Roll Up Your Sleeves and get it Done!

A1 roll up sleevesWords can’t explain the deluge of emotions that comes over you when you see your daughter walk across the stage of graduation! It’s as if an internal video automatically starts rolling in your mind. The day they were born, the first steps they took and so on. I wish I could say it gets easier, but the emotions just continue as time quickly goes down the road of life.

But, there’s nothing more awesome then to see your children who have your “DNA” begin the journey of life. Now that we’ve wiped the tears of emotions away let’s remember the reality of the process! Dirty diapers, screaming through the nights, acts of devilish fits, deceptive disobedience and last minute school projects after a long hard day at work. Wow! There is definitely work involved in the process


Don’t just sit on your blessed assurance but continue the journey of faith  


of life. They will always be our children and have our “DNA” but without rolling up their sleeves and doing some work they will never develop into a successful reflection of their parents. They must learn how to be a functioning member of our household. Their “DNA” never changes but they are fashioned into a true reflection of who we are as they yield to our guidance.

Paul addresses in his letter to the Romans some of these issues of growing as a believer. (Rom. 7:21-25) They hadn’t been raised up under Jewish traditions yet they came to the new birth through Christ Jesus. He exhorts these gentiles, in Rom 12:1-2 that the process of life in the Kingdom of God goes on even after the new birth. We now have a new DNA and have become children of light instead of darkness. (Eph. 5:8) It’s like Jesus said to Nicodemus we have been “born again”(Jn. 3:3), and now have started a glorious journey as a believer in Jesus! We are now citizens of the household of God (Eph 2:19) through the finished work of Christ on the cross. (Col. 2:11-15) But that’s not all there’s more!

Paul Exhorts the believers in Rome not to just sit on their blessed assurance but to continue the journey of faith. He says in Rom 12:1-2, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. It is Continue reading

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The First Step can be the Hardest

images-62I would imagine we all have experienced times where we are gripped with fear of the unknown. Like my sister and brother who when they were younger took skydiving lessons. Yes, they jumped out of perfectly good airplanes at 13,000 ft above the earth. They said the hardest part of their adventure was the first step out of the plane into the unknown atmosphere. Wow! I don’t want to even imagine how I might feel. I would probably scream like a baby.

Let me say no matter how old or rickety the plane might be, it’s made to fly and becomes a comfort zone for those in it. But, when we are faced with defying the established laws of the universe, as those who are expected to jump out of a plane are, you will more than likely get hit in the face with fear, doubt and anxiety. Why, because we weren’t made to fly.

With that in mind let’s look at Matt 14:23-33, where Jesus sends the disciples by boat to the other side before Him. Being in a boat on the water was a comfortable and familiar way of life and for some like Peter and Andrew it was where they had


It’s only when you get out of your boat do you see the miracles of God. 


made their living. Yet, things were radically going to change in their surrounding and life. A boisterous storm moves in changing the atmosphere and out of the dark Jesus comes walking on the water overturning their comfort and ultimately challenging their faith. Thinking Jesus could be a ghost fear began to grip and overtake them. With calming words of “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Jesus speaks to them. But Peter wanting more evidence, like a child saying to his peers “prove it”. He blurts out, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” The vary fact that Peter would even consider asking this was mind-boggling. What he asked shows that he believed that Jesus had the power to override any earthly limitations or laws. I believe a mixture of assurance and dread came over him when Jesus answered with the word, “Come”.

It was probably like the feeling my brother and sister felt when it was time to jump out of the plane. That first step of transitioning from security and familiarity over to the unknown is one many will never overcome. But if never taken there is the absent of experiencing the wonders and adventure of over-riding the established


God doesn’t want us to stay where were at but to crossover to the other side


limitations. When Peter acted on the word of Jesus, which revealed his understanding of who he understood Jesus as, he walked on water. Peter began to move in another dimension, one that none has ever walked in to the same extent. He not only gets the award for being the only one to walk on water but more importantly he confirmed to himself the belief that Jesus was able to empower him Continue reading

Yes, I am my Fathers son

images-37  I love when different ones identifying me as my father’s son. It immediately gives me an identity in our family as well as, there comes a comfort and sense of privilege when I represent by family name. That was a big part of the birthright we see in scripture. The first-born son would receive the authority and privilege of leading the family once the father would pass it down. It was a position of honor, prestige and authority but also carried the burden and weight of responsibility. Any place for arrogance and pride in this position would quickly be swallowed up by the demands that were on the person who would carry the fathers’ name.

