Bible Study: Arresting Jesus In Our Hearts

Luke 22:50-51 NIV

“50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51  But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.”  

There’s so many ways one can take this, my perspective is coming from wondering how this servant and the others around him felt after witnessing the healing of this man’s ear! Did the servant become a believer in Christ or did he continue to doubt and reject that this was in fact the Son of God?! Was there a moment of regret on behalf of some of the mob there to arrest Jesus after witnessing this miracle? Did anyone turn and a leave refusing to take part in what was about to go down? I mean, how can you witness something as such and still deny and go against Christ? Yet, many times we see God move in our lives, witness His blessings and the miracles He does for us and others, and we still doubt Him. Our faith in Christ still fails us many times and we question Him. What will it take to fully trust and believe in Christ? Or will we always overlook all that He does and continue to arrest Him in our hearts?

Joel Osteen New Reality Show?!!?!

Okay so when I heard about Mary Mary getting a new reality show on WeTV in March 2012, I was interested, almost excited. But I just think it’s gone overboard already now that Joel Osteen is getting a show as well! I don’t know, I don’t follow Joel Osteen’s ministry, though I like him and find him adorable.  I’ve never sat and watched an entire service of his on television, I typically change the channel after his joke of the day, to which I do, LOL! But yea, I’m happy for the success he has and for the amazing growth of the ministry, but this show seems overboard and uneccessary to me.

The show will be produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor series) and the premise of the show seems to be different from what I thought it was going to be.  It’s not really about “them”, but more about documenting and showing the churches mission trips but with a slight “twist” on it! I don’t know…go here to read more about what Mark Burnett says about the show! I just don’t see the “excitement or interesting draw” for this show. But, this could be a good thing. I can’t fault the christian community for using all of these various ways to spread the gospel and show the world the more positive sides of being a christian. So my prayers are with the Osteen family and church.  I hope this turns out well for them.  What do YOU think?!

I Need Thee…

“I know you said for me to wait/but I took my chances anyway/and then my life came crashing down/my world was spinning round and round/and there’s no one to blame but me/I’m feeling so much hurt and shame/and I’m in excruciating pain/cause I didn’t do right by you/I took for granted all you do/and now a shell is all that remains.”- I Need You Now by Trin-i-tee 5:7

I don’t know who told these ladies to enter into my mind and grasp hold onto my thoughts like this! Those lyrics speak so much about my story, what I feel and deal with lately. I’ve listened to the song many times before but for some reason, one day on my way to work that first verse just struck at my heart so hard! We fall short of Gods’ will and glory everyday. And there is no one to blame for our short comings but ourselves. We attempt to place blame on others or even “the devil” knowing that we were the ones who made those decisions, to go against what God has ordained for us. We follow our own understanding of things, and don’t consult God about decisions we need to make. So with our prideful, lustful, selfish hearts, we go after what we want and think is best for ourselves. And when things don’t go according to “our” plans, and mistakes are made, in the midst of our hurt and suffering of the consequences of our actions, we come crawling back to God to save us. Those lyrics, so true and pure to our human nature; we’ve all been there. We all go through it, sometimes repeatedly!

It’s not easy to admit when we are wrong, but I thank Angel and Chanelle for writing this song and forcing me to look deeper and be more honest with myself and with God. I mean, I simply just wanted to jam out to a great song, LOL; but the Holy spirit had other plans that day, I just suddenly began to really take in the lyrics and get perspective on things.  I realized that I was trying to avoid telling God what was really on my heart. I didn’t want to admit that I was the nucleus to all of my troubles lately. It was hard to say to God that I was wrong because I was afraid that there would come this “wrath” or “rejection” from God, but I was so wrong. I don’t know why my faith and unbelief at times fail me and cause  me to doubt God.

By the end of the song, I am not sadden by hearing my inner most concerns being played out to me, but rather I find hope, love and support in the Lord.  No matter how far I fall, God is always right there to pick me up.  He is a God of multiple chances, He is our Father who loves His children.  And like children when we get to “acting all grown” and mess up, He’s there to guide us back to where we belong. His lessons, no, aren’t learned easily, and yes, we will feel hurt and shame in knowing that we disappointed Him with some of our actions and/or thoughts,  but God loves us enough to see us through it all.  We all need God, I need Him on a constant basis, so be encouraged and don’t think that you’ve messed up to bad for God to love you again. He wants us to acknowlege our sins, our failures, He wants to know our hearts!  That way He can love, heal, and get us back in right standing.  It’s in our weakest moments that He is proved strong and nothing can separate us from His love and amazing grace.

