Saturday, March 28, 2015

The River is Here

Text: John 7:1-38

Jesus often acted in a manner that was inconsistent with the traditions of men during His life on this earth.  He challenged the man-made traditions of His day.  Much of the Mosaic laws in the OT had been perverted and their traditions ruled instead of the Word.  Jesus, in this instance and many others, chose not to comply with the weak religious traditions and formalities of the Pharisees.  In the scripture passage above Jesus was attending the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.  He used this opportunity to teach. 

The people there were amazed by His teachings because Jesus had no “formal” training from the scripture.  Jesus responded by pointing out that His teachings were not His own, they came from the one who had sent Him.  He pointed out to them that Moses had given them the Law, which Moses received from God, and that none of them were obeying it.  Over the centuries the traditions of the Pharisees had replaced the law and what they were left with amounted to a religion that was based in tradition, not the Law.  Now what they had was a dead religion that could not save anyone.  Paul warns believers against this in Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

Yet today in much of the body of Christ we see churches leaving the teachings of the Word and following after teachings that are based in the “spiritual forces of this world.”  Many today believe that they are serving God when they really serve traditions that are wholly satanic in nature. These teachings seem right to them, but they lack any power to help them resist sinful habits, “These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgences.”  - Colossians 2:22, 23

Jesus uses this opportunity to direct them to a source of power that can not only save them, but would overflow from them and also become a source of life for others, “Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

The church of Jesus Christ needs to stop following after “political correctness” and get back to following after the teachings of Christ.  Not everything that society approves of is beneficial, not everything man teaches is correct, in fact many of the things commonly accepted today are not “okay” with God.

While I was in Denver this past week I watched a video of Phil Robertson, from Duck Dynasty, speaking at a church in California.  One of the first things he told them was, “I love you.”  Then he went on to tell them that all of us have sinned and are in need of God’s help to cleanse us.  He didn’t say, “I’m okay, you’re okay.”  He told them, “I was a sinner who needed Jesus and so are all of you.” 

And for taking this stance the media and those who do not want to be reminded that they are drinking stagnant water, when a source of living, life giving water is available, jumped all over him to the point of what I would consider persecution.  But Phil’s in good company, they did the same thing to Jesus when He told them they were sinners, “at this they tried to seize Him…the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest Him.” – John 7:30, 32

Many have developed their own version of the church and their own form of religion.  A religion that cannot save them because it lacks the ability to rescue them from the very thing that is bringing about their own death.  Romans 3:23 makes it clear that all have sinned and have fallen short of the life that God has commanded us to live, and then in Romans 6:23 the Word tells us that because of this we have all earned death.  But the good news is that there is also a gift available to us if we believe and obey the teachings of Christ, eternal life.

In the OT Jeremiah the prophet warns of trying to imitate the living water, "For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me--the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”

A religion that does not address the true condition of man’s heart, cannot provide the life giving power of Christ, they are meager imitations.  Our source of hope, our source of power to resist sin, and our only true source of life can only be found in Christ.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Luke 8:22-25

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

 In this passage is the promise of God’s presence, “Let us go,” Jesus said.  In another passage of scripture Jesus had told them He would never leave them or forsake them.  In fact He promised them that he would go with them to the very ends of the earth.  And so they hopped in the boat with eagerly, and willingly.  They pushed out from the shore with Jesus in the boat, their fellowship was sweet.  It was all good, the weather was calm, the skies were blue, and the fellowship would have been incredible (After all they were with Jesus).  Everything seemed to be perfect for a day of smooth sailing.  Then Jesus decided to take a nap.

This is just like it is with us when everything is going good in our lives.  The Holy Spirit never sleeps, but it is possible for His presence to become so unimportant to us, we all face the danger of treating the privilege of being sprit filled lightly, and if we are not careful the power of His presence can become dormant in our lives.  I know because it has happened to me.

Notice that it is when we forget the importance of having His presence with us and the storms come, fear replaces power and becomes the overwhelming influence on us.  One of the first lessons we need to learn is that storms are a part of life and we are not going to get through this life, without having to ride out some storms.  For those who do not have the privilege of His presence fear is the natural response, its human nature.  But to those who are filled with the Holy Ghost, should respond to storms with a supernatural manifestation of God's presence, and faith should replace fear.  This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith: But there is no faith without the Holy Ghost.

