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"Why Should I Fear?"

“Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the wickedness of those who would betray me surrounds me [on every side], Even those who trust in and rely on their wealth And boast of the abundance of their riches? None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him--For the ransom of his soul is too costly, And he should cease trying forever--So that he should live on eternally, That he should never see the pit (grave) and undergo decay. Psalm 49:5-9 AMP

The opening words of this psalm certainly speak about the current climate and attitude on planet earth today. It seems that every day there is another major threat form either a virus, country invasion, man’s callousness, or natural disaster. The enemy is hard at work spreading fear and defeat by every possible means.  No one would argue that the days have become more and more evil, and it seems as though righteousness will never be victorious! My friend, let me encourage you today that the victory has already been won!

The last words of Jesus from the cross were,

“When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30 AMP

At that very moment, the work of Christ to redeem us from the power of the enemy was complete! The message of Christ was clear from the beginning,

“ [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost?  And if it turns out that he finds it, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones be lost.    Matthew 18:11-14

The born-again Christian has a strength that no one else on planet earth can claim; we have been redeemed! The psalmist nailed it when he reminded the wicked,

“…None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him--For the ransom of his soul is too costly, And he should cease trying forever--So that he should live on eternally.” Psalm 49:7-8 AMP

As Christmas approaches, we should keep in focus the reality of the arrival of this infant King. Our celebration isn’t about trees, dinners, parties, or gifts. It is a celebration of the Father giving the most precious gift imaginable, His life of ours!

There is a special feeling in the air at this time of the year. It is a time to focus and remember that without that sacrifice we would be eternally lost. Bask in the felling of love and memories of Christmases past which stir our passion and love but don’t forget to give thanks to the one who gave the greatest gift…your new life!

Thank time this year to be quiet before the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to touch your heart and remind you of the love of God that ever-abounds to you today! Remember that every day is a celebration of the birth of the Savior. 

The good news of the season is that death is abolished, Satan is defeated, and the Jesus is Lord!

Have a blessed day, Pastor Ken

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"In the Wasteland"

“O God, when You went out before Your people when You marched through the wilderness, Selah. The earth trembled; The heavens also poured down rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself trembled at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary. Your flock found a dwelling place in it; O God, in Your goodness You provided for the poor.” Psalm 68:7-10 AMP

Psalm 68 is packed full of encouragement and blessing! I am reminded of my own salvation experience with God when I read these verses. I was hopelessly trapped in my sin with no one able to come to my rescue. Tormented by the devil, I had lost all hope and was headed for destruction. David is looking back over the actions of God in dealing with His people.  ““O God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness.” Literally the word wilderness is “wasteland.” It was God Himself that went before me in my wasteland! God is not afraid to get involved in the messes of our lives! In fact, if He doesn’t, we are hopeless. Look at those words, “the earth trembled.” When God begins to move there isn’t a demon in hell or power on earth that can stop Him! Once involved, He begins to pour fresh rain on the parched ground of our sin!

Again, the psalmist writes an important truth, “The heavens also poured down rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself trembled at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary.” The gentle rain of His love begins to soften the heart of the most hardened sinner. I am reminded of the following Scripture,

“But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 AMP

God is a God of action and not just words! Our land was parched, desolate and weary but the rain of God’s love transformed it into a habitable place of abundance and plenty! The land which produced death and starvation is now dwelling place marked by God’s goodness! In verse 19 and 20 David wrote,

Blessed be the Lord, who bears our burden day by day, The God who is our salvation! Selah. God is to us a God of acts of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death [setting us free]. Psalm 68:19-20 AMP

God, the source of our new life, daily bears our burdens and needs! Moses asked the people traveling through the wilderness,

“Indeed, ask now about the days that are past, [those days] which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? 33Did [any] people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you heard, and [still] live? 34Or has any [man-made] god ever tried to go and take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your [very] eyes? 35It was shown to you so that you might have [personal] knowledge and comprehend that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him.” 

Deuteronomy 4:32-35 AMP

WOW! Has there ever been anything else done of such great magnitude in our lives? God has allowed us to experience Him in a way that no one can ever deny us the knowledge and existence of the One who loves us and died to set us free!

During this Advent season, take time as the psalmist and remember the goodness of the Lord in the land you are living!

Have a thankful day, Pastor Ken

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"We Win!"

