Category Archives: Spiritual Food

Practical Application of God’s Word; taking what you read and making it visible in your everyday life.

G is for Grace

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are who we are and where we are because of God’s Grace. We must also know that Grace is a gift that we can never earn or loose, regardless of what we have done. We’ll dig into this more later.

Last time we discussed the 5 Pillars of Christian Maturity. These 5 principles, when comprehended and embraced are guaranteed to produce GROWTH in any believer. Today the focus will be on pillar # 1 the Grace of God, a gift that will keep on giving.

Grace is defined as God’s unmerited, undeserved favor; Strong’s defines it as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify. That’s a lot right; so what does Grace mean to me? God’s supernatural empowerment, whether strength, wisdom and endurance; we’ll provide a few examples later.

There are a few things we must know about GRACE:

  1. GRAVITY of Grace:
    So I love the Lord because I was trying to find the perfect words to describe Grace and the power of God’s unmerited Favor on our lives. As I was listing to a message this morning before church, I heard to preacher use the term Gravity. Boom!!!! The fireworks went off because like Gravity; Grace does not just have one simple definition it’s multifaceted. Gravity is defined as extreme magnitude or alarming importance; seriousness, other words include significance, profundity, momentousness, weightiness. All express how important Grace is to our Christian beliefs; we are saved by God’s Grace. Grace is a unprecedented power that allows God to look beyond the Sin inherent in each one of us to love and allow us to enter into His Kingdom. Grace is Significant!!! Yet while so profound, it is also like Gravity (the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass), in that Grace attracts us to the God who is at the center of our lives. His Grace attracts us by His love and it attracts others to us by its power. When God’s Grace is upon us, others want to be around us because it produces; success, favor and unexplainable blessings. Whether saved on unsaved people want to be around those three things. As we prepare to GROW in 2019, we must understand the GRAVITY of Grace.
  2. Grace enables REDEMPTION: Salvation is possible but only by God’s Grace. Grace empowers each of us to believe in God, trust in His Son Jesus and receive His Holy Spirit into our hearts. Even if we tried we could not do it on our own, our flesh would not allow it only our Spirit which is given to us by God. Redemption is the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. It is the act of being saved from our own sinful nature. It is the act of Jesus Christ giving His life on the Cross that we might all receive Salvation. [Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).]
  3. ABUNDANT Grace: Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Grace is that power working in us to do miraculous things; and it is not just enough but abundant. As a matter of fact, the power in us is exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think more than we can even imagine. God had given us more than we will ever know; often we only witness it when life brings challenges or if the devil attacks us. Remember in 2019; no matter how inept you feel; the Grace God has given you is exceedingly abundantly above.
  4. The Grace CONFESSION: Life & Death is in the power of the tongue and we must confess the Grace upon our life if we desire to see it manifest. What do I mean? When we say we don’t have enough, we’re not enough, we can’t, I can’t do it. What we fail to see is that when we do this our words are acting as a “clog” in the pipe of God’s Grace. God always wants to flow His Grace into our lives and when we confess that God’s Grace is more than able, Your Grace is empowering me, and Your Goodness & Grace will follow me all the days of my life; we unclog all of the pipes God has opened to us.
  5. The Execution of Grace: “Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do.” At some point we have to DO IT!!! We have to execute Grace to others just as God has executed to us. While Christ’s sacrifice is God’s execution of GRACE to us all, that same action gives us the ability/responsibility to execute grace to the people closest to us in our lives and those we may encounter during your lifetime.  Whether it be forgiving someone who has done you wrong or simply giving a smile/speaking a kind word to a stranger; God’s Grace should be shown thru every Christian.  God’s Grace was given to us as a gift.  This means that it was not given as a wage or a reward for some action; we cannot earn it.  Since it is a gift, it can also not be lost or taken away from us; these is no action we can take to lose it.  The Lord gives us grace every day, multiple times a day. We should be so willing to do the same for others.  After all, God blesses us in order for us to be His hands & feet here on earth to be a blessing to others.  We can do that when we extend GRACE in this land of significant judgement.  When we extend GRACE, we show off the “goodness of God” (…it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance Rom 2:4) to a lost world who needs it as well as to a family of believers who could use some encouragement.

