When God Does Business!

This is an old message I preached at one of our leadership breakfasts. I believe it’s message is rather timely for America. One by one, we need to choose to do right, for God’s sake alone, and this country and yours… will change…. Illegal vs Immoral – Wrong vs Right! “Hey, I didn’t do anything illegal” […]

god-business

This is a message I preached at one of our leadership breakfasts. I believe it’s message is rather timely for America. One by one, we need to choose to do right, for God’s sake alone, and this country and yours… will change….

Illegal vs Immoral – Wrong vs Right!

Hey, I didn’t do anything illegal” is a statement I have heard out of the mouths of certain business leaders.

Remember, we have been adopted into a royal family, we have now become children of the most High God through Jesus, kings and priests unto Him!

royalty

We are no longer merely governed by the laws of the land in which we live, but also by the courts of heaven, where truth, mercy and holiness reside.

In many cases, I would have to agree, these people operated in the confines of the laws of the land. Yet, what about the laws of God? In trying to survive in today’s ‘jungle warfare’, that we are forced to compete in as business leaders, did we find ourselves lying, cheating, stealing, or violating sacred trusts, in order to make a buck?

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

moral

I think about Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts 5) who were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit, in the presence of a man of God, anointed by God to raise up His church.

Yet, let’s break this down into a modern day contract negotiation. It would be fair in contractconstruction, to take bids or estimates from vendors, suppliers, and contractors on a project, compile the bids, add an acceptable profit and overhead, and submit the completed bid to the client.

Contracts are then issued and performed. When the work was performed, the vendors or suppliers would then invoice according to their initial approved estimates, and we would pay them, based upon the percentage of work completed. If there were additions or subtractions to the contract, these are documented, and suppliers are paid accordingly.

This, however competitive it might become, is honest business.

Yet, here are a couple of scenarios that are not only common in the business world, but in many cases have become, ‘the law of the jungle’.

jungle

Let’s just say for instance, that I want to make more on the electrical portion of the job, so I tell my electrician the amount of the other two bids, telling him to match the lowest bid, or he does not get the job. This is unfair, in that it is now a corrupt bidding process, for I have immediately disqualified the other two bidders by secretly disclosing their numbers to my buddy.

Or, I have been awarded the contract, and I have so much money allocated for each trade or portion of the work, and I then ‘shop’ the bid by lying to contractors, saying: ‘I only have $5000.00 into this project for electrical, can you do it for this, and we will make it up on the next one.”

When perhaps, acceptable profit and overhead is 20-25%, and I actually have $10,000.00 allocated for the work. The honest way to do this, is to simply ask contractors, “How much are you willing to do this job for?” and let them bid it fairly.

In a free market economy, competition will keep the bids on track.

This scenario, is exactly what Ananais and Sapphira did.

Now, let’s say, that the job goes well, and I am invoiced by my suppliers, but I tell them, that ‘we ran into some additional expenses on this job, and we are all having to settle on 90cents on the dollar.’ In other words, I get paid the full amount of the contract, but pay my suppliers 90cents on the dollar, and pocket the remainder. This is lying, cheating, and stealing.

Let’s look at Ananaias and Sapphira for a second:

Acts 5: ¶ But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

servant

I have a picture come to mind, for all you theologians out there, of one of the Levitical high priests, perhaps an Old Testament prophet, who saw the new covenant God was about to make with all humanity through Jesus. How the law, with all its holy ordinances and principals would be fully satisfied in Jesus, and how all the punishment a sin sick humanity deserved, would be poured out upon this One, the Lamb of God, and how God our Father, would receive His sacrificial death as an atonement for our sins, and that after He had raised Jesus from the dead, how God could now pour out love, and mercy and blessing upon anyone who believed. Perhaps this man had spent his entire life consecrating Himself to God’s laws and service in the temple, well aware of God’s holiness. Perhaps He cried out the throne, knowing in the future that a people totally undeserving were now going to enter into the covenant he had given his life to uphold, and from the depths of his heart he cried: ‘God, forsake not Your Holiness!

And God heard, and performed a precedent setting example in the courts of heaven – sin would still be judged, and unfortunately for Ananias and Saphira that day, their lies, cost them their lives.

These two did what is common business in the United States today. They sold a piece of land, and then had a private meeting, to discuss what they were going to do with the money. They decided that because of the big revival going on at the church, that they ought to make an offering at the temple because it was the politically correct thing to do:

Ac 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

Others, touched by the Spirit of God were doing it, so they decided to join the noble, God fearing community, and give into the gospel.

