An inspiring talk while walking through a cemetery in Grass Valley CA
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill its] lusts. (NKJV)
So there is a process that God is asking us to do through His Word. To put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Am I supposed to wear a t-shirt with His face on it? Or wear a robe that dates back to what ever time frame in B.C./A.D.? These may be cool looking but I am not too sure that this is what is being asked of us. Putting Christ on starts the minute we recognize we are awake, Some days this takes me longer to do than other days. Now keep in mind until we have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ this has no effect. With out Jesus dwelling in me I would have no benchmark of right thinking to know if I was doing ungodly things or not. So for someone that does not have Christ in their heart, then putting on the Lord Jesus Christ they would have to start by acknowledging that you are a sinner ( you have missed the mark of perfection required by God to get into heaven, hint “we all have”.) See Jesus took our place there on the cross and died for our sins, stepped in and took Gods punishment for the whole world. Isaiah 53:5-6 reads, But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. ( NKJV)also John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ( NKJV) It is simple to do Romans 10:9 states, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NKJV)Ok now we have that action of placing on the Lord Jesus Christ salvation unto heaven. Now what about after that? “Sanctification” (the life long adventure)So as a believer I firmly believe that placing on The Lord Jesus Christ is the act of daily praying and reading the word and relying the power of The Holy Spirit to empower me to act, think and be like Jesus… I fail a lot at this… But I believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit and the reading of God’s Word and through prayer and talking with other believers about life and the Bible and asking for prayer, I just might have a living chance to not fulfill the flesh. The flesh is that human nature that will never be satisfied it wants sex, power, pride “fill in your own blanks here____.) and it will do ANYTHING to get its thrill on! I have heard it referred to like this when we become a Christian we now have two theoretical dogs in our lives a white one “The Jesus filled life” and a black dog “the flesh.” See unfortunately the flesh will never go away. With these two dogs involved now, as I fill my life up with the things of God Bible study, prayer, fellowship and service the white dog Or my Spirit filled life becomes strong and leads the way. BUT if I ONLY give the black dog a small crumb, it will take off and overcome me and be strengthened enough to lead the way. So in short sit at Jesus’ feet the way Mary of Bethany did. And also don’t stare at the big TV’s to buy, or the women, or the cars, or the jobs, or the bigger churches or more successful ministries. It is a daily walk…
I wonder if Jesus was ever feeling deeply alone. If so, I wonder if that’s why I have felt that way for the past few weeks, and God is just building me? I have never felt this way in my life. I don’t fit in with the world and I don’t seem to fit in ministry, Or maybe I don’t fit in my own skin? Is this what it means to die and become something new? Is this where my mind with all of its wiring becomes nothing and my thoughts that are not God’s become something I just don’t understand? Lately I don’t even know who I am or what I am supposed to be doing here on earth. I have been founder of a ministry, created concerts and one music festival. Sold Real Estate. Led people to Jesus, Written sermons and preached once. I keep thinking I just want to crawl in a hole and die but then I am brought by unforeseen circumstances to my ringing phone and on the other end is someone that God used me to touch there life and I happened to be the only non family member that they called to share about what amazing things God is doing in there life. Is this the road all who are called into ministry travel on? If so then where are the tire tracks or the foot prints in the path well traveled on by pastors? I was involved in a church plant and involved in leading worship for another church’s college ministry. That all ended with the waive of a hand it seems.
So Who am I? What is my direction? I believe fully in The Bible that it is the infallible word of God. I believe in the works of The Holy Spirit. I believe that without my belief in Jesus Christ for salvation that I would never enter into heaven and be separated from God for eternity. I believe that God provides for me and my wife and my children. I believe in all of these things but the one thing I do not know how to believe in is my calling. ” Jesus be the stream in the desert.”
When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” (Mark 5:6-7 NKJV)
“When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.”
If I wrote just that statement alone what would you have thought of? I know I would have thought of some person that was living a life for Jesus and maybe fell off the wagon for a moment, saw Christ and ran to Him to get right with Him. But NO, it is a man that is filled with legion. The demons them selves used the mans body, running to Jesus and worshiped Him.