“Why are the nations in an uproar [in turmoil against God], And why do the people devise a vain and hopeless plot? The kings of the earth take their stand; And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and His Anointed (the Davidic King, the Messiah, the Christ), saying, “Let us break apart their [divine] bands [of restraint] And cast away their cords [of control] from us.” Psalm 2: 1-3 AMP

Psalm 2 is referenced to be written by David in the book of Acts chapter 4 verse 25. Peter and John had been arrested and taken before the rulers, elders, scribes, and the High Priest to discredit their message and silence the men. In chapter 3 we find Peter and John on their way to the temple for prayer when they encounter a lame beggar. It is from this encounter we find a powerful statement that should be on the lips of every servant of God,

“But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have; but what I do have I give to you: In the name (authority, power) of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--[begin now to] walk and go on walking!” Acts 3:6 AMP

Taking the man’s hand, he suddenly rose to his feet, ankles strong, and left leaping and praising God. We must remember that we ae=re not the healing power of God but rather the conduit through which God cane move! I love that statement, “Silver and gold have I do not have but what I do have I give to you in the name of Christ!”  We have something far greater to give to a needy world than the temporal instruments of fading glory. Never back down from the enemy’s taunts of unbelief! Put forth your hand and watch God move! It was this miraculous event that landed Peter and John in jail by those who masqueraded as God’s servants!

David’s opening words describes the state of unrepentant man’s heart throughout the ages, “Why are the nations in an uproar against God? Why do the devise vain and hopeless plots? Even in this day and age, we see the perpetual attack against those who choose not to be silenced proclaiming the excellencies of Him who has called them out of darkness! Even whole nations have tried to ban the truth of God’s Word with threats of death yet, they cannot stop the commitment and love of God’s people dying to share His truth. Peter wrote in his Epistle,

“The end and culmination of all things is near. Therefore, be sound-minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer [staying balanced and focused on the things of God so that your communication will be clear, reasonable, specific and pleasing to Him.]” 1 Peter 4:7 AMP

That clear, reasonable, and specific communication of the Gospel may bring persecution to your doorstep yet, Peter tells us,

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. 13But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.” 

1 Peter 4:12-13 AMP

Peter spoke from experience! After being dragged before the courts and threatened not to preach again about this Jesus, his response?

“And now, Lord, observe their threats [take them into account] and grant that Your bond-servants may declare Your message [of salvation] with great confidence, 30while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders (attesting miracles) take place through the name [and the authority and power] of Your holy Servant and Son Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30 AMP

Let me encourage you today to never back down from the threats of the enemy! God has endowed you with power from on high through the ministry of the Holy Spirt which the proff that the power of God is alive and well in 2021!

Have a power-filled day n the Holy Spirt! Pastor Ken

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"On the Rock!"

“To you I call, O LORD, my rock, do not be deaf to me, For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit (grave). Psalm 28:1 AMP

In Psalm 28, David is showing us the inner most important thing in his life…his relationship with God! As I read this verse, I can see a young man sitting on a lonely hillside crying out to the one who loves him. Look at his perspective of God, “O Lord, my Rock!” David acknowledges that first and foremost God is not a vending machine of blessings but rather Lord of his life. In today’s world there are very few “lords” left. The title “lord” is an appellation for a person who has authority, control, or power over others, acting a master, chief, or ruler. It is important to recognize that David first acknowledges an understanding that the final answer to his petition is in the hands of his Lord! David then acknowledges that his Lord is his rock!

The “rock” of David’s life is an acknowledgement that whatever the answer, he can be sure that it is one upon which he can build! There are many times in our lives that we do not get the answer that we desire but rather the best one as related to God’s plan. Paul wrote to the Philippians,

“So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].13For it is [not your strength, but it is] [c]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13 AMP

The answers to our prayers must be received with the understanding that our desire may be much different than God’s! Verse 13 above reminds us that “it is not for our strength, but it is God” who is working out HIS plan! The Apostle encourages them to “work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].” It is important that we keep the right perspective regarding the answers of our prayers. David shared with us that if God does not hear his prayer, it would be as though he were dead. It wasn’t the answer that he focused on but rather the opportunity to bring before the Lord!

I love the verse in the book of Hebrews,

“Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”

Hebrews 4:16 AMP

The privilege and comfort for prayer is that we can know and accept that the outcome will be in line with the will of God’s plan not ours. That doesn’t mean that we might not be disappointed but rather we can have a confidence that He knows best, and we can move forward with that assurance!

I encourage you today to take your concerns to the throne room of grace and be assured that the Lor of your life will act in your best interests as He works out the calling of your life!