Yet, they decided to try and make themselves look good at church, while padding their pockets with a nice little profit.

Funny thing about sin, it costs more than you were willing to pay, and generally takes you further than you were willing to go.

Notice, in Acts 5:2 how: they did not have to give the entire purchase price of the land in the offering.

They could have simply declared how much they were going to give, and placed that amount in the offering, and gone away from the meeting, blessed of God, and favored of man.

Yet, like many business people I have met, they told one story, but lived another.

It cost them their lives.

fear-of-the-lord

Pr 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

How many lies do we have to tell, before we become liars? Just one.

How much do we have to steal, before we become a thief? Just once.

How often can we accept a bribe or shop bids, before we become a cheat? Just once.

Whatever happened to sin?

I wrote an article on this title, that became controversial: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/whatever-happened-to-sin/

Seems discussion of sin in the church, is not longer politically correct, yet the gospel is this:

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

If the apostle Paul could call himself the chief of all sinners, how much more I, and you, before a holy God.

The gospel, or good news, is that Jesus Christ died upon the cross, to pay for our sins. He will forgive, but only if we humbly, honestly ask Him, with the intent of going our way and sinning no more.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I love this verse that I describe this way: If you sin, immediately tell Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness. When you do, He will hear, and He will forgive you, and give you strength and grace to not do it again, and wisdom to know what to do next. He, in His amazing love, will cleanse you from the your filth, and will even make the impossible possible, in mending the unmendable, fixing the unfixable, cleaning up the mess we made.
grace-teaches

This is repentance. This is the cross. This is grace. This is the love of God.

Perhaps you are in this place today:

You have been a mover and shaker, trying to get things done in this brutal world we call the business world. Yet, your words have become lies, and truth is no longer the bedrock upon which your life is built.

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

way-out

Now, this verse is written to those who are enduring temptation or trial.

The people I am speaking today, have already blown it, and have sinned, yet unlike Annanias and Sapphira, you are still alive.

God is love. He is merciful, and though there may be brutal consequences to your sin, you are alive, and He will walk with you as you bear them, and more importantly, He is not done with you, for there is a fate far worse than death.

There is a very real, eternal place, called hell, and Jesus and I are working very hard to see that you don’t have to go there.

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

In a book, entitled ‘A divine revelation of Hell’, a lady claims to have been taken by Jesus into hell, and shown around. Everyone knows Him there, for He sent them there:

Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

His heart, is always to seek and save the lost, but if His offer of forgiveness and restoration is rejected, He only has two other options: 1. You can die, your life cut short because of your sin, but your soul saved that you might make heaven, instead of hell. 2. You may eternally reject His blood, and refuse to change your ways, and in that case, you will go to hell.

liars go to hell

In one account in hell, the woman witnessed a man in a prison cell, tormented in flames, screaming in pain. He saw Jesus, and cried: “Jesus, give me one more chance. You know I will do better this time!” Jesus looked at him, with eyes of steel, and said: “You are still a liar, even here!”

There is a day of judgment, where we will appear before Jesus, alone. No excuses, every word and action of our life on complete display. No one to blame, but ourselves. What we do this day, can prepare us for that day.

Run for your life!

Leave people, places and things that corrupt you. Choose truth, holiness, and honesty before God, at all costs, no matter how much money is involved, or what people might think.

How much is eternal life worth?

eternal life

No one can keep your individual appointment with God on that day, but you, yourself.

Make a decision, to watch your words and actions, today. All we have is today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is only a dream. Work for your God given dream, but live, in truth, today. His name is ‘I AM’, and Now, faith is. He is an ever-present help in time of need, and we all need Him.

Before we pray, I give you the following story:

Who was United States Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas? I suppose you could call him a “Mr. Nobody.” No law bears his name. Not a single list of Senate “greats” mentions his service. Yet when Ross entered the Senate in 1866, he was considered the man to watch. He seemed destined to surpass his colleagues, but he tossed it all away by one courageous act of conscience.

Let’s set the stage.

Conflict was dividing our government in the wake of the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was determined to follow Lincoln’s policy of reconciliation toward the defeated South. Congress, however, wanted to rule the downtrodden Confederate states with an iron hand.

