June 19. 2020

Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?”- Ezekiel 47:2-6 ESV


Warrior;

http://www.theologyofwork.org states: “In exile in Babylon, Ezekiel receives a dramatic call from God. Like Isaiah’s call (Isaiah 6:1-8), Ezekiel’s begins with a vision of God (Ezek. 1:4-2:8) and concludes with God’s command to become a prophet. Direct calls to a particular kind of work are rare in the Bible, and Ezekiel’s is one of the most dramatic. Although Ezekiel’s original profession was the priesthood, God called him to a prophetic career that was primarily political, not religious. It is fitting that the vision in which he received his call includes political symbols such as chariot wheels (Ezek. 1:16), an army (Ezek. 1:24), a throne (Ezek. 1:26) and a sentinel (Ezek. 3:16), but no religious symbols. Ezekiel’s call should dispel any notion that calls from God are generally calls away from secular professions and into church ministry.” We are living in times, where we can no longer separate God from the rest of our lives. Our culture is fading, and the Prince of this world is getting angrier and busier and we too, as followers of Christ, need to be IN FULL PRESS mode, sharing the love and WORD OF GOD.

Leader, the Bible is beautifully filled with imagery that the prophets were given by God. These are some of the ‘MYSTERY of the Bible’, that creates a hunger and a thirst in a true believer. Like a lover, seeking to know ALL about his\her love interest. As the Holy Spirit reveals meaning and illuminates understanding, the heart quickens, and the passion rises like water as we journey deeper into the unknown. The water can be considered the WATER OF LIFE, that flows from God. There is a crucially important part of the Eden story in Genesis 2:10-14, which describes a river that comes out from the garden. In the BEGINNING we were WITH GOD in the ideal heaven-on-earth place called “the garden of delight” (“Eden” means “delight” in Hebrew). God provides these waters from “the deep” that He contained and ordered under the dry land in Genesis 1. After flowing out of Eden, it separates and flows into four regions of the land. This is an image of God’s living water that brought life to Eden, going out to bring that same life to the different parts of the dry land. God’s water of life is what supplies our world with abundance, food, and sustenance.

Conduit, Jesus answers the Samaritan woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water”. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10,13–14). The great thing about imagery, is we can all put our own meaning to it, based on our walk with God and based on the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The imagery here is a great illustration of how when we first accept the PAID PRICE OF CALVARY, that living water might be just a trickle. As we wade into the WORD OF GOD more and we seek a DEEPER more INTIMATE relationship with Christ there comes a point where we have to decide: are we still slowly walking or are we ready to GO ALL IN, stop tiptoeing as the water rises and have the FAITH TO JUMP IN? We are at a point in Eschatology where we can no longer separate our SPIRITUAL life from our work, social and political life. We are in too deep, too late, too close to the closure of the ‘Time of the Gentiles’. Jesus’ favorite self-described title was, SON OF MAN. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man, in fact, in the New Testament this title is used 88 times. We are being made into the likeness of Christ and the only way to do that is to FULLY IMMERSE ourselves into HIS WORD and HIS WAY. The Time is NOW to quit separating our CHRISTIANITY from other aspects of our life. It is time (Kairos) to BE ALL IN, SOLD OUT as a FOLLOWER of Jesus Christ. If we are SOLD OUT for CHRIST, then it affects EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES: our social media, our voting, our politics, our love life- ALL CHOICES and ALL IDENTITY! Are you ready to GO ALL IN? God is calling us to the DEEP! Psalm 42:7: Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Amen!

June 18. 2020

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. -Matthew 5:13-16 ESV

Warrior;
One of the strange seemingly dichotomies of a believer is to be IN the world, but NOT BE, OF the world. John 15:19; If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 17:14-16; I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “In” the World: It’s Our Point of Location. “Of” the World: It’s Our Source of Information

Leader, Salt and Light are used as metaphors by Jesus because the world is CORRUPT, and the world is DARK! And if we are going to be IN this corrupt and dark world we are to CHANGE IT, instead of IT, CHANGING US! Based on scripture as bad as things are- they are getting worse! Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13) This is a warning to us to not LOSE our SALTINESS or to NOT LOSE our LIGHT! The darker things get in life, the brighter light shines. And the less seasoning and preservation the more IMPACT the salt!