I Pray For You; You Pray For Me…

James 5:15-16-KJV  “15-And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16-Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Prayer is so important to ones walk with Christ. It is the direct connection of communication we have with God/Christ. Yesterday,  I was reminded of how important it is to pray for each other. One thing with me is that I am always wanting for others to be better off than myself. So I have no issue with praying for others and I seek to constantly do so!

Sometimes, the Holy Spirit will bring certain people to my mind. I will either have a thought about them or even dreams. I used to question why they came to mind, but I’ve learned that it’s best to go to God in prayer for them. Recently a buddy that I know online has been dealing with his mother being sick. I was urged to pray for his mother  a few days before he made the news public that she was sick again and was soliciting prayers. For the past few days I’ve been rocking out to my favorite gospel groups latest album and while praying had the urge to pray for them as a thought came to mind about their safety in traveling this coming week. So prayed a prayer of safety and covering over them and I even sent them a tweet bidding them safe travels. Yesterday, I learned that they were hit full speed by another vehicle that ran a traffic light. They were okay and no one was hurt!

In NO WAY am I saying that it is MY prayers that caused God to move on their behalf, I just find it amazing how God works! We can not afford to not pray for each other. You never know what someone is dealing with, or what could be lurking out there trying to destroy or harm them. God will cause people to pray on our behalf and stand in the gap to work out situations, even before they happen! He is always in control! I know for a fact that my mother praying for me while I was in college kept me from getting into worser troubles than I experienced. I know that folks coming together to pray for healing for someone has saved lives. I know that when the saints are gathered on one accord, that God hears and sees our faith and will move in the life of the one we are praying for.

You don’t have to be seriously deep or overly dramatic when you pray for someone. Just do it when the spirit tells you to! God knows the situation even before we begin to speak, I think He just wants to see if we will be faithful and selfless to act! So just take some time out each day to pray for others. And don’t ignore the calling on your spirit when someone is brought to your mind. There is a reason why they were brought to your attention and God just may need your prayer and faith to put into action the things He’s going to do for them! We are all here to hold each other up in this faith walk. Continue to stand in the gap for your families, friends, our country and its leaders, our youth, our churches, the whole body of Christ, the saved and unsaved; someones life could depend on it!

2 More Thoughts on Gospel…

Here’s something Dominque of 1800Gospel brought to my attention:

 1. Okay so if you don’t know, Pastor Zachery Tims, of New Destiny Christian Center (Apopka, FL) was found dead in his W Hotel room in New York City, on August 12, 2011.  Details of what caused his death have been few and far between. I suppose natural causes and criminal activities have been ruled out and allegedly there was “that a glassine envelope with white powder was found in Tims’ pocket.” (christianpost.com).  Well to bring you up to speed, Pastor Tims’ mother will be in New York this week to petition the autopsy and toxicology reports from being released publically by the medical examiners office and such.  WHAT?!! You can go HERE to read more about it.  I, for one, don’t understand why she doesn’t want anything said. I suspect b/c she knows something about this “white powder substance” and wants to salvage what good is left of her son’s image, legacy, etc.  So for that I get it, but if there’s a lesson that can be learned from the death of Pastor Tims, I feel we the public should know. If it’s something negative then we need to figure out how to not let this happen again. I hate that christians hide behind so much shame and deceit. Well, we should know something later on this week. What you think?!

Here’s something DeVante’ of thegospelguru.com brought to my attention:

2. Mary Mary to have a New Reality Show on WE TV!  Well, I can’t hate on the ladies for this!! I think it’s really good!! I love seeing christians on major networks!! And yes I liked The Family Crews show as well!!! #DontJudgeMe  I feel that Mary Mary really like being in front of the camera and they are not afraid to allow fans & non-fans into their lives/personal lives. I’m interested and will be watching!! Go Here to learn more about show times!!

Bible Study: 2 Chronicles-If My People…

2 Chronicles 7:14-”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – This is such a simple and basic request God asks of us, yet it is the hardest task we as His children fail everyday to uphold. This scripture is also beautifully sung by Donald Lawrence and Company and as the group simply repeats this scripture I can’t help but to think of my lack of humbling myself and simply doing what God asks.  Is it really that hard? Or do we limit ourselves so much that it seems we can’t measure up to His standards? Are His standards really that high?! I have to admit that sometimes I feel like I’m missing the mark when it comes to this faith walk with Christ. I sometimes feel like there are to many things on the list that one must have complete in order to make it to heaven. And for me, I just wanna make it to heaven.

2 Chronicles 7:17-18 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws,(18) I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.” -Now I don’t want to take this scripture out of context, but rather, bring it to the now time period. Though here God was speaking to King Solomon and the people of Israel, I believe that we cane take this scripture and apply it to our lives and time today. If we walk faithfully before God the way David, or even better, Jesus did, and do all that God asks us to do, then He will establish our lives within the kingdom of the church and we shall never fail to be the righteousness of the church! We can be the example, the leaders, the kingdom of God can be reflected rightly through us if we seek God and uphold His laws and commands.

