March 16. 2020

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. -Exodus 9:16 ESV

We humans are driven by a sense of meaning. Logo Therapy, developed conceptually, in the hell that was Auschwitz, and explained in the book, “Mans search for Meaning”- it is about man’s innate desire to WILL TO MEANING. Logo-therapy is a term derived from “logos,” a Greek word that translates as “meaning,” In the Gospel of John, IN THE BEGINNING, Jesus is also called the LOGOS. Developed by Viktor Frankl, LOGO-THERAPY is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logo-therapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life. The most basic question everyone faces in life is Why am I here? What is my purpose? To TRUTHFULLY answer this question, ONE must start with God and His eternal purposes for each life. Real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes for putting us on earth. See Ephesians 2:10.

Leader, 10 years ago Pastor Rick Warren fed this desire with a book called, “The Purpose driven life.” It has sold over 50 million copies in all it’s available formats. People looking for their purpose, however, most people are looking to Rick Warren, or some self-help guru instead of our creator and HIS PURPOSE for our existence. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). Warren laid out 5 PURPOSES for each creature: We were planned for God’s pleasure, so your first purpose is to offer real worship. We were formed for God’s family, so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship. We were created to become like Christ, so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship. We were shaped for serving God, so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry. We were made for a mission, so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism. God told Jeremiah and He tells us daily: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Conduit, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy! Sometimes we can be so busy about our lives that we forget the purpose behind them. We are driven by the demands of life and not realizing that God always has a greater purpose. His purposes not only encompass our lives, but the lives of those around us—at home, school, work, and community. It’s important to know and live out God’s purpose for our being, not our search for meaning in this world! We must remember WHO we are, WHY WE ARE HERE, and WHOSE we are! Every creature has a PURPOSE it is to GLORIFY OUR GOD! Your only decision is how much of your life will you give to GOD’S PURPOSE and how much will you throw away on this temporal path of finding your purpose In the system called the WORLD? The TIME IS NOW TO BE ON GODS PURPOSE! BE LIKE JESUS and BE ABOUT THE FATHERS BUSINESS! And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). Amen!

March 15. 2020

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. – Ruth 1:16-17 NIV

Excuses are ways we BLAME the WORLD for our choices and circumstances. They might be factual data, like where we were born, or who are parents are and the beliefs that are imprinted on us through our family of origin and the choices of our families and ourselves. However, we are free to choose something different!

Leader, The Moabites were a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot, born of an incestuous relationship with his oldest daughter. (Gen19:37) During the Exodus the Israelites did not pass through Moab, The Moabites were alarmed, and their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num 22:2–4). This was the occasion when the visit of Balaam to Balak took place (Num 22:2–6). Ruth was a Moabite, she had a BAD beginning, but Ruth was determined and LOYAL; And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (v18)

Conduit, Ruth had all the reasons NOT to walk with Jehovah, there was a long line of unfaithfulness and disloyalty in her family, in her people; in her past. Ruth is the Biblical picture of loyalty and purity. Just like Ruth, we are not limited by heritage, by life circumstances, by our choices, by our PAST! We are only limited by the choices we make TODAY- Come to the Cross of Christ where all things are NEW and HOPE is Living Water that springs ETERNAL! Amen!

March 14. 2020

After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.- 2 Chron 20:1-4 ESV

What a powerful picture that God gives us. This is how we get GREAT VALUE, for diving into the scripture, to wallow in and look under ever rock, every phrase to find the golden nugget of God’s encouragement, guidance, and SHADOW of the SUBSTANCE yet to come. The down payment- if you will- for a GLORIOUS WORKS JUDGEMENT that will someday illicit from our LORD and SAVIOR, the author and perfecter of our FAITH-the one who DID it ALL, PAID IT ALL- the WORD; His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. (Matt 25:21, 23)

Leader, today’s verse starts; AFTER THAT. After what? We have to go back to 2 Chron 19 to see what this is all about. Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.” (2 Chron 19:4-7) He was functioning in a world that is worshiping ITSELF, that has placed itself on ITS OWN THRONE. A world that is chasing after other god’s and living as they desire- doing as the rest of the world is doing; worshiping MAN MADE IDOLS! The only thing MAN-MADE that will be in heaven is the SCARS on JESUS body that were MAN-MADE!

Conduit, TRUST IN THE LORD and lean not on your own understandings. (Prov 3:5) When you represent GOD in an UNGODLY world you will have the SPIRIT of this world, the PRINCE OF THIS WORLD who will work with his power to thwart you, to attack you, to SEPARATE YOU. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Jesus wanted to prepare us for the BATTLE that is ahead, he told us how to know if we are one of HIS. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. ( John 16:33 and 15:18-19) If you are HER- To live is Christ to die is gain- then the battle is the LORDS! He will fight for you, just SEEK HIS FACE and HIS WILL and let all other things fall at the FOOT OF THE CROSS!

