Tag Archives: respect

Change: Don’t Miss the Opportunity

A message summary of November 30, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:

As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, God orchestrates change in your life.

Change is going to occur whether you want it to or not. It is about acceptance and adaptation. Change is an opportunity that God wants to bring into your life.

What needs to happen in order to embrace change?

  1. Humble yourself before God
  2. Give up your effort to change others and let God change you instead.
  3. Don’t insist on having your own way but submit to God.
  4. Admit that God is all-powerful and place your life under His control.
  5. Submit to God’s way.

Some things in your life may need to be considered as a lost cause in order for you to move on with your life in the present.

Whatever God wants in your life that is part of your old life, He will bring it forth as a lesson for how you are living today.

Saul (from 1 Samuel) was given a chance to change his life, but it turned out to be a missed opportunity.

  1. Saul only had a penchant for outward appearances.

1 Samuel 9:1-2

1 There was an influential man of Benjamin named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite. 2 He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else.

 

He was taller than others, but he had no heart for the things of God; furthermore, there is no Scripture to support that Saul was truly following after God.

  1. Saul’s father asked him to locate his donkeys.

1 Samuel 9:3-5

3 One day the donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the attendants with you and go look for the donkeys.” 4 Saul and his attendant went through the hill country of Ephraim and then through the region of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them. They went through the region of Shaalim—nothing. Then they went through the Benjaminite region but still didn’t find them.

5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the attendant who was with him, “Come on, let’s go back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

 

Note that Saul did not have the same value for the donkeys as his father or even the attendant.

  1. The servant suggests going to the man of God for direction.

1 Samuel 9:6-10

6 “Look,” the attendant said, “there’s a man of God in this city who is highly respected; everything he says is sure to come true. Let’s go there now. Maybe he’ll tell us which way we should go.”

7 “Suppose we do go,” Saul said to his attendant, “what do we take the man? The food from our packs is gone, and there’s no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

8 The attendant answered Saul: “Here, I have a piece[a] of silver. I’ll give it to the man of God, and he will tell us our way.”

9 Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, “Come, let’s go to the seer,” for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.

10 “Good,” Saul replied to his attendant. “Come on, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

 

What does the servant know about this man of God?

  1. He is a man to be respected
  2. Everything he says comes true

Saul had no idea that his journey to see Samuel was going to be a divine appointment (1 Samuel 9:15-17).

God revealed wisdom to Samuel but not to Saul.

1 Samuel 9:15-20

15 Now the day before Saul’s arrival, the Lord had informed Samuel, 16 “At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen the affliction of My people, for their cry has come to Me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man I told you about; he will rule over My people.”

18 Saul approached Samuel in the gate area and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer,” Samuel answered. “Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I’ll tell you everything that’s in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago, don’t worry about them because they’ve been found. And who does all Israel desire but you and all your father’s family?”

 

Saul was speaking about the past, where Samuel was directing him to look to the present and the future. He noted to Saul that all of Israel has turned to him.

God wants to work in your present and future—not in your past.

Saul made no effort to capitalize on this divine appointment. He didn’t see the importance of God wanting to make a change in his life.

1 Samuel 9:21

Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?”

 

When change is beginning to take place, God will set people around you that you would need to spend some time with. Even with that, the wisdom imparted will still need to be taken into account in order to be effective in the change.

Change is just being willing to go through it. God is the one who is really doing the work.

Are you ready to hear from God?

1 Samuel 9:25-27

25 Afterward, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.

26 They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, and I’ll send you on your way!” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the attendant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for a while, and I’ll reveal the word of God to you.” So the attendant went on.

 

Are you willing to live life according to God’s way?

1 Samuel 10:5-6

5 “After that you will come to the Hill of God where there are Philistine garrisons. When you arrive at the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place prophesying. They will be preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person.

 

God wants to change you in a big way in order to be an effective person in His kingdom.

We learn from Saul that none of this makes a difference to Saul:

1 Samuel 10:14-16

14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his attendant, “Where did you go?”

“To look for the donkeys,” Saul answered. “When we saw they weren’t there, we went to Samuel.”

