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WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE LOCAL CHURCH PLAY IN HELPING TO CURTAIN VIOLENCE IN THE COMMUNITIES

WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE LOCAL CHURCHPLAY IN HELPING TO CURTAIN VIOLENCE IN THE

Church Carson City Nv. (Photo by Pastor Davis)

COMMUNITIES

I submit to you my brothers and sisters that our churches, pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and church leaders can and must play a pivotal role in helping to curtail the violence that our youth are perpetuating upon society as a whole.  As I write this I know I am going to get a lot of negative feedback from some of our church leaders who have sit on the side line while the violence run rapid within our schools, and communities. Now I ask you, before you make a quick judgment about this article and condemn it out of hand, use the power of your own thought process, that God has blessed you with, and become a deep thinker.  Allow your mind to think deep on what is happening within your own church and surrounding communities, and what you can do to bring about a change that will help our youth to become productive citizen of the world community.  You are truly the great leaders within your community and building strong leadership teams that can help root out crime, bring stability to the community, rebuild the community, and help to develop strong characters and new leaders from those that are now destroying the community should be a goal worthy of Godly leaders.

As I see it, to a great degree, our churches are leading the way the youth are perpetuating violence upon society, and here is the reason why I can make such a bold statement. Many of the local churches have closed their doors, locked them and placed iron bars on the doors and windows to keep the youth out.  They have an invisible sign outside that reads, no young people are welcome.  No gang bangers, no drug are alcoholic addicts, no prostitutes, no homeless person.  If you are truly not one of us, please do not enter these doors.  Now I ask you, “Is this the way Jesus would want us to treat the youth among us, for us to live in fear of what they might do?”

You as leaders, say that the youth are breaking into the churches, disrupting the flow of activities, stealing and destroying church property.  I know this to be true in some areas of the country, because I have seen it first hand for myself.  However, what I am talking about here is the turning away of our children from having a safe place to go.  The local churches should be a sanctuary for our youth.  You should not be fearful of them, but instead be and example of what and who they could become with some encouragement and proper leadership training.  I know that I am placing a lot of responsibility on our churches and church leadership, but we must remember, this is the price we pay for being a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus never ran from his leadership role and responsibilities and neither should we.  Our churches should be a place that our youth can go any time of the day or evening to play games, study and what a wonderful opportunity you now have to teach them the word of God and the right way of handling their problems and keeping them out of the jaws of Satan.

The church doors should be open all the time not just on Sunday for a Sunday morning worship service and then locked up until the next Sunday. When there is nothing for a lot of you as church leaders to do all day long, but sit at home and watch the trash on television, gossip on the phone about who is sleeping with who; then you should be more than willing to take turns, keeping the church doors open.  Now is a perfect time to train the young people in conducting Bible Study, learning to pray and preparing activities for the kids.  If you would do this, you would not have to put iron bars on the doors to keep the youth out.  The doors would be open and the youth would want to come in.  That would have a powerful positive effect on the youth as well as the community as a whole, and what a great opportunity to begin a true leadership training course for your entire leadership team as well as the community.

We Christians have to stop being afraid of our youth.  We have to take a stand exerting leadership within our church and community.  I can assure you where there is a weak leadership within the church and community; there is a concentration of drugs, gangs and violence.  The people in the community live every day in fear of their own life.  I submit to you, if you are living locked away in your home and church, afraid some kids are going to rob you or kill you, what is your purpose for living?  Take a stand, be strong, exert leadership, open the doors of your church, invite the young gang bangers to come in, teach them how to rap for the Lord, how to be gang bangers for the lost soul.  I guarantee you will begin to experience a difference in your own life as well as the life of the community.

I know what I am stating here is difficult for most churches and the church leadership as a whole.  Now let me tell you why.  I have had the good fortune to have traveled to many different parts of the world as well as travel all over America.  I attended many different churches across America as well as speak to many different church organizations and other groups.  One thing that I have come to realize is that more than 70% of all churches in America are small churches with membership of less than a 100 people and on any given Sunday morning, there will be less than 60 people in each church.

Moreover, out of those that attend, less than 5% will be young children.  Now you ask where all the children from the community are.  Come Sunday morning, the bus stops will be filled with children to attend school.  If this is the case, why are they not lined up to attend church on Sunday morning?  The reason for this is it is easier to join a large church congregation than a small church.  Where there is a church congregation of 500 or more in attendance, you will find about 35% of those is young people and the larger the congregation, the larger the youth are in attendance and active within the church.

