Father, thank you for the sign of the storm. Just as the winds blow, I ask you to pour out your Spirit upon us with a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. I ask you to pour the anointing of the Holy Spirit with such an intensity that we would be swept away in your river. Fill us with your love to share with those around us. Put healing in our hands to heal the sick, raise the dead, and bring deliverance to those who are bound. Let us free those whom the devil has taken captive and pronounce the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven to the earth. In Jesus name, amen.
Jesus said, “Blessed are he meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Meekness comes from the Greek word Praus, which can also be translated as humble. Praus implies a calm and quiet composure while confronting this evil world. Contrary to popular belief, this does NOT imply any kind of weakness. Probably the best interpretation of this word that I have heard is referring to meekness as strength under control.
Contemporary society likes to paint Jesus as some kind of weak peacenik but nothing could be further from the truth. When Jesus drove the money changers and sellers of sacrificial items from the temple with a whip, he was certainly not being weak or some kind of peacenik in that passage (John 2:13-16). If he had been weak, the temple guards would have been able to simply take the whip away from him and escort him out and hand him over to the soldiers. They were unable to stop him. If Jesus had been rash and harsh, then he could have called fire down from heaven and reduced those people to ashes. Jesus operated in a meek humble fashion in total subjection to his father above with a heart of love that wanted only the best for his special creation. Being subjected to a corrupt religious order was not what God had desired.
The meaning that Jesus conveyed in this passage is actually very powerful once we understand what he was thinking. Jesus wants us to be just like him in this world. We are to be strong in the Lord and very powerful through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. However, we are to be meek, humble, and in subjection to our Heavenly Father in all things. Though we are sons and daughters of the Living God, we are to have the hearts of servants living within us. Those who allow the Holy Spirit to remake them into the image of the Son of God, will in the end, inherit the earth. The proud and the wicked will be removed from the earth, no place will be found for them in God’s new creation.
We must allow the Holy Spirit of God to change us into His image, strong and mighty, but with our strength under His control!
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” At first glance, this may sound a little bit strange and maybe a bit unsettling. What do I have to mourn about, my life is going fine….right? Maybe there is a little bit more to this than meets the eye. Maybe Jesus was letting us know that deep inside we need a little bit more than we think.
The greek word translated to mourn is pentheo, which means to grieve, or even to wail. We have all experienced this with the death of a loved one or some other great loss that has occurred in our lives. Grieving in this context is the coming to grips with the loss that we have experienced in the natural part of our lives, but in that Jesus saw fit to include this in the beatitudes, we have to take a look and see if maybe he had some deeper meaning in mind when he spoke.
God suffered a great loss when his prized creation made in his own image rebelled against him and brought sin into the world. God could no longer have the face to face fellowship with the man; sin could not dwell in the presence of the Holy God. Death would pass upon man and the spirit of man would be held captive by the Devil in the Abode of the Dead for thousands of years before Christ would shed his blood on Calvary and open the way for man to enter into the presence of the Almighty. God’s grief is evident throughout the Old Testament writings as he dealt with fallen man to bring him to the place of redemption. I am inclined to believe that God even wailed over the tremendous loss that he suffered on the path to redemption. But God comforted himself with the knowledge that the day would come when the Christ would pay the price to redeem mankind and God would once again be able to fellowship with his creation that he made to be his special love.
So how does this apply to us? Should not the knowledge of the years of our lives lost to sin and pain we caused God by not walking with him not cause our hearts to mourn and grieve, should be not even wail at the terrible separation from God that we experienced for so much of our lives? I think this is what Jesus was getting at when he spoke these words. Consider what we have lost by not knowing Jesus, consider the loss of living in ways that not only caused God pain but took a heavy toll on our physical beings. This is where the mourning, grieving and wailing will surely begin.
Where is our comfort? Consider these words that Jesus spoke in John 14, “
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Jesus was looking past the problem to his divine solution, he would freely give his life for us, and then he would send us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and give us comfort on our path to Heaven. He would heal our hurts, salve our pain and fill us with power to overcome the sin that so easily besets us. God would have us in fellowship with Him on a daily basis and his and our grief would be turned into eternal joy!
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As Jesus began to teach the ways of the New Covenant that would begin with His death and resurrection, he taught with authority those who were with Him on the mount. Who are the poor in spirit that Jesus spoke of?
Being poor in spirit has nothing to do with how much wealth we do or do not have in the natural world in which we live. It is the recognition that we have nothing to offer God in the realm of the Spirit. It is the admitting that we are poor and needy people when it comes to the things of God. It is the recognition that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. To be poor in spirit is to be humbled, lowly in our own estimation of ourselves, the taking upon ourselves the role of a servant and following in the footsteps of our master who though he was God, took upon Himself the heart of a servant and washed the disciples feet as a lesson them as to how they were to view themselves. Jesus said, “but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”
Today’s prayer: Lord help me to look upon myself as a lowly servant, to be humbled before you and walk in a way that pleases you. Help me to serve those that I come in contact with today to show them who YOU are that in someway, they will see you in me.
Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ. As a new disciple of Jesus, there are some things that we need to explore in order to properly understand what just happened as well as answer some common questions that new believers have. In this series we will start by discussing Salvation, what just happened to me? A whole lot just happened to you and is very important to understand your new found relationship with Jesus Christ. Next will answer the all important question, what do I need to do next? The two most important daily habits a believer can develop, prayer and bible reading. Many other topics will be presented to help you develop your walk in Christ. It is our sincere prayer and wish for you that you will learn much from this series and get off to a great start in your new life!
