"What's Holding You Back?"

If there was ever a time to move on in the things of God, this is it! But, often there are things in our life that hold us back—sins and addictions, feelings and emotions, offenses and unforgiveness, and haunting memories of days gone by. In this message, "What's Holding You Back?," I talk about those actions and attitudes that can hinder our spiritual growth and offer some thoughts about how we can move past those things into a closer walk with God.

"You've stayed long enough at this mountain. On your way now. Get moving...." ~Deuteronomy 1: 6,7 (The Message) 

Played: 57 | Download | Duration: 00:45:27

"The Coming Revival"

“The United States will be saved only through a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I see the seeds of a movement of evangelism and the Holy Spirit that will sweep across the nation from sea to shining sea. Our nation is in desperate need of revival. The solution won’t come from the White House, and it won’t be fixed through the polls. It will only come from Jesus.” ~Reinhard Bonnke

"The Question of Forgiveness"

It was about a year or so ago that I began to see a number of posts on Facebook stating that, "all our sins have been forgiven—past, present, and future."

To be honest, I had never thought about future sins being forgiven in advance of a person actually committing them. I have always been of the belief that, if a person sinned after they were born-again, repentance and confession were required to receive God's forgiveness. The concept of "pre-forgiveness" was a new one to me. Certainly, I don't know everything, and I feel I'm open to be taught, but, with the knowledge of Scripture that I have, I've had trouble reconciling this and some other teachings with God's Word.

In the last few months, I have witnessed an marked increase in the number of declarations and discussions (and some ugly arguments) about forgiveness of sin, judgment and condemnation, law and grace, among other things. The matter has exploded on numerous websites, blog sites, and in Facebook posts. At times, the discussion has gotten quite heated and, sadly, has been the cause of much division in the Body of Christ.

As I began studying this teaching, I discovered that much of this "new doctrine" was being promoted by Joseph Prince, in his book, "Destined to Reign." (He also deals with this subject in his subsequent book, "Unmerited Favor," which, is pretty much a re-write of his first book.)

So as not to be ignorant on this matter, I spent about six weeks reading, studying, marking, and highlighting what Prince wrote in regard to God's grace and forgiveness. What I found were some liberating truths that I, myself, have been teaching over the past 35 years. But, I also found many questionable statements and some things that clearly contradict the teaching of Scripture. I also have spent considerable time reading a variety of articles and blog posts, both pro and con, and watching and listening to messages from a variety of folks.

I will be addressing some of my concerns primarily in audio messages posted here on my devoBlog. It is not my intent to attack a particular person or ministry, even though I felt it was necessary to refer to Prince's writings.

The Word of God warns us, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1), and, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

True freedom only comes by continuing in the Truth of God's Word. I pray that as you listen to these messages that the Holy Spirit will speak Truth to your heart. I might add that, if in anything I speak or write I am found to be in error, I pray that the Spirit of God would open my eyes to the Truth, also.

think on these things...

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all* who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~Romans 3:21-26 (NKJV)

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~Colossians 2:13,14 (NKJV) 

“And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ~Acts 26:14-18 (NKJV)

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. ~1 John 1:5-2:2 (NKJV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~James 5:13-16 (NKJV)

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. ~Hebrews 3:12-13 (NKJV)

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~Hebrews 10:26-31 (NKJV)

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.~Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)

"The Question of Forgiveness"

Played: 63 | Download | Duration: 00:55:16


"The Weapons of Our Warfare"

Satan's most effective weapon against humanity is "The Lie." The believer's greatest weapon against our adversary, the Devil, is "The Truth." In this message, I borrow from the United States Marine Corps Book of Strategy, "Warfighting" to gain insight into the tactics our enemy uses in his attempt to discourage, defeat, and destroy God's people. When we understand and use the spiritual weapons that God has given us, we can be assured of victory in Christ!

think on these things...
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
~ 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 (NKJV)

Played: 176 | Download | Duration: 00:50:27

Where is the Love?

"Unselfish love, generosity, brotherly affection and sincere kindness is just as much a manifestation of the Spirit as healing or miracles. In fact, powerful signs and wonders are more likely to happen in an atmosphere that is bathed in Holy Ghost love.

