Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are You One Of The Usual Suspects?

The healing of one insignificant wretched figure of a man causes a tremendous furor among the people and the religious leaders.

Familiar names of people who we last read about when Jesus was arrested and crucified pop up on the scene again.

Caiaphas and Annas. Two names that can make a person break out in a sweat.

Why the ruckus?

Peter and John used the opportunity of healing to preach the gospel, and that just ticked them off.

Acts 4:2 - "...vexed and indignant through and through because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Jesus the resurrection from the dead."

So the usual suspects ordered the rounding up of the usual suspects.

(3) "So they laid hands on them (arrested them) and put them in prison until the following day, for it was already evening."

It was a bit too late however, as 5,000 more people were led to Christ before they were stopped!

Not a bad kettle of fish for one healing.

After cooling their heels in the hoosegow overnight, the hit squad returns to grill them.

What they really wanted to know was if their arch-nemesis Jesus Christ was in any way involved. They still hadn't put to rest the dilemma of the empty tomb.

(7) - "And they set the men in their midst and repeatedly demanded, By what sort of power or by what kind of authority did [such people as] you do this [healing]?"

The new found Pentecostal Power makes another grand entrance!

(10) ...[it is] in the name and through the power and authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, [but] Whom God raised from the dead, in Him and by means of Him this man is standing here before you well and sound in body."

There it is.

This is why I always say that this crippled beggar's healing was the beginning of something new, something great in the foundation of Church history.

Built upon needs, not upon avarice.

It was the testing. It was the testing of the use of the Name of Jesus Christ by the believer.

It is yours today as well.

Read this next verse and make no mistake: this is one of the top ranked verses in all the bible in order of importance. The only reason I hesitate to name it as THE top verse is because there are too many others that qualify alongside of it. But make no mistake: this one is powerful, life changing, and indispensable!

(12) "And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved."

No other way. No other method. No other Name. No other gods.

The Name of Jesus.

It always gets the desired result. Salvation and healing. Healing and salvation.

(13)...they recognized that they had been with Jesus."

Out of all of that, the healing of the beggar, the ensuing excitement, the night in jail, the desired result was ultimately achieved.

They were recognized as having Jesus all over them!

How many of us can say that today? What do people see in you? Who do they see?

In your petty arguments. In your angry retorts. In your unkindness. In your quest for selfish gain. In your incessant whining and complaining. In the shirking of your duties as first and foremost a disciple of Jesus...

...what is being seen and said of you?

Do they recognize you as having been with Jesus? Do they see Him all over you?

"I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live."

To get to that place. Yes, that is a worthy endeavor.

Tell someone you love them today. Tell someone your sorry. Tell someone about Jesus.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Acts 3: (All verses from Acts 3 and the Amplified Bible. Brackets below the verse are my comments).

(1) "NOW PETER and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon)."

{This was something the disciples continued to do after Pentecost}.

(2) "[When] a certain man crippled from his birth was being carried along, who was laid each day at that gate of the temple [which is] called Beautiful, so that he might beg for charitable gifts from those who entered the temple."

{This was a man who probably had been at this "usual" spot begging for many years. Perhaps Peter and John had passed by him hundreds of times before while on their way into the Temple. Maybe even Jesus had passed him by knowing this day would be beneficial (God's timing for healing to accomplish His purpose) to the Church}.

(3) "So when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him a gift."

{Nothing spectacular about this. He begged everyone}.

(4) "And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us!"

{Peter wanted his full attention upon himself and John. Something powerful was about to occur. Peter absolutely knew this. This indicates that there was great faith and zero doubt present}.

(5) "And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them."

{Does not indicate faith of any sort. He was expecting a financial gift, but he probably saw and felt the intensity of the Spirit about them}.

(6) "But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!"

{One of the powerhouse verses in the entire bible! The first healing by Peter and John in the Book of Acts! See what the Holy Spirit has accomplished by the Baptism? This is the model for the Spirit-filled Church! Peter shifted the man off of financial gain and onto them and the fact that he was going to receive something different. Peter never expected the man would not receive as he was pronouncing the healing by USING THE NAME OF JESUS}.

