The Believers Bite Galatians 5:15

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15 But if you bite and devour one another,
watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:15-16

Tonight we enjoyed a fruitful discussion in God’s Word.  Drawing our thoughts for the lesson from the 5th Chapter of Galatians, we allowed the 15th and 16th verse to run the first leg of tonight’s’ teaching.  In our discussion about becoming better evangelist and witnesses for Christ, we find ourselves working on self that we might be more effective in efforts for Christ.

But first a pit-stop.  Paul addresses in this chapter an important part of Kingdom, its citizens.  He writes to handle issues that have arisen in the church, and with a stroke of the pen, corrects bad teaching and bad behavior. full burger

For today’s discussion, I presented to the group the illustration of a freshly prepared hamburger.  It exist whole, without a bite.  The burger, fully in tact consist of many layer, and holds in it a varying level of content.  In this, it is placed into our hands to handle as we choose.  Now of course, our flesh and stomach need and are designed to consume, but today we took our discussion to the Spiritual.

The first question asked was:  “How is a burger consumed?”

The answer of course is “One bite at a time!”  These bites can vary in size, ranging from small to large, they can come from any angle, can be taken in a short amount of time, or a long amount of time, but with each bite, that which was whole begin to disappear.  Paul wrote a warning to the Body of Christ, “if you bite” he warns, soon you will “consume…one another.”

The next question asked was: “Who have you taken a bite of?”

This is an important question.  As we hit the neighborhoods to bare witness bout Christ, we have found that many people have met Christ, but remain at home because they are suffering from the wounds of a bite!  They accepted the Gospel, but couldn’t get past the offenses committed by His church!  I know, they are immature! That’s what you are thinking!  They have a fake faith built on man, and your faith is built on God.  They don’t have enough Word in them?  Right?  Get over yourself I say!  Mature or Immature, healing from wounds takes time, and some bites are just fatal!  Infection set in, and death follows.  And yes, you would probably say that its their fault, right?  It’s their fault they are offended, right?  They should simply forgive and move on, right?

Paul warns us, bites take away from us and lead to consumption.  Someone are simply being eaten alive by those who are in the fold and not walking according to the flesh.  People have perished in our ministries, and some who survived, are holding on to life by a thread.  This brought out a sad reality; many of the people entering our churches are half eaten. halfeatenburger

That’s right.  Those entering your church from previous church homes are sometimes lead to new fields, and other times are escaping hurt and looking for healing and peace.

Why is it you ask that a person can leave after one offense?  Ahh, you said they were immature, but the reality is that many of them were suffering from prior bites, and are just trying to keep from being completely consumed.  And then we foolishly judge them for protecting themselves, and label them to protect our own ignorance.  Our bites are often made worse by those who are not remorseful.  Yep, its that important that we treat each other right, because each person is in a different state, and have different experiences, and your encounter with them can be the difference between them growing in Christ, and dwelling at home alone.

In this day of social media and technology, our encounters with people are weighed even heavier in that many people have grown accustomed to experiencing the world via a video and even a blog.  The human factor is being removed and replaced by imogies and virtual reality, thus limiting the room for error in our encounters with one another.

Paul says while some suffer from “bites” others are “devoured”.

Have you devoured anyone? 

emptyplateThis word frightened me!  The thought that there could be one within our ranks who doesn’t fall from time to time and bite someone, but that in one or two encounters, shows a complete lack of restraint and concern for another and eats them alive in one or two sittings!  How is it that we can destroy those God has sent, stitching the bond of peace afforded to all of us through the blood of Christ and the unity of the Spirit!  Our lack of restraint towards one another can cause those in our midst not to question God’s existence, but if God exist in the place they have become a part of.  Let it not be said of you that you chased away someone that the Spirit draw-ed neigh because of your unwillingness to pursue righteousness and kill the flesh.

How many people have you devoured?  Who’s at home licking their wounds?  Who’s exploring different horizons?  Who’s falling away from the faith because of you?  Sadly, only God knows.  The reality is that most multiple offenders are just being themselves and don’t realize or acknowledge that they are “biters” dare say I “consumers.”  Shame to say, this “consumer” mentality exists in the house, as we jockey for position and protect our territory, and fight for a light that is the glory of humans, which is the glory that fades.  We shine our light not to lead, but to blind people with judgement, and are eager to condemn others, while pardoning our wickedness and justifying our actions.