"Could this be the reason we don’t see as many supernatural manifestations today? When we are smug, hypocritical, bitter, harsh, judgmental and hateful, we totally short-circuit God’s power." ~J. Lee Grady

True Authority

"If we have seen nothing before God, then we have absolutely no authority before men. All authority depends on what we have learned and known before God." ~ Watchman Nee, "Spiritual Authority"

"Fight the Good Fight!"

When you are born-again into the family of God, you are going to come under attack from spiritual forces "hell-bent" on destroying you. If you're going to thrive and survive, you're going to have to know how to fight the good fight of faith. This message will help get you on the right footing and get mentally prepared for the inevitable battles that come to all those who have given their hearts and lives to God . (Recorded **LIVE** at The Sanctuary of Dublin, 05/19/12)

think on these things...
"This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck."  
~1 Timothy 1:18,19 (NKJV)

"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier."
~2 Timothy 2:3,4 (NKJV) 

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
~1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)

Played: 127 | Download | Duration: 00:40:06

"Birthing a Revival"

Here's my message from Mother's Day 2012, at The Sanctuary of Dublin. Although, it's not a "typical" Mother's Day message, I do believe it's a word that could help us experience a much-needed release of God's power and glory in our nation, cities, churches, and homes. In this message, I also share some great thoughts from Francis Frangipane. If you are not familiar with Francis' ministry, I encourage you to check out his website here.

Played: 80 | Download | Duration: 00:39:59

Reaching a Post-Christian Culture

"...we must shift our strategy from trying to call a once-Christian nation back to God and refocus our efforts to thinking of ourselves and our ministries as the early Christians did under Roman domination. The former leads to shrill cries of prophetic judgment against a people who once knew God and should still. The latter acknowledges that the culture has long since ceased to be Christian and determines to win the hearts of those under its influence through love, grace, demonstrations of miracle power and service. Fail to make this shift and we will find ourselves ever more marginalized and ineffective in the days to come.

"The promise: For those who will receive it, a determined remnant is about to experience an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will prepare and propel us into these coming days as a people ready to shine as lighthouses of hope, healing and salvation in the midst of growing darkness. It is a season of equipping for signs and wonders, of character change in the deepest reaches of our hearts and lives, of learning the ways of God and of refusing compromise at any level. It is a time for awakening."

~ R. Loren Sandford, founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver.

God's View of You

"...a Christian's standing before God does not depend upon his standing before men. A high reputation does not make a man dearer to God, nor does the tongue of the slanderer influence God's attitude toward His people in any way. He knows us each one, and we stand or fall in the light of His perfect knowledge." ~ A.W. Tozer

Chance of Rain

This track is from an extraordinary time spent in worship one Wednesday night at The Sanctuary of Dublin. Nancy Clark played piano and I used a Yamaha WX-5 controller and VL70-m module to emulate the flute, clarinet, cello, violin, and harmonica that you hear on this unrehearsed, "play-as-we-go" melody. I added the sounds of an afternoon spring thunderstorm that I had recorded a few days earlier.

Played: 229 | Download | Duration: 00:15:09

"Repent, Rinse, Repeat"

I learned a lesson on repentance the other day when I was in the shower. Since none of you were there (at least I don't remember seeing any of you there), I thought I'd share it here with you.

think on these things...

Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God's Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God's creation, says:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

“Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! —Revelation 3:14-19 (MSG)

Played: 131 | Download | Duration: 00:07:12

Take60: "Spiritual Fitness Checkup"

think on these things...
"Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next." —1 Timothy 1:4 (NLT)

Played: 202 | Download | Duration: 00:01:00

Keeping Our Focus

"But the most important issue we face today is the same the church has faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ? In other words, will we give priority to Christ's command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become inner-directed or outer-directed? The central issues of our time aren't economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature, and our calling is to declare Christ's forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this." —Billy Graham, (Christianity Today, from an interview with Sarah Pulliam Bailey)

Take60: "A Way of Escape"

think on these things...
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. —1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Played: 201 | Download | Duration: 00:01:03

Realities of Our Redemption

I will be posting messages here from a new series I've titled, "Realities of Our Redemption." It is absolutely essential for the believer to know what transpired when they invited Jesus into their heart. Unfortunately, many have not come to see the miracle of the new birth. It is my prayer that the eyes of your understanding might be opened to see the wonderful works of God.

think on these things...