Recapping, understanding the GRACE God has shown us will help each of us GROW in our walk with Jesus. The forgiveness of sin, and power to live a life that gives Him glory can only cause us to mature as Christians and be an example to others.

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GROWTH

2nd Peter 3:18 but GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen
As we move quickly into 2019, I ask you a question, what did you learn from 2018. Are you able to grow from last year?? Peter encourages us to grow “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I have to trust that Peter, and all of his experience with the Lord, would understand the type of Growth possible for anyone in Christ Jesus. So what is GROWTH:

GGrace
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
-We are who we are and where we are because of God’s Grace. We must also know that Grace is a gift that we can never earn or loose, regardless of what we have done. We’ll dig into this more later.

RRighteousness
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
-Jesus is Righteous and everything in Him is Righteous. Guess what? 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When we accept Christ as our Savior we become the righteousness of God, because we are in Christ. More to come…

OObedience
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
-I always want my children to obey me, because I feel I know what is best for them, plus I love and would do anything for them. How much more does God want what is best for us? Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

WWorship
Genesis 22: 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
-Worship takes every focus off of ourselves (our life, problems, desires) and places it solely on God!!!! When we do this, we acknowledge Him as our source, strength and hope. We invite God into our situation when we worship and God is looking for us. John 4: 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

TThankfulness
1 Chronicles 16:5 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 35 And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation; Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.”
-A mindset of Thankfulness, is a constant reminder that every blessing we receive or good that happens to us, does so because of God’s love for us. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…

HHealing
Isaiah 53: 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
-By Faith we are healed!! Jesus allowed himself to be beaten to a pulp so that we would receive His supernatural healing and desires that we be healthy and whole. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

As we continue together into 2019, GROWTH has to be a group effort. Us and a Triune God (The Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit). With this team we can do all things. We will work together over the next couple of months to walk thru this GROWTH model. So come back and join us.

Help Me: I’m Sinking

Psalm 69

1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it. 5 O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You. 6 Let not those who [c]wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; Let not those who seek You be [d]confounded because of me, O God of Israel. 7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Shame has covered my face.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. 

One of the most helpless feelings a person can endure is the feeling of drowning.  Being in a body of water regardless of size, and to since you’re slowly sinking deeper and deeper as the water begins to go above your head, is unbearable.  No matter how hard a fight you put up, when your body feels the water covering more and more body parts with seemingly no compassion for your desire to escape is torture.

In this text David cries out to God saying “Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me.”  David felt that his life was in danger because the waters of life had come up to his neck, and it was just a matter of time before the rest of him would be consumed. Have you ever felt like you were sinking; drowning in the stresses of your life; weighted down by unmet expectations, depression or bitterness? Then you’ve been where David was, he was sinking in the mire or the mud, clay or wet sand. He was stuck, unable to move and falling deeper and deeper into the muck.

Last year I competed in a Triathlon, an event that combines running, cycling, and swimming.  The first portion of the event is the swim, which for me was the most difficult. Not that I’m a weak swimmer, but of the three exercises it is where I have the least amount of endurance. Swimming requires the use of just about all the muscles groups in your body and it can be exhausting. It was important that while training, my main goal was increasing my endurance in the water.  I had to put yourself in situations that at times made me seem like I was drowning, even while I was the most tired. This helped me to develop stamina and calm in the pool.  What I found was that when I was calm, my breathing was consistent, and I could keep my lungs filled with air. Ultimately, it kept me afloat.

There are two take ways from this text and my swimming experience. I was able to float and succeed during the swim when: 1. When I remained calm in the water, and 2. When my lungs were filled with air. David found the same success in Psalm 69: 13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation. 14 Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. 14 Let not the floodwater up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.