Small churches in America have become private social clubs for the elite of the community where they are located.  If you are a member of that social elite club, you are welcome within that church.  Oh sure, they will tell you that their doors are open and all are welcome, but to become a member without first embracing yourself to the social elite and then submitting yourselves to their beliefs and you will see how fast you will get the cold shoulder.  Now I remind you that these people proclaim themselves Christian, and who am I to judge them for the bible teaches me to judge not.  In addition, most of them are lead by a preacher of their own choosing.  For the Bible tells us that some of these people and not all small churches are this way, it says, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they are ignorant of God’s righteousness of God.” (Roman 10:2-3).

These churches that are proclaiming the word of God without submitting themselves unto the righteousness of God are the very ones I am talking about that are contributing to the violence within our schools and communities.  They are turning away the children as well as the parents of these children.  The way they turn them away, is by the actions they take in the church and carry out within the community.

The people in the community are watching and waiting.  They are hungry for the gospel, but no one within the church is taken the gospel to them.  The preacher is afraid of losing his job that he only dares to tell the people what they want to hear instead of thus said the Lord.  The temptation is so great within a lot of these small churches to do wrong, that the preachers are leading the congregation astray by not proclaiming God’s word.  Listen to what God commands his preachers to do, he says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; Reprove, rebuke, exhort with long suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fiction (II Timothy 4:2-4).” In Jesus name we pray that a change will come. Amen

I encourage all church leaders everywhere, to think deeply on the teachings of Jesus and how he would handle the many difficult problems our young people are experiencing in this world today. Become that example that you want them to live by and put your true leadership skills on display within your community for the world to see.  When you save the life of one soul you are saving the lives of many.  I minister to you this day from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity in the name of Jesus Christ; I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

 

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PASTORS MUST STOP KEEPING THEIR MEMBERS PROSPERITY POOR (PART 1)

In today’s market place when so many people have lost their jobs and inability to earn a proper living for their families and losing their homes and all their worldly goods it is time for Pastors and church leaders to carefully study the types of messages they delivery to their congregation. The bible gives us a road map for us to follow, how we present that road map to our followers at a time such as this is the most important thing that we can do in the name of Jesus.

I do realize that I am going to get a lot of negative feedback from my fellow brethren in the ministry, but I also feel that it is important to get this message out.  Now I ask you to read and study the entire message before you make up your mind, and let us begin a dialog that can be beneficial to all believers.

Throughout most of the Church History the spiritual current, especially of the Catholic and Orthodox churches has been that the most spiritual possible lifestyle is to be poor.

The preaching and teaching of these Pastors have done more harm to the poor than they have given them the keys to living a prospers life style because they use Scriptures like “Blessed are the poor…” and “Sell everything you have and come follow me,”  the mindset has been that in order to truly follow Christ you must impoverish yourself.

Now, of course, at any given time, only a few are willing to do this at one time, and so they are considered the most spiritual.   This promotes a general sense of guilt among the middle class and of pride among the self-impoverished.   Moreover, it creates a universal rejection of Earthly wealth for Christians, leaving it to be pursued by either those of other faiths (such as the medieval Jews) or by Christians who do not really believe the Gospel.

It is my opinion this promotes a general place of powerlessness for the church, and of “scraping by” for the average person.   Ironically, which teaching its people to be poor, the church itself held greater riches than most kings, building incredible edifices to promote itself.   The outcome of promoting poverty then, was to have a rich clergy and a poor laity.

In the wake of the great healing revival of the 1940’s and 50’s two things happened.  First, the healing crusaders like Oral Roberts and Jack Coe and others had built huge and very costly ministry empires which required a remarkable amount of money was needed.    Secondly, the anointing waned on many of these men, depriving them of the power which would both draw people to their services and money to feed the ministry empire.   Largely because of these two factors, the doctrine of “Faith” which they had developed with regard to getting people healed began to grow into a doctrine of Wealth.

Slowly the ability to get out of a wheelchair was replaced with the promise to get material goods.   Instead of “if you have faith, you can be made whole” it was “if you have faith, you can get out of debt.”  Now at the time, I believe the shift was subtle, but a generation later, what had happened became clear — the power of God had been traded for money.     We live under a system of “prosperity” now, where ministers promise that giving (to them) is the way to wealth, and implicitly that if you do so you will become rich like them.   These rich ministers are the ones who had “faith” to get wealth, and by “sowing in” to their ministries you can get the same thing.    The great irony again is that this has not produced a race of billionaire Christians, what it has primarily produced is the same exact thing that the Old Catholic “poverty mentality” did — rich ministers and poor laymen.

Does this mean that God does not want his children to prosper?  By no means, I believe that God desires to give His children great wealth so that they can “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, and then “they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9)   In other words, we are given the financial resources to advance His Gospel and reach every living creature.   If that is your heart and practice with your wealth, God wants to give you the increase.    What these “prosperity” preachers are doing is just the opposite, however.   They are taking huge sums of money which otherwise would be putting others into ministry to spread the Gospel and helping those in need and spending it on lives of difficult to imagine luxury.  And they feel no pangs of conscience about it because in their system being rich is a sign of being blessed.

