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Posts tagged ‘Body of Christ’

HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAITH?

HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAITH?

THE LOST COIN CHURCH TRENTON, N.C.(PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE LOST COIN CHURCH TRENTON, N.C.(PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Do you merely know a lot about God, or do you really know him?  Do you have a superficial faith, or do you have a deep trust?  Now consider this thought, when your faith is tested, your endurance will grow.  Your faith must be able to stand the test of time, and not be like the motions of the oceans, always going back and forth.  So once again I ask the question, “HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAITH?”

THE LOST COIN TEMPLE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE LOST COIN TEMPLE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Our Churches today are filled with people who claim to have faith, be Christians and are followers of Christ.  Unfortunately, however, the claims of many of those professed followers are hollow because their faith is shallow; their lives belie their profession by specific non- Christian actions and attitudes or by what they fail to do.  So I ask you again, “HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAITH?”

God has called us as believers to come forth and activate our faith.  Stop sitting on the side line and just being a spectator at the game.  There is real need for the community to get involved in the life line of our communities.  Our governments all over the world is not fulfilling its commitment to its citizens and here in America is shutting down and ignoring the danger and harm that they are doing to its citizens, therefore, believers from all around the world must pick up your cross, activate your faith and take your marching orders from God, as He has commanded you.  He said the harvest is ripe but the labors are few.

There is real need, hurt, pain and suffering out there and our world is filled with those who need compassion, mercy, and love translated into food, shelter, medical care, counsel, and friendship.

I tell you this one truth, and that is, God’s message to the church, and thus to us, is to obey the law of love.  This means supporting Christian welfare and mission agencies and individuals with our prayers and money.  It also means being sensitive to the needs in our neighborhoods and looking for ways that we can become involved personally.  “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing right and your faith will bear this out.  However, James takes us one step further by asking this specific question, he says, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and in their position as believers and to inherit the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?”  (James 2:5 AMP)

The time is NOW for us to do what’s right and pleasing in God’s sight, because in essence we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  There is only one body and one faith, and we all are one in the body of Christ, and we are commanded to walk by faith and not by sight.  Therefore, I close by asking this one simple question, “HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAITH?”

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HOW YOU CAN EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF ETERNAL LIFE (PART 2 of 2)

Today, we begin this lesson with a video of high praise and joy to celebrate our gift of Eternal Life, and what a joy this really is.  I encourage you to go back and study lesson one which will help you to understand why we are where we are in providing you with this video. Now sit back and enjoy because I know very shortly you are going to be on your feet praising and celebrating what God has blessed you with.

Relationships and Culture

Christianity is often thought of as a “Western” religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew, and so were all of his followers. Much of the Bible actually takes place in Africa, some in modern Iraq, and some in modern Iran. Christianity is a God religion.

We are all born into a culture of some kind. None of us can help being deeply influenced by the values and priorities of the culture we are born into. When we accept Christ, those values must also be examined by the light of Scripture. That which is out of line with Scripture must be left behind and reformed, even if it causes a rift with those in our culture. The apostles were all dis-fellowshipped and persecuted by their Jewish brothers and sisters. The Greeks and Romans were murdered before cheering crowds of their own culture. Our first identification must no longer be with our culture or heritage, but it must be with the body of Christ. Jesus Himself had to face this dilemma in a very personal way:

They said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And heanswered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:32-35)

Family roots are where we learn and derive our cultural identity yet, Jesus declares that he will identify himself with, and fellowship with “whoever does the will of God.” After Jesus is raised from the dead this idea becomes even clearer:

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven… Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians–we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Act 2:5,9-11).

People from every possible background were coming under a single banner. Instead of identifying first with their heritage, they identified first with the people of God. This does not invalidate our heritage. On the contrary, each of us through our background brings something special to the body of Christ, especially when we have the courage to move outside of our cultural comfort zones. The beauty of people from all walks of life and backgrounds worshiping their creator on equal footing is a unique of the Body of Christ.