Conduit, the Holy Spirit works through us and we can PRESERVE people and bring FLAVOR to a bland world. Salt can be used as a preservative- to slow down the corruption. Salt can also be used to MELT ICE- or a cold heart- and SALT ads flavor and SALT makes us THIRST! Are you making others THIRST for WHO you follow, for what you BELIEVE? First you are salt then you are light. Salt works from within, light from without. Light allows for others to see what is hidden, light allows others to walk safely in an unsafe environment and light allows for people to walk sure-footedly and with confidence. When light shows up, darkness goes away! Today, add some HEAVENLY FLAVOR to others lives, and add some confidence and clarity to their journey! Help others hunger and thirst for our LORD and help them have eyes to see so they may walk confidently on the narrow path that most people can’t FIND, because it is so dark in this world! Light and Salt- BE SOME and GIVE SOME!

June 17. 2020

Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. – Ecclesiastes 7:19-22 ESV

Warrior;

The book of Ecclesiastes was written by the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon. The book provides a stark example of how relevant the Old Testament can be in today’s world. The title of the book comes from the Greek word for “preacher” or “teacher.” King Solomon goes through a list of things he pursued, seeking fulfillment: Career, Sex, Materialism, Fame, Popularity, Alcohol, Pleasure of every type, even Wisdom. The work emphatically proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently “vain”, “futile”, “empty”, or “meaningless,” depending on translation, as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death, and then judgment! “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” – there is no luck, there is no favoritism, there is no ‘taking it with you’.

Leader, we have a world filled with JUDGES. We are all PRE-JUDGERS, we enter into relationships and situations with our Beliefs, with our own PAST and with our own semblance of RIGHT and WRONG- our PREJUDICES. However, God, DOES NOT! The Bible says, “God is NOT a respecter of persons”. See Acts 10:34. The Greek word that is translated as “respecter” is ‘prosopolemptes’, it means “to show favoritism.” In other words, God is impartial- except in regard to HIS SON, and those that Love Jesus, those that LISTEN to Jesus and those WHO LIVE FOR JESUS. The only favorability God, the Father shows is to His Creatures who have the mindset that says, and the heart that believes, and the hands and feet that LIVE: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) It does not matter how famous, how rich, how much money you gave, how many followers you have on SOCIAL MEDIA, or how politically connected a person is. If they DO NOT believe in Christ, and follow Him, they are going to Hell. Those who are Christians, accept Jesus Christ and keep HIS WORD- they will go to heaven.

Conduit, this is why Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1) It can be called a Proverb; If you judge or condemn someone else, you stand to be judged or condemned according to the same standard. God says similar things in many places in the Bible, see Luke 6:38. Jesus says; “The same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”. THIS IS TRUE IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE. IT’S A PRINCIPLE THAT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BY GOD. Whatever measure you use to give is the same measure that will be used in giving back to you”. Jesus called this the GOLDEN RULE; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What is missing in the world today, is people who are willing to turn the other cheek, to let go of our RECORD OF WRONGS, to release our POUND OF FLESH. The solutions to some of the problems in America today is on us, the church. We are to be different from the world in our sins of COMMISSION and our sins of OMISSION. Empathy, Understanding, Mercy and Grace; that is what a CHILD OF GOD does to others- just like we would want for ourselves when we stand before God. We are ALL SINNERS and ALL FALL SHORT of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Instead of marching in the streets for Social Justice, we should be marching for reconciliation, Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace-because we all need it! The Time is NOW to get our eyes off the world, and it’s causes. and get them on Jesus and His CLOSING ACT. Let us seek forgiveness from God for being like the world, and let us show MERCY, GRACE, FORGIVENESS like our JESUS and share HIS GOOD NEWS!

June 16. 2020

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. – Ephesians 5:11 ESV

Warrior;
Life is a series of choices. Dr. Martin Luther King in his great sermon\speech on the Capitol said, “I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they are NOT judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” To paraphrase the great man of God, civil rights leader, he was saying, “Judge people on choices that they made, not on things that they had no choice in”. God gave us freedom of will. God does NOT make us love Him, He does NOT force Himself upon us, He wants us to choose Life, choose Love, choose HIM and HIS SON, JESUS! 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, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days. (Deuteronomy 3:19-20a)

