blog

Finding Shelter in God

The book of Psalms tells us that we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”(23:6). We will live with Him, in Him. He's going to be our address, our home. 

How many of you saw the movie The Lone Survivor with Mark Wahlberg? In that movie, Marcus Luttrel is hurt, and a Pakistani Muslim takes him into his own home and then defends him with his own life. They call this custom the Pashtunwali Code and the idea is when I'm your host I'm willing to lay down my life for you. 

There is amazing archeological evidence, which you can Google yourself, which shows that some of the tribes of Israel went into Afghanistan and that the Pashtunwali Code may have originated from Hebrew custom and culture. But regardless of where the code comes from this is exactly what God does for us. He invites us into Himself, to dwell in Him, and then he defends us with His Life.  Let's think about that. God says, “I will be your host, and I will protect you so much and I am so much for you that I will lay down my life for you.” Amazing!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Most Important Thing God Wants You to Know About Death

photo-1467931701857-c66e9e144633.jpeg

Remember that passage in 2 Thessalonians where Paul says, Beloved ones, I want you to be in the know concerning the return of Jesus, and concerning those people who have died before Christ has come back? Wait now! Is that what he said, “Those who have died?” Let’s look at the verse: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do those who have no hope” (2 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Does verse 13 say, “They have died?” No, it does not! It says they have “fallen asleep.” 

When it comes to a believer dying, we no longer die, we go to sleep. Think about that! The word sleep isn’t used in the New Testament to refer to the soul or spirit of a person, it's used to refer to the body. So, our soul or spirit ejects out of that body and goes to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the body that's left behind and it doesn't really die, at least not from a Christian perspective. It's called sleep. Look at these verses: 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” And Philippians 1:23 says, “having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better.”

And so in the early church, the teaching from the spirit of God was, it's no longer death, it's just sleep. Fascinating! So let’s dive into that a little further and circle the word sleep in your Bible. It’s the word koimaomai, and it means to sleep. And as I studied that word, it led to another word, called koimeterion, which means a dormitory, or a sleeping place, and from that word we get our word “cemetery”. 

The whole world uses the word cemetery today, but Christians started to use it for the place we bury those who have gone to sleep. A cemetery is a place where you put people whose bodies have gone to sleep and the word was later used to refer to a hotel. Isn't that cool? 

How many of you have ever checked into a hotel thinking you're going to stay there forever?! No way baby! You're checking in, because you're checking out, and that's what the Holy Spirit of God says to a believer who has died. They're checking into that cemetery, but they're checking out very, very soon. Isn't that cool? I love that. For the believer, the grave is not the end of the story.

Take your pen now, and circle that other little phrase “having fallen asleep.” That's an incorrect translation. It's actually a passive tense, an action that has been done upon them. It should have been translated “having been put to sleep.” Think about that, who “puts people to sleep?” Parents! And who do we as parents put to sleep? Our little children. Do you get the word picture, friends? The Holy Spirit's trying to communicate Father's perspective, and that is that He took that child and put them to bed. Now here's the key, as a parent have you ever put your child to sleep thinking they were going to sleep forever? No, you knew they were getting up soon and we're getting up out of that grave real, real soon! 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Who God Really Wants to Be to You

photo-1522367711107-bf0b2552c731.jpeg

The book of Psalm shares this amazing promise with us: “He will cover us with His feathers and under His wings, we will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). 

Of course, we instantly think of Jesus in Matthew 23:37 where He’s on the hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem and He's crying, He's weeping, “Oh, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered you under my wings like a hen gathers her chicks?” What's He saying? That He wanted to protect them and shepherd them but they wouldn't let Him. They wouldn't come to Him, they followed that false theologian Frank Sinatra and said, “I’ll do it my way!” 

When we come to Him, “His faithfulness will be our shield and our bulwark.” (Psalm 91:4). Meaning that He literally puts a fortress around us. And it’s important to remember that, He doesn't just put a shield up around us, He IS the shield around us! 

At this point in the verses the Psalmist almost cries out, I almost picture him grabbing the person he's talking to and going, “Do you hear me?! Do you see what I'm trying to tell you that God is offering to be to you?”

