Sunday, March 30, 2014

Grace is Free

Grace is free
Births liberty
But Grace paid the highest price
When Jesus gave His life

Blood flowed down from His veins
From the Truth, the Life, the Way
He hung against the criss-cross beams
A ransom for our God-inspired dreams

He held the world upon His shoulders
Held the young and the older
His sacrifice once and for all
Redeemed us from the fall

The veil was torn that dreadful day
The day He gave His life away
Two days passed and then the third came
Then resurrection power kissed His grave

“I am the resurrection and the life”
Said the Christ
He comes to bring us liberty
He's alive
His grace is free

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Prophetic Word

Lord had me give this at FaithBridge Church, West Chicago, IL on Sunday, March 23, 2014

Come to Me. Come if you are hurting. Come if you are confused. I will meet your every need. I will wipe away your every tear. I was like a seed that died and was buried. Behold I am now a tree. Like birds that rest in the branches of a tree, you can rest in Me. You can find refuge in my arms. Come away with Me. Come and receive My embrace. I am longing to hold you. I long to make you My own. Come I say and rest in My branches, and I will make you whole.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Transforming Power of God's Love

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

At eighteen years of age, my future was a kaleidoscope of confusion. Fear hunted me down and wounded me like a young deer caught in a bear trap. As a senior in high school, I scouted out colleges, while I wondered at what I would do with my life. Should I pursue something in the sciences? How about music – I love to play guitar? But my questions were not hopeful they were laden with self doubt. At the same time, God was pursuing me. During this time, I received an advertisement in the mail from Wheaton College. They offered a three-day “Get Acquainted Weekend” where potential students could learn about the school. I decided to go. Part of the package included a free concert with a man named Leon Patillo, who formerly sang for the group Santana.

This singer and keyboardist played and sang skillfully. The message of God's grace permeated his music and ministry. At the end of the concert, I walked forward to receive Christ into my life. I wish I could say that fear immediately left me after I met Christ. The truth is that it took time for me to find freedom. That freedom came as I slowly learned of God's love for me. And that knowledge came as I meditated upon God's word, as I spent time in the Lord's presence, and as I fellowshipped with other believers.

If you are struggling with fear in your life, my first recommendation to you is that you make sure that you are born again. When I received Christ at that gospel concert, Leon, the performer, led me and others in a prayer. Here is a similar prayer that you can pray if you do not know Jesus, the Wonder- worker.

Dear God of Heaven,

I come before you as I am. Forgive me for my fears and failures. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that I need your mercy. Thank you, Jesus, for dying for me on the cross, and for taking the punishment for my sin. Lord, I surrender all to you. Have your way in me and through me. I choose to follow you all the days of my life. Help me to grow as a new believer, and help me to know you more and more. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Once you become a born again Christian, take time every day to read God's word (the Bible) and pray, and find a church where you are loved and where God's word is powerfully preached. Ask the Lord to reveal to you his love for you. He will, and it will come in stages. The love that comes from God the Father acts like the sun that melts away the icicles of fear in our lives. Love always drives fear away. When we choose to love God and others, that love flows more and more freely in our lives.

I am now 47 and with God's help I have overcome all my foreboding fears. My wife, her cousin and husband, and I run a caregiving agency. I also serve on the praise and worship team at my church. I no longer fear the future. Instead I live life blossoming with the Spirit's joy.

You too can experience the transforming power of God's love. Come and invite Jesus to shower you with his love – I promise you, you will never be the same.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Creative Power

When troubles multiply
I speak your word
When my heart wonders why
I speak your word

When I’m tempted to fear
You come, You draw near

There’s creative power in the words You’ve given
Power to build and to destroy
Your word spoken calls the angels to be employed

They move swiftly bringing Your word to pass
They are God’s servants accomplishing the task

Dear Father,
Teach us to speak your word
In faith and power
You will move in Your hour

Nothing is impossible to You
We trust You Lord of love and truth

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fishers of Men

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come, follow me, “ Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20

Jesus extended an invitation to Peter and Andrew. He asked them to come and follow Him. He urged them to drop their nets and become His disciples. He called them to no longer be fisherman – this was their livelihood, it was all they knew. Now Jesus was calling them to fish for men or win others for God's kingdom.

It is interesting that Jesus did not look for the religious leaders or scribes of his day to follow Him. He did not recruit scholars. Instead He chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). He was looking for those who had a teachable spirit, those who could be molded by the Master for God's purposes.

Peter and Andrew said yes to the call. They became His disciples and His witnesses. God used them mightily. We are not all called to leave our secular jobs to become full-time ministers for the Lord, but wherever we find ourselves in the working community, we can shine for Him. We can lay down any behaviors or attributes that do not glorify God, we can clothe ourselves with Christ's character, and we can compel others to come to our Lord. Jesus is still crying out Come and follow me; He still desires to make all of us fishers of men. Will you answer the call?

Dear Father God,
I am humbled be the fact that You would choose me. I ask you to fill me with Your Spirit. I say yes to your call to follow You. Make me more and more like You and help me represent You in this fallen world. Give me a heart for souls. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.