They Say?

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so wherethere is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

I liked this picture, it made me think about the verse I quoted above. Why? Notice the matchstick? It is unlit.

Seems we can avoid many, many problems and controversies by simply refusing to gossip. Sure, something might be true, but love covers a multitude of sins. If you messed up, would you want your friends broadcasting your mess?

It is better to be quick to pray, and slow to spread rumors or tales of others woe. It doesn’t help them, you, or our communities, nor bring healing, hope, or anything constructive. Prayer, on the other hand, in the mighty name of Jesus, always is heard in heaven, and invokes God’s power to make wrongs right, and to fix the impossible.
pray no gossip

Some people struggle with identity crisis – we forget who we are before the throne of God – children of the most High God, ambassadors of heaven, royalty. Instead of letting God’s love permeate our deepest thoughts, and give us that deep inner confidence that can only come from heaven, we find ourselves trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’, more concerned with what ‘They’ think, than what God thinks.

Read this poem that sums it up pretty well:

Have you heard of the terrible family They,
And the dreadful venomous things They say?
Why, half the gossip under the sun,
If you trace it back, you will find begun
In that wretched House of They.

Ellen Wilcox Wheeler

I have heard stories about the life of my friend and pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty about how he handled it when someone approached him with a juicy piece of gossip. He would either grab the persons hand and say: ‘Great! Let’s pray for that person, right now!’

In one instance, his son complained to him about the behavior of one of the staff, and he said: ‘Let’s get them over here right now, so that we can pray together about this!” His son, was like, ‘But Dad, I want you take my side in this! Yet, he refused to do it, determined to walk in love and impartially towards everyone in the church.

If you have not really dug into the Scriptures yet, to discover who you are in God’s sight by looking in the mirror of His Word, please check out this article I wrote entitled ‘Identity Crisis’. In it, I’ve included several articles and confessions that agree with who Gods says we are: https://wordpress.com/post/chrisaomministries.com/8195

I have written a couple articles on the topic of gossip and words over the years you might find helpful:

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/22/hidden-by-god-from-the-hard-words-of-people/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/05/15/all-liars-shall-be-silenced/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/13/backstabbers/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/do-you-talk-to-much/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/how-to-defeat-gossip/

Words are containers, servants that should be used carefully and wisely.

Like vessels, they contain the spirit in which they were uttered: either words of love, faith, and authority backed up by heaven, or vain, foolish non-productive words that don’t build anything, but only tear down people through insinuation, allegation, accusation, or lies.

Be a builder today, of people, places and things, using your words as tools to create a better piece of the world you occupy.

Lets pray

‘Father, put Your words in my mouth today. Words of life, love, power, and faith that change my world, and the lives of those around me. Set a watch upon my lips, a rein on my tongue, that I might not tear down what You have called me to build. May Your perfect love destroy my deepest insecurities, your peace that passes all understanding, reign in my heart. Let me truly love, and honestly not care what others think about me and mine, but let me walk free from the tyranny of others expectations, manipulations, and control. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’

 

Even miracles and God’s presence will NOT always cause a person to repent!

The Presence of God, and gifts of the spirit, will not change a human heart….
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
1 Sam 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.
20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.
23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
Surely, we see a divine encounter with the kingdom of God here. Let’s think about what is going on here.

Saul disobeyed God, and the kingdom was stripped from him. The anointing of God was taken from him, and given to David, and an evil spirit came upon Saul. Saul, hates David, because he sees in him, that which he lacks in himself: courage, bravery, excellence of spirit, purity of heart, and a heart that is in love with God Himself.

Despite the fact that Saul has been throwing spears at him, and hunting him to kill him, David, on the run, refuses to take Saul’s life, and he continually cries out to God on behalf of Saul. Yet, Saul, determined to keep the kingdom, continually sends soldiers to attempt to kill David, and David, by hearing intimately the voice of God, is able to avoid them, every time.
david voice
Why did God allow David all those years in the wilderness running from Saul? I think it is because David had to hear God accurately, in life or death situations, if he was ever going to be fit to be king.
In this account, David has run for refuge from Saul to Samuel’s house, and they are having a revival meeting where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are very much in operation, so much so that when Saul’s soldiers come chasing David there, they are arrested by the Spirit of God, and find themselves prophesying under the anointing of God.
gifts
Saul does not want to hear this, so sends two more sets of messengers to Ramah, and each time, they too succumb to the power of God, and find themselves prophesying by the Spirit of God, and unable to apprehend David.

