I don’t often see eye to eye with the author of the below, but it is nearly identical to what I was going to write.
God’s Gift of Salvation
1. We are sinners. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).
2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is called Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). There is probably no person alive who can say that they never told a lie. We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.
3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. He paid the price for our sins. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. When He was on the cross, Jesus suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was experiencing separation from God the Father. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. He was paying for our sins.
4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to become a Christian, it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).
Notice that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.
One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I expressed faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:
“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”
If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24)
Hosea 4:6King James Version (KJV)
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Knowledge of God.
One thing that really irks me is the meme that the White House and Press are attempting to establish. That is that “we the people” are in fear or fearful. I don’t know who they are trying to kid, but we great unwashed masses are not afraid. We are angry. We are angry at a government that serves itself over the needs of her people, and who destroy the very Constitution that brought them into power. Rather than say we deserve whatever we get, I say we need to wake up and decide, today, what we will do about it.
We are not afraid. We are not fearful. We are, however, done with our own complacency. We are waking up. We are ready to solve this problem.
If anyone needs to fear, it is the fear mongers and liars that have brought this once great country to the state of disarray it has become.
There is no dishonor in stating the truth even if the cost is high. There is, however, a great dishonor to the soul to know what is right and true and do nothing about it.
We must decide if saving our right to not be offended is more important than preserving the rights of our citizens against the tyrants who have destroyed this great nation. If we give up our freedom for the sake of our comfort, we do not have the right to complain when they come to disarm you and destroy you.
We are no longer going to hide behind expediency. We are ready to solve this problem ourselves and restore a representative republic that is defined by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
We are not afraid.
Let’s be about it.
‘Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
– Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw – “Bring On The Rain”
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV
DAYS LIKE THIS
The Flight Attendant brought me a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, and was on the last leg of travel that would get me to Chicago. I hoped the coffee would wake me up enough to make this final leg of my travels.
As the flight attendant hurried down the aisle of this tiny and overcrowded jet, I stirred in my sugar, and lifted the cup for a sip. Just as I did, the flight attendant came rushing back down the aisle, stopped suddenly next to my seat, and turned around to talk to another passenger. As she turned, she forgot to tuck her elbows in. Her right elbow struck the bottom of my coffee cup just as I was taking that first sip.
Hot coffee splashed all over my face, my glasses and my shirt. I cleaned up as best as I could under the circumstances, but reeked of airliner coffee the rest of the day. I was finally wide awake. The coffee had done its job.
Our flight landed and was delayed on the tarmac because the gate was still occupied by another jet.
After debarking, I headed to baggage claim B, where my ticket, and the flight attendant, said our bags would be found.
It took an additional 30 minutes for the bags to get to the wrong baggage claim kiosk. I wouldn’t have discovered this if I had not heard another passenger ranting about how the bags ended up in the wrong place. The electronic board at baggage claim happily claimed that my bags would be at claim B, even though the bags were being offloaded somewhere else.
The delay of the jet getting to the gate on time, and the confusion in baggage caused a delay in getting to the shuttle for the hotel. I ran as fast as a fat guy could run, but arrived only to see the tail pipe of the hotel shuttle bus speeding away. I called the hotel. They said they will send the shuttle back, but I would have to wait.
Two hours later, the shuttle returned. On my way to the hotel, I was lectured on what the shuttle schedule is, and why it is important to be on time. It would have been pointless to tell the driver about my adventures with the airline.
While I was in training class, my computer crashed and had to be replaced with another one. After that, the software we were learning how to use kept failing to do what it was advertised to be able to do. In order for me to complete my training labs, I had to shut down the program frequently, restart, and continue on where I left off.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Before I left for my trip to Chicago, my company issued cell phone decided that it needed to reboot itself repeatedly then die. It is now dead. I get a “New” one this Monday.
LIFE LIKE THIS
During a lull in training, I thought about these things. The cell phone, the coffee, the baggage, the hotel shuttle, and the computer issues. It occurred to me that my life is generously peppered with little events like this.
Lately, it seems as if my life has been one interesting event after another, peppered by occasional bouts of normalcy. The frequency of these interesting events has increased ever since I started my job at this internationally famous company. I do NOT hold them responsible. I merely use this event as a time marker that earmarks when things really started getting even more interesting in my life.
My boss wrote me, regarding this run of “luck” I seem to be having, and asked,
“David, Have you always gone through life with that little cloud over your head that follows you everywhere? Eleanor (A co-worker who issues our phones) and I were talking about you…and all the things you have had to endure since you have been with us. Satan is really trying to trip you up, isn’t he?”
IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT
Jesus never said that becoming his disciple would protect us from life’s circumstances. – Jim Richards, “How To Stop The Pain”
Even Jesus was tempted in every way we are all tempted. In Matthew 18:7 Jesus said, “It is necessary that temptation comes.”
The opportunity my circumstances bring me is the chance to allow the Spirit of God to work in my life, making me a light and disciple of Christ.
The danger is that I will not.
That is not how the bumper sticker says it, but you get my drift.
I used to get seriously angry at all these little paper cuts. I am learning, through experience with the Holy Spirit, that blowing up only means I get to do it all over again.
I handle big events rather well. It is the little, niggling, “dogs chewing at my shoes” events that tend to bring out my worst.
Even though God Himself tempts no man, God is not going to stop problems from coming your way any more than He prevented them from happening to Jesus.
We are not better than our master.
How we deal with circumstances is what tells the rest of the world how much we really believe Christ changes our lives.
There is a season for everything under the sun.
This season of interesting events lead me to either cling to God in faith, or curse God for allowing them to happen. It all depends on how well I chose to understand what the Bible actually says about pain and suffering.
Whether these temptations are genuinely from Satan or are just life happening becomes a moot point. Jesus said, “Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influence to do wrong.” And “Woe to the person on whose account or by whom these temptations comes!”
The World and Satan are in league with each other in that, if they have to go to hell, then so do the rest of us.
If I have said I do not have to go to hell on account of Jesus and his finished work on the cross, then I have told the World and Satan they can stuff their ambitions for my life.
Satan and the World do not like it when a sheep tells them to stuff it. So they fight back.
We either trust our Shepherd to take care of us, or we don’t.
So…let there be clouds, and let it rain…I was thirsty anyway!
Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Let’s be about it!
Love always, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.
In case I have never told anyone, I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, who died of all my sin, and rose again on the third day to prove he is worthy to be my lord and savior. Because of this, I have inherited all that Christ has given in order to save me. This is part of the exchange on the cross. All that is unholy and sin became Jesus’, and all that is holy and righteous became mine. My righteousness has nothing to do with me, or anything I can do to please God. It all rests entirely on Jesus and what He accomplished in my place. Becoming what Jesus is, is what is known as laboring to rest in the finished work of the cross.
So, what am I? I am like you, someone who has sinned. Perhaps my sin nature was a bit more indulgent than yours. Perhaps not. Any sin separates us from God and demands a verdict of eternal damnation. In God’s eyes, all my sin is forgiven. In God’s eyes, I am His beloved child. In God’s eyes, I am no longer judged worthy of hell and damnation because I have accepted the mission of Jesus and the finished work of the cross. My fleshy character has to die, because it is dead, and will continue to die as I rest in the character of Jesus.
I am also someone who STILL sins. Just like you. I still sin, but I do not desire sin. Not any longer. I desire God and His kingdom. His grace sustains me as the Spirit of God leads me to a life that is better than the old life I lived. I am not alive anymore, but Jesus lives in me. I live this life because of the faith of Jesus that resides in me. I live this life because He lived me and gave His life for mine.
What I have described above is what GRACE is all about. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is bestowed on me because I have accepted a free gift. That gift was paid for in blood. Jesus’ blood.
God’s grace continues to this day. That is why this planet still exists. He is showing us how patient His grace is, so that, somehow, you will have the opportunity to accept this free gift too, instead of living your eternity in hell. Hell is reserved for Satan and his minions, and all who refuse to accept this free gift.
This is grace, and it is free to anyone who will accept it.
Here is the truth, however…
No one wants God on God’s terms. If they believe in God at all, it is through a filter of righteousness (Self), that tells God why all the good stuff they have done in their life merits passage into Heaven.
We prefer to earn what we cannot possibly earn because we are too proud to accept the free gift of Grace given to us.
The truth is, some Christians have made Jesus noting more than a role model, a buddy, someone who looks at your foibles, chuckles, slaps you on the back, and says, “Keep trying, buddy, I am rooting for you.” Part of this is true, but the tools of Satan is to mix truth with error.
The error is in believing that Jesus is no more aware of a divine standard than we are, and He is simply walking through this life as befuddled as you are, but maybe a bit smarter about negotiating the mine fields of life. This inclusive theology waters down who Jesus is, and leads millions to a false sense of security. After all, we need to make our march into hell as pleasant as we can, don’t we?
The truth is, some Christians believe that their particular religious dogma has cornered the market on God, and God HAS to be pleased with our efforts. They like to invent an agenda, map out a plan, and insist that God approve of it. This is especially true if our map started in the scriptures.
Here is an example:
I recently attended a Men’s Prayer Breakfast. The theme of that breakfast was, Psa 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;…”
The guest speaker rhapsodized about how it is our responsibility to build a Godly home. Which is true, but not the truth.
The speaker exposited that we have to work hard to make sure we are doing all we can to build a home that God will be proud of. The emphasis continued to be one of self-effort, self-righteousness, self, self, and self…ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
After all was said and done, I was asked what I thought. I spoke the truth. That unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it.
I was in my home turf with this synagogue of fellows, as I was raised in this particular works righteousness religion.
I suggested, and I mean this, I was kind, polite, and friendly, charming… everything that my best friend, Mark, would have suggested I be…I suggested that we look again at this verse and underscore WHO is responsible for the building.
(I was once one of them, and I know how easily they get provoked to self-righteousness and anger, and how swiftly they run to their own ego when they are cornered.)