Congress decided to strike first. Shortly after Senator Ross was seated, the Senate introduced impeachment proceedings against the hated President. The radicals calculated that they needed thirty-six votes, and smiled as they concluded that the thirty-sixth was none other than Ross’. The new senator listened to the vigilante talk. But to the surprise of many, he declared that the president “deserved as fair a trial as any accused man has ever had on earth.” The word immediately went out that his vote was “shaky.” Ross received an avalanche of anti-Johnson telegrams from every section of the country. Radical senators badgered him to “come to his senses.”

The fateful day of the vote arrived. The courtroom galleries were packed. Tickets for admission were at an enormous premium.

As a deathlike stillness fell over the Senate chamber, the vote began. By the time they reached Ross, twenty-four “guilties” had been announced. Eleven more were certain. Only Ross’ vote was needed to impeach the President. Unable to conceal his emotion, the Chief Justice asked in a trembling voice, “Mr. Senator Ross, how vote you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty as charged?” Ross later explained, at that moment, “I looked into my open grave. Friendships, position, fortune, and everything that makes life desirable to an ambitions man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever.” Then, the answer came — unhesitating, unmistakable: “Not guilty!” With that, the trial was over. And the response was as predicted.

A high public official from Kansas wired Ross to say: “Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks.” The “open grave” vision had become a reality. Ross’ political career was in ruins. Extreme ostracism, and even physical attack awaited his family upon their return home.

One gloomy day Ross turned to his faithful wife and said, “Millions cursing me today will bless me tomorrow…though not but God can know the struggle it has cost me.” It was a prophetic declaration. Twenty years later Congress and the Supreme Court verified the wisdom of his position, by changing the laws related to impeachment.

Ross was appointed Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Then, just prior to his death, he was awarded a special pension by Congress. The press and country took this opportunity to honor his courage which, they finally concluded, had saved our country from crisis and division.

Jon Johnston, Courage – You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 56-58.

You can make daily courageous decisions to tell the truth, no matter what others are doing.

Lets pray

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I come before you today, asking for mercy. Where I have lied, cheated, and stolen, please forgive me. Father, change me, restore me to integrity, honesty, truth, holiness, and true righteousness before You today. Please eliminate from my life people, places and things that would cause me to sin against You today, and bring into my life, people of honor, truth, faith, that I can be accountable to. You see the horrible consequences my sin has wrought, and only You can fix the messes I have made. I give all of these to You, and ask You for wisdom to know what to do, in each of them. Thank you for sparing my life, and giving me a second chance. Please let me do right in this..in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.’

put-jesus-1st

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

The Tremblings of God’s Presence

The Tremblings of God’s Presence

Ps 119: 120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
lightening-tremble
Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

One translation of the old English word, ‘trembleth’ means, ‘to shiver’. Ever been in a worship service, where God who inhabits the praises of His people, shows up in power? I have, and often I find myself, eyes closed, locked in with Him, weeping, shaking, shivering, wondering if I will still be able to stand up in His presence and power.

Am I afraid of the deep searing intimacy that comes to me in those moments?

Not sure, for as painful and savage as some of these encounters are, these are the very thing for which I am created. To meet with Him, God Almighty, heart to heart, face to face.

There is life in these encounters, and I change in the light of His glory. You will too!
Lets pray
Let’s pray:
Lift your hands and look to God in heaven:
‘Father God, please meet my friend reading this with a savage in breaking of your love. Wreck them with your presence and intimacy, and shake them of everything except your kingdom that cannot be shaken. Give them courage to face your searing light and love, and to meet with you here, daily. In your name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen.’

Leadership – Governing in the Fear of the Lord!

Leadership, God’s way: governing in the fear of the Lord.

Please read James chapter 3

James 3:1 ¶ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able
also to bridle the whole body.

Controlling the Tongue

NLT James: 3 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

perfect
Want to be perfect?

I do like this verse in James, because the Word of God shows us how to do it.

We know that as we grow in the things of God, and are promoted and given resource and responsibility, we are expected to continually remember that we are but stewards of God over the things He has given us, and we are wise to seek Him diligently, humbly, often for His help to continually do right.

Here we see a faithful, productive leader described:
Mt 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? (meat today equals food, jobs, opportunity, justice and truth for starters)

Mt 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.,

Notice here that Jesus himself watches over our work. We are His children and ambassadors in the earth, but there is clearly an Almighty throne in heaven that speaks and judges the affairs of men.

Ps 82:1 God presides over heaven’s court;
he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
That would be us, saints..
royal
Then there is the selfish, self centered leader:

Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

We will give an account of our leadership, and will be judged for it.

