Are We Pushing People Out of the Church?

Are We like the Pharisees in Jesus’ Day?

This is a question that I’ve been asking myself lately as I’ve been reading through this devotional I have. As a Christian, I know that I have been called to make disciples of many nations as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19 but this also begs the question of how I have been treating those that have come into the Church. Have I become like the Pharisees; praising myself where I can be seen while the internal, spiritual side of me is dirty and unclean?

As a Christian, we are called to be the Church. We are called to humble ourselves, but this comes at denying what our flesh and our pride want; which is hard for us as human beings, especially as Christians. Jesus taught many times that we are to be IN the world but not OF the world, and in my opinion, that includes the Church.

Are we serving God or ourselves?

Luke 16:13 (NKJV) says, “13. No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”Read More »

The Purpose of Fasting (Part 3) – Cultivating A Prayer Life after Fasting.

As we go into the final days of the 21-day fast for most churches, I am contemplating what it really means to cultivate a prayer life after fasting because this is the first time where I am able to take some time and focus on this topic. In Part 2, I talked about how if our prayer-life is out of sync and not aligned with God’s Word; we will continue to pray for things that are contrary to God’s plan for our lives.

In this final post in the 3-part miniseries on the purpose of fasting, I want to talk on how we as Christians should cultivate a prayer life after a fast that centers of who God is, what God has in store for our lives, and how to build a relationship with Christ through prayer.

What does it mean to Cultivate a Prayer Life?

Well, to me, I think that cultivating a prayer life is more than just praying to God and asking Him for guidance; I feel that in order to cultivate a prayer life, you would have to have begun to pray to God and be able to humble yourself before God. Humbling yourself before the Lord in prayer I feel shows that you and I as Christians are willing to submit to God’s plan for our lives over our way.

In the book of 2 Chronicles 7:14, the “chronicler” mentions that God just wants the people of Israel to humble themselves, pray and seek forgiveness of their sins and turn from their wickedness, but here’s the question: Can we as Christians today humble ourselves before God and pray for forgiveness?

2 Chronicles 7:14

14. if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

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The Parable of the Dragnet (Part 7)

Well, it’s been a while since I did a parable blog post. In The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price, I talked about how we as Christians should be obtaining the true treasure of the Kingdom of God; which is having an eternal life with Christ and being renewed by Him every day when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior over our livesIn this parable, I just want us to think of ourselves as the dragnet or net that comes to catch fish of every kind and draw them into a relationship with Christ.

If you want to read the other parable blog posts, you can check here.

What does it mean to be the Dragnet in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Well, what is a dragnet? A dragnet is a net designed to encircle a large area and gather fish near the bottom of a lake. So, if a dragnet is designed to catch fish, then what does that make us as disciples of Christ? In my opinion, I think this means that as disciples of Christ, we are tasked with gathering the “fish” or people of every kind and make disciples of every nation; just as Jesus commanded we do before He ascended into Heaven.

However, as the “dragnet” that will be used to bring people to Christ, we as Christians and as people should also remember that we are still human. In Matthew 13:47-48, Jesus gives us a depiction of not only what happens to disciples of Christ but also to those that reject Him and turn away from His gift of eternal life.

It’s our duty as disciples of Christ to gather people from all nations; just like a net comes and catches fish of all kinds.

Matthew 13:47-48

47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48. which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.Read More »

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Today, I would like to ask that as you read this blog post, you reflect on this question Jesus asked His disciples: “Who Do You Say That I Am?” As we go into the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of the holiday and that it’s about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. But, it’s also about how we as human beings perceive God and His Son Jesus Christ.

What did Christ really mean when He asked the question: “Who Do You Say That I Am?

Well, to me, I feel that Jesus was asking a very simple question but it’s a question that I feel, we as Christians just skim over and never really dig into. I feel that Jesus is asking us this question out of a sense of curiosity because He wants to know; how we as human beings perceive Him. In the Bible, God refers to Himself as “I AM” to Moses and as the God of the Israelites and even Jesus Himself said that phrase “I AM”.  In Mark 8:29, Jesus asks this very question to His disciples, but it’s Peter’s response that should show us who Christ really is and not who we perceive Him to be.

Mark 8:29

29. He said to them, “But who do you say that I Am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ”.Read More »

Who Is Barabbas? – The Sinners vs Jesus

Today, I will be talking about one of the misunderstood people in the Bible: Barabbas. In the Bible, we are virtually given no information about him except that he was part of a rebellion against the Romans and that he was a murderer, but doesn’t that describe humanity in general?

In this blog post, I want you all to ask yourself these questions: Am I going to be like Barabbas and choose to continue to rebel against God? or Am I going to choose Christ?

So, what does it mean to rebel against God? Well, the word rebellion comes from the Hebrew word carah, which means “rebellion”, “revolt”, and “turn away”. So, if rebellion is to turn away from something, why are we continuing to turn away from God and choosing to embrace sin? I feel that the reason we continue to embrace sin is because, we, as human beings born into sin, are naturally rebellious and will turn away from the person or people rebuking us.

In Mark 15:7-11, the Apostle Mark describes the scene of Pilate presenting Jesus and Barabbas to the people for one of them to be released; however, in this scene, it shows the true character of humanity’s defiance towards God and His Word.

Who Will You Choose?

Mark 15:7-11

7. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9. But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10. For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.”Read More »

“Will You Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me?”

What does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Him?

In previous blog posts, I have discussed the topic of discipleship but today, I’m going to delve a little deeper into a topic that I feel we as Christians talk about but don’t explain. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus makes three separate references about carrying your cross and following Him, but He warned us that by following Him; we would face persecution.

As Christians, we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves a target of ridicule for our willingness to follow Christ, but then, why are we as Christians and people so surprised when we all Christ asks us to do is take up our cross and follow Him? Well, in Mark 8:35-37, Jesus tells us what we could lose or gain if we choose to follow Him.

Mark 8:35-37

35. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

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Trust in God’s Plan

What did Jesus mean when He said, “… Not as I will, but as You will”?

Well, in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:35-36, and Luke 22:42, they all center on Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane asking God the Father to take the “cup” (the approaching separation from God) from Him, but acknowledged that it wasn’t by His will, but by God’s Will that the approaching separation and taking on the sin of the world be done. But, what does Jesus’s declaration of trust in God say about our own? In the Message Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and acknowledge God because He will direct our path.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Message Bible)

5. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 6. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

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Is Your Faith Strong Enough to Move Mountains?

What does having faith in God mean?

Well, in my blog post, Will You Walk By Faith? I talked about how we should put our faith in God and believe that He will do what He said He would do, but also realize that not everything is going to turn out the way we want it too. Now, let’s get to the core the matter; what kind of faith do you have to move your mountains? In Matthew 17:20, it tells us what type of faith we, as Christians and people should have.

Matthew 17:20-21
“20 Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

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