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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Homosexuality is a Choice

Homosexuality is a Choice

I know people are getting sick of hearing about this but people need to know the truth since it is the truth that sets us free. Homosexuality is clearly a choice. Many people are saying that God created people homosexual. Since God calls homosexuality an abomination, (Leviticus 18:22), and clearly defines the lifestyle of homosexuality as one that will send you to hell, (I Corinthians 6:9), and since the bible tells us in James 1:13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone,” the God of the bible clearly did not create people homosexual.

People who accept homosexuality clearly do not believe the bible. For this reason, they are more incline to believe in evolution. Homosexuals still have a major problem with evolution. Since homosexuals cannot procreate, the process of natural selection would have selectively removed the homosexual gene long ago.

What conclusion are we left with? Homosexuality is a choice. Since it is a choice of sin Christians are called to proclaim repentance to them with a heart and spirit of love. Luke 24:47 says, “repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” A gospel without the clear message of repentance is a false gospel.

Since Christians know that a refusal to repent of sins, regardless of the sin, will result in eternal damnation in hell we obediently preach, out of a heart of love, repentance. Since every Christian is a sinner who has been saved by God’s grace we don’t think we are better than anyone else. I’ve never committed acts of homosexuality, but I have committed most of the other sins mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9. Does that make me better than a homosexual? Of course not! What then is the difference between me and a homosexual? I have repented of my sin and received the grace of God that was paid for through the horrendous death of Jesus Christ.

The fact is, I have invited homosexuals to the church I pastor. We have had homosexuals actively attend the church I pastor. Why? Because we love them and want them to know Jesus loved them enough to die for their sins. I Corinthians 13:6 says, “love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.” If I love someone I will do my best to lead them off of a road that leads to destruction. I will instead present to them a choice. It’s up to them, and every other sinner to chose. So what road do you choose? The wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to paradise. I know it’s not popular, but I choose the narrow road; for it has been purchased with the blood of Jesus.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

God’s Still on His Throne

God’s Still on His Throne

The death of King Uzziah left the nation of Israel vulnerable and uncertain about its future. At that time, the prophet Isaiah went to the temple to seek God for strength and direction. When he did he was blessed with one of the most magnificent visions of the throne of God recorded in scripture. Isaiah recorded in Isaiah 6:1, “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.”

God’s people will face many trials and uncertainties in life. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” When we face uncertainties like the nation of Israel faced what are we to do? We are to do just as Isaiah did and seek the face of God. When we do we will learn the same lesson Isaiah did-God is still on His throne. Not only is God on His throne, He is lofty and exalted. Not only is God still on His throne He is there to stay. Who can dethrone Him for He is almighty God?

When we realize this simple fact we are strengthened and encouraged. We know that we are children of God and He is still in complete control. When our eyes are focused on the chaos of the world we are easy discouraged. For this reason, God calls us to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Heed God’s Warnings

Throughout the bible and through Church history we see God allowing the wicked to prosper when the righteous are not living up to God’s full expectation. Let this be a warning to Christians everywhere that our Sunday Go to meetin attitude and the entertainment climate we have created in God’s house are not pleasing to Him. In Fact, it is insulting to Him. We could be in the last days, or, we could be on the verge of the greatest awakening the world has ever seen. It won’t start with Washington getting right. It will start with God’s people who are called by His name getting right by humbling themselves, praying, seeking His face, and turning from their wicked ways. First, we must heed God’s warnings and take them seriously.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Who’s In Control?

Who’s In Control?

“A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” Psalm 29:23

Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, “God is my Copilot.” If God is your copilot you better switch positions in a hurry because you are about to crash. He is Lord. Since He is Lord He isn’t co to anything nor is He in need of a copilot. Imagine if you were a passenger in a plane and you found out that there was a master pilot onboard with a flawless record along with a flunky pilot who has already crashed and burned repeatedly. Now you’ve just learned that the flunky pilot is in control of the plane while the master pilot is just along for the ride. The next question will be, “Where is the nearest exit?” The fact is, we are the flunkies, and God is the master.

Pride is the sin that rises up in our life that leads us to assume the position of control. The bible repetitively warns us of the danger of pride. There is no doubt that pride is one of, if not the, most destructive force on this earth. The bible teaches that pride will bring us down but humility will lift us up. I Peter 5:6 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Humility before God is total dependence and total obedience.

Think about this for a moment. What in life are you actually in control of? Your breath? Nope. I know plenty of people who would love to breathe. What you eat or drink? Nope. Millions of people would love something to eat or drink. You don’t even have control over your life or death. The truth is the only thing you have control over is your decisions, and, the only decisions you have control over are the ones you are making right now.

On the other hand, God is in complete control. He is in control of today and tomorrow. He knows the beginning and the end because He is the master of the beginning and the end as well as everything in the middle. With this knowledge, why would we, the flunkies, not want to submit full control to God, the master?