Sure God is love, and is raising us up to be set in position, and when in position, is still growing, promoting, and expanding us, for the sake of the harvest!

Yet, I see here one of the ways we can measure our own development: our words.
words many transgress
We cannot bridle our own tongues, the Scripture states, but the Holy Spirit can!

He can help us shut our mouths, and will purify our hearts and motives, if we let Him.

Lu 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

We see that the words that we speak, reflect what is in our hearts, and if we want to do what Jesus said:

Mt 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

How can any person be perfect? It’s impossible!

No! It is not!

Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

The word idle here means: non working, or non productive.
build
We should be living lives of purpose, and using our words on purpose, to work both in the Spirit, and naturally. All of our words, should be working words, productive words, words of faith, that God can use to get things done here in the earth.

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

This is the season of life I find myself in, one day at a time, looking at what words I am speaking that day, and how well am I bringing them to pass.

Don’t waste your words, use them on purpose to declare the promises of God, and tighten the reign on what you promise people that you are going to do.
how
Application:
1. If you have made promises that you cannot fulfill, confess your sin before God and trust Him to clean up the mess you’ve made. Ask Him for favor with the people you have let down.

2. Contact the people, wherever possible, and tell them. Ask for their forgiveness, and offer to do what you can to fix the mistake you made. If you cannot fix it, do not commit! Leave your case before God.

3. Separate yourself from people or situations that continually cause you to break your word. Negative people, places, and things need to go in your life. You do not have to respond to every telephone call or email, but can quietly obey God and be led by the Holy Spirit as to what to do about creditors, painful relationships, or abusive situations. The servant of the Lord does not strive,

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

If someone is offended, determined to pick a fight, and unreasonable, quietly eliminate them from your life, gently, with no rancor, bitterness, nor wrath, our primary responsibility is to walk right before God, not them.
walk-with-god
Eventually, God will do one of two things with them, Pr 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Along the way, He may need to get their attention, and Ps 110:1 «A Psalm of David.» The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

We are called to love our enemies, when He delivers them into our hands, we must be humble and seek to restore them, for our motive is never self vindication, rather, the expansion of His kingdom!
watch-words
4. Deliberately keep an account of our words, each day! Whether in morning devotion, take a pen and paper, and write down your personal directives from the Lord, and the things you SAID you were going to do the day before. If you got them done! Glory! If not, repeat steps one through three as required, and then do what you need to do, that day!

5. When you are not sure what to say, or are radically tempted to say something you know you cannot, pray in other tongues. Emotions are powerful things, but they must come under the Lordship of Jesus! Bridling our tongue is a work of the Holy Spirit, and He gave this gift, not as a badge of spirituality, but as an enduement of power to get things done in the earth. Remember, when we pray in the Spirit, our heart of hearts, our human spirit, is speaking directly to God, the exact and perfect will of God for our lives, personally. Some of things that need to be said, you do not have enough knowledge or understanding to pray yet, so Holy Spirit comes along and does for us, what we cannot do for ourselves, and prays through us, perfect, Holy prayer. Holy Spirit prayer must be a part of our daily walk with Jesus, for only He knows the times, seasons, relationships, and reasons for the circumstances we face daily.

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/is-speaking-in-other-tongues-of-god/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/is-tongues-initial-evidence-of-the-holy-spirit-baptism/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/05/04/another-look-at-speaking-in-tongues/
He wants to help, reveal, deliver, work miracles, and provide myriad other tapestries of grace into the earth through us. We truly need Him and His wisdom to do this.

Perfection means perfect words, each day!

One day at a time!

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, I fully surrender to you again, today! Set a clamp on my mouth to NOT say things that are wrong to you. Help me to know what I must say, and what I must only Pray, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen’

When God Does Business!

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
This is an old message I preached at one of our leadership breakfasts. I believe it’s message is rather timely for America. One by one, we need to choose to do right, for God’s sake alone, and this country and yours… will change….

Illegal vs Immoral – Wrong vs Right!

“Hey, I didn’t do anything illegal” is a statement I have heard out of the mouths of certain business leaders.

Remember, we have been adopted into a royal family, we have now become children of the most High God through Jesus, kings and priests unto Him!
royalty

We are no longer merely governed by the laws of the land in which we live, but also by the courts of heaven, where truth, mercy and holiness reside.

