If my people, which are called… WAIT we are NOT His people


Alrighty then, I done step in it now!

Through the years many believers have been quoting the following scripture when we deal with different crisises as a nation. Again, the rally cry of this verse is going out. On the Internet and across pulpits, in social media this scripture is being declared. I am sure will hear it across many pulpits this week-end here in America.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

But something is wrong… the land is not being healed. Could it be we are NOT His people. Ok now I have your attention.

Years ago I was given a different view of that scripture when I pastored RWC. Do not get me wrong, I understand the conscious applicable intent of those reciting this scripture, however does this verse apply to the Church? Yes you say! The problem is that you cannot remove the text from the context and come up with the correct result. First question, to whom is the recipient of this contractual statement? What was the time, what was happening? This declaration was made to Solomon concerning his prayer request in the dedication of the temple found in 2 Chronicles 6. Solomon had made some desires of God so God made some desires of His people. Second question if we are still stating this scripture through the years, what is wrong, what is being implied? Why has our land not been healed? Who failed their part of the contract “his people” or God? Look and stop at the first word, if. If what? If you do this then I will do this. So if the land is not being healed who did not fulfill their part of the “if”.

So allow me to very briefly present my case. The term “if my people” in this Hebrew text is really saying if my kinsmen, my tribe, the group of people to which I belong. But let’s say that the term “my people” is the Church, and using that premise, let’s take a closer look. “Which are called by my name”, what name? Jesus you say? If this is taking place hundreds of years before the birth and death of Christ how is this addressed to the Church? What would Solomon or the nation of Israel know about the name and personage of Jesus? At this point in time has the Church been manifested on earth? I think not. But let’s say it is the Church, then we must be haughty and think of ourselves more highly then we ought, because he tells us to humble ourselves. The word for humble here is not only means to submit or to be brought low but it also means to collect and bind together. So the beginning picture of “His people, the Church” is that we are not together and we are arrogant. And the Church is not praying and seeking His face. So the “my people, the Church” is not searching out His countenance, His person, His form, His identity. Also “my people, the Church”, must turn from their wicked ways. What? The “my people, the Church” has wicked ways? Well, apparently a requirement is that “my people, the Church” change from their unkind, displeasing, malignant, deformed path, manner and direction. After “my people, the Church” meets those conditions, “then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin” WAIT… I thought you already heard from Heaven because I was told you already paid for ALL of man’s sins on the cross. Are you saying the redemptive work of Calvary was conditional and only partially done? Are there some sins not forgiven? What percentage of “my people” must do the required things mentioned…100%, 75%, 60%? Today the Church is divided by denomination, race, culture, worship style, music, and liberalism versus conservatism. Bias it seems, is the Church’s calling card today. What if only 45% of the Church will do the required? Are we to barter with You, as Abraham did concerning Lot in Sodom? The Church in America is comprised of millions of people how are we going to bind together at the same time 100%? Then you say you will heal the land. How long will the healing of the land last? What happens if some of “my people, the Church” revert back to their wicked ways? Does the land return to being overcome with disease in need of another healing and we begin the process over again? Will this be a back and forth process? What does a healed land look like? Peace, tranquility, sugar and spice and everything nice? If so that would appear to contradict His Word found in 2 Timothy 3:1 through the pen of Paul concerning our time today. Are we living in the end times or not? Is there mention of a Kumbaya moment, a picture of a warm, cozy community without conflict in the last days or a healed land? Look at Matthew 24:4-14, oh and notice who is speaking.

Hear me… we, the Church, are not His people. There is no supporting scripture found in the New Testament that describes the Church as His people. So if the Church is not His people, who are we? We, the Church, are His BODY. There is quite a difference between the two. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Colossians 1:18 follows up with “And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
What I am saying is we cannot claim and expect results from a contract not designated to us. That would be like me expecting a big check from the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers because he made a contract offer to LeBron James who shares my last name. I cannot ask and expect the owner to give me money even if I did the required things that were presented to LeBron. The contract was to LeBron James not Douglas James. So if we are not His people but His body, what should we “His body” be doing in this time in which we live that will produce His desired results? That is the mission to search out and declare. Remember this is not our home, our kingdom, our land. We are ambassadors journeying through yet we have an assignment. Let’s start with doing Matthew 28:19-20. Let’s stop having church and start being the Church.

