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Be Blessed. 
Just a snippet of my new study, "Habakkuk: A call for revival. "
When Nehemiah heard of the condition of his people, the community and his nation, he mourned. Do we look upon these and mourn for the condition of our people, our communities or our nation? Does it bring tears to our eyes, or do we get so caught up in the anger and strife of the moment and just react. Reacting does not help rebuild. Reacting only causes more destruction. Revival causes true construction in rebuilding. “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 shall I hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their lands.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) It takes a form of repentance to rebuild. We mourn. We mourn the condition of our people. We mourn for the lost souls out there killing one another, doing drugs, prostituting themselves, getting shot down, suffering in poverty, frustrated, disheartened, no faith, no hope, no joy, no direction, no knowledge, no vision, and mostly no God. We mourn for them. We weep for them.
We mourn our communities full of lost people. Broken communities. Communities made up of broken homes, unemployment, government dependent, drug infested, crime overridden, and Godless. We mourn for the men who are searching for purpose. We mourn the women who are beaten, battered and abused. We mourn the children who are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. We pray for the elder who are ignored and disrespected. We must mourn and weep for our communities.
We mourn a nation. I will not say “our” nation because I no longer belong to this world. We are a nation of God’s people and in our condition, we must mourn. We, the church, have forgotten our power. We have forgotten our purpose. We have forgotten our joy. We have forgotten our mission. And because we have done this, we are becoming an impotent nation. The walls of our faith are broken down. The walls of our fellowship are broken down. The walls of our fortitude are broken down. The walls of our favor are broken down. Our gates have become burned and we have no censor. We must mourn. We must weep. We must repent. We need REVIVAL!
 Study on Acts 10
Acts 10 is a very interesting chapter and one I encourage all to read, study, meditate and think on. Here are our notes:
We see here, the beginning of the Salvation message and ministry being extended to the gentiles. This chapter starts off with describing, what we would say is a religious or spiritual individual, who believes in God, but has not taken the steps toward salvation. He knows to pray to God and even has the correct behavioral aspects, but does not have that right relationship needed for salvation. The scripture says he is devout and a prayerful man. Him and his household are givers and possess a prayer life. God recognized it and commended Cornelius for his dedication and faithfulness. Acts 10:4, “…Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” God then gives him instruction of what he is to do. Send for Peter listen to what he says.
This shows me that it is extremely important that we preach this salvation message to all. It also tells me that it is important that we pray for those who feel they are not in need of a savior. We know who they are. They pray, or that is what they say, they are generous people, will even give the shirt off their back, but do they know Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen from the dead? Do they know him as the only begotten son of the Father? Have they repented? Were they baptized as laid out in the scriptures? If God thought it was important that they be taught correctly and instructed into salvation, then the same speaks true today. Especially now, in a world that is trying to say they have no need of Jesus, salvation or even religion. Where have we gone wrong that to be saved is dreaded and YOLO is the accepted norm? When preaching Jesus is a pariah and preaching sin as acceptable is acceptable?
God has always wanted all men to come to repentance, and now is giving Peter this vision. In this vision, God lowers a sheet and on this sheet he has all manner of beasts. Clean and unclean, were represented. This was indicative to the Jews being the chosen race to God having a chosen people. What God is revealing that whomever God has chosen to be cleansed is not to be rejected. This was important to show Peter because Peter, being a Jew, still functioned according to the laws that he was accustomed to. God was showing him that he was to work beyond the limits of the law and extend his message of mercy beyond what he was used to.
What we see in the end of this chapter is the reason why we preach the message of Christ. Let’s recap. Cornelius is a good man, prayed, gave, influenced yet still didn’t know or believe in Jesus Christ. God directs him to send for Peter so the message of the Gospel can be preached. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is a reminder that it does not matter if you feel you are a good person. It doesn’t matter if you don’t lie, cheat, steal, fornicate, or kill. It doesn’t matter if you give to the poor, or feed the homeless, or house the widow and the fatherless. If you don’t know Jesus as your savior and Lord, then you are condemned. Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Peter preaches the Gospel and then the Holy Ghost falls on Cornelius and his household. This is a two-fold outpouring. One, it gives evidence and fulfills the prophecy said in Joel 2 where God said he shall pour his spirit out upon all flesh. Two, it was done so that Peter would be reassured that he had done the will of God.
Let us follow this in light of scripture. Read Romans 10:8-15:
(8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach;
Cornelius, being the devout, praying and giving man that he was was close to salvation. The word, being the word of faith in Christ, was close to him. Even in his heart but he needed direction.
(9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Cornelius did make such a confession. Scripture shows no proof. Also there is no evidence of his knowledge of Christ. He may have heard thru history or the “pipeline”, but no one has preached to him the story of Savior, Jesus Christ. How he died for our sins and that he rose again. So with no confession and with no belief, Cornelius was not saved…yet!!!
(10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
Please do not confuse what you are reading. This scripture is not stand alone. You cannot just think yourself righteous and you are, but it is conjunction with all the scripture. Belief in Christ and your faith active will make you righteous in Christ; but with that, confession must be made as well: and that confession is of Jesus Christ. Cornelius could not make that confession because he had no knowledge.
(11) For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Praise the Lord, that if my faith and trust is in Jesus, I will not be disappointed. Nor will I be rejected.
(12-13) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
It makes no difference who calls upon the Lord, he is no respecter of persons, race, creed, color or sexual orientation; if you call on Jesus for salvation, he will answer. There is salvation for all who call upon his name. Cornelius needed to know who to call on. Yes, his prayers were memorials unto God, but he needed to call upon the name of Jesus for salvation.
(14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Oh, now we get to the crux of the matter. How could Cornelius call upon Jesus if he had never heard of Jesus? As devout as Cornelius was, as much as Cornelius prayed and how much he gave, he did not know Jesus Christ. In fact, he had not heard of Jesus as we have heard of Jesus. To him, it might have been a rumor or even an ol’ wives tale; but to us, it is the power of gospel leading unto salvation. And why had Cornelius not truly heard the Gospel, because no preacher told him. No one opened the scriptures to Cornelius. Oh, but if you keep reading Acts 10, you will see the love and mercy of God. He calls upon his bishop, his chosen one, Peter, and who better.
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Peter was sent. Cornelius was told who to call and Peter was told to go. How beautiful is the work of God. He sets everything up. He is always working for the salvation of his creation.
And then lastly, we have what most people still fight doing to this day. They were baptized according to the commandments of Christ. They baptized in Acts 2, they baptized in Acts 3, 7, 8 and believe it or not, Saul, who later becomes the Apostle Paul, was baptized in Acts 9. Now we see it here again. Read and tell me if you think we do not need to be baptized
 