In many cases, I would have to agree, these people operated in the confines of the laws of the land. Yet, what about the laws of God? In trying to survive in today’s ‘jungle warfare’, that we are forced to compete in as business leaders, did we find ourselves lying, cheating, stealing, or violating sacred trusts, in order to make a buck?

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

I think about Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts 5) who were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit, in the presence of a man of God, anointed by God to raise up His church.

Yet, let’s break this down into a modern day contract negotiation. It would be fair in contractconstruction, to take bids or estimates from vendors, suppliers, and contractors on a project, compile the bids, add an acceptable profit and overhead, and submit the completed bid to the client.

Contracts are then issued and performed. When the work was performed, the vendors or suppliers would then invoice according to their initial approved estimates, and we would pay them, based upon the percentage of work completed. If there were additions or subtractions to the contract, these are documented, and suppliers are paid accordingly.

This, however competitive it might become, is honest business.

Yet, here are a couple of scenarios that are not only common in the business world, but in many cases have become, ‘the law of the jungle’.

Let’s just say for instance, that I want to make more on the electrical portion of the job, so I tell my electrician the amount of the other two bids, telling him to match the lowest bid, or he does not get the job. This is unfair, in that it is now a corrupt bidding process, for I have immediately disqualified the other two bidders by secretly disclosing their numbers to my buddy.

Or, I have been awarded the contract, and I have so much money allocated for each trade or portion of the work, and I then ‘shop’ the bid by lying to contractors, saying: ‘I only have $5000.00 into this project for electrical, can you do it for this, and we will make it up on the next one.”

When perhaps, acceptable profit and overhead is 20-25%, and I actually have $10,000.00 allocated for the work. The honest way to do this, is to simply ask contractors, “How much are you willing to do this job for?” and let them bid it fairly.

In a free market economy, competition will keep the bids on track.

This scenario, is exactly what Ananais and Sapphira did.

Now, let’s say, that the job goes well, and I am invoiced by my suppliers, but I tell them, that ‘we ran into some additional expenses on this job, and we are all having to settle on 90cents on the dollar.’ In other words, I get paid the full amount of the contract, but pay my suppliers 90cents on the dollar, and pocket the remainder. This is lying, cheating, and stealing.

Let’s look at Ananaias and Sapphira for a second:

Acts 5: ¶ But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

I have a picture come to mind, for all you theologians out there, of one of the Levitical high priests, perhaps an Old Testament prophet, who saw the new covenant God was about to make with all humanity through Jesus. How the law, with all its holy ordinances and principals would be fully satisfied in Jesus, and how all the punishment a sin sick humanity deserved, would be poured out upon this One, the Lamb of God, and how God our Father, would receive His sacrificial death as an atonement for our sins, and that after He had raised Jesus from the dead, how God could now pour out love, and mercy and blessing upon anyone who believed. Perhaps this man had spent his entire life consecrating Himself to God’s laws and service in the temple, well aware of God’s holiness. Perhaps He cried out the throne, knowing in the future that a people totally undeserving were now going to enter into the covenant he had given his life to uphold, and from the depths of his heart he cried: ‘God, forsake not Your Holiness!”

And God heard, and performed a precedent setting example in the courts of heaven – sin would still be judged, and unfortunately for Ananias and Saphira that day, their lies, cost them their lives.

These two did what is common business in the United States today. They sold a piece of land, and then had a private meeting, to discuss what they were going to do with the money. They decided that because of the big revival going on at the church, that they ought to make an offering at the temple because it was the politically correct thing to do:

Ac 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

Others, touched by the Spirit of God were doing it, so they decided to join the noble, God fearing community, and give into the gospel.

Yet, they decided to try and make themselves look good at church, while padding their pockets with a nice little profit.

Funny thing about sin, it costs more than you were willing to pay, and generally takes you further than you were willing to go.

Notice, in Acts 5:2 how: they did not have to give the entire purchase price of the land in the offering.

They could have simply declared how much they were going to give, and placed that amount in the offering, and gone away from the meeting, blessed of God, and favored of man.

Yet, like many business people I have met, they told one story, but lived another.

It cost them their lives.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
Pr 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

How many lies do we have to tell, before we become liars? Just one.
How much do we have to steal, before we become a thief? Just once.
How often can we accept a bribe or shop bids, before we become a cheat? Just once.

Whatever happened to sin?

