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The Word in Action

The Word in Action

Pokemon Go and Make Disciples

July 14, 2016

As Christians we have so much to do in this world as God speaks to us on a daily basis. Despite what God has called each of us to do individually there is one thing that He has called us ALL to do.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19 NASB

Did you read that? Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. Again it says to GO! Go, it’s a verb- an action. In all that we do in our life God requires us to go. How well are we fulfilling that one commandment? Are we going? Are we making disciples? I can honestly, for myself, say no. I have failed that one thing that God has commanded me to do. From my perspective, it seems like many Christians also fail that command. Now I know what you are thinking, how could I make such a blanket statement, but take a moment to hear what I saw the other day.

I received a call from my sister asking if I wanted to meet up with some people in Morristown. I accepted the invite and we went out to meet everyone. We stopped and got some coffee and ice cream then went to the green at Morristown. As we started to cross the street we noticed how packed the green was. Not only was it packed but everyone was doing the same thing. Everyone was staring at their phones all playing Pokémon Go.

It was absolutely crazy to see how so many people were playing one game and not to mention were acting like zombies. Hundreds of people were walking in circles playing a game.

In less than one week since being released in the app store the game had more active users in the US than Twitter. That’s over 65 million users in less than a week.

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Now the meme is a bit of an exaggeration but do you get the point? A silly little game has caused such a movement/cult following in only a week and yet in that same week what have we done for Christ in regards to fulfilling the Great Commission? If every Christian were to set out and give that command the same passion and zeal that people have for this silly game then how wide spread could the gospel become? How many people would we be able to pray for? How many people would come to commit their lives to Christ all because we have the same type of passion as the people who are playing this game have? I encourage you to reach out to someone today and share with them that Jesus loves them. Offer to pray for them and let the Holy Spirit work through you. Hey, If God was able to use a donkey then he can surely use us!

The Word in Action

Words

November 18, 2015

How many words do you use in a day? Have you ever counted? We use so many words day in and day out that we can easily lose sight of their great power. the words we use can actually determine the outcome of our day. It’s those little things we call words that act like a rudder for our entire lives.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you go out to lunch with a good friend and it’s a great time and you both had a lot of fun, but at the end of it your friend turns to you and says “I really, really hate you.

How does that paint your experience? It would give me a pretty painful outlook for at least the rest of the day. Those five words would steer me into an entirely different direction than if those words had not been said. Words have the ability to determine the course of our entire lives.

The Good News About Words:
They Work Better in the Positive Direction

It’s an interesting statement, but it’s true nonetheless. You can actually do more good with your spoken words than you could ever do harm (and that’s saying a lot because you can mess literally everything up with your words). Negative words can only ever result in a natural, earthly result. They can cause pain, loss or even death – all these are just natural repercussions, things to be expected as part of this earthly life we live. But there is something far greater than what could ever be expected from this natural life we live on earth.

A Well of Supernatural Consequences


When we speak the same Word as God we tap into a well of supernatural consequences that far exceed anything we could ever expect from this natural earthly life. When we speak the same Word as God with the same faith as God we can see the supernatural become reality before our eyes. When Jesus spoke to the sick they were healed. When Jesus said to the leper “You are cleansed” they were made whole. When Jesus called the dead out of the tombs they resurrected and walked out of the deadness they were in.

It is this same power that we have the privilege and responsibility to walk in as those who carry the presence of God. It is the same Word that we can speak to see the same results in our lives today. And I’m not oblivious to the fact that we don’t see those kinds of miracles on a daily basis here in America. I’m not suggesting you go to your nearest cemetery and start calling people out of the catacombs (you could try if you wanted to though).

Calling People Back Into Emotional and Mental Life


There are so many people living in emotional deadness because of words that were spoken over them. They have been told that they’re worthless, useless, unloved, unwanted, unknown, uncared for. It takes a pure miracle from God to heal those deep emotional wounds that many of us carry around, and that’s where your words come in. You have the ability to speak into that deadness. You have the ability to bring life into your own or someone elses’ hurting heart by speaking the same Word as God into that situation. Replace those dead words with God’s Words. Tell them that God unconditionally loves them, that He cares for them, that He sees them and then follow that up by showing the same love you spoke about. This is the evangelism that our generation needs. This is the love that we need to show for a great revival in our lives, our churches and our communities. Jesus gave us the power, now we just need to use it.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
– Jesus

The Word in Action

Fear

July 9, 2015

Be aware of those fears that stalk in the dead of night. Be on guard against those thoughts that cause anxiety and demand action at the same time. Fear is the exact opposite of love and it is what the enemy uses to get God’s people off track. It is at that time that we must seek the Lord and inquire Him about what to do so that we can operate as He would like us to. Seeking the heart of God is key because even if those things which we fear come upon us, He is able to lead us in a victorious procession over those fears. Seeing our greatest fears fulfilled is not the end of our journey. Just read the story of Job. He experienced the greatest fears of his life becoming reality and he saw with his eyes those things that he feared in his heart (Job 3:25).