Unfortunately, we have an epidemic of children being raised up without or not knowing their father living in our society, which breeds’ emptiness and a orphaned mentality. Once we have lost that identity it quickly flows into forgoing the


We will never know who we are until we have understanding of who Jesus is. (tweet)


blessings of the father’s name also. Esau is a sad but real biblical example of so many others that have given up their identity and birthright with lead to the deteriorating of the blessing. (Gen.   )

I believe that is why Jesus when coming into the region of Caesarea Philippi huddled up His disciples and asked them some pointed questions. He started off with wanting to know what they had heard about who He was around the water fountains and the coffee shops of their day. In Matt 16:14, we read that they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. So there was a lot of religious talk going on in the area, but as we know ourselves, that can lead to confusion if it is not ground on the truth. So Jesus probes a little deeper and asks, “who do you say that I am?” This was a “pop quiz” just like your teacher would give you growing up after a long weekend. She wanted to make sure you were learning correctly so everything else she taught would fall in place that next week. Right? So in the same token Jesus was now pressing the envelope to see what the disciples were learning or maybe catching. Did they really understand the depth and truth of who He was? Was it sinking in or was this just a casual social club that would have no lasting impression for them? Jesus wants us to know Him.

The bottom line is we will never know who we are until we have understanding of who He is. We will go through life knowing the surface talk of religion without ever being penetrated by the power of knowing who He is and what


We will only begin to walk in the benefits and authority of son-ship with Christ when we really catch the revelation of who Jesus is ourselves.


He has done for us. Making the statement of thanks to the “man upstairs” after a sports game or the action of pointing up once a touch down has been made is not enough to settle the dilemma of birthright in our lives.

Peter blurts out a download from heaven that he probably hadn’t really digested himself in response to Jesus’ question. He says, in verse 16 “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus immediately let’s them know that this answer was straight from the heart of God the Father. It was a divine revelation that Jesus would establish His church in the earth. And that would be the prevailing truth that would sustain His people from the onslaughts of the enemy.  When you and I come to that understanding ourselves we will truly begin to walk in the benefits and authority of son-ship with Christ.

It’s Natural for Things to Change

images-32Doesn’t it seem like your children grow up over night? One minute you’re changing their diapers and the next you’re cheering them on at their little league games. Before you even get the rhythm of the weekly games, they seem to be walking across the stage for their graduation.

It’s natural for things to change. The only thing that will not change is God Himself. In Mal 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change”. God is perfect and therefore is the same yesterday today and forever. (Heb. 13:8) But as far as His creation we are made to change as well as everything around us. Our looks change. Our jobs may change and definitely technology changes. Change is usually uncomfortable and can be down right hard at times. Especially, if we have been resisting it for a while.

It’s the same spiritually. Unless we are continuing to grow in the things of God we are not spiritually healthy. A believer that doesn’t put any effort into growing and wants to coast along will become a casualty sooner or later. To many believers don’t want change in their lives. They are content in taking the road of least resistance in their journey of life. But God demands change!

The story of Jacob in Gen. 25-32 reveals that he had some character flaws in his life as well as, some God given gifts that he had not surrendered to God’s will. Remember, He was a twin to Esau and from birth we see his tenacious spirit and strong will. Jacob’s name reveals his bent towards deception and conniving. He took advantage of his brother in weakness and gained the family birthright and later in an act of deliberate deception tricked his father in pronouncing the blessing on him instead of Esau.

We see no indication that there was ever any conviction or repentance in his younger years for his carnal actions yet God still pursued him. Throughout his life we see the reaping of the ungodly seeds he had planted over journey of many years. We see deception, mistrust and trickery in his marriage, his relationships and his business. (Gen 28-50)

But God had a plan for Jacob, just like He has a plan for our lives. But with that being said, we must allow God to change us. In 2 Tim 2:20, Paul tells Timothy that there are good things and corrupt things in our lives that need to be dealt with. He goes on to say if we take care of the carnal things we will be vessels of honor and useful for the Master. Jesus Himself tells His disciples that we must deny ourselves and follow Him. If we lose our lives for His sake we will gain our lives. (Mk 8:34-35)

With the pressure of the glooming circumstance, Jacob finally came to the place he was willing to deal with these tendencies in his life. We see in Gen 32 that once Jacob crossed over the shallow of the river Jabbok, he is finally willing to face “the music” of his life and be poured out before the audience of one. God wrestles with Jacob who has always wrestled with doing what was right his whole life. Jacob chooses to finally be tenacious for Gods will and therefore will not let go until God changes him. It is through God’s mercy we see Jacob is finally changed because the will of God prevails in his life.

Isn’t it time for you to face those areas in your life that you haven’t surrendered to God? He wants to bless you but you must first be willing to be changed.

It’s Time to Grow Up!

1A- adult on baby bottleThere’s nothing like codling your new born when they first come home from the hospital and they still smell so new. Starting the journey of parenthood can be an exhilarating time in ones life. My wife would wrap our children when they were in that infant stage and bring them to me, so I could feed them and love on them. Wow! There’s nothing like it!

But if you fast-forward the journey, it definitely will get different. They have nothing on their mind other than playing with their friends and living life to it’s fullest. Feeding time can look like a litter of young pups knocking over anything and everything that stands in the way of their bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning. Sadly, the codling goes away and the feeding memories are filed away in the archives of the past.

