Monday Motivation

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

There has been many times in my life where I feel like I’m going around in circles and nothing goes right. Every choice I make is never blessed. I spent too many years trying to be in control of my life and and it wasn’t until I fully gave my life to Jesus, that I realized that my life is not my own. Once you understand that, you will feel comfort when you deal with these types of issues. God has a perfect plan for each one of us. Understanding that will make you feel at peace when things are going bad. These are all trails and tribulations we must face to grow as a person. If everything always went your way,  how could you lean on Jesus for strength. You couldn’t! Just read this scripture and find the strength in knowing that God is putting you where you need to be for this season. I hope everyone has a blessed day! God bless.

Walking by Faith

INTRODUCTION

I hope everyone read my “Call to Action” sermon from last week.  That was part one of my two part message to help people get rejuvenated.  First was a call to action of us Christians, and this part is to explain the importance as a believer to walk by faith.  Both of these ideas walk hand in hand with each other, and I am happy to share my thoughts on them.  I love the idea of calling all believers to action, but works without faith has no fruits.  Faith is all about action, defending yourself from our enemies, and understanding why this is important to us all.  I will also share an important biblical example that Jesus himself did.  Now if you’re ready, let’s begin!

Point 1

2 Corinthians 5:7
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

This is an important scripture when it comes to faith.  When Paul wrote this letter, he was talking about being confident in your faith and fully trusting in Jesus Christ.  He was speaking to the church about not losing heart and to have courage.  He wanted them to be motivated by their faith.  You see, Paul knew that living on earth as a Christian is hard.  It was true then, as it is now.  They were persecuted, stoned and even beheaded for their faith.  But these things did not bother Paul, because he walked his ministry by faith.  He did not care about how people looked at him or spoke about him.  A lot of people did not even like him.  But that did not bother him at all.  Paul understood a simple principle.  That principle is and always is, Christians are either in heaven or on earth.  They do not go to hell, they are not in a grave after they die, and there is no inbetween place for us.  He understood that believers on earth were absent from God, and believers that die, go to heaven and are in God’s presence.  This is why he said “to die is to gain.”  He understood this and it gave him the strength he needed during the hard times.  I find this amazing, how strong his conviction in faith was. Everything that he struggled on earth was just temporary.

Point 2

Ephesians 6:16
“In addition to having clothed yourselves with these things, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Now I want to speak about something very important in my life that I get from this powerful scripture.  First of all, being a Christian you are constantly in a war zone.  We have three main enemies in this war.  The first enemy we face is the world. Living in the world that we live in has many temptations and it is easy to be seduced by them.  There is tons of media attention about all the negative things going on in this world, but there is nothing about the positive.  All we see is sex, drugs, and violence.  After a while you start to fall into the routine and start believing you are not as bad as the world, so you are good to go.  Then you start falling back into sin. Our second enemy is our flesh. We are sinful from birth and due to our imperfect state of being, without being “kept in check,” so to say by each other and our scriptures, we as Christians would be just as evil as the world.  Maybe it is watching lustful television, being glutens, pornography, or just being negative like the world wants us to be.  These things do not come from God and we need to watch out for them.
Our third and last enemy is the devil himself.  We undergo spiritual warfare on a daily basis whether you believe it or not.  I can tell you this because the devil doesn’t care if you’re a sinner.  He cares if you follow God, and now you are on his radar.  A perfect example is in my case.  Things were going well until I started seminary school.  When I started seminary school, everything that I struggled with in my past started to appear again.  One example, I have sinful eyes.  I am honest about that with God and God gives me my strength to fight anything negative in that nature.  But suddenly while having movie dates with my wife, all television shows and movies now have nudity or sex scenes.  I constantly have to turn off the tv and it got to the point where my wife started laughing saying the devil is trying to turn me off my current walk with Christ.  The devil will put random thoughts in your mind that are just plain evil. But you need to fight against that. But what do you do about about your enemy?  This scripture tells us to take up our shield of faith.  But what does that mean exactly?  Did you know in that time, the roman shields were meant to interlock?  One soldier was strong, but a platoon was a thing to be reckoned with.  As the romans, we as Christians are not meant to fight alone.  We are here to build each other up, to defend against our enemies, and to fight through prayer.  Prayer is a powerful thing! Our shields of faith can hold up to satan’s fiery darts.  Those fiery darts are lies, hateful thoughts, desires for sin, and unforgivingness.  God not only tells us how and what to defend ourselves with, but who as well.  The faith of many is stronger than the faith of one man alone, please remember that.

Conclusion

Matthew 21:21-22
“Jesus answered them, “I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you be able to do what has been done to the fig tree, but you will also say to the mountain, be removed and thrown into the sea, and it will happen. You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe.”

