God often reminded us in the scripture of the power that lies within our mouths. Scripture literally says in Proverbs 18:21 that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” So with that being said there is a great level of responsibility on our parts as Christians to keep a tight reign on what spills out of our mouths. As a matter of fact James said, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James is literally saying that if you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ and your mouth is out of control then your life is useless. You cannot be used to build the kingdom if your mouth is out of control. I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with a very prominent well-known figure. If I said his name or posted a picture of him almost everyone would know who he is. And I feel confident that if I typed his name in this blog most everyone would immediately have thoughts and perceptions of this man based solely on what they have read or heard from other people. Even I personally had preconceived notions of this person’s character, integrity, and personality formed solely on the words of other people. However, after a couple of hours of sitting down with him I left with a radically different impression of who this individual was. I found that he was a man with a great deal of integrity and I really enjoyed the time I got to sit down with him. However, as I left the Lord brought Proverbs 18:21 to my mind and for the first time I think that I really began to understand the true meaning behind this scripture. We literally have the ability to MURDER the integrity and character of other people and may possibly do it more than we realize. We need to be very sensitive and careful about voicing our own personal opinions and biases of other people we have never taken the time to get to know. God has called us to uphold the integrity of others, not tear it down. When we take the time to stand in front of our spiritual mirrors and see ourselves for what we really are apart from Christ, it’s very difficult to voice the faults and flaws that we find in other people. When we look at our own wretchedness and what Gods grace has done in our own lives, we are a lot quicker to extend that grace to others. Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” So let me ask you a question do your words bring grace to those that hear them or do they possibly bring death to those that hear as well as the one being talked about. Let me leave with you with a verse to chew on today and remember what Momma said, “If you don’t have something nice to say than don’t say anything at all.” “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” Matthew 15:18
Surrendered for Life,
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Check this out, Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Before we go any further I believe this fact is being ignored in our discipleship. Jesus is the author of our faith. He wrote it out as He died a cruel death on a rugged cross, defeated death and rose again. Pouring out His blood and destroying the sting of death to author my salvation. The scripture says He is the author of our faith. Simply put it is the power of the Holy Spirit that touches your heart and reveals to you that you are a sinner and that you need Jesus Christ to wash away your sin. Jesus took care of this need when He ALLOWED Himself to be nailed on a cross as a perfect payment for the sins of this world. Generally, we stop there and then we head out walking with Jesus, but not being empowered by Him. This scripture says He is the author and the finisher of our faith. Salvation is just the beginning. Salvation is just the explosion of the starter pistol in a lifelong race. But Jesus also says that He is the finisher of our faith. That means when the trumpet sounds for His return, He will complete all of our faith and He take us home. However, you cannot finish the race with out running the race. You see, what we have done in modern day christianity is we have started the race, salvation, and we look to finish the race, Jesus' return, but in between we are failing to live with the power and glory of Jesus Christ and all He provides. We don't run the race. If a marathon runner said I am going to drink a cup of water to start the race and then I will drink some more when I finish, he would not finish. He would dehydrate, cramp, overheat and possibly die. Why? Because he was not filling his body with the water required to sustain life and empower the bodily functions required to complete a marathon. That is what we do so many times as Christians. We start great, a salvation experience all full of tears and snotty noses and everything, been there and done that, but we so quickly neglect that which will sustain us, THE WORD OF GOD! The Word of God puts us under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we see the marathon runner take the water and just pour it on their heads, chest, bodies and man it feels so good. However, if at every at water station that is all the runner does He will not endure to the end. He will cramp, vomit, loose control of his muscles, and eventually be unable to continue. Pouring water over your body without drinking along the way is what we do when we come and sit in church without opening the Word of God all week. We just expect the pastor to pour the Word all over us, and it feels so good, it is refreshing, but nothing is happening on the inside. The inside is losing it's ability to function and has nothing that is continually providing fuel. Oh yes then there are the things in life called storms, in a marathon it would be a hill. After many miles and no intake of water, the pouring of the water over my head and body is not as near as refreshing as it was earlier and now as I begin my assent up this hill it all breaks down. I fall and lay helpless on the ground, finished and in pain. Same in our christian walk the Words flowing from the pulpit just are not as refreshing as they once were. I struggle through another service only to face a storm on Monday that I just can't handle. I fall and lay helpless on the ground in pain and broken. So what do we do to avoid this broken state. DRINK MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS DRINK. The result will be a filling of the Holy Spirit that drives your life and sustains your strength. Living with His Holy presence will enable you to look at that hill 18 miles into the race and find another gear and actually attack the hill. The water you have taken in along the way pays great dividends on that climb and when you take the cup of water and drink and then pour it over your body you are ready to take on the world. Stronger and stronger you stand. You see if you want the Holy Spirit to fill you and overwhelm you with a power that is God breathed and world conquering, you must be in His Word daily. Then when the pastor pours the Word over you on Sunday and Wednesday it to will have a powerful impact. When you are continually in the Word, the Holy Spirit fills your life and Sunday empowers Monday and Monday empowers Tuesday and Tuesday empowers Wednesday, you get the point. John 4:13-14, Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Get in God's Word today and everyday so He can supply you with this fountain. One last thing the first verse in Romans 12 tells us the first thing we must do is to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles us. You see we have to be willing to lay aside the sin that will steel our resources. Please let go of the sin, lay it aside and watch Jesus take it far far away.