“I do not accept praise from men.” John 5:41
The religious leaders of Jesus’ time enjoyed great honor and prestige in Israel. But to Jesus their approval meant nothing. He was about His Father’s approval. Whose praise do you seek?
If you were to receive gold medals, global recognition, prestigious awards, million dollar bonuses, world-wide acclaim, standing ovations, peer approval, top level endorsement, etc from the greatest leaders of the world. If your name were spoken in the highest of regards by Kings, Queens, Presidents, Emperors, and Popes…or the most prestigious influential global leaders of industry, commerce, finance, business… or perhaps a Senator or Representative or even a 4-Star General… what have you earned? Nothing.
You can seek praise and approval from the four corners of the planet and still have a heart that is seeking. When the only affirmation you need seek is God’s blessing and approval of our actions and plans. If God is not in our dealings, if we are not about our Father’s business, if we are not led by Him, and spend our lives in service to His agenda, then all we do is useless, ineffective and self-seeking.
“Jesus said: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” John 16:7
Who is Holy Spirit and where did He come from?
There are many mistaken beliefs about who or what Holy Spirit is, or isn’t. Some view the Holy Spirit as a supernatural force. Others see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal, distant authority that God makes available to followers of Jesus Christ.
“What does the Bible say about of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.”
How can Holy Spirit be God? The Bible tells us that Holy Spirit is fully God. Along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ), God the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is the third member of the Godhead or the Trinity. (more about the topic of the Trinity in another post) We read this in the very first lines of the Bible – Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (RAPTURED) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord!” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 AMP
In theological terms, the word RAPTURE is defined as: “the experience, anticipated by some fundamentalist Christians, of meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth.”
While the exact word “RAPTURE” does not occur in the Bible. The term comes from a Latin word meaning “a carrying off, a transport, or a snatching away, or caught up. The concept of the “caught up” or the rapture of the church is clearly taught in Scripture.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 tells us that at God’s command, with the voice of an Archangel and the trumpet call of God, believers that have already died (the dead in Christ) will rise from their graves. Then the believers still alive on the earth will be “caught up” in the air with the dead in Christ to meet Jesus in the air. Together we will be taken to be with the Lord.
“Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they set out for him thirty pieces of silver.” Matthew 26:14-15
What amount of money would it take for you to sell out Jesus Christ? For Judas, it was 30 pieces of silver. What’s your price?
We live in a society where we are so interconnected… we have the ability, in the blink of an eye, to post, snap, tweet, share, pin, link, blog, ping and tag any every random thought, idea or belief to family, friends, colleagues and strangers around the world. But what if our family, friends, colleagues and strangers don’t agree with our thoughts and beliefs? What then? At what point do you stop posting, snapping, tweeting, sharing, pinning, linking, blogging, pinging and tagging? Continue reading
“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me]” Ps 66:18 AMP
What is cherished sin? Cherished sin is any sin that lives inside of us that we know is there, yet we choose to keep it hidden. It is those deeds and actions that we choose to coddle and excuse from our life.
It is the kind of sin that hinders our prayers and our relationship with God.
“We know [according to your tradition] that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone fears God and does His will, He hears him.” John 9:31 Continue reading
“And God spoke these words, “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have NO other God before me.” Exodus 20:1-3
The first of the Ten Commandments, along with the next three, tells of our duty to God. While the remaining 6, speak to our relationship with our neighbor. It is correct that this commandment be first as we had a Maker to love, before we had a neighbor to love.
He is Jehovah God. He is the singular object of our worship. The worship of any other god animate or inanimate is forbidden.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside Me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” Exodus 20:22-23 Continue reading
The following is a reprint of a recent article published online by Charisma Magazine. It is written by Dawn Hill; I invite you to check out her writings at http://lovesickscribe.com/
Prophetic Instruction: Wake Up From Your Coma
By Dawn Hill
For the past few weeks, I have been struggling to find the words to describe what I have been experiencing and sensing. Though I know in ministry it is not kosher to bear our souls to one another publicly, I believe that our transparency and vulnerability with wisdom is necessary. We the church, myself included, have become experts at suppression and wearing masks—so much so that we do not know what it feels like to have the breath of God blow across our being as we are set free from the masquerade of it all, and we are called to remain with Him past the proverbial stroke of midnight. I extend an invitation to you in this thing called holy discontentment. Continue reading
Who am I? What is my true identity? This world sees me as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, helper, widow, worker, speaker, author, neighbor, the list goes on. And while all of those are in fact true, I am so much more. You see, my Savior says that…
I am forgiven.
I am redeemed.
I am accepted.
I am blameless.
I am blessed.
I am adopted as God’s child.
I am marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit…
and so much more.
“What’s the big deal about not being born again; after all I’m a good person. It’s not like I’ve ever killed anyone. I’m not a bank robber. Sure I might cuss from time to time, but God knows that I don’t mean it. I know that I am going to Heaven.” I have heard this statement from many people over the years. My response is usually… Really? Are you absolutely positive?
In John 3, we read about the interaction of Nicodemus, a religious leader, most likely a member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) and Jesus. Nicodemus sought out Jesus in the cover of darkness without other members of the Sanhedrin to learn from the man named Jesus. He needed to determine fact from rumor about Jesus. Though Nicodemus was a learned man, he still had questions. He wanted to know more and he knew that Jesus had the answers.
“Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him” John 12:27
During His three-year ministry on this earth, Jesus had performed so many miracles, signs and wonders as witnessed sometimes by a few and other times thousands, yet the people wouldn’t, or couldn’t, believe in Him as the Messiah – the Son of God.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are over 30 miracles documented. Yet, despite the eye-witness evidence of the lame raised up able to walk, the eyes of the blind opened to see, the lepers healed, the 5000 fed from 5 loaves and 2 fish, the dead raised to life, demons cast out at the mere sight of Him, enabling the mute to speak, turning water into wine, healing at the simple touch of His robe, life-long paralytics restored to complete health, house servants healed by only the words of His mouth, raging storms on the sea clamed by His command, and walking on water just to name a few, and let’s not forget His resurrection from the dead as witnessed by hundreds. Yet, despite all of the evidence, so many people in Jesus’ time would not believe either during His earthly ministry or after His resurrection.
Perhaps some had only heard about the miracles and did not witness them personally. With a skeptical mind, they could not, or would not, believe in what they didn’t see first hand. Perhaps they thought someone was exaggerating the event. Continue reading