If you disagree with the above let me know why but through biblical application. I am open to all opinions as long as His Word backs them. If you agree and maybe a “numind” set has emerged for you to further investigate, let me know.

He’s Baaaack!!


 

I have been on hiatus for the last three months taking a break and hearing and listening trying to see what is going on in my life’s experience. Many things have transpired during this time both in the spiritual realm and the natural realm, some pleasant and many not so pleasant. Death had made its untimely presence in my personal life and unjust decisions have made it appearance in another part of my life.  Enough to where anger rose up as lava from a volcano, yet the Father calmed my storm by saying ,”I see and I know”. But Father they are supposed to be of Godly character and fairness, yet He said, “I see and I know”. So the decision to hibernate for 3 months and rest was a needed decision. Now after 3 months I am back, awakened on the day we celebrate the “He’s back” day of the Christ.

In my time of hibernation I kept hearing “ok I know this is going to get me in trouble with Christian religious folks”, it is not about the cross. Hear me out before you judge, condemn and put me on one (lol). The Father said it is and never will be about the instrument of death that the church has highlighted and illuminated. No…it is not about the nails in the hands and the feet. If you recall the two thieves who were on both sides of Christ also hung on crosses and their hands and the feet were also nailed. There were thousands of people who were crucified before and after Christ on the cross. How do you think the Romans were such experts in that horrific operation? Christ’s crucifixion was not their first rodeo. Even the scourging was not isolated to the episode of the Christ’s suffering. So what… is the special, significant event of the most important event in the eternal history of the mankind? I heard him say it was the One on the cross. It was the sacrifice.

Sounds simple and that should be easy to understand now but it really was not at that time. So again, what was significant was the sacrifice,.That is where the difference lies and when we look at the sacrifice, when we look at Jesus the Christ we have to understand how the many people viewed Him. What do I mean? Well let’s think realistically and outside of the proverbial box. I offer the following as cases in point. The Roman soldiers looked at Christ on the cross not as a savior of the world but they looked at him as an object to be tortured, someone they were assigned to hang, nothing more nothing less. It was an assignment cloaked by an accusation of Roman government opposition not a religious objection. The hanging of Jesus was just an assignment. On the other hand the priestly Sanhedrin court looked at Christ as someone who was a heretic. He was someone who was a blasphemer and a threat. Someone that needed to be destroyed less He would bring an end possibly to their way of life. Maybe their intentions were good based upon what they understood but their vision, their comprehension was blind and their intent was evil.

Mary, the mother of Jesus looked upon her son on the cross as just that, her son. The babe born in a manger, raised to be a loving child that had a curious, miraculous God initiated conception. Yet He was her son, her heart. John looked upon Jesus on the cross as his rabbi, his teacher, his friend. His companion for a 3 years period, and yes maybe, possibly the one that would deliver Israel from the heavy hand of Roman oppression. That was the viewpoint of all of the disciples. They thought they knew He was the one. Jesus was really the deliver of the nation.

Mary Magdalene saw Jesus on the cross as a friend and a rescuer when it seemed like all was against her, pronouncing her guilty in her biblically highlighted event when indeed she was guilty. The peering crowd who were around looking at this scene looked at Jesus as someone who was a good person, a prophet. He was a Holy man, a healer.