2 Chronicles 7:19-20 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,(20) then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.”-Again though God is speaking directly to Solomon and the people of Israel, let’s bring this to our time and lives today. Here God gives a straight forward consequence of not following Him saying, If we decide not to follow His commands and choose to serve and worship other gods (people, money, ourselves, Satan, etc), then He will remove us from things/places/positions that He has given us or set us up in.  He will reject everything that we claim to be of Him from us. We can’t serve two masters. And not only will the presence of God be gone from us, but He will allow it to be known to others and we will become the talk of the town. You’ve heard folks say, “Oh, did you hear about this church?” or “I heard so and so did this…” or “Pastor such and such and his church…” We know how gossip gets around!  Don’t allow yourself to fall out of the will of God. We have to be the example of what it is that God can do in one’s life!

There are many folks who are turned away from the church because of negative experiences with congregations and individuals, who claim to be followers of Christ but do not uphold the commands of Christ. Sometimes we operate in ignorance, thinking that we are helping someone outside of the faith, but in actuality we are pushing them further away, because we think to highly of ourselves. So we have to remember to stay ever humble, always confessing and repenting of our sins, and stay obeying Gods commands and seeking His face. If we do this consistently, then we will shine more so than ever, and those outside of the faith will be more attracted to come to Christ for their own soul salvation.

Bible Study: Struggling With How To Witness To The Homosexual

Due to my work schedule I usually end up missing out on Sunday services, so I was happy to be able to attend church couple of Sundays ago.  The Pastor of the church, where I am a “visiting member” of, taught on the ‘Attributes of an End Time Believer’. This message though, also carried another message within it. A message that in my opinion was a sneak attack against homosexuals. Now, I do believe that homosexuality is a sin against God and I agree with everything Pastor taught on. I understood the correlations between the two topics he chose to speak on, comparing the days of Lot to the days of today, but I just was not feeling how the message against homosexuality was brought up. I feel like if you’re going to talk/teach on homosexuality, just say so! Don’t surprise or sneak the subject in on folks. There’s enough “stuff” that surrounds that issue and the church anyway, so why make it more complicated in how you approach it?!

But alas, like I said, I agree that homosexuality is a sin and the plight of homosexuality is tearing our nation, communities, lives and world apart. As Pastor was teaching on being an End-Time believer and the qualities and things we should possess, I saw my lack. Especially when it comes to sharing the gospel with those who are living a homosexual lifestyle. And I feel like I should speak on the subject having once lived that lifestyle myself, and seeing a lack of help, support and guidance for those who come out of that lifestyle in the church.

However, in my time of living for Christ, I’ve realized that I tend to “ignore” that a person is gay and focus on other things that will keep me connected to them in the faith or friendship or whatever. But today I realized that I can no longer continue to ignore that side of a person. As a christian we are to be disciples of Christ and preach/teach and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with non-believers in hopes that by raising Christ up, He would draw them unto Him. But I struggle to share the gospel with those who are living a homosexual lifestyle, because, I don’t want to offend them, I don’t want to lose a friend, I don’t want to be the christian, that many of them encounter who desert them, and leave them hanging because they are in sin. I want to show them that God is love, and that He doesn’t hate them, but rather the sin. I just don’t know how to approach people to witness to them, nevertheless a person who is gay. But I feel and know that, that has to change.

I’ve avoided this topic on many occasions. Many times because I didn’t want to reveal what I had come through. Yes, I feel that there is still a judgement on ex-homosexuals in the church. It’s weird cause it’s like where do I fit in? When I was gay, folks talked about me, now that I’m saved and have repented of that lifestyle, you’re still questioning me?!! As the homosexual agenda and the demonic spirits of this world are turning up the heat. It is up to us christians to turn up the heat on our end too! Jesus is coming back sooner than we think! The spirit world is in a rage fighting to prepare the way! As End-Time believers, which we are because of the time line of events until Christs’ return are in full swing, it is our duty, our command to disciple the world. To bring the message of Jesus Christ to the forefront.

I can no longer continue to hide in fear, because I don’t want the blood of someone on my hands, when I know that I could have helped in the harvest to lead them to Christ. The Bible says that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. We must each do our part! Yes, I see where I lack and I am praying for a bold spirit in Christ to proclaim the gospel. People are dying, good people are dying…and going to Hell. I don’t want that on my spirit. What struggles do you have when it comes to witnessing or sharing the gospel?