For many, this is one of the hardest kinds of separation. Giving God priority over every aspect of your cultural identity and values may cause some to see you as a traitor. In some Islamic cultures it could get you killed. Among immigrants, sometimes simply by not attending the ethnic church one may be considered no longer even a member of that ethnic group! Stand firm; this is a trick of the devil to slow you down. Even if they accuse you of losing your cultural identity, you can know in your heart that you are not losing it, but redeeming it in Christ. As we saw in Acts, Jesus wants and loves a group of worshipers from every kind of background.

Pleasures of this world.

Many people mistakenly believe that God is against pleasure. In fact it was God who created pleasure. The problem is that because of our fallen nature, many of the things that we naturally desire are not good for us and those around us. Since they are destructive, the devil tries everything possible to lure, tempt and supercharge our interest in them.

Sexual activity outside of marriage is one of the biggest temptations. It does not matterif it is cheating on your spouse, or if you have never been married. It does not matter if itis between someone of the same sex or the opposite sex. God has uniquely designed man and woman for one another and for sex to be part of a lifelong bonding relationship.  When we violate this design, all kinds of unintended negative consequences result.

Alcohol and substance abuse is another area of temptation. Because the Bible does not Devote much attention to these areas, people often rationalize it. It is destructive to your Physical body, your emotional health, and it is costly!

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

There are many other ways that people are lured away by the world. Many of them are not innately wrong, but if done in large proportion they have a tendency to lead you away from the things of God and toward the things of the world. This includes things like computer games, television, hobbies, and news reading. We find ourselves with no passion for God because we are full of the interests, and distractions of the world. If something like this keeps you from God or consumes a lot of your time, challenge yourself by laying it down for a season, and seeking God instead. You may find like I did that, you are much happier without it altogether.

We should neither be making long lists of “dos” and “don’ts” that are not in the Bible, nor making excuses for compromise. The soul that is in love with God desires to be as close to Him as possible, and seeks the habits that will promote that.

The ideas of the world

While most people recognize that turning to God will have an impact on relationships and personal purity, coming into the Kingdom of God also addresses the ideologies that we align ourselves with. This is not about political affiliation, but about submission to God’s way of thinking. For some people this is a minor area of concerns, and for others it is a major struggle.

Being a Christian means acknowledging God as the supreme creator. The entire basis of the world’s thinking relies on evolution, which involves chance, mutation and death over incredibly long periods of time. God did not create through chance, mutation or death. He created spontaneously and out of nothing. The modern scientific academy does not accept this, not because of the evidence, but because if one wants to reject God, they need a system to believe in which deletes His influence. In fact, in many areas, there is a stunning lack of evidence for evolution. If evolution is removed people come face to face with a creator, and that means having to face His claims on their life and behavior.

Another area where the God’s values come in direct conflict with the world is the infinitely high value He places on life. Not only did He create us, He sent His son to die to save us. The devaluation and ultimate destruction of life is one of the main agendas of the enemy. He came “only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). This devaluation of life is seen in many areas. Slavery and human trafficking is one of the most horrible.

Killing a baby before it is born, known as “abortion,” is another. Some are more subtle. Killing or “euthanizing” the elderly, or using the stem cells from aborted babies, or working people to death in sweat shops are other ways that the devil devalues human life. Being a Christian means placing the same value for life that God himself places on it from start to finish. Sometimes this leads to hard moral choices, but those choices must begin by placing the same esteem for human life that God does.

There are many other deceptive philosophies which can ensnare us, but the key is that we submit them to the Word of God. The Bible speaks directly to the roots of every philosophical or political system ever created. Being submitted to God means submitting our ideologies too and weighing them against what God teaches us in the Scripture.

We hope that you are now truly experiencing and celebrating your joy of eternity.  God gave this to you and no one can ever take it away from you.  We minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

HOW SATAN MISREPRESENTED GOD’S WORD AND SEDUCED EVE

adam and eve - I build this garden for us

Image by oddsock via Flickr

HOW SATAN MISREPRESENTED GODS WORD AND SEDUCED EVE

The first thing you should know about Satan’s great work is that he is an enemy of God.  He is a friend to those who will follow him and if you do follow him, he will lead you straight to hell.  We are born into sin because Satan tempted Eve and seduced her to eat from the very tree God had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat from.  Satan was the most cunning beast of the field and he is still the same today.