The two thieves perceived the “sacrifice” from different outlooks. One thief looked at Him on the cross as someone that was on his level. Jesus was someone who he had heard the crowd jeer and heard the negative accusations of those watching below and promptly joined in. Maybe not out of his personal knowledge and belief but from an understanding born of ignorance. His words were “If you are the Christ, save yourself and me too”. Prove it. If? Are you kidding me? If? Yet the other thief looked at Jesus as someone who was an innocent man. He was someone who deserve better than what He was getting. He did not fully comprehend but he understood that there was something different about the man in the middle. There was something different about His words, His demeanor, His prayer. The second thief did not understand that Jesus was the sacrificial offering that would save mankind and take away the sins of the world. He just knew there was something about this man and there was a kingdom.There was a place that this man would enter and he was saying, imploring let me enter in with you. Despite the possible perspectives identified not one really understood the sacrifice that was hanging on the cross nor why He was there. They just knew He was there, dying a miserable death in the heat of the Judean day.

But the Father said the sacrifice knew. Jesus knew He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. He was the Lamb slayed before the foundations of the world were put in place. He understood the other perspectives could not save satisfy or deliver from the Father’s wrath. The viewpoints of all the others could not reach above their own understandings and desires. So understand, Douglas, it was and is not about the instrument of execution that should be illuminated and focused upon. It is the sacrifice, the One that was on the cross that should be the emphasis.

Here is the jackpot question. Today how are we looking at the One who is no longer on the cross? Yes, He is the one that was resurrected. He’s back!! Does that resurrected life resurrect your life, resurrect your relationship to where you exemplify, illustrate, emulate and demonstrate who Christ really is? Do you see Him as the Savior, kinsmen Redeemer, the sin bearer of the entire world? No, not just to Christians? Not just to followers of Christ, but Savior to the entire world? Yes, even those who views are not clear and in murderous error. Those who do not know who He IS!!! Oh yeah… He’s BACK!

It’s Midnight, What You Want To Do?


“But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)

Attacked, stripped, beaten and thrown in the INNER prison; in stocks; bruised and bleeding; in pain and extreme discomfort, surrounded by the very worst criminals, in the worst of places. What does one do? Pray and sing praises to God, of course!

Well, ok, perhaps not for most of us, but these two men had a different mindset. They were more interested in pleasing God than men, more interested in Kingdom principles then social edicts and perils. God had given them great boldness and confidence even in that horrendous, I do not want to be here, God how could you allow this to happen to me, place.

I have not written to my blog in a couple of months. I have just been sitting, listening and thinking on the events that are taking place in our world today. From the circus act we now call politics, police actions, humankind on humankind criminality and greed, acts of terrorisms, we as a people across the globe are in a time of midnight. In the natural, midnight is the starkest period of gloom and darkness and it is made to appear that the sun has gone away. However, the real truth is the earth has turn away from the sun. Whether you realize it or not, darkness, extreme intense gloom is covering our world today and it is made to appear that the Son has gone away. However, the real truth is the world has turn away from the Son. Not only are we in a dark time but also we have been thrown into a dark place, prison. Not just prison but an inner prison. What is an inner prison?

Inner prisons in the days of Paul were not pleasant or healthy. In the mind of the people, prison was equal to death, despair, sickness of mind and body, and humiliation. They did not have TVs and cable. They did not have commissaries and work out areas. They did not even have windows. It was devoid of light. There was no natural light at all. Sometimes we find our lives can be that way. Naturally we cannot see a light at the end of our proverbial prison tunnel. We struggle to bring a light of solution to our place of darkness and entrapment. Prisons, in the time of Paul had no air conditioners or heaters. The minimal comfort needed for sleep, were nonexistent. The floor was their mattress.

But far worse was the psychological and spiritual impact of total darkness on the prisoners. Some prisoners chose to commit suicide. They purposely decided to QUIT where they were. They purposely sabotaged their own life… BUT it still did not get them out of their situation. You know what I am talking about. God did not come through like YOU wanted Him to so now you do not believe in Him. Now you quit serving Him and going and BEING the church. You refuse to pray and bow the knees of your heart to Him because He failed you in your darkness. Spiritual suicide but you are still in locked up in your situation, dead. In Paul’s time dead bodies could lay in the inner prison for weeks at a time.

The bleeding, suffering apostles uttering their prayers and singing the praises of God must have amazed the other prisoners.

