Tag Archives: righteousness

Most Valuable

Daily Encouragement –

My child, My beloved, do you know how much you mean to Me? I gave the best and most valuable sacrifice so we could be in fellowship together forever. That is how much I value you.

You are not perfect and make mistakes, but that is why I made the way for you to be cleansed, purified, made whole, and perfect. Even though you make mistakes, you will be made perfect through Jesus’ blood if you bring those things to Me. I will clean you and use you as My vessel of righteousness not because of what you have done, but because you come to Me!

I am the One who does it. Listen to my voice. Watch what I am doing. Come and walk with Me. I want the best for you more than anyone else, and I will cause you to succeed. I love you My child!

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 

Colossians 1:27-29 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Gift of Giving

Giving.

Giving.

It has been more than three weeks since we have posted and much longer since I personally have posted.  Many people have probably ceased reading these posts since we are no longer traveling from country to country doing the Lord’s work as He opens the doors.  Before I begin talking about giving, I want to first reflect on who really needs Jesus?  Does the poor Cambodian girl living in the trash dump need Jesus more than the middle class American business man that spends more time working than with his family so he can get provide for them the necessities and all the extras (cars, boats, bigger houses, better clothes…)?

This time of the year, it seems that we are consumed with the extras, the things we do not really need.  Black Friday is a tribute to this focus with too many people fighting over saving some money on the things that are not really needed.  People die so that somebody’s son, daughter, brother, sister can get the extra they wanted but did not really need.  Now, a few days after Christmas, no one is really happier and the extras are on the floor.  Many people are ready to get away from their families because they are annoyed and have frustrations with them.  Soon, they will return home and 90% of these extras will sit on a shelf, in a drawer, or in storage gathering dust.  Who really needs Jesus more?  We Americans who have it all and the extras or the those who have nothing but will give you whatever they have willingly?

Black Friday madness.

Black Friday madness.

As I was reading this week, it is interesting that God had me reading in 2 Corinthians chapters 8-9 the day after Christmas.  These two chapters are talking all about giving, and I encourage you to read and meditate on them.  Here, Paul speaks about a church that promised to give beyond their ability out of a generous heart.  He describes this gift as the fellowship of ministering to the saints.  He then goes on to say that even as they abound in important things (faith, knowledge, love), they should increase in the grace of giving just the same.  Is the act of increasing in knowledge, faith, and love more important than increasing in giving???

In Vs. 15 of chapter 8, Paul uses a verse that was originally used about manna in Exodus to talk about giving.  “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”  As I was reading this, I got revelation of a couple things.  First, God gives us the things we need to go throughout our day.  Both in the physical and in the spiritual.  Not that revelatory, but worth mentioning.  Second, some of the things He gives me are actually to help someone else make it through their day.  If I have an abundance, and someone else has need, what I have is for them.  What does it profit me to hoard that thing and save it for a rainy day or something I might need in the future if my brother is in need?  The manna in Exodus rotted, and I do not want what God has given to rot, so I should be intentional about giving away what I do not need both in the physical and in the spiritual.

Finally, in Vs. 7-10 of chapter 9, it seems to me that Paul is saying that if we give with a joyful spirit, then God is able to make His grace increase toward us.  We must have our giving with a right heart in order before we overflow with grace and abundance for every good work.  Also, he talks about God giving us seed and bread, and how He multiplies the seed that has been sown to increase the fruits of righteousness.  It does not say He multiplies the bread, but the seed.  He does not multiply all the seed, but the seed that is sown and that is how the fruit of righteousness is increased in our lives.  I would much rather have abundant fruit than just a little bit of seed and bread.

Poverty in Cambodia.

Poverty in Cambodia.

I want to return to the question I asked, who needs Jesus more?  The answer is that both the poorest of the poor living in the trash dump and the middle class American that has the extras need Jesus.  I could even argue that we as Americans have a greater need for Him because we can look to ourselves to work for and provide what we need.  Some people, no matter how hard they work, will never have what they need.  These people have to trust in something or Someone outside of themselves to get them through.  I encourage you to meditate on chapters 8-9 in 2 Corinthians and discover the gift of giving that God has given us.  It is not only for them, but it is for us.  What is the proof of our faith and love?  What is pure religion (James 1:27)?  What do we have that others need?  What has God given you for others that you have decided to hoard up for yourself?  What is rotting in your storehouse that is meant for others?  Joyously, give out what God has given you to give so that abundant fruit of righteousness may come to you and all the blessings that go along with it!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Call to Commitment