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Jesus said you and I are the light of the world. That we are here on this earth to light the path for those who do not know the way. Mitchell asked the question yesterday and I will ask you many, many times in the weeks and months to come, what are you preaching from your pulpit? Who is your congregation? Where is your pulpit? What are your messages? Better yet where are your messages leading your flock? You are lighting a pathway in the hearts and souls of the people you touch. That my friend is a hallelujah blessing to many of you. However, it is blood stained hands for some. Some have chosen a pathway that leads to destruction and they are lighting the way for many to follow. Praise Jesus for those of you who have anchored your pulpit on solid ground and who have taken this awesome responsibility with love and commitment to their fellow man. I pray that God will wake those travel down the destructive path and turn them around. I pray this happens before they cannot wash the blood off their hands. The souls we lead astray, we are responsible for. Do you understand that? When people look at our lives, listen to our messages and watch our testimony and they follow our lead only to find the destination not at all where they thought they were headed, instead they find themselves surrounded by a self indulging, self oriented mindset, and actions that lead to death and destruction, we are responsible. I beg you to know where you are going before you take others with you. We will all deal with struggles, trials, and sin when we follow Christ; however, knowingly participating in habitual sin and acting as if it is ok is preaching a message from your pulpit that sin is ok and God will not do anything about it. That is dangerous ground not just for you, but to those who believe, and trust you. When you look up one day and your friends or even your children are following in your footsteps, don't wonder why. Know why? You lead them. Know that you lead people, you especially lead those you so desperately love. You can say to yourself, "you can't help it" or you can get up and do something about where and how you lead. If you want to lead positively understand that Jesus said we were the light of the world, but He also said in John 8:12, "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” You see He has already gave us the path and has enlightened the way. We follow Him, we walk in the light, we lead in the light, we preach the light from our pulpit and people follow in the light. And all God's people say, AMEN! AMEN! One last little thought, if you are justifying your actions, it is most likely sin. If you are making excuses, it is most likely sin. If you are rationalizing whether it is most likely sin. Stop before you turn around and see a crowd of followers. Faces of those you love and even faces of people you don't really know, but they follow just the same.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy
My good people of The Way and those that receive this by way of a forward or subscription today you get a double dose. Brother Mitchell Dean has a Word from God that He would like to share and so may The Way Church be the conduit through which His word is delivered through Brother Mitchell.
What’s being preached from your pulpit?
God has blessed me with numerous opportunities over the past few years to stand in many different pulpits and preach the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. It is a privilege and honor to have such an awesome opportunity to share such great news with so many people. However, I’m coming to the realization that the pulpit I step into Monday through Saturday will have a far greater impact on the lives around me than any church I’m ever invited to preach in. You see we all have a congregation, and we all have a pulpit. My question to you is what’s being preached from your pulpit? It’s inevitable that my wife and children will see me on numerous occasions stand in front of a congregation on Sunday morning and preach a message. However, the lasting impact that I will have on my wife and children is them seeing that message validated by action in my life Monday through Saturday. My co-workers and friends know that I’m a man that claims faith in Jesus Christ; however, the power and impact of my life doesn’t lie in my profession it will flow from the validation of my profession, my life. Every time I read the words of Jesus I’m struck by His lack of interest in words but His heart towards the validation of those words in action. Notice his words in John 14:15 “"If you love me, keep my commands. In essence He is saying true love and devotion doesn’t flow from words alone but by words that validate themselves in action. God himself is the greatest illustration of this truth. Listen to one of the most memorized and quoted scriptures in the Bible John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, THAT HE GAVE His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. God did not just profess His love for us, He showed His love in action. With that being said I’m convinced that God is not nearly as concerned with my Sunday as much as he is my Monday through Saturday. Whether we like it or not, every day that we get out of our beds, we step into a pulpit and there is a congregation that’s not just listening but also watching the message we are preaching. So I again I would ask you the question what are you preaching from your pulpit?
Surrendered for Life,
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the presence of our Lord and Savior yesterday. The Holy Spirit fell down on us as we worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. God seeks those who will surrender to Him and we must continue to surrender. We came to His House of Worship ready to worship and the Lord blessed us with His mighty presence. Now that we are filled up, supercharged and ready for battle may we walk mightily this week proclaiming who our Lord is, shouting from the roof tops who our Savior is, following the lead of the Holy Spirit in every way.
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Many times this scripture is examined from the side of denying Jesus before men. Obviously this brings grave consequences and is not anything we would like to experience, Jesus denying us before God. But if we confess Jesus Christ before men, He will confess us before God in heaven. If we will stand before man and proclaim Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, He will stand before God and in heaven and claim us as His. Can you imagine this, standing before God the Father and having Jesus say to Him on our behalf, "He is one that I have purchased. He is one that my love bought as I died on the cross. He is one who belongs to me." How awesome is that and how powerful is that? I want us to reflect back on yesterday just a minute, Barak sang the song He's Alive. The song so beautifully proclaims that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ rose from the grave, defeating death and is alive today. He gives life to all those who desire His love and are willing to surrender to Him as Lord of their lives. Justin then delivered His testimony. He beautifully told his God Story. He told who He was. He explained what happened when he surrendered to Jesus Christ and then he explained what he has been doing ever since the touch of Christ Jesus. Our testimony simple but powerful, who we were, what happened at salvation, what we have been doing ever since ushers in the presence of Holy Spirit. Do you own your testimony and do you give it? Are you taking the time to share your testimony in Sunday School, Bible Study, Church and where ever Christ Jesus opens the door of opportunity? I beg you, write your testimony out with the following outline:
I. This is who I was
II. This is what happened (Moment of Salvation)
III. This is what I have been doing ever since.
Write it out, go over it regularly. When God adds a scripture to your testimony add it and on it. Be thankful for the blessing of your salvation and walk in a manner worthy of having a testimony.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy