Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"

Part 1

(Newest ones are last)
God's will God's Will
Why are you here? Why Are You Here?
Do these things Do These Things
Are you a doer? Are You a Doer?
What is God's opinion? What is God's Opinion?
Obedience to God's will Obedience to God's Will
Beware of traditions of men Beware of Traditions of Men
Sing with understanding Sing with Understanding
Are we doomed? Are We Doomed?
Let God choose Let God Choose
Is that all there is? Is That All There Is?
Lukewarm is bad Lukewarm is Bad
God is doing new things God is Doing New Things
Are you doing your job? Are You Doing Your Job?
Spiritual discernment Spiritual Discernment
What are your priorities? What Are Your Priorities?
What does it profit? What Does It Profit?
Are you offering strange fire?
Are You Offering Strange Fire?
Confusion and division aren't from God
Confusion and Division Aren't From God
Are your words profitable?
Are Your Words Profitable?
Ministering to God
Ministering to God
Speaking and doing God's will
Speaking and Doing God's Will
whose counsel will you take?
Whose Counsel Will You Take?
Who is in charge?
Who is in Charge?
Preventing Division
Preventing Division
What Does God Require?
What Does God Require?
God's will, a special devotional God's Will, a Special Devotional
Part 2:  Bible Studies on What is God's Will? Part 2:  Bible Studies on What is God's Will?


10/20/97 God's Will
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:23
Many people have opinions about who God is, what He will and won't do, and what He thinks. Opinions are not necessarily bad things, but can be disastrous when it comes to God. There are many that have the opinion that God won't condemn a 'good' person just because that person doesn't believe in Jesus. The only thing wrong with that opinion is that it doesn't line up with what the Bible says.

 It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you find out God's opinion on the matter for yourself! You may have the opportunity to tell God what you think some day, but your opinion will not change God's mind! Read your Bible so you can understand what the will of the Lord is for your life. Start with the book of John. Then read the rest of the New Testament. Then, as the Lord leads you, read the rest of the Bible.
Link to 10/20/97 welcome message


6/8/98 Why Are You Here?
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Revelation 4:11
You do not belong to yourself. The only thing that belongs to you is your free will. Just because you have the choice to do what you want does not change the fact that you belong to God. You are not a product of a "Big Bang" and you are not related to a fish or a monkey. You are a product of a God who loves you more than you can imagine.

He loves you enough to give you your free will. He won't make you a puppet. His desire is that you acknowledge Him and love Him in return. He is holding out His hand to you and waiting for you to take it. He wants to wrap you in His love. He wants to pour out blessings on His obedient children.

If you are a parent you know what it is to desire obedience in your child. When your child is walking in disobedience do you give them gifts and extra privileges? When your child is being obedient and doing what is right do you want to reward him? It is the same with God. He does love you completely and unconditionally whether you are obedient or not.

Any talent or abilities you have you got from God. The things you are able to accomplish are really nothing without God. What lasting effect is your life going to have on the world? If you place your hand in God's hand and learn more about Him and what He wants for you then your life will have a great deal of meaning. You will become a life-changer. You will make a difference. Guaranteed.
Link to 6/8/98 welcome message


9/21/98 Do These Things
"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."
1Thessalonians 5:16-22
There are certain things God wants us to do. Naturally, He wants us to keep our minds on Him. This is evident in the commands shown in the above scripture. Rejoice evermore. Rejoice all the time. Do you have things to rejoice about? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it, but there is always something.

Pray without ceasing. Praying is communicating with God. Even though we can't see Him with our eyes, He is with us all the time. We need to turn our spiritual eyes on Him so we can feel His presence. He wants us to talk with Him just like we would talk with someone else that was always next to us. He wants us to ask His opinion. He wants us to tell Him when we enjoy something. He wants us to tell Him when we are sad. He just plain wants us to talk to Him.

Quench not the Spirit. Be aware of the Holy Spirit in you. Be aware of what God is telling you through the Holy Spirit. If you are ignoring God you are quenching the Spirit.

Despise not prophesyings. God speaks to you through other people. He speaks to you through your pastor and through your friends. Listen to what is being said.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. As I just said, God speaks to you through other people. However, not all that is being said is good and true. Prove the things you hear against what is in the Bible. Ask God for confirmation if you are unsure. If anything doesn't line up with the Bible it is no good.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. If someone has a problem with you asking questions about God and about what you hear about God then that is an indicator that something is wrong. Be careful. Satan wants to deceive and will sometimes use people that look and act Godly. After all, the scripture tells us satan can disguise himself as an angel of light!

Abstain from all appearance of evil. Even if something you do is totally innocent it may cause another to stumble. Listen to what God tells you. If you feel something is wrong then ask God if you should stop or change what you are doing. As a Christian you are on public display. Non-Christians are watching for you to do something they can label as "hypocritical." They want to find you doing something that will give them an excuse not to go to church. If they feel they have found fault in you then they may also feel they have found fault in your Lord Jesus, the one you are supposed to be modeling yourself after.

God wants to bless you. He wants you to turn your life over to Him. After all, you did not create yourself so your life really is not yours. You have no control over the things that happen. God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He wants only good for you. He wants you to have joy and peace. He is holding out His hand. He wants to walk with you and guide you. He wants to protect you. He will not force you to listen to Him. He will not force you to look to Him for guidance and protection. He leaves the choice up to you. What is your decision?
Link to 9/21/98 welcome message


10/5/98 Are You a Doer?
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
James 1:22
The Bible was not given to us to be a collection of good stories. It was given to us, "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2Timothy 3:16-17) It is meant to be used by us on a minute-by-minute basis. Everything we do and say should align with the scriptures. Even our very thoughts should be tempered with the Word of God.

If we are not continually reading the scriptures then they don't become a living part of our lives. If we only open our Bibles in church during the sermon or during Sunday School and then put them on the shelf for the rest of the week we are probably, "hearers only." The Word does not have a chance to become alive for us.

