January 1, 2016.
RESOLUTIONS vs DECLARATIONS for 2016.
As 2016 starts, tradition dictates we set new year resolutions. For most of us, we will be resetting the goals made at the beginning of 2015 if any at all. Whether these goals was to lose weight or some other goal. For the most part, we go through the motions not really expecting much to change just like all traditions, like turkey on Christmas Day. It is these traditions that keep us all comfortable and participating enough not to have eyebrows raised or make an impact on those around us. Traditions are good to give stability, reference and history, but tends to fall short on progress and improvements. Should tradition control or we control.
To be resolute is to work towards while making a declaration is to establish.
Jesus did not make resolutions (intent, plan, pledge), but declarations ( pronouncement, proclamation, edict); and one of His most ardent one is declared in Matt. 10:34; where He proclaims a "sword", used as a metaphor to separate, distinguish and divide. He wasn't working towards this, but would be establishing it. As Christians, if we are the same at the end of the year 2015, with no accomplishments (personal or otherwise, especially within the Christian context) or no new goals for 2016, we are no different than the world and we should reflect on ourselves, on having the Mind of Christ. A few questions to test this is; do you sit in the same spot (area) in your church every Sunday; do you check your watch to see if the pastor is keeping within the allotted time for service and has your influence within your circles improved or remained the same. Probably, the most important standard of measurement in your walk for Christ is how more bolder you are about your faith. Jesus was active, proactive and never missed an opportunity to speak/demonstrate the word and love of God.
Change first starts in our mind, and having the Mind of Christ (God's/Jesus's ways of doing things), ultimately means we are to develop and apply His abilities/anointing when He walked the earth for we already have them (Eph. 1:3). Christ in three years of ministry demonstrated the embodiment of Christianity. He gave us the examples, belief and authority and foretold in John 14:12; we will do "greater works" than He did. We have been given the same anointing (skills, abilities) as Jesus. f Jesus had a resume while on earth, it may read something like:
Jesus Christ - Son of Man, Word made flesh, Son of God
To use all I all been given in the pursuit of the goals and purposes as directed. A deep focus to accomplish my tasks,
while maintaining the standards set and uplifting those I work with.
Positions Held - Light Bringer, Champion of Truth, God's Ambassador.
Conflict Resolution - Ability to listen and clearly identify issues, applying solutions.
Leadership (independent) or Servanthood (team player) role by keeping in focus the purpose of the task.
Oral and physical demonstrations to motivate, set standards, goals and scheduling through charisma, people skills and understanding of individual needs.
Organization and team building skills
Able to perform under pressure, even went confronted by opposition, ignorance and deception.
Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding.
Confidence and Faith.
Accomplishments - Hope, Purpose, Victory.
References - The Bible, My Blood, All Christians.
These and other attributes of His Life reflects on who and whose we are to declare God's will whether at home, work, church, play or ministries. Jesus had to be committed (a declaration) and implement (belief to accomplish the declaration) God's purpose to draw people to Him and ultimately point them to the Father and to drive the wedge between failure/compromise and winning/victory; (Matt. 5:16, 45; Matt. 10:20; John 14:9). Jesus had an earthly spiritual mission and His implementation was at the physical level but not limited to it. In other words, nothing spiritually was accomplished without first addressing physical issues and manifesting solutions that resolved and paved the way for hope, belief and conviction and for others to duplicate. His purpose was not to overpower us with a show of God's awesome abilities, thus making Victory seem unattainable for us. What He demonstrated and re-established, is that Christians, in our current physical state have access to spiritual skills/abilities/gifts just as Jesus to impact our environment, the world; through victory after victory. We just need to put in practice all He taught and establish the Kingdom through Faith, Grace and the Word.
Christians are to rid themselves of all the lies and deceptions of satan since Adam fell and come to the realization that once Jesus ascended into Heaven; He commissioned us to be the standard for all aspects of the human body, mind and spirit. Jesus, after commissioned by God by the anointing, disciplined His mind, body and spirit by fasting for forty days in the wilderness; and through His ministry kept His abilities through prayer, mediation, knowledge and the spirit. We have 365 days to discipline, declare and apply our faith.
Now to be clear, there is more than what's outlined here and being committed to Godly positive changes in our life is ultimately in our hands and no one else. One of our first declaration should be is to "Seek the Kingdom" whole heartily, and not just rely on Sunday's 30 minute bible summaries, and by energizing ourselves to be curious, dedicated and committed to know God's word and walk by Faith in it, all the while making declarations to have the "Mind of Christ".