1. David Was Able to Remain Calm: Even though he was drowning in the mire around him, he did not try to rescue himself. He prayed to the Lord and trusted him for his deliverance. After the initial fear of drowning, David regrouped, found peace in the Lord (remained calm). So, while I did finish the Triathlon, it was not without difficulty during the swim; I started off just as practiced and really felt great for about a minute. The water was splashing from all the men in the water swimming around me, and where we were the water was very muddy; so much so, you could not see beyond your hands in front of you. This caused me to panic, which resulted in shorter and inconsistent breathing and over exertion of the very muscles I needed to finish the swim. I was stroking, kicking, gasping for air & praying that I would be able to finish. One of the Triathlon safety personnel reminded me of this very important principle that David demonstrated, by yelling to get my attention and saying, “Calm Down.” It was clear & concise, I had to relax in order to catch my breath. I not only had to remember this but continue the process for the LONG reminder of the swim. Like David, I thought I was going to drown; but by remaining calm I was able completed the event.

2. David Was Filled With Breath: David sought the Lord and his heart was filled with God’s Breath of Life; His Holy Spirit. Psalm 69: 29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. David went from fearing for his life to praising and magnifying his God. David prayed and was filled with Life by the Spirit of God. It’s just like filling our lungs with air; when our lungs are filled with air, our bodies are able to float (air is lighter than water). After telling me to Calm down, my new best friend (the safety guy) also reminded me to breathe. You see while training, you develop a pattern or rhythm of breathing that not only helps keep your lungs filled with breath (air), but the rhythm helps choreograph your strokes/kicks. That simple reminder helped both me and David rise above the water that would normally drown us.

So, this year with whatever 2019 brings you, remember to calm down and breathe. (Be Calm) Let the Peace of God guard your heart and mind (Phil 4:7). (Breathe) The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give s me life (Job 33:4)

Get Back To Business Part 2: Jesus Anointed You Too….

View This Message on YouTube @ “The Manger” https://youtu.be/jXbpBG7sAdE

Last time we talked about finding God’s Plan for your life by being “about My Father’s business.”
(Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”)

When you focus on Jesus’ purpose, He’ll lead you to yours (Seek Ye First His Kingdom…). This week I wanted to dig a little deeper into what My Father’s business is all about and how Jesus is the example for all of us:

Before we discuss what Jesus did, we have to look at how He did it. In Luke 4 Jesus revealed His power source and assignment. Jesus said so much in so few words. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To. Because of what the Holy Spirit did for Jesus while on earth, He will now do the following for us:

  1. The Holy Spirit Is Our Power Source:

Jesus left His Kingly Throne to come and take on an earthly body. He gave up everything to become like us. Therefore when He declared that The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, what he was telling us is that we need the Spirit of the Lord is upon us in order to do anything. John said it like this: John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Before we can be about any business…we need The Holy Spirit’s power. One of man’s biggest downfalls is our short term memory. We often forget how powerless we are without God’s help. If Jesus, while on earth needed the power of the Holy Spirit to work miracles, heal the sick and save; why do we think we can do anything without The Vine‘s power. What do I mean, many times we believe that because we’ve earned the diploma or certification and that is why we are successful. Forgetting that it was only God that miraculously made it possible for us to even get into a school, let alone graduate; but somehow we based our success or pulling ourselves up by our own boot straps. Remember (Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure)

Jesus however, tells us what we can expect from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” & John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you). When we seek Him, He gives us Power and teaches us all things & the bible encourages us in (John 15:7-8 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.   This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.), that we will bear fruit and have what we ask God for; this will show the world that we are Christ’s Disciples as we minister to His children here on earth. Before we can serve the Poor, Broken Hearted, captives or the blind, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Power Source and now we need our assignment.