March 13. 2020

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:2-5 ESV

The word “Bible” comes from the Greek word Biblion, which means “book.” The Bible itself, gives over a dozen names and titles of itself, in both the Old and New Testaments. It is called: Gospel- GOOD NEWS, Holy Scriptures, Law of the Lord, Living Words, Sword of the Spirit, Word of God, Word of life, TRUTH- it is the WORD OF OUR LORD! It is our INSTRUCTION MANUAL. If you don’t know ‘what’s going on’, and how to respond -then how can you fight, the GOOD FIGHT? Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)

Leader, it is important to read the manual, so you are not confused by the weird times that we live in. Confusion seems to be the main weapon of our enemy. When people are confused, they don’t’ SPEAK UP, STAND up, STEP OUT. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) We are told that not all spirits are Godly, there are fallen angels- 1\3 of the angelic world. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child, he might devour it. (Revelation 12:4) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Conduit, 1 John 4:1 tells us to know the difference between HIS WORD and the world’s interpretation and perversion of HIS WORD. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We are called to KNOW HIS WORD and to SHARE the GOOD NEWS. Preaching means the proclamation of religious truth- how can you proclaim what you don’t know? “To evangelize” is to proclaim the good news of the victory of God’s salvation- again, if you don’t know it you can’t proclaim it! Beware of finding a word that makes you feel comfortable, one that doesn’t challenge you or doesn’t grow you. Your itching ears might make you feel good today- but there will be HELL TO PAY! BE READY- For our LORD is returning soon! How do we know? Read His instruction manual! Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

March 12. 2020

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. – Luke 16:1-3 ESV

Are you using your CURRENT situation to better the ONE TO COME? We have CHOICE and we have OPPORTUNITY on this side of ETERNITY that AFFECTS what happens to us, on the OTHER SIDE of eternity! This is such an interesting parable, it is hard to process because Jesus actually commends the SHREWDNESS of this servant in verse 8. He is NOT commending the ACT- which was deceptive, BUT HE IS acknowledging the wisdom of preparing for what is about to happen!

Leader, what we do with our TIME, NOW, decides what happens after we take our last breath. Once we have taken our last breath, our ACCOUNT gets zeroed out and we come to the ETERNAL CASHIER and our account is reconciled! In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus talks about WHAT and HOW to PAY IT FORWARD: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Conduit, the only thing MAN-MADE that we will see in heaven is the SCARS ON JESUS! And we will be rewarded for ONLY that which we did in the NAME of JESUS, for the GLORY of GOD, and those things that GOD commanded us to do! At the conclusion of the 25th chapter of Matthew, 31-46, we read about the FINAL JUDGMENT! “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’… And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’” The TIME IS NOW, live- LIKE IT MATTERS!

March 11. 2020

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, get up and walk!”- Acts 3:1-6 NLT

We must understand that we all have our UNIQUE cross to carry daily. Luke’s gospel quotes Jesus as giving His followers the imperative: 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.” One of many CONDITIONAL statements Jesus gives about what it takes to be a follower of God! Just like we all have our own cross to bear we also have our unique TREASURE: resources, gifts, talents and abilities that are ON LOAN from God and given to us so we can give to others. We are called to be CONDUITS- pass through agents! All that we have is to be used for ALL THAT HE DOES!

Leader, we can get so wrapped up in what we DON’T have, what we CAN’T do- God is calling us to GIVE what we HAVE and trust that HE WILL PROVIDE our needs as JEHOVAH JIREH! God is calling HIS CHILDREN to AVAIL and COMMIT and to Keep It Simple SOLDIER- it’s not that complicated! Remember the enemy’s #1 WEAPON formed against us is CONFUSION. When we remove confusion and remember WHO we are and WHY we are here and WHOSE we are- then, we truly understand; SEE a NEED, MEET the NEED! Be available to people in need, treat them like they matter; acknowledge them, make eye contact with them and MEET their NEED to the best of your available gifts, talents and blessings! God says the same measure, the same gifting, the same compassion, the same MERCY, the same FORGIVENESS- you give to others that is the measure He will use toward you- you decide!

Conduit, remember: But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) You have been blessed, so that you can be a blessing to others! Proverbs 11:25 tells us, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Your life casts a shadow on this earth and that shadow can be a blessing or a curse, it’s entirely up to you! And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. (Acts 5:14-15) Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) Let God LIVE in your HEART and put “I CAN’T” in the bottomless pit! Let it be about God and HIS Blessings! If we want to be a blessing to others, we shall take our understanding from the life and mindset of John the Baptist. He knew the equation, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Today, give what you have and trust JEHOVAH JIREH to RE-SUPPLY your needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus! Amen!

March 10. 2020

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor 12:7-10 ESV

We have three enemies, three forces working against us and the WILL OF GOD! We are continually under attack if we are serving the KING of KINGS and the LORD of LORDS! What are these three foes named? The world, the flesh and the devil, and all 3 have the same outcome: To keep us falling short, missing the mark, living to our own desires, means and machinations. That is where GRACE comes in, a new LAW, if you will! As a believer- HIS GRACE is supposed to be sufficient! In our weakness HIS strength is perfected! It allows us to be more than our FLESH, victorious despite the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR- and it brings a PEACE when there is little peace around us!

Leader, Pastor Tony Evans calls it the overriding ‘law of Grace’. He goes onto say, “Did you know that grace gives you the ability to either override or to work through adverse circumstances in your life? We all face things that seem difficult to overcome: problems, pain, frustrations, people. What grace does is it comes alongside of us either to override something or to take us through something that seems to be overwhelming. You take the law of gravity which holds us down, and you take the law of aerodynamics which lifts us up. It doesn’t cancel the law of gravity, but it does override it so that we can fly in an airplane even though the law of gravity is still working.”

Conduit, Tony tells us to think about GRACE, as being like WINGS. Grace- like wings- can lift us up and take us beyond what our experience is saying and what our flesh is feeling! Jesus prepared us when he said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Grace is SPIRITUAL overcoming, it provides strength that comes in one of three ways, as Pastor Evan’s posits,” It is strength to be delivered from, strength to be moved through or it is strength to be changed in the midst of the trauma or drama. Strength you didn’t have initially until heaven joined you on earth to help you lift the weight that appeared too heavy. Grace gives you and me the power to overcome. We must remember in our weakness; HIS STRENGTH is perfected. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. LIVE IN HIS GRACE and be lifted up, by the HOLY WINGS OF GRACE!