15 “Tell me,” Saul’s uncle asked, “what did Samuel say to you?”

16 Saul told him, “He assured us the donkeys had been found.” However, Saul did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.

 

He fails to convey the most important part of his trip.

The opportunity for change is here, but Saul hid from it.

1 Samuel 10:21-23

21 Then he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward by its clans, and the Matrite clan was selected. Finally, Saul son of Kish was selected. But when they searched for him, they could not find him. 22 They again inquired of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”

The Lord replied, “There he is, hidden among the supplies.”

23 They ran and got him from there. When he stood among the people, he stood a head taller than anyone else.

 

Don’t resist or hide from God’s effort to change you. He wants you to see Him in the change and to embrace it.

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The Godly Mother

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

[NBA Star Kevin Durant praises his mother during his MVP award speech.]

Lord, we want to thank you for every mother, and we pray that today will be a blessing to them. Let us also remember the grandmothers, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

While the bible does not speak specifically about single mothers, we know that they were indeed present. We know that there were single mothers and widows because of various circumstances. Today, we are keenly aware of single mothers and the trials of such parenting. We know that mothers are indeed honored by God.

A mother must decide how she is going to live before her children and her family. A mother who follows after God will be blessed according to how God honors and looks after them. A child will often not remember so much what a mother says, but they certainly remember her actions.

A child who has a mother that he is ashamed of will often have to suppress his or her feelings because they are trying to deal with their disappointment. It will eventually surface in a negative way because of all of the hurt that was experienced. Mothers need to be aware of how much their children are affected by what they do. There is a real need today for godly mothers.

What makes a real difference today is a mother who relies upon the Holy Spirit in living life and making decisions.

Can a nation rise or fall based upon motherly counsel? Mothers are to be mindful of what counsel that is provided to daughters and sons about the people they choose in marriage. Unwise counsel can lead to broken homes and marriages.

Mothers have difficult decisions to make today as to who they choose to associate with and how they live. It is important for a woman to not live sexually with multiple partners in the hopes of finding someone who they think will fulfill a family unit. This woman needs to repent and live in holiness under the Spirit and prevent the tragedy of broken families and children being damaged by multiple influences of men who have no desire to be involved with a family.

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

 

It is important that a child is taught how to honor their mother and father, for they need to understand what it means to respect them.

Leviticus 19:3

“Each of you is to respect his mother and father. You are to keep My Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.”

 

Note how the Scripture references the mother first in this passage (unlike the reference in Exodus 20:12). Note the emphasis here on the mother needing to be honored because of everything being accomplished within the family unit. The man typically had the focus in those times of being the head of the family, but God made sure that the mother was highly regarded for what she does for the family.

Moms are the cheerleaders and the encouragers. For all that they do, mom is to be respected.

God can do amazing things to bring mothers out of a bad situation and turn it into something amazing to behold. Note that God does not overlook the sin of the circumstances in the beginning (having children out of wedlock), but He can turn a woman who is sincerely seeking Him into someone that can honor Him with children that honor and respect her, and call her blessed.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For it was You who created my inward parts;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You

because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful,

and I know this very well.

15 My bones were not hidden from You

when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;

all my days were written in Your book and planned

before a single one of them began.

 

Mothers should know without doubt that they are highly favored as vessels of God’s creation. The mother gives of herself to others and reflects God’s grace and mercy in His divine privilege and purpose of nurturing children. The mother is also a teacher and instructor.

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.

 

While the father sets the tone for the household, it is the mother than often has to provide ongoing instruction. Hopefully, the children are learning about godly behavior through His Word.

Mothers need to ensure that the children are properly trained in the same way that God wants His children to be trained and educated. It is the desire of God that persons who are educated and trained up in the Word can eventually be used for Him and His glory.

Acts 16:1-2

1 Then he went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him.

 

The Jewish woman was learning about Old Testament law and principles. It was additional preparation that led her to a relationship with Jesus Christ. She was able to teach Timothy in the truth of the Word despite the Greek influence within the household.