I wrote an article on this title, that became controversial: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/whatever-happened-to-sin/

Seems discussion of sin in the church, is not longer politically correct, yet the gospel is this:

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

If the apostle Paul could call himself the chief of all sinners, how much more I, and you, before a holy God.

The gospel, or good news, is that Jesus Christ died upon the cross, to pay for our sins. He will forgive, but only if we humbly, honestly ask Him, with the intent of going our way and sinning no more.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I love this verse that I describe this way: If you sin, immediately tell Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness. When you do, He will hear, and He will forgive you, and give you strength and grace to not do it again, and wisdom to know what to do next. He, in His amazing love, will cleanse you from the your filth, and will even make the impossible possible, in mending the unmendable, fixing the unfixable, cleaning up the mess we made.

This is repentance. This is the cross. This is grace. This is the love of God.

Perhaps you are in this place today:

You have been a mover and shaker, trying to get things done in this brutal world we call the business world. Yet, your words have become lies, and truth is no longer the bedrock upon which your life is built.

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13
Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

Now, this verse is written to those who are enduring temptation or trial.

The people I am speaking today, have already blown it, and have sinned, yet unlike Annanias and Sapphira, you are still alive.

God is love. He is merciful, and though there may be brutal consequences to your sin, you are alive, and He will walk with you as you bear them, and more importantly, He is not done with you, for there is a fate far worse than death.

There is a very real, eternal place, called hell, and Jesus and I are working very hard to see that you don’t have to go there.

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

In a book, entitled ‘A divine revelation of Hell’, a lady claims to have been taken by Jesus into hell, and shown around. Everyone knows Him there, for He sent them there:

Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

His heart, is always to seek and save the lost, but if His offer of forgiveness and restoration is rejected, He only has two other options: 1. You can die, your life cut short because of your sin, but your soul saved that you might make heaven, instead of hell. 2. You may eternally reject His blood, and refuse to change your ways, and in that case, you will go to hell.
liars go to hell
In one account in hell, the woman witnessed a man in a prison cell, tormented in flames, screaming in pain. He saw Jesus, and cried: “Jesus, give me one more chance. You know I will do better this time!” Jesus looked at him, with eyes of steel, and said: “You are still a liar, even here!”

There is a day of judgment, where we will appear before Jesus, alone. No excuses, every word and action of our life on complete display. No one to blame, but ourselves. What we do this day, can prepare us for that day.

Run for your life!

Leave people, places and things that corrupt you. Choose truth, holiness, and honesty before God, at all costs, no matter how much money is involved, or what people might think.

How much is eternal life worth?
eternal life
No one can keep your individual appointment with God on that day, but you, yourself.

Make a decision, to watch your words and actions, today. All we have is today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is only a dream. Work for your God given dream, but live, in truth, today. His name is ‘I AM’, and Now, faith is. He is an ever-present help in time of need, and we all need Him.

Before we pray, I give you the following story:

ed deWho was United States Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas? I suppose you could call him a “Mr. Nobody.” No law bears his name. Not a single list of Senate “greats” mentions his service. Yet when Ross entered the Senate in 1866, he was considered the man to watch. He seemstined to surpass his colleagues, but he tossed it all away by one courageous act of conscience.

Let’s set the stage.
Conflict was dividing our government in the wake of the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was determined to follow Lincoln’s policy of reconciliation toward the defeated South. Congress, however, wanted to rule the downtrodden Confederate states with an iron hand.
Congress decided to strike first. Shortly after Senator Ross was seated, the Senate introduced impeachment proceedings against the hated President. The radicals calculated that they needed thirty-six votes, and smiled as they concluded that the thirty-sixth was none other than Ross’. The new senator listened to the vigilante talk. But to the surprise of many, he declared that the president “deserved as fair a trial as any accused man has ever had on earth.” The word immediately went out that his vote was “shaky.” Ross received an avalanche of anti-Johnson telegrams from every section of the country. Radical senators badgered him to “come to his senses.”
The fateful day of the vote arrived. The courtroom galleries were packed. Tickets for admission were at an enormous premium.
As a deathlike stillness fell over the Senate chamber, the vote began. By the time they reached Ross, twenty-four “guilties” had been announced. Eleven more were certain. Only Ross’ vote was needed to impeach the President. Unable to conceal his emotion, the Chief Justice asked in a trembling voice, “Mr. Senator Ross, how vote you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty as charged?” Ross later explained, at that moment, “I looked into my open grave. Friendships, position, fortune, and everything that makes life desirable to an ambitions man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever.” Then, the answer came — unhesitating, unmistakable: “Not guilty!” With that, the trial was over. And the response was as predicted.
A high public official from Kansas wired Ross to say: “Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks.” The “open grave” vision had become a reality. Ross’ political career was in ruins. Extreme ostracism, and even physical attack awaited his family upon their return home.
One gloomy day Ross turned to his faithful wife and said, “Millions cursing me today will bless me tomorrow…though not but God can know the struggle it has cost me.” It was a prophetic declaration. Twenty years later Congress and the Supreme Court verified the wisdom of his position, by changing the laws related to impeachment.
Ross was appointed Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Then, just prior to his death, he was awarded a special pension by Congress. The press and country took this opportunity to honor his courage which, they finally concluded, had saved our country from crisis and division.
Jon Johnston, Courage – You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 56-58.