Worship (Verb and Noun), Worshiping: “to make obeisance, do reverence to” (from pros, “towards,” and kuneo, “to kiss”), is the most frequent word rendered “to worship.” It is used of an act of homage or reverence
This man who most likely was not wearing a cool black shirt with the converse logo on it and pair of khaki’s. (I wish I had one of those T shirts!) But we get this picture of a mad man most likely with scars, from cutting himself with stones, running towards Jesus from the tombs, falling down to the ground in absolute reverence in acknowledging the deity of Christ God incarnate. Could you imagine how the disciples might have felt, I can hear them now,
“WHAT THE….WHAT THE HECK…!!”
(I know I would be freaked out just a bit if I where there, seeing someone running at me and my posse out of the grave sites!)
This does not seem to have been a casual encounter with Jesus. The New Living Translation describes the way the man spoke to Jesus as, “With a shriek, he screamed…” This scene must wave been so crazy….
My question in all of this and this goes for my self as well… Are we looking at worshiping Jesus the correct way? I have heard all sorts of things in my experience with being involved with worship music. How to do worship, what it should look like, how worship should sound, what instruments we should use…… Now wait a minute!!…. Did this demon possessed man have a guitar in hand? Was he playing drums? did he sing a hymn? I don’t see anything pertaining to music at all happening here…I do see however that the demons… You know the angels that followed Satan out of heaven. EVEN THEY know what worship is supposed to look like. At the feet of Jesus Christ crying out.
I can not get over the fact that these were demons, the very things that are after my life and all of your lives. They had the right perspective, the right place, the right honor, the right respect, the correct place to be in the presence of Christ Jesus the most high God, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
Do we worship God in this way? Are we running to Him? falling on our knees, face down kissing His feet? In absolute reverence?
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name
which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV)
Gods Word tells us this about Christ, because of the great work of the cross! Christ not only died for our transgressions but arose from the dead three days later, was seen by over five hundred eyewitnesses and by each disciple over a forty day period. In His body, proving He was who He said He was!!! God!
Let us worship Him!
Last night, correction this morning at 4 am when I went to bed, after writing, or I should say trying to finish a term paper on the reliability of the New Testament. It seemed more of a convoluted scribble then a term paper. How much of the Bible I do not know nor understand yet. I thank God He is the teacher and understands my feeble and often distracted mind.
So back to my story.
I had this thought come to mind. 4 AM laying in bed. What if prayer was a dedicated practice instead of an opening and closing statement? What if I became more focused on prayer instead of focusing on the formation of ministry? But I do pray all the time, don’t I? With my children, with my Wife, at dinner, before reading the Bible, while sitting with other believers, while in the car, at church services. But is that enough? How do I truly press in to God? I desire to know His direction, to see His will unfold in my life and for the things I believe I am called to become, what He wants. I almost feel like a blind newborn rat looking for the nipple. Rummaging around till I somehow find the answer to my hunger. I know the substance is there… I read in the Word of the fulfillment that God provides, that He has a plan, that He is able, and that He desires for all to come to know Him! I read but do I pray? I plan, but do I pray? I want actions to turn into substance. Hmm maybe all of this IS creating the substance God desires to come out of my life?
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. NLT
Thank you Lord! May I lay down my silly burdens and rest in You and Your promises.
This is a picture of our little family my wife drew on the wall of the shower in our last place we lived in, with erasable bath crayons. The green reptile was a bath toy that my daughter had at the time. I saw this and was moved to take a picture of it. This to me is a picture of where the enemy is in relevance to me and my family. This is not to say that we are with out temptation, sin, warfare or trials. We still live in a fallen world. But it ministered to me that God has placed the very enemy of my family and my soul at the bottom. It is a picture of victory, a picture of hope! The authority God has, the providence given to me and my family as children of The Most High God, King of Kings, Jesus Christ. My wife and I are people that have been set free from so much! Now by the grace of God each day we strive to live for Jesus, even if we are crying in a heap on the floor not knowing how to do that. The Lord helps us! We praise and worship God together as a family thankfull for His Word and for his truth!
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,”Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (NKJV)
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.