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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You Are Not Alone

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

A life of addiction often leads people to a live a life of isolation. Even if they are surrounded by people they often feel isolated. They have led a lie for so long trying to cover up the sins and shortcomings in their life they refuse to let anyone into their inner circle thus isolating themselves from the rest of the world. They will often feel a sense of paranoia that everyone else is out to get them or feel they can’t let anyone get to close to them because they may see them for who they truly are so they choose to keep everyone at an arm’s length.

Feeling as though the whole world is against you can lead to extreme loneliness and hopelessness. Know this, God loves you and has promised time and again that He will be there for you. He is for you; all you have to do is call on Him. If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you are never alone. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is and always will be there for you.

Being alone is a choice. Know this as well, not only is God there for you, He has people out there for you as well. He has Christ centered biblically based support groups filled with Christians who love Jesus. Because they love Jesus, they will love you. Find one and get plugged into it. They will be excited to have you.

There are also churches out there for you that would love to have you. I know there are some unloving churches out there as well. Churches that will glare at you and wonder what you are doing there. If a church is unwilling to minister to you and love you, don’t walk, run to another church. They are only playing church. I promise you there are many churches out there that will love you and walk with you. They too will be happy you came. In another post I will elaborate more on the importance of an accountability partner but for right now I will simply tell you that you need to surround yourself with Christians that are interested in investing their lives into you. Stay away from people who want to bring you down and surround yourself with people who will lift you up in the name of Jesus.

God has these groups, churches, and people out there for you. Pray and ask God to guide you to them. Ask Christians advice about a good solid church and support groups. Ask a local pastor if he is aware of a local Christian support group. That pastor might also suggest other Christians who can walk with you through your journey. You may have to do a little legwork, but they are out there, and the Lord will lead you to them.

One more thing. Don’t try to wait until you get yourself together before you start seeking help. God doesn’t expect you to do it alone and your failure rate will be much higher if you try to do it alone. God has provided these tools for you. Use them!

BTW tomorrow is Sunday, so, why not start going to church right away?

Group of human hands showing unity

Group of human hands showing unity

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

All That Wasted Time and Energy

“How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest” Your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:9-11

Since the past is the past and there is nothing we can do to go back and change it I usually don’t encourage people to look backwards. Rather, I try to encourage people to look forward. If we have confessed our sins of the past they are forgiven and blotted out. Now we can move forward. However, if you are still in your sin I would encourage you to look backwards. Look into your past and ask yourself, how much energy have you lost chasing after the lusts of your sinful lifestyle?” How much time have you lost, how much money have you lost, how many relationships have been destroyed, how many bridges have you burned, how much pain has it caused? Has it been worth it? Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” The thief is Satan. Unfortunately, we have opened the door with our choice of sin and invited him into our lives to steal and kill and destroy.

Again, the past is the past and there is nothing we can do about it. God can and will forgive us of the sins of the past but we can’t go back and change anything of the past. It’s done. However, we have a future. The question now is, “Are we going to continue to allow Satan to destroy us or are we going to allow God to bring healing and restoration?” Jesus finished John 10:10 by saying, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Which is the better choice?

Just as we have invited Satan into our lives to destroy us with our choice of sin we can invite Jesus into our lives by repenting of our sins, asking Him to forgive us of our sins, and making Him the Lord of our lives. Now, all of the time and energy we wasted on serving Satan we should spend serving God. Satan cursed you yet God will bless you. Therefore, we should give even more time and energy to God. Moreover, I can promise you, there is not a second we will spend serving God that will be a waste.

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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Letting Go of the Sin Releases the Healing

Letting Go of the Sin Releases the Healing

“For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17

The fact is God’s heart is to bring healing into our lives, yet, when we hold onto our sins we don’t allow Him to heal us. When we are stuck in our state of denial and refuse to confess the sins in our lives we can’t be healed, we can’t grow, nor can we move forward. We are stuck. We simply lengthen the pain within our lives. How foolish is that, especially when God’s heart is to heal us?

Often times admitting our shortcomings is embarrassing and painful. However, if we refuse to face the initial pain and discomfort of coming out in the open with our sins and shortcomings we are choosing to live in the pain rather than be healed of it. A few years ago my daughter severally broke her ankle. In order for her ankle to properly heal she had to allow the doctor to reset it. She was pregnant at the time so she couldn’t take any pain medication. She was in great fear and dread over allowing the doctor to reset her ankle but allowed him to know that it was the only way her ankle would properly heal. It was extraordinarily painful for her at the time, but today she can walk, skip, run, and jump.

When we choose to sweep our sins under the rug we’re not hiding them. We are holding on to them. We have placed them into storage allowing the pain to remain. We will live in fear wondering if someone will one day lift up the edge of the rug and look underneath, and, we will continue to live in bondage to the sin allowing it to keep a hold and influence over our lives. Yet, when we confess our sins God removes them as far as the east is from the west; they are gone. Healing can now take place. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.”