We have now been In India for two weeks, and I have yet to write a blog.  Returning to this beautiful place that I love to do ministry so much has not been different than any of the other previous countries.  Yes, there is more poverty, and this is a third-world country.  Yes, it is illegal to preach Christianity here.  Yes, the conditions are different, but the Spirit of the Gospel is the same and compels us to minister in the same ways, if not more, as we did in all the previous countries.  Counting our ministry in New York City, this is our seventh country to be ministering for the Lord in, and we just hit six months of traveling.  I do not think that anything has been like I expected, but the changes have been even more dramatic for my wife.  This is the main reason that I encouraged her to write the first few blogs.  India is the only third-world country she has ever been to, and the first time she has been in Asia.  The experiences to her are much more new and shocking than they are for me.  All of this being the case, she has written some amazing blogs from a first timer’s perspective.  I pray that you are able to experience this culture that is so different from ours in her unique perspective.

Last weekend, we were told that we would be traveling with Pastor Binny to preach to some youth in a neighboring state.  True to Indian culture, we met up with the pastor about two hours after we originally and planned.  Everything we had been told was not entirely accurate, which is very common here.  After staying the night at his mother’s house, we traveled through some very jungle-ish regions (where we saw many monkeys and were told elephants were often seen) to a small village in Andhra Pradesh where a church was holding Fasting-Prayer.  In India, it is very common, usually weekly, that churches will hold a 24-hour or all-day time where everyone in the church gathers to fast, pray, sing, and be taught.  Most of the people will spend all night and/or day here and then have a community meal afterwards.

Prayer and Fasting Church

With the plans being changed, I was not sure if I would be able to share the message that I knew that God had given me.  First, I shared about God’s ministry that had brought us here, and Katie shared the word that God had been speaking to her for India.  After this, Pastor Binny preached a word on faith.  I thought this was the end of the teaching, but about an hour before the fasting prayer was to finish Pastor Binny invited me to share a message, if I had one.  I was glad to be given the chance to share the Word I knew that God had given me to share.

Prayer Fasting Church

Here is the first part of the message that I spoke to the church, but is just as important to you wherever you are:

God began to speak to me about what made the prophet Daniel able to say at the end of his life that “…the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).  At this time, Daniel had experienced the greatness of God in so many ways.  He had escaped death many times, slept with lions, watched his friends last through the fire, survived many changes in rulers, and even governing kingdoms.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that the key to why Daniel was able to continue through all these things and make such a bold statement at the end of his life was found in Daniel 1:8 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”  Here, the scripture is talking about how Daniel chose at a young age not to eat food offered to idols; however, this revealed his desire was not to be disobedient to the Lord in any way.  This commitment led to Daniel and his friends being tested and later honored.  Both Daniel and his friends would be tested over and over again whether they would keep this commitment or value their own lives, status, power… more.  In spite of everything, they made this commitment and stuck to it.  Because of this, their strengths and great exploits are recorded and still bring encouragement to us today.

Meditating on this, God showed me four things that are keys to complete commitment to the Lord.

4 Keys to Commitment –

  1. Consecrate yourself to the Lord.  All of us start in a state of unholiness and dishonor because of sin.  However, through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven and are brought to a state of righteousness.  We must then chose to walk in a holy way or return to our former fleshly ways of living and thinking.  (When we are cleansed, we become “…vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Timothy 2:21).  
  2. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).  This does not come naturally, but is a continual progression throughout our entire lives learning to love Him with everything we are, everything within us, and everything we have.  This is in direct opposition to our flesh that wants to please and love only itself.
  3. Stir up the giftings that are within you (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  Timothy is reminded to stir up the giftings within himself.  He is not told to pray for God to stir them up, but to stir them up himself.  He is encouraged to act and use the gifts that he has so that they may grow and be pruned into greater and more powerful ones.  This is evident by how the next verse talks about not fearing, but walking in power, love, and all wisdom.
  4. Be completely obedient in all that you do (Luke 17:5-10).  Here, the apostles ask the Lord to increase their faith.  Jesus responds to them by telling them a story about being obedient servants.  No matter what the size of faith you have, you are able to do great things!!!  However, it is obedience to the Lord that not only causes His power to work through you, but causes you to be given more faith and the ability to do even greater things.

As Followers of Christ, we are called to be committed, changed, and active in each one of these areas, or we will not be fully effective for His Kingdom.  I encourage you to examine your commitment to the Lord.

Are you walking as a fully committed Follower of Christ?  

Are you succeeding in each of these four areas?  

Are you strong and carrying out great exploits for Him? 

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal a few specific ways you can work on one of these areas this week!!!

