Who’s Your Daddy?

Are you a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness? I use to read the sixth chapter of Romans and think this was dependent on me and my behavior. The idea being, what condition was my condition in? A tool to evaluate myself and my actions, but I was getting it all wrong. If your master is the devil, well, your a slave to sin, if your master is God, guess what, your a slave to righteousness. This understanding makes living out your faith a much easier situation. When Jesus bought and paid for our sin, and we accepted that act, our ownership transferred from downtown to uptown and so did our nature. You may have felt it or felt nothing at all but the fact is your nature changed and your slave status changed hands, you were bought and paid for. We who have been born again have been born from above. Now we need to exercise that authority in our lives. We need to be slaves of righteousness, set free from sin. Not an act of my will but of His and simply walking in that new reality. Now not only are we His slaves but He also calls us friend and son, So who’s your Daddy? Walk in your new nature and reflect your new DNA. He whom the Son sets free, he sets free in DEED. He bought you at a price, walk in your freedom from sin. Subject to it, but not ruled by it.

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Who’s Will is it Anyway?

Position, esteem and rank are man made attempts to exercise authority. Given position and seeking position are complete polar opposites. In fact God wanted nothing to do with setting up kings, God Himself wanted to mediate with man directly but because of mans hard heart He granted that wish. The pursuit of position, esteem and rank do not draw you closer to God but farther away. Only when your desire is enthralled with Gods can you please Him. This means no longer is it your desire but His will that you seek.

Seek God’s face and appointment, then it will come from His hand, His will, not your will, and not your labor. Does this mean it will be easy? No, in fact the competition of this world may even choke out God’s desire, God is sovereign but is long suffering, He is slow to wrath, but eventually it is His perfect will that will be accomplished; be faithful and of good cheer towards your call just as Jeremiah was. It may seem futile and of no lasting impact but it is not a thing for you to judge, leave that to God. Be faithful to your call no matter what man says. If your call aligns with Gods word and you have been moved to speak then be obedient to the LORD. The rewards for being faithful are out of this world, literally.

Hard labor for Adam was punishment for rebellion, to teach us that favor can not be earned, to show us how great it is to just simply live in Gods perfect will. He has given you great favor and bestowed upon you the greatest titles that man can have: slave, son and friend. Slave because you have been bought with a price, transfer of ownership has gone from satan to Jesus. Son because Jesus has transferred His righteousness to us and taken our sin upon Himself and lastly he chooses to call us friend when we deserve to be called a slave.

That is if you have accepted Jesus sacrifice.

Check out the prodigal son parable as an application.

Luke 15: 11-32

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Red Light

If you live in the United States, and just about anywhere in the world a red light at an intersection tells you to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. It’s a simple instruction, a law, if you don’t obey it there may be dire consequences, anything from a warning, a ticket or even worse an accident, it could effect not only you but others entering that same intersection, and in time taking chance after chance you will have a collision. This is not a hard thing to understand and we have all seen the results of those who don’t obey such a simple law.

What is true in the natural world is true in the spiritual. God has not placed restrictions on certain activity like sexual orientation because He is a kill joy, it’s because He knows the consequences it will bring, the lives it will destroy. In this life we may not know or understand why something is restricted in God’s eyes, but like the guy who keeps running the red light, even though it might appear that we are getting away with it for a period of time, might get away with your entire life, there will come a time that we will be held accountable for our actions. God’s laws are spiritual, they may have a physical, temporal cost, but they are exacted on the unrepentant offender not in this life but in the next.

Acceptance of any sin is nothing less than turning people loose with keys to a car and tearing down all the stop signs and traffic lights on the highways in life. Not only are we condemning them to a collision, but those who they will collide with. If you truly love someone you will tell them where they are falling short, not condemning them, but loving them, providing directions to the foot of the tree where they can find grace.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, this is true in this world and the next.

Jesus on the cross, the biggest “red light” ever. When we stop and obey we find grace.

Numbers 15:29
John 3:16 – 21

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Mystery of the one legged goose named Hank

Several weeks ago, where I work a Canadian Goose began to show up who was injured, He (because I don’t know any better, could be she) had some how lost his right foot. He had the stem all the way down to where the foot would join.