But the story doesn’t end there. All of heaven was watching to see how Job would respond to this realization of fear. God, the devil, and the angels were all waiting to see how the servant of God would respond. If you don’t know the end of the story, I’ll give it to you. Job gets everything restored to him, and he sees the faithfulness of God. Job saw God’s faithfulness completed toward him while he still lived so that he could be showcased throughout all generations.

Most people are well aware of all the dangers of life in this fast paced, high stress world we live in. From threats of violence to impending financial troubles, the fears are everywhere. But if I could just submit one thought into the consciousness of the reader it would be this: if all of those fears are realized, how would you respond?

We have the ability to stare fear in the face and speak the powerful name of Jesus to overcome every obstacle that would try to keep us from discovering God’s will. God has a plan, especially in the midst of crisis, and if we’re willing, we can know that will and do His will in the midst of great trouble. At the end of this Christian journey, I think everyone of us will be able to see the faithfulness of God just like Job did, and we’ll all have everything God has ever desired for us when we finally dwell in His presence forever.

The Word in Action

“Only God Can Judge Me”

April 10, 2015

I’m probably stepping into some hot water with this one right out the gate, but that’s okay :). I want to break down some misconceptions about this saying. We all might be surprised to find what the roots have to say about its meaning.

The First Letter To The Corinthians

1 Corinthians was a book written with a very stern tone to a church that could safely be categorized as a little bit on the reckless side. From corrections about how to take communion properly to the extreme of condemning the sin of one man who slept with his stepmother, this letter goes in with guns blazing. In light of the strong level of correction within this book, it’s no surprise that Paul felt the need to help the church understand why it was okay for him to speak into those situations that needed discipline. In chapter 5 we begin to see how the Biblical framework of correction is being shown to the church of the Corinthians.

Chapter 5 Verses 9-13

This section of Scripture is what can be referred to as the “meat” of the Word. It’s a section that is not as easy to swallow as a bottle of milk, but it will help you to mature into a strong believer who is able to do the will of God. Paul wrote:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.

Let’s break it down piece by piece.

It’s abundantly clear that this is not Paul’s first interaction with this church. He states that he has told them in the past not to associate with those who sin. However, he makes very clear in this section that he was not referring to those who do not know Christ. He was specifically referring to those who claim to be a Christian but still practice a life of sin. He cautions against even eating with such a person! Does this seem a bit extreme? Absolutely, but to understand the full context of this correction you’ve gotta read on into 2 Corinthians to find out why it was such a strong stance (we don’t have time for that in this post so I encourage you to read it in your spare time). But look very closely at those last four sentences in verses 12 and 13. Examine them and really mull them over in your mind. These are very thought provoking statements that we all need to understand.

So Are You A Part Of The Church Or Not?

This whole conversation boils down to this one question. Paul makes very clear that those who are outside the family of God are to be left unjudged by believers as far as sin is concerned. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” And what an unfortunate judgement that will be. When we say “only God can judge me” we are proclaiming our own refusal to submit to the church’s authority which God has ordained on the earth (Read Ephesians 5). We’re saying that we would rather have God deal with us directly. That’s all well and good, but if you want God to judge you it’s not going to be a very pretty sight. We know this because there was one man who bore that judgement over 2,000 years ago. That same man was marred beyond recognition by the Roman scourging and crucifixion. God’s judgement required death, and only those who by faith receive that gift of forgiveness purchased by Jesus’ sacrifice can claim that God is no longer their Judge, but their loving Father.

In A Nutshell

Let’s not look at the wisdom of Pastors, Elders, and mentors as something to be avoided, but rather as something to be embraced as a safeguard against our own immaturity and inconsistencies. We all have blind spots in our lives, but with the help of the Lord and the guidance of those He has ordained for our lives, we can see farther, work harder, and accomplish more than we could ever do without the full counsel and judgment of the body of Christ.

The Word in Action

Is The Heart Of America Really Racist?

March 18, 2015

If we’ve heard the word racist or some form of it associated with America once, we’ve heard it hundreds of times over the past few months. It seems that some in this country would like to stoke the flames of an issue that has already caused much pain in decades gone by and that still does have a sting in our culture today. I’m not sure what the role of other organizations is in all of this name calling and finger pointing, but I know that God has called the church to be the peacemakers. God has called His body to be the healing salve to those deep hurts caused by many painful circumstances.

I can’t vouch for other churches

or speak on their behalf, but this much I know for certain: I go to a church that represents over 50 nations from around the world every Sunday. Yup. 50 nations. I mean I’m a red, white, and blue American and I probably can’t name all 50 states let alone the 50+ countries that these people are from. We worship together, we listen to the Word together and we all have that common meeting place in Jesus. So while the media is saying that racists are the new bogeymen that tend to hide in the body of every heterosexual white male, (yes they have singled this particular demographic out) I just can’t go along with that narrative because this video shows the heart that I see reflected in every Sunday service:

God has used some strong men in my life from all different backgrounds to help me become the believer I am today. These people were Puerto Rican, El Salvadorian, Ecuadorian, Italians, Japanese, Cherokee, Apache, African, Hatian, Jamacian, Korean, Dominican, Guatemalan, Mexican, Costa Rican, Indian, Israeli, Lebanese, New Yorkers, New Jersey boys, and people from many different states across this nation. God has used them all in my life, and they have all graciously accepted me into their lives without either party ever giving a second thought to race. And if you think that all those people had the same skin color you are sadly mistaken.