So, Saul Himself goes down to Samuel’s revival meeting, and what happens: v 24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night.
slain
Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

So, you would think, after the Holy Spirit so humbled Saul, that he would repent, and begin again to serve the Lord, and leave David alone.

Yet, what did he do?

He went home, and again began to plot again how to murder king David!

Even after the presence of God had caused him to prophesy naked for a day and a night at the feet of Samuel!
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
In Luke 16, we read the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Notice here that this is not an allegory or parable, but a true story Jesus is recounting. The rich man went to hell, and the poor beggar went to Abraham’s bosum or paradise (Jesus had not yet risen from the dead, so heaven was not open yet).

We see this rich man in hell, seeing father Abraham, and crying out that someone be sent to his family, that they not end up in the same place.

Yes, people in hell are praying that we share the gospel with their families!

Let’s pick it up here:

Luke 16:

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
listen

Notice what Abraham, in the afterlife said: that it is more important for people to hear the word of God, and repent, than to see miracles. In fact the implication here is strong: That if someone will not hear the word of God, even if they saw someone raised from the dead telling them of what was to come, they would not change!

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
So what is the moral of the story?

Simple: The gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of God, will not change a human heart, unless that heart is willing to be changed.

I have heard it said, that the only thing greater than the power of God in the earth, is the free will of man.

Saul might have been able to repent here, and be of some use to king David in his future reign, had he humbled himself, but he absolutely refused!
responsible1
It eventually cost him his life, and the life of his son, and many others.

The only safe prayer I see in all of this, is the repeated theme of my life and ministry:

‘Father, please grant me purity of heart and purpose. Please open my eyes, and deliver me from my own delusions of grandeur, my will, and my way. Jesus, you are the way, please become my way, with no other agenda, no compromise. May I serve and fully obey You, in spirit and in truth, whatever the cost, for your name and honors sake, Amen’

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

Sin will hurt YOU!

Sin will hurt you!

racoon

Sin always costs more than you were willing to pay, and takes you furthur than you wanted to go.

Gary Richmond, a former zoo keeper, had this to say: Raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. Since a 30-pound raccoon can be equal to a 100-pound dog in a scrap, I felt compelled to mention the change coming to a pet raccoon owned by a young friend of mine, Julie. She listened politely as I explained the coming danger. I’ll never forget her answer. “It will be different for me. . .” And she smiled as she added, “Bandit wouldn’t hurt me. He just wouldn’t.” Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. Bandit was released into the wild. Sin, too, often comes dressed in an adorable guise, and as we play with it, how easy it is to say, “It will be different for me.” The results are predictable.

Gary Richmond, View From The Zoo
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.Gen 4:7 AMP

If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.”
tiger crouch

All of us have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, all of us have desires to do wrong, the devil and his minions will make sure of it.

The question is: Will we rise up in the power of God’s love, and conquer our own personal demons, and become the people of honor and integrity that Jesus died that we become, or do we simply, quietly, die, one day at a time, in a life of mediocrity and compromise.

There is victory in Jesus over sin, and we are called to walk in it!

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, you see my life. You have seen my compromise, and pet sins. Give me courage and grace to end immoral relationships, leave my life of mediocrity, and to rise up in Your power and strength, and fully serve Jesus in this, my generation, without compromise. Help me to be the person of love, honor, and integrity You have created me to be, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, AMEN!’

Negotiations – Not Every Offering is acceptable

Negotiations
acceptable
2 Kings 5:26 Is it a time to receive money?

I remember this verse well, but to begin, let’s look at the account of Abraham looking for a burial place for his beloved wife, Sarah.

Gen 23: 4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,
6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
8 And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
9 That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.
10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.
12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.
13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.
14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,
15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.
16 ¶ And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
acceptable offering

Notice the heart of Abraham here. He could have simply received this grave site cave as a gift, but his heart fully belonged to God, full of honor.

He knew that in the long run, not paying full price for this burial plot would have caused strife between him and Ephron, and there is no honor in strife. How? Think about it for a minute: the people in the community would say: Abraham is really wealthy, yet he took some of our land to bury his wife. He could have paid for it, but he took advantage of ‘uncle’ Ephron’s kindness…You know how all that can go…

Reminds me of the heart of Elisha after Naaman was healed of leprosy, yet he did not receive an offering from him.

Let’s look at the account here:

fear obedience
2 Kings 5:15 ¶ And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
16 But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?