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Step Out Of Your Fantasy Into Reality

“You have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Number 32:23

Children live in a world of fantasy and make-believe. Therefore, a child is easily persuaded that the word of make-believe is reality. Adults should know the difference. Unfortunately, too many adults remain childish with their lack of a perception of reality. They will make statements of fantasy like; “Just because she died of an overdose doesn’t mean I will,” or, “just because he was caught doesn’t mean I will be,” or “just because everything blew up in his face doesn’t mean it will in mine.” They think they are above and beyond everyone else who was caught in the snare. This is a childish state of mind. They need to repent of this and put on their big boy and big girl pants and step into reality. In other words, they need to grow up and become mature men and women.

We are childish when we try to pretend that the elephant in the room isn’t there. When I was a child my dad had a 57 Chevrolet pickup. I loved that truck. One day he left my sister and I in the truck while he went into a store. We started wrestling around in the seat, I probably started it, and then one of our feet accidentally kicked the back window shattering it into thousands of little pieces. With our childlike minds we simply sat straight up in the seat and pretended like nothing happened. Surly, no one would notice, right? Unfortunately, for us, our dad noticed immediately.

That is the same mindset we have when we think no one knows of the destructive sins we are harboring and holding onto. We think we are crafty and sneaky. We think we have cleverly hidden our sin from the rest of the world. In reality, the only one who believes that lie is the one who is telling it. This individual is in denial, living in a fantasyland of lies.

Ephesians 4:22 says, “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.” Satan operates in the realm of deceit. If we are going to be set free we must step out of our fantasy and into reality. We must be honest. We must be honest with God first and confession of our sins to Him. After all, He does already know everything. I John 1:9 says,  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Secondly, we need to be honest with the rest of the world, especially our loved ones. When we live in the fantasyland our lies alienate us from the world, especially our loved ones. Remember, they already know. The only one you are lying to is yourself. However, when we are honest, even if we are a total mess, people are much more likely to walk with us and help us. Deliverance starts with honesty.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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You’re Not God

You’re Not God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

It is not my intention to share with you a mutli-step plan to deliverance. However the first step to deliverance is obviously coming to the realization that you have a problem. It is stepping out of denial and into reality. Whether your issue is anger, lust, bitterness, addiction, or anything else, you first need to admit that you have a problem.

That being said, you can be fully sincere in your admittance that you have a problem and still be in denial. You are in denial when you think that you are in control. Know this, you are not God. Now, I know no rational thinking person ever truly thinks that he is God. However, when you believe the lie that you are in control of your life you are assuming the position of God; and you my friend are not God. If you think you have everything completely under control you are in denial. Your pride has consumed you and will eventually destroy you. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

Haven’t you already made a big enough mess out of your life? Been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it. Why then do you not turn your life over to the Lord and allow Him to transform your mess into a masterpiece. There is no doubt in my mind hand I not surrendered my life to the Lord when I did I would be either dead or in jail today. Only a master can make a masterpiece. And, we are not masters-but God is.

This scripture tells us not to lean on our own understanding. Remember, it was your own understanding that spun your life out of control in the first place. It then tells us to trust the Lord with all your heart and in all of your ways acknowledge Him. Simply stated, that means we surrender full control over to God. When we do, He has promised to straighten out our mess and make our paths straight.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Don’t Kick the Habit

Don’t Kick the Habit

“If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

In 1996 God delivered me from drug addiction. Since that time I have worked with hundreds of individuals on the streets, in churches, and in jails. One common statement they make is that they need to kick the habit. I immediately tell them, “no you don’t.” Unfortunately, that is the wrong state of mind. First of all when one kicks the habit he will usually pick up another. For instance, when one kicks the habit of smoking she will often times replace the cigarettes with food. Now this individual isn’t going to die of cancer, he will now die of a heart attack.

Another reason people don’t need to kick the habit is due to the fact that addiction is more than physical; it is emotional, physiological, and spiritual. This is why you see individuals who have been clean for weeks, months, and even years return to their addictions. The chemical dependency is long gone but the emotional, physiological, and spiritual factors haven’t been dealt with.

If we are not to kick the habit what then are we to do? We are to seek God for deliverance. When we are delivered by the mighty hand of God we are set free and made whole. This scripture reminds us of the power of God. “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Today, I am not a recovering addict; I am a delivered addict who has been set free.

Addiction is far more than just chemical dependencies. The same emotional, psychological, and spiritual bondages that hold the chemically dependant down can and will enslave anyone to bondage. We don’t have to live in that bondage. We can be set free by the grace and power of God. Trust me when I say that I know the power of addiction. You can also trust me, and countless others, who know the delivering power of almighty God. Call on Him, trust in Him, believe in His promises, and He WILL set you free. Over the next couple of weeks I will share several biblical principles on how we can be delivered.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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