 Judge not, lest ye be judged! -Series 1
Apathy: destruction of the Body-As a man of God, follower of Jesus Christ, ordained to the work of the Kingdom and lover of all that God loves, I want to address a growing epidemic I see in the world; and especially among Christians. I say growing epidemic, not because I took an actual poll, but because I have heard it enough to sicken my spirit. Worse, to hear it leave the mouth of those who say they love Jesus Christ. This epidemic is called Apathy. What is Apathy? Apathy is a lack of feeling or emotion; impassive. It also means a lack of interest or concern, indifferent.
Nowhere in the bible have I read that this mentality, whether towards the world or, especially, towards those of the household of faith, is acceptable. In fact, since we were created in the image and likeness of God, and God so loved the world that he gave his Son, and that even while we were yet sinners Christ reconciled us back to himself; how could we ever develop such a selfish attitude? How does one recognize this attitude? Listen for it. You will hear it. It will sound like this: “I’m not God, I can’t judge.” Or, “I won’t judge, it doesn’t affect me.” This attitude has even been perpetuated by those who hate correction with the ever popular statement, “You’re not God, you can’t judge me.” To make matters worse, these individuals try to get spiritual and want to quote the only scripture they believe has meaning for them: Judge not, lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1) Well, I wanted to know what God says on this matter. So, if you want to know as well, then take a little journey with me as we travel through time, space and dispensations, to find out what God truly says about judging.
When I started this quest, I started by asking all the important questions: What does judging mean? What did the word mean when used in the texts? What are the Aramaic/Hebrew usages? What was the Greek usage? Were we given the right to judge? What are we to judge? How are we to judge? Why should we Judge? When should we judge? Who can we judge? And I am sure I may have missed a few more, but I wanted to be thorough. So, if you are still willing to read on, let us begin our journey.
First, let us define what to judge or judging means. If you look in the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, you may find this definition:
1) To form an opinion or conclusion about.
Under this you may see a list of words which are called synonyms, which mean different words with the same meaning. This list includes words such as:
Conclude Decide consider 
adhere think deem view deduce gather infer Gauge estimate guess 
surmise reckon
And so on. All these words mean to judge. More definitions are:
2) Regard as, look on as, take to be, rate as, class as
3) Give a verdict on
4) Decide the results of
I wanted to define the word “judge” because some people may have no clue what it really means or they use just the one version of the meaning, not truly applying the correct word to the situation. By definition, judging or to judge could be applied in many ways. That goes with any word usage. For example; “Fear the Lord” To the unlearned, they would wonder why we would love a God that we are afraid of. However, if one were to look up the word fear, you would also find it to be defined as to have awe or great respect for; reverence. Now, to my spiritually deep people, I did look up the Hebrew and Greek for the word “judge”. I will apologize now for not having any of the other dead sea scrolls with me in this study or the lamb skinned bible with the actual blood of Christ used as ink with me, but I used prayer, meditation, the King James Version of the bible and the good ole Strong’s Concordance. The word judge, as used in context by our apathetic people, in the Hebrew is Shaphat, which is used in the Old Testament text. This word means to pronounce sentence or to vindicate or punish. Please look closely to that word and its usage so you can fully see what God is saying. The Greek word is Krino, which is the same word in Hebrew and also means:
1) To properly distinguish that, decide by implication, to try, condemn, punish
2) To avenge, conclude, condemn decree, determine, esteem
3) To separate, put asunder, to pick out, select
4) To be of opinion
5) To determine, resolve
Even in foreign languages, the term to judge could have multiple meanings. However, we must look into context of the whole and not just the part. In other words, what does God expect of us concerning our brothers and sisters in Christ and the world.
Am I my brother’s keeper? SERIES 2