(7) "Then he took hold of the man's right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady."

{Peter was simultaneously pulling the man to his feet leaving no doubt that the man would walk. Peter never once thought the man wouldn't be healed or he would have collapsed under his crippled legs. Instead, the opposite happened and the man's legs grew strong}.

(8) "And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God."

{He was healed the moment Jesus pronounced it in Jesus' Name. There was never any doubt}.

The crippled man wasn't expecting a healing, but he wasn't NOT expecting it either.

Healing is a wonderful form of evangelism, perhaps Jesus Himself's favored method.

Many people were healed in the NT by Jesus and the disciples. Many were unbelievers before, and believers after they were healed. The cripple in this passage is a perfect example.

The message of the gospel and the task of the newly formed Church was to heal and save, save and heal.

It's the same message and task for today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, November 28, 2011

It Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Looking once again at Exodus and Moses' battle with the Pharaoh of Egypt (who was the most powerful ruler on earth at the time), and the struggle to have him release the Israelites from slavery, we find many similarities that is applicable today.

We have seen how it is God's desire for us to be delivered. We have seen that the devil and dark forces are not just going to roll over easy sometimes.

We will also see that not only can evil be obstinate but that it may also turn the heat up stronger and actually make it worse than it was when we started confronting it!

After going back and forth with Pharaoh, it seems to have made him more irritable. Not only has he refused Moses and God Himself, but he has decided to punish the Israelites and make it worse for them in their captivity!

He knew this would perturb the people and cause them to curse Moses and God and maybe put an end to this talk of freedom.

If you thought making bricks all day was hard, try making them without a decent supply of straw.

The end result is Moses confronting God:

Exodus 5:22-23 - "Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, O Lord, why have You dealt evil to this people? Why did You ever send me? (23) For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people, neither have You delivered Your people at all."

(Why did I listen to you? It's worse then before! Now my [husband, son, daughter, friend] has become angry and abusive toward me!)

It's easy for us to side against Moses here because we have the end of the story. However, put yourself in his sandals at that time.

Maybe you have even experienced this first hand. Maybe even right now.

Who are you interceding for? A wayward son or daughter (I can personally attest to being in that position and actually watching their life get worse before they gave in to God)? An unsaved husband or wife, where arguments about the subject have now erupted and bad behavior has increased?

The passage speaks to being in the place where it was just a desire to get a loved one or friend into the Kingdom of God but has now increased into a complete critical meltdown to the point where you have even questioned God.

"OK Lord, you're telling me to come against the one who has blinded my ________so they can't hear the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4), but now it's 10 times worse than before!"

I know. I know. Be patient. The dark forces of evil principalities are trying to dissuade you.

Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

It actually indicates a good sign. Satan's last hurrah. He doesn't like to lose quietly.

Just remember one thing. In confrontation with the goodness of Jesus Christ and the power you have at your disposal in His Name, evil loses.

Stay the course. In Christ you already have the victory. Be reminded and encouraged by that today. Keep hammering away at the god of this world. Break him down in the Name of Jesus! Keep telling him, "Let my _________GO!"

Jesus NEVER fails!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, November 25, 2011

He Will Never Leave You Hanging

Looking again at Pharaoh, who is typical of Satan himself.

God told Moses back in Exodus 4:21 - "And the Lord said to Moses, When you return into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all those miracles and wonders which I have put in your hand; but I will make him stubborn and harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go."

Let's not make a common error here. This verse does not indicate that God caused Pharaoh to be stubborn and unrelenting on purpose. Rather, Pharaoh's heart was already naturally obstinate and anything God threw at him would only make him more angry and determined.

Just like Satan.

Think of it this way: As the sun hardens clay but softens wax, so it is with truth. The results reveal the nature of the materials.

The nature of Pharaoh was evil so he could only respond with evil.

However, we see the nature of God and His willingness to be our advocate in the most difficult of situations.

The end result will always be the same. Even if the demons of hell are chasing you down, God will lead them into the trap they never saw coming.

