On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand!
Have you ever seen the movie Twister? There is one part at the end of the movie where they are trying to get Dorthy (a scientific instrument used to study tornadoes) inside of an F5 tornado. It was proving to be a very hard task because of the strong winds they were facing. At one point they were able to get the machine into the tornado, however; it took the truck they were riding in as well. Franticly, they had to run for their lives. They soon found out that the tornado was too fast and the winds were too strong. They ran into a building and tied themselves to some pipes that were deep in the ground. It was proving to be impossible to remain standing in these violent winds apart from anchoring to something else. I think all too often this happens to us. We live in a fast paced, technologically enhanced, dog eat dog world that feels like a tornado swirling out of control. We often find ourselves defeated, depressed, beat down or even confused. We find it is impossible to remain standing in this whirlwind alone. For much of the world they will turn to alternative things such as sex, drugs, alcohol or a number of different things in order to empower them to stand through these times. As Christians, we are not immune to these feelings either, we can also find ourselves in the middle of one of these F5 tornadoes. The problem is all too often we forget that we have the anchor to tie off to in Jesus Christ. He says, “If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. He is saying that if we remain in Him, abiding in Him, we can do all things but apart from anchoring to Him we can do nothing at all. The tornado is just going to sweep us up and toss us around any way it wishes. We must make a conscience effort to tie off to the anchor. It’s hard to get clarity or direction while you are getting carried away by the winds. I think we all need to understand it takes effort to stand and remain, something that is impossible to do apart from abiding in Jesus. The tornados are coming, and Satan does not want you to become the masterpiece that God has created you to be (eph2:10) so you can bet he is going to send the biggest tornado he can send, but as for me, I am going to keep reminding myself ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”(Matt 7:24-27). Make sure you are anchored to the rock today.
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
I want us to think about brotherly love today. I want us to consider what it means to truly love our brother and sister in Christ. First and foremost I want you to understand that you cannot truly love someone until you experience the greatest love ever imagined, the love of Jesus Christ. Notice how Peter begins this scripture, having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth... You see we cannot experience a true love for those around us with out first loving Him. Not just knowing Him but purifying your souls to obedience to the truth. Surrender everything to Him, love Him, be obedient to Him and then you will know how to love others. A sincere brotherly love will be produced by a sincere love for Jesus and a willingness to walk hand and hand with Him. Many of you struggle in your relationships because you struggle in your relationship with Jesus. You are trying to partially surrender to Jesus and then completely love those around you. It doesn't happen, your relationships will be sick when your relationship with Jesus is sick. Peter says love one another earnestly from a pure heart. When your heart is not pure you cannot love earnestly. It is why when you have a bad day and you come home mad at the world you take things out on your family. When you are at peace all day and things are wonderful you come home and treat those around you with love and respect, why? Because you have been right with Jesus all day. You coming home and taking things out on your family is a sign of weakness, that is what I said, you are a weakling that cannot maintain self-control and extend love to those you love because yo have had a bad day or the person down the hall made you angry or the game didn't turn out right. Hey Jack, it is just the truth so deal with it. At work you are mean and nasty to your coworker because you are not right with Jesus. Ever notice how nice you are at Church? You can get angry, but you don't have to sin. There is a statement made on a regular basis I just don't like to hear. It is the statement, 'that us just who I am.' Well Jesus saved you to change who you are, so lets not trash the good work He has begun in you by saying that is just who you are, work at being the person He expects you to be. He does not expect you to proclaim HIS name and trash people with your attitude, words and actions. If you do these things you are not showing brotherly love and you are not showing Jesus the love He expects from you. So you read this and you don't like these words, well I understand self-control is not the easiest thing in the world. Oh yeah while it is hammer time I might as well throw this one out there you don't get to claim victory because you are so much better than you used to be. You are not the measuring stick, you never have been. Jesus is the measuring stick. He was the measuring stick when you had no self-control and guess what, you were found lacking. He is still the measuring stick when you maintain control 50% of the time, and guess what, you are still found lacking. It is like losing a game 45-0 and then next week you lose 28-0 and you feel good about it because you didn't get beat 45-0. That is stone cold crazy and so is you and I feeling good about ourselves because we maintain self-control more than we used to. That attitude deserves a C'MON MAN. Lets face it we have work to do. We have to fully surrender to Jesus so we can fully surrender to love those around us. Jesus is able to accomplish much through our surrender, so let us surrender.