Jesus himself said, “faith can move mountains.”  What a powerful illustration he gave us to follow.  I want to talk about this idea and where this scripture came from to conclude this sermon today. During this time, Jesus did something out of the ordinary in his ministry.  He did two acts of judgement which was out of the ordinary since he came to save and not judge.  The first was that he cleansed the temple and the second was that he cursed a fig tree.  Now you ask, what is the significance of this?  First the church was becoming a den of thieves, and the fig tree was representing the nation of Israel.  This signified inward corruption and outward unfruitfulness.  People were doing a show of religion, but there was no faith to give fruit to godly living.  Reading this powerful message relates to me and many other Christians today.  Today we have become unfruitful.  Many people go to church and go through the motions to look good, but they do not have God truly in their hearts.  How can they bare fruits of the labors of God without true faith?  We have to change as Christians and understand this is not ok.  In 2 Corinthians 5:7, God gives us an example of true faith through Paul and the way he lived his life and ultimately died for his unbreakable faith.  God tells us how important it is to pick up your shield of faith, he tells us who our enemies are and how to fight them.  And in this last verse in Matthew, Jesus himself was demonstrating the power of faith.  He cleaned the church from hypocrisy and despised the unfruitfulness of the nation of Israel.  Without faith, there is no fruits in our lives.  Please read this sermon and take it to heart.  Faith without works is death.  God wants to produce fruits in the lives of His people.  He does not wish to curse us! Please take these words and if you have not been walking by faith, please start to do so.  Do not let our enemies win the war. Pick up your shield of faith and continue the good fight.  God bless all of you and please have a blessed day.  Remember, if you need prayer in your life, or if you need any help or guidance, you can contact me and I will pray for you.

Wednesday Motivation

Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I want to take some time out today and talk about the power of forgiveness. This scripture is very powerful to me and touches my heart. See, I never met my father until I was in my mid twenties.  All I knew of him was what was told to me by my family. My father was extremely abusive to my mother and sisters. He was an alcoholic and did drugs.  Since I was little, I had nothing but hate for that man. It was bondage. Whenever I would think of my father, my entire day would be ruined. I was bitter on how he could live a new life and my sisters and I would have to carry this hurt and anger with us our lives.  But as I got older, like this verse tells us, I forgave him. As soon as I did that, I cried and felt a weight coming off of me. I forgave him, but he would have to answer to God for what he did.  But soon after I forgave him, I found out he was the same person as he was before. Still hitting his wife and hurting my two new younger sisters.

Forgiving someone is a very hard thing to do. Extremely in my case. But, through my forgiveness, I know I made God happy. Forgiving someone does not mean you still have to be around them or even have a relationship with them. Forgiveness is about giving it to God and walking forward with your head up high.  If any of you have any bitterness,  hate in your heart, or have been deeply hurt. Please give it to God. Forgiving and walking away feels so much better than holding it in.  Will it still hurt, yes at times.  But the feeling of accomplishment will slowly fill that void. Knowing God is handling that for you. God bless you all and have a wonderful day.

Memorial Day Message

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I wanted to present this verse today for Memorial Day. Being a disabled Marine veteran, I understand what every generation of service members have and will go through. The struggles, the loss of friendships and family and sometimes the loss of faith.  I have been there, I have lost many friends, but what gave me my strength was knowing God’s will was at work. Why I can relate this verse to my military service is because it takes a specail type of person now of days in our society that does not confirm with the rest. These people are willing to give their lives for not only their country, but for many people that do not know them. In many cases, not even like them. But always remember during your trails and tribulations,  that God’s will is perfect. Everything good or bad is in his plans for you. If it is learning how to grieve a loss to help others in their time of need, or if it is simply to put others first before your wants and needs. You will be rewarded for not conforming to this world. God bless all the veterans out there, not just today, but everyday!

A Call To Action!

Before we get started, I want to talk about why this message is so important to me. There has been many times that I have been guilty by not devoting myself fully to God. I was either too busy to do my bible study or I just plain did not want to do it that day. After a couple of days I read these bible verses and I made my newest sermon with them. It gave me the strength to push through my many days of lazyness and I pray it may help you all. I hope you enjoy it!

Introduction

A call to action! But what does that really mean? During this sermon I will discuss what righteousness and a call to action is biblically in the eyes of God. I will provide three scriptures; first is Matthew 6:33, Titus 2:11-12, and Psalm 1:1. But before I continue on my sermon, I want to provide background information on Matthew and Titus because of its relevance to this message. I believe that a proper sermon should give you the information on why the author was writing the scripture to begin with. Does anyone know why the author of Matthew wrote it to begin with? Around 60AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, the jewish christians were being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus as Messiah. Matthew was preaching to them that in Jesus, God fulfilled the promises he made to the nation of Israel. There would be sacrifices made in following Christ. It is true then as it is now.

In Titus, Paul wrote this letter to his friend and co-worker Titus. See, Titus was a gentile and was having some push back in the church in Crete. Crete was a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. Crete was known for being very immoral and Paul knew this. Paul carefully outline the traits of a qualified elder, in which we could use in our daily life. Paul also explained how a church should run. Now that you understand the historical significance of Matthew and Titus, I will continue on the rest of my sermon.

