Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa Claus and Jesus

It seems to be a trend lately that Santa is visiting churches. Let me be very clear here: Santa does not belong in any church for any reason! Not even in the "Fellowship Hall." I believe that if Jesus was walking on Earth today, He would kick Santa out! Since Jesus is not here to do so personally, we as believers must do so.

Ok Pastors! It is time that you take a stand for righteousness and keep Santa out! We are not to mix the secular with Christianity. It seems that we have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas!

Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Santa is a fictional character!  Fun, but not real.

Jesus is really alive and He is in Heaven interceding on our behalf.

And by the way, it is ok to say:

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Life Is Short!

As we all know, this life is short! One day someone will cash in your life insurance policy and you will enter eternity. Eternity is the life that begins the day our bodies die. Most of us do not want to think about death, but like taxes, it cannot be avoided!

You say you do not believe in Hell or you do not believe a good God will send anyone to Hell. Hell is real and God does not send anyone there. The only people who will spend eternity in Hell are those who choose Hell by rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus does not want anyone to perish and He is the only way to spend eternity in Heaven.

How does one get saved? Romans 10:9-13

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Surrender All

  1. There is an old hymn that says "All to Jesus I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. I surrender all,I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all."

What this means to me is that I need to surrender all to Jesus in every part of my life! Which means what I watch on TV, what I look at on the internet, the people I hang out with, the music I listen to and the places I go. 

The question I must ask myself is "have I truly surrendered my all to Jesus?" If I have not given all to Him, let me repent and turn away from my sinful behavior. 

  1. Matthew 16:24-27 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done."

Photo source: http://vardhanksv.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/copy-of-the_cross_16.jpg

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Choose Life!

Is it amazing that God created all races of people! Jesus loves us all and life is so precious to Him! Since life is so precious to Jesus, why do people not value life? One thing that really breaks the Lord's heart is abortion. I just cannot understand why anyone can take the life of their own child. Life is so important to God that He knew us before our own mothers. Instead of abortion, choose life!

"Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world."

Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goldilocks thought lukewarm was "just right."

According to the children's story "Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Goldilocks enjoyed her porridge "lukewarm," but as Christians, we need to aim higher.

In fact, we are in danger of being judged by God if we live a "lukewarm" life. Lukewarm to me means just going through life and not being fully on fire for Jesus. That is what I feel like most days, simply "lukewarm." Let us pray for each other and encourage each other to give our all to Jesus. Even when we do not want to and even when we are mad at God!

Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. "

Photo source: http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1211105565l/3320930.jpg

Friday, May 23, 2014

Remember those who died.

This is Memorial Day weekend. Let us remember the families who have lost family members as a result of dying in service to our country. I cannot imagine how sad it must be to lose a son or daughter or husband or wife or mom or dad because they were willing to die for our freedom. While it is sad, I am thankful that I am free!

I am also so very thankful that Jesus gave his life so that we can have eternal freedom from sin.

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."

Happy Memorial Day!

Photo source: http://tloker.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/20080611-dsc_2236.jpg

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Life Is Like A Baseball Game!

My son Garrett recently made an analogy comparing life to baseball. He said that the ball is like Satan who is throwing trials and temptations at us. When we just stand there, the ball will just keep hitting us in the head. Garrett went on to say that Jesus is like the bat and the only way that we can hit those balls is by letting Jesus hit them for us. You see, when we do nothing, Satan will continue to hit us in the head with a hard baseball. It is only when we allow Jesus to fight our battles for us that we can have victory over Satan. Garrett added that the only way that we can make it to home plate is by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Home plate being Heaven. It is my desire that anyone reading this post accept Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Savior, so that you can one day hit that eternal home run! Play ball!

Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows (or baseballs) of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Friday, May 9, 2014

God's Grace Is Sufficient

There are times in our lives when everything is going well. Unfortunately, there are days when everything is not going well. It seems as though God will not let up on you. Trials come over and over again. Maybe our children have a sickness or disease and have to be on medicine. Our spouse may have been diagnosed with some disorder. After our recent doctor's appointment, we heard those dreaded words, "you have cancer."

What can we do to survive these less than well times in our lives? Jesus said that he has overcome this world. John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

When Paul prayed for the Lord to remove his pain, Jesus said no. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Paul wrote a letter to the church at Philippi and said in Philippians 4:10-13 "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

So, whether our lives are going well or not, let us turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His glory and grace!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why Good Friday?

