Tuesday, December 31, 2013

God Given Resolutions as you enter the New Year!

“God Given Resolutions”
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God" - Romans 8:14

Many people make a New Year's Resolution to loss weight, exercise more, read the Bible more, pray more, etc.  Although these are good, when next year rolls around you know what, people will once again be making resolutions to loss weight, exercise more, read the Bible more, pray more, etc.  A lot of people will be making the same resolutions they did last year this year (and likely next year). Why? Because they didn’t keep it. 

Thus, comes the question of why didn’t they keep it?

I think the answer can be found primarily in three areas. 
We either are (1) not taking our resolution seriously, (2) are having a problem with a lack of discipline, (3) it may be that your resolution wasn’t a God given resolution - one led by the Spirit.

Though I’m not against New Year resolutions, I do believe God would prefer us to live in a “God Given Resolution.” By that I mean that we should resolve to live our best for God everyday. Don’t wait for the new year (Jan. 1st) to make changes, make them as soon as God speaks to your heart! As matter of fact, some of you may need to let go of YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION and pick up on GOD'S RESOLUTION for you, it might be quite different than YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION.

Also, as the year goes on, constantly be letting God work new changes in you, then when next January 1 rolls around, you will either have no new resolutions to make or you’ll have one that just happens to fall on January 1.

Good bye New Year's Resolutions, hello to God's Resolutions!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Following God's Complete Instruction Book

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." - II Timothy 3:16

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. " - Acts 17:11

"Study (be diligent) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - II Tim. 2:15

In the church, today, I find one word that is almost shunned - the word is "doctrine". What is doctrine (in the Greek word is "didache")? Bible doctrine is simply teaching/instruction; it is that which is taught in the Bible.

I have been in churches where people did not want to learn Bible doctrine. After all, they say, "doctrine is boring". My question is, what do you want to learn? After all, Bible doctrine is to be taught/instructed from the Bible.

We're more concerned with hearing an "emotionally stirring" sermon or Sunday School lesson than we are to hear Bible doctrine! Guess what, if you're NOT learning Bible doctrine in EVERY sermon, then you are in trouble of getting into error. It grieves the heart of God that we will not invest the time in His Word to study it and see who God truly is, and what we are to believe. I try to make sure I am believing God's Word and not man's word.

Let me relate a story of something that happened to me a few years back. I had been using a computer for quite some time. Then, I felt a need to add to my software skills. So I picked up a book from the library on this new software. Then, after going through it, I went and got tested on THREE Microsoft software programs (and I studied some on all three), two I had used for approximately 7 or more years, the other one LESS than two weeks. Guess which one I scored the highest on? The one I only knew for two weeks! You may say WHY? Here's the answer, plain and simple. The two programs that I knew for years, I had only been using the applications I thought I needed for the task at hand. But when I wanted to learn the new program, I went and got a book from the library and studied ALL aspects of the software, then I tried to apply ALL the applications. This brought to light an all-too-true, but sad spiritual scenario. Many of us have been doing the same spiritual applications over and over for years, BUT we have never sought to learn the whole counsel of God (all of His Word). We have picked and chosen what we wanted to apply of God's Word. Big mistake!!! You have hindered your full(er) knowledge of God's Word! This is where doctrine comes in! We need to study ALL aspects of God's Word, NOT just the "feel good" subjects.

Understanding all the fundamental doctrines in the Bible are so essential!
You will only grow so much (and no further) if you pick and chose what you want to learn and apply. Today, go out and get a good book that covers the fundamentals of the Bible (personally I think a great book for every library and worth the long read is "Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine" (over 1250 pages) by Wayne Grudem's or his small book "Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know" (only 160 pages and low priced).  Whatever you read be sure it has a lot of scripture and make sure you look them ALL up in your Bible (and in context) to ensure it's the truth (Bible) and not man's words.

Also, launch out into your own personal study on some of those subjects such as: Infallibility of the Bible; the Virgin Birth; who is Jesus Christ; the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; who is the Holy Spirit; who is the Father; end times/last days (Eschatology); salvation; sin, etc.

As we study the Bible we can take simple steps to keep us in a Biblical view of the Bible.  These simple steps to take to keep help you in "rightly dividing the Word of God (Bible).

Step One: Observation  (I.E., Ask questions of the biblical text. Look for things that are emphasized, repeated, related, alike, and true to life.”

Step Two: Interpretation (I.E., Read in context (don't just pull a verse out of it's setting) and also compare words, themes, phrases and styles of the text with other biblical texts.

Step Three: Application (I.E., What does the text Relate to you. Meditate (think about it) and Practice it.   For more information read "Living By the Book" by Howard Hendricks

And may I add here please, please, please ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to Biblical truths as you read and study the Bible.

