Thursday, June 21, 2012

Watch This!


"Now You will see.."Exodus 6:1

EXODUS 6:1 Then the Lord said to Moses now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with strong hand he will et them go and with a strong hand he will drive then out of his land.

For the last forty years Moses had been dwelling in the desert tending and leading a flock of sheep. Yet one day the Lord revealed himself to Moses through a burning bush. When Moses turned aside to see the bush he heard a voice speaking, telling him to take his sandals off because he was on Holy ground.
            The Lord then revealed to Moses that he had a special calling upon his life to go back to Egypt and deliver the nation of Israel from their bondage. Moses came up with multiple reasons why he couldn’t go. He didn’t feel equipped, and he couldn’t speak very well. Besides that, he had tried forty years earlier to start an uprising that failed. Yet although he was reluctant to go, the Lord convinced Moses to go.
So Moses then traveled down to Egypt and had his first confrontation with Pharaoh, who refused to let the nation of Israel go free. In fact the Pharaoh was so upset that he made the bondage of the Israelites even worse. Now Moses was really troubled and in essence said to the Lord “I told you this would happen, and why did you bring me down here anyway…” Then the Lord spoke to Moses and said, “NOW YOU WILL SEE WHAT I WILL DO..”
Sometimes we attempt things for the Lord and we feel like we completely bombed, And like Moses we come back to the Lord saying I already tried that. Yet now we have an opportunity to see what the Lord can do. The Lord was going to do what Moses could have never done. He would deliver that nation of Israel and all that Moses had to do was trust God. I want to see what the LORD WILL DO. I want to watch him move and see things accomplished that only He could possibly get the glory for. I would rather attempt something of the Lord and fail, then to never attempt anything at all. 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Perseverance

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Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive.


Now that Jacob had passed away, Josephs brothers became greatly concerned that Joseph would seek to get even with them for all the evil things they had done to him. 
It was F.B. Meyer who said concerning the brothers concern, Josephs brethren judged him by their own dark and implacable hearts, they could not believe in the sincerity and genuineness of forgiveness. Joseph had always known what his brothers intentions were, yet he also came to know what the intentions of God were, and that made all the difference in the World.  Although there were at least 17 years of Josephs life that he could never get back, Joseph saw the hand of God in it all. The suffering that he had endured was for a greater purpose then even he initially understood. 
It is no surprise that we live in a  fallen world, and therefore there is suffering in this life. There are many things that our enemy intends for evil in our lives. Yet God in His wisdom can use even the most painful circumstances in life for good. It was through his suffering that Joseph remained humble before the Lord. He also was completely dependent upon God. Furthermore it was through perseverance that Josephs character was more fully developed. 
There are things that the enemy would seek to you to bring you down, but the Lord is able to use it for good. 



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Choose to Love

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John 15:12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.


God in His nature is love.(1 John4:8). The Bible says that,"God so loved the world that He gave his only son that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."(John3:16) Jesus said that love was the evidence to the world that we are His disciples. And here we read a moment ago that love is also a command. 
As a believer, I have experienced the love of God in my life. And now I have been commanded to love others. The question arises, "who am I to love?" The answer, "I am to love the Lord with all that is within me. Next I am to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and third to love the lost in this world." In other words, I am to love everybody. 
Now, some people are easier to love than others. In fact, there maybe some that you have no love for at all, and your reasons may vary. Perhaps they hurt you, they said unkind words about you, or they have shown bitter resentment towards you. What are you to do then? 
Jesus said, ""For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?"(Mt.5:46) In other words, its easier to love those who love you. But then Jesus took it a step further when he said, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,"(Mt.5:44)
Love is a choice. I can choose to love, or I can choose to hate. We have been given an opportunity to identify with Jesus. To learn what it is to love as He loved. The bible says the greatest gift is love, and that love is a fruit of the work of Gods Holy Spirit in my life.(Gal.5:22) Oh I am not saying its easy, or that I have it figured out, but it is possible with Gods help. Choose to love. For it is the same choice that Jesus made when came to die for our sins. For the Bible says, "We love Him because He first loved us."(1Jn.4:19)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Overwhelmed

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All these things are against me. Genesis 42:36


These words were spoken by Jacob in a moment of despair. He was still grieving over the loss of his son Joseph. Then he receives word that  his son Simeon is in prison, in the land of Egypt. And he also is told that if he wants any more food during this famine he will have to let his youngest son Benjamin go to Egypt.  In that moment everything seemed to be caving in around him, it seemed from every angle nothing was working out, that indeed, "ALL WAS AGAINST HIM." 
However Jacob had no idea what God was about to do in his life. He didn't know that the Lord was using the famine  to ultimately preserve his posterity. He didn't know that Joseph was still alive. In only a short amount of time Jacobs sorrow would be turned to Joy. His mourning would be turned to laughter. The son whom he had grieved over all these years, he would embrace once again. 