Why do believers celebrate Good Friday? We celebrate Good Friday because that is the day that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross that we could be saved. Saved from what? Saved from spending our eternity in Hell. Yes Hell is a literal place! To be more specific, everyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they will spend all of eternity being tormented in the continuously burning "Lake of Fire" described in the book of Revelation.

Jesus had a lot to say on the cross. Here are a few of His final words and final actions.

Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

John 19:28-30 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Luke 23:44-46 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

So, why is this good news? Because Our God did not stay dead! Yes, Jesus is God and Yes He is alive!

Luke 24:1-8 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pastor Qualifications

 Here are a few scriptures that pastor search committees can use in finding a new pastor.
Romans 8:30 "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

1 Timothy 3:1-7 "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

Titus 1:5-9 "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household,he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled,upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."

1 Peter 5:1-4 "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

Monday, March 24, 2014

1,000 Years = 1 Day to Jesus!

2 Peter 3:8-9 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus has promised in John 14:1-3 to come back and take us who believe in Him to heaven where He is. However, He did not say when that will be. One reason that Jesus has not come back yet is because He really does not want any to perish. That means He is waiting on as many people to accept Him as Lord and Savior as possible. 

God is not limited by time! He sees both the past, present, and future the same. While we certainly want to speed His coming and I personally would like Him to come back now, but He will only return when it is time. I find myself growing impatient more each day for God to move in my life. I pray and pray and pray and yet I must continue to wait on the Lord. Which brings another verse to mind, James 2:14-17, which says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” So, my job as a Christian is to actively wait on the Lord. Meaning that I should not sit around on the coach and wait for Jesus to move, because, He just may not be in a hurry!

Photo source: http://www.spencerclick.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/hourglass.jpg

Monday, March 17, 2014

Night And Day

Genesis 1:1-5 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

This passage really spoke to me today. All that any of us have is night and day. How should we spend the time that Jesus has given us today? Reading the bible? Of course, but what else? My wife and I were speaking this weekend about the passing of her parents and how deeply she misses being able to speak to and see them again. While we still have time this day, let us make time for our families. Personally, I am sick and tired of worrying about tomorrow. The Lord said that we may not even have a tomorrow, so let us make the best of this thing we call today. James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Night and Day! Night and Day!

Photo source: http://schools.nycenet.edu/region9/ps110/ScienceSite/images/day-night_earth.jpg

Monday, March 10, 2014

Put A Stop To It!!!

Nehemiah had to straighten out the Israelite people when they began to disobey God. Notice that Eliashib allowed Tobiah to live in the storehouse of the temple.

Nehemiah 13:4-9 “Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,  and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.

 But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.”

As believers we too must put a stop to any evil practices that take place in God’s house. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is important that we keep God’s commandments and live according to His instructions.

I believe that if Christians do not stop evil in the church, God will hold us accountable.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Be Dedicated To Obeying God’s Word

As believers in Jesus Christ, we should be dedicated to obeying God’s word.

However, we are not to make an oath to God. The bible says in James 5:12
“Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”

Nehemiah 9:38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”

Nehemiah 10:28-29 “The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.”

As believers, we should also separate ourselves from the world and its ways and be devote to Jesus.

Romans 12:6-8 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The Israelite people made an oath before God to obey His commands. We are not required to make and oath, but we should be committed to obeying God’s word.

Photo source: http://shoutitforlife.com/2013/05/05/savoring-scripture-overcoming-the-opposition-of-oppression/hear-and-obey-gods-word/

Jesus Is Always Faithful!

The Lord remains faithful and He keeps His promises even when His people have sinned against Him. He does punish us when we sin, however, He is gracious to forgive us of all our sins.

Nehemiah 9:16-21 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.

“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.”

We need to confess our sins to the Lord!

Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”

The Lord is always faithful and He always keeps His promises, even when we have sinned against Him.

Photo source: Gary Goggans copyright 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Make God's Word Clear

It is very important that we make God’s word clear for all the people to understand. That is what Ezra did for the people of Israel and that is what we should do.

Nehemiah 8:7-8 “The Levites…instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”

Just reading God’s word is not enough. We need to make sure people can understand it.

Just reading God’s Word is not enough, we must do what it says!

