Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Takin' It to the Streets

Joe Colaizzi has written 2 small books on his life and work with rescue missions.

This is not your normal organizational leader. He worked without pay, traveled without money and lived homeless in the service to Christ. Now he is the leader of the Kansas City Rescue Mission. He has lived in faith and trust that Jesus actually means what he says.

There is a spirit of peace at this mission. That is not to say they don't have problems to deal with. They are in business to deal with problems. But as I volunteer there, I sense that God's spirit is there.

Here is the Youtube intro to the mission.

The book Takin' It to the Streets and Takin' It to the Streets Again is an enjoyable read you won't want to stop reading.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Tree Makes the Waters Sweet

Ex 15:25 "Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.

I see the tree as a type of the cross of Christ.

The cross is the thing we are to take up daily. It is the dying to ourself and living for the purposes of Jesus.

We are to rejoice always. So the sorrow of taking up the cross is unacceptable. We are to do all things with joy. Joy is the foundation of our actions. Isa 55:12, James 1:2-4, Heb 12:2

If we are trying to do something that we don't have joy for we are getting ahead of the game. For it says in Phil. 4:6,7 that in all things that we are concerned about we are to pray. If we are still concerned we are to continue praying.

This is where a lot of people give up on Christianity. They say it is unreasonable to pray until peace comes. One has to take care of their family and work etc.

But to watch TV and ignore God and continue to worry about problems? What's is going on here? We need to go to God when we have an opportunity to to present our problems to Him.

I would say if we do not pray we don't believe in Jesus. Why do I say that? Jesus has promised to answer our prayers that we ask in His name. So to not take advantage of this benefit is crazy.

Let me put it this way. If God offered to pay us $500 an hour to pray, would we pray? I would suggest that almost all of us would pray an hour and some would pray 2 hours a day. What is more important to us? Is money more important to us then God? Our actions speak louder than our words.

The cross is to be taken up daily.
Luke 9:23 "And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.""

Following Jesus
Deny yourself
Take up your cross

To follow Jesus is to be a disciple of Jesus. It is to abide with Him. It is to make Jesus our Lord and King. It is to fear Him.

To deny ourselves we live for Jesus and not ourself.

Don't think of missing out on fun. Think of missing out on what God has for you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November 25th House Church

Today we read and discussed Philippians 1:21-29

We can serve Jesus with expectant hope of His return.
This hope in service is a purifying influence in our walk. 1 John 3:1-3

Jesus attitude in service is shown in Phil 2:5-8 We deny our desires and look to Jesus for guidance.

Standing firm with:
One spirit
One mind
Striving together

Remember Paul is writing this from prison. But we are to remember those in prison as if in prison with them.

Many teachers talk of the blessings that we get from being Christians but few talk of the cost. Some even deny the cost of following Christ. The Bible talks of those who deny the cross and contrast that with their fleshly appetites. But we are to seek to serve Christ. It makes sense that if you want to play tennis you must give up golf if you are playing that at the same time. In the same way if we are going to follow Christ other things must be given up.

Jude 3 also talks of this striving.

v28 is interesting passage. Our confidence in God in the midst of persecution is a sign to the lost of our salvation and their destruction. The peace Jesus gives is not as the world gives. It is a different kind of peace that is founded on the rock. It is a peace in the midst of trouble, not the lack of it.

Prayed for Uzbekistan in the Operation World book.

Also prayed for our personal needs.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pattern for Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13 Pattern for Prayer

1 Our Father who art in heaven - Be still and know that God is God.
2 Hollowed be Thy Name - Offer God praise
3 Thy Kingdom come - Pray for God's kingdom to come. World Evangelism & Government leaders
4 Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. - Pray for the specific things God is leading you.
5 Give us this day our daily bread. Our daily needs, Physical spiritual
6 And forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us, Repentance/forgiveness
7 And lead us not into temptation - God's protection in spiritual war
8 but deliver us from evil. - Healing, freedom, deliverance Bind the strong man
9 For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. - Worship & Thankfulness
10 Amen.- This is the faith of the prayer. Confidence in God.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November 18th House Church

