Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tide Turning Tale

A Grand and Glorious ALLELUJAH to God our King and hearty good morning to all!  How awesome is the Lord our God?  How good is Jesus our Savior who called us out of darkness into the bright and shining light of His love?  He is as Awesome as Awesome is and as good as good can be - far above all our thought and ability to comprehend!

Some days it may seem hard to praise Him, like when things are not going "your" way, when times are difficult and perhaps He seems far from you.  Those are the times it is near to impossible to see that the JOY of the LORD is our strength, that we can and should praise Him in the midst of our pains and trials and tribulations.  Just like a smile can literally change the attitude of your heart, so praise to the Lord can literally change your world.

Today, as the political storms rage around us, as personal tragedy unfolds, as intimate pain engulfs some
WE PRAISE THE LORD GOD ON HIGH FOR HE IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!  LORD WITH MY LIPS I DECLARE YOUR MAJESTY IN ALL THE EARTH AND YOUR GLORY IN ALL THE HEAVENS.  I DANCE BEFORE YOU IN ABANDONED JOY THAT YOU ARE LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS. I BOW BEFORE YOUR THRONE OF GRACE AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOODNESS THAT ALWAYS IS, YOUR MERCY THAT I DON'T DESERVE, YOUR BLESSINGS THAT OVERTAKE ME EVEN WHEN I TURN AWAY FROM THEM AND I GIVE YOU PRAISE!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In the midst of EVERY storm, peace


Luke 24: 36-39  Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said to them “Peace to you.”  But they were terrified and frightened and supposed they had seen a spirit.  And He said to them “Why are you troubled?  And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself.  Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have Flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Peace our Lord and Savior assures us, is ours, and yet we run through our lives frantic and terrorized by every circumstance as far from peace as it is possible to be.  Christians, my brothers and sisters, PEACE, not as the world gives but according the creator of peace, the source of peace belongs to us.  It has been freely given to us and quite frankly the only way to lose it is to be defeated by deceit – lied to and tricked into believing that chaos reigns and has control.  Jesus Himself stands as our advocate and declares to us PEACE.  Will we believe Him or allow the terror of our own hearts to steal His truth from us.
Why are we troubled when we see the mayhem in this world?  Why do doubts arise in our hearts?  Why are we so frightened when He has promised us that we will have such troubles in this world?  We will be persecuted, we will be hated, nation will rise against nation and kingdom will rise against kingdom.  False prophets will rise up and they will deceive many.  Lies will be held up as truth and truth will be denied as a lie.

Behold, has He not told us in advance that these things will come to pass?  Has He not made Himself known?  Hasn’t He shown Himself trustworthy?  Don’t be frightened and don’t let terror keep you from enjoying His peace, his Joy and the freedom He paid so dear a price to give to you.  Just as He did for the disciples, He has done for us.  He assures us that no matter what is going on around us, no matter the wicked state of the world, no matter what our eyes see or our hearts tell us, His truth remains and can be trusted and believed.

Peace to you.  The Son of redemption has declared it and it is so.  Blessings to you my brothers and sisters.  Do not doubt.  Do not fear.  Hold fast to faith for He is faithful who has promised.  Keep in mind always that our lives in Him are Eternal and they are sure.  Recognize the Lord Jesus your Savior and know you are not alone.  Lift up your eyes and hearts to the His truth, that you may know His peace and receive by grace His deliverance.  Keeping in mind always that this world is not our home, just a place we pass through on our way to Our Father.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sense from senselessness

When terrible things happen, and I don't know if it's the 24/7 news casts or the internet making information so much easier to obtain, but it seems like ever more terrible things keep happening on a random yet regular basis lately, many turn to the Lord with that ever lingering childish question
WHY?
Why did someone or a group of someone's set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon?  Was it related to the marathon in some way or just a random act of barbarism?  Why God, why?  We ask in frustration, we ask in shock, even if we recognize there is no single, understandable or reasonable answer.  

