Church–A Place For The Brokenhearted

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30broken-hearted

Our world is filled with broken people and so are our churches. The truth is even though we realize that the world is filled with people who are broken, we never associate that with people who come to our services. We think those people should have it all together but the reality is that don’t and neither really do any of us if we are to be honest. 

When that brokenness is revealed concerning that person that attends our action are often that in a form of judgment and condemnation. We are kind of like those chickens who discover that one of the chickens has a wound on its head and all gang up and begin pecking till that chicken is dead.

This my friends is not the way it should be in the church. When we discover that one of our brother or sisters are broken we should not gang up and stomp them instead we should be willing to show them the love that Christ would show them.  Jesus always cared for the brokenhearted and so should we. The broken person that is attending your church is there for a reason, not to be judged or to be looked down but to be loved.

Lets stop judging and start caring. Let’s stop condemning and start loving others for who they are. The church is a place for the brokenhearted and it is time that the church wakes up and realizes that

 

 

Getting Back On Track

img_0068…Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:29-30

It really is amazing how quick one can lose their way in this life. Their is so much distraction happening in this world that we can take our eyes off of Christ so easily.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible has to do with Peter walking on the water. Remember when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he asked for Jesus to allow him to come and Jesus told him to do it. As Peter began walking on the water, all of a sudden he began to notice all that was happening around him and before you know it Peter was sinking.  Peter in desperation began to cry out to the Lord and the Lord lifted Peter out of the water, putting him back on track once again.

Peter represents all of us for we all have gotten off track sometime in our life. Those things that have taken our eyes off of Jesus might have been our family, people we are having trouble with or just life in general. What do we do when we realize we are on the wrong path and find ourselves sinking?  Some of us might feel hopelessness or despair but the truth is the answer is found in Jesus Christ. When we come to realization that we are truly off track, the best answer is to cry out to Jesus as Peter did and Jesus through His grace and mercy will put us back where we belong.

My friend, don’t give up for the Lord is truly there

Wishing you all a great weekend

Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain

what-it-really-means

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain….” Deuteronomy 5:11 NASB

When many of us look at the verse above we think that it is referring to cussing with God’s name on it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say to a person who did that by saying, “Oh God is going to get you for taking His name in vain.”  But is that what this commandment talking about? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should ever use God’s name in that form but to say that this commandment is referring to just that is not correct.

The meaning of this commandment actually means “to attach God’s name to emptiness.” So just take a minute and think about this for a second. Many times I have heard people say that they have sat through worship, preaching and even Bible study and got nothing from it but yet they say they came in the name of the Lord. Could it be that we just took God’s name in vain because our worship, or our presence in church or in Bible study is empty.

I believe there are many ways in which we all break this commandment. When we come to worship God whether it is at church or at home we should be coming with the attitude of wanting to sit at His feet to learn something.  The reason I believe that our worship seems empty has nothing to do with the preacher, the music or even the Bible we use instead it has to do with our heart.

The next time you get alone with God, I encourage you to ask Him to help you to put your focus on Him so that you will worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped

Have a good day!!!

Waiting on the Sunshine

sunshineOver the last several weeks we have been having severe storms all around almost all week long. This morning as I was driving to work I notice something different. Instead of seeing dark clouds I saw sunshine, instead of hearing thunder and seeing lighting I heard the birds singing. As I allowed this to soak in, I realized that the storms that we face in our lives will not be forever. I know at times it seems like we will never get through the storm but in time the storms will pass and the sun will shine again.   The question is what can we do till the sun shines again. I believe the following is a very helpful guide.

1. Get alone with God and pour our hearts out to Him through prayer.  Be honest with God, tell Him how you feel and what you are going through.  God has the biggest shoulders ever and there is no problem that He cannot handle

2. Get into the Word Of God.  The greatest help for all is the Bible. When you feel as though you cannot go on, God’s Word will give you strength and help. As the Holy Spirit leads highlight and underline verses that encourage you. This will be great help later when you go through other storms that you will face.

3. Examine Your Heart. Although we may not realize it the storms that we face in life can actually be for our good. Instead of allowing it to overcome you, use it as an examining tool. Such as—What can I learn from this? Are their things that we need to change? Do we rely to much on self and not enough on God?

And finally–

4. Continually draw near to God.  James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Now I do want you to understand that if you do this, God may reveal sins that you need to confess for that same passage in James also says, “Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!”

Yes the storms are rough and hard to deal with but we have a wonderful God who is there willing to help and guide us, only if we will let Him.   Be encouraged today!!!!

One of my favorite hymns

I believe that this should be the cry of every believer to the Holy Spirit of God

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,

Until my heart is clean;

Let sunshine fill its inmost part,

With not a cloud between.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,

My stubborn will subdue;

Teach me in words of living flame

What Christ would have me do.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,

Fill me with pow’r divine;

Kindle a flame of love and zeal

Within this heart of mine.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,

Till I am all Thine own,

Until my will is lost in Thine,

To live for Thee alone.

Breathe on me, breathe on me,

Holy Spirit, breathe on me;

Take Thou my heart, cleanse every part,

Holy Spirit, breathe on me.

Where do I go from here?