I want you to know that today there are many who have been set free. Jesus is working in and through our lives. He is seeking those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. He found that during revival. May He continue to see this in us. I am asking all that reads this to pray for the revival to continue. Pray the Lord continues to touch the hearts and souls of those who attended. Pray He will tear down the barriers that are keeping people from attending church. Pray that Jesus will prepare our hearts for worship. Pray He will touch the hearts of those who do not know Him. Pray He sets the captives free. Praise Him for His love. Praise Him for His Word. Praise Him for your surrender. Praise Him for His Protection. Praise Him for His power. We give Him all and I mean all the glory for what He is doing and what He will do. It is awesome to finish 4 nights of intense worship and surrender and have people saying I wish we were meeting tonight. Well, I thought about something, why don't we meet. Why don't each of us gather our families in the den, the living room, kitchen, the front yard where ever you want to and put on your favorite praise and worship music. Have family prayer and Bible study, take a scripture and break it down for them. Talk with each other about what God taught you this week. Tell your family you love them, hug them and thank God for them. Revival is not over it has just started. Philippians 1:3-6 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Let revival continue. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!
Brother Big Daddy
Well I don't know about you folks but this revival is right on time and Jesus is speaking loud and clear. I am asking each of you to pray for God's presence, provision and protection tonight. The Spirit of God is with us. Souls are being saved, bonds are being broken and people are surrendering to Jesus. I want you to be diligent about this assignment. You have sat under three messages (some only two if you missed Sunday morning), write down what God has spoken to you thus far in the revival. Put it in your phone, iPad, notebook, wherever, but write it down and meditate on it. Pray over it and pray it back to Jesus each and everyday. Revival begins with you as the Holy Spirit works in and through you, you must respond, and you must share it. Talk about revival today, share it with those you work with, with those in your house. Talk about it more than you talk football, hunting, shopping and anything else that competes for your time. Jesus is touching the hearts and souls of His children, REJOICE AND BE GLAD. PRAISE JESUS for His power to change our wretched souls. Praise Jesus for His love that flows down in and through His children. Praise Jesus for the conviction that will not leave us in our pews but moves us to an altar of restoration and salvation. Praise Jesus for the protection He provides us and provision with which He strengthens us. HE IS KING. HE IS ALMIGHTY! HE IS OUR SAVIOR! HE IS OUR LORD!. HE IS AWESOME! Last night God really touched my heart with this scripture:
2 Timothy 3:7
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
May we never be learners that never come to the knowledge of truth. Let us take what Jesus is teaching and meditate on it day and night, may the truth set us free and may Jesus show us the Way, the Truth and the Light each and everyday! God is so good. Pray for tonight's message! Pray specifically for Susan, Mitchell, Wanda, Cyndi, Barak and Jason as they lead us in worship tonight. Pray for those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and will be here tonight. Pray for those who are holding on to things that are eating them up, pray they will surrender tonight.
Brother Big Daddy
We all need a Barnabas and a Timothy!
Everybody needs these two people in their life at all times, a Barnabas and a Timothy. In order for us to understand this we have to know who these two people are. Barnabas was a partner and friend to the Apostle Paul in ministry. They spent a lot of time with each other traveling and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. But most importantly what we know from the Bible is that Barnabas was an encourager (For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas which means “Son of Encouragement”. He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus Acts 4:36). In that day it was very common for someone to have a name change; however, it was not for the same reasons that we do it today. For example, Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals changing his name to Chad Ocho Cinco would not qualify as being the same thing. In those days they would change their names in order to fit their character. So just think about that, what would you be called (or maybe you would rather not think about that). So Barnabas name meant son of encouragement, what does it mean to be an encourager? To be an encourager, it simply means to give courage to someone else. Webster defines Courage like this; the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Here is another one I like this one; have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism. So Barnabas was a guy that would encourage people to do these things. To stand strong with bravery in the face of pain or adversity, or give courage to act on what we read in scripture and live a life modeling the Gospel message. I don’t know about you, but we all need those types of people in our lives. I have many Barnabas in my life, but I must be intentional about finding these Timothy’s. Timothy was a young guy in ministry and Paul was kind of his mentor, someone that he actually encouraged. We see Paul doing that here in 1 Timothy 4:12 he says “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity”. We all have those people in our life that encourage us; however, just as Paul says it works both ways we are encouraged in order to be an encouragement to others. “I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other” Romans 1:12. We all need both these people in our lives at all times a Barnabas and a Timothy. God bless have a great day.
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not be faint.
