Purposed to be Pure not Polluted!

514409387One of the biggest rewards when I was a youth Pastor years ago was when young people would come to the altar at summer camp making commitments to serve the Lord whole-heartedly. Many of those young people that kept steadfast to their decisions went on to do great things for God.

It reminds me of a story of a young man in the Old Testament. We read in the first chapter of Daniel where Jerusalem was conquered and the inhabitants taken into captivity. Daniel was probably around sixteen years old at this time. His whole surroundings and culture that he lived in drastically changed over night.

As was the strategy of many conquering kings, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that some of the finest Jewish young men be picked and forced into a 3 year transformational brainwashing. The plan was that over a period of time they would slowly be converted in the ways of the Chaldeans. The King commanded that they would eat of his dietary preference. Of course there was definite contradictions to the way these Jewish boys had been told to live their lives. Daniel knew if he followed the king’s plan it would be in direct disobedience to God’s law. So Daniel made a choice! We read in Deut. 1:8 that he, “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”. More than likely the king’s food was forbidden food, as well as being dedicated to foreign gods (Lev. 11, 17:10-15, 1 Cor. 8: 1-13) and therefore would be defiling and polluting for these Jewish young men before God’s law.

Daniel made a conscious and determined decision to follow God’s statutes and ways. Now remember he was a young man in his teens when he aimed to please God not man. Yet, even with possible deadly consequences Daniel chose to make a stand. I believe he had come to an altar of commitment sometime in his young life. Whether this was a result of godly influences or lessons learned from ungodly rulers in his past, he was intent on keeping his commitment.


It’s only when we have purposed in our hearts to whole-heartedly follow God’s word that He can prosper and bring fruitfulness through us.       (Tweet)


In the days we are now living in, it seems as if our great nation has also been taken captive and we are being carried away to a land of compromised beliefs. God’s Word tells us in Rom. 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. Also in 1Thes 5:22, “Abstain from every form of evil. (NKJ). Daily we are faced with decisions of whether we will live in obedience to God’s Word or be caught in the ever growing compromise of this age. It’s only when we have purposed in our hearts to whole-heartedly follow God’s word that He can prosper and bring fruitfulness to our actions. Then all those around us will see and glorify the Lord God.

Because God had touched Daniel earlier and now had divinely positioned him, he was able to purpose in his heart to not be polluted by the onslaught of a changing society around him. It wasn’t until Daniel purposed in his heart that God breathed upon that seed of faith and prospered him. The result was not only a witness in good health, but ten times more wisdom, skill and gifting than any other in the kings program.

When God’s people purpose in their heart to not be polluted with the compromising society around them then God’s blessings come and people will take notice and ultimately glorify God.

Just an Echo or Oracle?

EchoFor most young people yelling in a cave for the first time is fascinating. Hearing their own voice as it becomes distorted after each echo bounces off the wall will keep them engaged for long periods of time.

What is an echo? An echo originates from an original voice, and, as it goes forth, it begins to repeat itself over and over until it is distorted. It loses its clarity and has no effect, because you cannot really hear or understand what the original message was anymore.

Unfortunately, in the same manner many Christians have lost their effectiveness as being a voice to this generation, because they have become just another echo. We lose our impact when we stop being a pure oracle with a clear message. We go around speaking things that have no life in them anymore. We are repeating things over and over that had been words of life sometime in the past but now they’re just empty words. If we are going to be relevant in this generation we cannot live in the past anymore but must live in the now! Even in 2 Timothy 2:16–17, Paul exhorts us to not be entangled in vain and useless words. “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.”


We lose our impact when we stop being a pure oracle with a clear message.  (tweet)


With the role of the church becoming too professional in our day, we have focused on being good orators instead of being a voice for the Lord. An orator is somebody who is eloquent with words and has all the right things to say. Every time they speak, it soothes the ears. Most politicians and radio personalities are good orators.

By no means, is it wrong to be a good orator? I wish I were a better orator myself. But, when we choose to be good with our words over being one who speaks God’s Words, then we are off base and will quickly get in serious trouble. Our objective cannot be in tickling people’s ears but in speaking words of life. Paul even said in 1 Corinthians 2:4 that he did not come as a smooth talking orator but in God’s power. For he said, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

When we choose to become an oracle for the Lord, then we open up our life for the power of God to flow through us. Man leaning on his flesh is an orator, but when man yields himself to the Lord and acts in obedience to God’s will, he becomes an oracle for God.