As we study church history, we have seen great abuses of spiritual authority in this area.

The great healing evangelists who would see the power of God open a number of deaf ears, or raise cripples miraculously from deathbeds or wheelchairs, only to announce:

‘Now let’s honor God by taking up an offering!’
Jesus gold

As if one can buy the miraculous power of God!

Matthew 10:8

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Not every offering is acceptable before God, and though folks may offer us money, gifts, great deals, not every offering is acceptable before God.

I remember how the Lord dealt with me along these lines while I attended Bible school at Rhema back in the 90’s.
I had prayed for some new suits, and while at a revival meeting, a man approached me and told me that God told him to give me three new suits that he had just purchased. We went to his house after the meeting, and they were beautiful suits, and exactly my size! I went home praising God, thanking Him for this blessing, but had a gentle nudge down in my heart, that something wasn’t quite right. Wasn’t sure quite what yet.

Next morning, in devotions, the Lord showed me the motives of this man’s heart that had given me the suits, and they were not right before him.

Mt 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

The man was extremly bitter against Rhema, and was in gross rebellion towards God Himself. I prayed about what to do, and the Lord told me to return the suits that very minute to the man, so I jumped in my car, drove across town, and left them on the doorknob of his house with a note on them. Never saw the man again, but God ignited my heart with joy, and I knew that I had done the right thing.

The heart of any true minister of God, is to receive offerings, in faith, just like Jesus received the little boys lunch: When people give to us, we should have not merely gratefulness that OUR needs are being met, but more importantly, that they honored God in their giving, so that we could, with the faith of Abraham, believe God would multiply their gift exponentially so that THEIR needs are met.

This is the heart of the apostle Paul in the famous verses, often misquoted at offering time that he wrote in his letter to the Phillippians:

4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Paul saw, before the throne of God, how God Himself was honoring the offerings of the Phillipian church, and ‘fruit was being added to their account’ so that he could state clearly that God would become personally involved in their finances, and would supply all of their needs according TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY by Christ Jesus!

supply
Hope this helps someone today, trying to walk in their calling, and to keep their heart right before the Lord.

Let’s pray:
“Father God, I come before you right now, trusting you, and You alone fully for my provision. Show me where to give, and where to receive, and give me strength of heart, to never be bought, nor compromise our vital, living relationship. In your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Life in the Potters Hands…

Life in the Potters Hands...

The Potters House

Jer 18:1 ¶ The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

I know, every time that someone hears the name ‘Potter’s House’ we think of the incredible bishop TD Jakes! As much as we love the bishop, we see here, that he received the name of his ministry, from the Word of God.
potter
Today, as I read through these passages, I had an interesting thought occur to me:

Could it be that as God desires to promote, increase, and use us more, that there can be times, where the vessel that we once were, must be destroyed, in order that something greater can be formed, more beautiful, bigger, more exquisitely designed, for a more noble purpose?

Hear the prayer of king David in his distress:

Ps 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Sure sounds like our verse out of Jeremiah doesn’t it?
broken
The vessel was marred, so it was shattered, and remade into something greater….

Read through this psalm.

Could it be that this is exactly what God did here with David?

He was shattered in his sin and in his trial, yet after pouring out his heart to God, he ends by saying:

31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

He shall strengthen your heart….

Well, I am spiritual, but practical. I always look for purpose in any given process. Could it be, that when we find ourselves shattered at the feet of a Holy and loving God, that it was because the vessel, our heart, was marred, and God, who only wants good for our lives, and the lives of those we are called to serve, rebuilds us after each shattering, stronger, with larger capacity for Him, for service, for life….
broken vessel
As I go through life, I find there is often a process at work in my life.

Yes, from His love, joy, life, I get to serve my fellow man, and this is a privilege and honor.
Serve
Yet, I did not grow up in church, discipled under the Word of God, and the Bible is clear:

Ro 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

So, I do certain things, that seem good in my eyes.

Learned behaviors and actions learned in my family, in school, in the workplace, that seemed to work during the time I was in those circumstances, yet that have formed, in my soul, belief systems.

Where these belief systems are based upon the Word of God, they come in to the kingdom of God when I receive Jesus, and bear eternal fruit.

However, many, many of the things I have believed were not Scriptural, and therefore, have become ‘high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God’
cast
I cry out, year after year, for revival, to be pure in heart, to be holy in word and deed before God, and He answers….

Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
diamond
How I walk with Him, and cry out for Him, will affect what kind of vessel I become.

