Conversation With God!

Listen And It's Amazing What You Will Hear!

I used to think that as I got older, life would get easier, but I am discovering that just the opposite is true!  It does not get easier, but more difficult!  It’s difficult to have and keep the right attitude.  It’s difficult to not get discouraged and depressed.  It’s difficult to not want to throw up your hands and in desperation yell out “I quit!”  And this is why conversation with God is such a very important thing in our lives, regardless of our age.

As I was growing up, I was very fortunate to have some great spiritual leaders in my life.  If I called their name, you would not recognize most of them.  They were not great because they had obtained a great name for themselves.  They were great because they loved and pursued Jesus and taught me to do the same.  These men and women helped to grow in me a desire to live in closer and ever-growing relationship with my Savior.

Just saying “I am a Christian!” has never been enough for me!  I want to be a Christian and experience everything that goes with it!  I want to know and experience everything that my Creator has for me.  Before I became a teenager, I had already learned the benefits of the daily discipline of a “Quiet Time”.  As a teenager, I began to spend time with God and discovered rather quickly that these times with God were powerful and very satisfying.  I really have never been able to understand how or why a person does not get this!  I still begin every day by spending time with Him in meaningful conversation which consists of prayer and His Word!

Recently, God has been doing a work in my spending time with Him that includes an ongoing conversation that never really seems to end.  I am not exactly sure when it began, but I know that for a while now, we have been involved in an ongoing conversation.  This is not to say that there are not times that neither of us are talking, because they certainly are.  But when either one of us starts to talk, it’s as if we pick right back up, wherever it was that we left off before!  It is a most amazing sensation!

I am not really sure why I am sharing this with you, other than the fact that I want you to know that God loves you and desires to have conversation with you.  He wants to talk with you, listen to you and show you amazing things!  Take some time today to have a conversation with God – you will be glad you did!

NO CONDEMNATION?

Judge & Jury!

I love to watch Judge Judy!  I like the fact that she is a “tell it like it is” kinda judge.  She does not really seem to care if you like her or not.  She has a job to judge the case in front of her and that is what she does and if you don’t like it – “TOUGH!”

As a pastor, I love people and I really try to be gentle with them, but every now and then, the gloves need to come off and the cold, hard truth needs to be laid out.  There are some things that we just can’t sugar coat.  Eternity and where people are going to spend it, is one of those things that we can’t afford to sugar coat!

I have been troubled in my spirit all weekend and even more so as I entered into this new week.  There is a beautiful promise in Romans 8:1 – It says:  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit!”

We like the “no condemnation” part, but fail to realize that the “no condemnation” part is only true for those that are “in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit!”

I want to make this perfectly clear!  You are going to face condemnation and you deserve to face condemnation – apart from Jesus.  Saying you love Jesus is not enough.  Saying you have accepted Jesus is not enough!  Going to church and playing the game of make-believe is not enough!

If you are really “in” Jesus, then you have died to the flesh and come alive to the Spirit.  This does not mean that your flesh is dead, but it does mean that you have the power to be victorious over your flesh.  If you are really in Jesus, then you have the ability to say no to the desires of the flesh and yes to the leading of the Spirit.  If you are really in Jesus, you have not only the ability, but also the desire.  It may be a battle at times, but the winner – flesh or spirit reveals where you are really living and who you are really living for.

As a pastor, I see so many people gambling their eternities for a few moments of earthly gratification and we need to realize that in the grand scheme of eternity – our life here on this earth is only a few moments!  God loves us and He has an amazing plan for our lives, but we rob ourselves of His plan when we yield to the flesh instead of the Spirit.

“NO CONDEMNATION” is for those that are in Jesus.  Saying you are in Jesus does not make you in Jesus!  If you are really in, then you will not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit!  Actions and reactions tell the truth!

I want to challenge you today!  Get honest with God, yourself and others.  If you are really in Jesus, then die to the flesh and come alive to the Spirit – One day when you stand before the only JUDGE that really matters – You will be glad you did!

Worship Music!

Do You Worship The Music Or Our God?

Shannon O’Dell, Pastor at Brand New Church in Arkansas posted the following comment on his Facebook page – “Do I love worship music?  Or do I love worshiping God with worship music?” and it really got me to thinking.  I hope it will get you to thinking also!

I hear people all of the time talking about I love the old hymns, or I love contemporary, or I love whatever, but the real issue is not what you love, but what you worship.  The sad reality in our churches today is that most people love a style of music more than they love God!  When we worship a style music, we are tempted to miss the opportunity to worship God with music whatever the style may happen to be.

I personally don’t think God is seated on the throne saying:  “I just love a strong pipe organ!”, “I love a roll on the drums!” or “I love a good rip on a Fender!”  I do think  God is seated on the throne saying “I really do love it when they worship me with all of their heart!”

If we are honest, we have all missed opportunity to really express our love to and for God through worship, because we were caught up in our own selfish preferences about the style or sound of the music.  Think about it, ask yourself the question and let God help you to get it right for His glory!

Do you love a certain style of music more than you love worshipping God, because if you do, then it’s an idol in your life and God can’t stand idols!

Let’s get honest, so that when we join together for worship at our churches, music does not become a stumbling block, but a stepping stone to Giving God Glory!