Now let us look at how he seduced Eve into doing his will.  “And he said to the woman, has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”  Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.  Therefore, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”  (Genesis 3:1-6).  Now we can clearly see whom it is that is tempting God’s people to do wrong and just how sin was first introduced into the life of the human.  You see, Satan’s strategy mirrors our vulnerability to temptation.  Satan misrepresented God’s word in verse one, then in verse 4 he completely denied it.  Then when we look at verse 5 Satan even had the nerve to question God’s motives.  How much bolder can he really get?

In this situation, Eve showed us how we are today.  Instead of relying on God for directions, she evaluated the option of eating the fruit based on its potential for providing sensory pleasure, and chose what seemed to be desirable in verse 6.  Today, we need to remember even when others say such things as “But it feels so good, it must be right.”  “How can you, know unless you try it?  Or but, you can do so much good by telling just a little lie.”

Remember, Satan is there going to and fro in the earth.  His job is to tempt us to join his band of angels and he is good at what he does.  He is the implacable enemy of God, driven by pride, jealousy and hatred.  Human beings are mere pawns in the endless warfare he wages against the Lord.  Because God loves human beings, Satan seeks to harm us in his futile attempts to thwart God.  Satan’s basic attitude toward human beings is revealed in the gospel reports of diseases and suffering attributed to demonic beings.  Satan is our enemy and we better become more aware of who he is and is methods of operation.  God has given us a choice to either follow Him or follow Satan.  This choice is present in our lives each time we awaken from our sleep.

Yield not to temptation:

The Bible instructs us to yield not to temptation, and as a Christian we must learn to be obedient to God’s word.  He never tells us that temptation will never confront us.  He instructs us not to yield to it.  This I do realize can be very difficult to overcome but it can be done.

Let us look at it through the eyes of one of our children who is home alone as they are so often.  One of the kids opens the cupboard and finds a box of sweets.  They know that they are not supposed to eat the sweets.  However, they are tempted to do so.  They are likely to have chosen any of the two things; either they might yield to the temptation and steal the sweets without our knowledge which is a sin; or they may resist the temptation and not steal the sweets which is a good act.  Look at the huge difference between temptation and sin.  Temptation is just an urge towards sin.  If we yield to that urge, we wind up committing sin.  On the other hand, if we resist it, we do a good act.  A bad thought comes to your mind.  Thinking of an immoral action, you are induced to take pleasure in that.  This is temptation.   Now you might do any of the two things.  Either you may willingly give room for such evil thoughts.  That is, you like such thoughts.  And crave to retain it in your mind.  You are inducing yourself into thinking more and more of it and seek to find pleasure in that.  If you do so you are committing sin.  On the other hand, you may resist such immoral thought.  That is, you do not like to keep that thought in your mind, but try your best to remove it.  If that is the case, you have resisted the temptation, thereby doing a commendable act.  However, what happens often is even when you try to erase a bad thought from your mind, it stays in your mind and however hard you try, it doesn’t go away.  Therefore, you think that you have committed a sin.  Not at all, it is only when you decide wholeheartedly to retain the bad thought in your mind and to think more and more of it, that you really commit sin.

There was a virtuous woman, once an immoral thought came to her mind.  However hard she tried, it did not leave her mind, but kept returning.  It stayed in her mind for a very long time.  Finally, when it left her mind, she beseeched our God and asked, Oh! Jesus where have you been all alone?  Our Lord replied calmly, “I have been in your heart only.”  Then why did such bad thoughts come to my mind?  Our Lord replied,  “Calm down, though you were continually tormented by temptation, you did not yield to it and you have not committed sin.”  She again asked,  “Still my Lord, what were you doing in my heart?”  Our Lord said, “I watched you struggling against those bad thoughts.  I was very glad to find you not yielding to them.   It was I who gave you the strength to resist them”.