God is continually speaking to us. He has a plan for us. We, however, have been given free will to do whatever we choose. God will not force us to listen to Him. He will not force us to do what He wants us to do. He won't even force us to believe in Him.

"So, what's in it for me if I am a doer of the Word?"

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Galatians 6:7-8

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Luke 6:38

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Matthew 16:27

"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1Corinthians 3:13-15

One day we shall all answer for what we did during the lifetime God gave us. We will be accountable for the decisions we made. God will bless you if you do things for Him. Find out what He wants you to do. He knows what will happen in the future. He knows what decisions are the best decisions to make for you. He loves you with a never-ending, unconditional love.

Seek Him. Listen to Him. Be a doer of what He says. You won't regret it, I promise. (I usually don't make promises because sometimes it is impossible to keep a promise. This promise is dependent on God. God cannot lie. God will never change His mind. This promise is one you can stake your life on. Hmmmm, in some cases your life may depend on it.)
Link to 10/5/98 welcome message


11/9/98 What is God's Opinion?
"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
1John 2:27
I've been noticing that opinions are one of the most plentiful things in existence. Everybody has opinions about just about every thing. When you bring up certain subjects while among a group of people you can many times stand back and listen to many different sides of an issue. Not only can you hear different sides, but many times the opinions are stated as if they are fact.

Most of the time there is a big difference between opinion and fact. Opinions might be based on fact, but generally also include a person's life experiences mixed in. Many times people take an opinion they heard from someone else and begin spreading it as their own opinion, all the while feeling like they have formed it using factual information.

I am learning that the best opinion on any topic is God's opinion. I want to find out what God thinks about a topic. Once I determine what His opinion is then I can stand as firmly on it as I would stand on a rock. God's opinions are facts.

I have to be continually reading my Bible to find out God's heart and mind on topics. I have to pray and ask Him what He thinks about things. I have to continue increasing in my knowledge about God. I will never know God's opinion about everything, but I can find out what it is on many things.

The great majority of the time it is easy to know God's opinion if we are following God's greatest commandments. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
Link to 11/9/98 welcome message


6/28/99 Obedience to God's Will
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
2Corinthians 10:5
Yes, I know I've done this verse twice already (filed under other topics), but there is more to it than meets the eye.

I get up a bit early on Sunday mornings so I can pray for the church service and the hearts and minds of the people who attend. One Sunday morning as I was praying the Lord told me to praise. I began to praise Him and continued praising off and on until we got to church. Then our church service begins with praise songs so my praise continued. When the praise portion of the service was over I felt the need to keep praising. So, I praised the Lord (quietly) throughout the rest of the service.

I have a good friend that I met on the Internet that made me realize the significance of what had happened. She pointed out that we need to be in tune with what the Lord wants us to do. Most of the time we are looking for specific responses to our prayers and miss what God tells us. We are doing things for the Lord (or so we think) and we miss what He is actually telling us to do.

I always praise the Lord during my prayer times. I had the thought, "I have already praised you," when He told me to praise, but I praised Him anyway. That is what He is seeking in us. He wants us to be open ALL THE TIME to what He wants us to do. We can't just assume that we know the things that will please Him. Just because we do something for Him or in His name doesn't mean that was something He wanted us to do. We could be messing up what He wants to happen by stepping out in our own knowledge and imagination.

The scripture tells us to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. Our own will often exalts itself against the knowledge of God! Doing something for God without God is not good!!

We need to bring into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ! We need to bring every deed also into captivity. Everything we do, think, and say should be in obedience to the Lord's will. Verse 7 asks the question, "Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?" Well, do you? God looks at things through and through. He looks at things in the light of His knowledge. His knowledge extends to cover everything that is happening in the universe as well as everything that will happen! Can you make any decisions with more wisdom than God can?

Romans 1:21-22 says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." This talks about people who don't really know who God is, but it can apply to us as well. When we make decisions based on our own experiences and knowledge we are vain. We think we are capable of making a good decision. We are not wise, but fools, when we don't seek God's heart and mind in everything we do, think, and say.

I've covered a lot of territory in this Bible study, but I will bring it full circle. You need to learn how to listen to God. You need to know what He wants you to be doing. You need to learn how to let go of your "self" and bring yourself into captivity of being obedient to your Lord. When God says, "Praise," then you praise. After all, it never matters what you think- - -it only matters what God thinks!
Link to 6/28/99 welcome message


9/14/99 Beware of Traditions of Men
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Colossians 2:8
BEWARE!! People who mean well are going to pass along their opinions about God. People have tried to create a "Human God" for you to worship. DO NOT BE FOOLED! Satan has managed to satisfy many many Christians with a good-sounding gospel.

The basic doctrine that is held by most mainline denominations is that once we are saved, our job is to take salvation to others. The emphasis is on teaching Christians about Jesus so that they can go out and evangelize the world.

No, there is nothing wrong with that doctrine. Yes, God does want us to evangelize the world. However, the work is being hindered by not fully understanding the system God means to implement. Not all people are evangelists and teachers. There are many many other positions in the Body of Christ that are unfilled because people do not know about them. People do not know what God wants them to be doing.

Satan has an organized army. God, too, has an organized army. However, many of the soldiers in that army do not know their assignments because they have been given the wrong assignment by well-meaning humans. Satan has buffaloed many Christians into accepting the traditional doctrine of "everything we need to know is in the Bible and there is no more."

I do agree that everything we need to know IS in the Bible; however, we need to allow God to interpret the scriptures to us. God can add clarification and direction to what is already written. He can tell you how the scripture applies directly to you. There is much more than what is there...the application is what is missing from the Bible!

