Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Enemy Within

Last week was a great week insofar as being able to witness for Christ.

There are two ladies at work who have shown interest regarding the Scriptures and about getting to know Christ. Their concern was the confusion over the different doctrines, denominations, churches and most of all, over the hypocrisy that exists within today's Christian.

This it seems has been the greatest turn off in wanting to accept Christ. As I walked them through several scriptures, I could see the hunger that they have for knowing more about our Lord and Savior. Yet it saddened me that they were hesitant simply because of those who claim to be a Christian and whose lifestyle was no different than those who were not. The question they posed was, "How can one claim to know Christ, yet there is no change in their lives ?"

A great question indeed!

Unfortunately, the day ended and I was unable to respond but their question and concerns has been with me all weekend.

Today, as I was meditating and reading scripture I came across the words of Christ in His great sermon on the mount, where He said, "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do mighty works in your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

This passage then led me to another passage in 1 John 3: 6-10 (ESV)

"No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.  Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."

Scripture is so clear yet it is not lived nor preached and this made me think that the greatest enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ today is the counterfeit Christianity being taught as well as cheapening the grace of God to the point we use His grace as a doormat and excuse to live in two worlds as well as trying to serve two masters and as we well know, this is totally impossible.

My question therefore is,  "Would someone want to be a follower of Christ based on the example you set as a Christian? Or do they see a counterfeit?" Something to think about.

God Bless You and to Him be the glory!



Sunday, September 27, 2015

Which Jesus Will You Follow?


In today’s culture it seems we have a choice of two. The question I would like to pose is, “Which Jesus will you follow?”

Do you follow the Jesus born as God almighty in the flesh as revealed in John 1:1-14? Or, do you follow the Jesus taught in today’s modern culture, who is portrayed as a good teacher and man?

Will you follow the Jesus who hates sin and exposes sin for what it is as revealed in John 3: 18-21?  Or do you follow the Jesus who overlooks sin and will never correct you?

Will you follow the Jesus who demands that emotion, experience and opinion conform to sound teaching as revealed in Matthew 23:1-39? Or do you follow the Jesus that exalts emotion, experience and opinion above sound teaching?

Do you follow the Biblical Jesus who stated in John 14:5, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” Or do you follow the Jesus who says, “All paths lead to God”?

Do you follow the Jesus who said in Mathew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Or will you follow the Jesus who says, “as long as you are a good person, you will be ok”?

Do you follow the Jesus who says in 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world; if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” Or, do you follow the Jesus who says, “It is ok to continue living as you always have, because you are saved by grace, therefore you are fine.”

As you can see, we have a Jesus been taught today that will conform to a doctrine of no offense contrasted against a Biblical Jesus.  Therefore, the question is, “which Jesus are you following?”

Everyone has a choice to make, serving the Biblical Jesus or serving the modern Jesus as taught today in so many of our churches. The choice is yours to make. Also remember the admonition in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

So the challenge I give to everyone is, “choose you this day whom you will serve,” Joshua 24:15

Will it be the Biblical Jesus or the modern day Jesus preached in so many of today’s churches?