2.  The Holy Spirit Gives Us Marching Orders:

Because He has anointed Me: Jesus tells us that He was anointed. What does that mean? Strong’s Definition: (5548 xríō) – to anoint by rubbing or pouring olive oil on someone to represent the flow (empowering) of the Holy Spirit & to present someone as divinely-authorized (appointed by God) to serve as prophet, priest or king (set apart, consecrated, and ceremonially conferred; given a position for a particular assignment). So anointing further highlights the empowering of the Holy Spirit, but it also speaks to being given an assignment. If we use military jargon it would be receiving orders. The Holy Spirit will give us marching orders. Jesus tells us his Marching Orders were to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, give the blind sight, liberate the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Now those orders are being transferred to us.

Since we’re talking militarily, the assignment process is simple; once your billet or assignment is completed, you are transferred and someone else is assigned to your position. Jesus laid out a very detailed target demographic that He was anointed to serve. Great Leaders always Prepare/Train their replacement? Jesus is a great leader and He prepared the 12, then the 70; then the church and He is still training up replacements today; including each one of us. Because Jesus was anointed, we too are anointed because we are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When Jesus ascended to heaven, His assignment was accomplished (John19:30… It Is Finished). The disciples then took over Christ assignment or Marching Orders via the Holy Spirit and today the Orders have been passed down to us. So now that we have our Power Source & our Marching Orders, it’s time to get to business.

It is now time To handle “My Father’s business.” We received power and direction now it is time To execute His business. Jesus let us know that the Holy Spirit gave Him power, and anointed him To heal, serve and minister to all of us. We see all thru scripture that His purpose was being manifested, executed and seen on the earth; this is done for the benefit of man & so that God would be glorified.

Next time we’ll go a little deeper into Jesus’ 6 assigned areas, so please join us here at “the Manger” and connect with us at (https://feednhissheep.wordpress.com/)

If the message blesses you please subscribe to the YouTube Channel “The Manger”
https://youtu.be/jXbpBG7sAdE

Get Back To Business!!!

View This Message on “The Manger” @  https://youtu.be/fw7CPH3FdXM  

I retired from the military 3 years ago and my family moved here to Houston. We’d become used to moving often, about every 2 to 3 years. So knowing now that we would be planted was really exciting for all of us. My family has really settled in well, the kids are in great schools and all doing very well; they’ve made friends and all three have really begun to blossom into their own uniqueness. My wife has also settled in, authoring two books, launching a faith based clothing line and participating at local conferences. It’s all been fun to watch. Everyone was finally living in the GAP; you know that Good, Acceptable and Perfect Will of God (Romans 12:2). Well almost everyone…

Have you ever known that you’re exactly where God’s Purpose is for you…..But you can’t quite put your finger on what it is you’re supposed to be doing? That is where I’ve found myself recently, but what do you do when you’re living in God’s Purpose but still unsure of His Plan……

Unsure of what exactly I’m supposed to be doing, I recently asked God what I was missing. Why do I feel just a little out of sorts? He told me I had to go back; Go back to when you first heard Jesus’ voice. But what did that mean? The Key was hearing Jesus’ voice; So I went on a quest to find His first words documented in the Bible. Figuring it had to be in the Gospels I searched (Matt 3:15 talking to John the Baptist; or Mark 1:15 when preaching to the Galilean’s; or John 1:38 when John’s disciples were following Him)
Matt 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
John 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”

I found it in Luke. While Jesus was still a teenager, He said this to His parents, who were anxiously searching for Jesus after leaving Him behind in Jerusalem….
Luke 2:49…And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

When I read this; Jesus’ words really jumped out at me. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Jesus was in the right place and focused on God’s plan for Him on the earth. A plan which was for our hope and future. Even at such a young age, Jesus new how to keep the main thing the main thing. He was tending to Our Fathers Business. I was trying to figure out what my purpose was here in the Houston area; and it was clear. I’d forgotten to first be about My Father’s business. With the many hat’s I attempt to wear, it had become easy to misplace my priorities by doing everything except My Father’s business. So what was His Father’s business? Jesus would provide some insight to His Father’s business” two chapters later during a trip to the synagogue in Nazareth:

(Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.)