When man leans on his flesh to speak he is an orator, but when man yields himself to the Lord, he becomes an oracle for God. (tweet)


Paul reminds the Corinthians that when he came to them, he came as a voice for God, which brings the manifestation of God’s power! In a sense, we need to be a piece of conduit pipe, so that God can pour his word through us. It says in Isaiah 55:11, that when God speaks, it’s not just empty words. It says, “It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Just the same, if God speaks through us as his vessels, then things are going to happen, for our words will not be empty words either. God wants us to be his voice to the hurting and down cast in our generation.

Does the Devil Really Wear Red?

red devil 1How many times do we come across different co-workers or associates that say they are Christians yet live a lifestyle below the bar of God’s plan. They seemed to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth. Let me explain with a fun but true story.

Some years ago several ministers and I were doing a pastor’s conference in Tampico, Mexico. We would daily drive from the hotel to the location of the conference. On one morning in the midst of the rush hour traffic we came across a man dressed in a red devil costume in the center medium blowing fire out of his mouth. It was quite amusing to say the least. All of us being preachers thought it would be a fun photo opt so we stopped and proceeded to walk over to him.

When the man in the red costume saw us coming and before we could reach him he grabbed his belongings and bolted across traffic and flagged down an oncoming bus heading out of town. We stood in amazement as everything unfolded before us so quickly. Back in the van we chuckled about the way this humorous event had played out saying “we had chased the devil out of town”. Yet, he might have gotten the last laugh due to the fact that he had distracted and hindered us from fulfilling God’s purpose. We were late getting to the conference that we were speaking at.


Some people seem to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth       (tweet)


As humorous as this story is, many people if they were honest would say they basically go through their day-to-day journey thinking the devil is nothing more than a sideshow of a circus. I might be stretching it a little but I still believe many people view the devil in a far from accurate way. The fact is the devil is real, even though he doesn’t wear a red suit, carry a pitchfork and stand in plain view making a show for drive by traffic. But on the contrary in Matt 10:10 it says, he wants to steal, kill and destroy individuals.

Paul exhorts believers to not be ignorant and blinded of the devils devices in 2 Cor.2:11. The scriptures reveal he is self-seeking and will do anything to exalt himself. Which includes ravishing your life and stealing your inheritance as a child of God. In 1 Pet 5:8-9 we’re exhorted, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”.

God is unfolding His plan in the earth and desires us to be co-laborers with Him. Yet because of a lack of understanding many have made light of the schemes of the devil disqualifying or derailing them from fulfilling God’s purpose. They have swallowed the lie that the enemy of their soul is only a harmless figure dressed in a red devil’s costume blowing fire for entertainment, which has opened the door for deception.


Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters.   (tweet)


When we are aware of his tactics and grounded in who we are in Christ then we are able to oppose him. Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters. Therefore as the scripture says “greater is Christ in us then the deceptive devil. We must be rooted and solid in our understanding of who God is and who the devil is not!

I Won’t be just Another Frog in a Pot

I still get a chill up my spine when I think about getting a shot with a needle. Remember as we grew up in school there would be those days every so often that we would get shots to immune us from different sickness? If I understand it right, when we received the shot we receive a small amount of the germ we didn’t want so that our bodies would make a defense against it, becoming immuned from the actual sickness.

Unfortunately, many believers have received just enough of the gospel to immune them from the reality of the truth. Growing up they casually attend church, hearing bits and pieces of messages but never becoming a real follower of Jesus. Then on top of our own shallow belief system we allow the media to dump their so-called opinions on to our already murky doctrine as if it is truth. There in has cultivated a society of people that say they believe in God, yet who have just enough of the message to make a mess. It has distorted the Gospel and immuned many individuals from living a victorious and godly life, which can only be obtained through understanding and believing of who Jesus is and has done.


Some people only hear enough of Religion to be Immune from the Gospel! tweet


Much of our society has fallen prey to the “Frog in the Pot” principle. In which says, if you throw a frog in a pot of boiling hot water to cook it will jump out because of the reaction of its muscles. But if you put the frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat the frog will slowly cook without jumping out. Now whether that is the case or not, it most definitely makes a great illustration for the Christian. If we go through our lives with a nonchalant mentality letting the darkness of the age and half truths slowly creep in without resisting and “jumping out” so to speak, we will slowly be changed and “cooked” without realizing it.