Don't allow tradition or man-made doctrine to dictate your relationship with God! Don't try to define God in human terms! Don't decide what God will and won't do! You don't need men to teach you. 1John 2:27 says:
"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
The Holy Spirit will teach you if you will let Him! Be open to any and all possibilities. "...for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27)
Link to 9/14/99 welcome message


9/20/99 You're NOT THAT Great!
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God."
2Corinthians 3:5
Sometimes I get to the point where I feel I am doing really well. I am being loving and patient, I am counseling people with darn good advice, I am reading my Bible regularly, my housework is all caught up, I am all caught up on my correspondence, I am involved in many volunteer activities, I am being praised for being organized and creative, etc. etc. etc. Even other people are noticing and telling me how good I am! Ahh, I'm some kind of special person....

Hold the phone! It's not me!! Well, it is me, but it isn't really me! It is the Holy Spirit in me and helping me. I don't have the natural ability to be patient. I have done none of those things without being given help from the Lord. Any natural talents I have were gifts from God. Any abilities to counsel are given by Him. You see, I can take pride in absolutely nothing that I have done.

I used to love it when I received recognition for the things I did. I coveted awards and recognition. I would be disappointed if I didn't receive praise for my efforts. Luke 6:23-24 gives us a clue as to why we shouldn't seek earthly rewards, "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation."

 I believe this indicates that we can either obtain earthly rewards for the things we do or we can receive our recognition and reward from the Lord, Himself. I would much prefer having the Lord tell me, "Well done good and faithful servant," than get a certificate of appreciation and have a group of people clap for me for 30 seconds!

Matthew 6:1 also refers to the "reward" system in heaven, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven."

In myself I have no talents. In myself I am a totally selfish human being. In myself I can do nothing without the Lord. In John 15:5 Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Fruit refers to anything good in our life that we do or say. If you haven't seen it yet, there is a devotional on how to abide entitled "Abide in Jesus."

Don't do things for recognition. Only do things because the Lord wants you to do them. It's a much better system.
Link to 9/20/99 welcome message


4/10/00 Sing with Understanding
"Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding."
Psalm 47:6-7
I don't think any explanation is necessary for the first sentence in our Bible study. It seems very clear and self-explanatory. It isn't a suggestion and it isn't a question. It is more along the lines of a command.

The second sentence is something we don't always do. When we sing out of our hymnals at church and don't know what we are singing we are going against what this scripture says. Now, don't get me wrong! Many of the hymns are absolutely wonderful! The authors were given a great gift to be able to put their thoughts into words. The ones who put the words to music were also given a great gift. What is done with the hymns is our responsibility.

So many times the hymns that are sung in churches are picked ahead of time by someone who does not pray about God's selection of hymns for the service. Then, when we are told to open our hymnals to a certain one and to sing, we don't pay any attention to the words. Do you think that is a blessing to God? It seems that falls in the same category as what Jesus warned us about in Matthew 6:7, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Words without meaning are empty.

Here's an interesting concept. . .Let's find out what God wants. It doesn't matter in the slightest what we think will be pleasing to God. If we are doing things just because they are traditional then we are just "playing church." As a matter of fact, tradition is one of satan's tools to take our minds off of God.

God is capable of telling us what He wants. God is capable of directing our steps if we want Him to direct them. God has a plan. Are we walking in it?
Link to 4/10/00 welcome message


10/9/00 Are We Doomed?
"And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them."
Jeremiah 9:13-16
Are we obeying God's laws? Oh, dear, there are so many of them! How could anyone obey them all? That is not an acceptable excuse.

"Jesus said unto [the lawyer], Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)

There are only two laws. If we do those two things then everything we do will be acceptable to God. If we love God with all our heart and soul and mind then we will be continuously seeking to please Him. If we love our neighbor (everyone else) as we do ourselves then we will be trying to do everything in our power to please them. We will be constantly looking out for the welfare and happiness of others. We will never say a cruel word. We would be continuously asking, "What do you want? What do you need?"

Have we been obeying God's voice? Have you ever heard that still, small voice within saying, "You shouldn't be saying that, you shouldn't be watching that TV show, or you should go help your mother/ father/ husband/ wife/ brother/ sister/ neighbor/ friend/ co-worker?" and you didn't obey?

How many times have we done things just because we, personally, decided it was the best thing? That would be walking in the imagination of our own hearts. Walking after Baalim, which our fathers taught us, would be following after money, fame, tradition, or any other man-made gods or idols. How many times do we do things just because our fathers, mothers, or teachers told us it was right? Do we ask ourselves if it is something that they ran past God for approval before they gave it to us or do we just accept it?

Here's the bad news. God is not pleased. There will be punishment if we continue. He will give us bitter things to eat and to drink meaning bitter things will happen in our lives. Bitter things would be things difficult to swallow, difficult to handle. We will be mixed in with those who do not know Him. He will send a sword after us. Swords cause pain, defeat, and death. God is not pleased.

WHAT CAN WE DO? ARE WE DOOMED?? Read on in Jeremiah.

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning (lamenting) women, that they may come; and send for cunning (wise) women, that they may come: and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters."Jeremiah 9:17-18

We must repent of our wrongdoing (or lack of doing). We must get on our face before Him and tell Him how sorry we are for being so disobedient. We must apologize for only thinking of ourselves. We must tell Him we are ashamed of our pride and our stupidity in following the ways of man. Seek Him. Seek His face.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2Chronicles 7:14)
Link to 10/9/00 welcome message


10/24/00 Let God Choose
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God."
Isaiah 58:1-2
What? God is reproving the people for transgressions and they are seeking Him daily, delighting to know His ways, did not forsake His ordinances, and take delight in approaching Him??? How can that be?

They were even fasting and praying. Oh, wait, God asks in verse 5, "Is it such a fast that I have chosen?" The people are making assumptions about what God wants. They know what things God wants and are trying to do those things. The problem is that they are doing them from their minds and not from their hearts. They are not seeking guidance from God before they take action. They are doing things for God without God. They are choosing to fast to get their prayers answered. They have not found out just what prayers are acceptable and within God's will.

Verses 13-14 say, "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." Take your own foot from the Sabbath, from God's holy day. Don't step out, thinking you are doing something for God when you didn't find out from Him what He wanted.