Thursday, September 17, 2015

Strangers Ministering To Strangers


Does not seem like two years has past since my brother Ned went to his eternal rest.
I think of him often and I remember how he suffered in the last weeks on this earth. I also remember how every day that I would visit, I  would read scripture and pray over him. And while he could no longer speak, his eyes did all the talking as he acknowledged what I read. His eyes danced with approval when I looked into his.  I knew then that he was at peace and ready.
Yet what was so amazing were the strangers that would come and minister to him. Some came in and sang that beautiful hymn, Amazing Grace. Not a dry eye in that room! But even more beautiful was Ned's eyes dancing experiencing God's beautiful grace!
 In turn my wife Pat and I had also  the opportunity  to minister to complete strangers and vice versa.
One lady in particular that I would like share with you all was a woman by the name of Mona. Her son, Steve, 33 years old was in ICU being prepped for a quadruple bypass surgery. Can you imagine the pain this single mother was experiencing to see her son going through such a procedure?  Well, as we spoke, Pat and I were able to comfort her and pray with her.
The following day, we prayed for Steve, his family and for the gifted surgeons. Our prayer was for healing and success during this surgery. Later on during the morning as I went to be with my brother, I went to the waiting room and found Mona and family there. When she saw me, she jumped up, hugged me and cried, “Steve is doing great, and the surgery was a success! Thank you for your prayers.” All I could say was, “Praise God and Amen and Amen!”
I was so humbled by this experience and all I could feel was God’s presence in that room and in my heart. The only thought that kept running through my mind was how wonderful it was to minister and to witness of an amazing God, just by talking to a complete stranger whose name I did not know until the following Sunday when we ran into each other again.
Hugging both Pat and I and again thanking us for praying for Steve. I give God all the honor and the glory for this!
Then there was a sweet elderly lady by the name of Jenny. I noticed no one ever visited her. So, one day Pat and I stopped by her room just to chat. I asked if she was ok and her response was yes. I asked if there was anything we could do for her and she asked that we pray for her.
We laid our hands upon her shoulders and prayed, what peace came over all of us at that moment. I assured that we would be back the following day. Her reply was, "I do not know if I will be here."
Sure enough, the following day Jenny was not there. No telling what happened to this dear sweet lady and of course due to privacy issues, the staff could not tell us. Yet there was a calm assurance she was fine regardless of where she was.
There was a lesson for me in all of this and that was to never pass the opportunity to minister to others even if they are complete strangers!
You never know when someone needs a loving word, a prayer or just a touch!
To God we give all honor and glory!

In Christ,
Ken


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Unclean Spirits

"Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  So there was much joy in that city." Acts 8:4-8 (ESV)

What a remarkable, amazing and Spirit filled Bible study we had this morning! We covered all of Acts 8, but a question that was asked was based on the portion above. The question was concerning the unclean spirits and how it seems that many today feel helpless and lack the same power Philip had when he cast out unclean spirits.

My response was that in today's culture many think of those unclean spirits spoken of in the Bible had to do with demons. And in a way they are demons and have taken hold of Christians today and because we have put God in a box we seem powerless against them.

Unclean spirits are those demons that separate us from a solid relationship with God. Unclean spirits come in many different shapes and forms and a product of Satan, the father of all lies! These unclean spirits are those that infiltrate our lives and are contrary to the laws of God. Each of us have our own unclean spirits that we do battle with.

And just like Philip, we do have the power to cast them out of lives; we just do not tap into the power available to us.

First, follow the instruction given to us in Ephesians 6: 10 - 19 where it tells us to put on "The Whole Armor of God", not just part but ALL of His Armor! Secondly, I John 4:4 reminds us that, "greater is He that is in us, then he who is in the world."

Christ prior to His leaving this earth promised the gift of the Holy Spirit who would empower us, instruct us, convict us and teach us. But the sad fact is that many have failed to unleash His might in their lives. So, while many may think that this power was only for the early church fathers; this power is given to us through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What unclean spirits do you have that robs you from experiencing great joy in the Lord? Today is the day to deal with them and start living a victorious life over sin!

God bless you and all praise honor and glory to God, my Powerhouse!

Ken



Saturday, September 5, 2015

What's In Your Closet?

I believe everyone has seen the commercial by Capital One asking the question, “What’s in Your Wallet?”

 I like what one writer said about this ad, “It’s an interesting question. The stuff in our wallet represents financial security, purchase power, and prosperity. The question “What’s in your wallet?” is a clever way of planting doubt in our minds about whether or not we have the right stuff to get all the satisfaction we are looking for in life. It prompts us to wonder if we are getting all that we think we deserve. Is there more out there that we don’t yet have? Do we have what it takes to be successful? Of course, the intent of the ad campaign is to make us think that only this particular card will make us satisfied, secure, and significant. And if we don’t feel secure about having the right things in our wallet, perhaps we need to reevaluate its contents. But those who have traveled life’s road for a while will tell you that it’s not really the stuff in your wallet that finally brings the happiness you’re looking for.”