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,the eyes of your understanding* being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty powerwhich He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. —Ephesians 1:15-23

01 "Revelation" (Part One)

Played: 163 | Download | Duration: 00:43:39

02 "Revelation" (Part Two)

Played: 82 | Download | Duration: 00:53:28

03 "Redemption" (Part One)

Played: 70 | Download | Duration: 00:48:06

04 "Redemption" (Part Two)

Played: 86 | Download | Duration: 00:48:38

05 "Redemption" (Part Three)

Played: 55 | Download | Duration: 00:44:42

06 "Identification" (Part One)

Played: 66 | Download | Duration: 00:45:42

07 "Identification" (Part Two)

Played: 67 | Download | Duration: 00:44:09

08 "Identification" (Part Three)

Played: 62 | Download | Duration: 00:50:15

09 "ReCreation" (Part One)

Played: 62 | Download | Duration: 00:41:48

10 "ReCreation" (Part Two)

Played: 67 | Download | Duration: 00:50:53

"Attitude Adjustment 101"

Hugh Downs once said, "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." So true. In this message I share some thoughts on how you can change your attitude to meet every challenge you face in life.

think on these things...

"To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You..." —Psalm 251,2a (NKJV)

"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." —Luke 21:25-28 (NKJV)

Played: 90 | Download | Duration: 00:29:23

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"What the World Needs Now"

think on these things...
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)

Played: 79 | Download | Duration: 00:35:59

"Amazing Grace! Grace! Grace! (The 5:55 Story)"

God has many ways to communicate with us earthlings. Here's an unusual but totally true story of how He used a digital clock to speak a reassuring message of His grace to me. You'll also hear a really great musical rendition of "Amazing Grace" by singer, songwriter, and musician extraordinaire, David Payton. (Can you imagine what "Amazing Grace" would sound like by The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Eagles, or, how about Jimi Hendrix?) You won't want to miss this! (For more about David and his music, you can check him out here.)

think on these things...
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (NKJV)

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, "This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying , 'Grace, grace' unto it." —Zechariah 4:6,7 (KJV)

Played: 138 | Download | Duration: 01:09:12

Join the Resistance

"I have had times in my life and ministry when the burdens and the pressures seemed to be too much. Sometimes physical weariness adds to our problems and our temptation to give in to discouragement and doubt. At these times it seems that even in prayer it is impossible to rise above the load. More than once, by faith that seemed to have been imparted directly from heaven, the Lord has enabled me to claim all that I needed for body, soul and spirit. On my knees I have been given freedom and strength to pray, 'Now, Lord, I have had enough of this. I refuse to take any more of this heaviness and oppression! This does not come from God—this comes from my enemy, the devil! Lord, in Jesus' name, I will not take it any longer—through Jesus Christ I am victor!' At these times, great burdens have just melted and rolled away—all at once.

"Brethren, God never meant for us to be kicked around like a football. He wants us to be humble and let Him do the chastening when necessary. But when the devil starts tampering with you, dare to resist him!" —A.W. Tozer, "I Talk Back to the Devil"

think on these things...
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. —1 Peter 5:8-10 (NKJV)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." —Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)

"The Darkroom"

There’s a price to pay if you’re going to follow Jesus, and to tell you the truth, there will be some dark times. But, it’s through such times that God works to develop your character and bring forth the image of His Son in you. Welcome to “The Darkroom." I pray you'll see the light.

think on these things...
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. —Hebrews 13:20,21 (NKJV)

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. —Philippians 1:3-6 (NKJV)

"Strange as it may seem, we often win over our enemies only after we have first been soundly defeated by the Lord, Himself." —A.W. Tozer

Played: 95 | Download | Duration: 00:49:06

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"Wait Training"

So, you've prayed and nothing has happened. What do you do from the time you've prayed and the time you receive the answer? Well, here are some thoughts on that question. I pray that God will open your heart to receive His Word as you listen to this message that I ministered Sunday, November 14, 2010, at The Sanctuary of Dublin, in Dublin, Georgia.

think on these things...
Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. —Hebrews 10:35,36 (NLT)

Played: 109 | Download | Duration: 00:48:44

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Some Assembly Required

I receive an email devotional from Rusty Howser. Rusty pastors a church in Vidalia, Georgia, where they grow those deliciously sweet Vidalia onions.