The faith of a person such as Timothy can be seen in the support of his mother and grandmother. They were the foundation of his sincere faith and love for Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:4-7

4 Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, 5 clearly recalling your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also.

6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

 

The result of this is three generations of people who follow and honor Jesus Christ. Mothers indeed have a huge responsibility in developing and promoting legacies of Jesus Christ within families.

What kind of mother do you want to be? What kind of grandmother do you want to be? You want to set the example where your children will call you blessed.

 


A Life of Humility

Today’s message text from Melvin Gaines:

There are moments when you are wrong about something and it would be wise to admit it openly.  It’s times like this that you certainly wish that you were right, but everything points to you making a mistake (and hopefully it’s not a big one).  Of course, you have a choice in this matter…you can readily acknowledge your mistake to someone, or say nothing, hide behind it and point the finger at someone or something else–in other words, play the blame game.

Have you ever been around someone who never admits when they have done something wrong?  If you have, perhaps you remember the frustration that comes in having a relationship with such a person, especially if others around the person occasionally mess up. It can be very difficult to meet a person’s expectations if perfection is the only acceptable result.  A person who readily points out that he or she is “mistake-free” will invariably do more harm in relationships than good, and it’s because human beings who make mistakes can never meet the standards of a “perfect” person.

It is rare when a person is seen taking responsibility for his or her actions, and perhaps even refreshing.  In order to take responsibility, you have to check your pride at the door and humble yourself.  This message is about the act of humility.  Humility in action is the essence of godliness and the absence of pridefulness.  Using the examples I have just provided, it takes little effort to exercise pride when claiming perfection or blaming others for your mistakes because both of these prideful actions are rooted in the flesh.  Humility is in opposition to the desires of the flesh.

Humility is a character trait that must be learned and developed over time.  It must be learned and developed because we are not, in our own nature, capable of humility. As a child, you were only capable of communicating your basic needs and desires with dependence on your parents to care for you.  As you grew up, you had to learn about right and wrong, “please” and “thank you” and how to be courteous to others.  Assuming that you have learned all of these things (chuckle), humility is something that we continued to learn as we got older, and we are still learning to master it.

There is grace in humility…both for you when you exercise it, and for the recipient who receives it.  As we learn to master acts of humility, we are to be encouraged to grow in this area as it is a godly attribute.

James 4:6

But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says:

God resists the proud,

but gives grace to the humble.

The art of mastering humility will test six key areas of your life in your quest for godliness and living a Christlike existence.  These are far from being inclusive of everything but these will say a lot about who you are and your growth in Christ:

1. Your honesty (trustworthiness)

2. Your kindness (generosity, compassion and forgiveness)

3. Your patience

4. Your perseverance

5. Your respect (for others, your self-respect, self-esteem)

6. Your self control (contentment, temper)

You may have picked up that these virtues make up a number of the fruits of the Holy Spirit:

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Living a life of humility requires a believer crucifying the flesh.  It is an ongoing struggle, but the Holy Spirit enables every single believer with the capability to overcome any fleshly influence or desires.  By yielding to the Spirit, you will best be able to do the following:

  • Rely less on your reasoning and rely more on your heart

Humility has a positive effect on your thought process.  You will invariably take the approach that extends beyond your own reasoning, logic and understanding, and extend beyond the inherent barriers associated with human thoughts to those thoughts that can only come from the wisdom and knowledge of the Spirit:

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

and your ways are not My ways.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,

so My ways are higher than your ways,

and My thoughts than your thoughts.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”

  • Trend less towards anger and more towards peace

In order to understand the nature of peace, you need to go beyond the obvious (for example: no war, no yelling or screaming, a quiet room — these are all correct but you must consider the influence of Christ in your efforts of humility).  Jesus Christ’s influence on you in your efforts of humility will remind you of God’s grace to you and how that grace is extended to others.  When you recognize God’s grace in your life, you will readily extend that grace to others–even during those times when you have every right to be angry.