Loved one, when you come to know Him and experience Him, you will not fear!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Knowing This Habit of God Will Change Your Life

photo-1527333656061-ca7adf608ae1.jpeg

It says in the verses of Psalms that there are snares out there; there are traps. Let’s look at one of those verses: “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).There’s a feeling of very real danger here of capture and binding and the verses say that there's deadly pestilence, but did you notice that he didn't define it? He left it open. There are lots of pestilences on any given day of our lives. Do you realize that one little germ, one little virus can rob us of our health and even kill us? Do we really understand what James said, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”(James 4:14)? 

What's the instantaneous promise though that we are given? “He delivers you!” And we need to park there for a minute and really look at what this means. This does not mean that those who trust God are never going to succumb to the enemy or die by disease. We must interpret these verses in light of the rest of the Bible. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of lots of people who put their faith in God but didn't get delivered from their struggle but instead were delivered to God personally in heaven. That was faith too: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us” (Hebrews 11:39).

So what is the psalmist saying? I think what he's saying is this, if you will look at God in His recorded history, if you will look at God over the history of your own personal walk with Him, you will find that God is in the habit of delivering His kids. He does it all the time! 

We could go to 2 Corinthians 11:26 and look at Paul's personal testimony. He tells us that he endured shipwreck, and robbers, and disease, and famine—and through it all, God preserved him. We could go to Philippians 4:13, and the promise for us is, “I can do all things through Christ.” I can have a lot, I can have a little, I can be healthy, I can be sick, but no matter what the circumstance I have found that He is sufficient. 

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me.” He doesn't say, “He'll get me out of the valley,” he says “He will walk with me through it. 

I think the message is clear, and one writer (George Whitefield) put it this way, that we who abide in Him are immortal until our work is done. Let that one sink in for a little bit! Until God is finished with you laboring on His behalf in this world, nothing can take you home until He says it’s time.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to Avoid the Greatest Danger of Trials

photo-1447350152302-65042359f14f.jpeg

Take a look at these verses from Psalms: “The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside” (Psalm 140:5). “The wicked have laid a snare for me; Yet have I not gone astray from thy precepts” (Psalm 119:110). “Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, And from the snares of those who do iniquity” (Psalm 141:9). “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).The psalmist presents danger in every verse. He presents the danger, but then instantaneously, he presents the Deliverer! I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of the One who delivers. I’ve experienced, in my own judgment, more than my fair share of struggle and trial, and it is so important for me to be reminded of my Deliverer.

When those trials come it is very easy, and it is, in fact, the great danger of trial, for our eyes to become fixed on the trial. If we stay focused on the horizontal it allows the trials to grow even bigger than they really are, and it robs us of our joy, peace and faith. What the Psalmist does is every time he presents the danger, he tells us not to only look horizontal but to go vertical! He tells us to get our eyes off the trial. Oh, the trial and travail remain there, but it's not the end of the story—here is One who can deliver us from the trial!

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

It’s Not You, It’s Him

photo-1484041090416-a61f59d42eef.jpeg

If myself and another person were going to enter into a contract in the Old Testament days, we would take an animal, we'd cut the animal in half and put it on two separate sides. Then I would walk through those animals and the other person would walk through those animals. 

What's the point we'd be trying to make? 

If either one of us breaks this covenant, then let this happen to us. You see, people's word meant something in those days. 

Here's the key that I want you to see—God made a covenant with Abraham. They cut the animals in two, God walked through the animals, and then what did God do? He put Abraham to sleep and God walked through a second time. 

Do you get it? This glorious New Covenant that we have with God is not about you and how much you hold onto God; it's about God and how much He holds onto you. And if you know anything about this world we live in, it's awfully hard to hold onto Him when the storms of life come our way, but it’s not hard at all for Him to hold on to us. 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Heart of God and How It Changes Our Lives

When you're a little kid, and you’re living in a very dangerous world and your heart gets filled with fear, what do you do? I had four kids, and I can tell you what they do; they put a death grip around your neck! And what does a parent do when a child puts a death grip around their neck because they're afraid? Oh, we throw them down and say, “Grow up!” Right? Is that what we do? That's not what I did. I’ll tell you what I did, I put a death grip right back on them, and I’d say, "It’s ok baby, your daddy's got you. Your daddy's got you and because your daddy's got you, it's okay, and that's the only reason it's okay.” 

