Monday, April 17, 2023

Happy Monday

Mondays can be tough, for sure But a Christian knows the cure No matter what the day may bring We experience peace in Jesus, our King

My spirit is fresh but my body is sore
Getting moving is a bit of a chore
So as I stretch, I also pray
I need His presence to face the day
In Jesus, I have hope and peace
Worries and fears have to cease
So, I'm gonna lift my voice and sing
As I embrace this Monday with everything!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Believing and Belonging

Do you believe in what your local church is doing enough to belong to it?

Belonging to a local church through practical membership happens first when you believe in the work that the local church is doing to the degree that you want to belong to it.

When this happens, you’ve moved from convenience to commitment and from bystander to bootstrapper!

To merely attend a church is to be a spectator from the stands. On the other hand, when you belong to a church, you are actively involved in the work of the church. Anyone can attend and consume what the church is giving out...but people who belong are the ones who are investing their time, talent, and treasure in the cause. Honestly, there will always be those who just want the benefits of the church but refuse to share the responsibility.

As a leader, one of my greatest challenges is moving people from the sidelines to the field. Helping people understand the need for commitment to the local church body is an ongoing challenge. I believe one of the reasons is due to the climate in our culture to remain fly below the radar and not attach yourself to anything in particular for fear of being asked to do something that will require a commitment.

Due to this mindset, we are seeing an increase in spiritual orphans who jump from one church to the next without any identity, accountability, or commitment. Often, these are good people who have convinced themselves that they can be "good Christians" without actually belonging to a local church.

And yet, the Bible speaks to the need for believers to belong to an active local church.

1. Belonging to a local church establishes your identity as a believer.

John 13:35 "By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Identifying yourself as a disciple of Jesus means you’ve identified with a local group of disciples.

We cannot do life alone. When we choose to connect with a local body of disciples, regardless of background, race, or social status, we are testifying to the world that we belong to Him and to those He has connected us to for His Kingdom purpose. When we are connected to a body," we can truly be the "part of the body" He created us to be. The body is connected, not separated.

2. Belonging to a local church moves you from exclusive to inclusive.

As I mentioned, we cannot do life alone. This is why God "places" us in the body as He sees fit. He joins us in a local body, which requires us to learn how to get along. Like any family, we have to learn how to serve one another, love one another, and do so with unselfish motives.

The longer I am connected to a local church through practical membership, the more I find myself caring about others. The Apostle Paul said that we would experience empathy with our brothers and sisters in Christ: 1 Corinthians 12:26 "If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its honor."

If we are merely casual acquaintances, we do not experience the benefit of forging relational fellowship. It’s in this relational fellowship that we discover we are not independent of one another but rather dependent on each other.

 When I belong to a local church, I’m expressing to my brothers and sisters in Christ that I am just as committed to them as I am to Jesus Christ. In my commitment to the local church, I am modeling my commitment to Christ. Most of us are familiar with John 3:16. It’s a powerful verse that illustrates God’s great love for us. But, have you considered 1 John 3:16? "Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers".  This expectation is placed on the shoulders of believers toward one another.

3. Belonging to a local church stretches my potential.

The greatest "stretching" I have experienced came through my participation in the purposes of the church. Obviously, attending church services is vital to my spiritual growth and health, but my greatest growth comes from participating, not just attending. The Bible says, "As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy, growing, and full of love" (Ephesians 4:16).

Since believers are called to belong to a local church body in order to function with purpose, we must also embrace the fact that this cohesion also identifies us as "family." The Bible mentions one another or each other over 50 times in the New Testament. We are commanded to...

Love each other

Pray for each other.

Encourage each other.

Admonish each other.

Greet each other.

Serve each other.

Teach each other.

Accept each other.

Honor each other.

Bear each other’s burdens.

Forgive each other.

Submit to each other.

Be devoted to each other.

and many other mutual tasks.


So, the question to each of us, especially to those who attend church services, is:  with whom are you doing these with?”

4. Belonging to a local church meets needs.

When God "saved" me from my sin, He didn’t just save me to sit. He saved me to fulfill a purpose in His body. This is referred to as your "MINISTRY."  Your ministry (assignment) in His body is meant to benefit everyone, not just you.

1 Corinthians 12:7 "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church".

It is through the local church that believers discover, develop, and use their gifts. Even if your ministry or purpose has expanded to a national audience, you never lose your responsibility to your local church and the area you cover. Jesus has not promised to build anyone’s ministry; he has promised to build His church.

5. Belonging to a local church expands God’s reach.

Today, God is using His spiritual body to reach the world. We are His hands and feet among the nations. Yes, we are to love the local church and have tremendous relational fellowship within it. However, we are also called to carry this same relationship to the rest of the world. We start in our Jerusalem and then expand to our Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world.

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

6. Belonging to a local church covers me.

Every believer needs the protection of their local church and leadership. I’ve said for many years, "Left to myself, I’m a trainwreck." Friends, none of us is immune to temptation. Left to ourselves, without accountability, we are all capable of sin. God knows this. This is why we are instructed to help hold each other accountable.

Hebrews 3:13: "But exhort one another daily, while it is called "today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."

"Mind your own business" is not a Christian phrase. We are called and commanded to be involved in each other’s lives. If you know someone who is wavering spiritually right now, it is your responsibility to go after them and bring them back into the fellowship.

James 5:19-20 "19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."

When you belong to a local church, you are also afforded the spiritual protection of godly leaders. God gives shepherd leaders the responsibility to guard, protect, defend, and care for the spiritual welfare of their flock.

Hebrews 13:17 "Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God."

The devil loves to disconnect believers from the local church. He picks us off one by one through offense, isolation, disconnection, etc., because he knows that if he can separate us from a local church and the covering of our leaders, we become an easy target.

Friend, being a "Christian" is more than just a commitment to Jesus; it is also a commitment to other "Christians".  Let us be reminded that each of us must move from being "believers" to being "belongers."

You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers.

The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


JEZEBEL (male or female)(controlling spirit) ...

- Will befriend you until they become offended at you.
- If they can't control you, they'll condemn you.
- Will criticize you, it's part of their job description.
- Will talk nice/nasty (nice to you, nasty about you).
- Will talk about you; not with you.
- Will make threats & plot in open & in secret to destroy you.
- Will find weak minded people to do their bidding.
- Will speak the same language as the pastor, but their motive will be to gain position & control. Acts16:16


- The Lord's directive to Elijah holds true for you: Rest. Rise. Eat. Repeat.
- Jezebel is a spirit that seeks to co-opt legitimate authority to accommodate its idolatrous ends. It cannot be coddled or allowed to operate unchecked. It must be confronted.
- The preaching of the CROSS will drive the spirit of Jezebel back to the hellish pit it crawled out of.