James 1:22-24 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

As believers and especially as teachers, we must make God’s Word clear, so that others may understand it. Also, we must obey God’s Word and apply it to our lives.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Stay Focused!

As believers, it is important that we complete the work that the Lord has given us, even if we are being persecuted.

Nehemiah 6:15-16 “So the wall was completed …, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”

When God is involved in His work, His work will be successful!

As believers, we will also have enemies who will try and discourage us from completing the work that God has given us to do.

How should we respond to our enemies?

Matthew 5:43-48 ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem completed the task that God had given them to do. 

We too must complete the task God has given us to do.

Photo source: http://virtual-excellence.com/5-tips-on-staying-focused/

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Believers Must Help The Poor

The Jews were being taken advantage of by their own countrymen. They cried out for help and Nehemiah responded.

As believers, we too need to respond to the needs of the poor in our own community. By blessing others, we too will be blessed by the Lord.

Nehemiah 5:1-3; 6-8 “Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.” Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”

When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!” So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.”

As believers in Jesus Christ, we too must take a stand for other believers who are under persecution and hardships.

We are to do whatever it takes to do our part! 

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are responsible for taking care of the poor and oppressed. When there is a need we should do all that we can do to meet that need. Both as individuals and as the body of Christ.

Photo source: http://phandroid.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Assorted_United_States_coins.jpg

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Never Back Down!

 When God gives us a task to do, let us do it with all our heart. However, Satan does not want God’s work to be successful, so he will do all he can to stop it. Let us not be unprepared for our enemy and know that the Lord will fight for us.
 There have always been and will always be people opposed to the work of the Lord. As believers, we must carry on with the Lord’s work and not allow others to deter us.
Nehemiah 4:1-3 “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!””

Nehemiah prayed that his enemies would be punished for their wrong doing and insults.

Nehemiah 4:4-5 “Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.”

The enemies of Nehemiah and the Jews plotted to fight against them. Even today, God’s enemies and ours, are doing everything to take Christ out of our world completely! Notice that they prayed and posted a guard! We do not have to sit back and be defeated!

Nehemiah 4:7-9 “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” 

The Jews were living in fear of their lives – doing God’s work is not always easy. So, Nehemiah posted guards. The workers returned to building after the enemies learned of plans.

Nehemiah 4:10-15 “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.” Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.” Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.”

The workers never let down their sword. Nehemiah made a plan for all the men to join together to fight the enemy. So, all the people worked on the wall, but they never let down their guard. We too must be prepared to face our enemy, the Devil!

Nehemiah 4:16-23 “From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.”

Doing the work of the Lord is not always easy, but we must not stop. We will have enemies that we must fight, but we must remember, that God will fight our battles for us.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Have a box of chocolates kind of day!

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Photo source: http://63angel.blogspot.com/2011/08/why-is-life-like-box-of-chocolates.html

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Judgment Day Is Coming!

The Inspection gate or The Miphkad Gate was located at the Northern corner of the Jerusalem Wall. This gate speaks to us of the Bema Seat of Christ where our lives are inspected and rewarded appropriately.

                     Sheep or Goat?

Nehemiah 3:31 “Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner.”
“Miphkad” means “a place of meeting, apportionment, census, number.” It carries the concept of collecting things together for census or inspection. This would represent the final gathering of Christ’s saints in heaven at his judgment seat to have their works inspected and judged for rewards. The whole progression of the gates around the walls of ancient Jerusalem showed a cycle beginning with Jesus and ending with him. For he is “the beginning and the ending.”

It was a place where people drafted or conscripted into military service gathered. God had David to take a census here.

Mathew 25:31-46 (In Part) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

By looking at the Gates of Jerusalem, we can learn some spiritual truths that will help us as we travel through this life. Beginning with Salvation and ending with eternal life.

For those who do accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the journey of life will not always be easy, but it will end in victory. We will face times of trials, times going through the valley, times of getting out the waste, and times of refreshing in the Lord. Our ultimate goal is to experience the greatness of spending eternity with Jesus.

Photo source: http://biblefocus.net/living-word/we-like-sheep/index.html ; http://www.roysfarm.com/2012/11/alpine-goat.html ; http://eagnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/judge-gavel.jpg

Jesus Christ Is Coming Back! Are You Ready?

The East Gate is located near the top Northern part of the Jerusalem Wall across from the Old Gate. This gate leads out to the Mount of Olives, and Jesus is to return here. This gate was to never be opened, because the Lord was to enter through it. Jesus entered through it when He rode in on the donkey before His Crucifixion.