Anyone can get rich by telling you that by giving him or her money, you will get rich.   That is what they call a “pyramid scheme” and rightly so.  It is the devil’s method.  Take from the many to enrich the few. Real prosperity then is the businessperson who uses his God-given talents to bring wealth into the Kingdom.   God does not tell such a man he must live on nothing.   He tells him that if his heart is in the right place, he’ll want to give greatly to the cause of the Gospel.   If you have a business or hold a job, God wants to give you the increase, but it’s not going to come by giving more money to a “prosperity” preacher.  It’s going to come by your God given talent, the favor of God on your life, and by giving to reach the ends of the Earth with His message.

We have come to a place where we think that having a private jet is a sign of the anointing.   It may be a sign of the anointing, but a sign that the anointing has been misused.   We need to fear the Lord, because he does not take use of positions in His house for personal gain lightly. This is not unlike the sin of Gehazi.  He saw that he could get a couple of talents of silver and some robes from Elisha’s anointing and look where it took him.  He became a leper.  The sons of Eli thought their spiritual inheritance was best used to gain better portions of meat from the people’s sacrifices.  God killed them.  It’s amazing how in every reformation of the church from Jesus, to Luther, to our time, that one of the great issues is the abuse of money.     I believe the Lord has winked at many in our time because they legitimately believed they were helping the people, but a time is soon coming when He is going to reform the church again.

Get ready for the Lord is going to make it all right.  The leaders of the church have prospered while the rest of its members have remained poor.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO FIGHT AND WIN? (PART 4)

LEARNING TO WALK BY THE SPIRIT

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] (Galatians 5:25) AMP

In lesson three, we were treated with the unique prospective of how the Holy Spirit has worked as a personal trainer for us to become physically fit as well as spiritually fit.

Now let us look at just how we can obtain that goal:  You have heard the expression, he are she is just a couch potato.  There is no need for you to allow this to happen to you.  You can start by pushing the off button on that remote that lays beside you in the bed are on the couch.  You see the T.V. has become Satin’s greatest avenue of convincing you that he is in control of your life. He acts out your life for you; he carries on the conversation in your house for you.  He thinks for you.  Finally, when he has total control of your mind and body, he zaps your physical strength by keeping you in bondage as a couch potato where he can watch over you.  You never seen to have the strength are desire to do any type of physical exercise.

Now it is time that you begin to fight and fight to win. You can beat Satin at his own game if you would only stop being a couch potato, learn to walk by the Spirit, step outside and rediscover the beauty that God has blessed you to be able to observe.  Begin to take a daily walk 30 minutes to an hour will do.  You will soon discover your physical strength returning to you, your spiritual mind has taken control and now you are beginning to walk by the true spirit of God.  You see your body is an electrical and mechanically flesh and blood piece of machinery.  It responds to the signals given to it by the minds energy field.

Its batteries need to be recharged regularly in order for it to function at its maximum capacity, and one of the ways to recharge those batteries is a daily walk.  Do not just stroll down the walkway in a hurry to return for more of satin games.  Make your walk meaningful by looking around, relaxing and becoming one with God, the universe is there waiting for you to re-discover.

God ideal for the believer is that we live our lives in the realm of the Holy Spirit.  Walking in the Spirit, the exercise we should strive for refers to one’s lifestyle.  In other words, we are to live a lifestyles characterized by the Person and work of the Spirit of God.  To be led by the Spirit suggests that same Spirit directs our lifestyle.  It means we allow Him to point the way, to navigate us through the turns and intersections of life.

When you are truly walking by the Spirit, in line with the Spirit, maintaining your cover and alignment, you cannot be seen; only He can be seen.  When people look at you, they see Him.  When you speak, He speaks.  Walking in the Spirit is not so much you becoming an extension of God the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of God living in you, living through you, touching lives through you, and blessing others through you.

Walking by the Spirit means you stay in line with God.  It means you do not break the line.  It means you do not get out of line.  You do not move until it is your turn.   It means you live your life following the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Some of you are losing battles you should be winning because you are not in shape.  It is not just that Satan and his pimps are on your trail.  Some demons cannot be cancelled out.  They have to be cast out.  Jesus said some demons come out only by fasting and prayer.  Fasting and
prayer are essential exercises.  Some of you are holy but ungodly.  You come to church every Sunday, but you are not in shape.  You cannot work out once a week and expect to see results.  Walking through the gym once a week does not get you in shape.  God has called you to be a godly woman or a godly man.  He wants your relationship with Him to be manifested in your conduct and actions.  Godliness is not measured by your behavior in church or the way you conduct yourself in the spotlight.  God wants you to leave your church seat, walk out of the door back out into the world, and do what He has called you to do, the way He has called you to do it.