How do we keep His presence fresh in our lives?  We have got to be in the Word daily.  It is one thing to admire the Word of God, to appreciate the Word of God, and even mentally assent to its validity, but it is another thing entirely when the Word of God is the only thing that stands between you and destruction.

Isaiah 53:1 - Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

In every situation there are two reports, man’s report and God’s report.

For far too many so called "believers" the Word doesn’t become important until it’s a matter of life or death. When you’re faced with losing your home, or your marriage is on the rocks.  Storms come to everyone, no one is exempt from the storm.  The Word says that it rains on the just and the unjust alike.  The only question is how will you face them?  Everything depends on your attitude toward the Word of God.  Jesus said, “My mother and my brethren are they who hear the Word and do it.”

The lesson Jesus would have us all learn is, the Word works, but you have to work it.  The disciples had seen Jesus, the living Word, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils.  But this day Jesus wanted them to learn how to work the Word for themselves.  To do the work the Word is to live beyond the dictates of circumstances, to work the Word is to act like you believe God’s report instead of man’s report.  To act like you believe that God told the truth even when it looks like He didn’t(God always tells the truth, but sometimes we doubt Him).  Working the word does not mean that we ignore the circumstances, it just means that we looks beyond them and see His promises.  Even if it looks like everything in the world is against us we simply claim the promises of His Word and live as though we have already received them (The substance of things hoped for).

Let us go over to the other side.  If they had been working the Word, when the storm came they would have just lifted their hands and their voices to praise God and claimed His promise that they were going to the other side.  Jesus said we’re going over and it’s settled, so the storm can either get out of the way, or we’ll just go through it, but one things settled: We’re going to the other side because He said so. 

Today we need to practice His presence, to stir up His Word in our hearts, we need to read the Word, to confess the Word, and to praise God in our storms according to His Word.

Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and raging water and they ceased and there was a great calm.  And then He asked them, “Where is your faith?”  What Jesus was saying was: I told you we were going over to the other side, you had everything you needed to deal with anything that got in your way.  You had the privilege of my presence and you had my Word. If you had really believed me you would have rebuked that storm yourself.

How about you, where is your faith?  Is it in the fair weather?  Is it in a man-made boat?  Is it in your own abilities to navigate the storm?  Is it in other people?  Or is it in God?

Those who believe the Word are peculiar to the world, while the world is crying about going under we are praising about going over. Our destination is determined, but we must be determined to reach our destination.  Let us go over to the other side.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Acts 1:8

“...and you will receive power when the Holy Ghost has come upon you to be my witnesses…”

Contrary to popular belief God is not a distant God, He has made His presence known to man throughout history. Before the fall he actually walked in the garden and conversed with Adam face to face, in the book of Exodus to Moses in a burning bush, He manifested himself as a pillar of fire and a cloud, and He was in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Acts 2:17-19

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.” 

And now He has chosen to use us to manifest his power to the world.  You were created for the power of God.  We have been born of the Holy Spirit, we are filled with the Spirit, led by the spirit, taught by the spirit, kept by the spirit and empowered by the spirit.

There are only two powers in the earth, the Power of God and the Power of Satan.  There is nothing in between.  We are in a struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, love and hate.  The Word makes it very clear that a person cannot serve two masters.  You are either in God’s Kingdom or you are in Satan’s Kingdom, there is no middle ground.  You cannot claim you live in Gods kingdom and derive your pleasure and your enjoyment from Satan’s. (I Corinthians 10:21; I John 1:6; Ephesians 5:11)

As a child of God you have a divine call on your life: Matthew 5:14, “you are the salt of the earth.”

Salt has healing properties, it preserves, it seasons, and it creates a thirst.  The manifestation of Christ’s Holy Spirit in you causes your life to be a channel of healing and comfort, a seasoning and preserving influence, and it makes your life exciting and joyous.

