28 March 2011

Robin Mark: You're the Lion of Judah

You're the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain
You ascended to heaven and ever more will reign
At the end of the age when the earth You reclaim
You will gather the nations before You

And the eyes of all men will be fixed on the Lamb
Who was crucified
With wisdom and mercy and justice You'll reign
At Your Father's side

And the angels will cry: "Hail the Lamb
Who was slain for the world, Rule in power"
And the earth will reply: "You shall reign
As the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords"

There's a shield in our hand and a sword at our side
There's a fire in our spirits that cannot be denied
As the Father has told us for these You have died
For the nations that gather before You

And the ears of all men need to hear of the Lamb
Who was crucified
Who descended to hell yet was raised up to reign
At the Father's side

26 March 2011

Philippians 2:14-18

    It is very easy for us to complain about our situation in life.  We can blame ourselves or even blame God for things that happen not necessarily the way we would want them to happen.  Hardships are a part of life in general and are meant to point us towards Christ.  In all things we need to find joy in Him.  Paul in v.14 is pointing this out to the Philippians.  Just because others who may or may not know God are doing certain things does not mean that we have liberty to do them as well.  But we should not complain about this.  Follow the lead of Christ and seek the will of God.

  Do you ever wonder how you can witness to a world that is so lost in its own sin they cannot even recognize it?  By following the Lord in everything.  When we seek the will of God we show the “crooked and twisted generation” that Christ is the way.  That is why Paul says we shine as “lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of Life.”  When we hold onto the Word, in our hearts not just our hands, then God is glorified.  Isn’t our goal in this life to Glorify Him?  Shouldn’t it be? 

  Paul puts it to words here what sacrifice in following Christ means.  “even if I am to be poured our as a drink offering.”  Even if his blood has to be spilt for following Christ, Paul is okay with that because Christ is glorified.  Brothers our ultimate goal is that God be glorified and our lives points towards Him.  If that means our life is put to an end, then so be it.  There are countless stories of missionaries who were put to death where they went and by that death God’s Word flourished in the hearts of the people.  Are you willing to let that be the story of your life so that God may be glorified?

  Lord help me to seek your face in everything.  Help me to be a light unto this world so that you might be glorified in my life, no matter what circumstances come my way.

24 March 2011

Philippians 2:12-13

  Paul points out to the Christians their obedience to his direction in the Lord.  He encourages them to continue in this way even when he is not present.  This is a great example to be set when it comes to our relationship with Christ.  We are not with Christ here on this Earth, yet, we need to obey Him.  What good does it do for someone only to obey another they call Lord when they are in the Lord’s presence?  It does no good to present a good face, yet once their back is turned that face comes off and a new one is presented.  Brothers, we need to serve Christ when no one is looking.  Although Jesus is not here with us, He knows what we do.  He has sent His Holy Spirit to us to minister us and guide us so God the Father might be glorified.  That is our ultimate goal when we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

  Paul goes on to say in v.12 that the Philippians need to “work out their faith with fear and trembling.”  What does this mean exactly?  This does not mean that we ought to duck and cover every time we move in life.  For understanding we need to continue what else is said in v.13 “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  God is working in us.  That is why we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  When we commit sin we are offending God.  When we accept Christ He has forgiven that sin.  Why should we go on sinning?  We need to have a fear of not following where the Holy Spirit leads in our lives. 

  If a man tells you that you can have $20 dollars if you follow him and everything he says and you accept.  Then, when the man tells you to turn right and you turn left, yet the man still gives you the $20 dollars.  Does this mean that you should go your own way anyways and take the $20 dollars?  Absolutely not!  You made a commitment to this man and he has to you.  He has fulfilled his end, now you should fulfill yours.  This is similar to what Christ has done for us.  He has given us the FREE gift of salvation.  We need to now follow His direction because we have chosen to accept the gift and we desire to please our new Lord.  We can only do this when we rely on God, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Never the less we should fear not following the lead of the Holy Spirit.  It is a horrible thing to not be in the guidance of the Lord.  Fear that and you will know what it means to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  Lord help me to fear stepping one step off of the path you have laid out for me. 

22 March 2011

Philippians 2:1-11

  Being like Christ is not possible for us.  When we desire to serve Him and become more like Him what should we do?  Simply put we need less of us and more of Him.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.  Think not like men and women who are not saved, but think like someone who has Christ in their heart.  Who is your Lord?  Does your life reflect that?