In Peter’s second epistle he warns the believers about the onslaught of false teachings amongst the church. He describes in 2 Pet. 3:16-18, those who are doing the teaching as those who are “untaught and unstable people” twisting the scriptures to to fit their lives instead of the person being conformed to the scriptures. These distortions and twisting of God’s word will damage and sway those who are not grounded and diligent in the things of God. Therefore Peter strongly says, “beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked”. He explains not only to be on the defense from wrong teaching, but also to be on the offence growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.


The Believer must stand for Truth or he’ll become a “Frog in a Pot”, being gradually deceived!   tweet


Paul also speaks on this same topic to the believers in Ephesus in Eph. 1:15-20, where he prays that their mind’s eye would be open to understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for them. The bottom line is if we are not familiar with the reality of Christ and His work (the Gospel), then we are more acceptable to being swayed or deceived from the truth. Just like the frog in the pot, we will slowly be changed or destroyed by the gradual rising of deception.

It’s time that the Church teaches the whole Word of God and not just a lopsided message that will only immune many from the Gospel.

Don’t Mess with the Family!

Beaver CleaversRemember, when June, Ward, Wally, and Beaver Cleaver represented the American family, in the show Leave It to Beaver? One of the worst things that happened in their family if I remember right was when Beaver broke a vase on the mantle. They always pictured a strong stable family even in the midst of weekly dilemmas. Unfortunately, today is a whole different story. It seems as if there is an attack on the traditional family.

Not too many families even sit down together and eat dinner anymore. More tragic is the fact that the definition is being changed by our society. Same-sex couples took their vows for the first time May 17, 2004, in the state of Massachusetts and now, after deliberation for over a month, on Friday, June 26th the Supreme Court handed down their ruling that same sex marriage is legal. No longer is the American family considered a sacred assembly.

Today, on top of redefining marriage the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are over 1.6 million births to unmarried mothers, which is a staggering 40.8% of all births in the USA. The Divorce Source, Inc. indicates divorce rates have escalated in recent years with numbers hitting 877,000! The voice of some activist says that the family must be done away with because it’s enslavement to women.


God knew a society needed guidelines and boundaries of righteousness to keep it strong and prospering, so He instituted the Family   (Tweet)


Social professionals agree that the disintegration of the family structure is the cause of an intense major problem in America. The percentage of mothers not at home but serving in the work place is on the rise, producing a generation of “latch key kids” named for their ability to let themselves in their own houses after school because mothers weren’t home. The family is being attacked, and we’re doing nothing!

When the God-defined family deteriorates, there’s also a decline in morals. God knew a society needed guidelines and boundaries of righteousness to keep it strong and prospering. Family is a means that God has established to help keep a righteous structure in our society, keeping out any immoral rust that brings confusion and deception.

Sexual Immorality is a problem that has touched our land from the White House to our own homes. There was a time when politicians were pressured to back out of politics due to sexual immoralities. Present-day polls say, “If it doesn’t affect their jobs we don’t care what they do at home. That’s their business!” Whole cities have holidays where there is nothing but drunkenness and immorality! Our young people say, “Everyone’s doing it!” Some say, “If you don’t experiment, how will you know if it’s right?” With all the different influences, it is no wonder our families are going headlong downward.

The Internet is full of pornography and is an easy access for anyone wanting or just stumbling on to it! Adult bookstores outnumbered McDonald’s in the US by a margin of at least three to one. Annual revenues of the pornography industry in the U.S. are $13.3 billion. This is more than the revenues of the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball combined says the Stop Porn Culture.

Anytime a nation or society gives way to what the Bible defines as immoral lifestyles, it soon opens the doors to all kinds of unnatural and warped acts of sexual sin resulting in it’s downfall. The Church must respond to the urgency of the hour with a loving but firm voice of righteousness, “Don’t Mess with the Family”!

Who Left the Gate Open?