I suggested, ever so gently that, unless God moves us to build the house, and unless He leads the building, and unless the Holy Spirit empowers this project, nothing we do will last. I suggested that any fool can build what looks like a godly home, a godly church, a godly reputation, but, inside, can be full of empty promises, lies, deceit, and vain imaginations. If this were not so, all churches and all homes that appear to be Godly would be winning souls faster than water could be gathered for the baptism.
The stony silence I was greeted with was deafening. The party was over.
The Truth is… We do not really want the truth so much as we want reassurance that the lies we tell ourselves are the truth.
My only claim to anything is that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. He died for my sin. I accept that I am a sinner, saved by Grace.
I would not be able to comprehend why grace is being applied to my life, if I first didn’t understand that there is sin, and a need of repentance.
Grace juxtaposes the image of what God is trying to give you against the reality of the hell you will receive if you do not choose His free gift.
Is Jesus my friend? Yes, He said so himself. It’s in the bible, look it up.
Jesus is my friend because I have believed in him, trusted him, and accepted this free gift.
When He became my savior, and the spirit of God entered me, I was driven to the inescapable conclusion that I also want to be just like Him, which made Jesus my Lord, as well.
Somewhere between the dogma of the self-righteous religions of this planet, and the idea that Jesus is your buddy, we have to come to terms with the truth of the Cross. The truth of why the cross was necessary. The truth that none of us, none of our religions, and none of our watered down lies of Jesus will ever save us from the hell we deserve.
Jesus IS the good news. Jesus is all of the Gospel. There is no separation of eternal life and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. You cannot have one without the other. To live otherwise is to tell God you know better than He does about what is best for your eternal soul. This will not comfort you while you are in Hell.
The truth is, if Jesus can redeem someone as vile and dangerous as I was, then He can redeem anyone. The truth is, none of us, not one, can do anything at all worthy of Heaven, unless Jesus Himself does the thing through us.
When you accept that you are a sinner, and that your religion, or lack thereof, is not going to save you, and you turn to Jesus Christ, and see what He has done to grant you eternity in Heaven, you will be saved.
I was told that I must be soft and sweet when I deliver these next few messages. I was told that I must separate grace from truth, because truth is not palatable, and will scare people off.
I hold that if you are not cognizant of the truth, any effort you make at making Jesus your Friend will be wasted in regret. You will never know Grace apart from the hard truth.
The truth is, you can do nothing at all apart from Christ.
The truth is, you cannot have Heaven and bypass what Christ did on the cross.
The Truth is, your deciding whether Jesus is Lord or not does not negate the fact that He is Lord whether you acknowledge it or not.
The truth is, in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord.
Time is running out. Churches have failed Christ. We all have to stop and tell the truth and know the truth.
Grace reveals God’s love against our overwhelming sin. Grace reveals a truth that simultaneously hurts and heals.
Truth reveals Christ.
It pleased God to send His own Son to the cross so we, you, His creation, will not have to face His wrath. Jesus already absorbed God’s wrath. Sin is paid for. You are saved, if you believe what Jesus said about Himself.
Unless we first come to grips with our sin, and the overwhelming Grace God continues to show us, and until we accept this free gift of Salvation, we will never truly understand the depth of the powerful relation Jesus will be in your life. You cannot be His friend unless you first accept what he did for you. When that happens, you will see that he did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.
Before any of my Hyper Grace friends ask me if I had thought twice about the gracelessness of this tome, and considered what Jesus would have done…I leave with this thought:
Still, it is all on His terms.
Let Him be about you.
I love you in Jesus Christ, and because of Him,
David G. Perkins
The world is watching right now. It is time to see the power of the living God at work in Ferguson, MO.
I believe prayer changes things. I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the people in Ferguson, The hearts of those who desire chaos, the hearts of those who desire anarchy, the hearts of those who say they want justice, but actually seek revenge.
It is written that God inhabits the praises of His saints. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are, by definition, one who has been sanctified, set apart, for His purposes. No power on earth can get between you and God.
All we as believers have to do is pray, praise, and persist in the faith. No plan of evil can overcome the power of God.
Jesus said that where two or more agree as touching ANYTHING then it will be granted to you by the Father in heaven, to the glory of Christ.
Do you want Jesus to be glorified, or are you content to sit, cluck your tongue, and thank God you are not part of the problem? The enemy depends on your absence in this war. His desire is that you be AWOL in the middle of the fight. All he has to do to win, is convince you are not needed in this battle.
You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.
Praise Him in the assembly, Praise Him in the streets, praise Him in your lack and want and agony, and praise Him when your life is flush with good things.
Lift your hands in holy sacrifice, and watch the power of the living God make a difference in this world.
Are you distressed over what is about to transpire in Missouri? Trust God and pray. Because you are Christ’s, you are God’s own child. Ask Him whatever you will in the name of Jesus and it will be done.
Go find a friend to pray with. Do this now and until this trouble is past.
We are called to a greater thing than our own selfish desires and our own comfort zone.
Put on the whole armor and show up for this battle and watch the mighty hand of the Living God deliver peace and Jesus to this situation.
Failure to do this is to give the enemy the very ground Jesus died to save…human souls.
Today, decide you will do this. Watch the mighty hand of God work through his children.
Jesus is our Lord, and He has sovereign right and power over all that exists. Never doubt this. never give up on this. Always rely on this truth.
If you cannot do this, shut up about what a mighty Christian you are.
Many are called, few are chosen.
Let’s Be About It!!!
I love you in Jesus’ name.
David G. Perkins
Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice. They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. (2Ch 20:14-24)
God chooses those who dare to act when God says to act, regardless of how they feel and regardless of the circumstances.
Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles begins with this verse: Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. (2Ch 20:1)
This combined army came against Israel. They outnumbered Israel by an order of hundreds to one. Tiny Israel was out manned, out gunned, and in an indefensible position against these might armies. Their goal then, the same goal their descendants have today, was to wipe Israel out of all memory, to destroy them utterly, and destroy them all the way down to the infants. Israel was, frankly, overwhelmed with enemies, and fear.
When they turned to God, God told them that the fight is not theirs, to go and watch God hand them the victory, and to praise God for it.
The next morning, they went to where God told them to go. Instead of sending out the army, they sent out the choir. The choir praised God. God sent confusion on the enemies of Israel, and they wiped each other out to the last men. When the fight was over, Israel collected untold riches from the spoils of that war.
I like this story because it exemplifies what it means to be chosen of God, and what happens when we do things God’s way, and do not hesitate to trust and obey.
What do you think would happen in Ferguson, MO if, instead of Police and protesters, some church went out in the streets and sang praises to God, instead of shouting curses at the government? Someone should do this very thing. I promise you, God will show up, and change everyone there. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. God will be with you, and take charge of the conflict. Just do it. The power of God’s grace will reveal itself in the praises of his children.
The New Testament shows two people who were unflinchingly willing to act when God told them to act.
And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? (Act 3:2-12)
Peter and John gave what God had given them. They did not hesitate. In fact, they were on their way to church, when this beggar distracted them from their walk. They could have done what most Christians do, and ignore this guy, then gone to church and complained about that smelly beggar that almost made them late. Instead, they gave with reckless abandonment what God had given them, through Jesus Christ. They were instant. They were obedient. Then they made it clear that THEY were not the instrument of this power, but God was. It was there, in the midst of their praising God for this that a revival broke out.
God chooses those who have died to self, who have learned that they are powerless to affect anything apart from God, who are absolutely assured that they are walking in God’s plan, who are absolutely willing to be the channel through whom God blesses others, who feed daily on the promises of God who obey God’s voice without hesitation, and will reckless abandonment, not caring about the personal cost, having a greater prize in their sight.
FAITH MAKES YOU A DARING INDIVIDUAL
The prayer life and faith of the chosen of God are the stuff of legend. The chosen are the ones who dare to obey God, even if it looks stupid, or appears too costly for others to be willing to attempt. Faith is knowing that, because God has sent you, whatever God asks of you, you are willing to do it, regardless of the cost. This is because we know in our souls that His reward is more meaningful than any earthly delight the world can hope to offer.
We are not daring out of self-interest. We are not showing the love of God for what it has to offer us. We are not demonstrating God’s holy power so that all men may be drawn unto us…we do it for the sole purpose of drawing all men to Jesus Christ. There is no other reason in heaven or earth that the power of God’s grace is at work in you. That you may be drawn to Him through Jesus Christ, and so that you will be emptied of yourself and be used of God that others may be drawn to Jesus Christ.
We know, we chosen, that there is no such thing as earning brownie points with God. We either believe or we don’t, we either obey or we don’t, we either trust or we don’t, and we serve or we don’t.
The difference between the faith of the chosen and the faith of the rest of humanity is this, we obey the will of God in reckless abandonment. Our faith leaves us little choice and even less desire to do anything other than obey.
Do you want to be chosen? Here is all you have to do.
- Believe John 3:16 with all your heart: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- Arrive at the point where you understand that you are helpless to become holy apart from Jesus Christ, and you have nothing at all to offer God other than your very soul.
- Through prayer and understanding of His word, have absolute understanding that you are in His plan.
- Be absolutely, selflessly willing to be a channel through which God blesses others. This is an act of Holy Love, a gift from God.
- Feed daily on the promises of God. Not just know them, but nourish your soul on them. That is what is meant by “Feed”.
- Dare to act when God says to act regardless how you feel and regardless of your circumstances.
All this is the result of God working in you through His Holy Spirit, because you have become a child of God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to do this.
Be chosen. You will not regret it.
Let’s be about it.
I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
David G. Perkins
The Promises are revealed in the Names of God, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:2-4)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26)
When the believer understands, confesses, and relies completely on the promises revealed through Christ, God manifests the power of His grace in their lives, so that others will be drawn to Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. These are the spoken confessions of those whom God chooses.
HERE ARE THE PROMISES AS REVEALED BY HIS NAME – (Credit where credit is due: All the following information is taken from Dr. Jim Richard’s excellent book, “The Prayer Organizer”, Published by True Potential, Inc., P.O. Box 904, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690, www.truepotential.com, ISBN: 978-1-935769-56-9)
Jehova-Tsidkenu – “Jehovah is our Righteousness” – Jer. 23:6
I thank you Father that:
You have made me righteous in Jesus.
