Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hello everyone, I pray that your week is productive and challenging. Earlier today I was conversing with a colleague of mine when we began to discuss how often we cross paths with persons who confess to being Christians. Every where I go there are people who want to tell me that they are Christians, and they proceed to inform me of there church affiliation or membership.
This is great, however when I pry a little deeper and ask them what ministries, activities and services they are a part of I usually leave the conversation disappointed. 7 out of 10 times I am saddened to find out that these persons not only are inactive in their churches but that they hardly ever regularly attend. Most of them only attend actual church service once monthly.
I am saddened because I do not know how can we confess and believe something that we don't support or practice. It troubles me that so many persons call themselves Christians but have nothing to show for it. God gives us all gifts and talents to use for Gods glory. How can we honestly call ourselves followers of Christ if we are not using these gifts for the glory of God constantly. I guess what I'm trying to say is where is the new produce of our Christianity? Where is the fruit that we come bearing? Maybe today's text for reflection says it better, lets look.
John 12:20-26 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.
Friends we can not live lives as single Christian grains, we must use our God given gifts to bear fruit both in the church and outside. Today take some time out and write a list of the fruits of your produce in ministry, what have you done, what are you doing, how are you making a difference?
Until next time~ Be Well
Love Pastor J.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
When I was younger I can vividly remember being afraid of the dark, I would sleep with a nightlight and keep a flashlight close. There was just something about the dark that was unknown, something that perhaps I was not prepared for. As I got older I stopped being afraid of the dark, as a matter of fact I actually begin to like the dark. While in college I found myself actually buying colored light bulbs and blacklights to create a dark and romantic tone in my dorm room. When it came to going out to parties the darker the room the better the party was. I had gone from a child who was terrified of and ran from the dark to a young man who embraced and loved the darkness.
Lets look to the text:
In our text today the gospel of John speaks about the difference between light and darkness. God calls us to live in the light, transparent and honest. Usually we start off this way seemingly afraid of the dark but over time we find ourselves like I did in college embracing the dark. One day we look up and we are living lives in the dark. Brothers and Sisters I encourage you to be children of the light. If their are dark places in your lives, start changing them. As Christians we should be afraid of the dark. Let us live as Christ has called us to, let us live allowing our light to shine, brightening up a dark world.
Love Pastor J
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As Christians our mission is to love one another, but we are also called to love those on the out side of the church.
And if we truly love one another, and all people then we will have each others back.
We will look out for one another!
Meaning we will tell people: Sir you dropped $20 bucks.
Miss you left your pen.
I thought I saw someone watching your house and I tuned on my lights, then they left.
Meaning are you hungry? Because I have food to share.
Looking out means just being sincere about we as Christians can help one another.
Let's plain look out for one another. We should make this week national look out week.
Today's text is from
1st Thessalonians 5:15 NIV
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Brothers and Sisters until next time look out for one another...
Friday, March 13, 2009
For centuries now Christians have constantly been misunderstood. We have been looked at as cannibals, heathens, insane cults, and plain idiots. Many people don't understand the message of Christ, and his suffering. They consider us foolish for believing in the risen Christ, and life after death.
In today's text Paul reminds that this message would be considered foolishness to those whose lifestyle is exactly opposite. But to us who have had an experience it's our source of power and strength. Let's look:
1st Corinthians 1:18-25 18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ 20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
The world has it wrong, God is real! However with so much chaos and so many distractions we must be careful to not get sidetracked. We must be careful to not allow others to deter us from a loving and faithful relationship with God through Jesus Christ. To us the world is crazy with so much violence, hatred, greed, and self-absorption.
Let us pray, Dear God as each day we rise to face a world that misunderstands us, and refuses to know you, empower us to serve as lights in the darkness, as hope for the hopeless and faithful testimonies for the faithless. Let us not become discouraged but encouraged and strengthened by your love for us and your holy word. Keep us God this day and the next. A-Men
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In today's text we encounter the familiar scripture of Jesus angered and cleaning the temple. Some merchants were taking advantage of the people coming to town for the passover charging extremely high prices and being unfair. At the sight of this Jesus was enraged and went off.