But, I digress.

Rusty always has an encouraging word to share, but, his thought for today is especially timely, as many believers have decided that they can pretty much "go it alone," when it comes to living the Christian life. I encourage you to take a moment and think on these things. The fact is, we need one another to fulfill our purpose and destiny as God's people. There are many more things that I could say about this, but, for now, I'll just let Rusty take it from here...

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" —Hebrews 10:24,25

"A lot of people are in the habit today of not meeting with other Christians. What a mistake this is! Some say, 'I don't have to go to church to be saved,'and they're absolutely correct. But that's not the point of gathering together. We gather together to encourage one another for starters. If you were to read the two preceding verses you would find out that it's to encourage one another,' to hold fast to our confession of hope,' and, 'to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.' Wow! Those things are vitally important to our growth as Christians.

"We need people around us that  are going to encourage and lift us up all the time. We need to have people that we encourage and lift up. It's a body that's stimulating each other to do the best it can so that the whole body works efficiently. That's what it's all about. Ezekiel called it, 'an exceedingly great army!'

"Some people sit home and are members of the bless me club. You know, 'I want to receive a blessing,' but you're not worried about anyone else. You turn on your favorite TV Evangelist and you get your socks blessed off. That's wonderful! But if the foot is blessed but the big toe is broke, the foot's function is going to be limited. It won't function properly.

"So, assembling together is not about us, it's about family. God needs a strong healthy family more then ever, so what are you waiting for? Getup off your posterior and go find a bunch of believers that you fit into and become the vital part that you were called to be! You'll be blessed, but, better yet, others will be blessed because of you!" —Rusty Howser

UPDATE: Here are some thoughts inspired by Rusty's post that I shared at The Sanctuary of Dublin, Sunday, November 21, 2010.

Played: 68 | Download | Duration: 00:15:26

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got faith?

Played: 116 | Download | Duration: 00:40:01

think on these things...

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." ~1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." ~Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" ~Luke 18:8 (NKJV)

Have You Discovered "It"?

Mary discovered "it." Have you discovered "it," yet?

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won't take it away from her.” —Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)

How to Manifest the Glory of God

Part One: "Show Me Your Glory"

When Jesus performed His first miracle of turning the water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, it is recorded in John's gospel, that, He "manifested His glory and His disciples believed in Him." When I read this a number of years ago, I stopped and thought that, maybe if God's people would manifest—or reveal—the glory of God, folks might be more inclined to believe in Jesus.

This is the first of a series of messages to help you manifest the glory of God. I pray that God will speak to your heart as you listen and that by His Spirit you would begin to shine the light of His glory in the darkness of this world.

think on these things...
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus’ first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him. —John 2:11 (NLT)

So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. “Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”—Exodus 33:17-23 (NKJV)

Played: 353 | Download | Duration: 00:42:19

Less is More

"If you desire more of God, you might try giving Him more of you." —RG

think on these things...
“He must increase, but I must decrease." —John 3:30 (NKJV)

You Can Quote Me

A few years ago, I was awakened early on a Sunday morning, picked up a notebook and pen, and began writing. Maybe something here will speak to your heart.

It’s true that the mind is a spiritual battleground. But it could be thought of as a playground, tooand the devil has his favorite rides.

Be aware of the times in which God speaks to you. For me, it is often in the waking moments.

God loves you, not for what you do, but for who you are.

The devil is not a creator—he is a perverter of the good things God has made.

It took the Apostle Paul a while to figure this out, tooit’s all about trusting in the grace of God.

Just about the time you think you’ve arrived...

Without God, you can do nothing of eternal consequence.

Find one person consumed with a vision for God and I’ll show you a thousand who couldn’t care less.

Seek not sympathy from the crowd. The suffering of others is great sport for the masses.

There’s always at least one Judas in the crowd—that’s true of Jezebels, too.