You made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might be the righteousness of God in Him” – 2 Cor: 5:21
Therefore, I have the gift of righteousness in Jesus. Rom. 5:17
He is the end of the law of righteousness for me. Rom. 10:4
My righteousness comes by faith in the Lord Jesus. Rom. 10:10, Phil. 3:9
I do not have to work for my righteousness. Titus 3:5, Isa. 64:6
I am a servant of righteousness because You have made me a new creature. Rom. 6:18, 2 Cor. 5:17
Christ is made righteous unto me. I Cor. 1:30
Jehova M’Kaddesh – “Jehova who Sanctifies” – Exodus 31:13
I thank you Father that:
You have sanctified me in Jesus.
I have been set apart in Him I Cor. 1:30
I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20
I am dead to the world, and the world is dead to me. Gal. 6:14
Sin has no dominion over me. Rom. 6:14
I am free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2
I am sanctified by Your Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus. I Cor. 6:11
I am set apart for the Master’s use. 2 Tim. 2:21
I am a royal priest set apart to show forth your praises, O God. I Peter 2:9
I am perfected forever by Your will, O God, because You have sanctified me by your spirit. Heb. 10:10, 14, Rom. 5:16
Jehova Shalom – “Jehova is my peace” – Judges 6:24
I thank you Father that:
You give me peace in Jesus
I have peace with you because I am justified by faith. Rom. 5:1
You are the God of peace, and You are with me. Rom. 15:33
I am spiritually minded; therefore, I have Your peace. Rom. 6:8, John 14:27
You give me perfect peace for my mind is stayed on You. Isa. 26:3
The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7
Your peace rules in my heart. Col. 3:15
I am at peace with all men. 2 Tim. 2:22
You make me to be a peacemaker. Matt. 5:9
You make even my enemies to be at peace with me. Proverbs 16:7
Jehova-Shammah – “Jehova is present” – Psalms 46:1
I thank you Father that:
You are present by Your Spirit.
You are always with me. Matt. 28:20
You did not leave me as an orphan, but You have come to me by Your Spirit. John 14:18
You will never leave me or forsake me. Heb. 13:5
You are in me, and I am in you by Jesus. John 17:21-23
When we gather in the name of Jesus, You are there with us. Matt. 18:20
I abide under Your shadow. Psalms 91:1
I am his in the secret of Your presence. Psalms 31:20
Your presence gives me rest. Exodus 33:14
Jehova-Rophe – “Jehova Heals” – Exodus 15:26
I thank you Father that:
You are my health and healing in Jesus.
You are the Lord God who heals me. Exodus 15:26
You put no sickness on me. Exodus 15:26
You keep me from every disease. Deut. 7:15
Jesus carried all my sickness, pains, and infirmities; therefore, I don’t have to carry them. Matt. 8:17
By His stripes I have been healed. I Peter 2:24
I am free from the curse of sickness. Gal. 3:13
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2
The Spirit gives life to my physical body. Rom. 8:11
No plague can come near me or my dwelling. Psalms 91:10
I have the Son; therefore I have the life (ZOE) of God. I John 5:12, II Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20
Therefore, I forbid any sickness or disease to live in my body. I command every organ to function properly. I thank You that the life in me, by Your Spirit, overcomes death and disease. Mark 11:23, Rom. 8:2
Jehova-Jireh “Jehova’s provision shall be seen” – Genesis 22:14
I thank you Father that:
You are my provider in Jesus. I am free from the curse of poverty. Gal. 3:13
You have qualified me to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Light. Col. 1:12
All your blessings come on me and overtake me. Deut. 18:2
I am blessed, and I am a blessing wherever I go. Deut. 28:3
You give me the increase. Deut. 28:4
You make me plenteous in goods. Deut. 28:11
You bless the work of my hands. Deut. 28:12
You have delivered me from borrowing. Deut. 28:12
The wealth of the wicked is laid up for me. Prov. 13:22
Jesus has given me the abundant life. John 10:10
All your promises are mine. 2 Cor. 1:20
You supply all my needs (not according to my education, ability, or earning potential), according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19
Jesus took my poverty that I might take His riches. 2 Cor. 8:9
You make all grace abound unto me so that I ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency in ALL things so that I may abound unto every good work. 2 Cor.9:8
I give freely; therefore, I increase. Prov.11:24
Because I give, it is given unto me a good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over do men give unto me. Luke 6:38
Jehova-Rohi “Jehova my Shepherd” – Psalms 23:1
I thank you Father that:
You are my shepherd in Jesus by Your Spirit.
I trust in You with all my heart; I lean not to my own understanding. In all my ways, I acknowledge you, and you direct my paths. Prov. 3:5-6
You make me toile down in green pastures (abundance). Psalms 23:2
You lead me beside still waters (Peace). Psalms 23:2
You restore my soul (emotions). Psalms 23:3
You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Psalms 23:3
Your rod and staff comfort me (in times of trouble). Psalms 23L4
You have given me the Spirit of Truth who leads me into all truth, (John16:13), who shows me the deep things of God, )1 Cor. 2:10), who leads me into perfect prayer, (Rom. 8:27), who gives me the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16
Because I am Your son, You lead me by Your Spirit, (Romans 8:14), who gives me the knowledge of Your will. Colossians 1:9
You renew my mind by Your Word and Spirit; therefore, I am able to know Your good and acceptable and perfect will, O God. Rom. 12:2
We know to confess these things because we have experienced the work of the Spirit of God who worked these things into us. This is not something we worked into ourselves. This is entirely the work of a loving Father, who, seeing we have submitted to His call, has made these truths manifest in our lives. It is because of this that we are chosen by Him to serve.
This is available to all who chose to accept the free gift of God’s love. John 3:16-18.
This is available to you, if you chose it. You will know that you need to do this because you will feel the call of God whisper in your heart. While you are still dead through sin, youwill feel God call you. If you will answer, and receive this free gift of salvation, p[rovided through the death of Jesus on the cross, then all the above truth will be written on your heart.
This is so others will see the Hand of God manifest in your life, so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Christ, just as you were.
Let’s be about it.
I love you because Christ has loved me.
David G. Perkins
“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:1-4)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BLESS?
Blessing means to give what we have to one who does not. Blessing is counterintuitive. We bless the ones who do not deserve our blessing. We bless those who have no chance of repaying us. We bless in secret. We bless in a way that God gets the credit.
We are givers if we are His children. Giving your blessing is not necessarily done in a big way with fanfare. It is most often done in a way that no one but God notices. God, seeing your obedience, rewards you. We do not bless so that we can be praised by men.
When we bless, we obey God. When we do things God’s way, He provides all we need to be obedient. To not do things His way is a form of rebellion. He will not punish you for this, but He will not bless your rebellion, either. If you say you are a child of God, yet insist that your way and your fleshly power is all you need, then you are on your own. You have the fire insurance, but you do not have the power of the Living God working in you.
When you do things, even “religious and church” things on your own power, you are in rebellion to God. You invite every disaster that exists when you say you are a child of God but do not allow the Spirit of God to transform you and lead you to behave as Jesus did. The discipline of obedience is not accomplished by our will or our flesh. This is impossible. The discipline of obedience comes from submitting to what Christ accomplished on our behalf, and allowing the Spirit of God to work Christ’s character into our being. This is part of dying to self. We cannot claim to be His children and disobey Him. God does not wink at your rebellion, and give you a cookie in spite of your misbehavior. But there is nothing you can do in your own power to be like Christ. This comes only when we learn the mystery of resting in the completed work of Christ.
To bless is to give all we have been given
We have been given:
Grace, Love, Mercy, Son-ship, An eternal inheritance, The riches of the Kingdom of God, Peace, Healing, Provision, Forgiveness, Righteousness. These are ours forever, but not ours to hoard. Just as Jesus gave them to us, we are to give these to others.
All who have received freely of God, give freely to mankind.
What do we give?
All we have received from God, give freely to mankind.
When do we give?
We give at all times. We give when the sun shines. We give when it rains. We give when we thirst and we give when we drown. We give.
Where do we give?
We give in the midst of all our circumstances.
Why do we give?
We give because God gave to us even when we were at enmity with him.
How do we give?
We give joyfully. We give sacrificially. We give when we are abased. We give when we abound. We give riotously. We give with reckless abandon.
Let’s be about it!
I love you
David G. Perkins
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
We all break. The array of things that break us is astonishing. Each thing is exactly the tool needed to do the breaking.
Most often, we are broken by the big three things:
Lust of the Eye
Lust of the Flesh
The Pride of Life
When we break, we look for a remedy from the pain. Some turn to alcohol. Some turn to sex. Some turn to pills. Some turn to secular solutions, full of promise, empty of results.
If we belong to God we will see that what God could have prevented by His power, He allowed in His wisdom. It is to Him we take our broken pieces.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. (Psa 51:7-13)
God understands brokenness. Jesus was shattered on the cross for us. God’s strength is revealed in our broken pieces. God mends all that is broken and restores the damaged vessel to a greater purpose. His handiwork is revealed in our brokenness.
What others have written off as trash and useless, God will mend with His pure love. No one is so broken that God cannot mend him. What pieces are discarded, He replaces with Himself. You become a reflection of His own Son in the handiwork of His healing.
BROKEN THINGS BECOME BLESSED THINGS WHEN GOD DOES THE MENDING
Take your broken pieces it to God. His love will repair you and restore you. Your purpose in Him will grow to greater things than before.
Let’s be about it.
A Psalm of David.
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. (Psa 40:1-4)
A defining moment comes to all who are called. A circumstance will arise that will ask you to decide if what you say you believe is what you really believe. The road behind you will be blocked, and the road in front of you will be crammed with choices. Compromise will surround you, and “common sense” will dictate terms to you. The world is watching.
The road that forks between self-interest and the call of God is standing in front of you. How you got to this circumstance no longer matters. What matters now is, will you chose to walk the path God will lead you down, or will you return to your life of compromise?