He will deliver you. Case closed.

If you know someone that says they have been forsaken by God you may openly call them a liar.

The Word is clear. "I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!" (Heb. 13:5 AMP).

Can't get any clearer than that.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sometimes It's Going To Take A Real Battle

The world has become accustomed to getting what they want when they want it.

Christians often expect the same results. A lot more of the world rubs off on the Church than we expect.

We looked yesterday at how the Word instructs that the god of this world (Satan) blinds people to the light of the gospel so that they cannot even see or hear it, let alone respond to it. Paul said there is a literal veil over them so they cannot see clearly the message of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:4)

The answer is to use the authority we have in Jesus Christ and His Name to command the powers of darkness to loose them from the veil.

Here in Exodus we see Moses in a "type" of battle with darkness to loose the Israelites from captivity.

Exodus 5:1 - "AFTERWARD MOSES and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness."

Notice that first it is the Name of God that Moses and Aaron are invoking. "Thus says the Lord"! This is how every Christian should do battle today with the evil forces. Instead of "Thus Says The Lord", it should now be "In The Name of Jesus Christ!" Then, as Moses did, make known the demand.

Let My People Go! Let My Loved Ones Go! In the Name of Jesus, I command you to Let My ______Go!

However, while sometimes the demonic spirits will roll right over, more times than not there will be obstinacy and resistance. We are not dealing with dull minds. We are dealing with ancient well trained and wise agents of Satan himself. They will often test and resist you.

Make no mistake or be fooled. They all know who Jesus is!

Like Pharaoh (who in this case is a "type" of Satan), they may question your "credentials".

Vs. 2 - "But Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."

As the passage wears on we know that it was a true battle of back and forth before Pharaoh actually released them. Even then he had second thoughts and chased them down to the edge of the Red Sea where his armies were drowned and the Israelites escaped.

So friends, let me say, do not lose hope in the battle for your loved ones. Keep challenging hell with the Name of Jesus Christ in the effort to win their minds back from the power of darkness. Eventually the Name of Jesus will prevail!

Don't forget that God may well use this as a faith building exercise for you as well to get on the front line of the battle. Often people wonder of what use they can be to the Kingdom. Well, here is a great use! Be an intercessor in winning captives from the devil. Perhaps someone else may get them to hear the gospel, but you can free their minds to receive it!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Lost Need You

It can be frustrating sometimes. Believe me I know. I see people often make poor choices, uninformed choices, ignorant choices, and even no choice at all, and it can wear you down if you do not know the reason behind it.

We can find it mind boggling how we could see the truth of God and apply it to our own life, yet have to sit back and watch others become swallowed up in the darkness we left behind, even becoming hostile toward what we love and embrace.

It's like being thrust from a dark abyss and when we turn to grab someone's hand behind us to bring them through the portal closes up around them.

Many of us have left friends, loved ones, co-workers and others behind in order to follow the clear leading of Jesus Christ in our life, and we are concerned, even mourn the loss. Sometimes it's so painful it's as if they died.

The bible gives us an answer to this issue. It might not make you feel any better, but it will at least give you a direction by which to pray and form a battle plan.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (Amplified Bible)
"For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God."

If you think about it, this was you before you knew Jesus. I know I can go back to a time when I scoffed, ridiculed, and denied anything to do with Jesus. I could have been saved close to 15 years sooner had I not been so enslaved by the enemy and blinded to the truth.

All of those people you tell about Jesus or pray for to see the light cannot do anything about it. They are like being physically blind and told to read the bible. They just can't.

As bright as the truth of the gospel is, they cannot see it. They can't even see the Glory of Christ, and that is pretty illuminating.

So, that leaves a great responsibility up to us. This is why being a soul winner is important.

The desperate soul, the unbeliever, is not capable of getting there alone. There is too much of an obstacle. They need help.

They need us.

They need us to pray mightily against the powers of darkness that keep them blinded. They need us to fight for them. They need us to intervene and intercede for them. They need us to come against Satan in the Name of Jesus Christ and demand Satan release them to Jesus! As hard as Moses fought against Pharaoh for the nation of Israel, we need to fight much harder for the release of captive souls over to Jesus Christ!