They sung hymns to God at midnight. In there location they could not be aware of time so the fact of it being midnight to them did not matter. They chose to BLESS the Lord at ALL times, in ALL times, through ALL times so the time of the times did not matter. It was not just midnight for Paul and Silas. It was midnight for everyone. It was midnight, not merely in that inner prison, but throughout the Roman Empire outside of prison, also. It was a midnight of morals, humanity, justice, forgiveness, kindness and TRUE love as well.

We are living in a time of midnight and the whole world knows. What song are you singing? And how are you singing it? How convinced of you of your own song? You can sing the right words but not be convinced of those same words! You sing “I Trust in God”, but do you? You sing “Great Are You Lord”, but are you convinced? You sing “You’re a Good Good Father”, but do that come with favorable conditions?  You sing about loving Christ and Him loving you and wanting more of Him, but are you loving others with the same passion He possessed and displayed. Yeah you know, I am talking about that, “Father forgive them cause they know not what they do”, type of love.

Imagine the impact of the things heard in prayer and hymns on the jailer and the other prisoners. It was a far cry from the wails, threats and curses usually heard in such places. The message, the song, had its effect on the listeners, it always does. The kind of effect depends on each individual heart, but there will be an effect. What is the “world” hearing from you?

What is your song? “Nobody knows the trouble I see?” “Take this job and shove it?” “We can’t go on?” “Crash and Burn?” “Let’s Build a Wall, ten feet tall?

We understand the main objective of chains is to restrict mobility and prevent escape. Chains were made of rough iron that would eventually rust with the perspiration of the prisoners, causing infectious pain, saying nothing of the weight of the chains. Finally, chains were noisy, and that clanking noise of chains prevented even less sleep for the prisoners. Paul and Silas’s chains become apart of their song and provide accompaniment like a rhythm section, tambourines.

Every link became a part of their praise. The link of failure, PRAISE, link of pain, PRAISE, the link of plenty and the link of lack PRAISE. The Link of bad choices PRAISE, the link of right choices, PRAISE. Everything that is weighing heavily on my mind and causing me to lose rest and peace and feel fearful and powerless will be an accessory to my song.

I am certain that Paul and Silas didn’t feel in their natural man like praying and singing praises unto God. They were going directly against all their natural feelings and deliberately exercising their will to enter into praise.

Notice this final point, the prisoners heard Paul and Silas praying and singing praises unto God. This explains why none of the prisoners escaped when the earthquake came and their prison cells were opened. They had apparently been so moved by Paul and Silas’ demonstration of faith in God to such a degree that they recognized the earthquake as an intervention of God and followed Paul and Silas’ leading in not fleeing the prison. What a song, what a message they must have delivered in that “midnight” hour.

Paul and Silas had the audacity to forgive, before they were asked, to trust where they could not see and sing a song that shook the world.

It’s midnight… what are you doing? What song are you singing?

Yeah I Am Doing It On Purpose…AND?


“PURPOSE”

Purpose—The object for which something exists or is done, with a specific end in view, not accidentally; by design.

What I have noted through reading His Word is that God is a purposeful God. Nothing is done by happenstance. His timing is impeccable. He even allows things to die that in the time of resurrection His Glory will be revealed. Recall the story of Lazarus.

Rom. 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom. 9:11—(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls).

Eph. 1:11—In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

You were not created by accident. You are not a mistake. Your presence on this earth at this time in history was preordained. The way you look, the talents and gifts you possess, and the personality you have been given is all part of God’s plan. He made you the way you are for a very specific purpose, and no one can ever replace you. But, if you are ever going to fulfill that purpose—your destiny—it begins with believing that you have one and that you must cooperate with God to bring it to pass.

Jeremiah 1:5 reads,

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

And in Galatians 1:15, the Apostle Paul writes,

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.”