Ezra 9:7-9

7 Our guilt has been terrible from the days of our fathers until the present. Because of our iniquities we have been handed over, along with our kings and priests, to the surrounding kings, and to the sword, captivity, plundering, and open shame, as it is today. 8 But now, for a brief moment, grace has come from Yahweh our God to preserve a remnant for us and give us a stake in His holy place. Even in our slavery, God has given us new life and light to our eyes. 9 Though we are slaves, our God has not abandoned us in our slavery. He has extended grace to us in the presence of the Persian kings, giving us new life, so that we can rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

This is especially true in areas where forgiveness is necessary.  True forgiveness is not on our own strength and ability.  It comes only from God Himself through the Spirit.  As God has forgiven our sins through grace and granted us an eternity of fellowship with Him, we are to extend the same grace to others and put aside our anger.

1 John 3:16-22

Love in Action

16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?

18 Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. 19 This is how we will know we belong to the truth and will convince our conscience in His presence, 20 even if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience, and He knows all things.

21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.

Luke 17:3-4

3 Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Matthew 6:14-15

14 “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.

Don’t let your harshness that comes from an unforgiving spirit ruin your testimony before Jesus Christ and others.  This is an area that is a stumbling block to many believers because they are failing to grasp the immeasurable grace that God has bestowed upon them in forgiveness for their own sin.  As you grow and learn more about God and this grace, you will be less resentful, less angry, and be more ready and willing to extend grace and forgiveness to others.  It’s an area that all of us need to work on, and it starts with humbling yourself before God and before others.

This also applies to how well you esteem yourself before God. Satan will trick believers into thinking that they are forever inadequate before God, when God assures us that we are made righteous before Him when we confess our sin and trust that He is true to His Word:

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 8:1-2

1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, 2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

  • Know that it is not about you and that it is more about Jesus

Your relationship with Jesus Christ should be far more important than those things that would keep you from living a life of humility: your ego, your reputation, your adversarial relationships, your finances or anything that has an adverse effect on your relationship with Jesus.  A humble person is a godly person who is secure and content in himself, in his relationships and acknowledges a dependence on Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6

5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth—as there are many “gods” and many “lords”—

6 yet for us there is one God, the Father.

All things are from Him,

and we exist for Him.

And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.

All things are through Him,

and we exist through Him.

Philippians 4:12-13

12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Above all, humility is necessary for a person to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:38

“Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 149:4

For Yahweh takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.

Romans 10:9-12

9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him.

James 4:7-10

7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


The Year of Commitment

There was a time in our lives when we lived for the moment.  Many of us can point to the period of time and space when we moved away from the house we grew up in with our parents and went away to college, or when you got your first apartment.  It was at that time you told yourself, “Now I can do what I want to do.”

Many of us did exactly that–lived for the moment and did what we wanted to.  Some of the results of this “living” were good experiences, and some were not as memorable.  It is from these life lessons that we eventually made the following statement (either to ourselves or out loud) in one of those infamous moments: “I’ll never do that again.”

A lot of our decisions early in life were based upon testing the wisdom of our parents or loved ones, or even going contrary to the advice of wise counsel.  Even those of us who went to church at an early age heard good advice from a pastor or a Sunday school teacher.  But did we take that advice when it mattered the most?  No.  The result of all of this, hopefully without enduring the harshest consequences of our actions, is that we really weren’t living as we thought we were.  It was, in fact, an ongoing exercise in sinful behaviors that showed we weren’t really as grown up as we thought we were.

We noticed the harsh reality that maturity is not measured by how old you are…it is measured in how consistent your life decisions are towards personal growth and development.  True maturity is when you take your college courses seriously and make a concerted effort to graduate.  You show maturity when you start using language that will help you to make an impression, not just personally, but also professionally.  You also show maturity in the type of relationships and friendships that you value…are your friends people who challenge your intellect…or are they just drinking buddies?

When you wake up one day and decide that you need to make the best choices to promote your maturity, then congratulations–you are making a commitment to be a better person.  A commitment is more than just a single decision.  It is a series of decisions that a person makes to support a position that leads to a goal.  A commitment, even more specific–the level of commitment–is measured by how the series of decisions line up with it.  For example, is a person doing the best that he or she can do to realize goals that have been set?  The commitment must show some sort of progress as a person pursues a goal.