We must learn that we are confronting the wrong party. Stop haranguing your loved ones to do this or that. It's like trying to teach a pig to sing. You waste precious time and annoy the pig!

No, the way to your loved ones release from captivity is to attack the jail! You must break down the power that Satan wields over them and tear the veil from their eyes in Jesus' name!

Then and only then will your words make sense to them.

First confront and defeat the Master Deceiver, the Blinder, then speak the gospel truth to those who now have been freed from the interference to hearing it.

Once they were "prevented from seeing" the truth, now they will be capable of receiving it.

It is a shame this is not taught and preached more. It is the biblical method of spiritual warfare which has been used for centuries to great effect. People pray to God for the salvation of their loved ones as if He is the One who has them captive! No! We must use the Name of Jesus as the Body of Christ to break through the darkness of evil and rescue those who are spiritually blind and helpless.

Take the authority Christ has given you and fight!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living The Cross Style

Luke 9:23 (ESV)
"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

Don't worry. This verse sounds more ominous than it is. Jesus has already been crucified. The believer has already been crucified with Him as well (Gal. 2:20). So, this is not speaking of picking up a heavy cross and lugging it around. In fact it's more about getting rid of a heavy burden ("For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.").

This about conforming to His way each and every day. It's living the Style of the Cross.

It's different from the way we have been taught to live by the world and its philosophies.

It's a radiating force generating outward rather than a self attracting force inward.

We are always better because of Jesus. We are never better as a result of self no matter how much we think that is true.

Become subtracted from the Cross and you will die. Sorry. It's blunt I know. It doesn't make it less true.

Apart from the Cross and us embracing it (taking it up) every day, we will become less than God's desire.

If we become less than God's desire we will shrivel up and be devoured by self.

Remember, without God you won't be able to stand yourself. Don't think for one moment that egoism and narcissism is love. It's really self loathing wrapped up in a facade.

Our being able to stand our own self is all wrapped up in knowing that God loves us. When we turn from the Cross toward vain philosophies that elevate self, we throw up a shield against the love of God and turn the human heart back to stone.

It's the Cross. Stop looking in the mirror for two seconds and recognize it's ALL about Jesus.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, November 21, 2011

Now You Will See What God Will Do To The Devil!

God has established a covenant with the believer in Jesus Christ as sure as the one He made with Israel.

God said to Moses in Exodus 6:1 - "THEN THE Lord said to Moses, Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for [compelled] by a strong hand he will [not only] let them go, but he will drive them out of his land with a strong hand."

What God promises and gets behind comes to pass!

He will do this very same thing for you when you obey Him and stand up to the devil in the Name of Jesus Christ!

Here it is, from the mouth of Jesus Himself, it's all right here:

Luke 10:17-19 - "The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name! (18) And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. (19) Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you."

"I have given you authority and power!"

"Nothing shall harm you!"

"Demons are subject to us in YOUR NAME!"

Praise God!

Friends, when I got a hold of this great truth some many years ago it changed my personal life and ministry to others. I found that in His strength and delegated power to me in His Name, I had nothing to fear and did not have to leave my life up to random good days and bad.

I learned that demons, devils, and even Satan himself is subject to me by the power of the Name of Jesus Christ! It is not us he is afraid of but Christ in us as His Body (The Church).

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you!" (James 4:7)

"So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth". (Php. 2:10)

"And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." (Acts 16:18)

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." (Mark 16:17

"By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus." (Acts 4:30)

Simply put, be a disciple. Be what Jesus has called and empowered you to be!

In this great truth is the answer to all of what comes against us in the course of daily living, from sickness, to personal attacks, to financial problems, to the salvation of loved ones. Whatever it is, it is satisfactorily handled by applying the power of the Name of Christ as the result of His sacrifice on the Cross!

It was at the Cross where Jesus defeated Satan, and he remains defeated today!

Remind the devil of that. Satan hates the Cross and Jesus, but he trembles at the very thought of it!