“You are the Light of the world.” His Holy Spirit causes your life to be a beacon in the night. Your life, your words, your attitude, become a light to those who are in darkness. Now is not the time for indifference. Now is not the time to stand by and watch as the enemy of God destroys lives.

I heard a story once of a man who was found at the beach throwing star fish back into the ocean, the tide had washed them up onto the beach, and they were dying.  Some teenagers came by and saw what he was trying to accomplish and they shouted, “You’re wasting your time, you’ll never make a difference, there are too many here to save!”

As the man lifted another star fish and threw him back into the ocean he said with a smile, “it made a difference to that one.”

Satan’s best friend is the lukewarm Christian, they’re a false representation of Jesus, and they drive people away from Christ rather than draw them to him.

There is nothing that Satan fears more than to see God’s people on fire for Him.

There is nothing Satan desires more than to see the energy of God’s children perverted in the pursuit of natural earthly, carnal and selfish desires, or wasted wrapped up in an attitude of indifference.

God wants to set your life on fire, He wants to fill you with His power, He wants to release you in fields that are ripe for harvest, to give you power to be a witness, to set free those in bondage to addictions, and to lay your hands on the sick and see them healed.

2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

You were created for power

There is only one answer for the brokenness of this world, it cannot be found in anything other than the Power of God

We were created to live in the atmosphere of the supernatural Power of God.  As a fish living on land would be unnatural and abnormal, and it is unnatural and abnormal to be called a Christian and have no power in our lives, and no taste or desire for the presence of God.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Are You Desperate?

Mk 2:1-12
Mk 5:25-34

 Contained in these passages are the stories of two very desperate people. In the first passage is the story of a man that had been born paralyzed, and in the second passage is a story of a woman who had been dealing with a medical condition, for which the doctors had no cure, for many years. There is absolutely no doubt these people were desperate.

 People become desperate when they reach a point where all hope of resolving their situation on their own is gone, and they are forced to seek a solution outside of themselves. At this point they are willing to try just about anything. They no longer care what anyone thinks or says, they are willing to be ridiculed if it brings them peace. They will go where they never thought they would go, they won’t let anything get in their way, they’re desperate and they are ready to take desperate measures.
Desperation is the condition that exists when a recognized need is present and we have no way of meeting it on our own.

God’s people are needy, every last one of us, but many are stubborn, and few are willing to acknowledge their need. Desperation only comes when there is a recognized need that is beyond our own ability to meet.

 WEBSTER'S DEF. OF DESPERATE: feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad, as to be impossible to deal with:

Contrary to the way we view things, desperation is not a bad thing. The world has taught us that the last thing we want to be is desperate. It is looked upon as a sign of weakness to ask for help. But from God’s perspective, desperate people are those who are willing to acknowledge that there are some circumstances that only God can rescue us from, and so we need Him. There are many promises contained in the pages of His Word that only come to those who are desperate.

 I believe the will of God tonight is that every one of us should reach some measure of desperation. I believe His message to us all is that we have been examined by the great physician and diagnosed, “wanting.”
When I see in the pages of His Word the life that is available to us, and then I see in my own life, in other believer’s lives and in the church, the low level of spiritual life and the absence of spiritual power, it creates a sense of emptiness in me, a recognition that we are many times falling short of the glory that has been prepared for us. It stirs in me a sense of desperation.

 I am desperate tonight because I recognize the need for spiritual power to reach the lost, to heal the sick, and to help set free those in bondage - because I know that only God can give us what we’re lacking.

The desperate will receive their blessing from God because: they absolutely will not be kept from the presence of their healer by physical boundaries! They are willing to rip off a roof to obtain an audience with the Lord, they’ll push their way through the crowd, and they won’t be offended – (even the dogs eat the crumbs). Desperate people happily let go of their dignity for an opportunity to be touched by deity.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Power For Living

There is only one source of power that the Christian can tap into, to overcome life’s difficulties.  There is only one source of power that we can receive to live in a manner that brings glory to the name of Jesus.  A believer that is filled with power, is baptized in the Holy Ghost, and living by the power and the anointing of His indwelling presence.