You’ll not know if your life has been successful until you hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

True faith is not a leap in the dark, or a step out onto thin ice. True faith rests firmly on the unchanging, eternal Word of God.

Make sure your dreams are God's dreams for you—your thoughts, God's thoughts about you.

It’s not only what you do for God that's important—but why you do it.

If you are led by the Spirit of God many will not understand you, some will applaud you, a handful will admire you, and a few may want to kill you.

There are some things that God will speak to you or show you that are for you alone. Treasure them in your heart.

If God has spoken it, He will bring it to pass—but most likely not when or how you think He should.

As you grow with God, you will be amazed that the more you come to know, the more you’ll realize how little you really do know.

The world buys opinions—the wise seek Truth.

Following Jesus is an adventure of faith.

It’s true...if you don’t use it, you will lose it.

To grow, eat. To grow strong, eat and exercise.

The most profound truths are really very simple.

“If” is the biggest word in the Bible.

There’s always a reason people act the way they do.

One of the scariest thoughts for the public speaker is, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Give most of your time to the most important things.

Being led by the Spirit is the surest way to success and prosperityand persecution, too.

There is one sure guarantee in this world—God’s love.

It’s one thing to believe in God—another to trust Him.

Many people find the way—only a few walk in it.

Criticism can hurt—but praise can prove deadly.

There’s always time to do the things God wants you to do.

The two most important things in life are knowing God's will and doing it.

Never make lists of pros and cons. Instead, be led by the Spirit of God.

God is not influenced by opinion polls—and you shouldn’t be, either.

If you think God’s not watching or listening, well, you just don’t know God.

The gifts that God has given you are not for you—they are for you to give to someone else.

The highest calling in life is that of a servant.

It’s not how you learn, but what you learn that’s important.

There’s nobody else in the world exactly like you—and that’s probably a good thing!

Change is not always for the better.

Things that seem of little importance to you may be very important to someone else. Take time to listen.

I am convinced that nothing in life happens when you think it should or ever turns out the way you imagined it would.

Lessons from the Revolution

I ministered this message Sunday, July 4, 2010, on the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I hold in high esteem the 56 men who put their names to this document, and for their courage and commitment to the cause of freedom. If not for their conviction, sacrifice, and dedication, this nation would be a far different place than we know today.

There are lessons that can learned here that are relevant to the Church, also. It will take a similar dedication for God's people to fulfill the mission to which she has been called. It is my hope and prayer that she will rise up and give herself to the cause of Christ, even as these brave men did for freedom.

I began this message by reading the entire Declaration of Independence to the congregation. I have not included that portion of the message here, but, encourage you to follow this link and read it for yourself before listening to the audio file.

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"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America,in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." —from the Declaration of Independence

"Until and unless the Church fully commits herself to the cause of Christ with the same type and measure of dedication and determination held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, she shall remain powerless and of little or no consequence in the world. Either she will find within herself this courage of conviction, or she will acquiesce to the will of the oppressor." —Randall Gearhart

"You need not be defeated by anything unless you consent to be. If you throw your will on the side of victory, then the whole of the Universe of reality throws itself behind your will, releases it, reinforces it, redeems it—and you. You are caught up in a tide of victory, and nothing can stop it except your refusal to cooperate." —E.Stanley Jones

Played: 74 | Download | Duration: 00:15:51

The Gospel According to Music

For any of you who once lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, back in the late 70s and 80s (and for the rest of you, too), you might want to check out Kevin Grady's, "The Gospel According to Music" Facebook page. Kevin was a pioneer with his GAM radio show "back in the day." I know this will bring back some memories for some of you as you revisit contemporary Christian music's early days with some of it's most innovative artists and bands. Enjoy!

Recapturing the Spirit of Worship

"The gospel as preached by good men in our times may save souls, but it does not create worshipers.

"Our meetings are characterized by cordiality, humor, affability, zeal and high animal spirits; but hardly anywhere do we find gatherings marked by the overshadowing presence of God. We manage to get along on correct doctrine, fast tunes, pleasing personalities and religious amusements. How few, how pitifully few are the enraptured souls who languish for love of Christ....