Life suddenly reached that point where you can no longer desire God and serve the world at the same time. Everything you used to rely on for success and contentment has either betrayed you, or has become a distraction pulling you away from the call you hear in your spirit. You are no longer able to serve two masters. It is time to choose one.
Deep calls to deep and the things that used to hold your interest suddenly appear shallow and meaningless. The pull of the Spirit of God beckons you toward a life you never thought you would live, and away from a life you that now seems alien to you.
While all the props and trappings that defined your comfort zone are being taken away, and you feel as if your life has crumbled down around you, and all the doors that used to be opened to you are firmly nailed shut, while all the reasons to fear are screaming at you to pay attention to them, a still small voice beckons you to “Take up your cross and follow Me.” (Matt 16:24)
How you got here no longer matters. You are here. If you know what to ask, you will know what choice to make. If you know who to ask, you will see the plan God has for you. Your circumstance has arrived to strip away the remnant of your self-interest and deceit, and be replaced with the Love, Grace, Mercy, Wisdom and Spirit of God.
God, in His wisdom, has allowed this circumstance, which He could have easily dismissed through His power. He has allowed this circumstance so He can provide a revelation of Himself to you. This is one of the “all things” He works for your good. You are here because it is time to choose which way you will walk the rest of your life. God’s goal is to make you like His Son, Jesus.
When you find yourself mired in the muck of your circumstance, and you need to know God’s plan, and be assured that there is one, take a Spiritual Appraisal. When you do, and listen for the answers, you will see the plan, and understand more of God, and accept the changes He is making in you.
- What does this circumstance mean?
- What is God releasing in you through this circumstance?
- What is God doing and what should you do?
- What is it God wants to do in your life, that He couldn’t do before?
- How do I stand before God…How does He see me in Heaven that He is trying to manifest here on earth?
- What does God want you praying and confessing?
- Tell God, “I want to see this circumstance the way you do.”
If all your thinking about this circumstance has brought you to a place you don’t like, change your thinking. Find out how God thinks about it. When you can see how He views this circumstance, you will see what growth He is affecting in you. His desire and plan for your life becomes clearer.
Because He is working into your soul the mind of Christ, the Spirit of God is working to change the way you think and believe about everything. You cannot get new life with your old thinking. The thoughts you had before you knew Jesus are no longer part of the new creation. This circumstance exists to align your heart and view and mind and beliefs in harmony with the way God runs things in Heaven.
Be patient with the questions. If God is not speaking initially, He will eventually reveal the answer. If you try avoiding this situation, you get to repeat it as long as you are telling God you want to be just like Jesus. You either mean it, or you don’t.
When He reveals the truth of your circumstances, you can walk through that situation WITH God. The goal in all this is to develop a relationship between you and God. That is what all of this is about. That is why we were created in the first place. That is why Jesus came here, to restore the broken relationship.
Your circumstances exist to reveal the part of your self-interest that needs to go away, and become like Jesus, so you can have a stronger, more loving relationship with the Living God. This is also so you will be able to show the power of God’s grace to the world.
When you have grown in your circumstance, the plan God has for your life will be manifest. When you have learned to trust God with all your circumstances, you will be able to run with reckless abandonment into all circumstances knowing that God is doing a work in your life, to His glory. This is where the called become the chosen; when we give our lives over, in every detail, with reckless abandonment to God.
Embrace the unknowable outcomes with abandonment toward God. He has all your good at heart, and desires to give you only good things. He plans on using you in His service. His desire for you is love, joy, fulfillment, happiness, completeness, heaven, and all that is holy. Let God manifest Himself in you, so that others can see that there is a God who cares.
Seeking Him first will mean that every real desire of your heart will be fulfilled.
Rest assured, you are in His plan when you do this.
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!” Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. (Psa 40:16-17)
Let’s be about it.
I love you,
David G. Perkins
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
(Mat 7:21-23 AMP)
SEEING A TREND
I correspond with Christians all around the world. While revival is happening all around the world, something else is happening here. Many of my American friends are telling me they are leaving their churches. In the last two weeks, I have had no less than 5 individuals tell me this. Many of these people are leaders in the Faith. Some of these people young Christians like me look up to. Last week, I was talking to my neighbors; A husband and wife, about my age. Known for their long relationship with their church, I have pictured them as being steady and steadfast rocks. Their love for Christ and devotion to His call is strong in them. This couple told me they are leaving their church, after being faithful to their church for decades.
Two people I look up to as Spiritual elders in my life told me the same thing.
The reasons others are giving me for leaving their churches are starting out to sound like the reasons Sandy and I don’t really want to join a church. We are not alone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The trend is this: People who are genuinely interested in a relationship with Jesus Christ are starting to be excluded by churches who are more interested in marketing their church, and sacrificing their relationship with the living God for the idea of what God stands for.
WAIT A MINUTE, DAVE! WHAT ARE YOU SAYING???
I am saying this, and I am not the only one saying this. The new social experiment in American Christianity is to be so inclusive that we exclude why we are even calling ourselves Christians. We have traded our relationship with Jesus Christ for a cheap backdrop with a picture of Jesus hanging on it. American Churches are more interested in marketing their churches than in living the life of Christ. We have a business plan; we have a committee for entertainment, and publicity. We have become so relevant to everyone that we are becoming irrelevant to those who follow Jesus and to those who genuinely seek the Lord our God.
I have met many imitators. I once was one. I know what I am seeing when I see it. We, as individuals, and as a congregation, have become more concerned with being liked, and with being popular. We mistakenly believe that the more people that come to our building every Sunday is an indicator of our doing the right thing. Being popular is not our call. Behaving in a way that makes us popular, just to pack the pews will make us irrelevant to Christ.
I have met Church leaders all over America who have no knowledge of the scripture, but they know how to make you feel good and comfortable with your own ignorance. I have seen for myself that the minute you start asking the hard questions of the Bible, that you suddenly become less welcome in that church. After all, we are here to have fun, and fellowship, not to learn the deeper things of Christ.
We have all become salesmen of the Gospel. We have turned Jesus into a marketable commodity.
THAT WASN’T VERY NICE, DAVE. WHERE’S THE GRACE IN THAT?
This isn’t nice or comfortable either: The genuine Children of God are not a club that includes everyone BUT genuine believers. We do not have something to sell. We have a relationship with Christ. We are being made into the image of Christ. We are not salesmen of the idea of Christ, just so you can be comfortable knowing about Him without the conviction it takes to follow him.
Paul was the Apostle of God’s Grace. PAUL SAID IT BEST: 2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, [like hucksters making a trade of] peddling God’s Word [shortchanging and adulterating the divine message]; but like [men] of sincerity and the purest motive, as [commissioned and sent] by God, we speak [His message] in Christ (the Messiah), in the [very] sight and presence of God.
Here is the Grace: In His patience with all of us, God desires that we KNOW Him and His ways. Being this full of Love for us all, God applies His mercy toward us, and by the power of His grace, delays the final day of reckoning so that all peoples will come to know Him through Jesus Christ.
YOU ROB HUMANITY WHEN YOU EXCLUDE THE TRUTH
Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.] Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.] You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits. (Mat 7:13-20 AMP)
Just because it looks like a Church, just because there is a fabulous floor show before the preacher comes out, just because the preacher woos you with his glib wit, and humility, does not mean you have gone to a building whose interests are that you know Jesus personally.
There are MANY Mega-Churches in the land. Not all are hucksters of the Gospel. But the ones who are all about marketing and being appealing to everyone, for all the wrong reasons are driving sincere believers away.
Jesus said that if He is high and lifted up, he will draw all humanity to himself. If what you are lifting up is the idea of Jesus, not the knowledge of Jesus, if what you propound is a sack full of sweets and goodies, you have taken people off the path of genuine knowledge of Christ.
Here is the hard truth. There is one God. He created us. We decided to break off our relationship with Him. In order to heal that relationship with Him, he sent Jesus, His only son, to take all of our sin, and all the consequences of sin, and become those things. That way, the judgment of God could be satisfied. God poured all his wrath on Jesus, and sent Him to Hell in our place. When we believe this with all our hearts, and confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we become His adopted children.
From that point on, it is all about learning how to build a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. THAT is the truth.
KNOWING THE PATH IS NOT WALKING THE PATH
There will be millions of people headed to hell who know a LOT about Jesus, but never knew, or cared to know, that they could have had a real relationship with Jesus. Jesus became all our sin so we can become all of God’s children. God is calling us to a path that leads us to a sincere and real knowledge of Him. He is not interested in your marketing plan, or budget, or entertainment quotient. God is interested in YOU. God loves you. He is not in love with the idea of you, he loves YOU. He proved this when He sent Jesus to die in our places.
God is calling us to know Him through Jesus Christ. We are called to walk after Him. The more we identify with Jesus, and become just like Him, the more Holy Fruit we will produce. When we do that, more humans will be drawn to Jesus, and their salvation will be assured. You cannot do this with just a nodding glance a Christ. If your church is standing in the way of the real knowledge of Jesus Christ, then leave that place, it is not of God.
The worlds stated goal is to change the way everyone thinks so we can all be just alike. The world has openly stated that Christianity is one of the religions that they cannot include because it is “intolerant”. By intolerant, they mean we have the raw nerve to say that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This calls for a real relationship to Christ, not the idea of a relationship with Christ.
Churches all over the world are having real revival. They are having this revival in the very teeth of deadly opposition. The reason they are reviving from their slumber is because the uncompromising word of truth is being preached, taught and LIVED out in the individual lives of the revived.
It is better to not go along to get along if it means you have to give up a genuine relationship with Christ to get along. People the world over are being put to death for their faith. In the meantime, American Churches are no longer being a congregation of genuine believers.
It is time to put the toys away and start seeking the Lord, here in America. Don’t shut out real believers just because they do not fit into your marketing plan. If your plan is so important that you have to shut out genuine believers, then your plan is not of God. If the conversation of genuine believers makes you, O Church, UNCOMFORTABLE, chances are, you have not known Jesus Christ.
Seek the Lord while He may be found. But do NOT make the mistake many people have, and think that just because you go to a place that calls itself a church, that you are among believers. You do not become a believer OR saved just because you attend a church. That would be like saying you became a Cheese Burrito because you went to Taco Bell.
