Let us not wait till it’s too late to do something

IMG_1150The Scripture says whoever will come after Christ, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Christ. (Mk. 8:34) It doesn’t come easy or cheap, but the effects are life changing. Leonard Ravenhill declares, “Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME REVIVAL in my soul and in my church and in my nation—or GIVE ME DEATH!”

Have you gotten to the place that ordinary routine is nauseating? I believe just religiously going to church, receiving nothing more than entertainment causes decay and a slow spiritual decline. If we are not going to obtain the best God has for us, then we might as well just go home to heaven. The choice is easy—either it is life or death! We must press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God!(Phil 3:14)

In the story of Esther, we see the divine orchestration of God. The Jews were in a desperate situation, with death lurking at the door of their comfort zone. It looked hopeless for they needed a miracle to get themselves out of this tight spot. They didn’t go looking for the hottest and most fiery Jewish evangelist to bring in a change. No! They got on their faces and began to fast and pray. They began to beseech God with fasting and prayer for his intervention and deliverance. In the end the stamp of approval on what she had done was God’s great deliverance for the Jewish people.

Anywhere you look in our society, you can see the destroyer at the door. The thief comes not but to steal, kill, and destroy. (Jn 10:10) Whatever we have, whether it is our life, our family, or our nation, it is his aim to destroy it. America, the great unsinkable land of opportunity, is on a course headed for destruction. The signs are in the sky. The evidence is clear. It is now the time to lay hold of the reason for which Christ has laid hold of us! Let us seek the Lord while he may still be found. I cringe at the thought of ever having the Lord speak about me as he did about Jerusalem. In Luke 19:44 Jesus says, “Because you did not know the time of your visitation,” there would be no peace, and Jerusalem would have destruction. Now is the season of our visitation. It says in Joel 2:28, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.”

The church must awake out of its slumber and receive God’s visitation on his people. Then the church will reap in righteousness and see revival. Let us not wait till it’s too late to do something. The night is far spent; the hour is at hand. Using the words of the Psalmist, let us cry out to the Lord, “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You.” The church must humble itself and repent from its arrogance and haughty attitudes. Peter speaks to the men of Israel in Acts 3:19. He tells them to, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Only through our brokenness and turning away from sin will we truly see the refreshing of the Lord. The time is now for us to sow in prayer and fasting. Instead of decreasing our prayer time, we need to increase in prayer power. We must search the very intent of our heart and get , getting rid of every hindrance that would stand in the way of revival. Then ask the Lord right now to begin to stoke the fires and passion for revival in your hearts.

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Let God turn your Mess Ups into His Set Ups

images-65One of my fond memories as a young boy was on the coast of Oregon in the shadows of the sand cliffs as the Sun set on the ocean in the cool of the evening. My parents had started a campfire and we were cooking hotdogs on the beach. It was such a soothing and refreshing moment that I imagine each time I read the story that we find in John 21:6-15.

The passage is of Peter and some of the disciples fishing after Jesus had been crucified. They were devastated and beyond discouraged which drove them back to their old profession of commercial fishing. And to add salt to their emotional wounds, they were catching no fish.

Out of their hopelessness they obey a person they don’t recognize, who tells them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat. That’s as audacious as if a quarter back in the NFL would take instructions from a fan in the second tier of the stands. Yet they obeyed and caught a net breaking catch of fish. John cries out it is the Lord and the radically spontaneously actions of Peter confirms his agreement. He grabs his cloak puts


Peter was pushed to the point of quitting and going back to his old life style of fishing after the shame of feeling like a failure. –  Tweet  


it on and jumps overboard to be the first one to the shore where the resurrected Jesus has a fire prepared for them. As they all get there with their catch of fish, Jesus begins to cook breakfast for them and pointedly asks Peter three times if he loved Him. Once Jesus gets Peter to confess his brotherly love for Him, Jesus confirms the commission that was on his life, to feed the followers of Jesus.

This story all by itself stirs me, but when we understand the past events in Peter’s life it comes alive with the very mercies and love of God. You see Peter had just royally blown it! In John 18:16-28 we read in the midst of Jesus being falsely accused and on trial, instead of defending Jesus, Peter denies Him three times as he warms himself by a fire outside.