Like all declarations, it is helpful to surround yourself with a mentor, coach, to guide and support your commitment. This is part of being empowered, not thinking one can do it on one's own strength. Jesus gave us the perfect person to do this, the Holy Spirit (Matt. 10:20; John 15:23; Luke 11:13); who has direct access to God Himself. So if you intend to make resolutions instead of declarations, be mindful the former keeps you a part of the crowd as does tradition, while the latter separates and brings the victories the Bible and Faith assures.
Flush it out !
No one achieves true victory without sacrifice. Don't just make the finish line, but vigorously cross it !
The Empowered Christian Faith
January 7, 2016
Get a Grip !
Whenever I read Colossians I kind of go through a mental checklist of my Christian walk. This book really energizes me. The Colossians faced dissension and confusion within their ranks. This was due because they allowed the mixing of the true Faith with other religions and laws. Sounds very similar to what's happening now in our world. They were willing to accept the easy parts of Christianity and not deal with the challenging aspects. Today, it's known as PC (political correctness). As Christians, we have no middle ground to take our stand. God, Himself, states in Rev. 3:16, "I will spit you out!" for being lukewarm. Now, God is Love but also of Justice and He can't compromise His own Words and Commandments. What many face in their daily walk; the Book of Colossians presents and gives Hope, Faith and Victory by empowering to fight the good fight of Faith, knowing without any doubt the Grace given to us, and that we are the beloved of God.
As the final Battle looms closer, one of the enemy's strategy will "turncoat" many who are not grounded in Faith to the Truth of Jesus Christ. This he does insidiously right under our noses. The enemy has already armed his forces to seize the lost and imprison them by using those who have fallen away, 1 Tim. 4:1, " latter days some shall depart from the Faith". This is inevitable in all wars over sovereignty.
To defeat the attacks, we must be filled as indicated in Col 1:9, "with knowledge in all Godly wisdom and spiritual understanding, walking worthy of Him, being fruitful in good works, strengthened, patient, joyful, and thankful in being partakers of His plans delivering us from the power of darkness".
This can only be done, when we personally take the necessary time with Him, His Word and apply all He tells us to do. There must be times allotted for the mediation on the word, prayer, fellowship and study. For some of us, it means reducing or even eliminating secular media, sports and even church time; yes, church time. Attending church and being involved in ministries with no personal spiritual growth actually puts many in the enemy's bullseye, because it's easy to fill these roles, thinking that it's sufficient to defend you against attacks on your Faith. Now, I am all for good works and starting a feeding program for the homeless was fulfilling and does have it's place, but did it save that person; did it get them out of the prison they were in because they lacked all that Faith demands and could do for them. All that was filled was the flesh, so the flesh became the focus. But to have Victory, it must first start with the mind because our war is not about the body, but the mind and ultimately the Spirit. Eph. 6:12, "spiritual wickeness.". We need to protect our personal Faith, not by defensive but offensive measures.
Every day, there is some new ideology, lifestyle, diet, etc. (like the Jedi Religion) meant to drain our resources and time away from God, just as in the Colossian's time, Col.2:8, threatening to chain and cheat you of your reward that is in Christ Jesus. These types of philosophies are deceptions, leading to enslavement and back to the curse of death. They are another form of the law for which we are made free by the blood of Jesus. Yet, many say what can it hurt to try out something different or similar to Christianity. Don't you see; being "lukewarm", "open" is the lure that starts with curiosity, but eventually leads down a path of unrighteousness, (based on God's view, not man's). God gave us a one time choice between death or life, not a 'get out of jail' free card as we please. We want God in our lives, then we should be accountable to Him.
You see, never in human history, is man in full grasp of self determination. With rapid advances in technology, communications, and medicine, including practical space explorations on the horizon, it seems there is no need for a higher spiritual power, and the hope, faith found in the Savior, Jesus Christ. "Babylon" (Gen.11:4) is now more possible with all these advances and as before man seeks to magnify himself greater than God.This has been satan's goal all along. Colossians in chapter 3 encourages us to keep our focus on things above of God, solidify our faith, determine to express the persona of Jesus in our life, setting the right example for Church, Family and Community and stop swaying from old to new man. Every journey leads towards victory or defeat, the former is ensured by our attitudes and actions to the ultimate desires. In this case, Heavenly Salvation, and Birthright !