Philippians 1:7-21 Areas we discussed.

v7 "... both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me."
Confirmation of the gospel is doing the work of the gospel. It is the response to the gospel.

v8 For God is my witness how I long for you. To minister effectively one needs to long to reach out to those who he ministers to.
with the affection of Christ Jesus. Our ability to love comes from Christ. We don't have the ability to love and care for others apart from Christ.

v9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,"
Love is active and the knowledge allows us to encourage. One job of the preacher is to explain the Bible and its promises for us. Another part of the preacher is to encourage others to hope in the promises that God has spoken to us.

v11 "having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
The fruit of righteousness is talked about in James 3:13-18
It does not come from bitter jealousy, selfish ambition.
Wisdom from above is: pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

We need to be at peace with ourselves and God and others. Turmoil within hinders the bearing of fruit.

We then went to Acts 16 and read the account of how the Philippine church started. Paul was thrown in jail for casting out an evil spirit. He found people that were interested by going to the place of prayer and sharing the gospel there. While in jail there was an earthquake, and the peace Paul and Silas showed during their imprisonment and not running when there was an earthquake brought the jailer to the Lord.

v14-21 People were preaching the gospel. Some from pure motives and others from impure motives. Paul decided that he would praise the Lord that the gospel was being preached no mater what.

Paul knew that weather he lived or died that Christ would be exalted. That was his purpose to serve Christ. Our ability to serve in trying circumstances depends on our trust in Christ and not relying on our own ability or protecting ourselves.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Praise God When Prayers Unanswered

Did you know that unanswered prayer is a call for praise? When we have prayed and there is no answer its time to get out the guitar. Its time to open up the hymn book and give God praise.

That's what the Bible says. Psalm 22:2,3 "O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel."

That's right, when no answer comes start praising. God is enthroned on our praise. He rules when we praise. Praise is not only celebration but is also creates a highway of holiness.

God looks with favor on those who have faith. Faith is only possible when there is need. When there is unanswered prayer we have a need to praise God. This praise maintains our hope, which gives faith substance.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11th House Church

Today's gathering discussed Philippians 1:1-7

Paul and Timothy were bond-servants of Christ. A bond-servant serves voluntarily. Christ's bond-servants will believe in Him. John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."

We will do the works of Jesus as we believe in Jesus. Part of believing in Jesus is keeping His commands John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Jesus commanded us to love one another in John 13:34,35

In Jesus Name signifies being under Jesus' authority. 2 Cor 5:20 We represent Christ as ambassadors. Teaching others, (Christians especially because the book of 2 Corinthians was written to the church), to be reconciled to God. Christians are already reconciled to God but many times we don't live like it or think of ourselves that way.

We then talked about praying for each other in verses 3,4
It is important to keep alert in prayer with thanksgiving. There is a prayer of complaint and a prayer of thanksgiving. Faith grows with thanksgiving but usually doesn't with complaint. God answers prayers of faith so we want to stay alert by being thankful.

v5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
my NAS Bible has a note with participation = or sharing in the preaching of the gospel.
As we work together for the gospel prayer builds us up even more.
Amplified = fellowship, sympathetic co-operation and contributions and partnership - in advancing the good news . . .

v6 God will continue to build us up. Eph 2:10 talks of our purpose that we were made for.

v7 Paul not only prays but has the Philippians in his heart. This gets back to obeying the commands of Jesus to love one another. We can't help others if we don't love them. Paul served with love. Paul prayed with love. Paul lived with love.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How to Be Saved

How Do We Meet Jesus?

Receive Jesus

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." John 1:12

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door,I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

Believe in Jesus

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Truly , truly , I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." John 5:24

". . . If any man is thirsty let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." John 7:37,38

"And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.'" Acts 16:31

""That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation, Romans 10:9,10

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." Acts 10:43

Born Again

"Truly truly I say to you unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Cor. 5:17

Come to Jesus

"I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." John 6:35

Follow Jesus

"I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Know the truth

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Jesus is the only way

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but though Me." John 14:6

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it." Matt. 7:13,14

"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus is the door

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." John 10:9,10

Call on Jesus' name.