"If Bible Christianity is to survive the present world upheaval, we shall need to recapture the spirit of worship. We shall need to have a fresh revelation of the greatness of God and the beauty of Jesus. We shall need to put away our phobias and our prejudices against the deeper life and seek again to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He alone can raise our cold hearts to rapture and restore again the art of true worship."  —A.W. Tozer, "That Incredible Christian"

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The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”—John 4:19-24 (NKJV)

What is Freedom?

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As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'' They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, `You will be made free'?'' Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." —John 8:30-36 (NKJV)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. —Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

"The ideal Christian is one who knows he is free to do as he will, and wills to be a servant. This is the path Christ took; blessed is the man who follows Him." —A.W. Tozer

Played: 107 | Download | Duration: 00:50:05

"Only Believe"

The truth be told, you can talk yourself into or out of the blessings of God. Faith-filled words produce life and dispel the darkness. Words of doubt and unbelief will keep you from enjoying God's best. Fact is, there is no greater compliment that you can pay God than to take Him at His Word. Only believe—all things are possible to the one who believes.

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"Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?'' Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'' —John 6:28,29 (NKJV)

Played: 76 | Download | Duration: 00:41:17

"Stirred, Not Shaken"

"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you....For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." —2 Timothy 1:6,7 (NKJV)

"David said it all: 'I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he's right by my side. I'm glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I've pitched my tent in the land of hope.'" —Acts 2:25,26 (The Message)

Attitude Adjustment

“We who have lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked though the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedom—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstance—to choose one’s own way.” —Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning'

Service vs. Services

"I am convinced that God is more interested in our service to Him and to others, than He is in our church services."  —RG

Loving God

If lovin' God is wrong, then I don't wanna' be right. —RG

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. "Let's put a catchy message on our Dixon-Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils to help kids remember to stay away from drugs." And so they did.

The upstate New York pencil pusher made their point by stamping the slogan, "Too cool to do drugs" on their writing sticks, and they were sent throughout the land. This was thought to be a noble idea. But, alas, 'twas not.

One day, an observant fourth-grade student noticed that as he sharpened his pencil, the message changed from "Too cool to do drugs" to "cool to do drugs" to"do drugs!"


This is a great example of "The Law of Unintended Consequences"at work.

In an article from The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Rob Norton defines the law this way:

"The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or 'unintended.' Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it."
Yes, choices have consequences. Take those pencils for example—what a wonderful way to get a positive message into the hands and in front of the eyes of young, impressionable children. Uh, erase that! Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all. Maybe somebody should have thought this through a little more. Just maybe...just sayin'.

Now with this unfortunate misstep in mind, everyday we make decisions that affect our lives and the lives of others, and it's impossible to anticipate or predict the resulting outcomes of our choices. What seemed like a good idea at the time can yield disastrous consequences in the long run. That's sobering and even scary! That's why we need God's wisdom to make the right choices. When we seek, ask, trust, and obey, God has this amazing way of making "all things work together for our good."

You may be facing a major decision in your life today. I encourage you to seek God first—and don't make a move until you've heard His voice.

"Remember the Ticonderoga!"

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If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do. ~James1:5-8 (NLT)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28 (NLT)

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." ~adapted from a line in "To a Mouse," by Robert Burns

This Blood's For You!

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For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time. ~1 Timothy 2:5,6 (NLT)

So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world. Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place, but not the blood of goats and calves. He took his own blood, and with it he secured our salvation forever. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people's bodies from ritual defilement. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. ~Hebrews 9:11-14 (NLT)

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. ~Hebrews 9:24-28 (NKJV)

Played: 735 | Download | Duration: 00:35:29

Power to the People

In this message you will discover how determined faith can place a demand on the life-changing power of God.

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And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. For she thought to herself, "If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed." Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed! Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" His disciples said to him, "All this crowd is pressing around you. How can you ask, 'Who touched me?' "But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed." ~Mark 5:25-34 (NLT)

One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord's healing power was strongly with Jesus. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to push through the crowd to Jesus, but they couldn't reach him. So they went up to the roof, took off some tiles, and lowered the sick man down into the crowd, still on his mat, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." ~Luke 5:17-20 (NLT)

Everyone was trying to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and they were all cured.
~Luke 6:19 (NLT)

Played: 754 | Download | Duration: 00:40:02

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