"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" (James 2:19)

So, there you are. From the beginning God has been casting evil out for those who would listen to and obey Him. He has never failed or let anyone down. Those who faithfully utilize His instructions ALWAYS gain the victory!

Be blessed in every endeavor you go forth to conquer in His Name!

Jesus NEVER fails!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, November 18, 2011

What's Waiting At Your Door?

Heb. 11:4 - "[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking."

Abel was blessed. As far as we can tell he was the first to be blessed after the sin of his parents in the Garden.

Abel was blessed because he did the right thing. The testimony concerning him says he was a righteous person because he maintained a right relationship with God. His sacrifice of a lamb was typical of what God would present to us in the future as the once for all spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Abel was so righteous and concerned about pleasing God that he was going to do that even if it killed him.

It did. Yet, his testimony of faith is so strong that the Word says he is still speaking today!

After 6,000 years, Abel's faith still instructs us!

His brother Cain, who would become his executioner, still speaks to us as well. He is the epitome of instruction about failing to please God. He is Abel's unrighteous opposite.

After he failed to please God by his paltry sacrifice he became depressed and angry.

God addressed Cain and asked him why he was so angry.

God then counseled Cain and said, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

Cain's response to God was to plot against and kill his brother Abel.

When faith is the motivator in our life it spurs us onward to seek to honor and please God. We rise to goodness not descend into degradation.

This is why we are constantly being disappointed by the people we rely on to lead us in our government, in our educational system, and yes, even in our churches. While they may be educated, motivated, and even dedicated to the task at hand, they cannot develop and maintain mastery over the spiritual and moral structure of their lives.

Simply put, they have no faith in God so His power and goodness is negated in them. They are morally and spiritually bankrupt. They would like to do good but they don't know how. Eventually their carnal desires override their intelligence and self established goodness and they fail.

"If you do well will you not be accepted?"

It is true. If we accept Jesus Christ we will indeed do well. We will flourish. We will excel.

We will live beyond and above what the mere flesh is capable of.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, November 11, 2011

Where Faith Enters In

Heb. 11:3 - "By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible."

It was easy for me to believe.

I spent my entire life previously not being an unbeliever necessarily, but just simply not caring.

I was ready to believe. I didn't have to "see" something to believe it. After all, there are plenty of things we do "see" that are not real at all.

I never had to actually see God hang the stars in the sky to believe that He put them there. Or that Jesus went to the Cross for me.

What I have come to witness over the years is that there are some folks who are gullible and will believe anything anyone tells them (non-critical thinkers). There are some people who don't really think about issues on a deep level and simply don't care (self absorbed). There are some who will listen to any convincing argument and weigh the evidence before making a decision (critical thinkers)). There are some who will listen but who are always skeptical (conspiracy theorists).

The point is, just because we can't apply the five senses to a fact or truth doesn't make it less a fact or truth.

Neither does the smell of smoke need to evoke a panic response. It could just be the neighbor barbecuing.

Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants. William Wallace defeating England. Grant accepting Lee's surrender. None of us were there yet we accept it all as historical truth.

Jesus on the Cross.

I wasn't there, but I was on His mind.

There is one factor that is present in the story of Christ that may not be present when discerning and learning any other historical fact.

The supernatural element of the Holy Spirit that can bring a truth to the heart and make it as real as if we were standing in the middle of the actual event.

I am a pastor, teacher, and student of the Word of God for over 20 years and I could not give you a good enough explanation as to how that happens.

That my friends is where faith enters in.

" that what we see was not made out of things which are visible."

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have You Got It Right?

Heb. 11:2 - "For by [faith--trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report."

Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Moses. All of the OT patriarchs and prophets of God.

They all received favor and blessings of righteousness simply for believing God.

Nothing has changed. It's still the prescribed method.

Some folks can't grasp it because it's not specifically spelled out as clearly as they may like to see it, but it's always been about Jesus.

It was then. It is today.

The way to the heart of God is through the Cross of Jesus Christ.

It is your good report to God the Father concerning how you have accepted His Son that makes the difference in your life.