You can make daily courageous decisions to tell the truth, no matter what others are doing.
Lets pray
Let’s pray:
‘Father, I come before you today, asking for mercy. Where I have lied, cheated, and stolen, please forgive me. Father, change me, restore me to integrity, honesty, truth, holiness, and true righteousness before You today. Please eliminate from my life people, places and things that would cause me to sin against You today, and bring into my life, people of honor, truth, faith, that I can be accountable to. You see the horrible consequences my sin has wrought, and only You can fix the messes I have made. I give all of these to You, and ask You for wisdom to know what to do, in each of them. Thank you for sparing my life, and giving me a second chance. Please let me do right in this..in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.’

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

Who is on Trial?

Who’s on trial?

We read of the trial of Jesus before Pilate.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

John 19: 10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

Jesus, fully submitted to the will of our Father, explained to Pilate that he would give an account to God, for what he was doing that day.

That day, Jesus stood before Pilate, awaiting unjust judgement, to go to the cross for our sins.

On another day, the day of Pilates death, Pilate stood before Jesus, to be judged for his sins before a holy God. History records that he never understood nor accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for His sins, and he probably heard from the lips of Jesus, the most chilling words every spoken in eternity: ‘Depart from me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you…’ and then angels escorted him to eternal hell.

How many of us are like Pilate? We go through life, and we hear about Jesus, or worse yet, as Christians, we tell others what we think He says or means, when perhaps He has not spoken.

To some who mock Christianity, they like Pilate are about to get the eternal surprise of their lives, for denying the existence of Jesus, does not cause Him to cease to exist.

The Judgment seat “is meant for us professing Christians, real and imperfect Christians; and it tells us that there are degrees in that future blessedness proportioned to present faithfulness.”
Alexander Maclaren, 1826-1910

Ps 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

Imagine, if you will, the day of Pilates earthly death.

Like all of us, his spirit left his body, to appear before God, for his eternal judgement.

Now, the one he crucified sits upon the throne, and unless he had a radical change of heart in the latter years of his life, he heard the most chilling words, any human can ever hear:
Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

We only think we judge Jesus, but truth is, He will judge us.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
2Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

For those of you who like to listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JQOBMi4QS8&sns=fb

Some have said, that fearing a God of love is ‘sin conciousness’ and a perversion of the gospel.

I remember hearing a minister tell of how he visited Jim Baker in prison, who had embezzled money from his organization. He asked him: “Jim, at what point, did you stop loving Jesus?’ Jim replied: “I never stopped loving Jesus, I just stopped fearing Him!”

My greatest thought is my accountability to God.
Daniel Webster.

Heart check.

One day, all the games stop. All the lies end. All the rationalizations, justifications, appeals, and deceptions end, and we will stand before Jesus in absolute holiness and truth. He sees not only what was done, but why we did it, and we will each, alone, individually give an account of our lives.

Let’s take time alone today, and humble ourselves before God, asking Him for absolute truth. That He might reveal our true condition before Him.

For those of us serving Him, this usually results in a glory encounter with His love, but not always. There have been times, when I discover I have strayed, and His presence has brought a cold chill of conviction to my heart, and I have made radical life changes.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, reveal Jesus to us today, in absolute truth! Show us your love, your glory, and your direction! If we are deceived in any way. Convict us, forgive us, cleanse us, and lead us and guide us in all truth. In your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Taking the Fear Out of Sin…

Taking the fear out of sin…

fear obedience

Judges 21:25

In those days [when the judges governed] there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes

 

As we have pursued a true grace filled life, fully led of the Holy Spirit, we as a people discover, that we must keep a careful watch upon the words we speak each day, and our actions, being quick to ask Jesus forgiveness when we miss it.