One of the most difficult things we must do in our life is maintain the momentum or strength we experience. What am I talking about? Well to use an athletic example, I once told the head wrestling coach at Central High School that one of his most difficult tasks would be maintaining the early success of the wrestling team. You see in the beginning of the season everyone is excited about that first wrestling match. Guys are busting it to make weight. Parents are getting excited. The discussions in the wrestling family are all centered on the first match; excitement is everywhere. Energy is off the charts and everyone is focused on the task at hand. (Same as with football teams right now). The day of the first match comes and goes and even hangs around a while especially after success. Then comes the grind of a season that ends the last of February. The excitement wanes and the real task begins run the race, fight the fight, and wrestle until you are through the finish line. Our walk with Jesus Christ is just like this. There are times when we find ourselves so close to Him. It can be anything that sparks that union with the Spirit. A new Bible study, an awesome praise and worship service, a new song that He places in your heart, many things get you pumped and ready to walk with Christ. But what happens when all of a sudden your strength fades, tragedy strikes, your schedule changes and you slowly drift into the same old same old? Well, grab a hold of Isaiah 40:31. The NKJ says, “wait on the Lord” this means to wait, look for, hope, expect. We are to look for, hope and expect our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to provide the renewing of our strength. He and He alone will provide the strength we need to walk with Him in this world. Look at what the scripture says we will run and not grow weary, we shall walk and not faint. Better than that we will soar on the wings like eagles. When we grow weary we need to run to the source, when we feel faint we need to run to Jesus. When we need to fly we need to run to Jesus and He will take us to places we can only imagine. So how do we run to Jesus? Well first we must saturate our life with Him. Let Him put a song in our heart. We need praise and worship music in the morning when we roll out of the bed, we need it in our car and in the work place. Pray, pray, and again I say pray. We must take our struggles to Jesus in prayer, but also let us take Him praises, let us thank Him daily. We absolutely must run to His Word daily. We must read the Bible; we must study His Bible. It is the greatest Love Letter ever written and it was written to us, for us. Finally, we need to fellowship with His children. He accomplishes His work through them, so may we be a part of the team. God loves us so much He wants us strong and courageous. He wants us to have renewed strength. He wants us to live victoriously. So may we renew our strength today and feel the love He has for us right now!
Brother Big Daddy
This is a blog Mitchell posted a while back and I thought it was a good word leading into revival. I pray that each one of you will be praying diligently for Revival as we begin Sunday September 22, 2013 at 6:30pm at Cedar Hills Baptist Church and the continue Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Night at The Way Church beginning at 7:00pm.
A word from Mitchell... (By the way I could not find a single picture anywhere of Mitchell cleaning so the wash bucket will have to do)
Many times we approach sin the way we approach cleaning our house. We always make sure that the floors are swept and the dishes are washed. We make sure that the floors are vacuumed and the counter tops are wiped off. But there are always those hidden corners that are full of dust and filth. It may be the base boards or a top shelf that is hard to get to. No matter how good we clean we have these places in our house. Sometimes this filth can be there for months or even years without us finding it. ( I say all this as if I clean a lot, my wife would probably be wandering what I’m talking about, but you know what I’m trying to say). In order for us to find these places within our house we have to look real hard for them and maybe even do some spring cleaning. Well in the same sense we should approach sin this way. We are real quick to repent of the sin that is most prevalent in our life, especially the sin that is most visible. However, sometimes we have sin in our life that we might not be aware of. You might think that this sounds crazy but I have realized this in my own life and have had to pray similar to David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 which goes like this “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life”. Sometimes we have to ask God to really search us out and find those corners within our heart that are dirty and need cleaning. The reason is, He is a Holy God that dwells in UNapproachable light (1Timothy 6:16). He is without fault, without blemish, and most importantly without sin, He is perfect and when there is sin in the camp it places wedge be us and God. You may be harboring a seed of jealousy, or envy. You may be saying some things or entertaining some things that you shouldn’t be. I’m not sure what that sin looks life in your life, but in order to continue down the path of everlasting life as David prayed, we are going to have to ask God to search us out and clean us up. Ask Him today to bring the filth to light so that nothing is preventing Him from doing the work He wants to do in your life. Have a great day
What are you teaching your children, what are you teaching those around you?
Are you teaching them to be leaders? How are you preparing them for the day they stand without you?