Confess Jesus before men and He will confess you before the Father. Deny Jesus before men and He will deny you before the Father (Matt. 10:32-33).

It's really quite simple.

Maybe a caveman can't do it but you certainly are capable.

It's a matter of faith and will.

I wasn't much of a student as a kid.

I've even loused up a thing or two over the years.

One thing I do know. I got this right.

Anything good that I have in my life today is the direct result of having obtained a good report from God through my faith in Jesus Christ.

If you have too then you know what I'm talking about.

If not, well you may find this irritating at first. Sort of like "How dare you presume to tell me how to be happy!"

I've been on that side of it as well.

All I'm doing today is sharing with other thirsty people where the well is located.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Choir Or Crowing

Mark 14:72 - "And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, 'Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice'. And when he thought thereon, he wept."

How could Peter do it?

Headstrong? Impetuous? Yes, those and more. But to deny Jesus?

Not once. Not twice. Three times.

Cocka-Doodle-Doooooo......You just can't mistake that irritating sound.

Jesus had him pegged.

Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter.

How easy it is to step away from Jesus and pretend not to know Him. When you're not truly sold out to Him.

Sold out or sell out?

How easy to harbor doubt and denial in the heart even while sitting in church listening to the preacher.

Actions, even subtle non-committal often tell all that needs to be told.

Be careful with that.

There is no middle ground.

Matthew 10:33 - "...but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Actions (or lack of) often do speak louder than words.

Lukewarmness doesn't sit well with Jesus.

Rev. 3:16 - "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

Straddling a fence is very uncomfortable and it doesn't work with Jesus.

Yes or no. In or out.


It is good to become refreshed in committal. To be renewed in spirit.

It is good to show up at the Cross.

A wishy-washy Christian is on no better ground than the non-believer.

The only solid ground is around the Cross.

How far are you willing to sink in the sand?

Heavenly choir or barnyard crowing?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Kind Of King Are You Looking For?

Luke 19:38 - "...saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!""

The King?

He's not adorned like a king.

He's not riding the finest horse.

He really doesn't look like much of a king.

Yet, multitudes are treating Him as if He is one.

He was identifying.

Into the City of David He comes. Lowly in appearance and riding on the back of a donkey.

That's my King alright. He just confounds everything and everybody.

He shows us the true Kingship of the universe.

He reviles the haughty and proud. He lifts up and encourages the low in spirit and stature.

He has toppled more than one evil regime, and He stands between good and evil in our lives today.

He is Jesus Christ. Lord of Lords. King of kings. The soon coming again Savior of all.

He wants to be your friend today. He wants to ease your suffering today. He wants to heal your diseases today. He wants to cancel sin in your life today.

He wants to be sure that when He comes soon to gather His Church you will be among them.

If there is any chance, any chance at all, of that not happening, today is a good day to get it straightened out.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, November 7, 2011

Passerby Believers

Matt. 27:39 - "And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads..."

Matt. 27:40 - "...and saying, 'You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.' "

Here we see the casual dismissal of Christ.

"Those who passed by." The basically uninformed. Those with just enough knowledge of a situation to hurt themselves but not ever do any good.

They paused to mock Jesus and deride Him based upon a misunderstanding of His words.

He never said He would destroy the temple of Jerusalem and rebuild it in three days.

He was referring to Himself as being the Temple of God and that He would be destroyed upon a cross but be resurrected in three days (all of which came to pass). (John 2:19)

He also compared Himself to Jonah and the whale..

He said, "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt. 12:40

Even the religious Jewish leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, should have known exactly what Jesus was saying when He claimed to be the Chosen One, the prophecied Messiah.

Passerby Christians will never fully know Him either.

What's changed in 2,000 years?

Not much. Even with the knowledge we have gained, and the presence of the Church in essentially every part of the world, people still take issue with Jesus and accuse and reject Him without knowing the facts about Him.

And even those who are attracted to Him, and accept His teachings to a degree, are ignorant to His Truth because of the superficiality of their attachment.