Leader, why does God NOT make us automaton’s, and force us to LOVE Him, by obeying Him and choosing life? Because, “A gift that is commanded is no gift at all”. Jesus himself said that – ultimately – there are only two ways to live: there are two paths; there are two gates; there are two destinations and there are two groups of people- this life is about choosing which way to go. The choices we make in this world, this TIME (Kairos), decide about the future and our eternal destination. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. (Proverbs 4:14-19)

Conduit, choices; LIGHT or DARK, WISE or WICKED, RIGHTEOUS or UNRIGHTEOUS, way of the WORLD or way of the WARRIOR-for-God, EASY or HARD, child of God or earth-dweller? “There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy”, See Matthew 7:13-14. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7) The TIME IS NOW to choose, who will you follow? Will you go the way of the World or the WAY OF THE SAVIOR? Are you about the Father’s business and His Kingdom, or are you marching for the world’s issues and ways? My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (2 John 1:1-6) Amen and Ouch! Choose well today and let the LIGHT of Christ be your GUIDING LIGHT!

June 15. 2020

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is ja new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV

Warrior;
We all have a timeline. We ALL have a PAST, a PRESENT and a FUTURE. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we have the blessing, the gift, the opportunity the RIGHT to start NEW ever day! The prophet Isaiah told us of the NEWNESS of God; Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19) Are you desiring a NEW BEGINNING? Today is that day to start NEW!

Leader, God tells us what He does with our PAST when we step into our FUTURE and accept the GRACE and MERCY of the CROSS! Because HE LOVES us, because HE KNOWS us and because of WHO HE IS- HE LEAVES the PAST and HE IS OUR FUTURE! For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (Psalm 103 :11-14)

Conduit, IN CHRIST, ever day we have an UP UNTIL NOW opportunity! We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) Will you embrace the NEWNESS that CHRIST offers to all who WILL DIE to themselves and accept the NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST? For behold I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. (Isaiah 65:17) Today, put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:24) We have a NEW, a BETTER agreement then the sons of Jacob: In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And lwhat is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 8:13, Galatians 3:28) And at the VERY END, which becomes the NEW BEGINNING- God will again remind us of HIS NEWNESS; And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” …”for these words are trustworthy and true.” Start fresh today, BE NEW and ACT DIFFERENTLY- than those who are still stuck in OLD sin, OLD ways, OLD pain, and an OLD COVENANT!

June 14. 2020

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.” – Numbers 13:1-3 ESV

Warrior;

God wants to give direction to our lives, just like a parent wants to give direction to the children they love, lead and grow.  God meets us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there.  We are in a battle and like the Israelites, we are on a journey and God is guiding us from where He met us, to where He wants us to go- to become who He wants us to be. We need to be in communication with our Father, with our Commander. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and NOT to harm you.  Plans for HOPE and a FUTURE. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Leader, Ephesians 2:10 tells us, we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. This seems to be our problem, as human creatures, we seem to follow our feelings and our flesh instead of having Faith. Just like many of us, the Israelite’s lack of faith took over- instead of listening to God, instead of believing the promises of God- the Israelites gave into their feelings and their fears. When we give into the flesh and forego our FAITH, it costs us dearly on this journey. It cost the Israelites 40 years in the desert. Only 2, of the approximately, 2 million people who left Egypt, in the Exodus, entered the Promised Land: Caleb and Joshua. The Israelites missed God’s blessing, and when we rely on our flesh instead of our faith, we miss God’s best and we disappoint our Lord. For God Himself says, He requires faith and faith requires a GAP! There is a gap between what our eyes, ears and feelings tell us and what God says. The bigger the gap, the greater the Faith. We must remember that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith.

Conduit, there are ways we SHORT CIRCUIT our faith. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the BEATITUDES, see Matthew 5. These are attitudes that we are to have, as true followers of Christ. These attitudes align us with Christ, and they allow for blessings and for us to be more properly used by God and reflective of Godly traits. There are also many “BE NOT ATITUDES”, they cause us to miss God’s blessings and usefulness. These attitudes are of the flesh, the devil and the world: Bitterness, Anger, Hatred, Unforgiveness, Hostility, Resentment, Grudge, FEAR. All these BE-NOT attitudes equate to the greatest of the worst, which is UNBELIEF. If you want the blessings of God, the presence of God, then we must align and sync with the WILL AND WORD OF GOD! The devil is getting ANGRIER and the world, America is following the Prince of this world instead of the SAVIOR OF THIS WORLD. It is time to REFOCUS on God’s Word, God’s Way and God’s RETURN. The psalmist in Psalm 19:14 has his focus on the Lord and not the world- how about you? May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Amen! The TIME IS NOW, REFOCUS!