Acts 1:5-8

For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”  Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Pentecost marked the introduction of a completely new dynamic in the way to live according to God’s standards.  In the Old Testament (OT) they relied on their own ability to follow a rigid set of standards to achieve a right relationship with God, to be “righteous.”  Now, in the New Testament (NT) with the infilling, baptism, of the Holy Spirit the believer now had a source of power for righteous living that dwells within us and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. 

Every covenant with God is intended to be sealed in blood.  In the OT God gave Moses the Law which laid out the rules for sprinkling the blood of animals over the sins of the people to restore them to fellowship with God.  In the NT Jesus sealed the covenant with his own blood.  His blood is the signature that life in the power of the Spirit is now available to every believer who wants it

Every believer should be experiencing the power of a Holy Spirit filled Life.  I am going to make a very bold and controversial statement now, please don’t stone me.  The Son of the “Most High God” did not shed his blood just to save you from your sins. That blood cleanse you from your sin, but it also seals you into a life of covenant living.  Because of this wonderful blood we have become joints heirs with Jesus, the seed of Abraham and children of the promises of God.  The Magnificent blood of Jesus is the introduction of the believer into the life of the Spirit, or living.

Lev 14: Tells of the cleansing of the leper.  First the blood of the guilt offering was applied to the unclean person’s body and then the priest would apply the oil.  This is symbolic of how the blood prepares us for the anointing.

How it must grieve the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit, for us to stop short of what he paid so high a price for us to have.  To be filled with the Spirit was not a mere suggestion, but rather a command to his disciples, which we are if we continue in His Word.  Luke 24:49 – “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 

Ephesians 5:17-20 - “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The will of God is that you be filled with the Spirit.  The will of God is actually that we become the channels through which his spirit flows through, that we become ministers of that anointing.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 – “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

John 7:37-38 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

In Ezekiel 37:7-10 we can see “type” of, or picture of the New Testament Church, The power filled church.

“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.  And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.  Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus says the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

Notice: Everything from a natural standpoint may be perfect, but from God’s perspective it is dead until the Spirit has come upon and into. It is the Spirit that turns these bones into an army.  The greatest need in our country right now is not different leaders, it is not a better economy, what our country needs now more than anything else if for the Church of Jesus Christ to receive a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit and to be revisited with New Testament Power and Anointing.

A power filled church is a church that is living the life of dependence upon the Holy Spirit

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stand Up And Be Counted!

As the descendants of Abraham began to take possession of their inheritance, there were seven tribes that for some reason, had failed to receive their inheritance. It is important to understand that when it says they had not “received” their inheritance, it actually means is that they had failed to drive out the enemy.  The land that had been promised to them by God, was inhabited by people who opposed their right to the land.  In order for them to receive their inheritance, they had to dispossess the enemy.  The land belonged to the children of Israel by right of inheritance, by promise, but it was occupied and dominated by their enemies. 

Listen to Joshua’s words:
Joshua 18:3 MSG
Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you?

The point is:
  • The land had been given to them by God
  • It was their responsibility to do whatever they had to do in order to take possession of it.
Joshua was asking them how long they were going to hang back, and put off, possessing their inheritance.  How long were they going to be lazy, afraid, and unwilling to engage the enemy and take possession of their birth rite?

We find this same culture in the church now.  The word of God is full of His promises toward His children.  We are also by faith the seed of Abraham, and we are heirs to the blessing of Abraham, Gal 3:29, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

As it was then it is still true today, there are enemies that do not want us to take possession of our inheritance and unless we enjoy living as spiritual nomads, we must be willing to fight for what is ours. Matthew 11:12, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

One reason many of Gods people are cheated out of their inheritance is: because they do not know what belongs to them, they are unfamiliar with the will, Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”

Another reason is: we are just plain slack, lazy, unwilling to fight for it.  Many Christians would rather live the mediocre self-preserving life of a spiritual pauper, than have to engage the enemy in spiritual warfare.  It’s time to recognize and start admitting that we “have not” because we won’t stand up and fight for it. 

Our inheritance is not in heaven waiting for us to die so we can go and get it!  Our inheritance is in Christ, it has been paid for by His blood, now all we have to do is drive out every enemy in the name of Jesus and take back what the enemy has stolen.