The book of Psalms tells us that He will rescue us. It says, “I will protect you because you know my name” (Psalm 91:14). I think that's a reference to all the names He’s given us for Himself: Yahweh, El Shaddai, Elyon, all references to His character. I'll be the strong one. I'll be the exalted one. I'll be your protector. I'll be your provider. I think it's supremely the name that Jesus revealed to us in John 17: Father.

And Psalms doesn’t say, “When we call on Him,” that's the wrong word! When you're in trouble as a little kid, do you call for your mom or dad? “Excuse me, Mother? Father?” That's not what a little kid does! They cry, and they say, “Will you help me? I'm hurting!” And what does God say? “I will hear him?” No! He says, “I will answer him!” You see, loved one, He doesn’t just hear us, He answers us. 

And even more than that, He tells us that He will be with us in the trouble. This is so important for us to know—God does not always deliver us from trouble. In fact, I have found that in my own experience, rarely does He deliver us from trouble. Being delivered from the trouble, that's Plan A, that's what we all want, but it's not what we get. We usually get Plan B, He'll walk with us in the trouble until we’re out of the trouble.


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Did Paul Really Tell us Not to Grieve?

pexels-photo-734479.jpeg

In 1 Corinthians 15:55 Paul says “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” and in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 he writes, “so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” Please hear this beloved, it’s so very important. Paul is not saying, do not grieve. The Christian community has taken this passage and twisted it many, many times to do something ridiculously wrong, and imply that we're not supposed to grieve. 

When I was pastoring in Delaware, there was a sweet young woman who was thirty-four years old with four babies. She was in the ICU and was dying, and did die. We held a round the clock vigil for that young lady, and people were there with her praying the whole two weeks she was there. I showed up one day just in time to see one of our dear ladies come out of that ICU with tears streaming down her cheeks, and the next lady ready to go in stuck her finger in that woman’s face and said, “Stop crying! That doesn't manifest victory.” If ever I wanted to slap somebody in Jesus' name! You know what, maybe it didn't manifest victory, but it manifested compassion, which is, in my understanding of the New Testament, what Jesus Christ is all about!

We grieve. Paul said in Romans 12:15 through the spirit, “Weep with those who weep.” Jesus himself wept at the death of Lazarus. And this is so important, it doesn't say He cried a few tears, it says He wept. Weeping is full-fledged, heartfelt crying. That's an important distinction. If Jesus felt the freedom to openly grieve the loss of a loved one, even though it's temporary, we should feel the same freedom. 

What Paul is speaking to us in these verses, is that he wants us to grieve with hope, to grieve with confidence that ours is never a permanent goodbye. I challenge every one of you, because until the Lord returns there will be death in your family and friends, when you're at that graveside, don't say goodbye, say until we meet again. Until we meet again.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

4 Powerful Things That Will Change the Way You See God

photo-1456242773111-bfbc1bc54e7e.jpeg

Let’s take a look at these beginning lines from Psalm 91:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

You're going to find that the Psalmist, in his exuberance, gives us four different metaphors to describe who God is to him through his proven experience. 

  1. “He is my shelter.” If anybody knows about needing shelter, it’s us in South Louisiana! When the storms come rolling in, baby you go looking for shelter!

  2. “He is my shadow.” When you live in a desert, it will beat you down and zap every little bit of your life and strength out of you. You need a shadow to cool you off. 

  3. “He is my refuge.” He's the one place where I can run to. He's my fortress. I love that. 

  4. “He is my protection.” He's the one place of safety I have in this life.

If I could have my own translation of the Bible, this is how I'd summarize these verses, “If anyone is going to try and get to me, they’re going to have to go through my Father first!” 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to Live Free in the Midst of Hardship

woman-girl-freedom-happy-39853.jpeg

In John 7:37, Jesus made a remarkable statement. He said, “If anyone is thirsty let [them] come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me…from [their] innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” He tells us, I will satisfy that thirst, and I will satisfy it so fully that rivers of living water will flow out of you.”