He has a very specific plan for your life that no one else can fulfill. He has a destiny designed just for you. Your destiny is preordained, but it is not inevitable. We need to live with a sense of destiny. It’s important not to go through life doing your own thing and then asking God to bless it. It’s the reason so many of us are experiencing a lack of success, of fulfillment and satisfaction. There is a power and an anointing that only comes when you are fulfilling God’s plan for your life.Every person has a preordained plan for their life, but God is not going to make it come to pass. God will speak to you, and He will woo you. He wants to reveal His plan for you more than you want to know it, but it’s rest upon you to find out what it is. It becomes futile for you to ask God to reveal His purpose for your life while you are on your way to doing something else. However, it doesn’t happen without your pursuit.

Jeremiah 29:13 says,

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

God will not force His will or His plan upon anyone. So, is He sovereign? Yes, if the correct definition for sovereign is used. Sovereign means supreme in power or rank. We all would agree with this definition, but I totally disagree with the way religion today uses “sovereign.” God does not make His will for our lives come to pass. We have to submit to God to His will.

The best example of this is in the Great Commission:

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).

It’s not God’s will for people to perish, and yet they do because His will is not automatic. Notice the phrase, He that believeth, He that believeth not. It is an individual choice.

What is even more amazing is whatever God is calling you to do, whatever your purpose, it is not based on your natural talents and abilities. God will call a person to do what they seem totally unqualified for. He will call you to do the very thing you can’t do. God has a destiny for you, and He wants to reveal it. But He is not going to run you down. He is not going to steamroll you or force it upon you. Romans 12:1, says you are to present yourself as a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice is a volunteer. If God were to use force upon you, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice; it would be slavery.

Know matter where you find yourself at this moment in time, His plan is still in play. He would not be God if He was unaware of where you are at. He is able and indeed already planned the route. It’s like a GPS navigator. When you go the wrong way, it says “Recalculating,” and in an instant, it has a new route planned to get you to your destination. Plan has always existed but was waiting on your point of location and submission to reveal the steps. (GPS – God’s Purposed System) It doesn’t matter how old you are or what has happened in your past; it’s never too late to recalculate. Just start doing what God is telling you to do.

He won’t necessarily give you the entire picture, but He will give you the next step. If He gave you the whole picture it would be overwhelming to our finite mind. However, as you take that step, you will find that the Holy Spirit that abides inside of you will help you accomplish His call on your life. He will not call you do to something and then ask you to do it in your own strength. Let’s start by doing what we were ALL called to do without exception…”love one another”.

BREAKING NEWS: This Just In, it has been discovered that…


God is not American or any other nationality. He is not a Christian and He is not conservative or liberal. He is not male or female, Jew or Gentile, neither is He white, black, brown, yellow or any other skin shade. He is not Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or any other grouping of religion. In fact He is not religious at all. He is neither right nor wrong in His decisions and or motives. To assume such would mean that there is a possibility of He making a mistake or wrong choice. He is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent or change His mind. Tears, wishes or emotions do not move him. God is not prejudice in any way. He is not selective in whom He loves or how He loves.

A very familiar Scripture verse that most of us know found in John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Notice it does not say For God so loved America, or God so loved Christians, or Hispanics, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Muslims, Middle Easterns, or any other category of people. John through the Holy Spirit says so God so loved the WORLD!!! Implication being and ALL that dwell therein. That is why I personally have a problem with people from politics or the pulpit always saying “And God Bless the United States of America… what about God Bless the world. “ What makes America so entitled to His Blessings when we have proactively moved to make sure that He is not a part of our government, culture and yes even churches. I have a problem with Christians who illustrate racism, sexism, classism and all the other “isms” over they being the image of Christ to the world. Christians especially here in America so caught up in the poisonous web of politics and unknowingly being manipulated by the mindset of the world making the name and image of His Son a mockery. Yet, God is not a God concerned about His name, but He is a God that values His Word above His name. Psalms 138:2 “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

God is not an insecure bully that needs you to force, intimidate, and threaten other people to believe as you believe. He is not a God that needs you to kill another of His children because that makes you a murderer, which He is obviously against. After all He is the breath in our lungs and He is quite able to call life to an end on His own as He calls life to begin through His own omnipotent power. Oh and understand there are NO special rewards for your acts of intimidations and so called victorious conquests. No seventy virgins, no pot of gold, no special crown or reward, only judgment.