Over several days I watched Hank, every time I would pass by or anyone would pass by he would begin to hiss. As I watched him I noticed that none of the other geese would come around him. He was all alone. Hank separated himself from the group.

I watched him struggle to stand, I watched him try to walk thinking that his foot was still there and getting frustrated that it was gone. But the thing that struck my heart the most was he was all alone. It grieved me that he had no one to share his burden. He is a creature of habit and continues to repeat the same action expecting a different result. Yet he lives just on the edges of the group. A distant relationship.

I realized in many ways we are all at times like Hank. we get hurt, maybe even suffer loss that can never heal to be like things were, that a potential that we one time possessed is permanently gone, but in our minds we have somehow latched on to it as being what we are valued for or measured against. Somehow, simply no longer whole.

We begin to isolate ourselves from others, first to protect ourselves, later to hide from the hurt. All the while somehow living in the edges and shadows of real life. We begin to hiss as others approach us, with fear that we will somehow be hurt again. All we know is what we are familiar with and that becomes our life. We somehow determine that the risk is not worth the reward.

Jesus waits to wrap himself around you at your point of injury and heal the brokenness in your life. He wants to take the loss you have suffered and turn it into gain, He wants to take the lost dreams and turn them into visions of hope and a future.

He alone understands the hurt and the fear of rejection and the life of an outcast. It’s your hurt, and it all by it’s self that He died for. Each pain you feel He knows and longs to give you rest.

Open yourself towards Jesus, let His spirit heal the hurt and pain your going through. And once you have been with Jesus, perhaps you will be of comfort to someone else going through similar things. To be injured and hurt is not a sin, but to remain in a state of injury is.

And if you could remember Hank in your prayers I would appreciate it. He needs family and love too.

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Taking Stock, Reflecting on the Navy Yard Shooter

Yesterdays events struck a nerve, I worked in that building at one point and was all over the Yard at another as a police officer. Looking at the list of people who’s lives were snuffed out so quickly and without any warning made me think, it could have been me. They all looked a lot like me, 50ish maybe a little older, probably making plans for retirement and looking forward to having the 2nd career they always wanted. Just a few more years and time to enjoy the last third of this life.

Life is short, just like the flowers that bloom in spring they are in all their glory for such a short time before the heat of summer drys them and they wilt. When your 20 you think your invincible, 30s your conquering the world, when your 40 you think you can beat they odds, turning 50 I see friends fading and some already gone. My friends that in their 60s and 70s understand that even more.

While there is still breath in my being I want to spend that time loving God and those He puts in my path. Maybe drop a few seeds into others who are at the beginning of their bloom cycle that they in turn will drop seeds into others. That being the greatest miracle other than salvation, leaving finger prints on another’s heart, shaping their lives for the better and in turn them doing the same.

The mystery of life is not figuring out what to achieve, or what to know, but rather, knowing God and making Him known. Death is not the end, but is the exact opposite, it’s the beginning of eternity.

What are you investing in?

What will it’s return mean?

Will it comfort you in eternity?

Who or what owns your attention?

Life is short

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Totalisti and the sweet by and by

I had a friend post on fb post “it is finished” I got very excited and just had to talk about what that means and how important that statement is. “It is finished” was actually a Greek word that Jesus said “Totalisti”, its an accounting term that means “Paid in full” Jesus was making a purchase at that exact moment. He was at the check out counter paying for you and me. That is the joy that was set before him Hebrews 12:1 That’s awesome. We are and have been purchased with a price! Want to know what your worth? Look to the cross. I think its important to understand that after this Jesus gave up His spirit, His life was not taken, it was surrendered. He made his purchase and left the shopping cart behind!! Went to “Abraham’s bosom” the compartment of the dead and lead captivity captive, took the shopping cart (his body) resurrected and then presented himself to the Father. This Sunday we should all be greeting each other with shouts of TOTALISTI!! like someone paid off our car, house, all our debt because that’s exactly what happened. Jesus beat the devil with a big ugly stick!!

