Thursday, February 28, 2013

Your Keys To An Anxiety Free Life!

Yesterday I wrote something on Facebook exemplifying Jesus and how He has provided peace and joy in my life.  Many people understood. Some appeared to be a little skeptical.

Today I will show you how. I am going to give you the key to a worry free life today. 

There is only what I know. What I have learned from Jesus. I can't give you any more than that.

It is the best advice and ministry you will ever receive and it is 100% free, from my heart to yours. I speak peace and joy into your life today.

Yes. It has worked for me. I have also seen it work in many others who heed the Word.

I am 100% confident it will work for you.

Not just because I say it will. Not just because it has worked for me.

But simply because the Word will when applied in faith.

In faith. In faith. In faith.

This is where it breaks down if there are some who will say it didn't work.

This is not a mantra. This is not humanistic psychology. 

This is the supernatural ministry of Jesus Christ extended to you when you reach out to Him in faith. 

1 Peter 5:6-7 - "Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

Often the sixth verse is left out and just the advice to throw off your cares upon Jesus is taught.

That's a setup for failure.

You see, there are reasons for being anxiety ridden. They are associated with your behavior.

In other words, you bring it on yourself by your actions.

If you think you are more than you are that is going to bring with it some baggage that will grow heavy over time. Simply put, you must stop exalting yourself before God will exalt you.

You must stop deluding yourself. Self-delusion brings false expectations that will never be fulfilled, which brings feelings of failure and inadequacy, which breeds anxiety.

"Nothing is working out for me." Sound familiar.

You must stop lying. To yourself and to others. Abraham's lies kept breeding more lies and more anxiety and fear. The more fear, the more lies. Perpetual fear cycle.

If you think you have anxiety now, wait until people find you out. And they always will.

So, Peter explains to us the "key" to freedom from worry and anxiety.

Be humble. Cast it off onto Jesus. The reason you have to first become humble is because we think we are failing by dumping our problems, that we can't handle our own lives.

Well, the news for you today is you need to get over that, because you can't handle your own life. No one can. We all need to become humbled and ask Jesus to rescue us.

So do that. First go to Jesus and confess your inadequacy, admit you can't handle life alone, and toss the entire gigantic package of stress and anxiety upon Him. It's ok. He wants you to. Just do it.

Stop right now. Pause, and do it. Right now.

Feel His love and concern for you at this moment. If no one else in the world cares for you, know that at this moment Jesus loves you very much and wants to help you in your stressful time.

No one's watching. Don't feel foolish. Don't be afraid. He will not fail you.

There. Did you do it? You will feel lighter in your mind. Relieved. 

Do you? Take a breath. Let the smile cross your lips. Lift your hands to praise Him. Thank Him. Feel giddy. Feel joyful.

It's gone. Really, really gone.

Now, don't you dare try to take it back. What you give Jesus leave with Jesus. Trust Him the rest of the way. Don't build new stress and worry. Learn to give it over before you ramp it up into a crisis.

The "casting the whole of your care" indicates continuity, that you will live in a perpetual state of release of anxiety to Jesus. This happens when you let Him order you life.

Let me know how this works out for you. If you are really trusting and believing in Him, it will be a life changing miracle. This I promise.

This IS...

...Keepin' it Real. 

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lions, And Tigers, And Bears! Oh, No!

For the believer (sadly) it is usually, "Trials, And Problems, And Cares! Oh, No!" 

OH NO! Whatever will I do? How am I going to get out of this one? Why me Lord? Please help me!

Thoughts and cries of desperation.

All neatly snuggled in among the "I's" and "Me's".

This is not to say difficulties don't arise. That's not the issue. All God's chillun' got cares.

Jesus' counsel was not about getting rid of problems. It was centered on how to handle those problems.

Read this passage carefully and determine if His solution sounds anything remotely like the cries of desperation at the beginning of this devotional.

Matt. 6:25 - "Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?"

Let me shrink that up a bit for you.

"Don't worry!"


That's it as far as the admonition goes.

Just don't do it.

Here it comes...

"Oh, but don't know what I am facing! You don't know the problems I have!"

Sure I do. You have the same problems that virtually everyone else who is anxiety ridden does.

You are either worried about your body, about your mind, about your finances, about your stuff, about your relationships, or you're sick in your faith.

The last one is the worst. If you are sick in your faith than all of the other problems will be magnified.

The reason you are sick in your faith is because you are afraid, and fear displaces faith! They cannot exist together. You will either be faith-FILLED or fear-FILLED!

That said, lets get back to what Jesus says.