Paul says, don’t “gratify your flesh”!  Yep, there is nothing good within us, and every once in a while, the desire to bite happens.  The old man fights his way back in the picture and begins warring for control of your limbs.  He plants thoughts in your mind as to how you should respond, and how you should act, what you should say, and how it should be said, but Paul says resist!  “Walk by the Spirit” he says.  Control that which remains dormant in you by continually submitting to the God that is in you!   Just because you have the thought, doesn’t mean you have to follow its suggestion.  It’s just that, a suggestion.  Unwise counsel given from an unwise source, whom desires to wound as many as he can from fire within the camp.  The devil hinders the growth of the Kingdom through those of us who continue fulfilling the desires of the flesh, allowing the old man to once again lift his hands in victory.   Yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow His guidance to keep you from biting and devouring your fellow brother and sister.  Kingdom depends on it!

 

#PastorJDO3

 

Choose Peace on Earth

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“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people
with whom he is pleased.”
Luke 2:14

The 14th verse of Luke says in the 2nd chapter, “…peace among people with whom he is pleased.”  Peace from the Messiah is a progressive peace received by those who choose to follow Him.  Seeking righteousness and choosing love over hate is the fertile soil that allows us to breath and breed peace in our lives.Peace of Mind wooden sign with a beach on background

This is made possible by our commitment to make peace with the world.  We must choose not to live in conflict with one another and must show respect also to all of Gods’ creation.  Think it not odd that God was even concerned with how man treated the animals which he was to consume and the plants which gave him life.  He taught man to respect life by making him a farmer and also a creator himself through womb birth.

Jesus brings us life to the full not just through eternal life, but through the gift of His Word and Walk, which instruct an model for believers how to live among creation and not collapse.  We are now able to encounter people through the lens of Christ, which we inherit through His Holy Spirit anointing our eyes and ears with the balm of compassion.  It is our outlook on life, which now shaped by our faith in God, that should allow us to paz_mundialencounter each set of circumstances with the measure of faith given to us that we might obtain peace through believing which then shapes our choices.

This is best summed up by our Lord who stated that the Love of God as the greatest commandment, followed closely by Love Your NeighborHow is your relationship with both God and man?  Are we applying God’s Word to our lives in respect to interaction with His creation or are we extracting the portions that allow us to gain wealth and prominence?   If you are not in a right relationship with God and man, chances are, He is not pleased with you, and neither are you experiencing peace on earth.

 

#PastorJDO3

It’s Not Pronounced (Just-Us)

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In a recent conversation, I was captured by the pronunciation of the word “Justice”.  The word, pronounced Jus-tis, spoken swiftly reveals the definition of the word by many human beings; (Just-us).  Reaching across racial and economic lines, the preservation and advancement of self has taken the reins of most lives such so that those who place others above themselves are rewarded and celebrated.

As the voice continued, I continued to hear Just Us.  As I matched this with the argument given, I realized that the actions being judged were being seen through the eyes of one who was unaffected by the circumstances at hand.  It became clear that as long as one’s civil rights, safety and well being weren’t threatened, one is likely to feel comfortable in the system that is administrating Justice, leading them to believe that Justice was being served.  And there is truth to this!  Justice is served everyday.justice

I Posed this Question: “Is Justice distributed and served equally?”

The answer, a resounding no!  Honestly, Justice is distributed amidst us on a credit scale.  Ones value to society is run through a rubric of sort, and the value of a life is determined by a formula that is distributed from a society that holds Capitalism as Justification.  Yes believers, in Christ, we are Justified by His Sacrifice, and in America, we are Justified by Capitalism.  Ones ability to earn, is placed above basic humanity, and ones right to prosper, trumps the civil rights or liberties of those economically beneath them.  Our Capitalistic mindset serves as the hot toddy that gives us sweet rest at night.

It has become more apparent that Justice is a’ la carte!  And yes, if you have to ask how much it cost, you can’t afford it!  Things that should accompany the meal, are now offered on the side.  It is distributed in small serving sizes, listed in fine print with fancy language on a contract that was written to benefit authors and investors, not readers and partakers.

It gives the illusion of full coverage, providing confidence, while defining limitations that shortchange satisfaction. 

It encourages all to invest, changing the rules as rights are distributed to insure that ones obtaining rights can’t fully benefit the same way as those that have profited from its promises.  What keeps all protecting her secrets is the illusion that what has been obtained by others, will be redistributed to those that follow.

When in reality, we are all dogs on a track, chasing a fake rabbit around in hopes that we will be declared winner, when in truth, the real winners are in the sky box taking bets on which one of us will chase the dream the hardest.

justice1What was promoted for all, was only promised to some.  And from those to whom the promise was extended, most have not received and have only pretended to have taken hold of.  As I talk and read chats and blogs, I wonder if most realize that the dream is still a dream?  That this promised distribution is not intended, just impending!