Today, start afresh studying God's COMPLETE instruction book!

No, obligation, but should you like to help our ministry which includes Go Proclaim Ministries, BibleFood and CPPA it is much appreciated and really needed.  We are a 501c3 Non-Profit organization.   Thanks!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review of "The American Church – A Baby Church"

In the forward of this book, Steven Ritland put it so well when he said, "Some assertions may be a little extreme, but please don’t let that lead you to reject the book’s overall message, which I believe is that Christ’s body needs a transformation; it needs to return to the Word of God and obey what God commands." So, I encourage you don't put this book down before hearing the author's heart of this vital subject, "The American Church - A Baby Church." While you may not agree with all that he says, I believe there are enough nuggets of truth that makes this book worth its reading. It is a relatively small book at 134 pages so it should be an easy and quick read. So there's not much of a risk of your time, and there are surely at least a few nuggets in there for YOU! I gave it 3 stars but I really hope you will read it, as there are some 5 star nuggets among these pages. The book title alone might offend some for calling the American church a "baby church," but I have to say we are a baby church in many of the ways he discusses in this book. He brings out a point that shows our infancy/baby traits (immaturity spiritually) one trait per chapter.
Starting with chapter 1 he deals with our over dependence on others, be it our church groups, ministers, etc. While we do receive from each other, we do need to stand up and stop weighing down others. All babies are to grow in maturity. In Chapter 2, he discusses our self-centeredness as babies! Babies are occupied with themselves. They have a “me” problem. Solution: As you grow up, you will become less and less self-centered and more and more other-centered. He then goes on to discuss 8 other areas of immaturity in the American Church (thus covering a total of 10 areas) of "baby traits." Like I said, you may not agree with all he says, I didn't, but by the time I flipped the last page of this book, I could honestly say it was worth my time and I received some good from reading it. We certainly do have a problem we all need to face...the American Church is an immature baby church. What are you going to do about it? Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jesus - You're Too Late!

   Let this devotion minister to and encourage you
Please read John 11:1-45 to best understand this devotion.
Martha said - “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:21
Mary said - “Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died.” John 11:32

Have you ever felt that way, Jesus you're too late - I know I have (more than once)!

Here’s the situation - Mary and Martha called on Jesus to come pray (heal) their sick brother Lazarus and Jesus says, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Then Jesus delays his coming to Lazarus, and when He gets there, Lazarus has been dead 4 days! This is what you call a HOPELESS situation. These were 3 people that Jesus LOVED, yet He let this happen (See John 11:5)! They believed Jesus could have healed their brother Lazarus, but RAISE him from the dead (4 days dead), now that’s another story. When He asked that the grave be opened, Martha said, “.....Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days” - John 11:39. But being the awesome Jesus He is, He raised up Lazarus from the dead AND HEALED HIM. What a sight that must have been!

There is so much in this passage we could do deep studies on and it would take quite a few messages to do so, but today's study is primarily to encourage you to understand, that we have had things in our life die that were a Lazarus to us (these were good things - Jesus loved Lazarus). It might or might not be a person (relationship), it could be a ministry, a business, etc. We had asked Jesus to touch (heal) that relationship, ministry, business, etc., and He said it would be fine, and then the next thing you know the doors are closing and that relationship, ministry or business is over (DEAD and BURIED so to speak). You're saying as Martha and Mary, if you had been here you could have saved this relationship, ministry or business (whatever your Lazarus might be). Why did you let it DIE?! And Jesus says, “Thy brother (relationship, ministry, business, etc.) shall rise again," and like Martha (v.24-27) we try to reinterpret what Jesus is saying. And then when told by Jesus that it’s time to remove the stone from Lazarus' grave, Martha said, "Lord, HE STINKS" (he’s too far gone, don’t bother with him). Is your Lazarus too far gone even for JESUS to raise from the dead!!! Nothing and no one is ever too far gone IF JESUS WANTS THEM RAISED.  Do you have something that you felt Jesus loved, but now is too far gone?  Just know JESUS can raise even the DEAD!

Mother, do you have a son who loved Jesus and Jesus loved him, but now it seems he STINKS spiritually, or a ministry that Jesus' loving hand was on and now it’s gone (or dead), or a business that went under (and you knew Jesus was in this business). This devotion is not to say that ALL will be raised; but if it’s a “Lazarus” to whom Jesus has spoken to you, “Thy brother (relationship, ministry or business) shall rise again,” then don’t try to figure it out, don’t say it’s too late (IT STINKS). Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth .....” And you know when Jesus raised him He also obviously healed him, so whatever killed Lazarus in the first place was GONE! So with you whatever killed your relationship, ministry or business in the first place will be gone when Jesus raises it up from the dead.