"And it shall be, that every one who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21

"For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

We need a savior

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23


"Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may comer from the presence of the Lord;" Acts 3:19

"From that time Jesus began to preach ands say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Matt. 4:17

Blood payment

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

"In Him we have redemption through His good, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

". . . shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Acts 20:28

Jesus came to save sinners

"It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:31,32

"It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all." 1 Timothy 1:15

Jesus will not reject those who come to Him.

"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and those who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." John 6:37

"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come. And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:17

Salvation by faith in Jesus.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

God's Grace Brings Salvation.

"For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men." Titus 2:11

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

Salvation is for now.

"See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape, when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven." Hebrews 12:25

"For He says, 'At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.'; behold now is "the acceptable time", behold, now is the "day of salvation". 2 Corinthians 6:2

Salvation is only in Jesus.

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, buy which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:5

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pray Through

Another aspect of: repentance, rest, quietness, and trust is to pray through.

Pray until the peace of God comes back. Pray until you see the answer come. Pray until you have assurance from God. Pray until you are assured that God will take care of the problem.

Phil 4:6,7 talk about this. Don't worry but pray. Pray the promises. Pray the Scripture. Believe the Bible not your worry. Decide to believe what the Bible says and not your worries. One of the main ways to move from worry to belief is to pray. Don't lose heart, pray. The Bible is real but our understanding needs to be prayed from our head to our heart.

Make a decision to believe what the Bible says. Abraham hoped when there was no reason to hope. God promised him a son when he was 75 years old and his wife was 65. 25 years later he was still waiting. He did not lose hope but gave glory to God. Abram changed his name to Abraham. Abraham means father of many. Can you imagine all the ridicule from people after that. He had to have known that he was the butt of jokes from his herdsmen. When he met someone and told them his name what was their response? They had to hold back a snicker. But I think he obeyed God in changing his name to keep God's promise ever before him.

Pray in the morning when you wake up. If at lunch the worry persists pray at lunch. If the worry persists when you get home from work pray then. Pray after you eat supper. If the answer does not come, take time off from work and pray.

Fasting can add strength to your prayers. Fast for God's answer.

Continue to pray until you can rest from your worry. Then rest in God and trust His goodness.

Click here for a good article from the web on this subject.
Click here for a good MP3 sermon by David Wilkerson (Crisis Praying) on this subject.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Spiritual Strength

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

A key area in prayer for me is to respond in praise when I encounter problems. I want to look to God for the answer, complaining doesn't accomplish anything.

Rejoicing is a key to victory in spiritual war. I want to use prayer to prepare myself. Areas of defeat or inaction may be strongholds in my life.

"Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house." Matthew 12:29

The strong man has to be bound to plunder his house. How do we bind the strong man?

Jesus cast out demons by the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28), THEN the kingdom of God has come upon you. I am not saying all problems are demons. I feel the answer to our problems is not trying in our own efforts to solve the problem, but to solve the problem with God's help.

Some problems are solved simply. Other problems are chronic and need wisdom to overcome. These problems are solved spiritually by binding the strong man. How do we bind?

Binding comes by the Spirit of God. Jesus cast out demons by the Spirit of God. He didn't do it by Himself. So why am I trying to solve problems by myself? What allows the Spirit to flow through me so that I can bind?

Isaiah 30:15 "In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength. But you were not willing,"

Spiritual strength comes from God's Spirit.

Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts. Zech 4:6

The steps to having the Spirit of God in my life are: 1) repentance; 2) rest; 3) quietness; 4) trust.

1) I repent of trying to solve the problems myself. I want to look to God for help in solving problems.

2) Rest - I have in the past tried to rest by serving and obeying. I will stop from my work and rest.

3) Quietness - Quietness allows me to still myself and listen. I will read the Bible and listen to God as He shows me the answers to the problems that I face. I will watch for God to make His wisdom known.