Then they asked the question “Where was Jesus when He was in the grave”

Where is Jesus between the time He gives up his spirit to the time He resurrects? From what I read Jesus descended into Hell, Sheol, Hades, but not into the compartment of the damned; but into “Abraham’s bosom”. Sheol was divided into two separate compartments. One for those who died believing and trusting in the covenant with God and those who were damned, a place of torment. Between them there was a great gulf that divided them where no man could cross. If we look at Luke 16:19-31 we see a story of a poor man by the name of Lazarus who dies and goes to Abraham’s bosom, the other man, the rich man is in the compartment of the damned. Jesus went to Abraham’s bosom to lead those who were held captive by death out of captivity, he lead captivity captive Ephesians 4:8. He preached the gospel to those who were held captive and set them free. 1 Pet 3:19; 1 Pet 4:6 Jesus was not the only one that was resurrected, Matthew 27:51-54 Uncle Moishe who had been dead for 20 years all the sudden showed up for left over passover lamb. That had to freak some folks out and I am sure served as a great witness to those who would come to believe. Now when we die, if we are saved we are ushered into the presence of Jesus, the damned still go to Sheol and will remain their until they are judged at the great white throne judgement. Revelation 20:13-15. Then Death, Hades are thrown into the Lake of Fire along with all those who are not saved. Not the place to be. So in short Jesus was leading captivity captive preaching the good news of his victory over the devil and freeing us from the grip of death and hell.

What an awesome God we serve!!

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A Good Friday

As you sit and have a cup of coffee and your bagel this morning, reading your newspaper, think about this. At about this time some 2000 years ago Jesus was being dragged back and forth from the Sanhedrin, to Herod, to Pilate, having spent most of the night being mocked, beat and spit upon.

More than likely about this time, the Roman guards were playing “prophesy” where they would cover his eyes and punch him in the face and say “Tell us prophet, who hit you”?

Not long from now Jesus would stand before the crowds for the first time. Only to hear them cry give us Barabbas!

Jesus was then taken and scourged, it has been said that he was reduced to human rubble; vast amounts of flesh ripped from his body. Then a septer was put in his hand, a robe of purple that congealed with the blood and fluids turning it scarlet, and a crown of thorns beat onto his head. These were Judean thorns, about four inches long.

Once again Jesus is presented to the crowd and presented as their King, what did the people do? they cried crucify Him!!

After this Jesus has a wooden beam strapped to his back and is forced to carry his cross to his own death about a 1/4 mile but every step an eternity.

Finally Jesus was stripped, His arms pulled from their sockets and nine inch nails pierced His wrists between the bones and though his feet. Yet still He said “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”

Jesus then said the word “Totalisti” meaning “it is finished” its an accounting term meaning “Paid in full” and gave up His spirit.

This is the price paid for me and for you, the price paid so that you could have a future with Jesus, a future without what we both deserve.

Think about that and understand why it really is a Good Friday.

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Fearless or Focused?

Through my own personal journey of walking with the Lord, I have come to the place where I have had to ask myself, what am I doing, where am I going, what is going on? It’s a natural thing, all of us do this, its part of “being”, but the question that has to be asked, that has to be used to evaluate a situation, is what has God already told me? Do I live according to what I see, or what I believe? If I have been told by God that I will be or do “X” then I need to live accordingly.

If we look back at the story of David, we find a young boy who is anointed to be king of Israel, sealed to service and to His God, as you follow David’s early life you see him killing a giant, him being hailed “Saul has his thousands and David having 10’s of thousands” Even the price he paid for his bride, his Father-in-Law wanted 100 skins, but he presented 200 skins, exercising faith that God would provide him twice the victory. Why does this all matter you ask? Because he was walking out his faith, he was fearless, He knew his destiny and rested in Gods promises. He didn’t have to struggle to achieve those things, and in fact He trusted in God’s promise so much that He was faithful to Saul even after Saul’s death. His anointing and position was not dependent upon another’s place or position.

In contrast we can look at the Disciples crossing over the Sea of Galilee, with Jesus in the boat. God with them in a literal / physical sense. Jesus said “let us cross over to the other side” before they cast off; in the middle of the lake some trouble came and the Disciples freak out and Jesus has to rebuke the wind, the wave, and the Disciples. They were focused on the situation of what they could see or sense, they disregarded the command of “let us cross over to the other side”. Being focused on the problem only keeps us from achieving what we have been commanded, commissioned and anointed to do and be.