He is not impressed with our robes, cathedrals, traditions, or religious performances. Bow and genuflect all you want but if your heart, will and spirit do not bow in obedience to His, He is not impressed. How do we know? It is shown by how you treat others, ALL of the others. It is again shown by how your life lines up to His Word more than how it lines up to the word coming from TV commentators who are getting filthy rich off of our being gullible and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

But God is Sovereign. We should all come to a place in our life when we realize that God is God and we are not. He is not dependent and limited by us. He is the one in control of everything.

A sovereign has ALL control over all he has conquered. He has the authority to give orders. Just as a king has sovereign rites over a territory, God has sovereign rites over all His creation. That is a difficult concept for us in modern western society. In the ancient world, the leader of a group of people was often a law unto himself. His word was the final say in all things. For man to have such power often results in terror and injustice because that is the nature of man. For God to have that power is a wonderful thing, because His nature is love and justice. Do you live with understanding that God is sovereign and rules over your life?

God is not only sovereign but He is the Supreme Sovereign. Hear how E.Y. Mullins, theologian and writer described God. “The holy and loving God has a right to be sovereign.” “When we say God is supreme we mean that there is no being above or beyond Him, and that, in His nature and power, and in the qualities of His being, none other can be conceived of superior to Him.”

Our Sovereign instructs us. He has given us His word that reveals His plan for us and for all mankind. If we allow it His Spirit will teach us in the way we should go. It will warn us when man, and their ways are deceiving us. I am always amazed when I read the hateful scornful comments of those who identify themselves as Christians, yet show very little aspects of the personality of Christ. Yet they think that is what Jesus would do.

God is Sovereign over all His creation. Unlike earthly sovereigns who take something from others, God is sovereign because it all came from Him. Everything exists at His command. His intention in creating us was that we serve Him in a loving relationship.

Because God is sovereign, we should never worry. Our worry is an expression of doubt. We doubt that God is great enough to deal with our personal situation or the situations that are happening in our world today. We make decisions based on the intelligence of our own mind.

When we know God is reigning over our circumstances and is totally in control, we can walk through them with peace. That peace in the midst of the storm can be a testimony to those who are watching us and seeing and learning how wonderful our God is. Do you have that mindset? How should that affect your attitude toward your current situation? Would it change how you look at world events?

God is….

               Don’t You Want Somebody To Love?


Real love is a mystery to most people. Most people never realize the true potential or value of love. It is usually very poorly defined. There is a great deal of confusion and cross-referencing of the terms LOVE, ROMANCE, INFATUATION, AFFECTION, TENDERNESS and so forth.

Love may include romance, infatuation, affection and tenderness. But even if those elements are not present, it could still be love.

How? Love can come in many ways, facets and or degrees.

But love requires one aspect… giving. Love requires the giving of one’s self to another. It involves an element of self-depletion, self-exhaustion. Love also may involve RISK. Love is empathic. It puts itself in someone else’s shoes. Love seeks to understand another’s perspective yet love is bold and honest and truthful. Love cares. It does not pre-judge. It does not pass sentences. Love does not jump to conclusions. Love does not throw down ultimatums. Love does not declare war on its object. Love is tender, it is kind, and love is forgiving.

Love is tuning into another’s sensitivities. Love sense’s another’s strengths and weaknesses. It uses the other person’s measuring stick. It suffers and rejoices on another’s terms.

Love seeks rapport and connection. It seeks to bond in every facet of being. It seeks to relate emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Love sacrifices personal whims if they are incompatible with the one who is loved. Love abandons pursuits that hurt the one who is loved. Love will do without. Love bends. Love stretches. Love must sometimes keep silent, while screaming inside. Love is a desire that someone will fare better than yourself. It is the willingness to spend all that you are for the well being of another. Love will pay a debt the other cannot pay. It will bail them out for the sake of survival. Love wants the other to survive even if it means death to oneself. Love will die so someone else can live. Love is color blind, it does not deem one nation, culture, country or race over another. Love seeks o satisfy those who would partake of it.