All this to say, we are in a matrix (no I’m not going there!).  There are things that we are privy to, and all other things are just rumors of war.  We are revealed the hand as it is played, and we are unsure who is dealing the cards, and are only sure of one thing; the deck is stacked, and the slight of hand ensures that only a select few the power.

Having said all this, one of the greatest illusions is that Justice is for all.  If this were true, our freedoms and liberty would not depend on the amount of legal representation one can afford.  Having the right amount of resources gives one confidence in a system offers Justice to those who can afford it.  Those who lack resources, lack access to what was promised to all.

 

 

We know Who’s behind it! Now Who will get in Front of It?

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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, 
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 

Another shooting!  As we worshiped, someone we missed hatched a plan to further  carry out their anger, frustration and displeasure by attacking Police Officers in Baton Rouge.  As our praise made a sweet smell in the nostrils of our God, the powerful aroma from the spark of gun powder rested upon a community.  As our cries for mercy, deliverance and favor reached the ears of our Lord, civilians and family members of officers wailed as their greatest fears manifested.   Our hands waiving, as tears crawled down our face, mirrored the tears of spouses, children, parents and siblings, as God counted each one.  His heart broken, as He watched His creation commit a sin against its own kind. 32495_all_007_13-sharing

We are ministered to by Media Ministries (divided into two denominations {Democratic & Republican}), one of the most powerful ministries, supported by a full cast of preachers and prophets, whom encourage confusion, support and repeat ignorance, placing before us calls towards unholy action, then standing while hiding its hand as un-moral acts are committed.  Our frustration further stirred by its members, Public Perception, who are armed only with the twisted messages from Media Ministries pulpit.    Gossiping in the Facebook parking lots, and spreading distorted messages of hate and intolerance as learned from its teachers.

Now we stand, suffering from the poisoning and perversion of modern day super apostles, who have taken once again what was given to bring peace, leveraged to breed hate and bigotry.

So now what?

Either we will listen and follow the Gospel of Jesus, or continue to soak in the Gospel of Media!

And right now, I’m afraid of what the masses have developed a taste for.

What is scary?  The world and believers seem to have a taste for the same thing!  A friend spoke of his disappointment of society, to which I responded, “There’s nothing wrong with the world!  They are supposed to behave like this!”  We are the disappointment!  

witnessesI began stating, “As we worshiped, someone we missed hatched a plan!”  Yes, we missed! This was someone’s neighbor!  Blindly, I would guess that a believer stayed within 4 doors of Him, with the message of Love, Peace, Justice and Forgiveness that could have prevented today’s tragedy.  Shamefully, that person probably attended worship (hence the beginning dialogue) as this man and possibly others armed themselves with the wrong weapon and took lives of those serving the public.

Our focus scripture gives us a truth.  One that must remain our focus as we fight and to remain; rather fight to come together as one body.  There is a spiritual battle going on, not a battle of races, or of citizen verses Police Officers.  This battle is good verses evil.  It pits the will of the prince of the air, verses the will of the LORD!   Soldiers are a masses to bring about the desires of their kingdoms King, and by visual, it seems that we have (believers) lost our focus.  We are expanding the Kingdom with acquisitions, and not with salvation, shifting members like manipulated corporate numbers, and being satisfied with smiling fooled investors! 

There you have it!  This is an earthly battle, fought between two Kingdoms.  And many of us are Prisoners of War, either unable to fight or unwilling to advance, ignoring direct orders.  Worthy of a dishonorable discharge, we remain enlisted through His covenant of love, trained and retrained by His long suffering! baptism

He beacons to us, via His true Prophets, Bishops, Apostles, Teachers and Pastors to face the adversary, knowing that we are victorious and able to do all things through the power works within us, leaving us void of fear, and organized via a sound mind, and temple that has been set aside to give him glory with our existence.  We are called not to stand for something, but to stand for Him!

Church, it’s time!  We know who’s behind this!  Now we must ask, Who will get in front of this?
#PastorJDO3

Why Am I Fighting You?

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Ezekiel 7:14 They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath [is] upon all the multitude thereof. Ezekiel 7:19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.