Also, by now most people of heard about the movie that was recently released “The War Room”. Apparently it has been quite successful and while I’ve only seen the trailer, I am looking forward to seeing it.

 Franklin Graham said this about the “War Room”, “It is about the power of prayer and one woman’s place where she goes to pray. She calls it her “War Room”. He goes on to say, “We are in a spiritual battle and I hope there will be thousands and thousands of war rooms across America with people praying for their families, lost souls and this nation.”

 I agree with Rev. Graham, we all need to have our own “War Rooms”! Christ, in Matthew said, “…when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6 (KJV)

 Scripture also tells us, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV Bible)

 Read again the comments the writer said regarding the successful Capital One ad and answer the questions he asks but from a spiritual perspective.

And, here is my question, “What’s in Your Closet, do you have that private area where you can spend time alone with God, seeking Him in earnest?”

I pray that we each find our own “war room”, a closet or a private place to be alone and seek the Lord with all of our hearts! We need Him desperately in our nation! Please take time to heed His Word and “be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

 God Bless and to Him alone belongs the glory!

 Ken

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Have You Changed?



“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…..”  Colossians 2:6-7a (ESV)

“Put to death therefore what is earthly, in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:5-10 (ESV)

The other night having finished reading the book of Colossians the above versus stood out.

This made me think of how many people who have accepted Christ have never changed their style of living .They continue to live under a false cloud of hope thinking that everything will be fine and nothing else has to be done.

It also brought to mind two quotes from two men whose works I admire:

“Every Christian has the Spirit but not every Christian is filled with the Spirit.” William Greathouse, late General Superintendent and Theologian, Church of The Nazarene

“It is so sad that many who know Christ as Savior have never received Him as Lord” Donald Grey Barnhouse,  late Pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church and author.

Both of these saints of God hit the nail on the head.

Accepting Christ is easy but after this we must walk in Him, we must grow in Him, and we must allow Him to change us in a radical way. We cannot continue to live in our old sinful ways.

“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3: 8 (ESV)

Therefore, my plea to you is to examine your walk with God and ask yourselves, “Have I really changed since I accepted Christ or am I continuing to live as I did before accepting Him as Lord?”

If you have never accepted Christ, then now is the time to do so!

My prayer for you this evening is that His Holy Spirit speak to you and that you will surrender all to Him!



To God be the Gory, Honor and Praise!

In Christ

Ken

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cut, Copy and Paste Christianity



I am sure by now you have heard of the new Bible translation released in 2012 and is now available for the gay community. It is the Queen James Version or QJV.

 According to Charisma News, “It rewrites eight key verses that speak against homosexual practice. It’s called the Queen James Bible (I kid you not), and the editors state that, “We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.”

Also according to CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry),” The Queen James Bible, also known as the Gay Bible, is a new assault on Biblical orthodoxy and sexual purity. In it, the 1769 King James Bible has been reproduced with only a very few select verses altered--the ones that relate to homosexuality.”

What a sad shame that people have had to stoop so low as to alter Scripture in order to fit their perverted agenda!

But, by the same token the same can be said of the many false doctrines that exist within the Christian community, and that is why I call this, Cut, Copy and Paste Christianity.

If you don’t like what the Bible says, cut the part that offends you, copy then paste to the parts you like thus making it justify your lifestyle. It is as Walter Scott stated when he said, ”Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” And deceit is exactly what it is when we try to change Scripture.

Scripture tells us that, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

I imagine that is the part that is offensive, that the Word is so sharp it cuts to the very depths of our heart.

God loves the homosexual and I am sure He is grieved over their lifestyle as He is over any lifestyle that is contrary to His Word.