The epidemic of apathy that is running rampart in our churches has given us a gross misinterpretation as to what we, as Christians, ought to do concerning one another. This all started back to the very first man and woman to ever exist. Look at Adam. It has been taught and we read that while Eve was having a discussion with the serpent, Adam was there; listening! It seems, even then, when we see our people flirting with the devil, we just stand and watch. We think that it’s their decision and it won’t affect us. Yet, when it does, we play the blame game for our condition. (Genesis 3) That problem then filters down to our children. Look at Genesis 4, If God can see a problem and says something about it, we ought to have seen it as well. By simply looking at the scriptures and using common sense, we know that Adam and Eve had to have been a part of the sacrificing that day, as well. If not, Cain would not have waited to kill his brother. With that being said, where were the parents at, to affirm what God had said? Where was the instructing and educating necessary for righteous living from the parents? They just stood there and said nothing. APATHY!!! So Cain kills Abel and God calls him to the carpet. What do we get; more apathy. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In today’s term, Cain would have told God, it’s not my turn to babysit him today. God wasn’t having it. He calls Cain to the carpet and what does Cain do? Cry, “Oh that’s too harsh. That’s not fair." Why you crying? All that mouth and apathy, why you crying?
Looking out for our brothers and sisters has always been what God has expected us to do. As we read further in the bible, we see how some got that revelation while others didn’t. Moses was not apathetic. InHebrews 11, it says that Moses didn’t even allow luxury to sway him to not be concerned for his brethren who were in slavery. In Exodus 2, we see Moses going to action when one of his brothers was being abused by an Egyptian. Moses slew the Egyptian and I am pretty sure the other man was very grateful. That is how we are today. When we are getting beat up by the world or those things that are enslaving us, when a brother or sister comes and aids us, we are grateful. But look what happens when Moses comes across two brothers fighting one another. Instead of giving ear and gaining some wisdom, no, the one, probably the one he helped earlier, turns on Moses and says, “Who made thee prince over me that you should judge? What, you going to kill me too?” Sound familiar?! You are not God, you can’t judge me. Yet, when I judged the world earlier you were all amens and throwing bills. If your brother cant correct you, then who? God!!! If you were listening to God, then your brother wouldn’t need to say anything.
Suffice it to say, God knew of our selfish tendencies and put in place two simple laws. Two conditions that, on paper, seem easy as pie, but its applications are impossible without God’s Spirit. Love God with all thine heart, soul, and strength. We profess that part easy enough and sometimes we show it. Love your neighbor as yourself. This is the one we hear the screeching of tires. You feel the rumble and hear the growl of “Jake” breaks. The awful smell of burning brake pads permeates the air, when it comes to following this law. This law interrupts the apathetic condition. We can write several books on how to love one’s neighbor, but to judge we may be desperate to find a decent paragraph. Loving ourselves is easy. If we find ourselves going left, we correct ourselves and start to go right. If we get heavy, we start exercising and eating a proper diet. If our hair is too long, we go cut it. If it’s not right for us, then we correct it. Why?! We want to go to heaven, we want to live longer and we want to look good. Now, if we can love our selves like that, then why is it so hard to have that mentality for our brothers and sisters? We can no longer adhere to the “you are not God” statement. Nor do we use it. We cannot say that their choice doesn’t affect me, because if I love them like I love myself, then if it would bother me, then it bothers me for them as well. Well, that doesn’t cover someone’s sexual preference or the behavior of their children, or what I choose to wear or what I can say or do. In fact, doesn’t the bible say worry about your own salvation with fear and trembling? Yes, it does; and yes, I do. But if you allow me a moment of your time, I will show that by looking out for you will cover looking out for me.
**FULL SERIES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN MY NEW BOOK "THOUGHTS FROM THE PEW" SOON TO BE RELEASED, PLEASE STAY TUNED.