People then and people now were and are finding their own pleasure and speaking their own words, thinking they are doing something for God. When you sing a song in church, whom does it bless? (Notice Psalm 103:1 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name" and not bless my soul, oh my Lord.) If you sing special music or give a testimony in church is it because you want to do it or because God told you to do it?

Pastors, is the message that you bring to the congregation one that the Lord told you to bring? If He gave you a burning for something was it to bring forth as a message in church, to bring forth in a Bible study class, to study on your own, or was it just for you to pray over? If you have prepared a great sermon, are you staying sensitive enough to the Spirit to know when you are to change the message at the last minute? Do you have enough faith in God to allow Him to fill your mouth with a last minute sermon for which you have not prepared?

Pastors and teachers, do you feel passion about what you are teaching? Do you allow that passion to touch your students? Do you let the Lord speak through you and to shine through you? Look at the faces of your students. What do you see? Are they hearing human words or spiritual words? You will never be able to light a burning passion in them to seek God's face, but God can. Once they taste Him, truly taste Him, they will never be the same.

Do you ever use the words, "In my opinion?" Do you ever offer up your own translation of scripture? Does your opinion or your translation line up with God's? Has God confirmed that your opinion or translation is the same as His? If not then you shouldn't voice it. You are responsible for your students. Make sure that everything you are teaching them comes straight from God's mouth to their ears. You are a vessel. Fill yourself with the Word and with the Holy Spirit. Make sure that what comes out of that vessel is not tainted with your own human ideas.

Worship leaders, make sure that you are leading worship. Don't turn it into a "Bless me club." When it is all said and done, are the people saying, "That felt GREAT!" or is God saying, "That felt GREAT?"

Anyone who has a ministry of any kind must approach God with a humble heart and ask Him where, when, and how would you have me minister. They must continually ask Him to reveal everything that hinders them from ministering as He would have them. They must be filled with the Word. They must be walking in the Spirit. They must be sensitive to the still, small voice that is God. If they don't or aren't then they may be, "Setting their abominations in the house which is called by [God's] name, to pollute it." (Jeremiah 7:30)

Jeremiah is a good book to read if you have a ministry. Ask God to show you how it may relate to you. Many of the warnings that Jeremiah was giving Judah apply to us today.
Link to 10/24/00 welcome message


12/11/00 Is That All There Is?
"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."
Colossians 2:18-19
Don't let men beguile (fool) you. You can be fooled by trusting in people that seem trustworthy. This scripture speaks to me about Christian leaders including pastors and teachers. The great majority of them are only interested in teaching you the truth about God. However, most of them are going to teach you what they were taught about God. They will be teaching you about things they have not seen or experienced themselves.

They don't realize that they are puffed up in their fleshly minds, thinking they have a good grip on the truth. Yet, they have never asked God to show them if they are wrong. They are so sure that they have the truth that they will often not hear when God shows them otherwise. They are not holding the Head, which is Jesus. They are not consulting Him on the things that they, themselves, have been taught.

The Body of Christ, which is you and me and all other Christians, receives nourishment which is ministered by Jesus, the Head of the Body. As a result the Body increases. It increases with knowledge, with power, with love, and with whatever else God pours into it through Jesus. The Body of Christ does not stand still. It does not get stagnant. It increases.

There is more than what is presented in most churches. There is much much more! If you aren't excited about going to church then something is wrong with the church. If God runs the service then you will be the same as someone who grabbed hold of bare wire that has 110 volts running through it. You WILL notice and you WON'T forget what it feels like! The difference is that the person who got the electrical shock had an unpleasant experience that they won't want to feel again. You will have had a wonderful, supernatural experience that you will hunger to attain again!

Don't ever be satisfied with any teachings about God that you hear coming out of a person's mouth! Always compare what they say to the Bible. Always allow God to confirm what you have learned. Until you have His confirmation it is not fact! Don't settle for status quo! If you feel like asking, "Is that all there is?" then ask! There is no end to the searching for knowledge about God. The only limits that there are on what God can and cannot do are the limits of your mind.
Link to 12/11/00 welcome message


12/18/00 Lukewarm is Bad
"And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil."
Zephaniah 1:12
To be settled on your lees is to get comfortable with the way things are. It originally refers to the dregs that settle to the bottom of wine. If you let the wine sit still, and don't disturb it, then the impurities settle to the bottom. This verse says God will punish people for letting things sit still. Why?

They say in their heart, "God won't do good and He won't do evil either." In other words, many people have not tried to grow in their relationship with God and they don't really know Him. They think that nothing will happen to them. "God hasn't done any wonderful things for me." "I've been going to church every Sunday for years and I don't see anything any different about God." "God won't do any bad things to good people." "God can't get mad at me for doing nothing more than going to church. He is happy that I go to church in the first place." They have opinions about God and what God will and won't do.

People who do nothing more than go to church are lukewarm about God. If they are not trying to find out what gifts and talents they've been given and trying to find out where God wants to use them then they are lukewarm. The message given to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:15-16 is, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

God is not pleased with someone who sits on his lees! He is not pleased with someone who sits back in their pew and allows someone else to hand feed them the Word of God. He is not pleased with people who are content to allow someone else to do the Bible reading and then spoon feed it to them.

He expects us all to develop a personal relationship with Him. He expects us all to read the Bible to find out more about Him. He expects us all to spend time in prayer and praise and anything else that pleases Him. Now, notice what I said. I said, "...anything else that pleases HIM! Most people who are lukewarm are those that treat God like He's a sort of Santa Claus. When they need help they ask for it, yet they don't ever ask Him what He desires.

The important thing is that God notices those that are lukewarm. He doesn't like it one bit. I don't know the full extent of what it means to be spued out of His mouth, but I know for sure it is a very bad thing!! Think about it!
Link to 12/18/00 welcome message


3/12/01 God is Doing New Things
"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. "
Isaiah 42.9
This morning, during my devotional time, I was asking God what Bible study we would be doing this week. If you've never had God lead you chapter and verse to a particular scripture you are missing out on a thrill. I first felt Him telling me that the Bible study would be found in the book of Isaiah. I was wondering how I would narrow that down as there are 66 chapters in Isaiah.

