“But, While I Am Coming…”

I have noticed that a lot of times, we don’t have as much compassion for people who are struggling in a particular area where we have no struggle, or have overcome the struggle. In our finite minds, we think, “You should’ve been out of that by now. Why are you still struggling with that?” Because they haven’t come out of their situation (needing a job, finishing school, relationship problems, family issues, troubled child, accepting salvation, etc.) yet, we assume they don’t want it bad enough, or that they are lazy. We overlook their efforts simply because they aren’t where We think they should be by now.

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: But While I Am Coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath (John 5:1-9).

Once I found myself in that place of “But While I Am Coming,” I gained a better understanding. This is that place in your life where you are doing the best you can, according to your ability.  To those on the outside looking in, it looks like you aren’t really applying yourself; but thank God that HE is not like us. Instead of assuming you don’t want it bad enough, He sees even your smallest efforts and He comes and brings you to your expected end. Don’t give up on yourself! God is going to do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19)!

In today’s society, many people, including some Believers, have this “I’m going for mine, you get your own” mentality. But, what about the scripture, “When you are strengthened go back and restore your brothers (Luke 22:32)?” Just like the man mentioned in John 5, where were all the other people who stepped in the water before him every other time the Angel troubled it and who were healed? No one felt compelled to come back and help him; to help someone who is in the same place they were once in?  Do you feel helpless?

God is saving the best for last. Eyes have not seen ears have not heard neither has it entered into the heart of man all the great things the Lord has in store for you (1 Corinthians 2:9)! He is going to bless you like He has blessed no other! It’s a setup! No man will be able to get the Glory for what He is going to do for you. There’s no way He’s going to let the same people who counted you out, and talked about you, and told you that you don’t want it bad enough, take the credit for the way He is going to blow your mind. Notice, that because Jesus showed up, this man didn’t even need to get into the pool to receive his healing; but he was immediately made whole. See, you are special to God, so He can’t bless you the same as everyone else. No, your Blessing is Divinely designed, tailor-made just for you.  He has seen your faith; when others were being blessed all around you, you didn’t give up, you kept the faith.

So, That Settles It. If you have been waiting and it seems like you can’t catch a break, like everyone else is being blessed except you, no matter how hard you try, then this word is for you: The Lord has seen your season of “But While I Am Coming,” and today I Am has come to bless you indeed! Rise take up your bed and walk!

 

 

“The Party’s Not Over…Make it Count”

We just celebrated the greatest event in the history of the world: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We did our due diligence and went to Easter service, now what? Just as it was with the Apostles and Jesus’ disciples, so it is now. The Party’s Not Over, now’s the time to Make it Count!  Yes, they were initially paralyzed by fear and uncertainty, but once the Resurrected Jesus visited them, and they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they got busy spreading the Good News of the Gospel (Acts 2). As Believers, we should always remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For us, it is not just a once a year event.  Because He lives and He reigns, it gives us reason to rejoice and spread this great news every day. The Party’s Not Over, so let’s Make it Count! The beauty of this party is that everyone is invited, the more the merrier. The invitation has been extended. Let us go out into all the world proclaiming the gospel, that souls might be saved (Mark 16:15).

Let us not forget Jesus’ example. Let us remember to dwell together in unity with one another, love one another, forgive one another, and endeavor to keep the peace with all the brethren. Let us minister to the lost, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the widows and the elderly, and live a selfless life.

As we do these things, people will see our good works and glorify God.  Then people will come asking “What must I do to be saved?” Let’s live the Word as we spread the Word; this is what compels people to believe and accept salvation (Matthew 5:16, Acts 16:30-31). Peter sums it up like this:

32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. 33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand 35 until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” 36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” 37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all (Acts 2:32-41 NLT).

So, That Settles It; The Party’s Not Over, let’s Make it Count! The best way to continue this great celebration is to spread the Good News to all the world that all may be saved and none shall perish.

 

 

“WHOSOEVER”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

During this time of year, as we reflect on the Ultimate Sacrifice that Christ made for us, let us remember that He died, not just for us; He died for WHOSOEVER believeth in Him. This includes the people you don’t think deserve it, the people you dislike, the people who dislike you, the murderers, the rapists, the terrorists, the racists, the robber, the prostitute, the pimp, the drug dealer, the woman who had an abortion, the father who abandoned his family…Think about it: While Christ was being crucified, He prayed for forgiveness for those who oppressed Him (Luke 23:34).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

So often, we as Believers, tend to overlook or omit that one word, WHOSOEVER. We place ourselves in the seat of Judge over other people’s faults; and we fool ourselves into thinking that because we condemn them that God too will condemn them, but not so. It is God’s desire that NONE should perish (2 Peter 3:9).

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV).

What is so ironic is that we are quick to condemn others, but we have all the reasons why we deserve Grace. But, God in His infinite wisdom, knows that we all deserve death, hell, and the grave; but because of His lovingkindness and tender mercies towards us, we are saved by Grace. So, why wouldn’t we want to see that same Grace extended to others?

It is a little easier to have mercy on those for whom we care, or whom we don’t believe deserve judgment; but Jesus died so that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish; so we don’t get to decide the WHOSOEVER.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:1-12).

So, That Settles It, during this Resurrection Holiday, and every day, remember that Jesus died for WHOSOEVER; and for this reason, let us follow His example and ask God to help us to forgive the unforgivable, to love the unlovable. Let us pray for the repentance of those who have fallen from Grace; because they too are included in the WHOSOEVER for whom Christ gave His life.

Happy Resurrection!

 

 

“Identity Theft”

Identity Theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information, especially in order to obtain money or credit. With the help of modern technology, Identity Theft is at an all-time high. Though modern technology is a good thing, unfortunately, when placed in the wrong hands, it can be used for unlawful and criminal behavior, such as Identity Theft.

There is a similar threat among Believers: Identity Theft. There are people who are professing salvation, but they are illegally using Christ’s name. These people contend that they are Christians, but their lifestyles are totally contrary. How is this so, you ask?

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

There are many people who are proclaiming that they belong to the Kingdom of God, and they know what they should do, but they blatantly choose not to obey; in God’s eyes, this is sin. Now, this is not directed towards those who make a mistake and are quick to repent and try to do right. No, this is referring to the people who knowingly and continuously compromise and pervert the Gospel for selfish gain. Some even dress the part, preach the Gospel, and operate in Spiritual Gifts, but when no one is watching, they live a totally different lifestyle. Some believe they are in God’s Will (just as Saul, before he was Paul, did), persecuting Christians; this is NOT God’s way!

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23).

We can all agree that for the most part, modern technology is a good thing, and has brought forth much advancement to our present society; but because of evildoers, some bad things have also come up right alongside the good. Here is my warning to you: It is your responsibility to make sure that you are a part of the good, and that you have no part of the bad. To date, there is really no absolute way to eliminate Identity Theft without eliminating modern technology; and even then, the most determined thief will still find a way. Jesus says it like this:

24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.
25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.
26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn” (Matthew 13:24-30 NLT).

So, That Settles It, don’t be found guilty of Identity Theft. God wants you to live Holy as He is Holy. Oh, and it’s not your responsibility to try to point out (pull up) those guilty of Identity Theft. You should pray that they repent and live a Holy life as well, for it is God’s desire that none should perish. But, if they choose to continue to commit Identity Theft, God, Who is slow to anger, is clear about their end. Selah!