1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
instruments
I must purge myself with the Word of God. He will change me, as I cry out for it, but He does not give what is holy to the dogs…

So, I go into this hurting world, with the love of Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, yet humbly…

As I get to know people, I learn to listen, learn, and see God at work in their world and culture and sometimes, I find myself shattered.

breaks it
Usually, because I discover people so broken, that I have no way of helping them, other than the power of God, and this, is a good place to be in prayer…Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for to these, come the kingdom…

Yet, there is another kind of brokenness, the topic of this meditation. The one that God Himself brings, the one that comes, when He, in His infinite wisdom, love, and holiness, shatters us to recreate something more glorious, fit for the master’s use.

In construction we have basically three categories: commercial, residential, and remodel (which can be either commercial or residential).

Ps 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

There is a saying in construction: ‘You can’t build on broken bricks.’

To build anything right, the foundation must be solid, level, and able to bear the load of whatever we plan to build upon it.

In any case, the dirt work must be done first, before a foundation can be laid:

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 ¶ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

So, we cry out to God, and we are moving in His gifts, His anointing, seeking Him daily, and are being transformed, into the likeness of Jesus.

Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Then, for almost no apparent reason, we find ourselves shattered.

Construction has begun on our personal temple…
God builds
We thought we were in faith, and we were, but that very faith drove us into the heart of our holy God, and He, in His mercy, sees the very foundations of our belief system, our lies, our treacherous ways, our scheming, prideful, and fearful ways, and in His courts, we, the vessel, the temple of the Holy Spirit, is marred….

Yet, He loves us!

So, we are shattered.

In a remodel, the demolition comes first. The architect or builder has a plan for a greater structure that may include moving some load bearing walls, expansion requires greater foundation, and in comes the dirt crew again…

Dust, dirt, workmen, and noise, shatter our serenity, but God Himself is at work, making a temple that will survive the fire!

Smash! And we realize we were terrified of certain things, until His perfect love appears and destroys our deepest fear!

Crash! We realize that we have believed lies. That perhaps mom and dad were wrong on some things. That everything we learned in school was not all true.

Bam! Suddenly abortion is no longer a personal choice, but murder before God. Evolution, so carefully learned in our hearts and minds, meets the Creator of all life, and bam, this idol falls.

Situational ethics, meet the rock solid standards of the Word, and our lying, manipulative, sneaky ways, become purity of heart, a clear conscious, an eye that is single, a confidence and boldness that is unshakable. We can look anyone in the eye, for we have nothing to hide…

And gently, the master potter, places us again on the wheel, wet, pliable, formable, and a new vessel is formed….

His loving hands make again, a thing of beauty!

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
potter Isaiah
His hands are gentle….

2Sa 22:36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

This is my life these days.

I have been from rags to riches, to brokenness again, yet I know the potter, and embrace the wheel, for what comes off the wheel, will face the fire, and come forth unmarred, strong, and fit for the master’s use…

It’s all about harvest; God is making me, and many of you, into threshing instruments, vessels of honor that will contain His glory, power, and anointing necessary to reap this generation…
Harvest1
Let’s pray:
“Father, I know you. Each time and season you purge me, move from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory. Thank you for purging, breaking, and reforming me, more like Jesus, that you can entrust to me more responsibility, wisdom, strength, and grace to reach this generation. Please do not hold back! Make me all I need to be! In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.”

Confounders of the Wise – Being Purified!

Confounders of the Wise

(1 Cor 1:27 NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

(1 Cor 1:28 NIV) He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are,

The computer gives me these verses in the New International Version of the Bible, but I like the way they read in the King James Version:

(1Cor 1:27 KJV) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are nought, to bring to not the things that are.

gandalf1

I like the way the Message Bible says this verse.

“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks, exploits, and abuses chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything we have-right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start-comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That is why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.””

trumpet

In my addiction, I was a fool. I would lie to my parents about where I was going, and what I was doing, and what I was spending my allowance on so that I could go and get high with my friends. At these parties, there were fights; people were involved in sexual depravity. The people who were my so-called friends would sell me out for the next drug deal. I was a fool, and to be honest, when you were not actively serving God, so were you. You would lie to cover yourself, and rationalize your behavior to avoid being honest with yourself and God, avoiding the cross and the truth and the mercy of God that sets us free. We were fools.
fool
Funny thing about life is this. When I initially wrote these words, 15 years ago, I had not yet been exposed to a different culture: the ‘up and outers’..People that have accumulated wealth, assets, and stuff, yet as I have entered their homes, I have met all kinds of irregular behaviors: Pride, homosexuality, materialism, drug addictions (with drugs now supplied by ‘friendly’ doctors, alcoholism, and the long train of broken relationships, divorces, child custody battles, and the whole ‘keep up with the community’ scene. People who have money, but who, in the privacy of their own homes, are just as broken, and messed up, as we used to be partying on the weekends in high school.