HERE”S THE GRACE
The sin is not that you are lost. The sin is not accepting the free gift of salvation. If you do that, you are still dead. The sin is not in going to church. The sin of the church is believing that it is the answer when Jesus alone is the real answer. The real church’s job is to uphold every believer, and lead others to Jesus.
Salvation is free. God loves you unconditionally. Jesus did not come here to establish a religion. Jesus came here to destroy all religion in exchange for a relationship with the Living and only God. Every religion on earth knows this, and despises Jesus for it.
God created you and loves you dearly. He is calling you back to His love. The way to get there is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way under heaven to know God.
Grace is why God has not already destroyed this planet. He is waiting for you to know Him through Jesus Christ. Stop being fooled by the joke “church” has become, and start knowing who Jesus Christ is. He is waiting to embrace you. Church is where real believers meet and share the love of the Lord. It is not about entertainment. It is about sharing the joy of the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Church is about meeting the lost where they are, not where we say they have to be. You are the church, if you are a believer in Jesus. When two believers meet and share the joy of the Lord, there is church.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
If what you have is what church really is, then you can expect genuine revival in the land, and serious opposition to your meetings. This is being proven true all over this planet…except America.
Let’s Be About It.
I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
David G. Perkins
Pro 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. (Amplified, e-sword)
Peter hopped out of the boat, but let the waves scared him, causing him to forget to keep his eyes on Jesus. Peter cut off a man’s ear. Jesus rebuked Peter, and put that man’s ear back on. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Later on, after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles. The Lord lovingly rebuked him, and taught him that it was OK, because He had opened the entire world up to receive the Gospel. And all things were now clean because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Paul led an army from the Temple in Jerusalem into all the land of Israel and surrounding territories to persecute, murder, torture, and commit many atrocities in the name of the God of the Pharisees. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. Jesus blinded and rebuked Paul. After he was healed, and the eyes of his understanding were opened, Jesus sent Paul into all of Europe and the Mediterranean to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, we see that every man of God has fallen, and God lifted them back up.
All of these situations have something in common. When they fell the Lord rebuked them. When the Lord rebuked them, it was for their healing and understanding. Their ignorance of God’s way was stripped away and replaced with a better understanding of who and what the Lord is, and what God desires of all of us.
WE ALL FALL.
God did not bring that fall, you probably did. God will not judge you for that fall. All of God’s judgment and wrath was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord, we are not judged when we fall. God does not look down on you in scorn and say, “Well, you certainly deserved THAT!” Remember this scripture when you fall: Rom 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. (Amp, e-Sword). The failure is not in the falling. The failure comes when we don’t learn the lesson God reveals to us through that fall.
I will use an example I heard Graham Cooke use at a church in Carrolton, TX. When a mother is teaching her baby to walk, and she stands the baby up, scoots back a bit, and holds out her arms, and says, “Walk to Mommy.”, and the baby takes a few halting steps, then falls and crawls the rest of the way to Mommy; Will that Mom get angry with the child and, in her scorn, tell the baby, “I told you to WALK! You fell down! I no longer love you because you don’t walk exactly as I do!” No! No mother who loves her child will do something that cruel.
God invites you to walk as His Son did. You take a few halting steps, yet you fall. Will God declare you unfit for His kingdom? Will he berate you for being a sinner, unworthy of His love? NO! God does not do that with His children. God loves us much more than any human could possibly love her child. God is Love, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness, Gentleness, Kind Hearted, Peaceable, Hope, and Redemption. To act any other way towards us, His children, would be out of His own character. God is teaching all His children to walk – toward Him.
WHEN WE FALL
You are not condemned by God.
Because we are seeking Him with all our heart; God will use this experience to take your understanding of Him to an even higher level. God is all about a relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ONLY way you can have a relationship with God. And Jesus, having become all sin that ever existed from eternity to eternity, understands what it is like to fall. He stands before God DAILY advocating on your behalf.
In your fall, you will experience the love, grace and kindness of God, through Jesus. You will learn that there is a difference between devotion to a person, and devotion to some principles or to a cause. Jesus didn’t come here proclaiming a cause. Any cause that replaces Jesus in your life, even if you think you are serving Jesus in it, is idolatry. Jesus came here to proclaim that your relationship with God is healed and renewed and available. The door to the Kingdom is open when we go through Jesus.
We are called out to a relationship, not a religion. We are called out to be made into the likeness of Jesus, as He is in Heaven. When we fall, we will be lifted back up by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You are his beloved child. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His OWN beloved child so you can live.
We will fall, but when we do, God will reveal Himself in our circumstances, and show us what we need to learn from it, so we will grow stronger in a loving relationship with Him.
WHEN THE LORD LIFTS US UP
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Amplified, e-Sword)
God’s thoughts of you are exactly the same as He has for Jesus. You are His beloved. You are His prize. You are God’s very own child. You have inherited all that Jesus has because you have believed in Him.
God has woven plans for you from before the beginning of time, and nothing can stop Him from fulfilling it in you. God will lift you up, and set you on His path. You will know you are not condemned, and that you are greatly loved of God. Sometimes, the path God has planned for us gets tangled when we take matters in our own hands. Rest assured, this will not surprise God. You will never hear God say, “Man, I didn’t see THAT coming!” Your progress is in His timing. Your growth is His idea. You are the redeemed.
This is not a license to fall, either. The deeper your relationship with God grows, the less the things of the world will appeal to you. When you fall, and the Lord lifts you up, you will see a side of Him that offers you redemption in the area you fell. He will show you a higher level of life to live. He is all about upgrading us to a perfect relationship with Him.
Php 1:6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Amplified e-Sword)
You are God’s own handiwork, and He never tires of bringing you, lovingly, into the image of Christ.
WHEN YOU ARE REDEEMED
Remember what you were redeemed from. Remember who the redeemer is. When you meet someone in need, do not think that you are free to ignore that person. Don’t delude yourself by saying that, “He must be going through this because God is trying to teach him something, and he probably deserves it.” We have no right to judge what a person is going through, and we do not actually know. Only God knows. God just may have put that person in your path to see what YOU will do with the situation. Will you cross the street in order to remain clean, or will you dip your hands deep into the situation to show that person the only Godliness he may ever see? God’s redemption from any fall, from every fall, comes with gifts of love, grace, mercy, healing, and joy. When we experience these things, we are free to give them away to anyone who we run across. We are given generous measures of Grace. Grace is not ours to hoard. We give freely because we have been given freely.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
When you fell, you weren’t abandoned by God. When the Lord showed up to heal your circumstances, He walked beside you and taught you what you need to understand, in order to overcome this situation. It is the Lord who will lift you up. This is the work of God. Left to our own devices, we would rather wallow in our failures and whine about them. As a child of the Living God, we do not have to fear being alone in our darkest hour. We can trust God that He will heal us and redeem us in our darkest times. The Lord will never abandon you or forsake you. No power in any part of the universe, or in heaven, or beneath, can tear you out of God’s hand. Be encouraged, my friend, when you have problems, or when you fall. After you pass through this dark place, you will walk out of it looking more like Christ. God will turn this darkness into daylight, and turn your curses into blessings, so that all men will see that God is good.
When we see others fall, we are to treat them in the exact same manner as God treats us when we fall.
Let’s be about it.
I love you in the love of Jesus Christ
David G. Perkins
The old man sat on the swing under the large sycamore tree. It was his little slice of heaven, his place to sit and watch, to see what else nature could teach him. Ancient and strong, the sycamore’s branches stretched far and wide, shading a very large portion of his back yard. Sunlight filtered green and golden through the giant leaves that sheltered all that sat in her shadow. Years ago, he had hung that porch swing on the low, horizontal branch, itself large enough to be a tree trunk for a smaller tree. Just like that old tree, my grandfather was ancient and strong.
Grandpa Perkins had been a woodsman most of his life. Felling timbers for International Paper in Sarepta, Louisiana, he had worked hard all his life. When he had grown too old to be a woodsman, International Paper had him spend the last years of his work life cleaning out the chimney stacks at the mill. That was just as hard, and even more dangerous. There were no real “Safety” regulations back then. Safety meant getting the hell out of the way before a block of ash fell on your head because you jarred it loose cleaning the stacks. He had grown up in a hard world, and learned the ways of the woodlands, and earned his keep off that woodland. Even as an old man, he looked to me to be strong enough to snap two by fours with his hands.
Momma told me to wait until after grandpa had his coffee before I pester him. So, I stood at the back door, looking out the screen, waiting for him to put his cup down, signaling he will be receiving an audience. Grandpa had an old border collie, named “Pup”. That old dog stood guard while Grandpa drank his coffee. When he heard the cup settle down next to the old swing, he would turn and wag his tail at Grandpa, and receive a good scratching between the ears for being a good dog. Pup growled low at most people who came up, but he treated me like I was his best friend.
Momma told me not to go out there and talk Grandpa’s ears off. So, I walked out there quiet as a church mouse, and, after giving Pup a good solid hug, I crawled slowly and quietly in to that old porch swing and just sat there, as silent as a tomb. Grandpa, Pup, and I would sit like that for the longest time. No one moved. There was no talking. The only sound we heard were the sound of cicadas or a slight breeze jostling the leaves on his prize “Cane Pole Garden”, and the chickens clucking in the yard. There was hardly any reason for us to chat. Grandpa was a man of few words, but even if he were a chatterbox, it seemed like it wasn’t necessary for us to have to talk. It felt as if all our talking happened through our hearts.
Eventually, Grandpa would turn his tired blue eyes on me, squeeze my knee, and nod. It was the benediction on a long and silent communion we alone had shared. It was time to do the chores.
His property was small for that part of Louisiana, but a poor woodsman could barely feed his family, let alone have a good stretch of land. What he had, he made the most of. He had a garden, he had chickens, and he had his famous cane poles, growing along the fence line. Grandpa grew the strongest and straightest Bamboo Cane Poles in North Louisiana. People came from far and wide just to try to get one. He had over a hundred poles growing at a time, but very few of them passed his standard of what makes a really good cane pole. What other men would accept as passable, Grandpa threw in the fire for kindling. Our first chore was to cover our mouth and noses with damp cloth and cut down some of the Bamboo Canes. Cane fibers would get in your lungs if you didn’t protect your breathing. Those fibers were like tiny spears that could penetrate your lungs. We had to cover up so we wouldn’t inhale them.
