Friday, November 1, 2013

Watch Out

Psalm 59:7

7Indeed, they belch with their mouth; Swords are in their lips; For they say, "Who hears?"

Young David had long been anointed as the next king by the Prophet Samuel. Unfortunately, Saul, the current king, was very aware that David would take his place. For some time Saul had made plans to kill David though David served him faithfully. The idea that someone else would take Saul's place didn't sit well with him. And of course not. Who wants to loose their place of authority and position to someone under them? Fits of rage would befall Saul but again, this was as a result of his own misdeeds of disobedience. But as said previously, blaming someone was an easier road to take rather than accept what he failed to do. That is what he did with David. David never harmed him but served him with love. He repaid David's loving service with evil. Just after the title of this Psalm, the NKJ Study Bible gives a background noting that Saul sent men to kill David and they watched the house for an opportunity.

When someone is jealous of the gifts God has placed in you as well as your purpose and your call, like David, you may hear unkind words being said about you, whether publicly done or privately. When someone doesn't understand your purpose and your call you will likely hear the same. These people may even smile in your face while devising plans in their thoughts of how to get back at you though you have done nothing to them. Some of them may have even been people you have helped at one time or another. And like Saul, they are attempting to repay your loving service with evil. There are people who speak ill will about you yet think no one knows but the ones they are speaking to. In their arrogance, they are unaware that God hears and sees all.

I will never forget when I was warned by two prophets and one with the gift of prophecy about three people who were talking about me and wishing ill against me though I helped and only wished to see them succeed. When I was told, I was also told that God had been dealing with each one of them accordingly. I was told to call one of them. And what I found was that she was suddenly ailing. The second had to reach out to me for help for something. Each time she made very off color remarks to me, God set it up that she would have to come back for help. In Proverbs it says that one who slanders is a fool. And God's elect, who is anyone in the body of Christ, is not to be attacked. The attack doesn't have to be a physical one as the one against David. It can be verbal. God hears. And He does deal accordingly. Saul and everyone in his household had an ugly fate. Their fate was sealed and pronounced when Saul searched out a witch to conjure up the soul of the dead prophet Samuel in order to find out his fate before war. Incidentally, this was the same practice the priests of Ireland used to honor the dead souls aka part of the history of Halloween. Priests used their bodies as an entry way for the dead to speak to those who sought to find out their fortunes as we learned in on our Bible Study conference call this week. If you wish to know more, you can respond to me and I will gladly give you the replay number to listen to the recorded Bible Study.

P.S. We are one week out from the Sunday, November 10th event at Barnes & Noble in White Marsh. Please RSVP either through email or on the fan page via Facebook.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Have You Met Jesus?

Mark 1:7-8

7And he preached, saying, "There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Have you met Jesus? John the Baptist gave an introduction to many about who Jesus is. But do you know Jesus? When you are introduced to Jesus, you are also introduced to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person just as Jesus is a person and just as God the Father is a person. In Luke chapter 1 the Word tells of how John met Jesus while they were both in the womb. What did John do when he sensed the presence of Jesus through Mary? He leaped for joy. The presence of Jesus and God the Father is available to you and I through the Holy Spirit. He is the one Jesus promised to leave with His disciples on the day of Pentecost. The presence of Jesus goes beyond that submerging in the pool. It's just the beginning. The presence of Jesus and God the Father are found in the Holy Spirit. When you are carrying the Holy Spirit within you, you are different. The Word says in 1John 4 that God is love. When you come to know Jesus you will understand that He too is love. And the Holy Spirit is your reminder of His love. If Jesus has called you by name, then call the Holy Spirit by His name when He speaks to you. No longer shall you refer to Him as "something told me." He is a someone. The Holy Trinity is three persons not two persons and a thing. If Jesus knows you by name and God knows the very number of hairs on your head as the Word says then give proper acknowledgement and respect out of love because of their love for you. He, the Holy Spirit, has taken the time to speak to you and give you direction on where to go and what to do. But none of this will make sense to you if you don't know Jesus. If you don't know Jesus, do you want to know Him? You can. You can know Him through God's Holy Word and through prayer. If you want to know Jesus repeat after me: "God, I don't know that I have met Jesus but I want to know Him. Introduce me to Him please. Let me see who He is."  When you meet Jesus, you too will say as the soldiers said on Calvary, "surely He is the Son of God." And at that point you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Leadership Answers to God

1Samuel 15:20

20And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag, king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

As said in a previous message, the Bible addresses all situations known to man and every human condition. King Saul had only been king of Israel for two years before he encountered, "the big head" syndrome. The situation with the Amalekites was not the first time King Saul had disobeyed a direct command. He did it with the Philistines as well in chapter 14. Saul was chastised by the prophet Samuel then. Samuel was the mouthpiece of God. He was the prophet that GOD appointed to the earthly leader of His people to help give guidance, encouragement and to understand the direction of God. The prophet is also to rebuke and speak God's judgement when necessary.