jones
As I have seen this scene, I am even more convinced that Jesus is the only answer for the human heart:Only He, can give peace, dignity, honor, and joy in the journey..If we walk with Him, money can have purpose, and be a blessing to many, without Him, all money does is make more of me.

If ‘me’ likes video games, money gets ‘me’ more games. If ‘me’ likes women, then ‘me’ wines and dines more ladies. If ‘me’ likes cars, ‘me’ gets more fancy automobiles, and so it goes with houses, electronics, boats, planes, etc.

Yet, if ‘me’ loves Jesus, and is surrendered to Him, money means more churches, orphanages, missionaries being sent, children’s programs, great gospel crusades, food to the hungry, water wells drilled, children going to school, and truly one discovers that it really is more blessed to give than to receive…as one by one, like the leper who came back to Jesus, people in the kingdom, come back to say, ‘Thank-you!’, and joy becomes full!

money world

(2 Tim 2:20 NIV) In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.

(2 Tim 2:21 NIV) If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

(2 Tim 2:22 NIV) Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(2 Tim 2:23 NIV) Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

(2 Tim 2:24 NIV) And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

(2 Tim 2:25 NIV) Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

(2 Tim 2:26 NIV) and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
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Where do you think all these temptations come from? God? Do you think God is schizophrenic? Holy, Pure, kind, and loving one minute, then tempting you to do the things that will destroy you?

(James 1:13 NIV) When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

(James 1:14 NIV) but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

(James 1:15 NIV) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

(James 1:16 NIV) Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.

No! God is a good God. He loves you, and can never lead you into evil. It is Satan who puts the thoughts in your mind, reminding you of the pleasure your sin will bring you. Let’s get real here can we. If sin was no fun, no one would bother. Saw a plaque on a wall one time made me laugh, that read: ‘The trouble with trouble is that it started out as fun!’ No, the Bible is clear, there is pleasure in sin for a season. Yet, it always pays the same – death. It is designed to separate you from Him who is life, and while your flesh is laughing with the fools and God haters, your conscience is screaming No! Don’t do this, the Holy Spirit grieving within you. Think about it.

Well, the Bible is good news. And who you are will affect what you do. As you begin to see yourself as God sees you, you will change, for you are designers original, a work of art, created by the Author of all life for divine destiny in Him alone. He is still inscribing the wonder of your life against the backdrop of eternity. After a diamond is cut and polished, it is small, like a piece of glass lying on a desk, insignificant. Yet, if you take that same gemstone, set it in brilliant gold, mount it upon black velvet, and shine a light upon it to accent it’s many glorious hues and iridescent luster, it shows both the beauty of its creative forces, and the exquisite excellence of the master gem cutters hand. That is where the grace of God shines best, against the backdrop of sin, for where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.

So it is God who gave your life. Like a piece of coal are each of us without Him.

Except a person be born again, we cannot even see the kingdom of God. Yet, is it not written?

(Isa 48:10 NIV) See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
(Isa 48:11 NIV) For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.

In the fiery furnace of heat and pressure formed as our sin creates incredible pressures and heat in this life, this blackened piece of coal that is our life either burns up, or comes to Jesus, is born again that raw uncut diamond.

Now a new fire is applied to our lives, the fire of God’s love. The revelation of His holiness, the application of His word slicing through our dross, and cutting away those things that dishonour Him. Now the gem becomes cut, to reveal the beauty within.

(Isa 53:2 NIV) He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

So it is with us. God Himself has come to live within us. Outwardly, we may look unfinished, but He is working. Even if our life appears to be remnants on the cutting room floor, the gem remains for (Phil 1:6 NIV) we can be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

So now we decide the price of the gem, for each of us was formed perfect in our raw uncut state. What will our life become? One of heartbreak and failure and compromise, or will we, like the apostle Paul, abandon all and say, “(Phil 3:14 NIV) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

It’s a choice only you can make. Your husband, wife, or family cannot make it for you. No, eternal rank, glory, positions are at stake, and these are the most precious things one could ever desire. Great heat and pressure made the clump of coal a beautiful gem.God knows this, and so He allows us to pursue Him, for those things that will never be taken away for us. Our lives, gems in His hand with a weird twist. He allows us to determine the eternal value we might hold. We are vessels that reflect His glory.

diamond

(2 Tim 2:20 NIV) In a large house, there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.