In the same way, a person who lacks spiritual maturity may come to a point where it is time to get serious about their faith and their relationships with God and with others.  Sadly, there are some that never come to this conclusion.  Just as there are people who are over 40 years old and never “grow up,”  there are also people who do not believe that there isn’t anything that they need to do as far as a commitment to Christ.

Psalm 14:1

The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.”

They are corrupt; they do vile deeds.

There is no one who does good.

There are some that believe they have a close relationship with God, but their actions show something completely different.  This is a more insidious deception that they are under because it is based upon a false sense of faith.

Isaiah 29:13-14

13 The Lord said:

Because these people approach Me with their mouths

to honor Me with lip-service—

yet their hearts are far from Me,

and their worship consists of man-made rules

learned by rote—

14 therefore I will again confound these people

with wonder after wonder.

The wisdom of their wise men will vanish,

and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden.

Matthew 15:7-9

7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:

8 These people honor Me with their lips,

but their heart is far from Me.

9 They worship Me in vain,

teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”

Titus 1:16

They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

All of this represents a spiritual immaturity that reflects a separation from people who claim to be following and serving God with those who are serious about where they are in their relationship with God, and how they live their life accordingly.  The person who makes the commitment to serve God is most likely to please God in His worship and service because it is all based upon a sincere practice of faith.

We are to be reminded that our actions alone do not merit or warrant God’s acceptance.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Hebrews 11:6

Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

and your ways are not My ways.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,

so My ways are higher than your ways,

and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Faith requires a commitment to go beyond what you see and hear.  It requires you to focus on God in ways that are beyond human understanding.  It is this practice of faith that is often viewed as exceptional within a worldly environment.  A consistent trust and faith in God allows the believer to be a part of those exceptional experiences where everyone present (both believer and non-believer) knows that there is no doubt about God’s presence in situations and circumstances.

In keeping this commitment to seek God and live for Him on a regular, daily basis, there are two key elements of practice for each person who is a believer in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  The commitment requires action steps in these two key categories:

The Seeking God Category

The Do the Right Thing Category

The first category involves personal preparation.  It involves the commitment to read and study the bible more than you did in the past.

Reading and studying the bible is important because it is God’s Word to us in written form.  It is His clearest form of communication to us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Isaiah 55:10-11

10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven

and do not return there

without saturating the earth

and making it germinate and sprout,

and providing seed to sow

and food to eat,

11 so My word that comes from My mouth

will not return to Me empty,

but it will accomplish what I please

and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

Reading and studying the bible now requires absorption of God’s wisdom through understanding by way of the Holy Spirit.  This requires a commitment to pray more each day.  God’s Word communicates to us, and prayer is your communication with God.  Effective prayers require practice and regularity.

Romans 8:26-27

26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Ephesians 6:18

18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray constantly.

James 1:5-6

5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

The second category, The Do the Right Thing Category, requires the committed believer to take the wisdom and knowledge acquired during The Seeking God Category and putting it to practice.  Here are the elements of practice in doing the right things that are in line with the commitment to grow in Christ:

  •  To Sin Less

Psalm 119:11

I have treasured Your word in my heart

so that I may not sin against You.

Thankfully, Jesus gives us the ability through the Holy Spirit to resist sin, and there will be struggles, but we can indeed sin less when we rely upon our faith.

2 Corinthians 12:10

So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Peter 5:10-11

10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 11 The dominion belongs to Him forever. Amen.

  •  To Make Good Decisions More Often

With better information you will ultimately make better decisions.  This is where the reliance of God’s wisdom, discernment and understanding promotes better decision-making.

Proverbs 2:1-11

Wisdom’s Worth

1 My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

2 listening closely to wisdom

and directing your heart to understanding;

3 furthermore, if you call out to insight

and lift your voice to understanding,

4 if you seek it like silver

and search for it like hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and discover the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord gives wisdom;

from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He stores up success for the upright;

He is a shield for those who live with integrity

8 so that He may guard the paths of justice

and protect the way of His loyal followers.