I believe it was this event and a whole list of other mess-ups that finally tipped Peters emotional wagon. He was the one who had gotten his eyes off of Jesus and on the waves beginning to sink. (Matt 14:23-32) Remember he also was the one who cut the ear off the High Priest’s servant (Jn 18:10-11) and at the mount of Transfiguration put his foot in his mouth. (Matt 17:2-7) We can’t deny the blooper when he rebuked Jesus for talking about His death. (Mark 8:31-33) Then who can forget about Peter and the disciples sleeping through the prayer meeting even after Jesus woke them up three times in this most crucial time. (Matt 26:41-46)

So you can definitely understand how Peter once he saw the evidence that Jesus was raised from the grave (John 20:6-8) could have become overwhelmed thinking he was a failure! Pushing him to the point of quitting and going back to his old life style of fishing. (John 21:3-4) That brings back to where we started, on the beach with Jesus cooking breakfast. Peter was devastated and convinced he was the all time failure. Yet Jesus was setting Peter up, wanting to take his mess-up and use them as a set-up for his come back. There on the beach was a fire and then three times Jesus had him say that he loved Him to replace the three denials and commissioning him to feed God’s sheep. In Acts we see Peter was then used to preach the Gospel message where three thousand came to believe in Jesus! (Acts 2:14-15)

He Still Loves Me even when I Blow It

637685246Peter in his zeal blurts out “I will never be made to stumble”. Again moments later, in rebuttal to Jesus’ prophetic word in Matt 26:34-35, revealing that he would deny Him three times; Peter emphatically declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Strong words that came from love and a life that was transformed by the Master. As well, the other disciples followed in voicing their commitment and devotion to Jesus that historic night on the Mount of Olives not knowing exactly what would shortly transpire.

The city was doing construction on the sewer lines in front of my Aunt and Uncles house many years ago while they were keeping my siblings and me for a summer. My brother and I were at the young age where curiosity can make you do things you shouldn’t. I remember so vividly my uncle sternly saying, before he went to work that day, “Do not play around or get down into that construction hole”.   Well… even though we had made a oath and commitment that we would never do that we were overtaken and enticed with adventure. Being able to resist no longer, my brother lowered me into the hole later that day for a harmless look. Then at the sight of my uncle coming around the corner he ran and left me in the


Jesus still loves us even after we have made great commitments to Jesus and then failing Him and totally blowing it.     (tweet)


hole. The willow tree that conveniently hung over in my sight was a perfect place for my uncle to get a branch and proceed with one hand to help me out and wimped me all in the same motion.

More than the sting of the whooping was the pain of knowing I had failed in my oath and commitment that I had made to my uncle. The thought of disappointing him and possible losing his love was worse than any other pain I was feeling. It wasn’t until later that a valuable lesson was learned.

In comparison I can vaguely imagine the feeling of disappointment that Peter Continue reading

Praising God In the Midst of Chaos!

108176885Being beaten, mistreated and unjustly thrown in the inner prison. Paul and Silas began to hold a praise and worship service in the midst of their dirty depressing accommodations. I am not sure that’s the response most people would have in these chaotic circumstances. Being wrongly accused and treated in such a despicable manner, I think most people would be crying with anguish, threaten to sue somebody or even change their occupation. But to have a devoted worship set in the midst of such trouble blows my mind! When things are crashing around us its usually not the time for worshipping our Lord, or is it?

In this story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:23-35, we are given some real insight for how we should respond in seasons of turmoil and trouble in our lives. They had all the elements for a good blues song or even country song. But chose to focus on their


Responding in seasons of turmoil and trouble with Praise to God!     (tweet)


“Lover of their Soul” their savior Jesus! That very act shows that they were completely confident in Jesus’ leadership in their lives. Now remember that they had been divinely directed to come where they were at in a night visitation. They ministered the Gospel to Lydia and her household who received them and the message open armed.

Anytime we are willing to be lead and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit the enemy will bring distraction and opposition, as we see in this story. Not all individuals want the message of the Gospel to interfere with their agendas. Some people are being directed and even for a time seem successful doing things completely contrary to the Continue reading

Hang On Help is on the Way

a0048-000162Most people would agree that the Welsh Revival was a revival of prayer. Often the meetings would go for hours without any type of teaching or singing, only with prayer and travail. God used a young man named Evan Roberts as His instrument, who was a true intercessor and a man of prayer.

The goal for his first meetings was to train and raise up intercessors for the coming revival. In his book, Revival, Winkie Pratney says, “A prominent member of a Newport Baptist Church declared that Evan Roberts had been praying for thirteen months for that wave of revival to come. He related how the young man was turned out of his lodgings by the landlady who thought that, in his enthusiasm, he was possessed or somewhat mad. He spent hours preaching and praying in his room until the lady became afraid of him and asked him to leave.”