June 13. 2020

So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union. And I tended the sheep. In one month I destroyed the three shepherds. But I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die. What is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed. And let those who are left devour the flesh of one another.” And I took my staff Favor, and I broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep traders, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter. Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. -Zechariah 11:7-14 ESV

Warrior;
This is the reason we should believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired WORD OF GOD! This is prophecy. This was spoken 500 years before it happened, and this prophecy is about Israel and about our LORD. It is about when God’s covenant with Israel was broken, when they rejected Christ, and it is about details of what would happen 500 years from this vision and also beyond that, into the second coming of our LORD. It is often taught that “the Bible is one-third history, one-third poetry, and one-third prophecy. According to “The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy” by J. Barton Payne, there are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament for a total of 1,817. The Bible itself tells us to judge a book by the accuracy of its prophecy: When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

Leader; There is no finer teacher on whether Jesus is to be found in the pages of the Old Testament than the teaching of our Lord Jesus himself: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”. (John 5:39) From https://www.bible-studys.org/, we get the following understanding: When Israel was in God’s favor and under His gracious protection, then He caused even their enemies to be at peace with them. When the Gentile nations gathered against them to devour, the Shepherd of Israel soon broke the arm of their strength and prevented them from doing harm to His people. But when He ceased to be their defense, then they became a ready prey to the Gentile world powers, which are well symbolized in the bible as “Wild Beasts”. The prophet’s symbolic act called for him to take “two staffs.” Eastern shepherds often carried two sticks, a rod to ward off wild beasts and a staff to guide and retrieve wayward sheep (Psalm 23:4). “Three shepherds also I cut off”: This refers to the priests, elders and scribes of Israel. Jesus bestowed grace and unity upon the populace, but confronted the hypocrisy of these religious leaders, and because they rejected Him all 3 offices were obliterated in a short time. God ended the traditional offices of the mediators and in their place brought a new priesthood of believers (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6)

Conduit, the most clearly defined part of this prophecy is that Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. When Judas saw that they were going to crucify Jesus, he repented and went back and threw the silver coins at the feet of the religious leaders in the Temple. It was against their rules to allow ‘blood money’ into the coffers, so they used the money to buy the Potters field. If you were to study statistics and probability…: How many people in the history of the world were sold for 30 pieces of silver, then the money was thrown back in a temple and then that money was used to buy a Potters field? Answer is…ONE, JESUS. “Thirty pieces of silver,” According to (Exodus 21:32), was the price paid to the master whose slave had been gored by an ox. A sound slave was considered to be worth twice that amount. This insult would ultimately be ascribed to the Messiah Himself (Matt. 27:9-10). This is the supreme insult, the Messiah, God’s Son, worth only the price of an incapacitated, gored slave! What price do you place on knowing and following Jesus? What value do you place on our Lord? How much time; daily, weekly and monthly do you spend knowing Jesus, talking to Jesus and sharing Jesus- compared to other things you value in life? Things like your job, your kids, your spouse, your hobbies, your intake of food, sleep and physical activity? Based on this formula, WHO\WHAT is on your throne? REPENT, for the kingdom of God is at hand!

June 12. 2020

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7 ESV

Warrior;
The apostle John, in the Epistle of John refers to one of the disciples as, “The disciple Jesus loved”. It is almost unanimous that John, himself, was the disciple, “whom Jesus loved”. It seems that John had a closer relationship with Jesus than any of the other disciples. Jesus and John were essentially “best friends.” Jesus entrusted John with the care of His mother, gave John the vision of the transfiguration, allowed John to witness His most amazing miracles, and later gave John the Book of Revelation. Church history tells us that the apostle John lived into the A.D. 90s and was the last surviving apostle. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke are remarkably similar, not only in the outline of the narratives but also the nature and content of the teachings including the style, the language, and the vocabulary. Therefore the first three Gospels are called Synoptic gospels because they can be viewed side by side. The word Synoptic is derived from the Greek word ‘Synptikos’ which really means ‘seeing with’ in other words ‘ seeing the whole together’. However, I have heard that as high as 90% of the gospel of John is not in the other three. The big question is why? Why would John have written a record of Jesus’ life that is so different from the other three Gospels? What if it was because He had a more intimate relationship with Jesus?