9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice,

and integrity—every good path.

10 For wisdom will enter your mind,

and knowledge will delight your heart.

11 Discretion will watch over you,

and understanding will guard you.

  •  To Become Selfless

Your commitment to Jesus Christ means developing a heart for God, which means that you will have a heart of concern for others more than you ever have in the past.

Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

2 Corinthians 4:5

For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus.

1 Peter 5:5

In the same way, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because

God resists the proud

but gives grace to the humble.

  •  To Respect Others

Romans 12:10

Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 13:7

Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.

Matthew 5:43-48

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect,therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children and Parents

1 Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. 4 Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

All of these actions require a foundational understanding of God’s Word for effective implementation.  There will be greater success in doing the right things as noted here with a greater dependency on God’s Word and with supplemental prayer.

Your commitment to be a true believer in service for Jesus Christ requires a consistent approach to these things that we just discussed:

  •  Reading and studying God’s Word
  •  Prayer
  •  To Sin Less
  •  To Make Good Decisions More Often
  •  To Become Selfless
  •  To Respect Others

Each of these require a commitment to a closer relationship with God in Jesus Christ and to be obedient to His Word, which invariably will help you to do the right thing.

If you’ve been on the fence as far as your walk with the Lord, or if you haven’t been as serious about this matter as you know you should be, then make today the day that you make the commitment to be a better believer in Jesus Christ.  It won’t be easy, but the rewards of doing so are far beyond what you can imagine.

Matthew 6:33 says all of this in the best, most concise way.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.

All verses from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.


A Benefit of the Church: The Crown of Glory

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
A pastor of a church is a leader who is called to take on the duties of shepherding the flock, but today’s message is directed to everyone that is involved in ministry.
1 Peter 5:4
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.The verse acknowledges shepherds or pastors. Look who is writing this letter–it’s Peter.John 21:15-16
15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Feed My lambs,” He told him.

16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.

The reward that Peter refers to in 1 Peter 5:4 can only be received when Jesus returns. It is a reassurance that He will be here and that we will labor for Him until that time. We do not labor in vain–we labor for His glory and for His praise.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.

Jesus asks you to trust in Him until He returns. Your labor will be rewarded.

John 14:1-3
1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

If the work is done without the joy of Christ as a goal, then the work is futile. Stand firm and stay the course with focus on The Lord. Sometimes, all you can do is trust in The Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Ephesians 6:8
…knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.

Romans 2:10
…but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

The word “glory” in Greek (1 Peter 5:4) also stands for honor and respect. The crown of glory is won by doing something important or of value. They are achievements in life that deserve recognition. These achievements receive honor because they honor the work of Jesus Christ.

We do not seek after our own honor or respect.

Proverbs 25:27
It is not good to eat too much honey
or to seek glory after glory.

A Christian’s life is to live in every way for His glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

God is the one who gives honor and respect.

Job 19:9, 40:9-10
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.

9 Do you have an arm like God’s?
Can you thunder with a voice like His?
10 Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
and clothe yourself with honor and glory.

God does not share His glory with anyone (For example, He created heaven and earth on His own and not with anyone else). He will, however, give us honor and respect for our deeds in service for Him.

Exodus 33:17-23
17 The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.”

19 He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”

Isaiah 48:11
I will act for My own sake, indeed, My own,
for how can I be defiled?
I will not give My glory to another.

Jesus Christ will honor us for the way we serve Him. It is exciting to see when God is working and recognize that He is often working through us.

Acts 16:22-29
22 Then the mob joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows on them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to keep them securely guarded. 24 Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!”

29 Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

The word glory carries with it the meaning of dignity, elegance, gracefulness and one of good taste. it also provides for the ability to place restraints on oneself when it is needed.

Your life brings forth three elements:

1. Genuine faith
2. Faith that brings praise to The Lord
3. Faith in action that reveals glory and honor for the work of Jesus

In all of this, there must be evidence of a desire to follow a calling to serve Him, the Chief Shepherd.

1 Peter 1:7
…so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:1-7
1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

5 In the same way, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because

God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

This glory will not fade away. It will not diminish.