Therefore, even if bad thoughts linger in your mind for a long time, if you do not yield to them, you are not committing sin.  On the other hand, you have pleased Jesus by doing the virtuous acts of resisting such bad thoughts.  However, though you do not give room for bad thoughts that come to your mind on many occasions.  You are slightly lethargic in dismissing them.  You are not making adequate efforts.  On such occasions you should not confess, I have harbored bad thoughts, but it is sufficient to say, I was slightly negligent in removing bad thoughts from your mind.  Moreover, on certain occasions, doubts may rise in your mind about taking part in the Holy Communion.  As you might have given room for such bad thoughts or because of some other sins.  On such occasions, you should cleanse yourself and you can take part in the Holy Communion with fear of God. Therefore, with complete placidity and gladness you may take part in the bread, which unifies with the body of Christ and drink in His cup, which unifies with His Blood.  It is good to do so the Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen you.

Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally.  Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, salvation is FREE for the asking.  Take a moment wherever you may be, and ask the Lord to come into your heart.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and if you have spoken these few simple words in truth, you are saved, and now have eternal life.

May God continue to bless each one of you? Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

 

 

IT IS TIME TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE BATTLES AHEAD

Armour

 IT IS TIME TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE BATTLES AHEAD

So how are you to prepare for the great battle that lies ahead?  Listen how the Bible teaches us to prepare ourselves, “Therefore put on God‘s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”   Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God. In addition, having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.  Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].  (Ephesians 6:13-16 MSG)

Why are we to put on God’s complete armor?  The reason we are to do so is because, this is what the word commands us to do, and we must always be obedient to the word.  In addition, we are living in tough economic times and believers are losing their faith as well as their homes, life savings, freedom, liberty and much of their possessions.  Satan is on the attack and he is attacking believers as well as non-believers from all four corners of the world.  Our country is in a financial straight jacket, moral free fall, as well as being on the verge of financial collapse.  Crime in our communities is at an all time high.  Where will it all ends?

Let us understand the truth of Satan’s evil ways and his true motives.  However, in order for believers to realize God’s truth and position themselves to fight the good fight, believers must be united and maintain unity in the body of Christ.  There will be inevitable clashes with evil, and the church must be ready to stand and fight for its entire population.

However, let us remember that as Christians, we battle against rulers and authorities, the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter.  Peter tells us that we can be victorious if we would, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV).  Know that to withstand Satan’s attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor.

Brothers and Sisters, try to understand this one truth, this is no ordinary fight.  We are fighting against a very powerful and evil fighting machine.  This one was designed to crush God’s people.  We can describe it as hand-to-hand combat.  However, we are not in an earthly military campaign, our battle is not against people made of flesh and blood.  Instead, we are battling the demons over which Satan has control.  Demons work to temp people to sin.  Satan did not create them because God is the Creator of all.  Rather, the demons are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion and thus became perverted and evil.

These spiritual beings have limited power.  They are invisible to us, operating in the unseen world.  The mighty powers refers to those spiritual powers who aspire to world control.  They are evil (of the darkness) and they currently rule this world.  The wicked spirits in the heavenly realms refers to the demons dwellings, planet and stars, from which the demons control the lives of people.  Here is a host of spiritual forces arrayed against us, requiring us to use God’s full armor.  These are real and powerful beings, not mere fantasies. Believers must not underestimate them.

We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church.  When we believe in Ghrist, the satanic beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him and back to sin.  Although believers are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns because Satan constantly battles against all who are on God’s side.

Believers response to the reality of this warfare should be to use every piece of God’s armor.  The armor is available, but the believer-soldier must use it.  We would be neglectful to do other wise, for the battle is real, and we are Satan’s targets.  Only with the armor will believers be able to be standing firm, a word describing standing against great opposition; indeed, it would be impossible to stand on our strength alone.  Christian soldiers must be able to hold their ground and not flee or surrender under Satan’s attacks.

Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally.  Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, may the grace of God abide in you now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen.

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