Leader, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved”. (John 13:23) This picture of John laying his head on Jesus, while sitting at the table for the Last Supper, intimacy. John knew Jesus well. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. (1 John 1:1) That intimate knowledge is in this epistle and it is “God is LIGHT, GOD is LOVE and GOD IS LIFE.” The epistle of 1st John can be divided three-fold; Light is mentioned 16 times in the first chapter leading into the next, Love 33 times in 2nd chapter, going into the 3rd ( 44 times total) and God is LIFE- John knew that Jesus is life, and he mentioned it redundantly. In John 10:27–28 Jesus states that: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” This refers to the personal, heart to heart relationship the Christian is expected to have with Jesus. Notice John had a real relationship with Jesus; he heard, he saw, he beheld, he touched- John called Him the WORD (logos) of LIFE! Do you know Jesus like this, or is he some historical figure from the past? Is Jesus like Abraham Lincoln to you? Some famous guy who lived long ago and you now read about? God is calling us all to be like JOHN, to have an intimate relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

Conduit, in order to have that intimate, loving relationship with Jeus we have to REMOVE that which hinders us. Ephesians 4:31, NIV: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The ESV says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Anger or wrath is an intense emotional state. It involves a strong, uncomfortable, and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. We have to choose our FRUIT, and that fruit is dependent on what you are engrafted into? Are you engrafted into the Prince of this world, or are you part of the VINE which then allows you to produce Fruit of the Spirit? You can tell WHOSE you are by your fruit. Fruit of the Spirit or Fruit of the flesh? Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Fruit of the world\Flesh is Hate\Indifference, Despair, Anxiety, Impatience, Rudeness, Evil, Unreliable, Abrasive\Harsh and undisciplined. Are you believing the WORLD and that one group of people are more evil than others? That the color of one’s skin, makes someone worse, or better than another? Is that fruit of the Spirit or fruit of the World? Does the trauma and drama of today make you more like Jesus? Or is the unfairness of life, the hardness of how sin destroys relationships in our hearts, in our families, in our communities and in our churches- is that making you more like earth dwellers? Are you doing the bidding of the world, or are you about your Fathers business, like Jesus? You might want to look at your proximity and intimacy with Jesus if you are marching to the beat of the world. Repent, CONFESS and TAKE A KNEE (Romans 14:11) – not for the world’s causes- but for the LOVE, LIGHT and LIFE of JESUS!

June 11. 2020

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. – Colossians 3:8-12 ESV

Warrior;

Beloved, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of this world have different operating systems, different focuses, and different outcomes.  In the world, we are loved for what we do.  Performance based LOVE is synonymous with the word love.  Once we stop doing, what got us loved, we are no longer LOVED.  However, God loves us because of WHO HE IS, not because of WHO WE ARE.  God loves us Unconditionally, with a love called AGAPE, which is a Godly love.  We are loved by God because what HE, JESUS, did on the cross, not because of what we do, or DO NOT do.  God does ask us to do many things.  In the verses above we are told to NOT LIE, put off the ways of the world, the ways of the flesh.  You know the ways of the world, look at the news, look at the protests in the streets, we are called to be different, and we say, “How?”. He tells us, put away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. If we are HIS BELOVED, then we are to ACT LIKE IT! We are supposed to be about our FATHERS business, like Jesus, not about the worlds so called, “social justice”.  Justice comes on the other side of eternity. 

Leader, As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’” (Romans 9:25) God calls us BELOVED. Many New Testament writers used the word beloved to address the recipients of their letters (see Philippians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1). Usually the Greek word translated “beloved” is agapētoi, related to the word AGAPE. Beloved means “friends dearly loved by God.” In the New Testament, the use of the word beloved implies more than human affection. It suggests an esteem for others that comes from recognizing their worth as children of God. Those addressed were more than friends; they were brothers and sisters in Christ and therefore highly valued. God esteems HIS CHILDREN, not because of RACE, CREED, or INCOME- there is no socio-economic reason that God loves us! He loves us because we are BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST. In other words, because we BELIEVE, we are BELOVED. While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