AOC has said some things that leave one scratching their head and wondering how anyone could possibly believe that things that come out of her mouth. Surely she can’t really believe the crazy sounding things that she is saying; it must be a ploy to get attention from the media. The disturbing news is this, not only does she believe it, but so do millions of other young people across our nation. We as Christians have failed generations of young people and God has raised up a warning sign to point out to us that we need to repent as a church for our part in that failure.
God has placed, AOC where she is for a time, she may not be there for very long, but she serves as a dire warning to the church. If your first inclination is to point out how very silly she sounds or to criticize her for her positions, then you have completely missed what God is expecting from us. We should first have sorrow in our hearts that someone could so deceived as to believe the things that she speaks. Secondly, we should be in deep repentance that we have allowed the devil to deceive entire generations into believing his horrible lies. They don’t know the trap that is set for them; they don’t know that in the end, they will be destroyed by these deceptions. Christ warned us that strong delusions would come, and take warning; they are here.
Isn’t it time that we stop looking at these kids with disdain and start praying for their salvation? In Joel’s prophecy, God promised the former and the latter rain. Isn’t it time for the latter rain? God said that He would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, our sons and our daughters would prophecy and our old men would dream dreams. It’s time…we need to be in prayer for God to pour out His Spirit. Look at Acts 2, what were they doing before the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost? They were praying with one accord, or in other words, with the same goal…the promise of the Father poured out upon them and their Children.
Look, I’m not really trying to wake anybody up or anything, but we are standing at a crossroads, we can pray until we see that latter rain poured out or we can sit on our posteriors and let hell come to the face of the earth. The choice is ours to make…God didn’t say anywhere that He was going to just take care of everything apart from us…but He did say “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways THEN will I hear and from Heaven and heal their land.”
Without faith it is impossible to please God, when the fire is raging as it is now, we are confronted with choices, give in or stand with our shield of faith up! Right now it is really easy to give in to fear, depression, or anger at the circumstances that are robbing us of our ability to live a normal life like we did just a few weeks ago. For a child of God, this is merely a training time and time of proving. What is the most important thing we can do in the midst of this? Pleasing God of course.
We know that God has given us the full armor of God as described by Paul, this includes the shield of faith; where does faith come from? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Every day when we arise, we need to pick up our shield of faith and use it to quench those fiery darts that the devil loves to send our way. We need to resolve that every day no matter what circumstances we may encounter, our goal is to please God every minute of every day. To do that, we must be walking by faith and not by what we see or hear going on around us.
Let’s tune into the heavenly voice and listen to what He has to say to us. Ignore the media, all they are peddling is doubt and fear anyway, let’s make it our goal to believe God’s word and let everything else run off. If we are to please God, then faith has to be our watch word every day. Faith is not just words, faith is action, faith is living above the fear, above the anger, above the doubt and depression. We have the peace that passes all understanding, let’s live like it!
Hebrews 6, Ephesians 6, Romans 10
This Easter everything is different. Most of us are staying home, church services are cancelled, family dinners are cancelled, egg hunts, cancelled, it seems like everything that we have come to view as Easter has been taken away from us. Though we can’t venture out and do our normal routines this year, we can take a minute to take a look at the real meaning of Easter. This is the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Here is the account from John 20.
Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the [a]handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not [b]know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to [c]Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the [d]disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
It’s not the all the activities and trappings that make Easter, it is the one who gave Himself for us that makes Easter. Take a minute and consider Him, teach your children the true meaning of Easter and then give thanks to the one who made it all possible…Jesus Christ the King!
The Corona Virus outbreak has changed the way the whole world is living right now. We are stuck at home and can only go to businesses that are considered essential to survival and we are cut off from everything that we normally would do. We took for granted that we would go to work daily and return home, visit with family and friends, attend church services on Sunday and otherwise live a normal human life. Suddenly, a virus shows up and everything changes. Everything we used to do is off limits to us for fear of becoming infected or infecting others. The fire is now raging out of control, we can’t pay our bills, we can barely afford to live and our support systems have been cut off. What is God doing to us?
First, let’s take a moment and let’s do what Jesus said in John 14:27 “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Did not Jesus promise us His peace? Did He not promise to never leave us nor forsake us? Yes and Yes. For the child of God, this is nothing more than learning to walk in the fire. Remember the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3? “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the[e] Son of God.” This is a lesson in learning to trust God in difficult times.
The corona virus may seem scary and out of control, but it is subject to God’s word and His limits. It will depart when it has accomplished His purposes in the earth. God is warning all people everywhere that it is time to repent, meaning to turn from our sin and give our hearts and lives to Him, and get our lives in order with Him. We who are called Christians need to learn to trust in God alone. Not in the world, nor in uncertain riches, nor any other thing, only God.
God is preparing His people to stand unafraid of the events which will soon come upon the earth. Many of them will be very frightening, so much so that peoples hearts will seize up in their chest. Jesus told us this was coming in Luke 21:26 “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…” How will we who are called to be salt and light in the earth be able to minister to those who are without hope unless we have learned to be calm in the midst of the storm? We need to learn to walk by faith, not by what we see, but by putting our trust in our loving Father.
If you are reading this and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, right now you are saying in your heart, Brother Fred, how can anybody possibly have peace while a virus is killing people all over the world? I will answer with this, it’s the peace that passes all understanding that God gives to those who surrender to Him. Notice I said surrender…not just giving Him lip service, but actually coming into a living, breathing relationship with Him. How do we do this? By asking Him to have mercy upon us, by confessing that we are lost sinners in need of a savior, by believing that God sent His only begotten Son into the world to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world…and yes, that means you and me. And most of all, by confessing that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, was crucified, that God raised Him from the dead on the third day and that he ever lives to make intercession for those that come to Him in faith. If we ask Him to save us, He will, He will radically change us from death to life, life eternal. Cry out to Him!
Happy Easter everyone…this is what Easter is truly all about.