“If anyone,” let’s stop there. It doesn't matter who you are, where you’ve been, where you find yourself any person anywhere, anytime, this is for you—Do you thirst? And then what does He say? Amazingly, He leaves it blank! He doesn’t say, “If you thirst after righteousness.” That's what we would have expected to see, right? He just says, “If you thirst.” In other words, “Whatever thirst you have, you can come to Me.” 

You see, we might think we're thirsting for something, but that's really not what we're thirsting for; we're actually thirsting for Him, we just don't always recognize it. You might be thirsting for money; but you're not really thirsting for money, you’re thirsting for security. And where can you get security from? From the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, darling! 

You might think you're thirsting for fame; you long to be recognized. What are you really thirsting for? Significance—and you can't get any more significant than being the child of the King of Kings of this universe!

You might think you're thirsting for sex. What are you really thirsting for? Sex! No, I'm just kidding. You’re thirsting for intimacy and you can get that from God. He's the One who knows your thoughts, not even your spouse knows your thoughts. He knows your thoughts and says, “I love you unconditionally.”

Are you thirsting for deliverance? No. What you're really thirsting for, is His freedom and did you know that you can be free even in the middle of a conflict? Oh yes, you can be free in the middle of a desert, you can be free even in a prison.  You can be free!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

pexels-photo-769525.jpeg

Listen to what Jesus said, “I came that they may have Life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He doesn’t make it hard, He said, “Whoever believes in [Me], shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He said, “I am the way, the truth, THE Life” (John 14:6). And I love 1 John 5:12, “Whoever has the son, has the Life.” That’s a definite article, THE Life.

That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that are adequate in ourselves.” We're not! We're not right in ourselves and if we're going to have adequacy, if we're going to be made right, it's from God, who when we look at the tense of the verb, has made us adequate. He made us right; not from the Old Covenant, not from the law, not from performing, not from resolutions to do right and not do wrong. Throw all that out! It’s by the One who made us right by the Spirit who gave us Life. 

Paul tells us in Philippians 3:7-8, that whatever things were gain to him—the fact that he was a Pharisee, the fact that he was zealous in trying to keep the law, and the fact that he made resolutions ad infinitum and kept them—none of it brought him Life. That's why he continues and says, “I now count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” So it’s not from performing, or from resolutions. No, no, no! It’s through faith! 

Listen beloved, did you hear what he said? The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” And you are right. Oh my goodness. Is it any wonder that it's called good news?! 

Paul continues, saying, “This is my one thing: I forget what lies behind and I press on for the prize of God in Jesus Christ.” In the moment we place our faith in Jesus, we are removed from the economy of performing to achieve. We are delivered from resolutions, and placed instead into an economy of the saving Life directly from God, and now, having found Life, we enter into true revelry. The definition of that word revelry, is noisy partying and merrymaking and that's what the Church of Jesus Christ should be known by!

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

He is With You Today

photo-1514377006585-6e7975371bd6.jpeg

Good morning - Christmas morning!

Ordinarily, I wouldn't try to share anything with you on this day; it's a day for you and your family, but I want to invade your space today because Christmas isn't necessarily a joyous time for everyone.

Christmas can be a very difficult time for so many people because there's sickness and death in this world and we have to celebrate this wonderful celebration, this wonderful commemoration of God coming to Earth as a baby, but we do it with a mixed heart because we've lost a loved one, or we're alone and there are no friends or family around.

Please hear me on this day; because Jesus came and then returned to heaven, He completed his mission by sending the Holy Spirit to live inside of you, which means that you are never alone. There's never a moment that you're not loved, and never a moment that you are not accepted. You may feel alone, you may feel forgotten, but He knows you. He's with you. As the Old Testament tells us, He has tattooed your name on His hand. He can never, ever forget you.

I pray that though this day brings tears down your cheeks, the Holy Spirit will send the warmth of the peace, love, mercy and grace of his own presence deep into your heart today.

May you know that He loves you.

Merry, Merry Christmas to you, my friend.