As we have purposed to follow Him fully, we discover the fear of the Lord: not just an awesome reverence for who He is, but an actual respect and fear, as we submit to His intimate correction and chastening.

Hebrews 12:6

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

It is only those God intimately loves that He corrects, and disciplines…

Yet, it has been said that Jesus bore all of our sins, past, present and future, and that we live a grace filled life, full of love, mercy, goodness, with no consequences for sin.

Let’s look at this for a minute.

If I was the devil, and I wanted to destroy you, but recognized that you were now born-again, powerful, walking in kingdom authority, part of the rule and reign of Jesus, I would not confront you head on.

James 2:19

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Satan knows the awesome power of God, and his judgment to come, and he and his demons tremble.

So, what does he do?

He seduces through deception, and small compromises, and gets you to think that small compromises are okay, God won’t mind, and since the consequences of these compromises are not always immediate – He takes the fear out of sin.

He did it with Eve, in the age old lie, ‘Did God really say?’

Now, he had to replace the fear of consequences, with faith in no consequences.

Let’s look at it.

3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

Notice, if you will the beginning of the deception: ‘Hath God said?’v1

Satan knows exactly what God said, and He also knows that if you obey what God said, He has no power over you, you are unstoppable.

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled
full obedience

Notice the next verse, the woman said that we should not eat NOR touch the fruit of the tree.

Here we see her deception, because she had added to the specific commandment of God given to Adam.

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die

Now, the devil lies with specific intent: He says, ‘You shall not surely die’ then he presents glorious rewards,

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Here is the wonderful deception. ‘You shall be like gods’

  1. They were already like gods. Adam was god of this world, with full authority and dominion to rule the earth, with God.
  2. Knowing good and evil – Satan knew evil, Eve did not. The Bible said she was deceived. Yet, satan’s deception was very good: 1. Disobey the clear commandment of God 2. There will be no consequences for your disobedience 3. You will become greater than you are, like a god.

There is much that can be said here, but the point Holy Spirit has me to make is simple:

Satan works on us by taking the fear out of sin.

More specifically, he takes the fear of the consequences of sin from us.

So, he begins his work on us, just like he did Adam and Eve, because he is at least as smart as Balaam, and knows that if he can get us doing enough hardened sin, God Himself will destroy us.

This is wonderfully illustrated in the Christian movie, ‘TimeChanger’

Time Changer

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Changer-D-David-Morin/dp/B0000AZT2V/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1447169800&sr=1-1&keywords=timechanger

As I read this passage of Scripture, I was reminded of this truth.

 

Ezekiel 21:

24 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come!

Isaiah 5:21

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever and shrewd in their own sight!

Just because consequences were not instant, does not mean they will not come.

More and more I feel like a voice crying out in the wilderness, with tears in my eyes, and heart full of love for God and His people, crying REPENT!

So few hear, so few apparently care…

Let’s pray:

‘Father, You are holy. Your Word is true. Search me, show me, and give me grace to live holy, pure, and sinless in Your sight, not just positionally through Jesus blood, but practically, in my daily thoughts, words and deeds. I ask you come as a refining fire and grant me purity of heart and motive. I ask, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus.”

God’s Opinion of Abortion

God’s opinion of abortion:

There is one true and living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…

He is a jealous God of all life, and He is holy.

He can only be approached through the holy blood of Jesus Christ, God the Son, the only way, truth and life.

Yet, people have departed from Him, and sought their own ways, not knowing that in their ignorance, they sacrifice to demons.

This is literally what abortion is, the sacrifice our own children, upon a demonic alter….

abortion sacrifice

It is nothing new, for these demons have always required human sacrifice, for the very nature of satan Himself is to kill, steal and destroy.

Ezekiel 20:31

For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.

In the worship of Molech, people took their firstborn, killed it, and offered it on an alter of demonic worship.

And so God said, through the prophet Ezekial…

Ezekiel 16:21

that thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

God hates it!

abortion

So do I!

While I weep for the broken, messed up women who have been duped into killing their own children, I hate what was done…

And so I weep and pray:

“Jesus, have mercy upon America, and open the eyes of this nation with clarity, to what is being done in abortion, in the actual worship of demonic spirits in this uncleanness…turn us back to you, the one true and living Lord, Amen!”