 When we rebel against the will and commandments of God, we find ourselves involved in combat with the divine. Combat you say.  Going against Gods will for our lives and the commandments He has put in place, we are involved in ourselves in a war with Him.  Upon reading this text, I asked myself, “Why am I fighting You?”  In all of our pasts, we have seen God’s victories, both on paper and in person. We have born witness to the many last place finishers in the ring. We have watched in amazement as we have seen the fall from grace of the willing combatants that have dared to spare with you, become disillusioned, and then step into the ring with you.  We have seen the medics attending to them, watched the referee counting them out, watched them shake in fiend-like conditions, watched them walk the streets in search for the next conquest, finding themselves on a bed sick with a disease, seen them hauled off to jail merchandise still in the bag, watched the marriage fall apart from the lovers they have had, watched their prosperity divided in half.  We have seen the results of those who fight against your law and will, but yet I ask myself “Why am I fighting You?”

Picture from Google Images

Picture from Google Images

We know that you have not lost a battle. We know that you are all powerful.  We know that you are the conqueror.  We know that vengeance is yours. We know that you have all resources and that wisdom comes from you.  We know all of this, and yet we have to ask ourselves, “Why are we fighting You?”

Is it somehow that we are still believe somehow that the fruit from the trees that we sample are better for us than the fruit that you provide?  Is it that we feel like we are missing out on the adventure or some lesson or wisdom that comes along with the experience?  Is it that we still have doubt as to whether righteousness is truly the way?  The truth is that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, and we are your children, thus, from time to time, foolishness floats to the surface, and the rod of correction must beat it out of us.  Painful as it is, its just reality. Even us grown folks experience our own rod, and honestly, its very much deserved. All the things that we have and cherish are yours.  All the things we have acquired are yours. All the things we have been given are yours.  Please forgive us.  All the training that we have is useless against you.  All the money we have is useless against you.  All the degrees we have acquired are useless against you.  All the friends we have in our corner are useless against you.

Truly the blessings of the Lord bringeth no sorrow, but if we loose sight of the one that has provided the blessings, they can bring wrath.  I desire not your wrath.  I need not experience your hand against me.  I need not see your face turned from me.  I need you, and more of you than I already have.  You are the one resource that I can never get enough of.  “Why ye fightest Thee?” the old writers might have blogged.  I’m really not sure.  I guess we are all glutens for punishment.

Posted 9/8/07
InternetPastor…BlackPlanet

 

Words with Friends Pt. 2

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Recently, I was inspired while playing Words with Friends to write, “We know words, but lack a strategy and wisdom on how to use the words we possess; thus play with minimal impact“(#WordsWithFriends).

wordwithfriends

In the game Word with Friends, the knowledge of words is key because the words represent points and the ability to completely use the letters given to you during the game.  This ability to create from what is provided is a must, however, playing a word at the wrong time can cost the player dearly.  On the board, there are spots that can double and or triple the amount of points for the player and their opponent.  In this, one can use a word to score points, but position their adversary to score two to three times as much with their following play.  Therefore, when one plays, one must keep in mind that their opponent will have an opportunity to respond to their play.  I wondered to myself when focusing on this quote, how many of us have used words in the wrong season at the wrong time?

One play can place one in a negative position; unable to properly defend ourselves or slow down the advance of the opponent.  One wrong play could put the opponent in a better position than the player, rendering the match score one that is insurmountable.  Too often, we want to use the words we have at hand to account for the most points possible, but exchanging 25 for 75 shows a lack of wisdom and maturity.  Using strategy, one can score 15, and hold an opponent to 25, allowing the next set of play to result in 50 points while your opponent scores 20.

Our words are ability and power.  They create and they can also destroy.  This knowledge informs us that the true power and effectiveness of our use of these words lie in ones ability to control their tongues and direct life through a seasoned tongue that has been tamed and filtered in such a way, that each word that exudes from the users mouth has been calculated and played with the opponents response in mind.

Understanding this will assist us in conflict and will allow us to live at peace with one another.  When we are searching for the words that will make the highest impact, we often speak without considering the next play, and subsequent plays, putting ourselves strategically in a position to loose the battle in one play.

James 3:1-11
Romans 12:18

Hybrid Living Pt. 1

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Recently, while stuck in traffic, I noticed there were more Hybrid vehicles on the road. These vehicles have the ability to run both on electric power and gas power, using multiple fuel sources to be economically efficient and environmentally friendly.

While looking at this vehicle, the thought occurred that we too are hybrids. We have the ability to operate under two power sources; the flesh and the Spirit.

Unlike the Hybrid vehicle, our duel power source is not a positive or a selling point of the faith. Though many of us find ourselves alternating furl sources, the design for us is to use one fuel source to complete our journey; the Spirit!

Romans 8:4