We live in a sinful, fallen world that is full of evil darkness and dastardly deeds done by people who may or may not even fully understand their own actions.  We most likely will never fully understand or get answers that make any true sense to these questions that haunt us when things like this happen.  Actions like these often shake our faith, cause us to question and wonder.  Is God truly in control?  If He is, then why are we subject to random actions that may end our lives or leave us crippled and maimed in an instant without rhyme or reason?  

There are no easy answers to any of our questions.  Neither is the answer a cliched "just have faith and trust God" attitude.  Yes, we must have faith and trust God.  But not without any understanding.  We understand that in this world there is an enemy.  An active enemy who knows he works best under cover of darkness, who prefers we don't even believe that he is there, because that allows him to move about more freely, wreaking havoc everywhere he goes.  There is a devil, an evil spiritual being who influences humans to behave in such horrible, sinful ways.  He instigates sinful actions, just as he deceived Eve and tricked Adam into sin, he still does so today.  It isn't that those who are hurt or killed have done any wrong or deserved in any way the treatment they've received, any more than any of us deserve the grace we receive either.  

Neither are we powerless pawns being batted back and forth between two super spiritual beings helplessly caught in a web between them.  We are created beings, loved unconditionally by the One who created us, subject, because of sin, to the evil actions of another created being, Satan by name, who knows that hurting us hurts the heart of God Himself.  Choosing to repent of sin, believing that Jesus PAID the full price for it on the cross and delivered us from it leads us to HOPE of Eternal Life with God.  It doesn't insulate us from random acts of violence but it does assure us that there is HOPE.  

When horrible tragedy strikes, I pray especially hard for those who don't know Christ, because they have nothing to help them make sense out of the senseless actions of others that cause such devastation.  When terrible tragedy occurs the believer in God can ultimately find comfort in knowing that God works all things together for GOOD for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)  Not everything that happens is good, but He turns it to our good in some way, some manner.  

We cannot explain evil, though we witness it and are affected by it in our daily lives.  By faith and prayer we can combat it.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the bomb blasts in Boston yesterday.  May the God of all peace the Father of our Lord Jesus give each and everyone of them peace with Him, comfort in their hearts, and may His love surround them and cushion them in the days ahead.  I pray that those in the hospital will recover fully and swiftly beyond medical abilities.  I pray the families of those who lost their lives will find grace and mercy in their mourning.  I pray those who do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior will be drawn to Him by these events and discover the Love of God through the Cross of Christ to the end they repent and receive the gift of salvation, in the name of Jesus the Lord, Amen.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Insignificant deeds

I Timothy 2:1  "Therefore I exhort FIRST OF ALL that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for ALL MEN..."

Let me tell you about an interesting encounter we had at the checkout stand.  As we paid for our groceries, we had the coins to make the change, but as we sought them the young man in line behind us was much quicker to the draw and supplied the needed nickel.  We began to protest but quieted ourselves swiftly, understanding that God wanted to allow this opportunity of giving on the part of the young man.  We thanked him heartily and went on our way.

As we packed the bags away, he emerged from the store, walked over to us and asked a question.  Following the leading of the Holy Spirit we offered to pray for him, which he accepted with joy.  The Lord led the prayer and there was healing and deliverance in it toward him.  I don't need to go into the specifics, but it was specific to meeting his need and showing him clearly the Lord cared for the hidden things (at least the things he thought were hidden from others, but God knew what they were!) and was deeply concerned about him, loved him and desired blessings to rain down in his life.

When we concluded praying, we hugged all around and sent him on his way with encouragement to contact us and let us know how he was doing, which he promised to do.   I've no doubt we'll hear from him, and that we'll hear of wondrous things God has wrought in his life.  I've no doubt that by the power of the Holy Spirit the Lord will be directing this young mans steps and that dark strangleholds were indeed broken as we prayed, that this young man walks in a new freedom and new sense of who he is in Christ.

Paul goes on to exhort Timothy, and US in I Timothy 2:3 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior Who desires ALL MEN to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Insignificant acts of obedience in which God is significantly Glorified.  Changing lives one at a time.  Praying for ONE person, reaching out to ONE person, interceding for ONE person in obedience to the Lords word to us is GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God and accomplishes HIS PURPOSES.

