE about your FATHERS BUSINESS of the KINGDOM OF GOD! Get your foot out of the world and put BOTH IN THE KINGDOM!

October 11. 2019

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 ESV

Warrior;

The response of this man’s interaction with Jesus was stunning, “Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” The MSG Bible paraphrase says, “The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go”. The question we ALL have to ask and answer in our heart, “Is God our portion, is He the sustainer of our dreams, our hopes, our lives?

Leader, can you step into these words? ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.’ (Psalm 73:26, 142:5, 119:57, 16:5) What is God to you? What role does Jesus play in your life? Is He window dressing for a safe, comfortable life, or is He the purpose of your life? Do you desire Him with all your heart? Is He your everything, or at least, YOUR #1 thing? Are you still working to get to 10%, or is IT ALL HIS-100%? For as the great musical lyrics say, “Jesus paid it all, ALL TO HIM I OWE”!

Conduit, When Jesus asked his disciples whether they would leave him, Peter answered with the question, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!’ (John 6:68) Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go?” was really a statement. Peter was not asking Jesus to name someone else for the disciples to follow. Peter was saying that there was no one else. Jesus was their Teacher: As Peter said, “You have the words of life eternal” (John 6:68). Only Jesus was Christ the Son of God who had the gospel of eternal life. Jesus was their Shepherd: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11). Who else could do that for the disciples? Jesus was their Lamb: John the Baptizer said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Nobody else could be a sacrifice to make atonement for the disciples. Jesus was their Way: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus was their God: Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). What other man could the disciples recognize as God? The TIME IS NOW, KAIROS, to ask and answer the question, “Who is Jesus to me?”!

October 10. 2019

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:16-17 ESV

Warrior;

This is love, as a matter of fact, the Word says there is NO GREATER LOVE: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:13-14) And then He adds that CONDITIONAL statement; IF-THEN. If you do what I command, you are my friend! And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. (James 2:23) “You, O Israel, are my servant, you, O Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham my friend.”(Isaiah 41:8) Abraham acted, AS IF, GOD IS- and because of this, God considered him HIS FRIEND.

Leader, do you desire to not only be a servant of God, a son\daughter of God- but to be a FRIEND of God? God is looking to befriend HIS CREATURES. How do we become friends of God? We become friends by knowing HIM, by knowing what HE is doing and by having FAITH, that means believe what HE SAYS and DO WHAT HE SAYS with a heart of humility, mercy and grace. When we do those things God calls us friend: No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. And if this is all made known to you, then listen up, and then DO what he shows us and tells us! “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? (Luke 6:46) Do you have a friend in God, in Jesus?

Conduit, most people’s God is their money. Most would not lay down their life for another, but will you sacrifice, give up, or share that which is the most important? Many people’s money and resources are their God! They TRUST in their STUFF, instead of the ONE who gave them their stuff. If you will not lay down your money, lay down your resources- then how can you ever be expected to lay down your life? The most widely served LEFTOVER in the American kitchen is meatloaf. It is served more often as leftovers, then as a first-time meal. In 1993 the singer, Meatloaf released his power ballad, ‘I’ll do anything for love’, it was a commercial success, reaching number one in 28 countries. The single was certified platinum and the chorus ended with, “but, I won’t do that”. We need to quit giving God our leftovers! How about you? Will you do anything for love, but you won’t do that? Is God or money on your throne? Do you value a friendship with God more than a balanced checking account? Do you believe that God is your portion, or is your 401K and financial security your God? “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24) Today be like Joshua and make a decision on who you will serve! I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19) Keep it Simple Soldier, don’t let the devil confuse you. See a NEED, meet that NEED. Let God replenish your needs, let God be your portion and your FRIEND!