Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who's Your Daddy

You have all heard the saying, "The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree." This statement testifies of itself as you look at your own children or the children of others and see them acting like their parents. This is no different in the kingdom. There is much controversy over who belongs to God and who doesn't. There really shouldn't be. If you are wondering for yourself where you have come from, you don't have to look any further than your character. Who do you act like on a consistent continual basis? God or the devil? Let's go a little farther.

The Bible declares in John 8:31-32, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. What did the Jews believe? They believed His claim that He was the Son of God and unless they believed on Him they would die in their sins. This is paramount in this passage of scripture because Jesus took time to further teach those who believed. He made an investment because they believed His claim. He showed them what it would take to be for real disciples.

Jesus invested in those who believed in Him. This word "believe," also means to be persuaded or convinced. Before you can judge your character to see who you belong to you must believe or be persuaded about the claim that Jesus Christ is Lord. Are you convinced about Jesus today? Are you persuaded that He came, died and rose again for your sins?

Jesus told those Jews who believed, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. This word "continue" holds the key to victory in your life. Many saints are frustrated, disillusioned and hard to get along with because they are convinced about the claim, but refuse to continue. This can also be depicted as salvation, sanctification and sonship; deliverance, development and dominion; grace, glory and growth. Being convinced about the claim begins with salvation, deliverance and grace. All believers have been saved and delivered by the grace of God, not by works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). You cannot as a born-again believer stop at salvation alone. True disciples move on to strengthen and deepen their relationship with God by continuing to consecrate, meditate and activate His Word in their lives on a daily basis. When this is done with passion and conviction, it will shape your character and conduct so that you don't have to ask yourself, Who is your daddy?

Whatever you continue in will be manifest in your character and conduct. Your character is the sum total of attributes and traits that influence your conduct. Your conduct is what you do; your behavior. Your conduct is a product of your character. Jesus was saying in John 8:31 that if you continue, remain and dwell in me then you will be my true disciplined learners for real. You will be transformed from a scrub to a scribe. Your character and conduct reflect what is in you. In order to continually reflect a godly character, we must continue.

No matter what you are going through you must continue. When you are frustrated, disillusioned and hard to get along with, you must continue. When you are confused, mystified and don't know why, YOU MUST CONTINUE. You are being developed so that you may reflect Christ. You are being developed so that you can victoriously glorify your Father. You are having your character and conduct shaped so that you can avoid the controversy because whatever you continue in will be manifested in your character and conduct. The pharisees argued this point with Jesus, but they were showing by their actions and attitudes that they were really children of the devil (John 8:37-39).

Jesus continued this discourse to the crowd. In John 8:37 He spoke directly to the pharisees saying, "Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there's no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father. In essence He was challenging them with this question. Who is your daddy? They were offended that He would ask such a thing, but if it acts, walks and quacks like a duck...

It is important at this point to realize, recognize and know that godly character should be reflected in godly conduct, but, the two don't always merge. This is the complexity of the controversy; the conduct of the carnal Christian. These along with pseudo saints believe that they can be a Christian and still cuss, smoke, drink, slip, tip and dip. These are mere syncretists; people who are attempting to reconcile irreconcilable differences.

How a person continues will determine his/her character or conduct. How a person continues determines who their father really is. If you sow to the flesh reap the flesh. If you sow to the Spirit reap everlasting life (Gal 6:8). A lack of continuing in Him produces the controversy in believers and questions whether one really is a believer. This is a great controversy in the church, but the truth remains. You will know them by their fruit. Which again leads to the question, Who's your daddy?

The conclusion of the matter is that when you have a revelation that God is your Father, you will remain and continue in Him. When you continue, Your loving, caring, sharing, heavenly Father will reveal to you by His Spirit that to live is Christ and that you are complete in Him. This is where your victory lies. Now that you know who Your Daddy is and are sold out to Him, you can find out what your purpose is and complete your task in Him. This is done all by His grace and all for His glory. It really is all about Him.

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven,

Pastor Sheila

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Let Us Go

In Mark 4 Jesus had just finished teaching on the kingdom parables. He asked them had they understood all that He had taught them and they said yes. That same day, He said to them in Mark 4:35, "Let us go over to the other side."

The important thing to remember and practically apply about this pericope of scripture is that as soon as you say you understand the kingdom a storm is on the way. Don't forget what you have heard. The disciples forgot what they heard and when the storm arose they doubted that Jesus was able to save them.

They woke Jesus up asking Him, "Don't you care that we are about to die." Doubt and fear will cause you to doubt and fear that God doesn't care. If He didn't care, He wouldn't have said, "Let US go." Don't forget what He said in the midst of the storm. Say what He said in the midst of the storm. Jesus rebuked the wind. Therefore, we must rebuke the contrary circumstances in life which requires speaking the Word with authority.

Jesus disciples heard Him, but at the first opportunity to do what they heard, they did not do what they heard. Why? The Word was not in them. If the word was in them they would have said what Jesus said to the storm. The way to get through the storm is to say the Word that is in you. You cannot say the Word that is in you if the Word is not in you.

This is why, according to James 1:21 that we must receive with meekness the engrafted word. The engrafted Word is able to save the soul. The engrafted Word will tell the soul, "Be quiet! We got this! You need the Word to be engrafted in you so that at all points it is what will come up out of you and keep you from sin. Psalm 119:11 says, Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. That word "hid" in the Hebrew refers to something that is hidden or stored away for future use. You must hide the Word in your heart during times of peace so that when the storms of life come you will not sin against God.