So, if your life and walk with God is not what it should be I humbly ask that you make it right today.  Also, let Scripture say what it says and allow His Holy Spirit minister to you.

In Christ,

Ken

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How Low Can You Go?


 

The question, “How Low Can You Go?” is a question I pose to America.

One only has to look at the headlines of any reputable newspaper or log on to the many different news sources online and we can see the very sad and pathetic situation our country is in.

Consider the following:

In this year alone, the Supreme Court ruled marriage was not only between a man and a woman but redefined it to include those of the same sex. Many churches from different denominational persuasions have gone along with this ruling and have begun to accept this as the norm. This was done so as not to offend.

Planned Parenthood is now embroiled in quite a scandal! The selling of baby body parts.  Those involved such as Stem Express jokes about shipping heads of babies to the research labs who purchase different body parts.   Ben Van Handel, Executive Director of Novogenix labs who works with Planned Parenthood regarding the harvesting of baby body parts said, “So you know there are times when the procedure is done that the heart is still beating.”  Yet, it is claimed by our government and others that a fetus is not a living being! Many of our politicians are actually praising the efforts of this organization!

Recent headlines described how babies’ faces were cut open in order to be able to remove the brain intact.

Then there is the scandal involving the cheating website, Ashley Madison, which encourages extra marital affairs. Many influential people in and out of our government were discovered to have been customers of this sight. Even those espousing faith and family values were caught up in the filth of this sight.

You have a spokesman for the popular fast food restaurant chain, Subway caught in a web of deceit, soliciting underage girls for sex as well as having a cache of child porn.

We have a presidential candidate who claims that the evil deeds of mankind can only be changed through legislation.  It seems she forgets that you cannot pass laws to enforce morality!

There are bans on school prayer, Bible clubs, the singing of Christian hymns and in some instances a ban on pledging allegiance to our flag.

The media praises a person like Bruce Jenner for wanting to become a woman, proclaiming him a hero with courage. I call it despicable!  Yet, are quick to demonize someone like a Tim Tebow for living out his faith in God openly.

America has become a cesspool of filth and perversion. A society without any moral compass and has lost its way! America is living in the same manner that the Romans were back in the day of Paul when he wrote.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)

My heart aches for this country! I see a great mission field in this land, far greater than that which exists outside of our borders!

As Christians, we need to step out from our comfort zone and proclaim our only saving hope and return to our Bridegroom, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! For if we don’t, surely God’s wrath will fall on this nation and we will become nothing but a byword!

How low are you willing to allow our country to go?

In Christ and to Him Belongs all honor glory!

Ken

 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crown Of Thorns



“And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head….” John 19:2 (ESV)

Nothing like what I am about to share has ever humbled me as this did!

As many people who know my wife and I, know that we have been taking a journey through the Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter and we are now entering our fourth year and our third time around this precious Book.

We paused at the above verse and discussed at length the crown of thorns placed on the head of Christ and how painful it must have been. We could not imagine the agony He felt as the thorns on this makeshift crown were jammed into His head. 

Then I recalled how much He suffered for us, that we might be saved. In fact in the book of Isaiah it gives us a look at the torture and pain our Lord suffered. “As many were astonished at you - His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and His form beyond that of the children of mankind.” Isaiah 52:14 (ESV)

And this all started with the “crown of thorns”

We concluded our study still trying to imagine the pain, agony and humiliation Christ went through for us. 

After prayer, I went outside and as I was out there I saw some dry grass in the shape of a crown and the blades had the semblance of thorns. At first, I thought nothing of it and I was going to pick it up and throw it in the trash. But then the strangest feeling came over me, the hair on my arms stood on edge and chills raced through my body.

We had just concluded our study and here in front of me was this symbol of what we had just finished reading. All I could do was to stare at this image in amazement. Then I picked it up, took it inside and showed it to my wife. Her reaction was, “Wow, what a coincidence!”