Jesus let Lazarus die, so He let something die in your life. Why? So HE could raise Lazarus (it) up for the Glory of God and to Glorify Jesus. Let me tell you, this will get peoples attention! All may have thought that your family member, ministry, business, etc., were history (DEAD), BUT God has said of your Lazarus, "I WILL RAISE IT UP!"

Brother/Sister in Christ has God has spoken to you about something, and told you it’s dead, but I will raise it up then obey JESUS when He tells you to Roll back the stone and get READY as Jesus is going to do some raising up!

Mother, don’t lose heart if God has spoken to you about Raising up a spiritually dead son.

Wife, don’t lose heart if God has spoken to you about Raising up a spiritually dead husband.

Minister, don’t lose heart if God has spoken to you about Raising up a dead ministry.

Businessman, don’t lose heart if God has spoken to you about Raising up a bankrupt or closed business.

Don’t lose heart if God has spoken to you about Raising up something or someone.

Remember fellow Christian you obey JESUS by removing the stone, but JESUS is the only one that RAISES FROM THE DEAD!

Remember these closing 5 words:  JESUS  IS  NEVER  TOO  LATE!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Moral Decline in our Society - Isaiah 5:20

What has happened to our society (and the world)?  The change in our society away from Biblical guidelines has led to a sick world, and even a sick church (as the church adopts worldly thinking). We are in MORAL DECLINE!
What was just a few year ago considered unacceptable is now paraded as a badge of honor (especially homosexuality).  But all immorality is sin, not just homosexuality (though the Bible does call it an abomination). We're not only not ashamed of homosexuality, but we are promoting it. Today, if you call homosexuality a sin it is considered a hate crime.  That is totally ridiculous from a Christian/Biblical viewpoint.  God doesn't tell you to hate people in sin!  I see homosexuality as a moral sin, but I do not hate the people who are involved in this sin (or any other).  I minister to many in this and other sins, and I sincerely care about them!!! Do you?  You should! 
So with all this acceptance and discussion on homosexuality, it seems many have forgotten that even in the year 2013 that other moral sins still need to be dealt with. I am referring to fornication (sex outside of marriage) and adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse), which are still sins that are NOT okay. 

Some may venture to say adultery is a sin, but rarely do you hear many calling fornication sin.  Even among "church folk" it often isn't discussed as so many "church attendees" (Note: Church Attendee is not synonymous with Christian) are sleeping with each other BEFORE marriage.  It has become no big deal.  We have been saturated with IMMORALITY by all forms of media (TV being at the top).

We are to the point that we don't even flinch at immorality any more.  Truly, this has become a society of calling evil (immorality in our discussion) good and good (morality in our discussion) bad.   

It's time to get in God's Word (Bible) and pray and ask the Lord to help us not to become so desensitized to sin.   

It's surely a spiritual battle so get your spiritual armor (Eph. 6:11-18) on and let's get back to the Bible.  It is a NOW word, it is not outdated, it is for you and me to guide us into all truth.

Closing WORD:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.    Colossians 2:8

NOTE: For you who are battling with ANY addictions or counsel others with addictions, this is a must have book: "Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave" by Ed Welch (You can find it on www.ChristianBook.com  and many other bookstores).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Racial remarks as new Miss. America crowned. Racism is not only wrong it is sin!!!

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:28

I didn't watch it Sunday night, but I found out this morning that Nina Davuluri just won Miss America 2014. She is the first Indian (India origin) American to be chosen as Miss America. Nina was BORN in Syracuse, New York. Nina was born to Telugu parents. Her mother, Sheila Ranjani, and father, Davuluri Koteshwara Choudhary, both were originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.

This racism and uncalled for remarks are just the sign of a fallen people who do not know God.  Racism will be with us until Jesus comes back.  But it shouldn't be named among any who call themselves Christian.  I am Italian in origin, my great grandparents came here from Italy. Is that going to be held against me?  I hope not! What origin are you? If you're an American (except native American Indian) then you too have origins in other than America. Do you want that held against you? Of course not!

When we discriminate against a person on the basis of any non-character trait we are wrong! A person's level of education; genealogical background; economic category; or skin color -- these are non-character traits, and when we make judgments about people based on things like this, we have sinned.

 "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him." Romans 10:12
Back when Romans was written (and before) the Jew and the Greek didn't associate with each other, but God tells the Christians at Rome that he makes no such distinction. God is rich to ALL who call upon Him - Jew, Greek, Italian, German, Indian, Syrian, Arab, etc. 

Now back to  our opening passage in Galatians,  "...ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:28
Also James 2:1-13 is a very relevant passage against racism.  Well worth reading.Among the great words of this passage it says in verse 9, "But if ye have respect to persons (partiality), ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."

We need to get this clear as this passage and others indicate, racism is SIN!

In this world I don't see racism ever going away, but among us who call ourselves Christians may it not be named.  To this extent I pray!  AMEN!