After that, he would choose which ones were worthy of being a Grandpa Perkins Fishing Pole, and have me strip all the tiny branches and buds off the pole. I had no idea I was working hard, all I knew was that me and my Grandpa were doing stuff together. I didn’t care, I was happy as a pig in slop just being around Grandpa. He taught me how to keep a really good cutting blade and a really good chopping blade. You don’t just go up to Bamboo poles and start hacking away at them. There is a way to cut them down. It is an art, and done right, means less hard work, and more poles to dry and season. I was too small to cut the big poles, so Grandpa had me clear the little bamboo from between the big ones. He said they would never grow to be a good pole, so they had to go. It was my job to make them go away. I felt like a real lumber jack cutting down those poles.
Grandpa was a woodsman, and being a lumberjack was mostly what he did. He taught me how to pick the right axe for the job, how to sharpen the axe, and keep it sharp. Out there, in rural Louisiana, there was no going to Home Depot to get a new axe or axe handle. I still have one of his axes. The one with the home made handle. That handle is better built than any I have used from a factory. Trust me; I have broken many axe handles, except that one. Grandpa taught me several lessons on that. If you want it right, do it yourself. Otherwise, you can’t say a word about it. Protect your tools, and they will feed you.
He showed me the different ways of cutting wood, and what type of strike did the most good for the type of tree you are felling and cutting up. He said that a man has to keep good care of his axes and saws because they took care of him. Besides, dull and badly kept blades made for twice as much work for half the pay. I had no idea what that meant at the time; I was just overjoyed to be around him, and him letting me inside his world.
Grandpa was known for being an outstanding fisherman. Louisiana is “Fisherman’s Paradise”, and Grandpa was famous for knowing all the hidey holes where all the good fish were. It was his secret, shared with no one else but me and my big sister, Carol. We would go out while it was still dark. I was little, so Grandpa already had the boat hooked up to his old Ford truck, and warmed up. He sat me in the passenger’s side and I fell back to sleep. The next thing I know, we are at Bodcau Bayou, near Minden, Louisiana. After swearing me to secrecy, we would launch our john-boat out to those hidey holes. Grandpa taught me how to hold a pole and how to “hear” the fish through the line. He showed me how to set bait, how to cut bait, and what to do when I catch a fish. Catching the fish was the fun part. Cleaning it was another. But Grandpa taught me that God gave us fish so we can catch them, eat and enjoy them, and be happy. Grandpa was very happy about fish.
I didn’t set out to learn how to make fishing poles, or cut timber, or catch fish, or sharpen axes and blades. All I wanted to do was hang out with Grandpa because I loved him so much. Learning how he does things was a byproduct of that relationship. He loved me very much, and gave me good things; simply because I thought he was more important than all the fish in Louisiana.
Seeking the kingdom of God…and all these things.
God brought all this to my remembrance yesterday. I cried happy tears at all those sweet memories. To this day, I still do those thing he did because I loved being with him, and he was a good and gentle teacher. That is the message God is trying to get through our sheepish skulls. Do you love God for all the stuff he will give you, or do you just love God, and want to be with Him? Sandy and I are facing some challenges in our life, right now, and we have been praying our hearts out over them. That is when the lessons my Grandfather taught came to my mind. I never asked Grandpa for anything, I just wanted to be near him and love him.
Am I to the point where that is why I want to be with God, or do I want to be with God because I want stuff from Him? Either way you go, God will be there with you. The difference is, if you hang out with Him simply because you love Him, all the rest of the things you seek will simply happen as a consequence of His love for you. In the meantime, He will help you grow up to be just like His beloved Son, Jesus. After all, it was Jesus who introduced you to God.
Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. Seek Him and His kingdom (Which happens to dwell in you already), and ALL these things will be added to you. You will be just like Jesus then. You might be the only Jesus people meet before they die.
Grandpa Perkins, with my Big Sister, 1952
I rode 12 miles on my bike today. I know, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering just a decade ago, 30 to 50 miles was my norm. Today, though, 12 miles was perfect for me. One thing bike riding does for me is burn out the extra energy I seem to collect. I am a physical/tactile learner, but I can be easily distracted if I don’t take time to get physical. I hung up my Superman Cape about a decade ago, so bike riding, I feel is the perfect way for me to blow steam. While I am busy working my rotund body, my mind is able to float free, get creative, imagine, explore, think, and sing. (My mind sings loud, when it sings…it comes with its own orchestra, too!) So, while the singing and orchestra was playing gently in the background (I love to take the Old Hymns and arrange them for a Solo singer, with vocal back ground, accompanied by a Knabe Baby Grand Piano, and the London Philharmonic. I KNOW! That’s a lot to put on one bicycle!)
Where was I… OH, singing quietly in the background… riding my bike. OK, so there was my mind, singing, flying high, praising God. My mind started looking at how far I have come since I first set out to ride around Pearland. Baby steps. I reflected on how much has changed in a year, in a decade, in my life. In my younger days, I was an adrenalin junkie. Suddenly, I realized when it began.
THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS
(Please wait while the Orchestra changes to nostalgic background music)
When I was little, the Wells Family Reunions were my favorite part of summer. Going to them meant seeing all my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and my Grandmother Wells (A woman of God if ever there was one.) I haven’t thought about them in decades. Flashes of memory came to me…swimming like a tadpole in the big pool at the Carthage, Texas park. Next to the swimming pool is a large pavilion that can seat a couple of hundred people. We had picnic tables lined up everywhere, and food everywhere. After “Uncle Lindsey” gave his traditional (ONE HOUR LONG) blessing on our gathering, we dove into the food in supreme Southern Baptist Style. Herschel H. Hobbs would have been proud of this “fellowship”. After victuals, the Wells family participated in their favorite sport – GOSSIP. They way this worked is, all the hens sat at one group of tables, and all the men went outside to smoke and tell their balderdash about their triumphs and failures. After a few minutes or so, you had to rotate through the crowds, so you can catch up on any gossip you may have missed, and “share” the gossip you just heard. After a few minutes of this, we kids would decide that there had to be better adventures for us outside. If we dawdled, our momma would swat us on the hiney and tell us to “git!”. And we got.
When I was little, my big brother was the daredevil. So were my cousins, Jackie, Gary and Jeff. I was the observer. I really wanted to participate in their fun, but I was “the Brat”. During one of these reunions, I watched my brother and cousins and sister swinging on the swing set. From my perspective, they were flying high in the air. After flying so high, they jumpped out of their swings. The goal was to see who can fly the farthest. I wanted to do that, too. I would wait my turn, but my brother would say, “Scram, Brat!!”. And he would take the swing out of my hands. That was OK, it’s how brothers are. Things got better when we got older. But back then, I was just a Brat.
My Uncle Dan was my all time favorite Uncle. I loved him with a fierce love. I thought he was the funniest, most interesting person in the world. He was a sailor in WWII, and boy did HE have some stories! He could also tap dance like a fiend. He was able to make me laugh so hard my belly would hurt.
Uncle Dan must have seen me trying to break into the line at the swings. He came out and gave the big kids some money to go get a coke (In the South, in Texas, EVERY carbonated drink on earth is a coke, OK?). When they left, he asked me, “Wanna Swing?” I nodded my head yes. He picked me up and put me in the swing. He pushed me hard and I went higher than I had ever gone before. I laughed and screamed at the thrill of flying so high. He shouted, “Wanna fly like them (My cousins)?” I laughed “YES!”, and boy, did he push me really high. It scared hell out of me. I dug my feet into the ground on the down swing and hopped off. He asked me if I was scared? I told him I had never been that high before and it scared me. He told me, “Well, if you really want to fly, you have to try, and I promise to be there if you fall, OK, sport?” I said, “OK!”, and shook his hand. In those days, in the South, when a man shook your hand over a promise you made, it means that he believes you will keep that promise, and it means you absolutely keep that promise. A hand shake meant more to a man back then than it does today.
I got on my swing and screwed up all the nerve I could muster. Uncle Dan told me that, when he was on a boat in “The War, in the Pacific”, the air planes were shot right off the deck of the ship with a giant sling shot full of steam. Then he said, “Pretend you are flying that airplane, and I am the sling shot.” “Ready…Set…GO!”, And he pushed really hard, and made the sound of steam blowing out. He pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed before. And I was FLYING!
The exhilaration was magnificent. I couldn’t get enough. Uncle Dan must have pushed me forever, but he never grew tired. Eventually, I grew quiet. He asked me if I am still having fun. Uncle Dan was always about having as much fun as a person could have. He stopped the swing, and came around front. He asked me what I wanted to do now. I told him I want to jump from the swing, too, like the big kids. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, a boy has got to earn his paratroopers badge.” He told me how to time my swing and jump, and how to fly my arms while I am air born, and how to land with my knees partially bent, and how to roll when I land. We pretended a few jumps, after which, he said, “Boy, I think you are ready to earn your wings.”
I was excited and scared, all at the same time. He reminded me, “Now lookie here; If you fall, I will catch you. OK?!?” I nodded my head. He counted down and pushed and made the steam blowing noise, and I was flying again. He said, “When I say GO, you bail out, cause the Japs have shot your plane full of holes! (I had no idea who the Japs were, but I trusted Uncle Dan.) He pushed me harder and harder, each time. I had NEVER been this high EVER, and I was beyond scared. Uncle Dan shouted, “GO!, GO!, GO!” and…
I ejected from my plane, flack filling the air as the Zeros buzzed past, firing their 30mm machine guns at me.
Then the reality hit me. I wasn’t over the Pacific, I was flailing upside down in mid-air in Carthage, Texas. I closed my eyes, put my arms over my head, and hoped for the best. I felt sick to my stomach as I fell, knowing I was going to hit the ground really hard. I was really scared, now. I had not yet, at this point in my young life, broken any bones, and I was imagining what all my broken bones will look like to my Mom, who would surely spank me for being so careless.