At this point, my inclination was still to throw it away but as I was walking to the door, I saw the cross a neighbor had given us. I stopped and told my wife, “I think I will place this piece over this empty cross.” She asked, “Why?”  I said, “Every time I look at this I will be reminded of the Crown of Thorns placed on my Savior’s head and how He defeated the cross and the thorns and now it is empty for He conquered it all!"

I have shared this with my co-workers and each time I did, once again, the hair on my arms stood on edge and chills raced through my body.

I do not believe for one moment that this was some kind of divine message from God but it was just remarkable, the symbolism and how humbling this experience was. 

Today, I stand in awe over what my Lord did for me on Calvary and I know He lives because that empty cross and that crown of thorns stand alone!

If you have not experienced the saving grace of God, I ask that you do so now!

To God belongs the glory forever!

In Christ,
Ken

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"CDD - Character Deficit Disorder




“Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people” Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)

Character Deficit Disorder or CDD for short is the illness that America suffers from. “America’s current moral decline is directly linked to the fact that we have elected, appointed and hired too many leaders who have no character.” John Mac Arthur, “Twelve Ordinary Men”

This hits the nail on the head and with our nation entering the season of electing a person who will be leading our nation, we must start doing some deep soul searching. We need to drop to our knees and ask God for His divine intervention.

We have seen our nation slip into a deep moral decline, one of which I have never seen in all my years on this earth. 

Finger pointing to one person or group is not the solution, as I believe both political parties, the media, political correctness and sad to say, the churches in America must share the blame.

We the people have turned a blind eye to all the evils that have crept into our society and have allowed ourselves to be led astray because as a nation we have become lazy and complacent! We have become distracted by the tons of social media outlets that have taken our focus away from the real problem. The problem being us.

However now the time has come to take our country back and we can do so by electing the right people to lead us out of this downward spiral!

My challenge for us all is to investigate for ourselves the person’s history, their moral character and what it is that they truly believe and not what they say they have done or will do. Do not let the masters of spin dictate to you who is best, find out for yourself. We have at our finger tips technology that will give us the truth about those running for public office.

William Penn wisely stated, “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.”
Our nation must return to God!

I close with this beautiful Jewish prayer taken from their Daily Prayer Book
“May it be thy will, Lord our God and God of our fathers that we keep thy laws in this world and thus be worthy to live to see and share the happiness and blessings in the Messianic days and in the life of the world to come.”

May God have mercy on our nation!

In Christ,
Ken

Monday, August 10, 2015

Just Be Ready



A couple of days ago, I was listening to a well known Pastor and author speaking on the Rapture. 

He was explaining the difference between those who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and those who believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture.  And as with any discussion over matters such as these and the doctrinal positions of different denominations, there is much confusion and sometimes heated arguments over who is correct.

Each side will draw from scripture and argue their case. In many instances taking verses out of context in order to justify their position. This is also true with the many different doctrines that exist today.

Giving this some thought over the weekend, I begin to wonder why we spend so much time debating over such issues instead on focusing on where we stand in our relationship with Christ. Is our walk all that it should be or are we lacking? 

I would like to share a couple of verses with you.

 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. ...Mark 13:32-37 ESV 

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” I Thessalonians 5:2 ESV

(Bold letters added for emphasis)

Ask yourself, “Am I ready for that day or that hour?” Or, “Will the Master find me asleep”? He comes as a thief comes, in the course of the night or while we sleep. Are you ready?

It does not matter the doctrine of Post-Tribulation or Pre-Tribulation, we just need to be ready!

If anyone reading this has not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, now is the time to get to a quiet place and invite in Him. As a sweet Godly woman once said, “God is such a gentleman; He will never go where He is not invited.” Yet, today He stands at the door and knocks; won’t you please open the door?

The same goes for anyone who has accepted Him but your walk is not all that it should be, now is the time to make it right.

My prayer at this moment is that His Holy Spirit convicts you so that you will Just Be Ready!

God Bless you and to Him alone be the glory!

In Christ,
Ken Maes

August 10, 2015