Well, once I emptied my mind and sought Him again He directed me to chapter 42. As I turned to chapter 42 verse nine jumped out at me. Bingo! There it was! That's not always the way He does it, but that was the way He gave me this week's scripture.

Behold, the former things are come to pass tells me that there are lots of things that God had planned for mankind and those things have happened. So, I'm not going to concentrate on that portion of the scripture. We have seen in history how prophecies have been fulfilled. There were 61 'major' prophecies of the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone.

The part of this scripture that is alive for us is, "NEW THINGS DO I DECLARE!" Wow, that gives me goose bumps! God is not sleeping. He didn't take a long nap after the Bible was written! God is wanting to do things here on earth. He wants to do new things. That means we have to be open to anything that He wants to do. We can't close our minds to anything just because we didn't read about a similar occurrence in the Bible. We can't limit God by our unbelief and our pre-formed opinions.

Notice the last part, "Before they spring forth I tell you of them." We have to be listening to His voice. He can't tell us about something new unless we listen. He will tell those that have learned to hear His voice. He will announce things first through His prophets and then He will bring forth those new things. "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) The new things will probably be brought forth through the people that don't limit Him with their unbelief. To read a bit about how God is limited by unbelief you can read the article Let Go and Let God.

Be seeking new things. Be seeking God's will. Be listening for His voice. Ask Him to allow you to see through His eyes. Ask for understanding and wisdom. Get excited. God is wanting to do new things! We can be a part!

Become a Mush Brain! Don't rely on the things that you have been taught by men. Don't rely on the "laws of physics" or by things that you have experienced. God is not like anything that you've ever experienced! Nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 18:27).
Link to 3/12/01 welcome message


8/7/01 Are You Doing Your Job?
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
Psalm 19:14
So often I find myself wondering if there is a church that allows God to do what He wants 100% of the time. I wonder about pastors and leaders that continually follow a set "order of service" instead of asking God questions like, "Should we collect the offering today?" and "Do you want us to sing a different song than what we have planned?" and "Should be give announcements?" and "What do YOU want to do next?"

Yet, as far as I am concerned, there is only one important question. "Lord, what do You want me to say, think, and do about it?" You see, I have no control over what someone else does or doesn't do. I am the one who is not allowing God to do what He wants to do through me if I don't ask Him. He might want me to be praying about something. He might have something He wants me to do or say about something.

As far as I am concerned, if I am not doing what God wants me to be doing, I may be part of the problem I am viewing. I may be part of the solution, also! If I don't do what God wants me to do, how many people am I affecting? How am I affecting the Body of Christ? Perhaps I am the most guilty one of all!

If the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are acceptable to God then I am doing my job. When I see something that doesn't look right, the first question I need to ask is, "What do YOU think about it, Lord?" Then I need to ask Him, "What do you want me to do?"

I have a sphere of influence in the Body of Christ. Sometimes it is small and sometimes it is probably much much bigger than I could ever imagine. It is extremely important that I concentrate on MY job in the Body of Christ. As far as I am concerned, it is only MY job that is important and needful. Everyone else must be responsible for their own job. After all, I will only have to answer for what I did and didn't do during my lifetime. It is my desire to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant."
Link to 8/7/01 welcome message


9/10/01 Spiritual Discernment
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
2Corinthians 2:14
It is impossible for us to receive the things of God while in the flesh. By "in the flesh" I mean while we are using things like the "law of gravity" or the "laws of physics" as guidelines. We cannot rely on the things we have seen in our lives and experienced in our lives as guidelines. We have to get out of our own thoughts, opinions, and observations and get into a spiritual frame of mind.

The only way we can get into a spiritual frame of mind is through the Holy Spirit. It is important that we be reading our Bibles so we can read about the things that God has done that defy the "natural laws." Verse 13 warns us, "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." We have to be able to be open minded to the things of God. We have to be able to not depend on our normal way of perceiving things.

I have seen angels, but not in my natural vision. I have seen Jesus, but not in my natural vision. Someone standing next to me would not see with their eyes what I was seeing. I have heard the voice of God, but not with my ears in the human way. Ten years ago I would not have been able to see or hear those things because I was not seeking to know more about the spiritual things of God. I had an idea in my head of what God would and wouldn't do and that was all I allowed myself to consider.

There are so many things that God wants to do here on earth, but He is dependent on us. We have to be ready and able to receive those things. Verse 9 says, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." There are things we need to be doing to receive the things God has for us.

We need to love Him. We need to find out more about Him. We need to get intimate with Him. We need to allow Him to remove the things in us that hinder our walk with Him. We need to learn how to hear His voice. There are a lot of things we need to be doing. If we choose not to do those things then we are also choosing to not allow God to move in our lives. Bad decision!
Link to 9/10/01 welcome message


10/15/01 What Are Your Priorities?
"And being found in fashion as a man, he [Jesus] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Philippians 2:8
If you had difficulty with my opening welcome message then you are not going to like what I will say next. If you rejected what I said about choosing to love others as you love yourself then you are suffering from pride or greed. One or both of those is causing you to withdraw and protect your "self."

If your response was, "Why should I?" then this scripture answers that question. Why did Jesus come to earth, suffer, and die the way He did? Was it because earth offered better things than heaven? No. Was it because He was masochistic? No. Was it because He would personally gain something by dying? No.

He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us because we are too weak to follow all the rules and laws that God has laid out for us. Despite our greed, pride, laziness, selfishness, stubbornness, and whatever else causes us to sin Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself to make a way for us to be able to enter into heaven when we die.

Examine your life. You are the only one who can. Examine your motives. There is usually a great deal of soul searching that needs to take place in each of our lives in order to determine what our priorities truly should be. In most cases people go with the flow. They think, act, react, speak, and live the way the rest of the world around them does because that is the easy and acceptable route.