Point 1

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all things shall be added unto you.”
Matthew was telling the persecuted jewish christians there is “a call of action.” You must seek the kingdom of God. He does not say, sit and wait, or to even continue about in your daily lives and wait for grace. But to seek the kingdom of God. Seek his righteousness. I want to highlight two important words in this verse.

Seek: In Greek “zeteo” meaning to seek out by thinking, meditating, or to inquire into. Matthew was telling them to seek the kingdom of God, by meditating on his word. What a beautiful thing this is indeed. To meditate on his word to let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

Righteousness: In Greek “dikaiosune” meaning a state of concerning the way in which a man may gain a state of approval by God. It is about integrity, virtue, purity of life, and correctness of feelings and actions. Matthew was not saying to stay in your rut, but seek God and change the way you think and act. It doesn’t matter how much you sacrifice in the world, but what those persecutions and sacrifices do to help you enter the kingdom. This was a call to action!

Point 2

Titus 2:11-12

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world.”

Paul was telling the church they had to actually fight against ungodliness and sinning. He was not telling them to wait, but to hold on to the hope of God’s salvation. To basically “keep their mind on the prize.” This does not a simple warning, but Paul was saying to hold onto your salvation through the grace of God. I want to highlight an important word in the verse.

Teaching: In Greek “pahee-dyoo-o” which means to train children, to be instructed or thought. Paul was not talking to everyone like idiots, but as children of God. He was telling them that they must deny ungodliness and worldly desires as if he was talking to children. He was not insulting them, but putting the word of God in a manner where that anyone could understand the significance of what he was trying to say and it’s calling to the christians in Crete. As christians, many times we fall into worldly desires or routines. I have been guilty of this in the past, where you say to yourself “I’m saved and am living a good enough life.” But are you truly striving to be christlike. Do you want God working good enough in your life or so you want all his blessing, all his glory?

Point 3

Psalm 1:1

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Listen closely to the verbs in this scripture. To not walk, stand, nor sit as the ungodly. We are told how blessed is the man that does not surround himself in the ungodly, stand in the way of sinners like a sinner, nor to be scornful. You have to actively try not to put yourself in situations that you will have the possibility to sin, but to try hard to actively be righteous, and this doesn’t come easy.You have to give up some worldly things to walk righteously and seek the kingdom of God. You will have to change your mindset from negative to positive. You need to pray for those you have wronged or who have wronged you. But is it not worth it? You are working your way to be more Christ like!

Conclusion

To summarize Matthew 6:33, Titus 2:11-12, and Psalm 1:1, you have to follow the call to action and righteousness that God demands of us all. This truth is the same in 60AD for the persecuted christians and during the time of Crete as it is now and today. We must actively seek the kingdom of God, by putting away our worldly desires of our ungodliness. No one said this was easy because we are all born sinners by birth and we all fall short of his glory. It is about what you do after you are saved, both your thought and actions. Are you actively seeking the kingdom of God? Are you stuck in your rut? I aplore you to go home and meditate on the message God gave you today and ask for forgiveness. It is not until you know who much of a sinner you are to understand how much you need Jesus Christ in your life. Not some, or a little, but all of him. Invite the Holy Spirit into your life and praise God for his glory. Jesus gave all of him to all of us, shouldn’t we do the same for him? Keep this in mind, and before you do anything, think would it be righteous in the eyes of the Lord, or would it anger him?

Thursday Motivation

Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

One of the hardest things to do is to calm oneself when you are hurting. This is one of my favorite bible versus because it reaffirms multiple bible verses when it comes forgiveness. A lot of time people don’t rely on Jesus because they think that they are too dirty, or have commited too many sins for God to forgive you. But that is a wrong way of thinking. The first step is to be able to forgive yourself and anyone that has hurt you. By forgiving yourself and others and allowing God’s grace to come unto you, you will feel an amazing weight lifted off your shoulders. You are already been forgiven! This should lift your spirits just knowing that God forgives you of your sins. Give your everything up to God, because he gives all of himself unto you. I hope everyone has a blessed Thursday!

Tuesday’s Motivation

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Many times the Lord puts us in situations that we may not understand to test our faith and commitment to him. Will you chose to pass or fail? Sometimes the only thing that turns a bad situation into a good one is your mindset. If you feel like you cannot handle the situation or you are getting frustrated because you cannot control what is happening, take a step back and take a breath. Remember you are not in control of your life and the more you struggle agaist that, the worst things get. As people we naturally want to rationalize everything, but as Christians we should know better. Our faith and trust should always be God first. No matter the situation, know that somehow it is to better us. It could be a nudge in a direction you would have never taken or how you handle the stress could be a testiment to others. Just know that everything God does is for our good!