Have a prayerful day! Pastor Ken

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"Test Me!"

“Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my heart and my mind.” Psalm 26:2

David was known as a man after God’s own heart! When we closely examine his life, we see moments of great triumph as he faces the giant Goliath but, we also see moments of great failure as he hides in the camp o the enemy running from the persecution of King Saul! Through all the victories and losses, David never loses his heart toward God.

Our lives are filled with up and downs, victories and defeats, and moments when we all question if we really are the children of the king. Deep inside I am thankful for the presence of the Holy Spirit that reminds me that “I AM” a child of the king. Life is hard and filled with many challenges. The Apostle Paul summed it all up in his letter to the church at Rome.

14We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am a creature of the flesh [worldly, self-reliant--carnal and unspiritual], sold into slavery to sin [and serving under its control]. 15For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness--my sinful capacity].”

Romans 7:14-15 AMP

Paul understood that our spirit is trapped inside this fleshly container which has become tainted by the power of sin. Look at his words, “15For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them].” There are moments in our lives, like David, we find ourselves in the valley of depression overcome by the relentless attack of the enemy against us. Seeing only the physical reality of the circumstance we want to throw in the towel and give up. The good news is that we are not alone! Jesus told His disciples that “When the storm comes and beats against your house.” We miss that most of the time when we read that verse! It clearly warns us that there will be moments of storms. But if we have built our house on the rock it will stand! None of us like those moments of testing but they are the reality of this life! Now Paul gives us the answer to this dilemma,

“Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity--I serve] the law of sin.”

Romans 7:24-25 AMP

He recognizes that the flesh has a mind of its own and will continue to battle against what he knows to be the truth of God’s Word! I am so glad that God does not judge me according to my actions! Like Paul, there are moments of weakness where I fall short of what I know to be the truth. But then I remember Paul’s words, “25Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

After all the things David went through, he still had trust enough trust in God’s love to ask Him to examine himself. Notice that he didn’t ask God to test or judge his actions! His request was, “test my heart and mind.” David knew that his heart and mind we sold out to God even though his fleshly actions at times didn’t match his heart.  

Our heart is truly the center of who we are! It where the issues of life spring forth. It is that place of know hiding when we are examined by God for it revels our true desires and attitudes. Let me encourage you today that if you are ever in that place of feeling like a failure and wondering how God could still work in your life…look to the cross and see love demonstrated for you! His love is eternal and unchanging. I love the verse

“But this I call to mind; Therefore I have hope. 22It is because of the LORD’S loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, Because His [tender] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

May the God of hope and love restore you and refresh you as you continue to work out your salvation!

Have a blessed day, Pastor Ken

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“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.” Psalm 31:19 NLT

We hear a lot today about the blessings of God on His people. Some say the God is obligated to bless the believer simply because he or she is a believer.  This verse and many like it seem to contradict that perspective. I am not saying that we need to earn the blessings of God but rather they are a natural progressing and result of our relationship with Him!

The verse in Psalms tell us that goodness is stored up for those who fear Him and come to Him for protection! These are words of respect and action. To “fear” the Lord doesn’t mean to be scared to come before the Father! It is a word that is filled with respect and understanding in relation to knowing who we are and who he is! When I served in the king’s palace, no one could enter his presence without waiting to be called. Even his sons could not simply walk into his office without first being called. It didn’t mean that the king did not love his son’s but that they understood his position and respected that above all. While the Scripture tells us that we can boldly come before the throne of grace, that is tempered against the foolishness of man’s self-righteousness! The Psalmist wrote,

“The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.” Psalm 9:10 AMP

I really love the Greek flavor here, “worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence].” Now, the Apostle John wrote,

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].” 1 John 4:18 AMP

What the Apostle is telling us is that because of God’s love for us and the covering of our sin, we can come before the throne of grace without fear of judgement. The writer of Hebrews gives us a balanced perspective of the issue,

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29for our God is [indeed] a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 AMP

When we flow in the river of respect and honor, the blessings of God are free to flow back to us! The verse says that God is not only storing up good things for us but that He is in the process of blessing us in front of an unbelieving world! Jesus told us,

“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.” Matthew 6:19-20 AMP

The only thing we are taking from this world is that which we have sent ahead! Are you allowing God to fill your heavenly treasury with good things? This verse speaks clearly that the actions activity of our lives is a clear indication of where our heart is today! Let the “The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome” be the guiding principle of your live on this earth!