Sound familiar?

SO JOHN SAYS SOMETHING SIMPLE YET PROFOUND…

      For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

God so loved the world that He “gave.” This is the secret of love, to give, to share, that others may benefit. Jesus Christ, the begotten Son was given to the world for all and to all.

God delivered His love through the Son. It wasn’t enough for God to speak from Heaven and say, “I love you, world.” God showed His love through His action. His Son dying on the cross for our sins saw the apex of God’s love. In fact, God IS love.

When Christ walked our world He shared His love by opening the eyes of the blind, healed lepers, caused the dumb to talk, and raised the dead. He gave power to His disciples over all the forces of the devil. Christ gave us an example that we ought to love one another. He set the example of how we are to be in this world. How far it seems we have strayed from the foundation He laid. As Christ loved us, we are to love one another.

We are called to be disciples. We are not disciples of Christ by building a huge church and having a huge membership that do not exemplify the love of Christ. We are not disciples of Christ by giving large sums of money. The cattle on a thousand hills are His and even the thousand hills are His. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Believe me He is not impressed by our stuff.

We are not disciples of Christ by outward appearance. We are disciples of Christ if we LOVE one another.

The O’Jays had a song back in the day, perhaps you heard of it. It says, “People all over the world, join hands, start a love train, a love train. ISIS is tweeting and propagating hate, murder and mayhem. How much more should we use the same venue and proclaim LOVE is King. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD… let YOUR love reign and rain down on this dry and thirsty world desperately in need of its benefits.

 

But If Not


Daniel 3:17-18

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

These three words have impacted me so much …“BUT IF NOT”! These three young men went from being praisers on that day to being TRUE worshippers! They basically said… “we know that God CAN do it, but even if he chooses not to do it we will still worship HIM! We know that God can keep us safe, but even if He doesn’t and allow calamity to come upon us, it doesn’t change the way we feel about Him!! Help us Lord to say “BUT IF NOT!”

God’s people go through some hard rough and trying times, but if they can stay true to God, and learned how to worship in the hard times, eventually God brings them through and blessed them more mightily than ever before! You might be in the furnace now, but learn how to worship! You might be stripped down to nothing now, but learn how to worship! You might have lost everything, but learn how to worship, God’s not thru yet! Unfortunately, we often seek what God can do for us, and neglect having an intimate relationship with Him. We want the blessing of God, and fail to come union with Him. We are adept in praise, but we never really worship.

Can we as the church truly worship God even when HE it appears that He is not blessing? Can we yet worship when it appears that He is taking things from us? When we are seemingly being attacked on every side, emotionally, spiritually and physically?

My heart is heavy as I think of the horrific event that took place in Charleston, South Carolina a few days ago. Yet to hear the words of forgiveness spoken by the families affected embolden me even more to operate in the love of Christ. Can you hear him from the cross saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. They have chosen not to serve the king of this world that says hate, demand and seek revenge. But instead they released their grip on anger and embraced their arms around unexplainable love.

True worshippers are shown at this time. It is much more than lip service and even church actions. Yeah I know we volunteer to clean up the church building and serve in the different ministries, but that is not worship. That is works and in the realm of His Kingdom Jesus says that worshippers are wanted and preferred not workers.

Let me end with this… the world will know us by our love, not our religious sayings, not our righteous indignation, not our Bible thumping or our condemning others. Until we can love our enemies and pray for them who despitefully knowingly use us, they will not see Christ. They will see Christians. Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I understand and agree with what he was saying. My prayer and desire is to be a follower of Christ so that He may be seen even in the “but if not” times. If He does not heal me, if he does not let me work where I desire, make the money I should rightfully make, or if I do not get the girl or the guy or the house I desire, I choose to worship Him. If I am never known or recognize outside of my small circle I will worship Him. Understand this, He can deliver us oh king…BUT IF NOT……