 Acts-Study of the acts of the Apostles And the Early Church
Chapter 2

Who is in the text?

120 in upper room, devout Jews in Jerusalem, The Holy Ghost, 3000+ newly converted saints

When does this text take place?
On the day of Pentecost, which if the Feast of un-leaven bread, which is a remembrance of when the Jews were freed from Egypt. Held a couple times a year. Christ was crucified during one of the times this festival was held.

 What is happening in the text?
1 – The fulfillment of scripture by the outpouring the Holy Spirit evidenced by the speaking of other tongues.
2 – The one of two times the question of salvation is asked and answered. First sermon of the first church.
3 – The first altar call, 3000+ souls saved
4 – Actions of the first church
House to house, breaking bread, continuing in the scriptures, benevolence.
What is the key verse(s) in the text? What does this verse tell you?
Acts 2:1-4 - This is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is God in us. The power behind holy living.
Acts 2:37-38 - This is salvation laid out in plain English.
Acts 1:41-47 – Actions of the First church

Going house to house, breaking bread, continuing in the doctrine of the apostles, benevolence
After prayer and meditation of this text, what did God reveal to you?
The Holy Spirit is for us.

The church is not the building.
Salvation will require an act of faith
I want to briefly address my last study note, “Salvation will require an act of faith.” Now I do not claim to be Baptist, Apostolic, Pentecostal, Methodist, Lutheran, Holiness, or any other denomination based on a particular interpretation of scripture. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ as not only the Son of God, but as God, Himself, in the flesh. With that being said, Jesus, before he ascended, left us with a mission. Do we know what that mission is? let me remind you:
Matthew 28:19 

Go ye therefore, and
1 – teach all nations
2 – BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
3 – teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…
Mark 16:16 

