Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Pastors Reminiscent Thoughts from a Wedding

While it's fresh in my mind I suppose I should write. Weddings are a joyful time of celebration. A couple goes through so much leading up to that moment. The preparation involved can sometimes be rather taxing. Invitations, registering, showers, parents, first apartments, dresses, tuxes, rehearsal, cakes, photos, videographer etc. But when it is all said and done and you arrive at the big day, it is all worth it. It is always wonderful when a couple starts off on the right foot. To see a couple in love with Jesus, and watch them grow together in the Lord is incredible. I have had the privilege of being involved in many weddings over the years. I love to be with the grooms before the wedding and pray. I like to see the nervous excitement and joyous elation upon their faces before the ceremony starts. I enjoy walking out to the music as it plays. The best part for me is observing the face of the groom when the doors open, and he sees his bride for the first time. It is electric and breathtaking all at the same time. It takes me back to almost nineteen years ago when I saw my bride for the first time. 
I often share with the grooms before we go out how that the Lord refers to His church as a bride. I say, "you know all the joy and love and excitement that you have to be with your bride at this moment?", "that is only a drop in the bucket of how much the Lord Jesus longs to be with us His bride." What a thought. To think that the Lord is longing for the day when He will be with His bride the church that He purchased through His death on the cross in overwhelming indeed. 

This scripture comes to mind tonight: Isaiah 62:5 And [asthe bridegroom rejoices over the bride, [So] shall your God rejoice over you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Its a Battle

The Christian life is referred to in scripture as a race that we run. It is called a course, that we walk. It is also stated as a war that we are in. Once you decide to deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow Jesus you are ensured a fight on your hands. The apostle Paul sought to encourage the believers in Ephesus to be clothed for battle. He pointed out that there were weapons to fight with(2 Cor.10:4). He declared there was armor to suite up in(Eph. 6). To put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh(Rom.13:14). 
When you are in a battle that is a matter of life or death, there is a definite sense of sobriety. There is an understanding of the seriousness of what you are up against. The Bible tells us that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood. It is not so much a physical assailant that we can see, rather it is invisible hosts of wickedness that we are accosted by(Eph.6:12). The attacks that come against the believer come in various forms. For some, it is a great battle with depression. An overwhelming sense of despair that renders one helpless. For others it may be fear, still others it may be pride. The darker the days become, the more intense the battle becomes. The greater the usefulness of the believer, the bigger the target on their back. It is important to know that this is normal. That you are not going insane, your in your right mind. But this is called spiritual warfare. In war, it is imperative to a have a strategy. For the believer the strategy is to be clothed in the armor. To find shelter in Jesus. To recognize the attacks when they come. To use the Word of God, Prayer, and Worship, as your chief artillery. Also it is essential to keep in mind the battle is already won. The victory is ours in Christ already. Jesus is the victor and we walk in His victory. However we must still battle. One day we will exchange our weapons for a crown, until then we fight. 

1 Peter 5:8 Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Laboring in the Kingdom

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it... Psalm 127:1

In one sense, with every ministry there is a building process that takes place. You look at examples in scripture of the construction of the tabernacle, the temple, or even the walls of Jerusalem; there was a lot of work involved. Within any ministry it is important that the foundation be solid. The greatest foundation that any ministry can build on is Jesus Christ. He is the solid rock, He is the chief cornerstone. As you build your ministry upon Jesus, this assures stability. One of the tools that we use to build with is the Word of God. When a church is being taught the Word of God it brings the church to a place of maturity in their walk with the Lord. Along with the Word of God, you have the work of the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God is actively at work in the church, the evidence is the fruit of the Spirit, which is love.  
Another application that one can make from this verse is how not to build. There are tools that can be used in the building of a ministry that may prove to be damaging in the long term. For example building on a powerful persona of a gifted communicator. Building on the premise of an impressive  building.  Constructing through various methods that may bring a crowd, but do not build a healthy church. It is possible to labor, and actually be laboring in vain. Whatever we are building for the kingdom of God, be it our marriage, our church, or our own personal lives, we want to do it Gods way and for His glory. Remember, the flesh profits nothing. As long as we remain open to the Lords leading, and His direction we can have confidence that we are not laboring in vain. The Bible tells us, "it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit". Keep your hands to the plow, and don't look back!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

I started reading Zechariah this morning, and was once again reminded of this amazing verse. Isn't it incredible how you pray and ask the Lord for answers, then you read His Word and it speaks to you. I was praying about something in my own life and wondering, as we often do, concerning the "HOW". It is one of those things where, you don't doubt Gods power in any way, He is God. You doubt yourself. So in my own prayers over the last several days I was asking the Lord, "HOW". "How can it be done, how will it be done, how is it supposed to be done?" 
As I read through the Word, I got my answer. First of all ,the Lord revealed HOW it wasn't going to be done. It won't be accomplished by Might or Power. That is what we would assume. If we just try harder, contact the right person, etc... that is how we think it will be done. The Lord flat out says, NO that is not how its going down. Okay if it is not going to be done through might or power, whats next...? 
It is going to be accomplished by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God is far more capable than me. The Holy Spirit works according to the plan of God instead of man. The method and means He uses are so often different than what we would come up with.  
You may be saying today 'HOW LORD?" It is going to be a work of God's Holy Spirit, that's how. When the Spirit of God is moving you will know, and you will see, the Lord will make it clear. 

P.S. by the way if you are reader of this blog, i would love to hear how it is encouraging you ,and how I can be praying for you. Blessings.. PJ

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Abide in the Word

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32

The word abide is an important word, it means to dwell. The implication is that a person is to live in the word of God. To abide in the word, is to make your home in the Word of God. The result of abiding in God's Word is profound. For one thing Jesus said that it is an indication that you are a disciple. A disciple is one who seeks to be like his teacher. The instructions from the teacher are found in his word. Therefore, if a  person wants to follow after Jesus, and walk with Jesus, it is important to dwell in the Word. Conversely, the person who does not abide in the Word of God will have a difficult time walking with the Lord. As you abide in God's Word, you get to "know" the truth. It is one thing to know about the truth, and quite another to truly know the truth.  As we abide in the word, and know the word, there is a freedom that comes with it. The reason is because the truth of the word sets us free. 
I believe that there is a direct connection to the word of God and spiritually vitality in the life of a believer. Some believers do not abide in the word, and what follows is tragic. They aren't following the Lord closely. They get caught up in a life of carnality. They are not aware of the truth, and thus they are bound instead of free. Freedom in Jesus, a joy in following Jesus, and a deeper knowledge of Jesus is found by abiding in God's Word. If you have drifted away from devotions, it is not too late to get back to it. Start in the New Testament. Make it a goal to get through the New Testament. Read at your own pace. Pray before you read. Ask the Lord to speak to you as you read. You will then begin to experience the joy of abiding in God's Word.