  Paul encourages the believers in Philippi to do the same thing.  Do not be selfish, but rather think of others before yourself.  Allow others to be served before you.  Look at others needs and interests before yours.  This is very tough in a society like ours where we are told if we want it, go get it.  Well, if that is the case, then what are we aiming for?  That would mean we are not aiming to glorify our Lord; which means He is not our Lord at all.  So if we claim Christ our Lord then we should serve His purposes and desires.  He desires us to serve each other. 

  As a matter of fact, Paul points out in v.5-11 that Christ did this very thing.  If anyone thinks himself above everyone else to the point that they should be served more than anyone else, they need to look to the cross of Christ.  How did the King of Creation act?  Did He come to serve or be served?  Then why would we ever make the assumption we are better than Him, God in the form of a man?  If you think you are better than Christ and should be served you need to reflect on your salvation.

  The point is Christ is now the head of all things.  Because He came to serve, God has put His name above all names.  Of this we can take part.  We can be a part of the Kingdom that Jesus has established if we submit to Him authority.  Not only that, He is offering a gift that no one else can offer.  He is giving us the gift of forgiveness when we stand in front of God.  Jesus, you are my Lord.  Please be Glorified in my life. 

Philippians 1:27-30

  The Philippians were in a struggle similar to Paul.  Persecution and hardships were beginning to hit these believers.  What does Paul tell them for encouragement?  Stay strong in the faith.

- Live worthy of your calling
- Stand firm in one spirit
- Stand firm in one mind
- Strive side by side for the faith of the Gospel
- Do not be frightened by the enemy

  There is one thing that Paul tells the Philippians they will have, hardship and suffering.  He does not tell them that they deserve better or that they will be delivered from this suffering because they are God’s people.  That would not necessarily be true.  Instead in v.29 Paul explains that this suffering was granted to them!!  Why would such a seemingly horrible thing be granted to God’s people?  “That for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake.”  This is not a bad thing.

  2 Timothy 3:12 states that “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  So if we are living for Christ, we can expect to be persecuted at some point.  Have we been persecuted and put out?  Are we fitting in so well that others do not even know we are Christians?  Does it bother us either way?  It is vital for us to look at the example of Christ, the example of the apostles, and many of the church forefathers.  So many were persecuted and even put to death for their unwavering claim that Jesus Christ was Lord and Savior.  Lord meaning He was master of their life and Savior meaning He paid for all our sins.

  What are we doing to put ourselves out there in this manner?  How are we reaching out to others we know, being engaged in the conflict that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Are we willing to share the Gospel even though it is offensive to a sinful world?  Are we willing to be put out and shunned for the Gospel?  Lord help me to step out into the uncomfortable ledge that is witnessing and sharing your Gospel.  Let my life be Yours

21 March 2011

Philippians 1:21-26

  Reflection of what our lives is very important.  I do not mean reflection as in this life is over and nothing else will be accomplished.  What I do mean is simply to take a look at the purpose for your life.  Reflect on why we are here.  What is our goal?  How much have people really changed from ancient days until now.  What do you live for? 

  I think if we are honest with ourselves we will see how selfish we can be and are most of the time.  There are very few days where I truly live like I should.  My goal on this Earth is to Glorify Jesus Christ as my Savior and God.  How does that manifest itself in my daily life?  Or, does it?  Paul in v.21 of Philippians states “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Are we living our lives for Christ, and yet, ready and actually excited about the prospect of passing on from this world?  That is such a hard thing to grasp.  One thing I wanted to point out was Paul’s constitution about death.  What does it mean?  And ultimately, why does he feel this way and what does (should) it mean for our life? 

  Paul, in v.22-26, is wrestling with the idea of going home to be with Christ, or staying and further ministering to the brethren.  He talks about this similarly in 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 when he mentions that being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Brothers, we have to understand that when we die, if we are true believers in Christ, then we will be present with the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our comforter.  Take heart in that fact. 

  How do we live our lives though knowing that we have such a great thing waiting for us, as Paul mentions in v. 23.  In fact, he mentions it is far better!  So how do we live while here?  How can we Glorify Christ?  In v.22 Paul mentions that he wants his life to be fruitful labor.  In v.24-26 he mentions that staying in this world is good for the believers there in order to further help them grow in their sanctification.  As brothers in Christ our presence and ministry can encourage each other while we are waiting to go home to be with the Lord. 

  We should set our sights on two things: ministering to the saved; seeking to save the lost.  Having a compassion for the lost is something Christ exemplified throughout His entire ministry here on Earth.  Having this heart, Christ is glorified.  When we minister to the brethren, as Paul states in v. 26, it can give ample cause for us to glorify Christ because of that ministry.  We may not realize the impact that our lives have on others.  Serving Christ, we may not always see what has and will transpire in peoples’ lives.  That is okay, to Christ be the Glory.