So can I in the honesty of my heart, say that America is a racist nation?

I can’t. I can’t because only in America could I have experienced the life that I have lived. Only America has been able bring together all nations under one banner. And we haven’t done it on our own strength or ingenuity. We accomplished this feat because we are and always have been “one nation under God.” That same God that the founders of this nation worshipped is that same God that is the glue of our country. He is the only common thread for all those different nationalities that I mentioned before. Only Jesus could bring understanding between different cultures, languages and experiences. He is the one who neutralizes all the racist tendencies in the heart of man so that we can enjoy the unique differences of other cultures instead of alienating people because of them.

Short of the long:

America is not made up of those people that the media puts out there as examples. The media cherry picks stories to validate the narrative they want to create. I believe that the majority of America is made up of people like you and me that are sick of racism and tired of injustice. There is a hope for this country but it’s not in the media or government solutions: the change starts with you and with me. We must accept personal responsibility for our areas of influence. We must speak out against the injustices that we see everyday. We must show that we care about those who have different culture, skin color and language. When we change our individual pieces of this country we will see that the world isn’t as ugly as the media wants you to think it is. But that’s only because you made it better than it was.

For us it starts under the banner of God, and there’s enough room under it for everyone to join in.

Feel free to comment below.

Grace and peace!

The Word in Action

How To Be Led By The Spirit (A Beginner’s Guide)

March 14, 2015

Have you ever heard the phrase “Being led by the Spirit”? Or maybe you’ve heard people say that they’re being led by the Spirit. Do you ever wonder what that means or how that works out in a practical way? Well this is the beginner’s guide to being led by the Spirit.

There’s a lot of theologians out there that can give a 14 day dissertation on the Scriptural principles and proper hermenutical interpretation of the Bible when it comes to this subject, but this is not that. The aim and intent of this is to just get those who want to be led by the Spirit started somewhere on the path as soon as they finish reading this.

So let’s start at the beginning

What is the Spirit and why should we be led by Him? The Spirit that we’re referring to is the literal Spirit of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the 120 believers in the upper room were filled with the literal Spirit of God. Now that doesn’t mean that they lose control of their minds or bodies or anything like that, but what it does mean is that they accepted the fullness of God’s ability to dwell in their bodies. So when we reference the Spirit let’s all be on the same page. This Spirit is not some emotional force that has no reason, this is the heart of Jesus that we’re talking about.

That being said,

let’s head over to John 6:63 where Jesus said:

“The Spirit is The Life Giver; the body does not benefit anything. The words that I speak with you are spirit and life.”

Here’s the one big key that I want to get over in this message: you can start being led by the Spirit today through reading God’s Word. Jesus Himself said that the very words He spoke are Spirit and Life. If that’s true (and I believe it is) and you take those same words that are Spirit and life, and allow yourself to be led by them, you’re already being led by the Spirit! When a believer says no to anything that is contrary to the Word of God, they are being led by the Spirit of God. When a believer says yes to something that is approved of in the Word of God they are also being led by the Spirit of God. Once you develop basic obedience to the written Word (which is in essence the Spirit of God) you will then become familiar with the voice of God. Once you become familiar with God’s voice through His word you are able to distinguish what His will is even when the decision isn’t as simple as choosing between something evil and righteous.

Here’s the bottom line:

When you start reading the Word of God (Which is Spirit and Life according to Jesus) and obeying that same Word (or Spirit), you become more acquainted with the voice of God which then enables you to be more sensitive to God’s direction thus making you ready to be led by the Spirit in every situation.

Start with the basics and work your way up. This Christian walk is a long journey, not a sprint. Start small and you’ll grow tall if you just keep at it day after day.

What You Should Start Doing Today:

Start reading the Word and whenever you come across a place that you know you’re not living in total obedience to stop and consider what God might have you do to fix that. Start to execute the Word in your life today so that you can become a mature son or daughter of God that is always led by the Spirit of God.

Grace and Peace to you!

The Word in Action

Silence Is Not The Answer

March 10, 2015

With all that is going on in the world today we can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of problems in the world. Sometimes I look around on social media and just shake my head when I hear about some of the vile things going on today. But shaking our head isn’t enough. Taking a deep breath and hanging our heads isn’t enough to make a difference. If we are going to see anything change in our corner of the world we can’t just stop at feeling bad about the wrong that’s being done in the world.

Too often we become calloused to the injustices around us because we compare it to the worst things we’ve seen in the news. If we allow it, our calloused heart then causes us to remain silent about even the smallest of injustices in our lives because “they’re not as bad as the stuff I saw the other day.”

But silence is not the answer. Silence is not the solution. If our desire is really to see the entire world transformed, we must start where we live. We have been empowered by and equipped with the Word of God to bring justice to our spheres of influence. As we speak God’s Word, He will personally make sure that it will come to pass.