For more Bible verses against racism please go to: http://www.openbible.info/topics/racism

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The American Church Can Choose Humility or Humiliation

It really only goes one of these two ways for America (or any other country as well).
AMERICA you had such good roots and were a Godly country for many years.  Choice time Humility or Humiliation.  For entire article go here: The American Church Can Choose Humility or Humiliation

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Are you weighed down and struggling in your walk" (Hebrews 12:1)

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weightand the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." - Hebrews 12:1

Sin is a big issue that we must deal with and keep out of our lives, but today I want to talk about "weights."  I'm not referring to that extra weight (body fat) many are carrying on them.  I'm talking about a different weight subject.

In Hebrews 12:1, it states that we are to "...let us lay aside every weight..."  By definition "weights" are not sins (weight and sin are distinguished from each other in this passage.)  Hopefully, every one reading this knows they aren't suppose to sin.  But what about those things that aren't necessarily sin, but hinder us (weigh us down) in our walk with Jesus.  A weight is something which in itself to another may be harmless or even legitimate, but in our own case is a hindrance.  We all have to look into our hearts and ask ourselves will this be a hindrance in my Christian walk.

The Christian life is compared to a race.  The ultimate goal of the race (the Christian life) is to be able to say as Paul said, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." - II Tim.4:7. Paul also said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." - I Cor. 9:24God wants us to give our all in this race.  You can't expect to give your all if you have heavy weights in your life; they will slow you down spiritually!

Can you imagine a champion runner running with a 120-pound sack thrown on his back right before the race? Though he may be the best in the world, you would not expect to see any world records broken on that day.  Though he's the best, that 120-pound sack is going to slow him down. He would admit that even being over his optimum weight by the slightest amount could cost him a win in a race.   Well, my fellow Christian, that's exactly what weights in the Christian life will do to you; they will hinder you from being ALL that God intended you to be. Let me encourage you to get rid of those weights and run this race of the Christian life like the Spiritual Champion that God created you to be (Rom. 8:37 & II Cor. 2:14).
I even believe there are things that God may say to me in the future, "Hey Jim what about ____________ (fill in the blank)".  I could say, "Lord, you want that to go? Lord what's wrong with that?" The Lord would say, "Jim it's a weight,"  and there will go some more stuff in the life of Jim.   Poor Jim!  No, BLESSED Jim!  FREE Jim I want to be used of God to my full potential, I want you all to be used of God to your full potential. I want you all to be truly FREE in Jesus

So, in closing let's remember it's time to get rid of not just sins, but also those weights and be the person God has called you to be!

Heavenly Father,

We come before You and ask that You reveal to us by your Holy Spirit those things in our life that our weighing us down. We thank you for the liberty that will come forth as we get released from these weights, so that we will then walk as Champions in You!   In Jesus; Name AMEN!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Syria Needs the Gospel Rather than Missiles

A well written article worth the read by all Christian. Syria Needs the Gospel Rather than Missiles
I personally believe there is a time for war (See Eccles. 3:8a), it's just not NOW in this situation.
I will not be surprised if Obama (not the citizens of the USA) goes to war with Syria in the next couple or few days.  But it will not represent the desires and will of the people.  Meanwhile, keep Syria in your prayers, and that God's Word will even now reach this country.  They need Jesus! - Jim

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Is the Bible relevant today!

Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever".
We are in a society that tells us the Bible is outdated.  We need to see that the Bible is not just a history book (though it has great history), it's also not just a  scientific journal (though the Bible reveals many scientific facts), it is also a great book about the end times.  It even talks about Israel often, and it has never been wrong! But we must never forget that the Bible is the description God gave us about who He is, and what He desires and plans for humanity. 

Many even in the churches today are falling for the lie that we live in a new time and that the Bible is not relevant. This has led to a sick and weak church. The Word (Bible) is indeed relevant today. It is for you and me right NOW!  Follow the Word now and it will change your life. 

I believe the Bible is relevant today in a lot of areas - we just don't want to admit.  It's not popular to stand for the Truth (Bible). But many of the areas that we won't touch or are told "don't judge" (a future devotion, boy will you be surprised) are areas where God's Word has plainly stated this is wrong, this is sin!

For example, the Bible is very clear on the subject of the sanctity of marriage as being one man and one woman. Also, the Bible is clear on the fact that abortion is murder (forgivable, but murder all the same), that having sex outside of marriage is fornication, and the list goes on.  So let's stop using the excuse that the Bible is not relevant today.  It is totally relevant today.

This was a short devotion as we start our journey together in Christ and through the holy scriptures.

I am available for prayer or ministry through my email: WordNowbyJim@gmail.com

Have a Jesus' blessed day!


Prov. 18:24

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.