Go ye into all the world and
1 – preach the gospel to every creature.
2 – He that believeth AND IS Baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned….
Now I see a common denominator in these two God inspired (2 Timothy 3:16) renditions of Christ’s commandments. It seems to me that this common denominator is essential to what he wanted for all creatures. Yes, folks, I am talking about baptism. In my study, we addressed it because it was asked why. Now of course we could take it Romans, and Galatians, but why when we can take it back to the Word of God, himself. So in this quick study, I want to show you how important it is to God and that we, as the church, stop treating this act of faith as some secondary requirement and make it the essential element that it is.
Peter, Bishop of the first church, preached his first sermon on the day of Pentecost. Right after the Holy Ghost had come, evidence of God’s prophecy and promise, and many were saved that day. But my highlight is on the results of the sermon. He preached, and men asked what must we do to be saved, his response was simple; REPENT, and be ye BAPTISED in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Notice the response from the man who walked with Christ, ate with Christ and loved Christ. REPENT and BE BAPTISED. Yet I will hear in churches today that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Need I refer back to what Jesus commanded or what Peter Preached at the Altar call.
Or let me go to Peter’s letter to the churches and highlight this portion of scripture:
I Peter 3:17-21
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE US (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
God has always had that in his plan. Look at Genesis as a whole. We have creation with man, then sin, then repentance. Where, you ask? Many scriptures of the New Testament say he that calleth upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Yes? Genesis 4:26 “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” REPENTANCE. Then in the next following chapters we have the Flood. The whole earth encompassed by water. Full emersion of the earth after repentance. HMMMMMM we have repentance and then full emersion in water of the earth. And Peter said REPENT AND BE YE BAPTISED… HMMMM I Peter 3:21. Not enough. Look at the positioning of the TABERNACLE. You enter the tabernacle and the first place you hit is the altar. Which is the ALTAR OF REPENTANCE. where you made sacrifice for your sins. And after the altar was the LAVER. A huge pool with a mirrored column so the priest could WASH their body cause they were not allowed in the holy place with blood on them. You want more. Look up the laws and see that a lot of them when sacrifice was made, the people were to WASH. More?!?!?!
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 3000 baptisms in one day.

Acts 8:36-38 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunich said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believe with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. and he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunich; and he baptized him.
Acts 10:44-48 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
I don’t need to go on any more. Baptism isn’t a fad of Christians but a necessity. Let’s stop the madness and get it right.
REPENT, BE YE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN

Chapter 3
 Many times, we have gone to church “lame” and wonder why we don’t the breakthrough or blessing we need. It’s time we stop begging for handouts and start receiving what we need in the name of Jesus. Last night’s study was on Acts 3. It was a good group discussion with many viewpoints given about the chapter. From have faith in the name of Jesus to repentance and salvation. I will share what I taught on last night.
In Acts 3, we see a story on prayer and breakthrough. It starts off with the hour of prayer. No, not an hour of prayer, but it was the time of prayer. The story goes on to say that at this time, every day, a man, lame since birth, would be placed outside the temple gate to beg. Peter and John, on their way to the temple, were stopped by this man. Peter tells the man to look at him and the man looked with expectancy to receive alms from them. Peter then says I have no money to give, but what I do have I will give, In the name of Jesus get up and walk. It says that Peter then took the man by the right hand, and the lame man leapt up and stood. Then he began walking and praising God all the way into the temple. It’s an amazing story and an amazing lesson for us all to learn.

Lame means to have a body part or limb so disabled that it impaired freedom of movement. Story says this man was lame since birth. So all he did was stand outside the church and beg. And notice the time, during the hour of prayer. Many of us are lame in the spirit and instead of entering into the hour of prayer, we will settle just to beg. This man spent his whole life in a lame state of mind. When he stopped Peter and John to ask alms and was bidden to look, the first thing I want to point out is that he looked with expectancy.
Matthew 21:22 says that we should go to God in prayer with expectancy. However, what we expect should not be what will not help us. If your prayer be in the will of God, then expect it to be done. I say the will of God, because money is not the answer. Yes, money is a necessity, but it is not an answer. Money would not have given him what he expected all along. Money would have still left him lame. Money would have kept him still begging outside the church. Money would have kept him in bondage to his situation. The healing of power of God in prayer does much more that money.
Look what God did that money could not. It says when Peter took hold of him by the right hand, it could mean that Peter took hold of the lame man in the power that was invoked by the name. It says the lame man lept and stood. It says that the lame man walked and praised God. . Lameness prevents you from praising God. Lameness prevents you from walking in his designated path for you. Lameness will keep you from leaping to the next level. Lameness prevents you from standing on God’s Word.

Lame also means lacking needful and desirable substance. Lameness leaves you lacking needful substance. It prevents prayer. He was outside the prayer room begging instead of Going to God in prayer. It prevents devotional study. During the hour of prayer, the holy scripts were read, in which he never heard or read, “By his stripes we are healed.” It prevents worship and corporate worship. Before his healing, he neither praised God for what he already had, nor did he fellowship with believers. All which are needful in the Christian walk. Lameness leaves you lacking in desirable substances. Lameness prevents blessings. Because of his mindset, he was missing out on the blessings of God that come through prayer. It prevents miracles. Because he never prayed, he never sought his miracle. It prevents breakthroughs. He was mollified in the spirit to beg in his current state instead of praying to move beyond his current state. It prevents release from bondage. He lived in his lameness which kept him in bondage in the mind. All those truly desirable things we pray for and want from God.