Even in the bird kingdom in the coming of Spring you can find mother’s bringing worms and insects back to the nest, where the newly hatched babies eagerly await dinner with their mouth open. King Solomon in his wisdom sums it up


It is unnatural and incapable for anyone believer to grow spiritually if they stay spoon-fed     (tweet)


in Eccl 3:2 where he says there’s, “A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;” He pens what many of us parents have already experienced or what some are learning as they are currently in the trenches with raising their children. There are season! What might be cute and making of great memories with your newborn would totally be absurd to do with an older child. Keep cuddling by all means, but let them feed themselves when they’re older.

As Paul writes his letter to the believers in Colosse saying in Col 2:6-7, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Paul in his spiritual fathering exhorts those who had made a decision to receive Jesus as their Lord: to not stop with just a decision but to begin the journey of following their new master. What he says here he also says with more detail to the


If you are Not growing in the Lord… what’s your excuse?    (tweet)


Hebrews that weren’t progressing in their spiritual walk. He says in Heb. 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you Continue reading

Walking On The Water Isn’t For The Faint Of Heart

images-15I know that there are many individuals who like me grew up in Sunday school hearing and envisioning Peter the disciple who walked on the water and then the following week at the city pool we would try and mimic the Bible lesson as we took a step on the water. No matter how many times we sunk, we would keep trying again and again with no avail. There’s definitely something to be said about the raw undefiled faith of children.

Peter and the other disciples in Matt 14:24-33 were in the small boat going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They had just experienced Jesus feeding the multitude, but like so many of us, the disciples still didn’t have a grasp on who Jesus really was. They were still on their journey of getting to know who Jesus was. The scripture says that in the wee hours of the morning that Jesus comes to them walking


There are no shortages of excuses that can talk you and I as adults out of what God wants for us      (tweet)


on the stormy water. I just want to say that it doesn’t take very much to frightened people from 3 to 6am in the morning. Let alone a person who they don’t recognize walking on the sea. Yet, even after Jesus calms their fears by letting them know it was He, Peter still questions Him in verse 28 with a proposition of “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”. So Jesus does and Peter climbs out of a perfectly safe boat onto the turbulent water.

There are no shortages of excuses that can talk you and I as adults out of what God wants for us. To often we have allowed things that we are familiar and comfortable with to become a type of security blanket in our lives, keeping us from ever experiencing the reality of who God is and what His plan for us is. It’s like the baby, who grows and matures and one day comes to the point of having to let go of their baby blanket that gives them a calming security. There’s really no protection ability or safety value in the tattered frail blanket, but it’s something that a child has


Only one disciple up until now has that testimony walking on water! (tweet)


for much of their young life giving them a disillusion of security. In the same manner many adults have settled into a place of comfort and dependability to a point of repeating the same cycle of the security blanket?

Most of the disciples like Peter had grown up spending much of their time on boats and relying on them to keep them safe. Now, Jesus challenges Peter to get out and walk to Him in the midst of a storm. So putting excuses aside and looking to Jesus through a deeper belief of who He is, got out of his comfort and walked on the water. He experienced God in a way that none have ever been able to experience before. Only one disciple up until now has that testimony! The others stayed in the confinements of what was safe and normal to them.

Therefore, there comes a time for each of us also to quit making excuses and get out of our boat and walk on the water. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are and who cares what others are saying, it’s time to focus on what Jesus is saying. You see it’s not a matter of how bad the circumstances are but what were focused on! Our eyes must be fixed on Jesus!   Paul says in Heb. 12:2, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

 

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Fight Vultures!

imagesNot only is the story of Abram fighting vultures away from his sacrifices captivating in Gen 15, but also has helped me in my walk with the Lord over the years. It demonstrates that we have a responsibility to keep our commitments to God as living sacrifices. This story in brief shows God revealing His promise to Abram through a covenant that both agree upon. Also in Deut. 7:9 Moses shares about God’s covenant, “Therefore know that … God (is) faithful … who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.

Growing up we have all had childish promises and agreement as friends. Whether it’s a promise to be best friends forever or a promise to keep a secret we have experienced them. But, it’s not until we get older in our life’s journey that we really


Man has proven his inability to keep any agreement without God’s grace and empowerment.   (text)


understand how common covenants and promises between individuals have been throughout history. They were used for territories, peace treaties and passage rights through other lands. Today, we use them in our everyday lives, such as marriage, loans, jobs and etc. Even though most looked much different, all were based on the philosophy of a serious promise. They came with the agreement that if one side or both ever break the agreement it could bring severe consequences.

            In the scripture we see how God’s love for His people is portrayed through His unfolding of His purposes through the making of covenants to individuals through out the ages. Looking at the 9 covenants in scripture give us understanding that God who is the originator of His promises reveal that He is a covenant-making God. He has the right to set up the conditions in which man can enter into or maintain the covenant. He is also a covenant- keeping God. Once He makes covenant with us He will not Continue reading