The bible tells us that we are MORE than conquerors through him who loves us. And although at this moment, it may appear that all things are against you, the LORD declares in His Word that He is for you! So if God be for you, who can be against you? Furthermore the Bible says that God is working ALL things together for your good. God is on your side. If you are overwhelmed today remember the prayer of the Psalmist when he said, "From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2


Monday, June 11, 2012

He Never Forgets

He Never Forgets about You, NEVER!
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Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Genesis 40:23


Joseph had a specific calling upon his life. God had given him dreams about his future. Joseph made the mistake of sharing those dreams with his brothers. They became envious of him and hated him. They even put him in a pit to get rid of him.  Josephs brothers came up with a plan to sell him into slavery. Joseph was then taken away to Egypt as a slave. Yet while serving as a slave the Lord was with him, and blessed the work of his hands. But not long after, he was falsely accused by his masters wife and thrown into a prison. While in prison the Lord gave Joseph favor and promoted him to a position of authority. One day, while serving in the prison, Joseph had a "divine appointment" with two of the Pharaohs officers who were incarcerated. He met a butler and a baker. Turns out they both had dreams, and Joseph was able to interpret their dreams. The butlers dream had a happy ending restoring him to his position in the palace. When Josephs interpretation came to pass he asked the butler to remember him. He was hoping the butler would put in a good word for him in order that he could be released. AS the butler left the cell, you can only imagine that Joseph was anticipating his freedom any day. However the scriptures tell us "he did not remember Joseph but forgot about him.
How discouraging this must have been for Joseph. He had been faithful everywhere he had gone. God had been with him, but it seemed that not only had the butler forgotten him, but perhaps the Lord had forgotten him as well. For the next two years Joseph stayed behind bars without a hope of ever being released. But what Joseph did not know is that the Lord had not forgotten about him. In fact unbeknownst to Joseph the Lord was setting the stage for his deliverance. Not only would Joseph be delivered but he would be promoted to be the second most powerful ruler in Egypt. 

Perhaps you feel abandoned today. Maybe you think that the Lord has forgotten about you. Listen you and I, we don't know what tomorrow holds. We don't  know the mind of the Lord. God is working even when we cannot see Him working. He is doing things in our lives, and in the lives of others around us. God never forgets about you. I have found great comfort in the following Old Testament passage, 
Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.See, I have inscribed you on the palms [of My hands]; Your walls [are] continually before Me. Isaiah 49:15-16

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012 Senior Pastors Conference

"His Grace is Sufficient for Me."
The Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors Conference was held at the Murrieta Bible College Conference Center. This year the conference was centered on the book of 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians is one of my favorite epistles. For me, the conference is a highlight of my year. It is such a joy to get together with all my friends who are serving Jesus all over the world., To have four days to catch up is priceless. As a pastor, to be able to sit and listen to teaching from Gods Word by some of your favorite Bible teachers is refreshing. Damien Kyle's message on "Don't Loose Heart" was incredible. Also my friend Bobby Hargraves from Yonkers, New York gave an amazing devotional. Levi Lusko gave a message entitled "The Deadliest Catch", which inspired us to keep throwing the net of the gospel out to lost people. Pedro Garcia's message on Elements that are Found in a church where God is moving called us to examine the work we are doing. We don't want to have any elements missing. Also there was a Q&A led by Greg Laurie, Bob Coy, and Brian Broderson that was a truly a highlight. They answered some really important questions and provided tremendous clarity.
Fellowship
As many of you are probably aware, Pastor Chuck is battling cancer. However he was at the conference all week. He has set an example for the rest of us to serve Jesus to the end. On the last night of the  conference, Pastor Chuck taught through 2 Cor. 12-13. To hear him read the passage, "Gods grace is sufficient and that in my weakness He is strong", was overwhelming, for he is living what is preaching. God is continuing to sustain him. The times of worship in song were also a great blessing. The last night Scott Cunningham and the School of Worship led us in worship. It was phenomenal.
School of Worship
It is always difficult to leave the conference, because you know you are going to have to wait a whole  year to see everyone again. But I am encouraged and refueled to serve Jesus with all that is within me. May Jesus continue to be glorified through the lives of all the pastors all over the world.