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Baby Jesus: Redeemer, King and Lord of the Universe

photo-1513043521002-825353916813.jpeg

Well, it's Christmas Eve and the hustle and bustle is over and it's time now to take a big breath and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

One of the ways our family has done this over the years is by celebrating communion at home as a family. We read the Christmas story and then we break the bread and drink the wine in commemoration, and in memory, of the fact that this little baby is not the issue. The baby came to be one of us, to be what the Old Testament calls our "kinsman redeemer."

He could not have been a redeemer if he were not one of us, and so he came to die. We want to keep that in the forefront of our memory because it's so easy to look and say, "Oh, look at the precious baby Jesus, the precious baby Jesus." He is the Lord God of the universe! He came as man to be crucified, to restore us to himself. He is the wonder of the humility of God. Let's celebrate that together, do it as a family. The communion table belongs to you, not the churches. It belongs to us as individual Christians. We can share that table alone, we can share it with our families, we can share it with our friends. You don't need a "professional" minister to be able to do that.

Have a great celebration of the King who came to die - so great was his love.

Merry, Merry Christmas to you.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.



Enamored with Jesus

pexels-photo-699383.jpeg

It's Christmas time and you know what that means: It means it's time to break out the Christmas tree and the lights, and it's time to bake cookies and go shopping and get real busy, and of course, it also means it's time for the preacher types to say, "Don't forget that Jesus is the reason for the season!"

I'm not going to do that.

I want instead for you to ponder the thought that when God made this planet, He made a playground for His kids to play in. I think it's absolutely fine for us to spend time with our loved ones, to go out and buy gifts for our families and shower our those around us with love. We just don't want to become enamored with the playground; we want to be enamored with the one who gave us the playground!

So do all the things you love to do for Christmas, have fun and give thanks. Maybe buy a gift for someone in need, maybe make a meal for someone who's sick. Do that in addition to the playground, but not instead of the playground.

We are the children of God, and we were made to have a playground. In the process, thank Him for the playground. Thank Him for our Jesus who restored our true perspective back to the One, who not only made the playground but who made us to enjoy Him supremely.

Have a great Christmas season my friend!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Truth About What Faith Actually Looks Like

photo-1521964156303-05e95416334e.jpg

Have you ever been there with God, the place where nothing in life makes sense? Where you just cry out, “This makes no sense!”

Oh, how hard it can be to remember that He is God, and His mind is bigger than ours. He knows what He's doing.

Habakkuk just couldn’t come to grips with that, have you been there? When you just can't come to grips with what God is allowing? So, he gets tenacious, and he goes up in his prayer tower and he tells God, “I'm not coming down until you answer me!” Two weeks go by, and God finally answers. Hallelujah, God answers! Now, are you ready for what God said? He told Habakkuk to trust Him. Wait, that's it? Now he has a whole new problem; he's cried out to God, and God has said, “No.”

I don't like it when God says no, do you? So what does Habakkuk do? He starts recalling to his mind, all that God is, and all that God has done. He remembers how God parted the Red Sea and made the sun stand still for Joshua, and he says, “Bring on the Chaldeans.” He makes the choice to rejoice, a choice we all have.

In chapter 3, he makes this famous statement, “There was trembling on my lips and decay in my bones.” I love that statement because faith isn’t always a huge smile on our faces, faith is trembling, faith is decay, faith is “I'm dying and I don't understand, but I believe you because you are good and all that you do is good. This doesn't look good, but somehow by faith, it's going to be good, and I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

David says, “Though the fig tree does not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine, my soul is going to cling to you.” And what tense does David use there? He uses the present tense. You see friends, you can cling all you want in the past, it's not going to deliver you in the present. You can say that you will cling in the future, it's not going to deliver you in the present. His name is I AM, and your faith must be present tense to connect to the I AM. Take a look at what David adds, “Your right hand is going to uphold me.” That's what God does beloved, our part is to believe and trust, and God's part is to deliver or sustain.