Pray that the Lord will strengthen you in every area and that you would never settle for less than the very greatest of exploits that God has planned for your life.  I bless you with knowing God, being completely committed to Him, becoming strong and carrying out great exploits for His glory!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Committed Consecration

The advent of wireless Internet is an amazing thing especially as we are traveling. It is especially fun that you are able to take part in some portion of all of our adventures. However, it also means we are at the mercy of the places we are. We have not been able to post as much because we lost the Internet at our abode. I guess it is in some ways a preparation for the lack in India,Cambodia, and anywhere else we have limited access.

This week, I was privileged to bring a message to our cell group. This is not a message that most people may accept, but the mature body of believers I spoke to grabbed ahold of the promise and the word and is running with it. I believe you will to!!! If you have known me for a time, you know that Moses is one of my favorite guys in the Bible. Even beyond that, one of my favorite passages of scripture is Exodus 20:18-21. Here, we see that after three days of consecration, the people of Israel see, hear, smell, and feel the presence of The Lord on Mount Sinai. It even reveals in Deuteronomy that they hear the very voice of God. Even though they had completely consecrated themselves to The Lord for three days, they saw and felt the Holiness of The Lord and were afraid that if they saw or spoke with God anymore that they would die. Moses, being no different than any of them (except maybe that he had murdered someone), knew the holiness of God and knew that nothing of this world was worth keeping in compare to being in the very presence of The Lord. He was not even afraid to die. He just wanted to be in the place that the presence of The Lord was the greatest.

If we think of Moses and how he was able to give up all the passing pleasures of this earth just to gain the prize of knowing God in an intimate way, we see how different he was than most of us. We are so commonly unwilling to give up sleep or food, most of which we get an over abundance of. If we are to know The Lord in the deepest way possible on this earth, we must give up the weights and snares that hold us back from knowing Him. In Hebrews 12:1, we agree that we should be rid of sin, but the weights may be good things that just hold us back or slow us down from knowing Him. Things get in the way, distractions, and we must remove them if we want to know Him. We can always look at others and say that we are more holy than other people because we do, or don’t do, more of any given thing than them. However, when we view our personal righteousnesses against the holiness of The Lord, Isaiah says they are like filthy rags (maybe used toilet paper in today’s language).

I would encourage you to spend some time with Holy Spirit and see if there is one or more things that you need to consecrate to him and not do, and do more of the getting to know Him that we are all so quick to be too busy to do. Several people in the group decided to cut out television and focus on The Lord. What will you do to get closer to The Lord? I don’t know about you, but I have no love of the things of this world, and I am trying to be willing to give up all this world has to offer for the knowledge of knowing Him. Holiness is a gift that brings us closer to Him, we just have to get all the other things out of the way so that we can be more like Him and be closer to Him!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire

True Ministers of God

Are you a True Minister of God? Read on to find out everything this entails…

This morning, while reading in 2 Corinthians, I stumbled across some very interesting verses that are important for us to dwell on that our lives may be lived as God desires. For those of you who have decided to become a True Follower of Christ, you are called a minister of Christ (2 Cor. 3:6). Although you may never be called to be a full-time minister or pastor as I was eleven years ago, you are a minister right now!!! In His letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives each one of us an idea of how we should be living, and what we should expect as we follow Him!!!

2 Corinthians 6:3-4a “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.”

This is something we must always be wary of. Our lives as representations of Who God is must not give Him a bad light in anything that we do or do not do. We must be always living as His children. No pressure! I am thankful that the grace of God covers my failures, but I must be open and say that I am not perfect…and neither are you. So I am in good company 🙂 Our openness and transparency about our faults allows others to grab ahold of the truth of grace working in us.

4b “We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.

Most of us have experienced at least some of these, but we have much more to expect if we are truly following in the footsteps of Christ!!!

6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.

How are you proving yourself this week? Ask Holy Spirit to help you be the proof of Christ in the midst of every negative situation.

7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.

The Truth of God radiating from us, the power of God working through us, and His righteousness working in us are the weapons and defense against the enemy and his forces!!!

8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

It does not matter where we are, what we are doing, what people’s response to us, or accusations against us are. Our situation does not dictate how we are to act or conduct ourselves. As we rely fully upon The Lord, He will give us the ability to triumph in any circumstance and shine forth His glory in every trial.

Remember, that no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are being a minister of Christ!!! Are you proclaiming the Truth of who He is and what He is doing for you no matter what is going on around you? Are you being a light of hope in a dark world? Are you giving and accurate representation of who He is? Or are you causing others to view Christ falsely or making Him seem powerless and puny?

You are a minister of Christ and I bless you with the ability to radiate His truth, walk in His righteousness, and bring glory to God through the working of His power and sharing of His love!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!