Thursday, March 15, 2018

Death is not the end


       We all mourn in our own way, there is no set pattern. And we can mourn with the assurance of Jesus Christ, because He tells us, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." And, as a Stephens Minister, I want you to know that God is not immune to our emotions.

        As our Heavenly Father, God knows what His children are feeling, He felt it when Jesus died on the cross. And because He is all knowing, He already knows what we are thinking. It says in the bible that His Spirit witnesses to ours, which means He mourns our loss too. He knows what we are going through, experiencing the life, death, and resurrection of His Son. God has been through everything we are going through, or have gone through. He has been there.

        In the Old Testament we find scripture that tells us "The Eternal God is our dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27). Also, from Psalm 34:18 it says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power, whose understanding is beyond all measure. So I believe that God is right here mourning with us, and because of that we can be honest with what we  are feeling, and we can remember our loved ones as they were. We can take that  moment and turn to God, and allow Him to comfort us in there memory.

        I have heard it said somewhere that death may end our lives, but it can never end our relationships. So let our caring for and loving loved ones be a testimony in our lives. Family will remain family, Friends will remain friends. Death can't stop that. God sent His Son to make sure that those who put their faith and trust in Him, will no longer see death as an ending, but as a pit stop on the way to something far greater. When memories of our loved ones drop into our consciousness, you will have no choice but to smile at them, cherish those times, and share them with each other.

         So, when those times are at their toughest, I invite you to turn to Jesus, I know He understands. When He was preparing the disciples for His eventual departure, He told them, truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy (John 16:20-22). Our loved ones were truly a gift given for a short time. May we remember and be thankful for that gift.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

God will help you face your giants

      I was listening to the radio the other day, and Casting Crowns "voice of Truth" came on. It got me thinking about who or what are the giants in my life. What or who are the giants in your life? Giants like stress, pains, persecutions, problems or pressures. We all have to face these in our daily lives, anything that distracts us from God is a giant. You see, these things in our lives can distract us from God, and those Giants must be defeated and removed as distractions. 1 Samuel gives us a story of David and Goliath, and I want you to see that there is more to this story than a boy defeating a giant. This is an example of great struggle taking place in the lives of God's people today, right now. And God's people need to defeat and remove those giants in our lives.

      I believe when David saw Goliath and heard him shout his taunts, that David said to himself that this giant must be slain. I also believe that David knew that this would not be easy. Goliath was defiant and arrogant against God and His people, his voice echoed off the walls as he shouted down in the valley. Satan was making more noise than perhaps he ever had, and people who claimed to be God's children were cowering and running away. But, David knew that Goliath had to be confronted. David knew that this would be a major task, but he also knew that Goliath would not go away. He knew that someway, somehow Goliath had to be defeated.

      So let me give you this to think about. What are the "Giants" in your life? Is it something that happened in the past? Are you having marital or financial problems? How about resentment towards someone you feel wronged you, and these things are making it difficult to lead a Christian life, or maybe keeping you from becoming a Christian and giving your life to God. Guess what you have to do? Put your trust in God, and with His help face your giants. David's faith was not in his ability, or his armor. He understood that it was all from the power of God. David's faith and confidence rested with the God that brought him through the past. This is where the victory was won, because David knew his God was bigger and stronger than Goliath. When you are facing giants in your life, put your trust and faith in the God who can do all things. Don't look at it from an earthly view, look at it from a Heavenly view. God is bigger than any giant you will face in your life.

      It makes no difference what giants you are facing, you can defeat any of them that come your way. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. When David defeated Goliath, others were blessed. Other people are watching how you face your giants, and when you allow God to give you the power to defeat your giants, they will be encouraged and blessed.

      God is greater than your giants. Amen.............

Friday, March 9, 2018


      being betrayed by someone you trusted and considered a friend is very hurtful. If you have ever experienced betrayal, you know how hurtful it could be. Perhaps someone was bad mouthing you behind your back without giving you a chance to defend yourself, or maybe they shared your deepest darkest secret. It doesn't matter how you have been betrayed it is very painful thing to go through.

      In the bible there are many men who have been betrayed by someone close to them. Of course Judas is the one that comes to mind first. We all know that Jesus chose Judas after praying all night long. They spent everyday together for 3 years, talking and eating together, praying and even laughing together. Can you imagine how broken hearted Jesus must of felt? Judas knew Jesus, knew what His mission was, and yet betrayed Him for just a few coins. Maybe you know someone who is going through this now, or maybe even you are experiencing being betrayed. I want you to know this right now, Jesus knows what you are going through, He knows your pain. He has compassion for you that only someone who has been through the same thing can have.

      Jesus knows this pain, He was to be betrayed by the 12 that were closest to Him. But, even through this pain Jesus responded by washing the disciples feet, even though He knew He would be betrayed.  He gave them supper, even though He knew He would be betrayed. When Jesus gave that piece of bread to Judas, He not only revealed who Judas was, but also revealed who He was. He is the One who feeds His enemies, and goes on loving them to the very end.