We cannot, nor should we, judge Jesus Christ based upon the testimony of others good or bad.

We should make our own assessment based upon seeking Him personally. Anything else is pure ignorance and speculation.

Want to know if Jesus is who He says He is?

Know Him, not just know about Him.

Being religious will never suffice. You'll never really get to know Jesus through a screen of religion.

You'll also never progress in the fullness of that relationship if Jesus is just another stop along the way of a busy week.

You can't have a drive-by relationship with Jesus.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jesus Is So Able To Help You Right Now

Luke 24:38-39 - "And he said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.'

Why are you troubled? (Got troubles?)

Why do you doubt? (Got doubt?)

Why do you_________ (fill in the blank)

Do you think you cannot "grasp" Jesus?

Is He ethereal? A mist? A ghost?

Where do you think Jesus is?

Up in the sky? Floating in space? Not real? Dead?

People cannot get past their trouble and difficulties because they cannot properly identify with Jesus.

Many want to believe but they have lots of baggage to shed in the way of improper theology, doctrine, preaching, and negative religious experiences.

Jesus makes it simple. He is not complicated, nor are the facts and truth about Him.

Jesus' advice is to simply reach out and lay hold of Him.

Since He is physically seated at the right hand of God, then we must learn to do this in spirit and soul (mind).

Calling out to Him is sufficient.

Do so and you will be be blessed. Even with the smallest faith you can muster, simply call out to Him and ask Him to become a part of your life.

We must all begin somewhere.

Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

So, what's your need today? Physical sickness? Finances? Relationships? Addiction?

How about fear? It's number one in my experiences with people. Fear. It will cause other illnesses. It will bring about premature death. It will eat your lunch.

Fear kills faith and you must reverse that priority. You are polarized. Your spiritual "poles" are reversed.

Jesus can do that and much more for you today.

Need help? Let's talk.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This Needs To Mean Something

Matt. 27:35 - "And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots."

Crucifying Jesus meant nothing more to the Romans than swatting a fly.

After all, those soldiers on the death detail probably had taken part in hundreds of them.

It has been said that they crucified so many people that they started to run short of wood to make the crosses.

It is said that the main roads into Jerusalem were lined with crosses with the corpses in varying stages of decay hanging from them.

Just an example of Roman justice.

Death was treated casually. After a while one would not notice the crosses any more than we take note of the telephone poles we pass everyday.

In the case of Jesus, He was just another day at the office.

It is perplexing as to why Pilate agonized over sentencing Jesus.

He must have condemned thousands of people. Yet, he went to great extremes to allow Jesus to talk His way out of it, to offer alternatives to the people, and to even challenge the Jewish leaders as to the validity of their charges.

Pilate's wife even had a dream about Jesus and warned him not to have anything to do with Him. No, Pilate saw something. Felt something.


Because Jesus was not run of the mill. He was NOT a criminal. He was the Son of God sent from God on a mission.

This was meant to be.

The cruel element of the world had to work together to make this happen.

Jesus had to die so that we could live.

Want to know what love is? There it is. Willful submission to execution so that we could be free from our sin. A Father allowing His only Son to suffer so that we wouldn't have to.

Wrap your brain around that today.

Hopefully your heart will follow.

Be blessed in Him!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What To Do With Jesus

Mat 26:56 "But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him and fled."

This describes the scene immediately following the arrest of Jesus.

Jesus was acutely aware of the prophecy from the scriptures that were being fulfilled in real time.

He knew that there was no wiggle room, and that every detail had to be carried out exactly as it was written.

He was the promised Messiah that had been spoken of in every single book of the Old Testament, and He knew that it was all culminating in Him.

"Strike the Shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered."

It was happening.

The disciples who had been hand picked by Jesus Himself, and who had traveled with Him, ate meals with Him, and had grown to love and accept Him as the Messiah, had deserted Him at His most desperate hour.

I've often wondered where they went. Did they leave town? Did they stay within eyesight of the crucifixion and watch from afar? Did they cower together in some secret location?

One thing is for sure. They were paralyzed by fear.

"God has not given us a spirit of fear."