1 Thessalonians 2:10-12
10You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
We have a responsibility to teach our children to walk worthy of the calling into His kingdom. This does not happen with words, this happens with relationship and our own commitment to Jesus Christ. Young people don’t delete this blog and say today’s message is not for me. Paul used fathers as an example but he is speaking to believers and charging them with influencing others. Paul is clear, we must influence others with action not words. Our testimony has impact when we live it our each and everyday. When those around us see Jesus working in us and through us for His good will, then we have impact and to do this we must be about our Father’s business. To do this we must do what Jesus did; pour ourselves into a group of people. Give them our all. Let them see Jesus in us daily. We will impact others when we develop a relationship with them and meet them where they are and present ourselves true to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
IMPACT COMES FROM REAL COMMITMENT
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
Jesus taught His disciples before He departed to do three things. These things would help them turn the world upside down. I hope my actions help those around me (especially my children to do the same). In verse 34 He says, deny self. Contrary to what we believe we are not the most important thing in the universe, He is. In verse 36 He tells us to be more concerned about spiritual things than worldly things. In verse 38 He says, stand strong and stand Bold. Shout His name and glorify Him from the roof-tops, never ever, deny HIM. May we do these things today and love Jesus with all our hearts, love the others around us and teach them through our walk with Jesus to be leaders.
Brother Big Daddy
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
I love it when things are just so simple. When they are outlined perfectly and all we have to do is follow simple steps. Okay, Okay, I know I am not telling it like it really is, I am a man. I don’t stop for directions and I don’t read the instructions before putting things together. The answer to your obvious question of, How is that working out for me, well generally speaking I ride around lost weaving in and of streets trying to find the right address, and yes I generally have a couple of bolts, one or two useless washers, and few other items left over after the assembly of my latest and greatest purchase. This certainly is not the best way to look for a new place nor is it the best way to assemble a new purchase. Think about it, the company spent several thousand dollars to develop and provide step-by-step instructions so the product can be built as designed. That is the key, built by design. You and I have been built by design. And Jesus spent His life making sure we had the correct instructions, perfectly arranged. God has given us the instructions and it is full of steps to follow. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God tells us how we can have our land healed. First, we must make sure we are His people. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so are you called by His name? That’s right when people call on you do they think of Jesus Christ. Or do the people around you not even know you are a Christian? 2 Chronicles 7:14 goes on to tell us we must humble ourselves and seek His face. Stop trying to do it all by yourself, realize that you can only face the difficulties in your life through Jesus Christ!!! Then comes the kicker, you must then turn from your wicked ways. Please notice the order of events. You see it is just like assembling a product, you can do the right steps but out of order and the result is you can’t finish the assembly because you had to do step 3 before step 4 or it wouldn’t work. Hello, this is the same with Jesus Christ. If you put the cart before the horse, it will not work. You see, you turn from your wicked ways after you humble yourself, pray to Him and seek His presence. Then God says, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land. When we wrestle with the sin and difficulties in our life without following the proper steps, we have our sin and difficulties to deal with. However, when we follow the instructions, 1) Be His child, 2) Humble ourselves 3) Seek His face 4) Turn from our wicked ways then we will be heard, forgiven and healed. He deals with our sin. Stop trying to deal with your sin out of order. Do steps 1,2,and 3 then watch God deal with your sin in a snap. If you are trying to deal with your sin before completing steps 1,2,3 it is like going to a mechanic when you are sick. It doesn’t make sense, go to the doctor. It is time to go to Jesus. Right now humble yourself, pray to Jesus, seek His face, allow Him to turn you from your wicked ways and be heard, forgiven and healed.
Brother Big Daddy
I want you to think about what is your definition of worship. How do you define worship? We as children of God and servants of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ must understand what this word means. I want to introduce you to a powerful definition of worship. Worship can be defined as Jesus Christ being the center of your life. This is a powerful definition and can change the way we walk our walk with Jesus Christ. Think about it, there are so many things that we do but are we doing the things that places Jesus Christ at the center of our life? When we are listening and singing praise and worship music at church, at home, in the car etc., Jesus Christ can be at the center of our life. When we are helping a brother or sister in Christ through difficult times we can put Jesus Christ at the center of our life. When we are reading and studying our Bible, and we shut the cares of the world out, and focus on Jesus Christ and what He is teaching us, we are placing Him at the center of our life; thus we are worshipping Jesus. When we listen to the preacher preach the Word and truly listen we are putting Jesus Christ at the center of our life; thus, we are worshipping Jesus Christ. We must worship Jesus Christ by loving Him with our entire being. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ God also tells us in His word that we are to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. You placing Jesus Christ at the center of your life is a spiritual thing that requires you to place Him first and abandon self. He says we have to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. We have to tap into Him spiritually and we cannot fool Him. We can’t truly worship when we a worried about the world. Worry is simply a symptom of us not putting Jesus Christ first, and not centering our lives on Him. He wants us to worship Him. He says so in His Word and He seeks us to worship Him. John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is seeking us to worship Him, but He wants us to worship Him the right way, or should I say the only way, with all our hearts, with the right heart attitude. Let us give Him everything and worship Him all day long, He wants that from us and we must give Him that if we want our relationship to be all it should be.
Brother Big Daddy