God wants more of us that we give Him. Examine the things He has done for you, beginning with offering His Son as a human sacrifice to save you. See if there are some changes you need to make in your way of doing things!
Link to 10/15/01 welcome message


10/30/01 What Does It Profit?
"And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"
James 2:16
As a Christian we have some great responsibilities. It isn't enough to love others even though the second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). As our verse shows we can love someone and wish them wonderful blessings but if they go away hungry and cold we have not done our job.

We can follow the letter of the law and think we are accomplishing wonderful things for God and find that we have not provided what was needed. We can't just be blindly doing things that seem right and seem good. We also cannot do things just because they've always been done that way and perhaps worked in the past.

We need to be continually seeking God's direction. CONTINUALLY! It might not be enough to buy lunch for a hungry person and then leave them with a hug and a "God bless you." God knows what is enough and we don't!

Every day we need to be alert to what God wants to do through us. We need to know what we are to do and say so that we are making a difference in the Kingdom of God!

I will leave you with a final thought. What did Jesus mean in Matthew 7:21-23 when He said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

The people he was talking to thought they were doing things for God. Do you think you are doing things for God? Does God agree with you?
Link to 10/30/01 welcome message


11/6/01 Are You Offering Strange Fire?
"And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."
Leviticus 10:1
Now that sure was an awful thing for God to do! Aaron's sons offered incense to God. God liked to have incense offered to Him and yet their punishment was death! What was that all about????

In Exodus 30:9 God warned the people not to offer strange incense. He had specific guidelines that He expected them to follow regarding incense and sacrifices. He had specific rituals they must follow when offering up those things, as well. He had designed specific clothing they must wear as well as instructions on how to prepare themselves beforehand. In Exodus 31:11 God said, "...all that I have commanded thee shall they do."

God has a plan already and has certain things He wants us to do and particular ways He wants us doing them. We cannot assume, as Nadab and Abihu did, that as long as we are close to doing the right thing that God will look the other way on the details. It is possible to mess up God's plan by stepping in and doing things for God without God's direction!

Even Jesus sought His instructions from God. In John 5:19 Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do." In John 8:28 He said, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me."

God sees the big picture. He has a plan and you are in that plan. Your portion is designed specifically for you. God has equipped you with the tools you will need. Don't busy yourself doing something God has not called you to do.
Link to 11/6/01 welcome message


5/28/02 Confusion and Division Aren't From God
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
1Corinthians 14:33
I've been in a quandary of sorts lately. God has been taking me to a place where I have to admit that I really can't say that I know very much about Him and about His ways.

One thing He has been doing is He has been pointing out how many different denominations there are. Each denomination has a list of beliefs about God that make them different from other denominations. Even in the New Testament there are examples of people believing different things and causing division.

Anyway, there are so many things about God that people have opinions about that there is a great deal of division and strife in the Body of Christ. There are an awful lot of people that make supposedly factual statements about what God will and won't do yet they have no proof of what they are saying.

What they are stating as fact about God is actually their own opinions. They are taking what they have heard about God and what they have read in their Bibles and trying to make sense of it in their human minds. We can't make sense of God and of His ways in our minds. Our minds aren't big enough!

I began to wonder if I was out of order in having a Bible study. After all, my brain is as much human as the next brain! I began backtracking and examining my motives and my motivation. What I found was that God gave me the gift of teaching. Then, He gave me the desire to find out what He wants to teach through me. Often He teaches me something and then instructs me to share it.

There might be things in these study archives that have some of my opinions in them. I hope not. Yet, I am human and make mistakes. It is up to you to examine everything by comparing it to the scriptures and by praying about it. I used to warn my little Sunday school students not to believe everything I said. I didn't want them to get comfortable in only learning about God by listening to some person teaching them. They, too, needed to go to the source... to God and His Word!

God does give the gift of teaching so people can teach about Him. Yet, he places that gift into an imperfect human body.

Going back to differences in opinions about what God will and won't do... let's try to eliminate the divisions. It is up to each of us to examine the difference and compare it to the Word and to pray about it. If we still don't have a clear answer then we need to say, "I don't know." Another thing to do is to examine it and see if it is important enough of a point to argue over. If God wants us to understand something in a certain way, isn't He capable of making sure we understand?
Link to 5/28/02 welcome message


7/15/02 Are Your Words Profitable?

"Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers."
2Timothy 2:14

Have you ever taken a stand about a Biblical doctrine and debated people about it, or pushed your belief onto someone? I imagine we all have.

As we read further into chapter 2 we read in verses 16-18, "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."

They really thought they understood the truth about resurrection. Perhaps they had been taught by someone else, or perhaps they had added their own opinions to partial facts. Whatever it may have been, they erred and they actually damaged the faith of other people!

Sometimes it seems very important to us to convert someone else to our own way of thinking. Sometimes it gets way out of proportion and someone might feel compelled to force their opinions onto everyone else that will listen.

I have encountered that type of situation. I know of a man who was trying to convince everyone that he could that the King James version of the Bible was blasphemous. He figured that since it was generally harder to understand than other versions then it must be from satan! He went around putting his opinions into guest books at web pages. When he put his opinions into my guestbook I prayed about how to respond. My reply to him was, "Are you sure this is the mission that God would have you on, or are you making yourself so busy in eradicating the KJV that you haven't found out where God wants you working for Him?"

We have to find out what is important to God. We have to find out which words we are to be speaking and what things are profitable to others. I'm sure that when you get to heaven you don't want to hear something along the lines of, "What made you think that I wanted you to say those things? What were you thinking? Do you realize that you drove that person farther from Me when you said those things?"

 The most important thing is to find out what God thinks about every single thing before you go around spreading information. After all, our opinions are as valuable as a speck of lint. It is what God thinks that is of maximum importance!
Link to 7/15/02 welcome message


9/9/02 Ministering to God

"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."
Acts 13:2

The key portion of this scripture is "as they ministered to the Lord." In the Old Testament we see many examples of priests ministering to the Lord. (Lev 7:35, 2Chron 13:10, Ezek 40:46) The definition of the Old testament word minister is to attend, as a menial or worshipper; serve; or wait on.