So the next time you find yourself in a storm, remember that it was God's idea for you to get to the other side of the storm. He is in the boat with you. He will see you through because there is kingdom work for you to do on the other side.

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Pastor Sheila

Friday, May 13, 2011

Under the Influence of Love

Good day! Just a little nugget I want to leave with you today. God has shown us the more excellent way of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Look at this note from the Spirit Filled Life Bible on love. "(SFL Note) 13:4-7 Love suffers long, having patience with imperfect people. Love is kind, active in doing good. Love does not envy; since it is non possessive and noncompetitive, it actually wants other people to get ahead. Hence it does not parade itself. Love has a self effacing quality; it is not ostentatious. Love is not puffed up, treating others arrogantly; it does not behave rudely, but displays good manners and courtesy. Love does not seek its own, insisting on its own rights and demanding precedence; rather it is unselfish. Love is not provoked; it is not irritable or touchy, rough or hostile, but is graceful under pressure. Love thinks no evil; it does not keep account of wrongs done to it; instead erases resentments. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, finding satisfaction in the shortcomings of others and spreading an evil report; rather, it rejoices in truth, aggressively advertising the good. Love bears all things, defending and holding people up. Love believes the best about others, credits them with good intentions, and is not suspicious. Love hopes all things, never giving up on people, but affirming their future. Love endures all things, persevering and remaining loyal to the end."

Meditate on this word today and let everything you do be influenced by love.

understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Pastor Sheila

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Find Reasons to Rejoice

You had a bad day at work. On the way home you were stuck in traffic, due to an accident causing a fifteen minute commute turn into one hour. You called home to tell the kids to start dinner because you knew you would be late. You finally make it home only to find out that the kids didn't start dinner because they got caught up in some t.v. sitcom rerun. Help Lord!

Many people find themselves in this type of scenario of life. However, as a believer, there is a sure fire antidote that will enable you to lay your head down on the pillow after a rough day with a smile on your face and peace in your heart. The antidote is found in Philippians 4:4. It says it this way in the NIV, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! What this scripture is telling you again and again is to find reasons to rejoice, or refuel your joy.

God knows you had a bad day at work, but at least you have a job. So you got stuck in traffic. Well, at least you had a full tank of gas, the air conditioner kept you cool the whole time and you got to listen to the Word you heard preached in church. Yes, the kids should have started dinner, but praise the Lord! You had money in the bank to order take out instead. The best part of that is that you can call in your order and they will bring it straight to your door! Hallelujah.

The enemy will do any and everything to steal your joy. In John 10:10, Jesus said that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. If the devil can steal your joy, he can kill your faith and destroy your future. That is why in the midst of whatever circumstance you are in your have to find reasons to rejoice. Rejoicing in calamity confuses the devil, counteracts his attacks and causes you to trust in the Lord. Whatever you are going through or whatever bad day you have faced, God will work it all out for His glory.

So today if you find yourself amidst a few contradictory circumstances, refuel your joy! Find reasons to rejoice! The Lord is on your side and He shall give you peace.

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Pastor Sheila

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deliver Me From Broadway

Women are frustrated, disillusioned and hard to get along with because they live their lives on a stage trying to cover up what is really going on in the heart. This takes way too much energy! I remember early in my walk with the Lord how I spent years trying to be someone else in order to fit in with everybody else. One day, I don't know when, I cried out, Lord, deliver me from broadway! The show is over! Is this the cry of your heart today? Then read on. This is going to help you.

In order to be set free from broadway, which is nothing more than a performance oriented mentality, first and foremost you must know Him. The moment you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, He delivered you and translated you from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light (2 Peter 2:9). This is wonderful news! At the moment you were born again, your received salvations entire package; health, wholeness and wellness in Him.

However, although deliverance is instant, you must be developed. This stage of the Christian walk is also known as the process of sanctification which takes place from the inside out by the power of the Holy Spirit. The mistake many believers make is trying to develop from the outside in through works. They try to make themselves right by doing the right thing; go to church, love, do nice things etc. This becomes a problem when you get bored with church, find out that it is not so easy to love people you don't like and even harder to do nice things when nice things are not done for you.

Jesus said in John 8:31, "If you continue in my word, then you are My disciples indeed." The word "continue" in this verse is used to convey that true disciples are to have ceaseless, continual uninterrupted involvement with Him. The way to develop your walk with the Lord you must train for change. You cannot try to continue because trying involves no commitment. You have to teach and train your soul to trust in the Lord. During this process, the enemy will fight against you and possibly win a few battles until you build up some spiritual muscle.

The pragmatics of development is found in setting spiritual goals. Set a specific time each day for prayer and study of the Word. Then, throughout the day, meditate on that Word and believe God for opportunities to walk out the Word that you have read for the day. Please be mindful that prayer and study will do you no good if you don't do what the Lord has shown you in your time spent with Him (James 1:22-25).

There are no shortcuts to being delivered from Broadway. You must train (act upon what you are learning about Him) for change. Remember on Broadway, it is all about I, me and my. But when the show is over, the lights are gone and the last person has gone home, "I" has to die in order for you to walk in a sonship relationship with the Lord. It's all about Him!

Don't worry about who will or will not like you once the mask is off. You have been created in His likeness and image. He has an incredible plan for you life and He just wants you to live in the light of Him being the reality behind your appearance. Jesus is the truth behind everything that exists. He is your truth and when you have been set free by His truth you shall be free indeed. The show is finally over!