In essence Jesus is telling you that you are allowing circumstances and issues dictate to you how you are going to live.

It's supposed to be the other way around.

He is asking you a question today.

Aren't you, personally and physically, far more important than what you are designating life to be?

It's you. Life and living. In your present body. You are what it's about, not food and clothing and material possessions.

"Yes, but pastor...we need these things for even basic living!"

Granted. Jesus never said you didn't. Listen to me carefully, but give even more care to the Scripture.

He didn't say they weren't important, or that you don't need them.

Jesus is telling us what is MOST important, and that is YOU!

In fact, you are so important to Him that He has endeavored to be sure that you have all of those necessities of life so that you don't have to detract from what's important by worrying about them!

Look! It's right here...

"(31) Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? (32) For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all."

What does it say? It says the non-believers in Jesus Christ have need to be concerned over these things, BUT NOT YOU!

What a great God!

SO, my question to you today is, IF you are stressed and anxiety ridden...WHY?

Don't you believe what Jesus is saying to you today?

That's really it you know. It's a matter of faith. Back to the fear factor again.

2 Tim. 1:7 - "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

Fear is not from God. If you let fear run your life you will be anxiety ridden and stressed for the rest of your life. 

Jesus fought the devil in the desert by telling him that "Man does not live by bread (or the worry of where to get it) alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God".

Friends, if you came into my office for counseling about anxiety and fear and stress, this is EXACTLY what I would refer to you.

This IS the answer for you, for your friends, for your loved ones, for everyone you know who is struggling with fear and anxiety issues.

Get to Jesus! Trust, rely, and adhere to Him. In Him are the answers to living life to the full joy intended.

Let me leave you with this promise:

"I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." (John 10:10)

Get this truth deep down into your body, soul and spirit!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Ever watch the game Jeopardy on television?

If you answer incorrectly you can put everything you have won in "Jeopardy".

Life can mimic that sometimes.

Check out something that John says in his first epistle.

1 John 2:15-16 - "Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

Note the buzz words here: craving, lust, gratification, greed, longing...

This is jeopardy for the believer.

John is specific. This is not to say that there are things of the world we cannot have. On the contrary. There is nothing wrong with having a nice home, car, good paying job, nice clothes, etc.

There is a difference between liking or even needing something, and loving it and lusting and craving after it.

The true disciple of Jesus Christ never has to worry about any of that. God knows what we need and desire and willfully and graciously provides (Matt. 6).

In fact, all of the things described are "Things That Are Out Of Place" for the believer.

These are the things that will run the believer off the rails and wreck their faith.

Lust of the flesh is coveting. We know God hasn't liked that one since the beginning. It's Number 10 on the Big Ten Sin Parade. You don't merely want what others have, but rather you become lustfully obsessed with it to the point where it starts to interfere with what is REALLY important.

Pride of life? That one sunk Lucifer's (Satan) high hopes. He and 1/3 of the angels of heaven. It precedes a fall. The serpent talked Adam and Eve into that one as well. Get over yourself. Take an impartial survey. Contrary to what you might THINK, generally others don't think you are as "all that" as you think you are. In fact, they might just think you are downright strange.

I could sit here and rattle off probably fifty different varieties of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

All of them would be out of place in the life of the disciple of Jesus Christ.

John didn't issue this warning for us to have to keep a checklist of what to do or what not to do. He was making a comparison so we could make a an informed assessment of our lives.

If we find ourselves living closer to the world than God wants for us, we should recognize that fact and make the proper adjustment.

The adjustment is not to purposely decide in our own strength and power to make changes. That doesn't work. It didn't work before we knew Jesus and it will not work now.

Thats' a hard concept for some folks to wrap their brain around.

It's never what we can do.

It's always what the power of the Holy Spirit can do in us. When we allow Him to.

It's about yielding to Him, and not fixing it ourselves.

Closeness to the world means further from God. Grow closer to God, and the world and its lustful cravings shrink.

Think of Abraham and Lot. When they split up and went their separate ways Lot chose to pitch his tent in Sodom. Abraham chose the fertile lands of the Jordan area. We see the tragic results of craving what the world offers in the choices Lot made. Sodom is no more and nobody remembers Lot. Abraham on the other hand is memorialized for his great faith in God.

When you pitch your tent too close to lustful sinfulness God will be offended. God, and all the people close to God who are concerned about you.

When things are out of place that means things are in disorder and disarray.

A life in disarray is not a sign of a life consecrated to Christ.

It might come as a rude awakening today...but...'s essentially...