Think about it. They ministered to God. They were giving God what He wanted. As we discussed in the last Bible study, we are a royal priesthood. Get it? WE ARE PRIESTS and priests minister to God and to the things of God!

God desires that we find out what He wants. We know a great deal about what He wants by reading the Bible. Among other things, the Bible shows us how He wants us to treat other people. The Bible is not the only source of finding out what God wants. God is the main source. He is the minute by minute source of guidance in all areas.

One area where we, as Christians, are lacking is in our churches. For the most part church services are designed around a man-made schedule. Most church services follow a set pattern of activities. Also, the main theme of services seems to be people-oriented.

Let's examine worship songs. How many worship songs are about God and His attributes rather than songs sung directly to Him, praising Him and His attributes? How many songs are asking God to do something for us? One way to test a song is to see how many times the song has the words "I," "me," and "my" in it.

God inhabits the praises of His people. How many times has He waited for praise from us? How many times has He listened to songs like, "It's time to praise the Lord" and wondered why we were singing ABOUT praising Him rather than actually praising Him?

The songs are for Him, not for us. We can enjoy songs for us all week long. When we get together as a group let's lift our voices in one accord and minister to God! The times I've seen God descend on a service it is when we were focused on Him and not on ourselves.

God knows what He wants us to do when we come together. How many churches allow Him to take control? If God tells you to stand up does the worship leader tell you to sit down? If you are face to face with the Lord and telling Him how wonderful He is does the usher interrupt and ask you to move so he can seat some late arrivers?

There are a lot of well-meaning church leaders that run the services. There are a lot of people in the congregations that believe that they are doing what God wants because the church leaders tell them that they are. What does God say about it? What is He telling the church as a whole? What is He telling you as an individual?

When you walk into church do you feel God's presence? Does it get stronger and stronger every minute you are there? Are the services always different, depending on where God leads? Does He hold you transfixed when the "time is up?" No? It's time to ask, "Why?"
Link to 9/9/02 welcome message


10/7/02 Speaking and Doing God's Will

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."
John 14:10

Jesus made it clear that He only spoke what God told Him to speak. John 12:49 says, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 5:19 says, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

That's what we need to be doing. The Lord pulled me up short the other day when I was getting ready to tell someone to pray about something.

I was surprised because I know that we should pray about everything. However, the Lord pointed out to me that by telling someone to pray I may cause them to believe that God will answer the prayer the way they want it answered. We can't always have the pat answer of, "Pray about it" for people who aren't walking with the Lord.

We need to get all our words from God. We can't speak in confidence just because we know what we are saying is the best thing. It could be a "right" word spoken in the "wrong" timing.

We must never get locked into any pattern. We must be continuously seeking what God wants at every moment. A situation that looks identical to another may be very very different in God's eyes. Our eyes are limited in what they see.

Examine everything. Don't say something just because it seems right. Don't do something just because it seems right. It might be very very wrong.

We must be in constant communication with God. It is His Words that will make a difference, not ours.
Link to 10/7/02 welcome message


11/18/02 Oneness

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
John 17:20-21

Jesus was praying this about us. We are the ones that know Him through the testimony of the disciples. Let me ask you this, were Jesus' prayers powerful? Did Jesus know the heart of God better than anyone? If Jesus asked that we be one in them do you think God will do everything on His end to make it happen? Yes, yes, and yes!

God desires for all Christians to be one in Him. Why aren't we? Why are we divided up into denominations? Why are denominations divided up among themselves? Why don't different churches within the same denomination make a point of fellowshipping together on a regular basis?

What are the differences between denominations? This one believes this and that while another has its own beliefs. Within denominations you can hear people saying, "I believe this or I believe that." "My opinion is this or my opinion is that." BELIEFS! OPINIONS! Hold everything!!

Do our beliefs and opinions change God in the slightest? Are our beliefs and opinions God's beliefs and opinions? Who is in charge of all of this division? Who benefits from dividing Christians up and keeping them apart? Is God wanting us to stand firmly on the truth and separate ourselves from others who have different opinions on what the truth is? NO! Satan is the one who wants it!

Jesus prayed that we could be one. He wanted us to be one with each other and one with Him and one with God. Since we know Jesus did everything in God's will we know that God will provide a way for us to be one.

Let's begin a revolution. Let's make sure we don't accept the division, opinions, and beliefs that are man-made. Let's start asking the questions, "Is that what God desires? Is that what God thinks? Is that what God told you?" Don't accept those things just because your parents did. Don't accept them just because you admire the pastor. Don't don't don't! Run EVERYTHING past God. He is the one that desires unity. He is the one with the answers.

Are you with me? It won't be easy. Most people wish to remain in their "comfort zone" of knowledge about God. They don't like it when someone "rocks the boat." They don't like hard questions.

Let what Jesus said in verses 14-18 describe you, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
Link to 11/18/02 welcome message


2/10/03 Whose Counsel Do You Take?

"Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin."
Isaiah 30:1

Oh dear, oh dear. Woe to those that take counsel from anyone other than God! How many leaders, teachers, pastors do you hear teaching things that they learned from someone other than God?

We are to prepare ourselves for the job of teaching by being full of the Word that is in the Bible. We also must be in constant communication with God. He is the one who must give us the wisdom and understanding about what we have read. We must be very very careful not to believe something just because it sounds good and because others also believe it.

How many teachers ( I am lumping all who teach into that term... pastors, ministers, Sunday school teachers, and all others) are actually called by God and how many are teachers because of the wrong reasons? By wrong reason I mean because there was a position open that needed to be filled, or because their parents did it, or anything that wasn't God calling them to do it.

There are way too many teachers that are teaching untruths as truth. The sheep, those that listen to the teachers, are lapping it up and probably passing it on. Yes, every individual is responsible for what they believe and what they do. However, those that cause others to stumble have to answer for that as well. We must be very careful that we allow God to teach us. We have to allow Him to reveal the things within us that are not of Him.

