Christ

Seeing signs of a dead church? How to take an autopsy

During the Fall Session of the D.C., D.E., M.D., District Council of the PAW, Inc., Pastor Michael Barber, of Dominion Apostolic Ministries, discussed how to examine the Body of Christ. He advised that churches prioritize soul-winning, as the heartbeat of God, by inspiring the Body and putting people in a position to see God move and have defining moments.

As a Council, we’re in the process of becoming one and beginning to move as a unit, but we have to capture the heartbeat of God. And whether or not, there is growth, we shouldn’t have to wait until something dies until we have an examination. How many churches die because they didn’t take an autopsy? (more…)

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What it means to honor our God, our parents

Bishop is teaching on the nucleus that is our families. The latest in his series is on Honoring our parents. Here’s the definition of honor, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Hon·or, noun

: respect that is given to someone who is admired; a good reputation; good quality or character as judged by other people; high moral standards of behavior.
: an academic distinction conferred on a superior student, a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course.
: an exalted title or rank, badge, decoration; a ceremonial rite or observance.
: a keen sense of ethical conduct, one’s word given as a guarantee of performance.: respect that is given to someone who is admired; a good reputation; good quality or character as judged by other people; high moral standards of behavior.
: an academic distinction conferred on a superior student, a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course.
: an exalted title or rank, badge, decoration; a ceremonial rite or observance.
: a keen sense of ethical conduct, one’s word given as a guarantee of performance.

Origin of HONOR

Middle English, from Anglo-French onur, honur, from Latin honos, honor. First known use was in the 13th century.

10 ways God shows His love for us!

God's love. (Credit: tatjana-mihaela.hubpages.com)

God’s love. (Credit: tatjana-mihaela.hubpages.com)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we put together a list that shows God’s love for us in the scriptures (mostly described by the apostle John in the English Standard Version). The ultimate proof lies at the cross and, of course, in your personal testimony. And if you don’t think you have a personal testimony of God’s love, just seek Him and wait — it’s sure to come. Without further ado, a look at the ways God shows His love for me and you:

1. Christ died for us
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

2. We are more than conquerors
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

3. He quiets us and exults over us
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

4. He is looking out for us
“You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43:4-5)

5. He enables us to love
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

6. He gives us benefits
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5) (more…)

Learning to Live Holy

Ephesians 2:2
When you come to Christ, you must change. Change is sometimes difficult, but God requires us to become new creatures. (see Romans 6:4) We must not conform to this world, but must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (See Romans 12:2) A transformation takes place when you become saved. Don’t let anyone make you believe you are the same after God saves you. Your mind has to change. You can’t be stuck and comfortable in your old mindset. You must be willing to go through the process to become the person God requires you to become.
God wants His church to be like Him. What is Christ like? He’s holy, righteous, patient, long-suffering, forgiving, kind, etc. Those are the characteristics that He wants us to exemplify. In the flesh dwells no good thing and it wants to rise up. However, the Holy Ghost will help you control it and to display godliness, but you have to yield to it. Paul told Timothy to be an example of the believer in word, deed, and in conversation.
It is a good thing to be saved and to know that you are chosen by God! God saw and chose you before you saw yourself. You were chosen before the foundation of the world. Once God saves you, you have to learn how to walk and to please God. When you receive the Holy Ghost, you are not immediately perfect. That is why you must learn to live holy and to grow in grace. God’s purpose for His church is that it is holy. It is to be nothing like the world. (See Ephesians 1:4)
We have to live a life of holiness. God expects nothing less. Holiness means we live a life that is separated from the world and for God. When you are baptized in Jesus’ name, you bury your sins and rise up to walk in the newness of life. You are to be different when you get up. You are not to go back to the same thing you were doing before you were baptized. You are to be a visible example to unbelievers. Let others see Christ in you!
We have to believe to the saving of our souls. Once we believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the Holy Ghost. (Ephesians 1:14) You have to have the Spirit of God to go back with God when He comes for His church. The best way to know you have the Holy Ghost is not by speaking in tongues, but by the fruit you bear. You have to show the Holy Ghost in everything you do and in everywhere you go. You must also feed and maintain the Holy Ghost. You must live holy.

He is already risen!

After they received the message that Jesus was risen, they became the messenger to tell others. Some, like Thomas, don’t believe until they see.

We, likewise, have a responsibility to tell others that Jesus got up. We are supposed to be believers and let others know that Jesus is who He is and will do what He said He would do.

God’s word is being fulfilled every day. The scripture says that in the last days, some will depart from the faith and it is happening. But we are follow the command of God and “save yourselves” from this untoward generation. Jesus was not murdered. He VOLUNTARILY gave up His life. (more…)

A Rich and Powerful Inheritance

Now that the presidential election is over, a number of people applied for and are hoping to be selected for a presidential appointment. But when it comes to God, we don’t have to apply for a place in His kingdom. If you are a child of God, God has elected you! No application necessary, only an already available dispensation of His grace. Christ chose you before you were born and accepted you. We are not acceptable to God in ourselves, but He makes us acceptable in Christ. Even when we do things that are totally against God, He is waiting for us to repent and to receive us back home. God is rich in mercy and will give us another chance. God loves us, sacrificed for us and adopted us. As His children, we have a wealth of blessings (see Ephesians 1:1-17).

In choosing His followers, God doesn’t follow the norm (see 1 Corinthians 1:27-29). He goes beyond our thinking. He does things the way He wants them done because He is sovereign. There are no laws or rules that can control what He does. In using the unexpected, God gets the glory! (more…)

A Lesson from Ruth: Stay in a Blessed Place

Want to know where your blessing is? God has a special time and place for us to receive your blessing if we commit to following Him. The story of Ruth gives us insight to how we should approach our relationship with God. (see Ruth 1:11-16) Ruth followed and worked for Naomi, her mother-in-law, just as we should follow and work for God. Ruth rested at her husband Boaz’s feet, just as we should rest at the feet of Christ. Ruth and Orpah’s, Naomi’s second daughter-in-law, journey to Moab from their home in Judah to escape famine represent those who leave God when situations become difficult. When we face difficult situations while living for God, we should never wonder whether He will provide. However, instead we sometimes leave the place God has designated to bless us because circumstances are difficult. But we have to remember to always trust God through it all!

Even if someone turns away from God, God has a plan to bring His child back. (see Genesis 26:2-3) There is always hope! We, however, must be willing to go back to our place in Christ. We also must be aware of the influence we can have over others. When one returns to Christ, that person can bring another along, just as Ruth returned home with Naomi. Ruth accepted the God of Israel and of Naomi as her God. However, Orpah rejected God. Orpah would not leave her home or her idol gods to serve the one, true God. Likewise, some people won’t give up the world because they are afraid of being scoffed by relatives and friends. But if you want to be blessed, you have to be where God wants you. And as children of God, we should want to take advantages of the blessings He has for us. (See 2 Peter 1:4)

In the story of Ruth, Boaz can also represent Christ. Boaz would not allow his faithful workers to go empty handed. When we are in need, God will lead someone to help or guide us if we would just be faithful and obedient. When your are in the right field, God will bless your abundantly! (see Psalms 126:6)

In order to receive blessings from God, we also must be obedient to Him. God instructs the church not to have spiritual fellowship with the world. (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) We have to follow ALL of God’s instructions. There are no blessings in circumventing His word.

Ruth was blessed because she followed instructions and was faithful. Likewise, we must do the same in our walk with God. Ruth could have been like Orpah and went a different direction. However, Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and follow God. We must also follow God, even when we see others reject Him. If we, however, commit to living according to God’s word and to keeping our place in Christ, God’s blessings will surely come!