Nehemiah 3:29 “Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs.”

Ezekiel 43:1-5 “Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.”

Ezekiel 44:1-2 “Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The LORD said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it.”

Zechariah 14:4 “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”

Matthew 24:27 “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Jesus is coming back! Let us all be ready for His return. He will return in the East!

Photo source: http://mydailydevotionorg.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-coming-of-lord-jesus.html

Be Prepared For Spiritual War!

The Horse Gate was located across from the Broad Wall on the East side of the Jerusalem Wall. The horse was used in warfare; the war horses would leave the city through the horse-gate to be inspected before the battle.

All the previous gates have prepared us for the Horse Gate. We as believers are in a Spiritual battle.

Nehemiah 3:28 “Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.”

Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

In the end, horses will represent power and victory.

Revelation 19:11-16 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Believers need to be prepared for spiritual war!

Photo source: http://gracecomesbyhearing.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-old-man-and-white-horse.html

Learn and Live By God's Word.

The Water Gate was located on the East side of the Jerusalem Wall across from the Valley Gate. It was north of the Fountain Gate. The Water Gate points to learning and living by the instructions of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the word of God alive to us personally, allowing cleansing, encouragement and direction to take place in our life.

Nehemiah 3:26 “and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 speaks about the church compared to a wife, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

Photo source: http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35800000/the-holy-bible-the-bible-35811364-600-450.jpg

Be Empowered Through The Living Water Of Jesus Christ!

The Fountain Gate was located east of the Dung Gate at the Southeast corner of the Jerusalem Wall. When the dung is gone, removed through the dung-gate, the resources found in God’s fountain can become operative and effective. Depending on the Lord for all things. This speaks to us of the living waters of the Holy Spirit that cleanse our lives and empower us for our Christian life.

Nehemiah 3:15-16 “The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Kol-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David. Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.”

John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.””

As believers, we need to be refreshed in the living water found only in Jesus Christ!

Photo source: http://www.drinkingwaterfountains.co.uk/2009/08/27/prevent-obesity-with-drinking-water-fountains-in-schools/

It Is Time We Take Out The Trash!

The Dung Gate was located due South. The experience of cleansing. All the dung and waste of the city was taken out through this gate to be burned outside.

Nehemiah 3:14 “The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.”

Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

As we are saved, we must then focus on reaching others for Christ. We must have Jesus Christ as the corner stone of our faith. We must put up a thick wall of defense to be protected from our enemies. Believers must work together to accomplish the task that God has given us. There are times in our spiritual journey that we must pass through the valley, in order to be humbled by God. And we must keep on getting rid of the trash in our lives if we want to be prepared to be used by God.

Is there any “trash” you need to get out of your life?

Photo source: http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130610032728/revengeristsconsortium/images/6/6c/Oscar-can.jpg

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are You Going Through A Valley In Your Life?

The Valley Gate was located on the West side of the Jerusalem Wall. To be with Christ outside the camp. The valley speaks of the lowest points of our lives. The times of trials and testing. A time where God is trying to humble us.

Nehemiah 3:13 “The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. They also repaired a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.”

John 10:9 Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

Psalm 23:4 (KJV) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

When we go through the valleys of life, let us turn to Jesus. He can see us through safely!

Photo source: http://www.desertusa.com/monvalley/monument-valley.html

What Area Of Your Life Needs To Be Rebuilt?

The Old Gate is located in the Northwest corner of the Wall of Jerusalem. The emphasis for the third gate is on repair, whereas the other gates had to be rebuilt. This gate conveys the idea of what God has established beforehand.

Nehemiah 3:6 “The Old Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.”

Ephesians 2:19-22 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

What area of your life needs to be rebuilt?

Photo source: http://classic.makesweet.com/blog/2009/04/24/building-blocks/

Being Fishers Of Men.

The Fish Gate is to the west of the Sheep Gate. Through this gate the fishes were brought into the market of the city of Jerusalem. The fish gate points us the Lord’s call. The fish-gate teaches us that God wants us to make provisions so that we can bring others into His city.

Nehemiah 3:3-5 "The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors."

Matthew 4:18-19  “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.””

Are we bringing “fish” to Jesus for salvation?

Photo source: http://bobbiew.net/fishers_of_men.html