There Is Power in the Blood

If you read the Old Testament, you will find that there was a lot of sacrifices involving the blood of animals. The people were told to sprinkle blood to help atone for their sins. It was only after this act, and the person washing themselves, that they were determined to be “clean”. Have you ever wondered why we are not told to sprinkle blood anymore?

In Exodus 17:11 we read, “11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

It was the blood of Jesus that was shed for the atonement of our sins and it was his sacrifice that made us clean. Everyday, we can give thanks that the blood has been shed, death has been defeated and Jesus has already claimed the victory!

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Can You Ride a Bull?

Recently, Geanene and I were switching channels on the TV one night and came across “professional bull riding”. Since there was really nothing else on TV, we started watching. I must confess, we both really liked it.  I really respect these athletes because it is absolutely amazing that they can do what they do. Personally, I think that they are a crazy to sit on top of a wild bull that doesn’t want them there! But, I found it amazing that the announcers would talk about what they “thought” the bull was going to do when they opened the chute. They would predict that the bull would “turn left hard and then make a sudden jolt right”. That amazed me that you could determine what a “wild” animal will do. It got me thinking…..

In John 20:31 John writes, “31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John reminds us that we don’t get to Heaven by “knowing what God is going to do next, but by having faith in what He is doing.

In your daily walk, the way we succeed is by staying faithful in our beliefs that the Lord is going to do something, not trying to predict what He is going to do.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Has Anything Changed?

I know in my own personal walk with Jesus, there have been times when I have “re-written” the rules to fit my needs. You see, as long as I could “convince” myself that I wasn’t “sinning” I was fine. Unfortunately, in reality, all I was doing was making my sins worse. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t need to change the Bible, but I needed to change my actions.

In Exodus 34:1 it states, “34 And the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke.” When God gave Moses the 10 Commandments a second time, He didn’t change a word. In fact, the words on the second tablets were, “the words that were on the first tablets which you broke”.

To me, this is an encouragement. Our God never changes. Our God gets it right the first time. Our God will be the same “yesterday, today and forever”.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

What Did I Forget?

I think the biggest worry I have in ministry is not doing what I am called to do, but NOT doing what the Lord has called me to do.  I know, you are probably wondering what am I talking about.  As a pastor, you are called to shepherd, teach, counsel, etc. But, as a pastor, I am also called to do those things that everyone else is called to do — show love, be kind, forgive….. You know, all those things that Christians are “supposed” to do.

In Exodus 36:1 we read, “36 “And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the Lord has commanded.”

The Lord has called us all to do work for His service, but what is is that we are not doing? As you believe that the Lord is calling you to certain actions, don’t be afraid. He will give you “wisdom and understanding” so that He will shine!

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Is the Lord in Your Cloud?

I think for most of us, we see the good things in our lives as a blessing from God. I think that it is also safe to say that we have a more difficult time feeling the Lord’s presence during the trials and “storms” in life. But, did you that sometimes the Lord uses those storms to come to us?

In Exodus 19:9 we read, “The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.” The Lord told Moses that He would come to speak to Israel in a “dense cloud” which brought lightening and thunder. You see, the Lord used the cloud to speak to the people.

The next time you are surrounded by storm clouds, look up. You might just hear the Lord speaking to you.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Remember the Sabboth

I case you did not know, we have begun a new study at Journey of Faith for 2015 in the Old Testament examining the festivals that are observed by the Jewish people. As I recently explained in church, if we want to know the New Testament better, we must first understand the Old Testament; including the Jewish people. Each festival was appointed by God and designed by Him with a specific purpose in mind. In addition, the Lord also called on the Jewish people to focus other aspects of their life more on Him. One of those areas involves the Sabbath.

In Genesis 16:29-30  we read, “29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.” The Lord called on the Jewish people to “stay where they are” on the Sabbath day. In other word, the Lord wanted our priority and focus to be on Him on that day and no one else. We all must “remember the Sabbath” and focus more on Him.

I would like to invite all of you to join us for this “Year of Festivals” where we are going to make the Old Testament “come to life”. Each month, we are going to be actually celebrating one of the Jewish festivals that was given to the Jewish people by God and described in Leviticus 23.  No, we might not be able to go to Israel, but in 2015, we are going to make Israel come to Journey of Faith.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Whom Shall I Fear?

At times, we find ourselves in situations where we must make a decision — do we please man or do we please the Messiah? For some, they may choose to go against their beliefs to please those around them. For others, they will choose to please the Lord before anyone else.  When we are making those decisions, the real question is “whom shall I fear?”.

In Exodus 1:17 we read, “17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. ”  Pharaoh had ordered all Jewish, male newborns be killed, but “the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them“. You see, they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh.

As you look at the choices you make in your own life, who are you fearing?

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Are You Strong Enough to be Weak?

You can tell a lot about people by how they act, and sometimes, don’t act.  I have always marveled that it seems that the “strongest” people I know are also the most unassuming.  No, I am not talking physical, but spiritual and emotional. They appear to be “weak”, but in reality they are just the opposite. The are comfortable with who they are that they do not need to prove anything to those around them.  I have often looked at Joseph this same way.

In Genesis 50:19-21 it states, “19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Joseph knew that his strength came from the Lord and not his own power. Because of that, he knew that he would always be protected.

Are you strong enough to be weak? Are you able to look at your trials and see God’s triumphs? Are you able to trust that the difficulties you face will benefit you and those around you? Just like Joseph, are you strong enough to be weak?

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

When It all Makes Sense

When I was in school, I loved math and anything to do with numbers.  There is something gratifying about putting numbers into an equation and coming up with an answer.  I said I loved math, but there was on class I didn’t understand — geometry.  To me, that wasn’t math; Instead of equations, we had theorems. In stead of numbers, we had proofs.  It never made sense to me, until 30 years later, I was helping my oldest son with his geometry. You see, it didn’t make sense to me when I was in school, but after 30 years of experiencing and growing in life, I finally got it.  Joseph had a similar experience with his brothers.

In Genesis 45:4-5 we read, “ And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

I am sure that what had happened to Joseph at the time (prison, slavery, etc.) didn’t make sense, but looking back, he was able to understand that “God sent me before you to preserve life”. Maybe you are going through a “Joseph season” right now and it doesn’t make sense to you. Trust in the Lord that your struggles and trials will be used by the Lord to “preserve life”. Not just yours, but for those around you.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!