4) Trust - I will trust God to keep His word to me. I will walk in faith/obedience as God directs.

Jer 1:12

Isa 55:10,11

Rom 4:20,21

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Power in Jesus

It is not what you are supposed to do but who you are
in Jesus that makes a difference.

When you know who you are in Jesus then you can obey
in faith.

Meditate, ponder, consider who you are in Jesus. This
will put you in the place for God to empower you.

Knowing what you are supposed to do won't empower you.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Jesus Expalined in Colossians

I wanted to start this blog with an introduction of Jesus. I went through Colossians and wrote down the passages that refered to Jesus. The references in parentheses are related passages.

1:1 Paul is Jesus’ apostle.

1:3 God is the Father of our lord Jesus Christ.

1:11 We are strengthened like Jesus for steadfastness and patience.

1:12 The Father has qualified us to share the inheritance of the saints in light. (Jesus is the light John 8:12)

1:13 We have been transferred into the kingdom of Jesus. (Matt. 3:17)

1:14 Our sins are forgiven by Jesus . (Eph 1:7)

1:15 Jesus is the image of the Father. (John 1:18)
Jesus is the first born of all creation. (Rom 8:29)

1:16 Jesus created all things. (Hebrews 1:2)

1:17 Jesus is befor all things. (John 1:1)
Jesus holds all things together. (Hebrews 1:3)

1:18 Jesus is the leader of the Church.(Eph. 1:22)
Jesus is the beginning . (John 1:1)
Jesus is the first born from the dead. (Acts 26:23)
Jesus has first place in everything.

1:19 All the fullness dwells in Jesus. (John 1:16; Eph. 1:22,23; 3:19)

1:20 Through Jesus all things are reconciled with the Father. (2 Cor 5:18)
Jesus made peace through the blood of the cross. (Eph. 2:14)

1:22 Jesus has reconciled us in His fleshly body through death.

1:27 Christ in us is the hope of glory. (Rom 5:2)

2:2 Christ is God’s mystery (1Cor. 16:25

2:3 In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Isa. 11:2)

2:5 Our faith is in Christ. ( Acts 16:31)

2:6 We are to walk with Jesus the same way that we received Him. (Gal 3:2)

2:8 Let Christ be the center of your teaching and not the world. ( Gal 1:8,9)

2:9 In Jesus all the fullness of God dwells. (John 10:30)

2:10 We are made complete in Christ. (John 1:16)
Jesus is the head of all rule and authority. (Eph,. 1:21,22)

2:11,12 We are now circumcised in Christ, which is water baptism.

2:13 Jesus made us alive. (Eph. 2:5)
Jesus forgave all our transgressions. (Rev. 1:5)

2:14 Jesus canceled the certificate of debt against us.. (Eph. 2:15)

2:15 Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities. (Heb. 2:14)

2:16,17 The Sabbath regulations are only a shadow of the reality who is Christ. (Heb. 8:5)

2:18,19 Don’t delight in regulations but in Christ. (Ps. 51:16,17)

2:20-23 Rules to regulate our actions won’t work. Dieing with Christ to the world will. (Gal. 3:2,3)

3:1 If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above. (Matt. 6:33; 16:23)

3:3 We have died with Christ. (Gal. 2:20)
Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. (Eph 2:6)

3:4 Christ is our life. (Phil 1:21)
We will be revealed with Christ in glory. (Phil. 3:21)

3:11 Christ is all.
Christ is in all. (Heb 1:3)

3:13 Christ has forgiven us. Follow that example. (Eph. 4:32)

3:15 Let Christ’s peace rule in your hearts. (John 14:27)

3:16 Let Christ’s word richly dwell in you. (Josh. 1:8)

3:17 Do everything in the name of Jesus. (1 Cor 10:31)

3:23 Do your work for Jesus not for man. (Eph. 6:7)

3:24 Jesus will give us the reward of the inheritance. (Eph. 6:8)
It is Jesus that we serve. (Gal 1:10)