(2 Tim 2:21 NIV) If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Notice that we are to come willingly to the word, and let the master gem cutter cut and shape us for His glory,

(2 Cor 4:16 NIV) Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

(2 Cor 4:17 NIV) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory, that far outweighs them all.

(2 Cor 4:18 NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

As we focus on Him who is yet unseen, we discover that He is the pearl of great price, and He is altogether lovely, the fairest of ten thousand, the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star. As we do this, and the wonder and the awe of these truths become alive in us, we discover that something is happening to us as we behold Him, (2 Cor 3:18 NIV) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

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This glorious transformation has been wrought in others before us. Charles Finney, the great revivalist would simply enter a town, and the glory of God upon his life would cause sinners to fall upon their faces groaning and weeping before God, crying out for mercy. Entire towns shut down all business upon his arrival.

Smith Wigglesworth, after prayer, came out of a restroom on a public train. Onlookers beheld his face as it were, like an angel, and an entire train car found themselves weeping, crying out to God for mercy for their sins.

In the ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman, the great healing evangelist and woman of God, it is recorded how she was escorted into a hotel conference room via the kitchen. The hotel staff was immediately overcome with the presence of God, and fell out unconscious under the power of God.

I personally have experienced moments with majesty in meetings with some who still walk the earth today.

In 1994, in Anaheim California, at the World convention for FGBMI, Benny Hinn ministered the anointing of God to us. The crowd threatened to storm the stage, and surged forward. Suddenly, a power emanated from him that swept through the crowd, leaving thousands unable to stand. I shall never forget the picture burned in my spirit of him, standing alone on the platform, as power emanated from him. It was tangible, electric, and terrifying.

Like John the revelator who penned the words Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.

Or in Toronto Canada in Rodney Howard Browns meeting where a holy hush fell upon us. Several ministers were thrown from their seats to lie prostrate in the isle, jerking, groaning. No one could move to help them, the fear of God was in that place.

Or in my youthful exuberance hugging brother Hagin while attending Rhema, and leaving the embrace suddenly aware of my sin, and the depth of depravity in my soul, and going home to weep before God, until I knew the cleansing power of His blood afresh and anew. It was like being born-again all over again.

What is Biblical humility? Not groveling around like a worm in the dirt but rather consider this:

Phillip Brooks made an apt comment when he said, “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”
quoted in Burning out for God, E. Skoglund, p. 11.

Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

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You are a jewel in the hand of Jesus, allow Him to cut, polish, refine and finish you, for His glory.

Let’s Pray:
Father, I see your call to consecration, and purpose to walk in it. You have seen my pain and heartbreak, yet I have come to you, and you have accepted me. Give me wisdom to do your will in all of my daily affairs, and may I never compromise in the high calling you have set upon my life. Refine me Father, restore my soul, and cleanse my mind from the filth my sin has left there. Purify and make me holy practically, as I know you have done for me positionally in Christ. Amen

Today, God wants to touch you afresh.

Rev 2:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Spiritually, you may be poor, naked, blind, and self-deceived.

Here’s the wonderful part of this teaching I want to get across to you.

(1 Sam 2:8 NIV) He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; upon them he has set the world.

God wants to touch you today with His presence. To fan the flames of your fire. He would impart to you fresh fire from heaven, passion, zeal, and strength to run the race.

As a child of the king, you have access to the very throne of God. The second you accept Jesus, God seeks to begin training you for reigning, lessons of servanthood, humility, and obedience to both His Word and His Spirit that educate you for eternity. It is so much easier to learn them here, in this life. Why go through this earthly existence as a pauper, with one foot in the kingdom of God, and the other in the world. No, why not sell out for God now, pursue Him with passion in this life?

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God things, and willing as God wills.”
John Brown, Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian, quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51.

Today I’m going to have an old fashioned alter call,on-line. We are going to turn this place into holy ground. A place where you can meet God. I am anointed today to stir you into the high call upon your life. You need to respond to God today. Perhaps you need a fresh touch from heaven today. There is not time or distance in the Holy Spirit, Receive it: NOW!

When you are able, email me your testimony!