2 Corinthians 3:7-11
7 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to look directly at Moses’ face because of the glory from his face—a fading glory— 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory. 10 In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

Ecclesiastes 1:11
There is no remembrance of those who came before;
and of those who will come after
there will also be no remembrance
by those who follow them.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities.

Father, we want to praise You and thank You for your loving kindness to us. Help us to grow in our desire to live for you in obedience and faithfulness to be a witness and a servant for You that brings honor and glory to Your Name. Thank you for all that you have done through us that we receive honor and respect because of your wonderful work through us, and that You are glorified because of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The Church Displays the Grace and Wisdom of God

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
What makes the church the greatest organization ever? It is in the church where the greatest wisdom and knowledge of God can be found. Jesus Christ declared that He would build His church.The real church is not the brick and mortar of a building. The real church consists of the people who are redeemed in Christ…a collective group of people who make up the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of the church.

The most important person to follow is Jesus, without regard to congregation or position of its members. All members, in acknowledgment of their salvation through Jesus Christ, submit to His authority (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

The church is a society of sinners who admitted their need for a Savior. Jesus came to save a lost world, and someone prayed for each of us to be saved into a fellowship with Christ and with other believers.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

God’s grace is always at work. It is His grace that saves us.

Ephesians 2:1-5
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Believers in Jesus Christ are reminded that, they too, followed their own desires and devices, but thankfully received the grace of Jesus when they acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior. God is readily available for anyone who seeks Him.

Acts 2:23
Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him.

God’s will was being done in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. God allowed the atrocities to take place upon His Son because of His grace…God withheld His wrath that we might receive eternal life instead of death.

Ephesians 2:6-7
6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

The display of His wisdom is to bring all people together in the church. No one made any prophecy that the church would be the vessel for the gospel…only God knew it and revealed it. The church is fulfilling God’s will and desire to see people won over for Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:6-10
6 The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of His power.
8 This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah, 9 and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. 10 This is so God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.

God has redeemed and reconciled the people who believe in Christ to Himself through the church. It is God’s plan and desire for all men that is being carried out through the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25
22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

The primary purpose of the church is evangelism…to share the gospel with others. The church delivers the message through the equipping of the saints. The church–the body of Christ–doesn’t save anyone…Christ is the one who saves the people through the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the kindness and sensitivity of the believer that leads people to make the decision for Jesus Christ through the gospel.

What Christians are not to do is to change who they are in their witness to others. Don’t live in the same way as the unbeliever or even separate yourself from them. In order to be a light in the world, you need to be amongst unbelievers, but remain faithful to yourself in Jesus Christ.

  • Urgency of the time
  • Our presence…we are there to help and lead
  • Share your common experiences…”We’ve been there, too.”
  • Show mutual respect
  • Show openness…nothing hidden about who we are in Christ
  • Be honest…speak the truth
  • Be accepting to all people in all walks of life
  • Show grace to everyone
  • Show humility in your service
  • Show patience in your service and in your conversation
  • Celebrate in every victory
  • Reflect that there is always hope…because there is life
  • Take responsibility to share the gospel with everyone who needs to hear it

Evangelism is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To minister to others is to be obedient to God’s will and is a fulfillment of your purpose. In your actions for Christ, God is glorified.

We are to make disciples of all men and women.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

John 20:21
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Mark 16:15
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.

Acts 5:42
Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

The church is the place where new life is seen. Men and women are reconciled to God and to other people.

Acts 11:22-24
22 Then the report about them was heard by the church that was at Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And large numbers of people were added to the Lord.

Above all, love one another.

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

The church witnesses to the entire world to worship and to edify Christ in everything we do.

Acts 2:46
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude.

Acts 4:13
When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

Ephesians 4:16
From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Romans 14:19
So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.