Let's look John 2:13-22 13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 17His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ 19Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
What things in you life do you need to clean up, kick out and keep up this Lenten season, as we approach spring in April and May? What things are Christ trying to clean up in you? march and April are the months when many students are on spring brake and many homes embark on spring cleaning task, I encourage you to take some of this time and clean up your temple, your body, and your life. We should always strive for Christian perfection.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Today's text for reflection should be somewhat familiar, its Exodus 20 where God speaks the TEN COMMANDMENTS to Moses.
It's always funny to me because as Christians we are supposed to believe in, support and live by these commandments. However like the Hebrew people we constantly find ourselves falling short. We talk a good talk about how just, holy, favored, and sanctified we are but we do not walk the walk. Or as T.I. would say we don't live it like we talk it.
Let's take a minute to review the commandments:
The Ten Commandments
20Then God spoke all these words:
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
So out of the Ten how well do you keep them? Is the Sabbath holy? Do you get along with your parents? Are you a faithful spouse? Do you really love and praise God? What about those white lies, jealousy, envy and borrowing without asking? How'd you do?
During this season of lent, look to this scripture and these commandments remembering all that God has called you to be and live responsibility so. In other words if you profess the Christian faith than walk the walk!!!!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
This week has been another week full of ups, downs twist and turns for my family. We have experienced loss and grief all around us, and yet it's still lent. This period of reflection where we seek God constantly. All week I have asked where is God moving, where is our relief, where is the blessing to be found. Through these introspective questions I have received my answer. The answer is Imagine Me!
I know that God has a promise for me like Abram and Sari, I know that God has a covenant with me, I must take this time to prepare myself to receive what God has for me. I need to take this time to become the me that God wants me to be. Now is the time to Imagine Me, the me God longs for!
Let us look to our text for today:
When the Promises Are Mixed with Faith
1 -3For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God's goal for us, we need to be careful that we're not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn't do them a bit of good because they didn't receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we'll experience that state of resting. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said,
Exasperated, I vowed,
"They'll never get where they're going,
never be able to sit down and rest."
Brothers and Sisters, God promises are still currently renewing today, you and I must have the faith to imagine ourselves as God sees us, enabling us to receive those promises that God has set apart for each one of us.
Be Well, Love Pastor J
Thursday, March 5, 2009
As Christians, Spiritual people, or Faithful Believers: Despite how you might define yourself there comes a time when those who practice spiritual disciplines have to choose the lifestyle that they will lead. Simply put there are all ways crossroad intersections in life. Intersections where one must choose how to carry on. In the text for today Christ informs all that he has a certain road/ path that leads to a new life, but this road also comes with some suffering, great struggle, and sacrifice. We must all answer the question, I$ it worth it?
Let's look to the text!
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’
Take time out to reflect and think about how we can be ministers to the world, not of the world... What would Christ say to us, do we rank with those who worship , preach and teach wholeheartedly ? Or would Christ be ashamed of you because we only give God part of our self? All of this is just food for thought, this Lenten season. Remember that we are called to sacrifice some things of this world for the glory of God.
Until tommrrow Be Well!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Sign of the Covenant1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ 3Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
Ok let's get this right. Abram is 99, 99? 99 years old and God starts this covenant now? Why would God wait so long? Imagine how Abram felt, what would he have been thinking? I would be shocked, amazed, like SAY WHAT?
This text should speak volumes into our lives;
1) Every day we live provides new opportunities for God to bless us and for our situation to change.
2) We are never too old, tired, broke, incapable to do great and significant things.
3) God has a plan and promise for us and our lives!
We never know when our freedom, blessing, release, or victory will come. We never know when and where God will call us, therefore we must be patient, faithful and watchful for the Say What, moments in our lives. Knowing that as children of God their is a promise to us and a victorious blessing in it.
Be Well until tomorrow,
Love Pastor J