We must break out of the comfort zone. We must let go of all that sounds and appears to be good that is manufactured by humans. We must begin asking God, "Is that all there is? What do You want? What do You want me to do and say?"

One reason that people are so easily fooled is because they don't read their Bibles. They have nothing to use as a ruler with which to measure what they hear. We must must must be in the Word. We must absorb it and let it work within us. Whenever we run across something that is difficult to understand we must allow God to explain it to us.

Now don't get me wrong. God did give us pastors and teachers and such. However, we must be able to discern for ourselves whether what they teach us is the truth or not. We are not supposed to be like babies and allow someone else to spoon feed us all the time.

God is the ultimate authority on everything!
Link to 2/10/03 welcome message


2/25/03 Who is in Charge?

"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Col 1:18

Jesus is the head of the body (of Christ). The Body of Christ is the church. Our head is Jesus. The head rules. The head has the brain. The brain tells all the rest of the body what to do. The head rules!

I've seen an awful lot of churches (in the traditional sense.... a group of people brought together under a pastor) where the pastor places himself in the position of "head." There is only one head to a body. All the rest of the body is under the head and there isn't one part that is more important than any other. The head is Jesus.

There isn't any one part of the body under the head that is in charge of all the rest. I've heard pastors say that they are in charge of all visions, scheduling, outreaches, teachers, and all else that "his" church does. I've heard of churches that are referred to using the pastor's name (Brother Johnny's church, Bob's church, etc.)

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
(1Cor 12:12-27)

In the world we feel more comfortable having one person in charge, a person we can see. Plus, in the world, we feel more comfortable having "membership" in a church and only allowing the official members to vote on things and have a say in the running of the church. After all, if you allow everyone to run things they would be a mess.

Hold on a second. Let's rethink this. Let me give an example. I overheard some conversations about a business meeting where a church name change was to be decided. I heard where some people just wouldn't be happy with a new name and others saying they were voting for the new name. So, if the name was important, what name does God want?

I've been to lots of business meetings where everyone had an opinion. Sometimes there was shouting and arguing. I've even heard of police being called to stop fistfights at church business meetings. Why? WHY? What good are our opinions if they aren't God's opinions?

Every church needs to go back to the basics and continuously ask the question, "What does God want?"
Link to 2/25/03 welcome message


4/9/03 Preventing Division

"And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."
1Corinthians 12:26

What does it take for this to actually happen? It takes love and compassion. In order to fulfill this completely it takes the fulfillment of the second greatest commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matt 22:39)

How can we do that? Each person has their own thoughts and opinions. I often think that even if I was cloned I would end up arguing with myself. In order to not create strife and division due to differing opinions it is necessary to, "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Phil 2:3) We have to actually place the other person's wants and needs ahead of our own. We have to decrease.

God has reminded me over and over when I begin to react to things that people say or do that hurt or offend me that it isn't about me. Got that? It ISN'T about me! I am not to consider others based on my own feelings or opinions. I am not to allow myself to become hurt or offended. I am to love unconditionally with the love that God pours through me.

God being able to work through us is the bottom line. We must stay out of the way. We must be open to His will regarding our words and our deeds and even our thoughts.

Satan is going to try to use us to split up the Body of Christ. That's a fact. He's going to try to get us to argue with or fight with others in the Body. Think of how ludicrous it actually is for churches to be destroyed because of differing opinions. Paul tells us in 1Cor 2:16, "But we have the mind of Christ."

Read what chapter three says. Let's not be babes in need of milk. Let's not be guilty of placing our own mind in a higher place of importance than Christ's. Whenever a decision on behalf of the Body needs to be made let's ask God what He wants to do.
Link to 4/9/03 welcome message


2/16/04 What Does God Require?
"And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts."
Malachi 1:8
COMMENTS:  This verse is referring to the sacrifices that the Israelites used to make in the temple.  They were told to offer an animal that was "without blemish."  Apparently they were still offering sacrifices, but they were giving God the animals that were not valuable for breeding purposes or for their own consumption.

Let's apply that to our own lives.  What sacrifices are we offering God?  What are we giving Him?  How much time?  How much effort?  What does God require of you, personally?  It won't be the same requirements as for someone else.  You are the only one who knows what God requires on your part.  Sometimes He wants more time, sometimes more fellowship, sometimes He even wants us to give things we own or members of our families to Him. 

For example:  around two years ago, right after we bought our camper, God told me He wanted me to give Him my camper AND my youngest son, who was 16 at the time.  NOOOOOOOooooooo my heart cried! 

In my mind I pictured a terrible accident where our camper was destroyed and my son killed!  I didn't know what to think!  I didn't know why God would ask for such a thing and I was afraid of finding out.  However, knowing that God was God and that no matter how hard I fought against Him He'd win, I did it.  I was bawling my head off, but I did it.

Well, I still have my camper and my son survived a horrible car accident, so God didn't have plans to immediately take them away from me.  I can only guess why He did it.  Maybe He wanted me to trust Him more or show my love.  All I know is He required it of me.

There are a lot of people locked into a mindset that all God requires of them is that they just attend church and give 10% of their earnings.   I know that isn't the whole of what God requires of any person.  He requires that we be a participating member of the Body of Christ. It's between you and God what sacrifices He requires of you. 

Chances are He won't require the things you don't want or don't need, such as the sick and imperfect animals the Israelites had been offering.  He usually wants our best because He gave it to us in the first place.   Would the equivalent of what you are giving God be satisfactory to your spouse or to your boss? Think about it.  What do you want God to do for you?  What do you ask for in your prayers?  What is He asking you to do for Him?

One final reminder... don't judge anyone else on how much they do for God or what the quality is of their sacrifices.  Chances are He isn't going to show you what He requires of someone else, just what He requires of you.
Link to 2/16/03 welcome message

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