Uncle Dan caught me.
UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!
I laughed really hard at the relief of not splattering on the hard Carthage playground soil, and at the joy of knowing Uncle Dan was as good as his handshake said he was. He tickled me hard, and we laughed. Then he said, “You ready to go again??” I yelled, “YES!!!”. He said, “OK, but this time, I believe you can land on your feet. Wanna try?” I was not afraid anymore. I knew that if Uncle Dan saw I was in danger, he would catch me, like he did last time. That was the first time I ever knew that it was OK to make a mistake. Uncle Dan was going to be there to catch me. I became fearless. I wanted to show Uncle Dan I was fearless, that I was a big boy, and was ready to jump out of any old airplane. And I did, over and OVER until I think Uncle Dan was exhausted.
He stopped the swing and said, “I think you earned your wings, young man! Lets go celebrate in the pool with a coke.” And we did. I learned that, sometimes, you just have to have a joyful sense of reckless abandon in order to Accomplish your goals.
BACK ON THE BIKE
(As Josh Groban steps up to the mike, the orchestra plays the opening to “You Lift Me Up”)
By this time, I had ridden eight miles. I was on the return leg from Hwy 288, and I needed to stop at the 3rd Pond from home, and rest. The sun didn’t feel THIS hot when I left the house. Things started to go black, so I got off the bike and sat down. When I came too, and I could see again, I grabbed my water bottle and drank it dry. As I sat, feeling the cool breeze blowing off the pond, I thought about that family reunion and my Uncle Dan. That must have been, I dunno, 50 years ago? I couldn’t remember. But I remembered how brave I felt because Uncle Dan helped me learn to jump out of the swing. I sat and thought about all the daring things I have done since those days. I learned from Uncle Dan that I can do it if I believe I can do it. I don’t have to be afraid.
That is when it hit me.
I am a very young Christian. I know that because of the exchange that took place on the cross, Jesus took away all my sin and failure, and anything that separates me from God , and became all those things, and died of them. Jesus promised me that, now that I am a Child of God, I have all His inheritance, and that as long as I seek God and His kingdom, that:
John 14:26 – New International Version
“…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – Jesus
Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”” – Apostle Paul
I know now that, no power of hell, or fear of man can pluck me from my Father’s Hand. I now know, HE will be there to catch me when I fall. I can grow in all ways to be like Christ. This doesn’t mean I will never fall, but it DOES mean the Holy Spirit of God will be there when I do.
Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Apostle Paul
God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will not condemn you, call you a failure, or judge you when you fall. God has already poured all his wrath out on Jesus at the Cross. In God’s eyes, you are His innocent Child, covered by the blood of Christ, filled with the Faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20), and filled with the Holy Spirit of God. He will teach you how to fly, and how to land on your feet. He will grow you up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother. God the Father is not like an earthly parent who will condemn and criticize you when you fail, but He will demonstrate His love toward you and raise you up to be just like Jesus, His only begotten Son.
We are heirs and adopted children of God, and nothing in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else, can take us away from Him. No religion on earth can do for you what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Your religion says there always be one more thing, one more level, one more way to tell you that you still have to prove your worthiness to the Living God. Religion will give you an opinion of God. Religion will give you the rules you must follow to please God. This is all any religion can do for you. God is our Father. When Jesus said, on the Cross, “It Is Finished”, all judgment on you stopped. All that is left is the Grace and Mercy and Love of God toward you. God loves you and accepts you right now, just as you are. You do not have to change one thing to come to God. All you have to do is believe:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. – John 3:16 – 17 – Words of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.
There is no other message for mankind on this earth. This is THE truth.
I am free to trust God in all things. I am free from the judgment of Man. I am free from the wages of Sin and Death. I am all that God says I am. I am an Heir with Jesus. I am righteous because of Jesus. I live in abundance through the faith Jesus has placed in me. I plant my tiny seed of faith in the garden of Jesus’ faith, and grow a mighty tree. I do not have a theological opinion of God, I have a relationship with the Living God, my Father, through Jesus Christ. Jesus came here to destroy all barriers between you and God. He came to re-establish the relationship we lost in the Garden of Eden.
If you will accept him, You will be a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17). You can trust with reckless abandonment that God is your Father, that you are His child, and the Holy Spirit will be there to catch you, and will teach you to be just like Jesus. IF you will accept this one and only truth.
Let’s be about it!
I Love you because God loved me.
David G. Perkins
1 Peter 1:3 ESV
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
I knew from childhood that you were there, but everyone told me to be afraid of you.
I was scared that you would “Get me for that”.
I wanted to please you so I became as religious as I could.
I never found you in my religion.
Then I met your Son.
He wasn’t mad at me.
He didn’t scold me.
He loved me.
I asked him why.
He smiled at me and said:
John 14:10 ESV
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
Then He breathed on me, and I believed.
Now I get it, God.
Just as you are Jesus’ Father, you are now my father, too.
In order to show us how much you love us, you had to send your own Son here:
To live among us.
To show us your likeness.
To die in our place for the fall.
And to rise again to show us that,
if we will simply understand,
if we will simply accept this free gift,
we are already saved, redeemed, and healed, and loved of God.
If we will simply understand that this is free, because you love us, and you did this for us.
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
I do believe, now, Father.
I believe not because others tell me I must.
I believe because I met Him, for real.
What He is showing me about you takes my breath away.
You love all of us on Earth.
You are not mad at us.
Jesus paid the price for anything and everything that stands between us and you.
All we have to do is accept this gift, this free gift.
Where religion hid your love from me, Your Son revealed it.
What gift can I give to You, Father, that would show and demonstrate what an amazing love I have for YOU?
All I have is me.
That I willingly give to you.
I love you, my Father.
I love you.
The pressure to produce, lately, is overwhelming. I have obligations, and the means to meet them are getting harder to come by. As I fell into my “Charles In Charge” mode, and prepared to execute an action plan I had devised, I heard the Lord.
I recognize the voice of the Spirit, now that I have ears to hear.
“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.
I am not used to this gentle Spirit of Love talking to me.
Keeping in mind the Business Model I have learned throughout life, I reminded the Spirit that I have things to accomplish, and I have broken them down into three categories:
1. MUST: Do the things you MUST do first. KNOW THE MISSION, DO THE MISSION! I have to accomplish a lot in a very little time if I am going to meet my obligations. Earn your living, pay your bills, meet your deadlines. If you have obligations, you MUST meet them, no matter what else is going on. That is life, and how it is. As I am running against real deadlines, and everything depends on me to accomplish them, I have to hit the bricks and perform my duties.
2. NEED: Next, do the things you NEED to do. THESE ITEMS WILL ALWAYS BE HERE IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER. I need to get the car tuned up, and have the timing belt replaced (It is a Toyota, and has greater than 200,000 miles). I need to replace the weather-stripping on the back door. I am not fond of trying to air condition all of Texas. I need to get braces for Hannah, get my wife knee surgery, glasses, and take her out on a few dates…
3. WANT: Finally, do the things you WANT to do. I want to spend all my time praying and serving God, because of Jesus. I want to be the best writer that ever walked the face of the earth. I want to take my family on vacation…I want to show them the places I have been on this planet, so they can see the incredible beauty I have witnessed. There are a thousand more things I want to do. And, while stopping to spend time with the Lord would be fabulous, I have obligations that take precedence.
The agony of my obligations have been gnawing at me relentlessly.
“I MUST meet certain obligations…MUST, and do it NOW!!”, I practically shouted that at the Lord.
Did you know that you can actually hear the Lord sigh, and hear (see) Him grin? It is true…you just have to know how to hear, and know how to see.
“Come talk with me”, said the Spirit.
I am irresistibly drawn to His voice.
I lay my agenda on my desk…I cannot say “no” to His invitation.
“Here I am, Lord”
“Hop on your bike and meet me at the third pond.”, He said. (REALLY, Lord?? It is freaking HOT out here in Pearland. HOT, and the Sun will melt me before I get out of the driveway!)
“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”
A few weeks ago, I decided I need to get back on my bike. My car was in the shop, and I had obligations. My bike was my back-up plan. My first time out was a dismal failure. I had a flat, and on the return leg, I had a mild heat stroke. If it weren’t for the concern of two people whom I love very much, mild would have turned in to severe, and I probably would have ended up in the hospital. After that, and after recovering, I decided I will get back on the bike, and relearn how to ride. It really is an art, if riding a bike is one of your passions. I am up to 12 miles, every other day. I ride outbound 6 miles, to Highway 288, and ride back the same 6 miles. The body doesn’t forget, and I had adapted to riding in real heat and humidity in decent time. Perhaps I can lose that next 50 pounds this way.
I looked back at my agenda. It lay on my desk, accusing me of being a slacker. I HAVE OBLIGATIONS!!!
“OK, Lord, I’ll do it.”
The rays of the Sun bore down like fine needles, piercing every part of me.
The 12 mile route includes passing by three water overflow reservoir, or ponds. When it rains here, (AND IT RAINS HERE), these overflow reservoir collect all the run-off from all the neighborhoods in the area. Reservoir abound through-out South Texas. Pearland is, after-all, in hurricane alley. I pass by three reservoir when I ride.
I love to ride fast. If found, however, that, if I maintain a 9 mile per hour pace, I get enough air flow so I can breathe (The air was just hanging around, not moving.). I also discovered that, if I go faster than 9 miles per hour, the sapping energy loss of the heat and sun shine would deplete my reserves before I go a mile. So, I kept the pace at a very leisurely 9 miles per hour.
I discovered that riding this slow gave me the chance to see where I am riding, to absorb the beauty that is Pearland, Texas, to actually look people in the face as I pass them by. My blood pressure started falling. The knots in my stomach were coming undone. I felt a song stirring in my heart, “This IS my Fathers world…” . I hummed the song as I rode my bike.