Have a wonder-filled day today in His presence, Pastor Ken

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"A Costly Gift"

“For you know that you were not redeemed from your useless [spiritually unproductive] way of life inherited [by tradition] from your forefathers with perishable things like silver and gold, 19but [you were actually purchased] with precious blood, like that of a [sacrificial] lamb unblemished and spotless, the priceless blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 AMP

I can think of no greater thing in life to be thankful for than the sacrifice the Christ made for a sinner like me! There are those who today pursue the riches and positions of power of this world thinking that they will bring security and stability. The Scripture is clear that man cannot on his own pay the price for his own soul.  Psalm 49 addresses this issue clearly,

“Even those who trust in and rely on their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? 7none of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him--8For the ransom of his soul is too costly, And he should cease trying forever—” Psalm 49:7-8

The world’s attempt to justify themselves to a holy and righteous God are futile! Even if we could pay the price for our sin and disobedience, it would only just payment for our deserve. It could never reach the height of giving us eternal life with God. That is one of the beauties of the saving work of Christ! Not only are our sins forgiven but, we are rewarded with eternal life with Creator King! John wrote concerning this gift in His first Epistle,

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life.”

1 John 5:13 AMP

I love this translation, “so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life.” It is as sure as the air I breathe! He will be faithful to His promise that not only are my sins covered by His work but that by His grace, I will receive eternal life with Him!

What else could a person ever ask for?

Maybe you have never heard this good news! Maybe you never considered you eternal destiny! Let me encourage you today that you are only a moment away from eternal life! The Scripture tells us that,

“But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”--that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach-- 9because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous--being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.“ Romans 10:8-10 AMP

Would you receive this free gift of God today? Your good intentions and works will never be enough to satisfy the debt you owe. Christ paid the debt He did not owe for us who owed a debt but could not pay! Why not take the step today and receive all that God has planned for you! Would you pray this prayer?

Father, today I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I recognize that my efforts and energies are not enough to pay the price for my sin. I receive the forgiveness of my sin through the shed blood of Christ given for me at Calvary. I repent today from my way of life and ask that you send Your Holy Spirit today to live in my heart and conform me to image of Christ and confirm that I am a child of God. In Jesus name, Amen!

This thanksgiving take time to remember the gift of God to you and your family. Remember that, 

“This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 AMP

Have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration today! Pastor Ken 

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"Whose Voice?"

“When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. 43The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”” 1 Samuel 17:42-43 AMP

We find David at the most crucial point of his confrontation with Goliath. After volunteering to take on the most fearsome warrior of the enemy, David finds himself putting into action that which he had confessed. As he stood before King Saul, words of discouragement were all he heard,

“David said to Saul, “Let no man’s courage fail because of him (Goliath). Your servant will go out and fight with this Philistine.” hen Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him. For you are [only] a young man and he has been a warrior since his youth.” 1 Samuel 17:32 AMP

From the beginning, the enemy tried to get David to listen to the voice of defeat! Satan’s tactics have not changed since the beginning.  He is a liar and thief! He wants to bring discouragement and failure where God has promised victor and success. David didn’t allow the reality of the situation interfere with what God was able to do. There are times in our walk that the enemy will try to bring discouragement to keep you from fulfilling your divine destiny! From the very beginning of this encounter, Satan tried to keep David from trusting God for the victory thereby keeping God’s people in slavery and fear. Like a laser, David was focused on what he knew the truth to be,

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and attacked it and rescued the lamb from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I seized it by its whiskers and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted and defied the armies of the living God.” David said, “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 AMP

David wasn’t about to let the reality of the circumstance keep him from believing God! I am reminded of the men of God facing the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar. Facing certain death, they refused to back down and let the enemy. Have the victory.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you on this point. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up!” 

Daniel 6:19-18 AMP 

What a beautiful picture of the commitment of God’s people. Not fazed by the reality of the blasting furnace, they refused to submit to the demands of the enemy. Oh, that we might have the same tenacity in the midst of our trials! And now, David puts his words into action! Even in the last moments of the battle, Goliath taunts David to try and cause him to doubt his abilities. Good thing that David wasn’t focused on his abilities but rather on God’s!

Let me ask you, “who’s voice are you listening to in the middle of your trail?” Are you, like David, holding steadfast on God’s record of faithfulness? Many times, we see the physical reality of the situation and fail to look past that to the spiritual authority we must exercise over it! I will remind you of the reality of our lives,

“What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? Romans 8:31 AMP

Have a victorious day!  Pastor Ken

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"Acknowledge Him"

“In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].” Proverbs 3:6 AMP

Many times, we have quoted this Scripture but what does it really mean? Is it a simple ascent to God for our daily matters? Is it just inviting God into our daily workings? This verse is much more complex than that!