Whenever you’re searching for God’s Plan for your life start serving others. Serve those who Jesus was anointed to serve:

-to preach the gospel to the poor
-sent Me to heal the brokenhearted
-to proclaim liberty to the captives
-recovery of sight for the blind
-to set at liberty those who are oppressed
-to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

This word was challenging to me and ignited the service in me. I had just started back doing prison ministry and had new hunger for discipleship groups. I want to challenge those of you who like me sometimes find yourselves asking the question what am I supposed to be doing; Get Back to Business. You will never go wrong being about our Father’s business and you will always find Jesus right there with you.
Listen, I’ve been studying and executing Executive Level Leadership for the past 26 years. One principle that has remained a pillar for successful, corporations, organizations and industries is this. Every leadership philosophy should be aligned with the overall corporate/organization Vision/Mission Statement. If every leader is aligned with the company’s purpose 8 time out of 10 they have to succeed. In Luke Jesus laid out the Vision of why He was here, now it is up to us to align ourselves with His vision and accomplish what it was sat out to do. I mentioned an 8 out of 10 or 80% success rate; the other 20% was based on the organization’s leader. Ours is Jesus, so we cannot go wrong.

Are you looking for purpose and can’t find it???? Align your vision. Are you proclaiming the Gospel to those who need it? Are you tending to the broken hearted? Are you helping the Blind see? So I’ve been walking thru Master Life individually with my two Sons (Master Life is a powerful discipleship series that I highly encourage for those interested in going to a new level in Christ). In the study we are reminded that Jesus’ primary focus on us and for us is LOVE. And that LOVE is to be shown by Him thru each one of us. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The way we find our purpose is by loving others the way Christ decides; bearing fruit in His name and touching the people He was anointed to impact. When we do this; God is glorified and He will open our eyes to the purpose we seek and the desires He has for us. John 15:7-8 “ If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

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Introducing “The Manger”

The Manger:  https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

I’m excited to announce a new element to the Feeding His Sheep Blog: I want to introduce everyone to “The Manger,” a YouTube Channel geared to feeding the Lord’s Sheep across the Globe.  From time to time I’d like to begin sharing with you from a new platform; video.

So why’d we call this channel “The Manger?” When Jesus was resurrected and walked the earth for what is believed to be 40 days; He found His disciples on the water fishing just as he’d found several of them when His ministry first began. You guys might remember Peter, the disciple who was so prideful that he told Jesus he would never deny him, then before the rooster crowed 3 times Peter aggressively rejected even knowing Jesus, and it would be the last time seeing Jesus before his crucifixion.
Peter was at his lowest point, how could he ever be worth anything after this? John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Yet Jesus sought out Peter and this “worthless traitor” would soon be given His greatest responsibility. Jesus told Peter to Feed His Sheep! He not only restored Peter, He entrusted His most precious possession; His Children (you and I). God wants to do the same with us (if he has not already done so).

We will feed His Sheep today thru this new YouTube Channel “The Manger.” Webster’s defines manger as a long open box or trough for horses or cattle to eat from. It is a place that many can eat from at once time. This channel will be a place where all can eat; and not one plate at a time but as much as they’re able to handle….then even come back from more.

There is also another reason the channel is called “The Manger,” it was the resting place for Jesus. When He entered the very earth that He came to save, the Prince of Peace had nowhere to even lay His head. He was relegated to a dusty old manger even though he deserved a Royal Reception. Jesus will be found in this manger as well. Jesus Christ will be the only food on this Manger’s.
“The Manger” is where we can all be fed and the only item on the menu will be Jesus in all of His glory. Why because everything we stand in the need of can be found in Jesus, 2000 years ago He lovingly came here with Grace & Truth to sacrifice all so that we could become the Righteousness of God.

If the channel blesses you please subscribe: https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

It’s Settled

Isaiah 1:18 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 

When we believe Jesus Christ is Lord and He died for our sins……..It’s Settled!!!!!

You are Forgiven…….