God is not a respecter of persons, but is looking for anyone who will yield to a life of persistent prayer. (tweet)

Evan was persistent in prayer, knowing the key to revival was through a life totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit. At times it would seem his passion and persistence in prayer was unnatural. Yet, when you look at the results of one hundred thousand souls saved in six months, you can only rejoice for his obedience. God is not a respecter of persons, but is looking for anyone who will yield to a life of persistent prayer.

As we read the parable in Luke 18:1–8, we see Jesus teaching that we should always pray and not lose heart. He uses the illustration of a widow going before the judge to get justice from her adversary. Due to the widow’s continual persistence, the judge chose to grant her plea. For she was wearing him down through her persistent pleading. In verse 7, the Lord said, “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” God wants us to understand that He will answer the righteous who cry out to him continually and persistently! That’s a promise! There is a blessing to those who will not lose heart! Continue reading

Run Your Race of Faith as to Win

164172477The moment the gun goes off the sprinters bolt out of their starting blocks with one thing in mind, to be the first to cross the finished line. Many times, the finish can come down to several runners pushing with everything they have to thrust themselves past the others to win by inches. Paul exhorts believers to run the race of faith with victory in mind, not to just participate but to win. (1Cor. 9: 24-26)

Yet, so many people get drawn into the catastrophe of just existing and not finishing strong. Many have lost their tenacious spirit to push for the prize of victory. The wind has been taken out of their sails by a society that says, “Everyone Gets a Trophy”. I totally understand that we need to encourage and mentor the younger by rewarding and giving praise. But we also need to encourage them that whether it is in the natural or spiritual, hard work, endurance and discipline will help them achieve the prize at the end of the race. No one likes pain and agony. But for the sake of finishing as a winner the athlete goes through discipline of getting rid of things that will hinder their success.

The Christian also must endure to finish their race. It takes work and much persistence to keep going forward and not quit. In Heb. 12:1-2, the author writes “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus…”.

As followers of Christ we often allow bad habits and wrong actions to trip us up through our journey just as the athlete. Paul exhorts the believers in Col 3:8-10 to, “put off the old man with his deeds”. In other words to get rid of any anger, lying, filthy language and the list goes on. We must be willing to cleanse ourselves of any conduct of our former lifestyle without Christ and anything that would hinder us from finishing the race.


                  Stop nonchalantly going through life and begin running your race of faith to win for the King.   (tweet)


Jesus Himself at the end of His earthly ministry prayed to the Father in John17:4-5 saying, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” We also see at the end of the apostle Paul’s life he wrote in 2 Tim 4:6-8 to young Timothy saying, “the time of my departure is at hand…I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul ended his race achieving the victory in which he says he would receive a reward by God. Let us have that same mind as we run our race of Faith.

It is an act of worship and brings glory to God when we live our life pleasing to Him. In 1 Cor. 9;25 it says, if those in a race run for a earthy prize how much more should we run to win a imperishable crown from Christ. In Rev. 4:10-11 we get a glimpse of the twenty-four elders that cast their crowns or rewards at the feet of Jesus and say, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor “. They give their heavenly rewards back to the Lord as worship to Him.

As believers when we finish our race victoriously it is evidence of our love and worship for God. So I encourage you to stop nonchalantly going through life and begin running your race of faith to win for the King.

His Love Written in Blood!

165500423Like most young boys growing up we reenacted what we saw on our favorite TV shows. I loved the old westerns and therefore played with my brother and friends dressed in cowboy hats and chaps. I remember just as we saw on an episode, we would make a blood covenant by pricking our fingers and letting our blood mingle. Though we were just young boys playing and having fun, the message that we were reenacting was a realistic method of coming into a strong commitment and sealing it with your own blood. It implied a person was serious about making an agreement and becoming a faithful friend. In Deut 12:23, it says that the blood is the life in the body. Therefore spilling of blood in a covenant represented a commitment of your life.

Paul writes to the Christians in Rome letting them know that when we were all in the valley of hopelessness Christ intervened and rescued us. In verse eight of Rom 5, it reads, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” In other words when you and I were on our journey in life doing our own thing, not even desiring a change, God sent His Son to purchase and pluck us out of the bondage of sin. He illustrated His love for us through His actions.


Jesus’ ultimate gift to mankind… “His love written in His blood!”   (tweet)


Verse nine signifies we are saved and made just in the sight of God through the payment with the blood of Jesus. This was a fulfillment to the Levitical Law concerning the payment for sin with the shedding of the blood of animal sacrifice.

Let me remind you of a story that played out on January 26th, 2005 when a California train derailed. Sadly to say it killed 11 people and injured over 200. One of those 200 was a 44 year old man named John Phipps and his story which…. Continue reading