Archive for May, 2013


Already Won!

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT)

I went to a Florida Panther professional hockey game recently and was surprised to see cheerleaders actively cheering for the home team to win. I found out later that the cheerleaders were called “ice cats” and this was part of every home game. Of course I have seen cheerleaders in football games but it was the first time for me to see them cheering in a cold ice hockey arena. A cheerleader is a person who leads spectators in traditional or formal cheering, especially at a pep rally or athletic event. The cheerleaders motivate the fans to support their team more enthusiastically which completely changes the atmosphere of the game. Cheering for your team demonstrates loyalty but how much greater then should we praise the Lord in demonstration of our loyalty to him? Sports teams use the cheerleaders to encourage the players to perform their best to win and churches have worship leaders to remind the believers that the victory is already won. So rise up and praise the Lord.

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The Price of Gifts

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
(1 Corinthians 12:4, 7 NLT)

Everyone likes to receive gift packages but not many people realize the effort required to deliver the packages to their doorstep as the struggle of the delivery driver behind the scene goes unnoticed. The charasmatic gifts of the Holy Spirit also arrive with personal sacrifice at the price of holiness and in the forfeit of worldly pleasures. A preacher may receive a word of wisdom for the congregation but has to sacrifice hours of their time in packaging it into a sermon. Fasting and praying to be filled with the Spirit for fresh empowerment is a personal sacrifice of food, time and thoughts. A healing evangelist often has experienced a period of personal health suffering which helps them to empathize with the hurting people for whom they carry the healing gifts. All social reformation projects depend on time, money and effort to be offered for the benefit of others. Loving acts of reconciliation require a sacrifice of personal preferences in the interest of the other. God sacrificed his Son because he loves us. Jesus sacrificed himself for us for love. The Holy Spirit empowers us with spiritual gifts to be a sacrifice for others in love.

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Gift Delivery!

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
(1 Peter 4:10 NLT)

FedEx delivery drivers are very busy during the month of December delivering packages because it is the season for gift giving. They work long hours sacrificing their bodies lifting heavy packages to serve the customers needs. God is pouring out the charismatic gifts of the Spirit on his people in this end time season of spiritual gift giving. Like these delivery drivers believers make personal sacrifices toiling to deliver the spiritual gifts to their intended destinations ordained by God. The spiritual gifts do not belong to us but they are entrusted to us to be given away sacrificially as the Holy Spirit leads. God’s gifts are ours to give away.

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Freedom!

“They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”
(Acts 14:22 NLT)

I was walking on a south Florida beach one day and came across a large raft made of styrofoam. It was painted blue blending into the color of ocean. As I approached this home made vessel I saw that it even had a mast and a rudder. On the top platform were some canned food products and cloth material that served as a sail along with two old communist green shirts left behind by whoever used the raft. Large red letters were spray painted on the side reading “United States Coast Guard OK.” Whoever floated on this raft was picked up by the United States Coast Guard. The US Coast guard annually intercepts as many as 3000 cuban rafters known as “balseros” who risk their lives leaving everything behind in an extreme effort to find freedom crossing over the ocean to America.(1) Christians all over the world risk their lives and suffer persecution leaving their old sinful ways behind to find freedom in Christ crossing over from death to life as new citizens of the Kingdom of God.

1)http://www.ascecuba.org/publications/proceedings/volume16/pdfs/

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Bend With The Wind

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:8 NIV)

I love palm trees. Every time I see a palm tree it makes me feel like I’m on vacation because they only grow in warm locations. A hammock fastened in between the shade of two palm trees while sipping a cold tropical smoothie on a hot day is my idea of relaxation. Although palm trees are very tall and thin they rarely fall down. The palm tree is one of the most resilient trees. It can withstand hurricane force winds because of its great flexibility but when the sap stops flowing and the tree dies it will break easily in the storm. Rigid and lifeless people crack under sustained pressure. Believers in Jesus Christ are alive in the Holy Spirit and are flexible to bend in submission to the strong wind of conviction as the Holy Spirit addresses the deep issues of the soul.

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Feel Better

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:9 ESV)

No one likes to suffer with the common cold. A sore throat with a fever quickly progresses to a runny nose with a cough. There are several home remedies that can help promote a faster recovery. Gargling with apple cider vinegar can relieve a sore throat. Taking vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea nutritional supplements decreases recovery time. Drinking plenty of water, decreasing stress, and getting extra rest will boost the immune system to fight the infection. The only good thing about being sick is feeling better. The improvements we make each day quickly illuminates the darkness of the previous days misery. What is even worse than being sick is living in sin. The only good part about living in sin is forgiveness. The blood of Jesus quickly cleanses the guilt of a life filled with unrighteousness. Feel better. Be better. Get Jesus.

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Wrinkle Free

“These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 15:50, 51, 57 NLT)

The market place is saturated with products that claim to prevent aging. Numerous lotions are available to improve external skin appearance and reduce wrinkles. Attempts are made to conceal wrinkles with cosmetics or by covering them with hair styles but wrinkles are best prevented from the inside out. A good circulatory system with nutritional supplementation and adequate hydration provides the correct environment for skin cell regeneration. We focus on external appearance instead of our internal health. The saving blood of Jesus and God’s Word combined with the Holy Spirit flowing within every believer is the best anti-aging program available working from the inside out for spiritual transformation. We’ll be wrinkle free in eternity if we let God renew us from the inside out.

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Backed Up

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
(Colossians 3:13 NLT)

Most of us have experienced the dreaded toilet clog. When the plumbing does not flow properly things can get messy. If the situation is serious enough a plumber has to come to remove the blockage. Sometimes past resentment can hinder future progress. There will always be people that offend us with criticism but holding on to these bitter memories creates a blockage of unforgiveness and our spiritual maturity is impeded. The Holy Spirit will help a humble soul that is teachable to remove the obstruction. Avoid getting backed up and let forgiveness flow.

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