Wednesday, May 27, 2009


For it is written: "`As I live,' saith the Lord, `every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Romans 14:11

Can you imagine EVERY knee of EVERY person will bow before Jesus and confess to God? I am sure we could think of many evil persons and good persons and each one will have to bow before Him. Just thinking about that picture, brings on the fear of the Lord. No one will get away from it. No one will be able to hide from it. NO ONE!

What are we willing to do to be one of the righteous standing there? Are we willing to suffer? Are we willing to hold up His standard? Are we just saying His Word or are we doing His Word? Are we willing to read His word, when we don’t want to read? Are we willing to go help someone with a giving heart, or do we grudgingly do it? Are we willing to sacrifice money and time? What are we willing to do to be like Jesus? Faith without works is DEAD! We may be able to talk it, as many can, but can we walk it and can we live it?

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:1,2

Paul continues: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 12, 13, 19

I wonder how Christians in other parts of the world think about our American Feel Good Gospel. Are we really sold out to Christ? Are we really sold out to each other? Are we really sold out in reaching out to the lost?

“Revive us according to Your Word and revive us in Your righteousness.”
Psalm 119: 25, 40

Let EVERY one of us who call ourselves Christians, bow our knees, our hearts...EVERYthing to Him. Thy will be done, Lord, Thy will be done.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are You Hungry?

Our local body assembled this week at the home of the Verrett’s. The communion dinner or may I say BBQ was excellent. We must commend Bro. Mike on his pit skills.

Our koinonia or Christian fellowship certainly equaled our communion meal in substance.

Bro Mike offered the subject of “Hungering for God” based on an article he read by Andrew Strom who happened to be referencing another fellow laborer of ours, David Servant. Brother David was teaching on this subject and it seems to be something that the Holy Spirit is urging us to review. You may want to go ahead and read the article, by going here first. It may help our browsing brothers and sisters create a reference as we discuss this topic.

A main point that Brother David offers is that a visitation of God not only is preceded by Prayer and Repentance, but there must also be some measure of hunger of the people for God. Darla underscored this point with the passage from the Sermon on the Mount,

(Mat 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

Only something that is empty can be filled. Have we filled our lives with so many things “of this world” that we don’t have an appetite for God and His Righteousness?

Darla also referenced Psalm 112 which seems to also reinforce this idea of emptying oneself so that he or she can be filled. This Psalm talks about a man who is gracious and lends, and one who gives to the poor. This man bears the fruit of his actions by never being shaken and having his heart established, steadfast.

This all starts with a constant hunger and desire for God to fill us with Himself, a thirsting after His Righteousness. Andrew Strom also points out that as countries are thoroughly “westernized” their hunger typically stagnates, apathy “reigns supreme.” How true is this?

If we can honestly say that we don’t have a growing hunger for God, it is most probably that our own desires have been consuming the things of this world. We then cannot blame God for this. My daughter Lauren shared an appropriate passage for this,

(James 1:12-14 NKJV) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. {13} Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. {14} But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

God’s expectation of us in the trial is that we overcome not that we would cave in to our desires. As Lauren shared, many people simply count the cost and decide that it costs too much to overcome or resist the temptation or in some cases, flee the temptation. Do we really value the need to overcome the constant pull of the world on our lives? Do we really resist the Devil so that he will flee?

I personally believe the Holy Spirit made the point in our assembly on Sunday. The real issue becomes, “what will we do about it?” I pray that you will meditate on these things and take action! Overcome the world! Empty yourself of it! Cry out to God that He would fill you up with Himself!

I leaved you with this thought, if indeed we hunger not for the things of God, then we must like the prodigal son, come to our senses. He realized that the world was not providing nourishment to his soul. In repentance, he ran back to his father who not only provided the fattened calf but had a great feast in his honor.

(Luke 15:17-23 NKJV) "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! {18} 'I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, {19} "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."' {20} "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. {21} "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' {22} "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. {23} 'And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

Bro Russell.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Set Apart

It all started when someone said these two words, “Set Apart”, then the discussion of God’s word took off! Scripture started flying like fire! Aren’t we called to be “set apart”? What does it mean to be set apart? How do we live in a world and be set apart?
His Word will show us the path.

“But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for Himself; the LORD will hear when I call unto Him”. (Psalm4:3)

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special
people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light…” (1 Peter 2:9)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of God abides for ever.” 1 John 2”15-17
Do we live in the world and not have anything to do with the world? We are in the world but not of the world. We are to proclaim His Praise, to be a light in the darkness and to be a testimony of Him. God is holy and not only does He call us to be set apart, but He also calls us to be holy…not religious, but holy.

One more thing: set apart does not mean isolate yourself! We all know the stories of groups that isolated themselves and got so far out, that it ended in destruction.

“..that they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:21

“If we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us for all sin.” 1John1:6-7

As we continue to gather as a church at the different homes, it is great to see how God is knitting our hearts together. When one shares about a struggle, we rally around them. When that happens, another piece of a wall is removed. We are able to move closer to that person and the group is able to move closer to God. It is a safe place. This can only happen when our hearts are open to the Lord and His Spirit. It is not hype. It is not forced. It is not fake. It is not religious. It is the “Real Deal”. It is the simplicity of the Gospel in action. It is the Spirit of the Living God living in us…changing us daily to be like Him. His word is real. His word is truth. His word is alive. His word must be obeyed. We are becoming His Word, His Light, His ambassadors, and we are still called to be set apart. How set apart are you? Me? Us? Selah!