PLEASE CHECK BACK OCCASIONALLY FOR NEW POST.
We post our Bible Study lessons here after we have had our Bible Study group, please watch for new post.
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
(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
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
(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
(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
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
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
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
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
2 – The one of two times
the question of salvation is asked and answered. First sermon of the first
3 – The first altar call,
3000+ souls saved
4 – Actions of the first
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
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:
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…
Go ye into all the world and
1 – preach the gospel to
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.
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
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.
If you need a bible study class to go to or would like Min Mike Jones to start a Home Bible Study in your home,
call us at (559) 455-8004
We have Bible Studies Every Tue Night at 6 pm
Please go to the contact page and submit a request. We will follow up with you and let you know where our home bible study sessions will be held at for the week.
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 – 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 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.