Enter into the hour of prayer, seeking God’s will, not money.

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 The Lord revealed some truth last night that I want to share. But, first let me say that I am so grateful for the few young people who came out. These men and woman are a blessed group of young people and I see the Lord using them mightily in the kingdom. We had awesome fellowship and that followed by an awesome word of encouragement.
Last night, we just allowed the Lord to lead us in the study and we came across a favorite of mine. The story of the “Talents” can be found in the gospel of Matthew and that is where the Lord revealed a truth that is inspirational and encouraging to all who can grasp it. We began with discussing about ministry and especially street ministry and the hip/hop and R&B gospel genre. We talked about how God is moving these genres to do more worship in their music. Yes, you can instill worship in these styles of music. We talked about how we need to minister more Jesus in the music and get away from style and flow. The Lord then led me to talk about the parable of the talents. While I was laying out the story, God gave me a revelation. Let me show you.
The story is in the Gospel of Matthew. I will give you the Mike Jones consolidated version, but I urge you to read the texts (Matthew 25:14-30). It says that a king was to take a journey and he called his servants to him. He gave them “talents” to use for the increasing of his kingdom while he was gone. It says that to one, he gave five, to another, he gave two, and to the last one, he only gave one. We know the story. The one with five gained five more, the one with two gained two more and the one with one hid his. It says that when the king returned, he called them to give account. And we know the rest. Now, I want to do a shift in thinking here. Just for a moment, I want us to think outside the norm of what we always hear. When I was given revelation on this parable, I believed the “talents” didn’t just represent money. I used to give them actual talents like singing, preaching, teaching, and the such. And I used to say the servant with one talent would look with jealousy and didn’t think he had enough to do what the others had. As I told this story last night, God illuminated something. I told the story and said that there is one talent given to us that is common to all. I said the servant with five had singing, preaching, teaching, musician and his testimony. I said the servant with two had writing and his testimony. The last servant was just given his testimony. As I began to talk about how the last servant didn’t think he was good enough to have earned the other talents, God said “Why do you think I would only give him one talent?” And as I thought on the talents I listed, and noticed the singular talent common to all, my heart jumped and my eyes lit up. I, then asked the study group, Why did God only give him one talent?
God gives talents and gifts to all as he sees fit. Talents are really just aids in the work of the ministry. We can sing without music, but a musician adds to the worship. Bible says we need no one to teach us, but to sit under someone who has dedicated time and prayer to studying the word so others may get an understanding is added help. Bible says how can anyone get the gospel and be saved unless there be a preacher and him sent, but he is just an added help. However, Revelations says that we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the musician, or was it the preacher, or was it the best-selling author. No!!! It says we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. That one talent given to every servant of God; that one talent given to every born again believer for the use of the kingdom. What God was showing me was that the servant with one talent was just as powerful, if not more powerful and influential as the servant with five talents. God told me that all he needed was his testimony. That all he needed to do was tell the story of his testimony, of how God changed his life. The story of his encounter with Jesus.
I write this to encourage us all. like the servant with the one talent, we all have this same talent. Let us not look at what others can do. Let’s not focus on what talents we do not possess. Let’s not look less at ourselves because we don’t have the voice of Tamala Mann, or can play the organ, the drums, or bass; we don’t have to preach like Bishop Dickerson or teach like Pastor Wilson; we don’t have to rap like Lecrae or Bizzle; or be a Pastor/Author like T. D. Jakes to be effective in the kingdom. All we have to be is Romans 1:16 or what is now termed 1 1 6, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. We should not hide the talent in the earth, the earth being ourselves. We should not be ashamed to just simply testify of the grace of God on our lives. No one can tell that story as well as you can. No one can portray the emotions of being saved like you can. No one can tell that story like you can. The woman at the well, despite her past and present situation, despite her reputation in the city, and despite her hang-ups, she testified of her encounter with the Messiah. She told it so well, the whole town came out to see Jesus. That is what he wants. Tell the story. Don’t worry about gifts and talents except the one that is the most powerful. Tell someone today how Jesus changed your life. It just might change theirs.
Love you all
Pastor Mike Jones

 Trust-Part 2

Trust – assured reliance on the quality or state of being physically, mentally, legally and spiritually able.

