Understanding Where to Go: Part 2

In Acts 20:16, Paul no longer possesses the same characteristics found in Acts 16:6. He has matured to understand what his desires are and what the Holy Spirit desires. Can there be an overlapping of desires? Absolutely! However, a wise Christian can sift between the two voices. Paul sees sailing past Ephesus as bypassing all the good things he could accomplish yet chooses to go to Jerusalem which would not bring the same outcome. His example should signal the importance of sailing past good opportunities so that we can focus on the mission given by the Holy Spirit. Had Paul chosen to go to Ephesus, he might never have evangelized to Ceasar.

 Paul was transformed from his mindset to accomplish things and uncertainty about God’s will to the accomplishments the Holy Spirit can do and certainty about God’s will for his life. Similarly, as we learn to trust and obey the Holy Spirit, we grow to be certain about what God has planned for us.

Grace and Peace,

JM

Understanding Where to Go: Part 1

In Acts 16:6-10, Paul is an active man determined to share the Gospel everywhere. He is compelled to teach and share and disciple others in Asia, Mysia, and Bithynia. What he intends to do is a good thing and, by extension, journeying to those three gentile areas would also be a good accomplishment. However, Paul is prevented from traveling there and doing those good things. Instead the Holy Spirit shows Paul there is a need in Macedonia. Paul’s good intentions are redirected so that he focuses on the Holy Spirit’s direction.

Sometimes we do good things that are separate from the Holy Spirit’s’ direction. Many times, Christians justify their directions as good ideas or intentions. Had Paul insisted on going against the Holy Spirit, he would have been doing good actions in his own strength. This means Paul’s work would eventually come to absolutely nothing. Every positive outcome he imagined and accomplished would have amounted to less than nothing. Understand, the Holy Spirit calls us to talk to certain people and leave others alone, calls us to work in specific areas of the church and to leave other areas alone. The Holy Spirit does call us to specific purposes while partaking in other purposes can lead to confusion, disorder and waisted time.

Grace and Peace,

JM

A Call to the Nations

Psalm 2: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,  “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

Revelations 10:9-11 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

Luke 24:45-49, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

There is a trumpet call going out to the nations that they would repent. May the people of this world turn to Jesus! May Jesus Christ come back soon! In His Name, Amen!

 

Earthquakes, Friends, and Stubbornness

 

It’s a bright beautiful day. The sun is out and the birds are chirping. A couple of good friends are walking towards a hotel room on their way to check in. It’s probably the beginning of a great vacation. As they walk in one young man begins to talk to his companions. He is trying to figure some things out and would love the feedback and support of his friends. He begins, “You know I really sense that there is some sort of earthquake coming. Now, I am not sure if the Lord is speaking to me about a spiritual shaking or a literal earthquake?” He pauses for a moment a bit unsure of what he himself is asking. He continues, calm but confident,”You know I really believe it’s a literal earthquake, and I think people’s homes are going to be destroyed and there will be death.” He knows this is a heavy topic, but he also knows his friends can handle him saying things like this. Drawing from their strength and attention he states, “You know what’s the point of announcing anything like this? People are to stubborn, they don’t care about this stuff anymore, nor would it make a difference because no one would listen.”

Friends, family, and enemies as strange and sometimes bizarre these topics can feel and seem, let it be known that this is a biblical reality. Nations will give way to behaviors that are sinful , and openly reject and rebel against the one true God, Jesus Christ. Let it be known once again that God has a way of calling those whom He loves to repentance. Let it be known that from Genesis to Revelation, God has sovereignly and specifically allowed events such as natural disasters to have those whom He loves come to Him. Let it also be known that those who have chosen to stand in the gap for their communities have successfully protected them through the message of the gospel and power of the Spirit from great judgment as ambassadors of Christ. May your heart not shrink back, but allow the Lord to move you to prayer for a sinful nation that it may turn to God. May we turn to the Lord and stand in the gap for a fallen people who are facing imminent judgement. May we not allow the pains of the past and hurts of Church experiences to keep us from the Lord. May the Church not be found stubborn to the Scriptures, but may we engage it and allow all of its truths to cause a cry in our hearts to reflect Christ. In the name of Jesus! ”

To Give Life Abundantly

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

There is an analogy about the physical visible tangible opposition Christians face is not the enemy; The real enemy is he who animates the opposition. I believe the same analogy applies to the uprising against the life of unborn babies. Those who seek rights for abortion are not the true opposition, it is the ungodly forces behind this mindset. There is a thief in our world compelling multitudes killing and destroying is ok. Whether the origin of the child was consensual or nonconsensual, the thief intends to destroy people. He doesn’t care who or how old him or her is; he wants to kill. The thief’s mindset has convinced people that death is more preferable than life. Jesus has provided true life for everyone who accepts the message of the Gospel. As Christians, we have a duty to represent life. Supporting life and telling politicians, state representatives, and others in government to side with pro-life is good. Also, I think following the example of the early church, which adopted babies from gruesome deaths, should be our next response against abortion. My prayer is “a George Mueller mindset” will arise in USA. The nature of our Saviour is saving people; He is in the business of saving people. Jesus has said in Matthew 25: 35-36 “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.” (ESV). And in verse 40: “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.” (ESV).
Grace and Peace,
JM

Can I Get a Testimony Today?

Proverbs 3:27-28
“Do not hold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor “Go , and come back and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.

When I was working at a diner as a waiter, I felt compelled to share the Gospel with two of my coworkers. Despite being compelled, I thought speaking the Gospel to them can happen during another time; Perhaps there will be a better time to evangelize. All of the sudden, this scripture came to my mind. I realized my testimony, who God is in my life and what He has and continues to do, is truly the only good thing in our world. I should not feel compelled to withhold the Gospel message from anyone. This scripture in Proverbs taught me to not let my thought processes suggest I withhold what Christ has done for me. I think this scripture teaches us to not prolong evangelization. Why should I talk about Jesus tomorrow when I can talk about Him today?

Grace and Peace,
JM

Hospital

In this world we will encounter many who need help. Jesus once spoke of a man, a Good Samaritan. The religious elite of the day had passed by a man who had been deeply hurt and did not stop to help. One man considered an outcast stopped and did the right thing. The Good Samaritan gave from every resource he had to help the man on the side of the road. James says that pure and undefiled religion is to go to the widow and the orphan in distress, and to walk unstained from this world. Body of Christ, how important it is that we would be an extension of Gods healing to our generation. With every generation that passes evil will increase, yet it is the Churches responsibility to wage war against this evil. We will not fight evil with evil, but we will do good, and allow the Lord to be our Vindicator. We as the Church must seek to heal the brokenhearted. We must give everything that God has given us to see someone restored. We must be like Christ. Christ did not count equality with God something to be grasped and died on the Cross for this earth’s redemption. Christ lives in us. We are the Holy Spirits temple. We are ambassadors of Christ. Will we bring the healing of God to our workplaces? Will we bring the healing of God to our churches? Will we bring the healing of God to our homes? I wish I was writing to you from a place of perfection, I am afraid that I won’t be there until Christ returns or I go to heaven. Christ is not asking for our perfection in this venture, He is asking for our hearts. That is all He needs. That is all this world needs to know that there is healing in Christ Jesus. Amen.