Few pastors are calling the people to godliness.  Pastors are tailoring their sermons to fit
the exercise of their congregation, showing them how to access the riches of God, making the aim the blessing.  The aim should be the One from whom all blessings flow.  People of God are working to get stuff, more money, bigger houses, and nicer cars.  However, effective ministry, ministry for the kingdom of God, can only flow out of a godly lifestyle.  All gain beyond Christ
is not true gain, but a weight that hinders our progress toward God.

It is time to get in shape.  Sign up for a heavenly gym membership.  There is open enrollment.  And what a deal!  Jesus paid the price in full at Calvary.  But don’t be satisfied with just signing
up.  Go on and work out.  Stick with the program.  You will soon see the results you have been
looking for.  Remember, winners never quit and quitters never win.  Now is the time to get up off that couch, stop being called a couch potato and begin to fight to win.  Learn to walk by the
Spirit and be counted among the stars.

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). (Galatians 5:16 AMP) DO IT NOW!

 

 

CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE OF GODLINESS IN CHURCH

There are churches all over the world where the Holy Spirit is not present.  He is not present because the people don’t fear God.  They may be socially active, economically viable, and organizationally functional; but where there is no fear, there is no godliness.  Where there is no godliness, there is no anointing.  There can be no comfort because God will never comfort you when you are outside His will.

People go to some churches week in and week out seeking to be comforted in their sin.  You can find a church that makes you comfortable with its ritual, its tradition, and its ministry emphasis.  But it is a tragedy if a church’s leaders do not strain to create an atmosphere of godliness and the body does not fear God as it works out its salvation.  The comfort one finds in that situation is one of the greatest deceptions of the devil.

Satan desires to make you comfortable in your sin.  If you are comfortable in your sin, you will not see the need to confess it.  If you do not confess your sin, you will not know the cleansing forgiveness of God.  Without His cleansing forgiveness, you cannot enter into His presence, because your sin separates you from Him (Isa. 59:2).  Then Satan has you right where he wants you–in sin and apart from God.  If you are in sin and comfortable in your church, please know that you are being deceived by the enemy.  God won’t help you walk in sin.  What He will do, however, is help you get up and walk away from that sin so that you might get back on the path of righteousness and walk in the fear of the Lord.  He says if you walk in fear of Him, you will know the comfort of His Spirit and a fruitful, spiritually productive relationship with Him.

Philippians 2:12 says, “Theerefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Paul said work out your own salvation in a holy reverence for God and a righteous “afraid-ness” of Him.  You don’t work for your salvation; you work out your salvation.  You don’t work to get saved.  Your salvation is fleshed out in a daily process of living in the power of the Spirit of God.

A remarkable thing happens when a church is foull of godly men and women who work out their salvation with a fear of God.  Acts 9:31 says, “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.”  Now watch this:  “And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were maltiplied” (emphasis mine).  The church grew numerically and spiritually, quantitatively and qualitatively.  Why?  They did so because they walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.  Walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost does not mean shouting, running down aisles, laughing uncontrollably, barking like a dog, or jumping across benches.  The comfort of the Holy Ghost is that ministry of the Spirit that stabilizes you.  It is the settling of your spirit by His Spirit.  It is when God strengthens you by coming alongside you in your particular set of circumstances.

The context of the Acts 9 text suggests that at the time this comfort settled on the aforementioned believers, the church was suffering intense persecution.  Christians were sought and killed for following a man named Jesus.  But in spite of their oppression, they were edified and growing individually and collectively.  They were growing because the Holy Spirit was comforting them, and there would have been no comfort without fear.

By the way, fellow pastor, how is your church growing?  If it is alive, it ought to be growing.  If it is not growing, maybe God is calling you to examine the spiritual atmosphere in your congregation.  Dear pastor, maybe God is telling you to examine your own lifestyle and your own heart.  Now, don’t take my position to the extreme.  I am by no means suggesting that the only gauge for vitality and growth in a church is the size of its roll.

The world will always “out crowd” the church.  Crowds have assembled for every reason, from viewing the tail of a comet to supporting a follower of Mohammed.  Don’t measure the godliness of a church by the size of the crowd.  The Bible says “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14).  Don’t count bodies.  Count lives.  See if the people followed Jesus into the assembly or if they followed some other leader.  See if there is a holy, reverential fear of God woven into the fabric of their behavior.  A growing church is filled with people who walk in the fear of the Lord.  Because they fer the Lord, they know the comfort of the Holy Ghost.  This is the path to godliness and growth in any church.  How is your church growing?

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