A great example of this is found in the wild. Most all of us have seen “Mutual of Omaha – Wild Kingdom” You see a group of tigers on the hunt and a herd of gazelles just grazing. Then the attack, the gazelles begin to move. The gazelle that becomes the snack is the one that looks back, focused on the situation, the one that escapes the danger is the one that looks forward to safety. This slight hesitation in moving forward at Gods command is very similar to a gazelle who looks back at his attacker.

The enemy is attacking at every hand, time is short and they know it. Stay fearless and know that you have been anointed and set aside for such a time as this. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:37-39
Hebrews 11:1

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Today is a very important day in the history of the United States, 11 years ago we were thrust suddenly and violently into conflict. Several of our nations; the worlds, icons of power and freedom were tarnished and scared. innocent lives cut off before their time, voices silenced by an act of cowardice. The world responded with support of cry’s for justice. And out of the rubble we swore to “Never Forget”

But what were we saying we would “Never Forget”? Was it we would never forget the violence? the terror? the victims? vanquishing an enemy? All these things have there proper place, all of them deserve a proper response. Are we seeking vengeance? That will never satisfy, but there is another 9:11 that I would like to share with you.

“He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.”

Here in John 9:11 we see a man giving testimony of how he received his sight. How he was healed, set free and restored. It’s interesting that Jesus made “clay”, in another gospel it says he “spit on the ground and made the clay” Now I know your saying to yourself, what in the world are you talking about. You see Jesus invested himself into the dust, it was infused with his “DNA” if you will, and was transformed from dust into clay. That’s what he has done with us, we are made of dust, but Jesus comes along and changes us from dust to clay, something He can shape and form. He then smeared the clay on the eyes of the blind man and said go wash in the pool of “Siloam” Now the pool of Siloam translates “sent” “to be sent” or what I think is the best understanding “let go” Here when the blind man goes to the pool of “let go” he receives his sight.

It was when the blind man walked in obedience and was immersed “washed” in the pool ( a picture of the Holy Spirit) that he received his sight. Are you blinded by something that went wrong in your past? We can choose to hold onto anger and disappointment or we can go the to place of “letting go” and declare “Never Remember”

As we approach Rosh Ha Shana, which will you choose?

Never Forget or Never Remember

Praise the name of Jesus He is ready to forget.

Micah 7:18-19

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What is real faith? What is Biblical right belief?

There are many voices today claiming to know new or revealed knowledge while leaving sound biblical doctrine and establishing strange doctrines. While everyone agrees these folks are wolves. What is alarming to me is the blending of some of these practices that are taking place. How many are adopting some of these ideas, but not all, maybe even …just a way of doing something, but just a smidgen and adding it to there faith. Mathew 13:33, Galatians 5:9 that would be like seeing vomit on top of a pizza and then eating the parts “that didn’t get hit” just not a good idea. That’s more or less what is going on, it’s corrupting the youngest baby Christians to the oldest, and some of the most respected saints. The attacks are coming from every side and even from within. I believe it has to do with where we are in church history. 2 Timothy 3

The church has become something unnatural, just like the mustard plant in the parable its now much larger (in beliefs) than its was designed to have, in fact so much so that the demons have the ability to make their home in it. Mark 4:30-32, Matthew 13:32

One of the great deceptions is the message of “Are you saved” this is because people stop there and don’t do the real examination. The question we need to ask ourselves is “Do I abide” Paul says to examine yourself to see if your in the faith. Many today have been tricked into believing because they have said a little prayer they have “Fire insurance”. While people think I said the sinners prayer they fail to understand that was like having an introduction to someone, a beginning place. Would you say your best friends with someone you meet and then never talk with again? No, of course not. Why would we be instructed to examine ourselves if that were true? 2 Corinthians 13:5-9 And yes Jesus in Matthew 19:13-26 confirms this same thing.

We need to measure ourselves against Jesus, not other people. 1 Corinthians 13 is an awesome place to do that. Just remove the word love and insert Jesus name first, then yours. Now you know where you need to pray and be transformed, and you understand why and how you need Jesus to be your covering in all your short comings. Where we have our eyes focused is where we draw the light that fills our body. Matthew 6:22

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