Reach out to one person, offer to pray with them and watch what God will do!

We pray for all those who will allow us the privilege and would be honored to pray for you.  REQUEST PRAYER  and make your need known.  We'll be praying for you!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

...and Be Filled with the Holy Spirit...

You can choose to LISTEN or read for yourself!  WELCOME to Sunday Sermon with Turn the Tide Ministries!  May God bless you richly in wisdom and understanding as you receive His Word of Truth!

I've seen a lot of methodology be put into practice both as a lay person growing in the Lord and as Clergy encouraging others to grow in the Lord, so I've seen most if not all of the actions people take and the things they're willing to try in order to BE LIKE JESUS.  Don't get me wrong, that IS a goal we are instructed to work toward and a prize worth aspiring to, however, it is not something we will EVER attain in our flesh, by our own actions no matter how badly we want it or how hard we try.

What then is the answer to the puzzle of Gods word telling us to "be holy as I am holy, be ye perfect as I am perfect, the things that I do you shall do also and greater than these because I go the Father, and imitate God dear children, and...you get where I'm going with this, right?  How do we DO these things, like in all trials count it JOY, in all our tribulations be MORE THAN CONQUERORS?
(ps - all of the above are in the Bible - look them up and be blessed at what God thinks of His kids!)

Together, lets you and I take a look at Luke 3:21-22 and Luke 4:1 and Acts 1: 6-8 (I'll be reading the New King James Version and you follow along with whatever version you are most comfortable with)

When all the people were baptized it came to pass the Jesus also was baptized and while He prayed the Heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily from like a dove upon Him and a voice came from heaven which said "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."

Then Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness...

Therefore when they had come together they asked Him saying "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  And He said to them "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jersusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."

Notice anything each of these scriptures has in common?  Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, while He operated as flesh on this earth had done no miracles before this time, needed to be  FILLED  WITH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT.  The most the scripture says of Him before He was baptized in the Jordan was that He grew in stature and in wisdom and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)  But once He was baptized in the Holy Spirit things changed dramatically!  Suddenly He had the power as well as the wisdom of the Word of God to suffer 40 days of temptation by satan and  WIN !  Suddenly, filled with the Holy Spirit the scripture tells us, He begins to heal people and preach with authority like had never been seen before and perform miracles!

It is the same with us.  Until we  RECOGNIZE  that we cannot even under the very best of circumstances ever control our flesh with rules and laws (if it could have been done wouldn't the Israelites have done it?) accept Gods incredible grace and realize that only by yielding to the Holy Spirit, following the Holy Spirit, being LED by the Holy Spirit can we ever accomplish anything truly satisfying in life whether simply doing a great job at work, being a terrific parent or wonderful spouse, friend, sibling, daughter or son - only in surrender to the Holy Spirit will we ever begin to behave and talk and BE the victorious Christian we desire to be.  In the flesh it just cannot be accomplished!  Jesus told the disciples plainly, apart from Me you can do NOTHING!  Why why why why WHY do we keep putting ourselves in  BONDAGE  to sinful flesh, trying to force our flesh to behave though God has revealed to us that it cannot be done, which is why he did it for us?   But because we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27) the hope of Glory, because the Holy Spirit is in charge, then we can do ALL  THINGS  THROUGH  CHRIST  WHO  STRENGTHENS  US  (Philippians 4:13)

God sent His only begotten Son to sacrifice Himself as the substitute for us, paying the penalty for our sin, so we could experience salvation.  Not  JUST  get a ticket into heaven, but to live a life of victory, joy and satisfaction RIGHT  NOW.  Simply because God created us and He loves us and He wants us to be happy and full of JOY.  Yes, we live in a fallen world full of sin and it affects us negatively routinely and regularly,  however, we are not stuck there, we have HOPE of much more, something much better.  Fellowship, right standing and full friendship with the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth.  We just say "THANK  YOU   FATHER" and receive it because we can never earn it or deserve it.  Thank you Lord for Your mercy, grace and kindness to forgive me, a sinner, and let me live according to your abundant riches in glory! Amen.