2016: A Year of Discernment & Vindication Resulting in Blessings

Each year I look forward to the New Year’s message. It is great to hear how the Lord is speaking to the whole church. It has often been my experience, that the same scripture, principle or theme for the year would be given by God to a number of Pastors I follow, which to me just confirms what God is saying. During Praise & Worship last week God sent me to Chapter 20 verse 16 for 2016. I could not wait to sit down and find this scripture; that is before realizing that there were well over 20 books in the bible with a Chapter 20 and verse 16. However, there are two principles I use when studying scripture; Jesus in the book of John & First Mention. Whenever I want to know something more about Jesus I go to the Gospel to John, this Gospel speaks to the Divine Nature of Jesus. First Mention is when you find a topic first mentioned in the bible, you’ll find God’s original meaning/definition of that topic. So using these principles, I focused on John and Genesis 20:16……are you following yet?

  1. Discernment

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”   She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

When I read this I was excited, because I immediately remembered this story. The verse highlights a moment when Mary was in deep despair, after all Jesus had just died and now it seems someone has come in and stolen His body from the grave. Angels were on the scene and had just started a conversation with her, but she could not focus with so many distractions demanding her attention. Jesus was even talking to Mary, attempting to give her peace, but she was so lost in her current circumstances, she had no idea the Lord was talking. “Mary,” a voice pierced thru the chaos and all of the noise, now she was finally able to clearly hear and discern the source of this dynamic voice. It was Jesus. Immediately, everything changed, the Prince of Peace calmed all of Mary’s anxiety and pain, giving her a completely new perspective on her circumstances. Everything that Jesus taught her had now become clear.  Just like Mary, in 2016 we will be able to hear Jesus thru all of the chaos in our own lives. We will discern His guidance and direction like we’ve never experienced before. Where we’ve been hesitant to make major decisions, in 2016 our path will be made plain. Major project milestones that needed to be met in 2015, the Lord will make our next steps clear and He will complete what was started. Where we’ve been afraid to make moves; Jesus will make it Clear in the New Year…… (you know you have to make it rhyme ;). Get ready for clarity in 2016.

Jesus will be our JEHOVA-RAAH (Our Shepard who tenderly leads us, Loves us and will keep us safe)

  1. Vindication

Gen 20:16 Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.”

Genesis tells the story of one of the times Abraham, in fear lied to protect himself while leaving his family at risk (Abimelech, the King of Gerar, could have easily made Sarah one of his wives and took her away from Abraham). Read the story, he did this twice, but don’t get is twisted Abraham is still the Father of our Faith (Thank Goodbess receiving Jesus’ righteousness does not depend on our actions).  Even though Abraham made a poor decision, God stepped in to protect Sarah from any harm, then He turned around to vindicate and  exceedingly bless them both. The word vindicate depicts a coverings or a veiling; I’d like to think of it as our own suit of armor…..can you say a robe of righteousness.

Have you made a bad choice?  One that put your entire family at risk? Maybe you are living out the ramifications of those choices. Guess what?  God knew us while we were still in our mother’s womb.  So He knows every thought we think and every choice we make well before we’ve ever considered it. He will protect us from harm and in 2016 He will vindicate us!!  That thing you’ve been accused of, Jesus is your lawyer and will argue your case.  He will ultimately turn the tables on your accuser.  He will cause those seeking you harm, to restore all that was lost and even more. You see Abimelech, after Abraham  lied to him and put his family in jeopardy, gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver. Now how much that is worth in today’s dollars has been estimated by different sources to be anywhere from $500 to $200,000. Regardless, Abraham was blessed immensely by the very one that he feared would destroy his family. God will use your enemies to bless you; and in 2016 we will begin to see this happen in our lives.

Jesus will be our JEHOVAH-NISSI (Our Banner, a Banner of Love and Protection).

Recap: While there are so many powerful chapter 20 verse 16’s in the bible. I sense the Lord leading many of us to the Book of John and Genesis, preparing us for the New Year.   2016 will be a year of Discernment & Vindication resulting in tangible blessings. Next year we will see and experience the “Lord our Shepherd” as depicted in Psalm 23. I don’t know about you but I’m excited for the 2016!!!