When it comes to trust in a relationship, the reliance on one’s ability is important, as well. Ability to do what, you ask? The ability to do SOMETHING. More often, we see more and more, and hear of it often, how a man is sitting at home while the woman is at work. This was not how it was to be intended in the beginning. Genesis 2 shows that God put the man to work. He set him to work in the garden. A woman was not even the issue until God saw that the man was willing to work. We, as men, have gotten lazy. We stopped trying to excel because we want to see a woman do it. Now, I am not saying women shouldn’t work, or even excel in the work place. But God forbid that the woman should take the man’s place as the provider. Get up and go to work. And women, stop accepting the excuses of lazy men. Stop laying with them producing children and then complaining about the lazy man, you knew who was lazy, on your couch at home. Stop getting with immature men. Stop getting with the local thug because he may seem to have some pseudo clout. And for God’s sake, find a saved man. A man who fears God and will love you as Christ loved the church.

And let me address the men. Get up and go to work. Flip a burger, pick up trash, mow a lawn, do something. And when you do get that job, let God present you with the right woman. Stop picking up on the low self-esteemed woman. Stop getting the loose woman. Stop choosing the angry woman. Pick a godly woman, who will lift you up, support your ministry and respect you. Notice, I didn’t say strong woman. Why? Strength comes with submission, support and respect. If they so strong, they have to tear you down to be lifted up, then they are not for you.

Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O Sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Laziness does affect trust. As the scripture says, a lazy person will become poor. A person who is a procrastinator is a lazy person. Last minute people are lazy people. Why? How? The ant works while it is yet light, sound familiar. Gathers when its time to gather. It doesn’t wait til it feels like it. doesn’t let the other ant do it. its does its portion for the whole. In a relationship, each person must work to benefit the whole.

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Stop with the excuses. Stop making up stuff to not do what you are supposed to do. Excuses affect trust. There is no reliance on you if you continually make excuses for your laziness.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Stop thinking about it and be about it. Dreamers only do that, dream. Be inspired by your dreams. Take your dreams and put them into action.

I Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the Laborer is worthy of his reward.

Similar to the rule of sowing and reaping, working and getting the fruit of one’s labor is at work. In relationships, this has always been a crucial part. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. What you allow, is also what you will receive. Laziness produces poverty, diligence produces wealth.

God has always had ability. He possesses the ability to speak everything into existence. He has the ability to part the red sea, hold the sun for a day, to turn back time, to heal the sick, to release those in bondage, to save our souls. He is an answerer of prayer. God has never fail to act on our behalf. God is not lazy. If there is one thing I know, we can rely on God’s ability.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


 Trust-Part 3

Trust is assured reliance on the quality or state of being strong; the capacity for exertion or endurance.

Continuing with relationships and trust, we see another quality of trust that may and is sometimes confused. Reliance on the strength of a person does not equal how much they can physically lift or pull. It’s not about how hard their body is or how many times they go to a gym. Even though, we may want someone who is physically capable, but is that all we require. Relationships are more mental and emotional rather than physical. Having the capacity to exert and endure is more than running a mile. It’s running until you “drop dead. “

Another factor in relationships and the strength aspect of trust, is the capacity to exert. To exert means to begin, to establish, to direct something. I believe, as a man of God, that it is the man’s place to exert the meaning of relationships between him and his prospective help-meet. In the beginning, Adam established the relationship (Genesis 2:23-24), even though it was arranged, there was no courting or getting to know Rebekah before Isaac saw her, came to her and took her to his mother’s tent, did what married people do, proclaiming her as his wife (Genesis 24:62-67). Jacob worked for Rachel, but he knew what they were to be before they were actually married. And don’t get it twisted, Rachel knew as well because she waited for her husband 14 years. Think about after 7 and Jacob was already married to her sister, she could have married someone else, but she waited because Jacob had established the relationship.

However, strength doesn’t just rely on starting but also maintaining as well. This is a form of fidelity. As you can see in most relationships in the bible, there was no “trial run”. They didn’t test drive the “car” before purchase. They didn’t date for a year to get to know one another; they married and spent the rest of their lives getting to know one another. That takes endurance. They endured hardships, temptations, famine, barrenness, war and death to maintain their marriages. Strength is more than starting, it’s enduring. Its staying loyal in the midst of temptation. That does not just play in male/female relationships, but to the character of someone as well.