The unprecedented news quickly exploded through every news outlet of the 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision favoring same sex marriage. The highest court has single handily redefined marriage, opposing the words of Jesus (Matt. 19:1-9). In spite of this country’s Godly heritage, it now seems that America has opened the gate to turn away from being one nation under God.
Different opinions spread on social media such as, “Love Wins” making it look as if this was a debate of love or hate for the gay community. This decision is not about love and hate, but about keeping the statues of God so that we can live a protected and blessed life (Ps. 33:12).
The Bible teaches us that Jesus died on the cross because He loved mankind and wanted to redeem us. (Jn. 3:16-17) It goes on to say that He didn’t come to condemn but to save us. In other words Jesus didn’t go to the cross because He hated certain individuals, but on the contrary it was because of His love towards them! Yet, many people interpret His purpose and message as hate and condemnation. Let me try and explain this with a story.
When my children were young we lived in an older part of Chicago where the streets are narrow and very busy. I had given my sweet little toddler a kiss and slipped out the back door to start mowing the yard not realizing that the door hadn’t latched behind me. Once I was finished in the back I moved to the front yard leaving the gate open making it easier to get the mower back to the garage. Unbeknownst to me this made for a perfect storm.
Moments later I looked up in complete horror to see my daughter getting ready to step out into the busy street. She had innocently gone through the uninhibited doors and gates unaware of any danger. My fatherly instinct provoked me to yell with urgency “Stop”. Causing my naïve toddler to uncontrollably cry thinking I was upset at her. She misinterpreted my love and desire to keep her safe for a dissatisfaction and anger towards her personally. My yelling was out of desperation to keep her from proceeding into a dangerous road where she would most assuredly get hurt. I had been so preoccupied with the work at hand that I left the gate wide open giving opportunity for her to possibly get seriously hurt.


Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago (tweet)   


In like manner, this debate is not about God or God’s people hating certain ones, but about maintaining the boundaries He has set. Making sure that there isn’t any gate left opened in our society. Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago. In 1 Jn 4:7-8 it says that God is love and those that follow Him need to reflect Him through love even while we stand for truth. Jesus went to the cross to free mankind from dangerous actions and lifestyles that would bring bondage. God is not a “Cosmic Kill Joy” wanting you to miss out but a loving Heavenly Father who wants to protect us and give us abundant life. He has set healthy borders that will produce a life of blessing if we follow them and will insure that we don’t begin down a slippery slope leading to destruction. God loves the person but came to deliver them from the works and deception of the evil one. (1 Jn. 3:8)

Have we become a thermometer instead of a thermostat!

thermostat (outdoor)

It can be shocking to see our society in light of past history. We must see the importance of learning from the course of history. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Anytime a person or a nation winks at sin—allowing it to begin to infiltrate and spread through them—they will always suffer the consequences of it. Godliness will always build up a person or a nation! But it is sin that will begin to eat away, leading to death! Psalms 107:34 brings this to light saying, “A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.” Our land has been very fruitful and prosperous, but unless we take heed to the Word of God, it’s only scriptural that we will become barren.

Has the Church forgotten the marvelous works of God? We cannot separate our godly heritage from our birthing as a country! In every fiber and corner of our society, we can see the fingerprints of our God. Let us not turn aside on the verge of the most incredible end-time revival this country has ever seen. If we sit here buying into the “Big Lie” that everything is fine, we will only begin to write our own ending. Just as the frog, if it is put in hot water will jump out saving itself. But if it is put in water and heated slowly, it will not realize it’s being gradually cooked ending in destruction.


God wants us to become a thermostat instead of a thermometer!   Quote from “Passion for Revival” (Tweet)


Former revivalist Leonard Ravenhill puts it like this: “We appease sin, but do not oppose it. To such a cold, carnal, critical, care cowed church; this lax, loose, lustful, licentious age will never capitulate. Let us stop looking for scapegoats. The fault in the declining morality is not radio or television. The whole blame for the present international degeneration and corruption lies at the door of the church!” Psalms 9:17 says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Have we forgotten the Lord God?

Mario Murillo says, “When the army of God is healthy, it broadcasts a mighty light. Like a catalyst it changes the culture that surrounds it! But in sickness, the church absorbs the odor of the secular thinking near it.” We have become a thermometer instead of a thermostat! The first reads the temperature of the surroundings and the second is a gage that determines what the surrounding will be. As ambassadors of Christ, we should be setting the standard, not being absorbed into the mud and muck of society.

In Ephesians 5:6 it says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience”. The church, has failed to deal with the real reasons for our country’s problems. Man wants to live without any restraints but not have to deal with the consequences. They want their pie and eat it too! As a result, we are merely putting bandages on symptoms, while ignoring the source or root of the problem.

Nations and civilizations do not just pass away. Their leaders and people are first deceived and drawn away, opening up to self-destruction destroying them and their nation.

Is our country being eaten away by the moth and worm of sin? All the while, we are in our local churches and basking in our so-called security.