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Believing in a God You Can’t See When Life is at it's Hardest

The Christian life is not easy, and it's not for cowards. The Bible says, “We believe that which we do not see,” and that requires tenacity friends!
Read “Believing in a God You Can’t See When Life is at its Hardest” here":

Everything you Need to Know to Run the Race

photo-1511536830243-d4cf5a1ebfca.jpeg

We don't run this race in our own strength. The verses in Isaiah chapter 40 are ones we’ve heard so many times before. “Young men grow weary, even the vigorous young men grow tired and stumble, but those who will wait on the Lord,” and that word “wait” in Hebrew is “abide,” so it’s saying those who “braid” with Him. And it goes on to tell us that they shall what? Renew their strength? No, the Hebrew word “renew” means “exchange;” they will exchange their strength.

In the midst of that weary, long race of faith, if you keep your eyes on Him, and abide with Him, even though your strength becomes exhausted, He has promised that His never will. And because we run this race in His strength, you can mount up with wings like eagles and run and not grow weary. You CAN finish the race.

In verse 12, it says, “Lay hold of that eternal life to which you were called.” In other words, you already have eternal life, now lay hold of it! Lay hold of Him and the abundant life that He's brought to you.” I would put it this way, as you live in a natural world, make sure you lay hold of the supernatural life that is within you, waiting to be released through you.

This is a very important issue, my friends because though we strive, we must remember that our striving is not against each other. We strive WITH each other. We're not competing against one another, we're all in the same race to lay hold of the same prize. We compete with each other against all that comes against us, and if something comes against another person, we’re ready to step into their lives and assist them in that which has come against them. Likewise, when something comes against me, you stand ready to step in with me and help me to run that race.

Beloved, we must never forget that we're not competing against each other, we're competing against this world, and the false teachers, the enemy, and sin in the flesh. That's why I love the quote, “Keep your faith with a trowel in one hand for building others, and a sword in the other for battling.”


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Stop Judging! We Were Never Designed to Live Here.

pexels-photo-296282.jpeg

Come with me to Lamentations chapter 3, and let’s walk through it together. Jeremiah says, “I'm the man who has seen affliction. I've seen the rod of His wrath. He's led me into darkness and not into light. His hand is against me all day. He is building walls around me.” Have you ever felt like you have walls around you, and you can't escape, they’re closing in?

He continues, “He’s caused my flesh to rot. He's broken my bones. He's besieged me with bitterness. I dwell in dark places.” Have you ever been in the darkness so bad that you can't see the light?

“He's made my chains heavy.” Have you ever been in a situation where you’re carrying a load that you just can't get off your shoulders?

“He shuts out my prayer; He doesn't listen. He's not hearing me. I feel like He's a bear lying in wait like He's a lion waiting to ambush me. He's drawing the Arrow of His quiver, and I'm the bullseye. He's made me a laughing stock. He's broken my teeth.” Oh, I've been there, haven't you? Where the wilderness is so big and so strong that it looks like you're never going to make it through. Life is so intense that you're grinding your teeth, and you're not even aware that you’re doing it, but you can't seem to stop. You go to the dentist and end up with a mouth a guard because you know - you are not going to be able to stop the grinding.

We have got to understand this friend, we don't judge that as Christians! That person who's experiencing that is living in a world they weren't designed to live in so stop the judging! Let them be human! They weren't designed to live here!

Let’s read a little further in Lamentations, Jeremiah’s cowering in the darkness and says “I have no peace. I've forgotten happiness. My strength is gone.” He’s saying he has fear, he has no peace, he has no joy, and he has no strength! Are you there loved one? Well here’s the key to it all right here in verses 19 and 20; “Remembering my affliction,” (and just to make sure we get it he says it again,) “Surely my soul remembers, His eyes are on the rubble of Jerusalem, His eyes are on those murdered little babies, His eyes are on those weeping violated women, His eyes are on the ashes of what was once the glory of Israel.”

And in the midst of Jeremiah’s anguish, the spirit of God helps him and look what he is able to say, “This I recall to my mind, the Lord’s lovingkindness never ceases; His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness. For this reason, I have hope.” He’s gone vertical! Oh, beloved, there is HOPE when death is all around you because it is NOT the end of the story. Jeremiah begins to recall to his mind all that God is, and all that God has done, and he ends up with hope, and a man cannot live without hope, he must have the belief that things are going to change.


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.