  So now, it is important for us to reflect on what our lives are all about.  What is our goal and purpose?  Do we live to Glorify Christ?  Do we look forward to being with Christ in death?  Are we okay with the prospect of passing on even today?  Do we even think about death?  And, do we think about it in a positive light?  How will our lives be defined?  What will people remember about us?  Will it be that we were a servant of Christ?  Lord, let that be what others say about me.  Whether by my life or by my death, Christ be honored.

19 March 2011

Philippians 1:19-21

  So Paul has just finished talking about others who preach the Gospel.  Whether out of selfish desires or out of a desire to Glorify Christ, Paul says we ought to Praise God the Gospel is being preached.  In spite of all of this the last few words of v.18 states, “Yes, and I will rejoice.”  Do we rejoice when Christ is preached even though those preaching it are not perfect or have ulterior motives?  At least people are hearing the Word.

  What we can learn and apply to our lives through these passages is what Paul ends v 20 with, “but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”  Brothers, we will not be ashamed when Christ is Glorified in our lives.  When He is number one, the circumstances of this life simply do not matter.  Paul states in v.19 that he will be delivered, v.20 that he will be not ashamed, and v.20 that he will be honored.  How can that be when he is a prisoner of the Roman government?  He is in prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yet, he will be delivered, honored, and is not ashamed?  How does that work?  God will honor those who honor Him. 

  When we set out sights on honoring God with our lives, there is nothing that can happen in this life that will change His view of us.  In this life, we may be but to shame, mocked, beaten, and murdered, but in front of God, when we have accepted Christ and lived through the Holy Spirit, we will be honored, not ashamed, and delivered.  As a matter of fact, we already have been on the hill of the skull, Mount Calvary, where Jesus Christ was crucified and paid for our sins.  Praise God for this gift He has provided for us.  We cannot live for God apart from the work of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 

15 March 2011

Philippians 1:12-18

  Often times when trouble hits we want to ask ourselves where we went wrong.  Point is, we are put in every place for a reason.  Christ has made it so that we will always be where He wants us, not necessarily where we want to be.  Perspective is something that I have talked about in the past.  It is vital that we look to the Cross for reasoning.  Paul writes in the first few verses that his imprisonment has helped to advance the Gospel.  That is enlightening to me and should be to us all.  Perhaps there are times when we are put in a place that does not make sense to us in this world, but serves Christ’s purpose.  We need to love Christ and accept His will for our life; after all, isn’t our life supposed to be His? 

  Paul was so intent on his desire to share the Gospel that even in his imprisonment he was able to share with the imperial guard and to “all the rest” that the reasoning for his imprisonment was because of his service to Christ.  It is interesting to me that the Lord would use a society like the Roman’s to allow the Gospel to be spread.  First through persecution and then through some being saved.  What an amazing thing that the Gospel has survived through everything the world has gone through.  Lest we be distraught about all that is happening throughout the world, remember that the Lord is faithful to His chosen people.

  There are many that would take the teachings of the Lord and use them for evil.  Many of these people have selfish desires, whether is be greed, pride, lust, fame, or any number of selfish things.  Such was the case with these men where Paul was imprisoned.  They preached the Gospel for personal gain.  They wanted Paul to suffer more and they wanted what Paul had in fame.  This is common even today with many preachers. 

  What is interesting here is what Paul states next; “whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I Rejoice.”  I am intrigued by this statement; it really caused me to think about what was meant by Paul.  It makes me reflect on the salvation that was preached to me.  The teaching under which I was saved was no doubt the Gospel.  A number of years later that preacher left the church due to an infidelity.  Since that time he left his wife, moved from the town, and seems to have regressed in his life.  I am not personally in contact with this man anymore, but it seems he preached the Gospel more for personal gain and accolade than to advance the cause of Christ.  This is the same type of person Paul is speaking of here.  But, we should not fret over this as much as would first be believed.  The Gospel was preached!  The Lord used this mans bad intentions to save me!  Praise God for that. 

14 March 2011

Philippians 1:1-11

  Wow!  What a greeting this is from Paul and Timothy this is.  From the first few verses we know that there is an established local church in Philippi; although, the Gospel had only been around for a few decades.  It is clear Paul’s intention is to encourage the Philippians to preach the Gospel to the lost through their lives, striving to be more like Christ in everything. 