The word acknowledge in the Hebrew means to “recognize,” “to know,” “acknowledge,” “inspect carefully,” “and “realize.” Each of these words is a word of activity. They all lead to the same place, an acceptance of that about which is being evaluated! If acceptance is complete, then action is required. Many Christians today accept God’s Word but never out it into action! It isn’t enough to give God verbal ascent, but faith and obedience must follow! Read the words of Proverbs 4,

“Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet, and all your ways will be steadfast and sure.”

Proverbs 4:26 AMP

Do you see it? “Consider well…!” That is your responsibility resulting in carefully watching your path. The result will be, He will make your way “steadfast and sure.” The Scripture implies that you are moving forward not simply sitting on a “bless me” cushion! Psalm says,

“O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight (direct, right) before me.”

Psalm 5:8 AMP

Again, indications of activity on the part of the believer! But how does one get to the point of moving forward and trusting God? The opening verse gives us the answer…know and acknowledge God! It is through spending time with the King that we get to know Him intimately. When I was in the palace of the king, I learned a lot about him because of the days I spent in his service. I knew his ways, timing, food preferences, and daily schedule. I could see the trueness of his love for the people of the land he ruled! All of that of that led me to be a better servant and prepared for the time he may need my skills! Oh, that we would do the same with our King!  

The only way to cultivate faith is to walk in it. The very definition of faith is that which is not seen!

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality--faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:1AMP

The good new though is that God does not expect us to walk blindly in hope that what He said is true. No, He has given us a record of His performance! The Word of God is a record of His faithfulness and love for us! It is upon that foundation that I can put one foot in front of the other and trust His Devine plan for my life!

Let me encourage you today to “recognize,” “know,” “acknowledge,” “inspect carefully,” “and “realize” the greatness and faithfulness of our God! We are reminded the book of Chronicles that the eyes of the Lord are looking to strengthen those whose hearts are committed to Him! Will you be one of those He will strengthen?

Have a bless day, Pastor Ken

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"Here I Am"

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 AMP

The Prophet Isaiah finds himself in the temple of God while the presence of God is filling the room. Many today yearn for an experience of being in the presence of God. It is the very reason we worship. Worship is a directed, purposeful practice of refocusing our attention so we might encounter the living God. Isaiah’s encounter shows us the true reality of being in God’s presence. Look at his description of the event,

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw [in a vision] the Lord sitting on a throne, high and exalted, with the train of His royal robe filling the [most holy part of the] temple. 2Above Him seraphim (heavenly beings) stood; each one had six wings: with two wings he covered his face, with two wings he covered his feet, and with two wings he flew.

 3And one called out to another, saying, 

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts; 

The whole earth is filled with His glory.” 4And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, and the temple was filling with smoke.

 5Then I said, 

“Woe is me! For I am ruined, 

Because I am a man of [ceremonially] unclean lips, 

And I live among a people of unclean lips; 

For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Isaiah 6:1-5 AMP

The realization that overcame Isaiah was that he was in fear for his life and that the reality of his sinful nature was clearly before him! The building was shaking! The presence of the living God an awesome sight! The seraphim crying with a loud voice, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts!” Isaiah’s response wasn’t to go running and jumping and carrying on in the presence of God. While all those things are appropriate at times, this moment was one of brokenness acknowledging the distance between who God is and who Isaiah was! Because of Isaiah’s response, the Lord sends an angle to touch his lips symbolically with a burning coal. Notice that Isaiah’s response is that his and the community’s “lips” were unclean. They had spoken great and mighty things about their religious practices but none of them were of any substance! His natural response to hearing the call of God after being cleansed. “Here I am Lord, send me!” Oh, that that would be the cry of every Christian after encountering God!

Week after week, we come into the presence of God and find ourselves no closer to surrender than the desire in our heart! The Apostle James encourages us,

“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” James 1:8 AMP

Look at those words, “actively,” “continually,” words of action putting into motion the commands of God. The key to responding to God’s word is to “internalize” it! The Word must get from the brain to the heart for from the heart comes forth all the issues of life!

I encourage you today to enter the throne room of grace and here those words, “Who will go for us?” The only natural and reasonable response to the cross of Christ is to say, “Here I am Lod, send me!”

Have a blessed day, Pastor Ken

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