The walk of Christians today should not be caught up in man's laws which changes constantly, but the commandments of God which are eternal. We know from the Word that these things must happen before Jesus returns, so getting caught up in worldly affairs can lead to many leaving the Faith because of taking things in their own hands. Jesus said in Mark 12:17, "render to Caesar his stuff and to God, His stuff." So when Christians, break the law of the land thinking we are standing for God; we crucify Christ all over and make His work of no effect. The fight is not physical, (unless in immediate life or death circumstances) but spiritual, and God's Victory is not helped by us fighting "as man would" for a battle that is not ours to win. Ex. 14:14. "Be still, the Lord fights for you". We must seek to continue Christ's foundation and unity of the faithful through Love, first with God, the family, and then the church, thus becoming the "new man"; having all Grace, Spirit and Mind of Christ. To be clear, Godly morals is like a flag that Christians wave, but not a spear to impale causing fatal results.
The world, your enemy, will not change when we fight at their level, but as Jesus demonstrated He went about as God directed Him to do, allowing the Spirit to convict those who listened, seeing Him through the Word and with miracles yearned for Salvation. We stay vigilant, prayerful, walking with wisdom and grace onto all good works prepared for the move of the Holy Spirit of God. Col 4.
Paul wrote this letter from prison and knowing what happened, did not charge the Colossians to evict those causing the trouble, but empowered the faithful to strengthen their own declarations and redeem the time with love. (not putting themselves in strife, thus withholding the blessing of God).
Flush it Out : Victory, personal or otherwise can only be achieved by single mindiness and purpose.
December 31, 2015.
Christmas, A Season of Rejoicing or receiving Gifts!
Jesus; seated at the right of God is the very best present we can receive and give for celebrating Christmas. Sure, having the latest trend in gifts is always exciting, but eventually it fades as quickly as the next trend emerges to distract us from the reason for celebrating Christmas.
As we are empowered by the word and our faith in living as Christians, is it not more uplifting to have and see our Lord and Savior as the victorious Messiah rather than keeping him in a manger with no crib for a bed. Don't get me wrong, I love the season but more than that I want to honor the Lord as He truly is; Son of God, the Word made flesh, the King of Kings, the Lion of Judah ready and waiting at the Father's command to take His bride, conquer and dispatch the enemy (satan) and his forces, and retake the land.
Let's be clear, God is not impressed by all these lights, killing of trees and stuffing ourselves while there is work to be done for salvation. If anything those who use this opportunity to have people saved are certainly on His list of those deserving of His gifts. God's reason for the birth has no indication that it is to be a secular celebration in remembering Christ's birth, but God's purpose is a continuation of His redemptive plan since Adam gave away his birthright to satan. But, you say baby Jesus got gifts from the wise men, so it must be okay to give gifts to each other on Christmas Day.
Well, as Christians we ought to be knowledgeable about events being established and without getting into another topic, Christmas or Christ's mass was originally a pagan holiday, just like many other traditional church holidays throughout the year. Yes, we can argue the pros and cons of adopting and converting pagan and secular acts for the propagation of the faith, but is it biblical and did our God endorse it. Gifting in itself has no merit until we assign the reason behind it, just like money. Gifts were brought to Jesus at His birth by eastern men studying prophecies to honor and show respect for Him because of His Divinity and also for His preordained life. They were not given not just because of His birth, but more because of His purpose, the Savior of the world. Just think, if you knew the baby you had was born for the 'sole' purpose to invent a cure for a fatal disease, saving thousands of lives, wouldn't you be more reverent of your baby for the great work that they would be doing and look to make a significant act to honor your baby rather than giving gifts for giving sake for a single day. The wise men gave gifts to do just that. Gifts considered priceless, uncommon and worthy of Jesus's life's work on earth and in Heaven.
Today, Jesus's work of salvation continues because of why He was sent not because of who he is and what day He was born on. These details matter little if all we do is treat Christmas Day like another day off, a reason to get things and to self indulge ourselves. Let us put the proper perspective on Christmas Day by separating ourselves from what the world does and look up to the right hand of God, to Jesus; knowing the true reasons Christ had to be born of a woman, give His life and empower us to continue His work till He returns.
ChristnMe @ 2013