      When we are betrayed Jesus says we must respond with love. Not anger for anger, don't plot your revenge. Jesus tells us in Mathew 5:43-48, You have heard that the law of Moses says, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But, I say love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. In that way you will be acting as true children of your Father in Heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust too.If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even the tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, How are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

        Being like our Father in Heaven is showing the one who betrayed you the Love of Christ. Turn your shock and anger into love and compassion. When we are betrayed, we must not also betray ourselves by giving into anger, revenge, hate, or despair that can be produced in our hearts. Take that pain to Jesus Christ, who already knows the excruciating pain of betrayal.

        I will leave you today with this word from Romans 12:21, Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.  Amen ......

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Promise

     We have all had someone break a promise to us, and the older you get the more jaded you become. Promises that people break to us make us "wiser" or less trusting, or they may even break us deep down inside. But, promises that are kept give us life, and hope. They are the cause of us realizing joyful dreams. We need to realize that our faith is only as good as the object it's put into. People, even though they mean well, will fail us. But, God never will.

      That leads us to "The Promise," The only truth that matters, and makes a difference. The one that gives us life. In the Old Testament Jesus is call the Promised One. He is God's great "YES" to all of us. Though people may make us skeptical and leery, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit strengthen us and give us the hope that we can trust God fully. YES, we can trust God. We can trust God with our marriages, we can trust Him with our family, with our children, with our careers, with our finances, with our health, even with our lives.

      Jesus Christ, the Promised One, came as promised. He died for us, and rose again, as promised, and placed His Holy Spirit in us. Our God does not break promises, He doesn't lie to us saying He will be there and then doesn't show. He is with us 24/7, day or night, even in our lowest darkest times. He knows your worth, He highly regards your unending value. He looks at you and says YES !!!! This is My precious child, this, is My masterpiece.

      Jesus is our savior, our helper, and our friend. He is our YES from God, He is YES for the whole world. He is not only with us, but God is for us. And, as Paul says in Romans 8:31, If God is for us, who can be against us. With God you won't find any fine print, there aren't any need for disclaimers. With God we don't have to be leery, or skeptical, because God keeps His promises. This should give us comfort in this world that is running out of control. Nothing can stop God's holy purpose. He promised to send us a savior, and He did, in-spite of the failings of His people, and strong opposition by His enemies. Jesus came to fulfill the promises of God, and all of the promises God made are fulfilled through Him. Wouldn't it be an awesome thing If you and I could keep our promises like God keeps His.......Amen

Thursday, March 1, 2018

God Has Your Back

Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you, or maybe you just feel like giving up? Well, the Bible has some words of encouragement for you. In Philippians 1:6 it says, "I am confident in this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ." You see, God did not bring you this far just to up and leave you, He did not place the Holy Spirit into you just to say haha, Sike and take it back. He finishes what He starts. 

God did not let His son die on the cross to lift us up from our sins just so He could watch us fall back into the darkness. Whatever life throws at us, God doesn't make mistakes and He doesn't change His mind according to His mood. God is faithful and His love never changes. If God says it, it will happen. So the next time you feel like giving up, it's not our strength, but the strength of God that we can rely on.

Remember that when facing the giants in your life Jesus will step in and give you strength, God will work it out, God will see us through every trial. Remember, He had everything planned out about you before you ever existed. He knows what you can or can't handle. So, no matter what others say about you or call you, know that God is not finished with you yet. You are a masterpiece, and masterpieces take time. Be patient and God will take you to heights you could never imagine. Whether it's this life or the next, God has your back.

Friday, February 16, 2018

God Loves You Too

It has only been in the last 10 or so years, that I know in my heart, that God loves me. I am a little embarrassed to admit it. Why does a 50 year old man have to know that God loves him? I mean, that's for kids right? How surprised and shocked I was for God to meet me in such a personal way, to surround me and encase me in this idea of His great love for me personally. I came to know, to feel, to experience His great love. And here is good news for you. God loves you too.

So, how does God love you? Let me count just a few ways. Isaiah 49:16 says that He love you so much that He engraved your name on His hand. Matthew 10:30 says that He loves you so much that He knows how many hairs are on your head. Jeremiah 31:3 says He loves you with an everlasting love, and Psalm 56:8 says that He loves you so much that He saves your tears in a bottle.

God's love for you is very personal. It doesn't matter where you have been, it doesn't matter what you have done, it doesn't matter what you have experienced, God loves you. This is what God says about you. You are honored, you are precious in His eyes. (Isaiah 43: 4) That is such an amazing thing.

The cross is God's statement of His great love for you. When you think of the depth of God's love, the bible often asks us to consider the price that was paid.  This is Love: Not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

What makes this love so amazing, is that it is highlighted by a debt that each one of us owes. At the core of God's being is His holiness. In order for us to have any kind of relationship with Him, we have to find a way for our sins to be washed clean and forgiven. The problem is, there is nothing we can do to make this happen, it is too big of a debt to overcome. We can't buy God's favor, we can't work for it, and we can never be good enough to earn it. God's Holiness demanded that our sins be paid for, and God's Love provided the way for it to happen.

I shout this out to you today, God Loves YOU With an Everlasting Love That Words Fail To Describe !!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017