“Where do I go from here?”  This is a question that we all will face at times in our life, especially when we feel as though we have hit a dead end.  We look to our left than we look to our right but we see no direction to go.  We begin to look behind us and realize that we really can’t go back so again so what must we do.

The best way for us to answer that question is go to the Word of God which says in  Psalm 105:4, “Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always.”  So from God’s Word we learn that the first step in our dilemma is to “look up”  Notice what we find when we look up “His strength”.  Now there is something that we must do in order to gain that strength when we look up 1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” To cast means to throw it upon Him.  This means we should give Him our worry, our fear, our burdens all of it.  The reason is because God cares for us.  Yes you might still feel as though you still are at a dead end but you can rest assure that God will help lead you to the right path and to the right road just because you looked up and cast everything on Him.

Be encouraged today!!!!

A Great Church Service

great attendanceWe had a great service this past Sunday morning. We had about 80 people that came to our morning worship. Out of that 80 we had 5 visitors, God is good. As I think about this, I often wonder what makes a service great.

Is the greatness of a service dependent on the sermon that is presented? While the sermon is important to the service, it is not what makes a service great. You can have the best sermon in town and the service still be a flop.

So what about the music? Does the music matter? If it is contemporary or traditional will that define the service and make it one one of the best?  (Personally I don’t like the term traditional or contemporary, for me the music should be Spirit-led.) While the music is also important for it prepares people for the sermon, it is not what makes it great.

Someone might than say, well it has to do with attendance. The more people you have at the church is what makes the service great.  While attendance is encouraging and exciting that in itself is not what makes a service great.  I have seen churches with a small attendance of 10 have a great service as a service with 80-500 in attendance.

So what makes a service great?  I believe what makes a church service great is the Presence of God.  You can have the best music, the best sermon and the best attendance but without the Presence of the Living God it will not work.

So how do churches get God’s presence in their services? I believe first it begins with us individually. We must prepare ourselves to worship God. Remove anything in our lives that would be a hinderance. Second, I believe that we must invite Him in.  The Lord will not go where He is not invited. Finally, have open hearts.

 If we do this, the style of worship, the way of the sermon is presented or the attendance will not matter because we know that God is there.

Have a good day!!!

 

Take A Break

take a break15 “However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16

Ever felt like you just want to scream? The things that you use to enjoy doing now annoy you and you don’t know why. When this happens maybe it is time to take a break.

I truly believe there comes a time when everyone needs a break. The break we might need might be from our job, people, relationships and situations. This break is not meant to be permanent but temporary a way to refocus and rethink over things. This break might be getting by ourselves for a few days or taking a walk outside. However we take that break is up to us.

While you take this break, may I give you some advice. Don’t take this break without God, allow Him to be a part of it. Use this break as a means to get closer to God and to seek His direction for your life. Once you have done this you will find strength and encouragement to go on in your daily life.   When you look at Scripture this is what Jesus did and if Jesus thought it was that important we should too. 

Make plans to take a break today, you will be glad you did!!!

Jesus’ Anger

keep it simple15  “So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’’ 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.” Mark 11:15-18

As one looks at this passage closely, they began to see a Jesus that they are not use to seeing. When we picture Jesus, we see Him having the little children come and sit on Knee or healing the lame or causing the blind to walk again but this Jesus filled with anger we are not use to seeing.  One might ask, “Why is Jesus so angry? Is it because they were selling  doves and exchanging money?” Although many believe this is true, it is not. If you look closely you will see what Jesus is really upset about.

During the days of Jesus, the Romans were over the land. The money that was given was Roman money and not Jewish money. In order to give to the Temple one must give Jewish money. The only way one could do that is through a money changer. Also during these times Jewish people had to travel miles in order to come to the temple to worship God. It was often hard to carry their offerings with them so it made sense for someone to sell those things to make it easier on the weary traveler.

This in itself was not wrong but what made it wrong was that those who were selling and changing out the money were taking advantage of and cheating the people. This is the reason Jesus was upset. They were taking something that was suppose to be holy turned it into a means to make a profit. They were disrespecting God’s Temple, they were disregarding worship and on top of that they were mistreating God’s people.

While many of us would say that this does not fit us, let me bring this home to you. The Bible tells us that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. When we hold anger, lust, hatred etc. we are defiling His temple. The only way this Temple of ours can be cleansed is through the power of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus cleansed that Temple in Jerusalem, so He wants to do with your life. The question is: “Will You Let Him!”

 

19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The Right Direction For Our Desire

 Image“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34

DESIRE!!!! We all have it!!! Some of us desire to get married, some of us desire to know truth, some of us desire to make a living, some of us desire to be happy some, some of desire to buy a new house and on and on we could go. While those desires in itself are not wrong, the direction we go with those desires could lead us down the wrong path. For instance there are some who are struggling with their marriage but they have a desire inside that says they need happiness instead of seeking God for help with their marriage they began to look at outside influences to fulfill that happiness.  Another is struggling with providing for his/her family and his/her desire is to make a living so that they can survive.  Instead of trusting God for that provision, he/she begins taking things that do not belong. 

The Bible makes it clear in what direction we should go too concerning our desires—Our Creator, Our Loving Father—Almighty God!!!  He is the only one that can help us distinguish what our desires really are and He alone is the only one that can provide.  So what are the desires of your heart today and have you gone to God concerning those desires????