Genesis 39:7-13 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by the garment, saying, lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

Strength is more than muscle; its character. Now some of us have had to rebuild this character and that thorough Christ, but a trustworthy man will be as Joseph and resist temptation to the point that real strength will make a man run away leaving behind his clothes as opposed to indulging in sin and betrayal. May we all have the strength to exert and endure as Christ has. From birth to the Garden of Gethsemane, where his strength was truly tested, to the Cross, where His strength was shown, let our strength in Him show us truly trustworthy.

Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 Trust-Part 4-Trust is the reliance on one’s truth.
Still talking relationships, we have reached the age old question, what is truth? By definition it is the sincerity in action, character and utterance of a person. Now this is an eye opener. Sincerity is the primary thing in trust and in relationships. It’s the why in the action. It’s the question sometimes hard to answer. Why do you want me? Why don’t you want me? Why do you do what you do? What do you want? What do you expect to gain? Just ask your significant other this question. It’s not a quick answer. At least it shouldn’t be. It brings to light the motive behind the relationship.
Many times, I have heard how some have been tricked into doing things they normally wouldn’t do or shouldn’t do because of three words. I LOVE YOU. Did their actions show it? what was the motive behind the words? Pure and simple, sometimes they say it just to get what they were after to begin with. Sad, but true. Relationships have begun and ended quickly and hurtfully because of those three words without action. Look at the definition.
Sincerity in character. We talked about how character was a factor in trust. What the person was about. What their reputation said about them. Sincerity in action is ability and strength as defined in trust. Lastly is utterance. Power of the tongue. Words. Pure and simple, just words. We need to start instituting the actions speak louder than words mentality. This part of trust is all about action and motive.
The best way to cover this is to go to my favorite story of motive and action in the bible besides the Cross. Jacob and Rachel is a wonderful story of trust in a relationship. In Genesis 29, we see the love story between the two. Now watch trust in action. Jacob told Laban, Rachel’s father, that he would work seven years for Rachel. Laban agreed and Jacob worked. Notice, Jacob did not get the girl merely on a promise, but worked. So he was at work and the Lord had already presented him a help-meet. The story goes on to say that after the seven years, the wedding happened and unfortunately, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Sincerity in action, utterance and character. Jacob told Laban he was wrong for the trickery and Laban gave an excuse. Jacob loved Rachel so much, he worked another seven years for her hand. Now this is a wonderful story that exemplifies trust on both parts. Allow me to show you.
Jacob loved Rachel so much, he was willing to do whatever it took for her. It wasn’t about his flesh or trying to get in her skirt. It wasn’t superficial but true love. His actions said I love her. His words backed up by his actions said he loved her. His character said he loved her. Its easy to see that. But Rachel was just as trustworthy to Jacob. Let’s say Rachel was 14 when they first met. Jacob says she will be his wife(exerting his strength and establishing the relationship). So she waits. She walks in the knowledge of who she is, a woman betrothed. She turns down all other suitors. She is part of the young ladies group who wait for their husbands. Seven years pass and to her horror, the man she is betrothed to is married to another. Worst yet, her older sister. Rachel is now 21. By this time, her friends have married and born children. In her custom and time period, she is an old maid. Unmarried and shamed by her father. By all intensive purposes, she has lost clout amongst the singles. She, technically is free to marry another. She could let her emotions of rejection and wounded pride allow her to just find any man and be his. She could have been in an abusive relationship, but because she was jilted, she could have adopted the idea of no one really wants her but this guy. She could take the abuse feeling she has no other options. Sound familiar. However, she doesn’t. Why? Jacob reassures his love and devotion to her. He was working for her. He was still pursuing her despite her social status and the whispers among the people and family. Jacob wanted her and his character, words and actions told her so. So she, in turn, upped her game. She waited. She trusted him and would prove herself trustworthy. So at the ripe old age of 28, she married the man she loved.
The truth in Jacob’s action led to the truth in Rachel’s. It wasn’t about what he could get at the moment. He worked and waited, she waited. Don’t be tricked by mere words. Get to the motive. Relationships built on trust last because of the character, ability, strength and truth of a person.

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