  Paul mentions in v.3 – v.11 how he is constantly praying for the church in Philippi.  This is not a once in a while thing on a passing note.  Paul is very affectionate and caring towards these people.  This is not just a passing prayer for the people but a feeling of great love and joy in Christ.  It is so easy for people to pick apart others and highlight where they lack.  This is a great opportunity to point out Paul’s focus on these brethren.  Look at v.8.  Paul points out that his affection for them is not because of some selfish desire to love them; rather, it is in the common bond through Jesus Christ.  How do we view fellow believers that we may not always connect with or agree with?  Do we love them in Christ or simply let our sinful prejudice get in the way?

  Paul reflects on the fellowship with the believers in Philippi, his desire to see them grow in knowledge and discernment, and bear fruit of righteousness.  All of these things are rooted in the goal of Christ’s glorification.  Paul shows us a clear goal that we should see in life, glorify Christ.  How do we do this?  Through Jesus Christ v.11.  There is no way that we can bear fruit and grow to be like Christ unless He is our guide.  Let us seek Him through our prayers.

  Lord help me to have discernment in all situations of life.  Help me to have knowledge of your Word.  Help me to love all brothers in Christ as I should.  Thank you for the encouragement that I have received today.  I love you. 

10 March 2011

2 Peter 3:15-18

  The Lord has granted us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.  Will you accept this gift?  If so do not let the weight of your sin be with you any longer.  Seek Christ, and let His patience be as salvation!  The Lord is patient with us and that is grace.  In order to be in the very presence of God we should be perfect.  Each sin we commit He has every right to strike us dead.  Count the patience that He gives us as salvation.  Just as the salvation He provided for us and called us to was given as a free gift. 

  Peter gives us one of the main ways that we can use to tell if Scripture really is the Word of God.  In no particular order: does the Word agree with history; does the Word agree with archeology; and does the Word agree with itself?  Peter is mentioning this third point.  Paul has written you already about the same thing.  He has spoken to you with the truth.  His words agree with mine.  Just because he writes differently and you have a harder time discerning it (mainly because you are using human wisdom and not God’s) does not mean he is not speaking through the Holy Spirit.  Let Christ reign and let the Word be the Word.  Do not take one sentence out of context when it clearly contradicts what the Word truly says.  Peter is very specific about this. 

  Those who choose to make the Word what it is not are ignorant and unstable.  Those are not my words, but the Word of God.  How serious is it to preach the true Gospel of Christ?  We had better know what we are saying before we say it.  Does what I preach line up with the Scriptures?  How about this, does what I believe line up with Scripture?  Does my doctrine that I am so firmly entrenched with line up with Scripture?  These things are so important that we need to constantly address them.  Peter gives warning to not be “carried away” with people who are lawless.  Instead grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.  What an awesome exhortation. 

  Lord, let it be my desire and goal to not be swayed from the truth of your Word.  Let me have my foundation in you.  I love you. 

08 March 2011

2 Peter 3:14

  Peter talks a lot in his letter about being found in holiness and godliness.  This theme is continued in v.14 by his stating to be found when Christ returns without spot or blemish.  This is so important and repeated throughout many letter from the apostles.  v.10 explains that we do not know when Christ will return so be ready.  Be found spotless, seeking to become more like Christ everyday.

  So, now that Peter has stated that many times he mentions something interesting to me; “be found by Him … at peace.”  We need to have peace in our lives.  There is nothing like what Christ has done for us.  He loves us and desires that our lives be pointed toward Him, to be focused on Him, and to have rest in Him. 

  There is nothing in this world that can give us peace like Christ.  I have tried so many things, but there is NOTHING like knowing the love that Christ has to offer us.  What a relief to know He loves us more than we will ever deserve.  We are forgiven in Christ.  If you know Christ then you understand that there is nothing this world can throw in our way to take away that joy.  Although hardship and trials will come, Christ reigns!!  We have victory in Christ!!  Praise God.

07 March 2011

2 Peter 3:8-13

  God is all knowing, all present, and all powerful.  Why should we hesitate to trust what His Word says?  Yet, it is so easy to look away from Him for faith.  I put my faith in people and things that are out of my control.  Lord help me to turn to you for everything and NOT things of this world. 

  We tend to view our lives as the be all and end all for things in this world.  It is very easy to think that this world knew nothing before us and will know nothing after us except what we physically leave behind.  Our focus should truly be on how we are growing in the Lord and advancing His kingdom.  Am I allowing the Lord to work through me?  Am I allowing Christ to be glorified through my life?  Man what a challenge!