God’s Expectation of His Church

The church is the place where God’s name should be honored. The moment that you come to church should be the moment that you are preparing to worship Him and show respect for who He is. By doing this, you are much more likely to come away with answers that will bring you with a greater understanding of God and His Word, and apply that knowledge according to His will. Take the time to examine your approach regarding your church and worship time.Jesus had two instances where He had to “cleanse” the temple because of what the people had been using it for.  The first recorded instance is in John 2 and the second follows with accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  First, the account in John 2:
John 2:13-17

13 The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and [He also found] the money changers sitting there. 15 After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16 He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me.

If you look at history, this is the third temple. Solomon’s temple was the first. The second temple was built by Zerubbabel (the leader of those returning from exile to rebuild the temple–as noted in Ezra 2:2; 4:2; 5:2; Haggai 1:1). Then came Herod the Great, who oversaw the building of the third temple. He built the temple to win the favor of the people. Through all of this, we lost the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, and all of the things that were originally associated with God’s presence in the temple. All of the temples were all ultimately destroyed because the people who professed to follow the Lord were not truly worshiping Him. The Lord was not accepting man’s way of worshiping Him and allowed for the destruction of the temples because of the change of its role and with its people. When it comes to today’s church, God will allow for the closing of a facility that does not honor Him or respect Him. He wants His followers to worship God in a way that glorifies Him, honors Him and shows the proper reverence for Him.

When Jesus went to the temple, it was over a period of time as he was growing up. He understood that the temple was a place of worship, but now, in His ministry, He saw the change of the authority of the leadership had changed and that there was no longer a reverence for God in the temple. The leaders were not looking at the temple as a place to make money and even take advantage of people.

1 Peter 5:1-4

1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah, and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

In order to sell in the temple, there had to be a provision given to the priests in order to set up booths. Under this system, the priests and high priests, many of whom were actually Gentile, were earning money while taking advantage of the poor.

Matthew 21:12-13

 12 Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves! “

Mark 11:15-18

 15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers ‘ tables and the chairs of those selling doves, 16and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex.

    17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations ? But you have made it a den of thieves !” 18 Then the chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished by His teaching.

Luke 19:45-48

 45 He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling, 46 and He said, “It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves !”     47 Every day He was teaching in the temple complex. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy Him, 48 but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.

In this second account of Jesus clearing the temple, notice that Jesus, while removing the sellers and the money changers, used the opportunity to instruct and teach the people of the proper way of ministry and worship within the temple, and it was His actions that enlightened the people. His opposition tried to challenge His authority, but it was a futile effort after Jesus had removed the people who were selling in the temple and the money changers.

John 2:18-21

18 So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign [of authority] will You show us for doing these things?”

    19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.”

    20 Therefore the Jews said, “This sanctuary took 46 years to build, and will You raise it up in three days?”

    21 But He was speaking about the sanctuary of His body.

The church, today’s modern temple, is supposed to be a place of education about God, Jesus Christ and a place to worship Him.

Isaiah 56:1-8

1 This is what the LORD says:
    Preserve justice and do what is right,
    for My salvation is coming soon,
    and My righteousness will be revealed.

    2 Happy is the man who does this,
    anyone who maintains this,
    who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

    3 No foreigner who has converted to the LORD
    should say,
    “The LORD will exclude me from His people”;
    and the eunuch should not say,
    “Look, I am a dried&nbhyph;up tree.”

    4 For the LORD says this:
    “For the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
    and choose what pleases Me,
    and hold firmly to My covenant,

    5 I will give them, in My house and within My walls,
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters.
    I will give each [of them] an everlasting name
    that will never be cut off.

    6 And the foreigners who convert to the LORD,
    minister to Him, love the LORD’s name,
    and are His servants,
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and who hold firmly to My covenant—

    7 I will bring them to My holy mountain
    and let them rejoice in My house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be acceptable on My altar,
    for My house will be called a house of prayer
    for all nations.”
          8 [This is] the declaration of the Lord GOD ,
          who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
    “I will gather to them still others
    besides those already gathered.”

God wants all people to freely come to church and celebrate God–in the same way, there are some areas where things that don’t involve worship or praise of God need to be cast out of the church.

When you step into church, your consciousness and awareness of God should be awakened. God’s Word is present…it’s now just a process of believing it in its entirety.