What would you do? Perhaps even, "What have you done?".

Have you denied the Master? Have you suffered embarrassment because of Him?

Or perhaps you just don't buy it all. Maybe It's too religious. Or not religious enough.

In any event, the most beautiful fact, and at the same time the most sad, is that He died for you even if you don't buy it.

He was arrested, beaten to a pulp, and crucified. Just for you. He did this when you were at your worst. When you didn't even believe.

"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

So, run and hide. Drown your sorrows in an ocean of booze and pills. Leave your wives and husbands. Cheat on your taxes. Slander and cheat and steal. Play the religious game. Be a part time believer. It doesn't change anything.

He died for you. He loves you. He wants to be your friend. He wants you to accept Him and acknowledge Him as your Savior.

Jesus has no ego to be stroked in this. He wants you to have the benefit that He has . He wants to share with you the riches he has in His Father and in Heaven.

It's all for you. All for you. A gift waiting to be opened. Nothing to do to gain it. Just open it. It was a done deal 2,000 years ago.

Perhaps you have done that but remain afar. Or perhaps with just one foot in.

He wants all of you because He knows the eternal pain and suffering that awaits those who have chosen unwisely or not chosen at all.

Jesus has bought you by His blood whether you want to believe it or not. The results of our decisions can be wonderful or tragic.

What will you do with Jesus?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prospecting For Answers

Back in the days of the American gold rushes prospecting was an adventurous endeavor. Maximum investment in time and equipment with no true guarantee of return. Some folks were fortunate, but some died in those hills searching a lifetime for the "big strike".

Many times they just didn't know where to dig.

It's kind of like that in our search for answers. We have questions but we don't know where to prospect for the answers.

One of the greatest phenomenons in my opinion, in this modern high tech age we are in, is how many people have a wealth of information available to them but will still pose questions to people in general.

When I have a question on just about any subject, I simply "Google" it. I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever had a question about something that I was not able to find on the internet.

Go to the library? What's that?

But how about the important questions dealing with life in general? The ones that keep a person up at night? The ones that may have a person pacing the floor? The ones that may even deal with life and death?

Where does a person turn then?

I turn to God. In fact, I turn to God preemptively. I not only want to know how to solve my issues, but also how to prevent them.

And the best place to find the answers along with what the will of God is for us, is to become familiar with prayer and the reading of His Word.

What did Jesus do?

Luke 22:41 - And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed,
Luke 22:42 - saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."
Luke 22:43 - And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.

Jesus prayed. He asked the Father and received an answer.

It is safe to say that He had a vital and difficult task to perform for God and He was weakening in His resolve to carry it out. He was so distraught over the impending suffering He was to go through that He sweat out droplets of blood.

His attitude was that while He knew what God wanted Him to do, He was hoping there might be another way to get it done without having to suffer and die.

His own will was that it didn't have to happen.

His outcome was "Nevertheless...not my will...but Your will be done."

In our problems and difficulties and trials, and make no mistake they will come, we best remember to place ourselves in alignment with God's will.

Do not mistake the way Jesus phrased this request. He was not ignorant to the will of God in this matter.

He knew the will of God was for Him to be sacrificed for me and for you. The "if you are willing" was merely an attempt to try to find another way. It was not about what God wanted but what Jesus wanted.

When we are in a place of indecision, and we know what we should do, and more importantly what God wants us to do, we may probe the Word and seek God for a way to satisfy what WE want the outcome to be. We may even talk ourselves into something that is not approved by God at all.

I think a dangerous way to pray is to ask God for something and then end the prayer with "if it's your will." It indicates we are not willing to know His will for us which can be found in His Word.

We do like our shortcuts and loopholes.

What are you struggling with today? Ask yourself honestly why it is such a struggle for you.

Is it because you don't know where to turn? Or is it because you know exactly where to turn but you're afraid God's answer will be different from the one you want to hear?

My suggestion is to first resolve "not MY will but Your will be done".

We will NEVER go wrong placing our trust in His will for our lives.

In fact, you can even Google the Bible!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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