Recent heavy rains meant the reservoir were still laden with enough water to support wild life. I watched the cranes and heron and gulls sitting in shallow water, their wings open, so they could get some natural air conditioning. “This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily-white, declare their maker’s praise.” The oppressive heat turned into a warm embrace…I caught myself singing out loud. When did I start doing THAT?
After just a few minutes, I arrived at the third pond. I walked my bike around the pond until I found some shade trees to rest under. I drank some water and let the breeze off the pond cool me. Those birds really knew what they were doing. I listened to the frogs, and dragonflies, and heard turtles making their way to the water. I saw snakes hiding in the rush under some trees that had their roots in the pond. What a good thing it is to sit and watch God at work. Nature is God’s work.
“How was the ride?” “Amazing”
He grinned again. “I’m glad you came here.” “Me too, Lord, me too…”
“What has you so fearful? “My life just went out of control, Lord. I don’t know what to do.”
“What did you learn from your last mission?“, He asked, gentleness soothing my soul. “I need to keep my eyes on you, Lord. I got caught up in their religion, and made their 12 commandments more important than the author and creator of those virtues. I looked to man for approval, not to you. When I got too caught up in trying to observe the “Law” of the commands, I forgot about the Grace of the Lord.” “I learned that religious people can hide some pretty intense hate and fear behind their “Positive Attitude”. I learned that, whether we are in the desert crossing to the promised land, or in Texas, “Living the Dream”, if we turn your virtues into a law, and make the law more important than the Creator, then we have lost sight of what is really important. In the end, we make hypocrites of ourselves. And we advertise that we follow these virtues when it is apparent to everyone that we don’t.” “I also learned that when I am keeping my eyes on you, things go really well. But when I look to myself or others, I fail miserably.”
“That’s was a mouth full! And I think I hear some judgement encroaching your lessons, too.” “David, I don’t judge you. All judgement of all sin and failure was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. I am here to teach you. What you said is true, but you didn’t mention THE truth.”
“Lord, please tell me THE truth, then. What am I to you? What am I going to do now? How does this apply to the fact that You sent me here?”
“David, I have called you and Sandy to serve me, and me alone. I sent you here, and soon, you will know why. I need you to learn these lessons, as painful as they are. Keep your eyes on ME, and trust that I know what I am doing. Stop trying to please man AND serve me at the same time. That is not possible. Remember at all times the Love and Grace I have given you. You are to give generously to all who you meet. Never take matters into your own hands. I am your Lord, I care for you, I love you, and there is no condemnation on you because you are in Me. Seek me first, in all things, in all ways, and all the rest of the things on your list will be taken care of.” What you experienced at that place was, in fact, exactly what you asked me for.
“What?” “It’s TRUE.” “WHEN?” “Remember you prayed to work at a place where My virtues are pointed out, where people are Christians, where ‘Doing the Right Thing’ actually means something?” “Yes, I do.” “You got what you asked for. You have no more business judging them for their shortcomings than they do judging you for yours. I sent you to where you asked to be sent. But, even so, I always send you where I need you, where you will do the most good, and grow to be like Me.” “You simply forgot why I sent you, that’s all. Now that you have learned this lesson, I will send you where you can do some good. Just remember to keep an eye on Me. I will meet all your needs. My promise is not conditional, nor is it based on whether you behave yourself or not. I always keep my promise. You will serve me. The more like me you become, the less you will have to worry about in this world.”
American Christians are not yet at the point where it will cost them their lives for their faith. We have become complacent, and have turned what God has intended for good into a religion that drives mankind far away from God. We have fellowships that are more like clubs. We do not readily accept the unwashed, the sinner, the outsider. If I don’t think like you, then I am wrong. The hard truth is, neither of us think like God, nor do we have the mind of Christ. That is not an accusation, that is a hard-earned observation. In my anti-religious stance, I have built a new religion. In your Americanized Christianity, you have built a religion. Jesus did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship. Any time we forget that seeking the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness is more important than anything else we will do, then we are in error. We are still saved. But we are not following God, through Jesus Christ.
Jesus died of all our sin, all our failure, all our fear, all our poverty, all our lack, and anything else that built a wall between us and His kingdom. In return for this, He gave us eternal life, eternal fellowship with God, and everything that HE inherited as Lord. We abound in God’s goodness, if only we can remember how to hear and see what God has done for us. When what we do as Christians drives people away from God, then we are being religious. When what we do does not bring the lost to the Kingdom of God, and the Saved to be more like Him, then we are practicing a religion. If we are running a business that touts the virtues of God, but does not actually serve God, then stop saying what you are, and just be what you intend to be. By seeking God, your business WILL have those virtues, and God will make sure everyone knows it. Bragging on HIS children is one of the things God LOVES to do.
We still sin, and fail, but God’s promise is eternal. You are His child. You will be made in to the image and likeness of His son, Jesus.
Religion worships the idea of God, and the idea of the virtues of God, but the heart of religion is all about lip service to the Creator. We are more concerned about being right than being like Him.
The Cure for Anxiety
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you — you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” – Jesus – Matthew 6:25-33
This is why I know that, in spite of any failure on my part, or any judgement of mankind against me, in the end, I will serve the Lord. He has become my first love, and I desire Him above all else. My burning desire is to serve Him. He is using my failures to teach me how to succeed HIS way. And I love even these hard lessons. Forgiveness, Love, Grace, Mercy, Service, Giving, are more important than any idolatrous covenant that God never asked you to agree to. All things that God desires to give you will come to you when you seek Him first.
Here is a lesson I have had to repeat, recently.
My prayer is that, this time, I actually learn it and walk in it.
My hope is that, in sharing this with you, you will be helped in your walk.
The goal is not to shine a light on me, but to reveal the love of God in you.
A Lesson on Personal Behavior.
All our outcomes in this life are the result of our behavior. People always reveal themselves in the way they react to your behavior. Depending on how others react to your behavior, you have the opportunity to remain humble, the opportunity to forgive, or the opportunity to learn from it. How others react to you reveals who they are, more than anything, and is, for the most part, none of your business.
How you behave is every bit of your business.
All behavior is an expression of your beliefs.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45, NIV, and “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 KJV
If you have noticed that your outcomes are not, say, exactly pleasing to, you, your family, the Lord, or anyone else, for that matter, it might be time to go to what it is you believe. If you want to change your outcomes, change what you believe is true about you.
Stupid is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
STOP BEING STUPID!
I can say this because, I am learning this lesson as we speak.
I am learning that, if what I believe about myself contradicts what the Bible says about me, as a Child of God, then I am either a hypocrite, or ignorant, or just plain stupid.
The good news is, ignorance can be fixed. The bad news is, stupid is forever.
Start Here: You are the redeemed of Christ, so stop being stupid, and learn from this event.
We can start learning by asking ourselves the following questions:
1. What do you believe about you as a person?
2. What do you believe you are worthy or unworthy to experience?
3. What do you believe about love and happiness in your life?
4. What do you believe about your success and prosperity?
5. This is the crucial question: How do you believe God sees you, right now?
When you honestly answer these questions, you will see that your life is a physical manifestation of what you believe is true about you.
This series will show you what I have recently learned about these questions, and how I have learned to see through a new lens.
There is a reason Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 NIV
Walk with me and let me share with you what I have learned about the difference between knowing a truth, and understanding THE truth.
I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Big Brother.
Let’s Be About it!
David G. Perkins
“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” – Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)
In my “less than Christian” days, one of my part-time jobs was as an artist’s model. One of my contracts was to pose as the statue of David for a sculpting class. Dividing the Sculpture studio from the Pottery studio was a set of double doors. I noticed that, although there weren’t any students in there, there was music playing and a few lights on.
In between Sculpting sessions, I took a 30 minute break, and went into the Pottery room and saw one of the Art Professors working with some clay. Ken, the Master Potter, was building the most beautiful object I have seen in that studio. There were several of them, in various stages of progress. I saw one that had been out of the kiln for about a day, and in cooling off, had developed a sizable crack.
I asked Ken what he will do with that piece. He pointed to a grinder, and said, that grinder will pulverize the pottery back down to a fine powder. I can re-use that powder to make something else. Then he pointed to a very beautiful vase he had made, and said that is how he made that vase. It was exquisite. He had shaped that pulverized powder to a very thin layer, and had made something more beautiful than it was before. When I thumped the edge of the vase with my fingernail, it actually gave a sweet ring, as if it were crystal instead of reformed clay.
I know that had I made the same effort, the globular mass that would have been produced would not ring like fine china. The difference is what the hands of a master can produce.
That clay did not mean to crack. And the potter could have thrown the cracked clay away and dismissed it as flawed. But it was like Ken explained, he was invested in that clay. Part of himself went into making the original shape. His love for beauty and patience with the creative process made it nearly impossible for him to dismiss any broken piece as being useless.
God treats us like this, too. Sometimes we crack. When we take our eyes off what matters, we mess up. When we take matters into our own hands, we forget why God sent us in the first place. The beauty of God is that He is ever forgiving, ever-loving, and will never allow anything to take you out of His hands. That is a promise.
Another promise is, as long as we keep our eyes on Him, and follow Him, and listen to Him, HE will direct our paths. The Grace of God comes in when we take our eyes off Him. We crack under the pressure of doing things our way. In His mercy, He keeps us close to His heart. He sees your flaw as an opportunity to continue to work with you. He will refine us over and over again and again until we resemble His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
The Father disciplines the one that He loves.
When you crack, and break, have no fear of the wrath of God. God has already expended His wrath on Jesus, while Jesus was on the cross. Jesus became all our sins, all our disease, all our failings, all our disappointment, all that can possibly go wrong. When He did that, He gave all that He was before God to us. We received the right to be called the children of God. We belong to Him. We do not have to fear God’s wrath because we messed up.
God doesn’t ever set you up for failure. All His gifts are good. If you have been sent by God, but you mess up what He told you to do, rest in Him, and be assured that, whatever it is that He will make of your curses, will, in the end, be a blessing. Not just for you, but for anyone that sees what God did with you. This is so that all souls can be drawn to Him.
Let’s be about it!
I love you in the Name of Jesus.
David G. Perkins