When Saul spoke to Samuel with the scripture above, he blatantly lied to him. Now Samuel was the one whom God sent to anoint Saul and make him king in the first place and Samuel reminded him of this before he went to war. Samuel gave the words of the Lord to Saul and the specific instructions were "Now go to Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." God gave the reason as well. Amalek ambushed the people of Israel when God commanded Moses to bring them out of Egypt back in Exodus 17. Granted, God allowed the Israelites to defeat them but God wanted to be sure they had no opportunity to ambush His people again. Saul did not listen and he spared their commander in chief, King Agag. It also says that Saul and the people spared the best of the animals. When Samuel called Saul out for his disobedience, guess what he did? He blamed the people saying it was them who spared the animals. Not only was Saul disobedient but he threw his own people under the bus blaming them. Had he followed instructions and did what God said, he would've commanded them to do the same. So Saul's punishment was that he would loose the kingdom. Shortly thereafter, Samuel was sent by God to anoint David as the new king. And God sent an evil spirit on Saul as punishment for his disobedience. This is a clear example that the people will do as the leader does. The command was given to Saul. He didn't carry it out and therefore he nor his people obeyed the voice of the Lord. Subsequently, 500 years later, a descendant of Agag arose to attempt to kill the Jews via an ambush just as God knew so God had to place a Jew in a high place to protect the people.

Leadership has the distinct responsibility to obey the voice of the Lord because it is God who appoints them. They do not appoint themselves. And when the instructions are not followed, everyone suffers and the leadership answers to God good or bad. Leadership can lead the people to victory if obeying the voice of the Lord or slaughter with disobedience that there is suffering. But the worst thing a leader can do is throw those who obeyed them under the bus. God calls followers of Christ to obey leadership. And it is leadership who pays the highest price for leading anyone astray and even failing to take responsibility. So you want to lead. Are you sure?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do You Know the Truth?

John 8:31-32

31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Jesus made it clear, if you abide in His word, then you are His disciple. How many actually know His word and live by it? Just saying you believe with no true action and no true evidence of it is no better than those Jesus said cry "Lord, Lord" but He doesn't know them. I pray that is not you. You did not give a deathbed confession therefore, you have received the benefit and blessing of time to make good on the words you uttered, to study and show thyself approved as it is said in 2Timothy 2:15. Do you know the truth?

Last week I saw an episode of a cartoon I don't normally watch and the end of verse 32 was uttered, "And the truth shall set you free" (depends on the Bible version). I have heard this verse many times but wonder do people actually know they are quoting Jesus and do they know truth? Or do they just think it's a "cool" saying. I heard another Bible verse uttered the week before through another show, saying, "Ask and you shall receive."  Many are uttering the very words of Jesus and millions of people are hearing it. But again, do they know the truth? More importantly, do you know the truth? Do you abide in His word?  Do you understand what it means to abide? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines abide as 1) bear, endure 2)dwell, remain, last, to conform or acquiesce to .  So in other words, it's not just enough to read His Word but you must be conforming to it and dwelling in it. Are you dwelling in the truth? Are you living the truth? In order to do this, you must know the truth. And if you don't know His Word, then you don't know the truth. If you are not living the truth, "then you lie and the truth is not in you" as the Word says. Jesus said himself that He is, "the way, the truth and the life." Again, do you know the truth?

Monday, October 28, 2013

"The Contingency Plan"

James 4:7

7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The apostle James wrote of how pride and thinking too highly of oneself is what causes strife. It is pride that gets in the way of seeing the needs of anyone outside of yourself. It is the reason why you can possibly use people at any opportunity.  It is the reason why you seek certain things but God refuses to release them to you because He knows your true motive for asking.  The apostle James gave the command from God which is that everyone must submit to God. This is the solution to removing pride. It is the solution to resisting the devil and how he will flee.

Saturday night I watched the animated film Justice League: Doom which Wikipedia reports is loosely based from the Justice League story "Tower of Babel". If any of you know "Tower of Babel" it is a real Biblical reference and refers to the pride of the people who wished to build the "highest" tower in recognition of themselves and because of their plan, God stepped in and neutralized them all and changed the languages they spoke so they could not understand each other nor build the tower as everyone once spoke the same language.  But back to the film as this is going somewhere and is very relevant to this scripture. Vandal Savage had a plan to wipe out a portion of the earth but what he needed was to get the Justice League out of the way. So how did he do it? He used Batman's plans. Batman was a very calculated person who knew the strengths and weaknesses of each person in the Justice League. And in the event that anyone from the Justice league became overpowered by pride because of the authority and power they had, Batman understood what would weaken them and "neutralize" them. However, Vandal Savage took Batman's information and expounded on it so that neutralizing would turn to killing them. He then used those who had personal vendettas against the Justice League and would carry out his expanded plan. Each one of them thought they killed  the perspective Justice League member.

Now what does this have to do with the scripture? Everything! In the event you begin to think too highly of yourself because of whatever position and/or authority, blessing you have been allowed to receive, God has a way to "neutralize" you. He has a "contingency" plan for you. What you don't often understand is that just as He has a "contingency" plan for you, the devil and enemy of your soul like Vandal Savage, hopes to find out what that plan is and use it to steal, kill and destroy you and everything God has for you. He may even enlist others who have a personal vendetta against you and or want what you have and will do whatever it takes to get their hands on it. So how do you prevent the devil from taking a plan to neutralize to one that  steals from you, kills you and destroys all you have and are? Submit to God!! Submitting to God stops the enemy from getting his foot in the door. Submitting to God means you won't have time to entertain the devil at all! It means that you remember whatever God has given you, actually belongs to God and you must count yourself privileged to have whatever position, whatever authority, whatever blessing, whatever you have and know that it is because of GOD that you have it. When you submit to God you don't even have time to entertain those people who mean you no good and seek to use you.

P.S. Remember to RSVP for my book signing event on Sunday, November 10th at Barnes & Noble  for Shh Don't Tell in Baltimore (The Avenue at White Marsh) from 4pm-8pm. I can't wait to see YOU!!