Don’t Fear Destiny…Check Your Receipt

Numbers 14:4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

Who said these words? Was the leadership so bad that an immediate change at the top was needed? What was so bad that a return trip to Egypt was imminent?

This was a quote from the children of Israel, after a select group of 12 leaders were sent into the Promised Land. They were sent to prepare an assessment of an unfamiliar place they were destined to occupy; a promised gift from their leader. Oh did I mention that the leader they so anxiously wanted to replace was Jehovah God, the very God who’d created them. Yes, Moses was the human put in charge, but the people knew he was merely a figurehead as all of his direction came straight from the mouth of God.

Don’t be so quick to judge; how many times have we latched on to someone else’s leadership (especially our own) and gone in the opposite direction of God’s leading? Yeah, we’ve been there….each and every one of us. Even though God’s not speaking to us like He did with Moses, in a cloud during the day and fire at night, we’ve chosen our ways as better than God’s.

Well why they were so opposed to God’s plan, that they would even consider going back to the enslaved life of bondage and despair they’d recently been delivered from?????   They were PETRIFIED of their destiny and could not believe that God loved them enough to keep His promise. Fear will challenge faith and distort reality. The devil knows that fear hinders faith; which is why God’s perfect love casts out all fear. The Israelites felt they we’re a mess, a failure, weak and insignificant. There is no way they could go up against the Giants of this new land and win. There is no way this unbelievable land, new homes and gorgeous resort style country could be for them. God could not possibly love them enough to keep that promise he made back when they left Egypt. After all, they’d broken His commandments and complained. He would never follow-through on His promise because they did not deserve it.

That was their mindset, it was what they believed about God. Oh, it’s hitting home now isn’t it?? You’ve felt like this before, maybe even right now. I’ve been there. With all of the wrong that I’ve done in my life, how could God possibly want to see me “living the dream?” The dream that is salvation, freedom, blessings, health and prosperity….you know the blessed life. I do not deserve it…..but God loves me so much (John 3:16).

You know what we have that the Children of Israel didn’t? A receipt for God’s promise. Jesus Christ is our blood stained receipt for God’s love and destiny for our lives. God has paid for our future, one of eternal life with Him, by giving His Son as a sacrifice for all of our sin, past and future. So God knew our future before we started our past and just like us He knew the promise for the Children of Israel. They did not see God as Joshua and Caleb did (we’ll dig into that a different time).   It’s time for us to check our receipt and know that because of Jesus’ work on the Cross, the destiny God has given us is paid for. Although there are giants occupying that place now, they will fall because Our God is Greater, Stronger and More Loving than anything that will ever stand in our way.

Change your mind and like Joshua and Caleb say, “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’   Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

The First Happy Meal

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

Today we began what we hope to be our final home church search, as we have settled in the Houston area for good. As far as we know what God’s plans are. We don’t always look forward to this because it has very often been a very long and arduous process for us, because Jesus Christ and His finished work is not the focus of many churches out here today. Anyway that is not the topic of today’s blog.

In the message we heard today, the preacher gave an illustration using some of McDonald’s old jingles and other fast food chains. I could not help but think of the Happy meals I used to each as a kid and now my kids enjoy. Well at least my daughter, my boys feel “too old” for those kid meals.

Today’s verse really serves as a reminder to me about just how grateful we should all be that Jesus gave us the first “Happy Meal.” Let me show you:

Prior to this verse, the disciples were with Jesus and departed to go find food. They were in the middle of a 70 mile trip from Judea to Galilee. So after leaving Jesus to rest at this well, they came back with a meal for Him, so He could be replenished.  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. What they did not realize is that Jesus had already had a Happy Meal of His own. I use the term Happy here because the Hebrew word for blessed (Esher) means Happy or Happiness and it blessed Jesus to do God’s will and to finish His work. But really it blesses us for Jesus to do God’s will and Finish His work. Because that work was finished on Calvary’s cross and redeemed us all. Jesus’ great act of love is what feed Him. This was truly the first Happy Meal….Praise be to God!!!!