  What a glorious day it will be when the Lord comes back.  It will be horrible to know that I could have done so much more; yet, a wonderful thing to see Christ stand before me, to fall on my face and worship Him forever!  What we do here will be called to light.  Whether saved or not, v.10 tells us “But the day of the Lord will come … and the Earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”  Lord help me to live for you.

  Let us put our hope in the things laid out in v.11-13; the new Heaven and new Earth.  One where Christ will rule, and there will be no more tears.  Let us focus on the coming Glory that Christ will and has received, not the trials and hardships that are before us.  Know the big picture that we are on the winning team, if you are found in Christ, and He will reign forever!!

02 March 2011

2 Peter 3:1-7

  Perception is huge with us as people.  It is very easy to perceive things incorrectly.  It is extremely easy to perceive things differently than the next person.  When we say that we have faith in the Lord, yet do not believe in the Lord’s return then where is our faith?  Some people say they believe in Jesus Christ, but do not believe He will return.  Others will say they have accepted Christ as their savior, but there is no Hell (as I wrote about the other day).  The way that we perceive things is very important.

  Logic may tell us that the Sun set today, so it will rise tomorrow.  Most likely this is accurate, but not necessarily always true.  Joshua 10:13 talks about the Sun standing still for an entire day.  Do you believe that?  I do.  If you do not, then you do not believe that the Bible is accurate; which, to you, means it is not the Word of God.

  People all around us would like to cast doubt into our minds about the prophesies of Scripture.  We must keep in mind that this is God’s Word.  This is not a book that someone randomly threw together because it seemed like a good idea.  God has written these letters through the Holy Spirit, through each person who wrote them.  Let our perception start here.  Let us look through the Scripture to see what it says about each thing that we are talking about.  Is there Hell?  The Scripture clearly says yes.  Is Christ coming back?  The Scripture, and Jesus Himself, says yes.

  If the Scripture says it, then, it is true.  Let us perceive the prophesies and events taking place through the eyes of the Lord.  Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Lord, guide us and our hands to move in the light of Your Word. 

01 March 2011

Lecrae - Don't Waste Your Life

Let’s Go.
Don’t waste yo life man.

Verse 1: (Lecrae)
I know a lot of people that scared they gone die
couple of em thinking they’ll be livin in the sky
while Im here livin man I gotta ask why, what am I here fo I gotta figure out
waste my life no I gotta make it count
if Christ is real then what am I gone do about
everything in Luke 12:15 down to 21
you really gotta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ aint resurrect then we wasted our lives
well that implies that our life’s built around Jesus being alive
everyday I’m living tryna show the world why
Christ is more than everything you’ll ever try
better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
it aint no lie
We created for Him
outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and he raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
he made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess him
resurrects him
so I know I got life
matter fact better than I know I got Christ
if you don’t’ see His ways in my days and nights
you can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
man I lost my rights
lost my life
forget the money cars and toss that ice
the cost is Christ
and they could never offer me anything on the planet that’ll cost that price.
Don’t wanna waste my life. (Echo)

Verse 2: (Dwayne Tryumph)
Armed and dangerous
So the devil jus can’t hang wid us
Christian youth them a stand wid us
Livin’ n driven/ given a vision/ fullfillin the commission he handed us
London to Los Angeles
Da rap evangelist
Ma daddy wouldn’t abandon us
“I gotta back pack fulla tracts and I keep a Johnny Mac”
So are you ready to jam with us
So lets go, gimme the word an lets go
Persecution lets go
Tribulation lets go
Across the nation lets go
Procrastination lets go
Hung on the cross in the cold
Died for da young and the old
Can’t say you never know
Heaven knows
How many souls are going to hell or to heaven so we gotta go in and get em
Don’t wanna waste my life (Echo)

Verse 3: (Lecrae)
Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
if you make a lot of money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
stay focused if you aint got no ride
your life aint wrapped up in what you drive
the clothes you wear the job you work
the color your skin naw you Christian first
people get to livin for a job
make a lil money start living for a car
get em a wife a house kids and a dog
when they retire they living high on the hog
but guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
to live is Christ yeah and that’s Paul I recall
to die is gain so for Christ we give it all
he’s the treasure you’ll never find in the mall
See your money your singleness marriage talent yo time
they were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
that’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
see my whole world is built around him He’s the life in our lives
I refused to waste my life
he’s too true ta chase that ice
heres my gifts and time cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he’s truly raised to life
then this news should change your life
and by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.
Don’t wanna waste my life. (Echo)