Conduit, we are BELOVED by the father because we are BELOVED of CHRIST! The word beloved is used throughout the New Testament. God says this about our LORD, JESUS: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Then the “Holy Spirit descended like a dove and rested on Him” (Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). God again calls Jesus “beloved” at the Mount of Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). We learn about the loving relationship shared by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by God’s use of the word beloved. Jesus echoes that truth in John 10:17 when He says, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” We are brothers and sisters not because of RACE, not because we are a voting-bloc, not because we bow on bended knee and confess that we are racists- but because of our love for God and our willingness to accept HIS SON and HIS FORGIVENESS- HIS MERCY AND GRACE. If we are to BE LOVED, then we Need to BE LOVE, to demonstrate the LOVE OF JESUS, by ACTING LIKE JESUS. Jesus’ #1 trait is forgiveness that demonstrates HIS MERCY and GRACE- HIS LOVE. Blessed are those who have MERCY and GRACE and DO NOT keep a record of wrong, a pound of flesh- for they are BELOVED, and they help others BE LOVED! To BE or NOT TO BE, that is the decision- choose well!

June 10. 2020

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. – John 4:20-22 ESV

Warrior;
We need to understand that SIN IS IN OUR DNA! From one man, ADAM, sin was brought into the molecular structure of our flesh. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. (Romans 5:17, 1 Corinthians 15:21) Just like SIN is part of our DNA, so too is: hate, prejudice, record keeping, POUND OF FLESH SEEKING, self-righteousness, vengeance, enmity, and strife! There have always been people who don’t like other people. The problem is not NEW, nor is the answer. The answer is that people of God, act like people of God. When Jesus was incarnate, His nation, Israel, was under captivity and there was much hatred of the JEW and hatred of the different class of people, a different race- the Samaritans. If we are going to deal with the chaos in the world we need to do it God’s way, not the worlds way. We are not going to solve the racism problem in this world where some in the black community believe every white person is privileged and the only answer is BLACK NATIONALISM. Or where WHITE NATIONALISM is the answer to the BLM movement. The answer is modeling Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit change our hearts and our minds and LOVE ONE ANOTHER as Christ loves the church.

Leader, 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us; For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. The devil is wily, working to separate us and turn us against each other with the KKK and BLM, with Democrats hating Trump and Republicans wanting equal treatment for all, not special treatment for some. The answer is NOT to become AWOKE, it is not VIRTUE SIGNALING, it is not prostrating yourself before the aggrieved and profusely admitting the wrongs of your people as you kiss their boots- the only answer is Jesus! And when we seek to fix things in a fleshly way, we just exacerbate the problem- see the nightly news! Any solution that does not come from a relationship with JESUS, will never work! Man’s inhumanity to man is well documented, just read the Bible, read, “Man’s search for Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl-look up the Holocaust. In Jesus’ day, the Jews and the Samaritans despised each other because of their history. When we are living in the past we are living in the three R’s of survival: Regret, Resent, and Resist. Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, because of a painful past. With whom do you have no dealings?

Conduit, God is at work, if we will just turn to God and let HIM DO THE WORK THROUGH US- we must be BORN AGAIN! God uses the broken things, God makes beautiful things, He makes beautiful things out of the dust! God sits above time and He knows our choices, in advance of us knowing our choices. God can use the lies, the hate, the pain of the past and the promise of the future to accomplish His purpose. When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brother, God said through Joseph to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today”. When Abram gave away Sarah to save his life- God used it for His glory and our good. In the end, Pharaoh returned Abram’s wife and provided protection for him: “Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had” (Genesis 12:20). Despite Abram’s wrongdoing, God worked to fulfill His promise. Abram left Egypt with his wife Sarai, the protection of the king, and added prosperity. God sometimes allows bad things to take place in someone’s life as part of a larger situation. God used the affliction of Pharaoh’s household to bring about good for Abram. We may not always know why bad things happen, but that does not mean they are without purpose. God has a larger purpose behind everything that takes place in life (Jeremiah 29:11). As Paul taught in Romans 8:28, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” God used the Jews denying Christ as a blessing to the Gentiles. We should all thank the Jews because of their rejection of Jesus, we Gentiles got ingrafted. So I say, have they stumbled so as to fall [to spiritual ruin]? Certainly not! But by their transgression [their rejection of the Messiah] salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous [when they realize what they have forfeited].(Romans 11:11) What is the answer to the racial and political unrest in this country? The answer IS NOT BIDEN- JESUS is the answer to heal our broken land, our hardened hearts!