...Keepin' it Real.

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sometimes Wrong Looks Right

Choices. They come up every day. Even moment by moment.

What to do? Where to go? How to do it? When? Why?

Use the blue pen or the black pen? Looking fast ball or slider? Take this route or that one?

Most are insignificant and benign decisions that will bear little if any consequences past a minor annoyance or a fleeting joy.

The wise man of Proverbs however, has struck a key note on one decision that is made at least once in a lifetime by everyone.

Proverbs 14: 12 - "There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death."

Sometimes our decisions are not so clear cut. They require great thought and even some travail.

Even then we might make the wrong choice.

Sometimes it seems like a slam dunk.

It looks so right. So perfect. So clear. It's straight. No curve balls. No obstructions.

Hey, it seems like a no- brainer.

Who'da thunk it would have led to death?

Solomon is speaking of the road to the death after death. The second death. The one that counts. The final disposition of man's soul. The eternal forever.

I'd say that's the Big Kahuna of decisions. It's the one you want to be sure to get right.

Even then man is swayed by what looked good, rather than what was right.

Sometimes the wrong way seems like the right way.

But it isn't. Instead it kills you.

Some even think by making no decision at all keeps them neutral.

Silly rabbit.

God requires a decision. A non-decision is your default decision against God.

Sin often looks like the way to go. The party is over there. Clowns. Rides. Stuff to make you feel good. Dog and pony shows. Magicians. Baubles. Balloons. Shiny objects. Something that appeals to every carnal sense of the body (the natural).

It's generally a very easily accessed path. In other words, straight before us.

Everything is perfect about it. Except for one thing. It's a pathway to death.

Notice that Solomon says that it's "in the end" that we find out we have been on the wrong path all along.

Uh-oh. You went too far. You're in too deep.

It's a long road back if you're fortunate enough to find you were in the wrong place after all. 

I was on that road for many years. Man, it's a long stretch. Took me over 20 years to get to the end of it.

Some even take multiple trips back and forth, confused about which path they want to be on.

Fortunately I only made one in and one out.

There's only one right Way. All the other choices are wrong ones.

It's Jesus. He is THE WAY (John 14:6).

Follow Him. All the time. Every day. Look to the Cross. It's easy to spot. It's smack in the middle of the Right Way.

You actually have to miss it on purpose.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, February 22, 2013

Normal Christianity

Paul asked the question of the ages in his epistle to the Romans.

Romans 6:1 - "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"

He also answered the question for us...

Vs. 2 - "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Sometimes it is confusing for Christians when it comes to dealing with sin, the sin nature, the new nature in Christ, the cleansing from sin, the admonitions to be free from sin, the establishment of man made doctrines telling you that you can never be free from sin, etc.

What is the "normal" Christian experience? What does God expect from us? 

John in his first epistle says: 

1 John 1:7 - "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

There it is. This is the expectation of God and the normal day to day experience of the Christian.

Follow Jesus. Stay in close contact with other Christians in fellowship of prayer and study of the Word. Live in the blood washed state of purity and holiness.

Understand that you CANNOT accomplish this daily or even momentarily in your own strength, power, or volition. You cannot will this to happen. You cannot determine this to happen.

I cringe at,"I'm trying pastor, I'm trying!" I know. I can tell. You are walking in circles.

Several thousand years of Jewish history says we can't. Remember the Ten Commandments? Remember how the Israelites failed to keep them? 

What were the two things they lacked that we have? Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Trying to live for God encompasses one thing and one thing only. That we follow Jesus. Period.

This is what Jesus meant when He instructed us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. It simply means that we keep our attention and faculties focused on what He accomplished for us on the Cross.

That's it. In Him all of the Laws of God have been fulfilled. Keep Jesus and we keep the Law. Keep Jesus and we please God.

This is "walking in the light". No toiling. No works. No self sufficiency. It's all Him. It's all grace. Grace is sufficient and grace is extended toward those who walk after Jesus.

It really is simple. When your attention is upon Jesus, and you have settled your craving of the worldly appetite, the desire to sin grows dim.

Stay with me on this. I am going to open it up wider as we go through the week.

After all... it's all about...

...Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin<><

Thursday, February 21, 2013


There is only one gospel of Jesus Christ. There are no secondary ones, no alternatives, no backups, no reserves.

Paul took that fact seriously.

Galatians 1:8-9 - "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)! (9) As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!"

The preaching of the Cross of Christ was the power to save according to Paul (1 Cor. 1:17-18).

Any preaching that is not rooted firmly in what Christ has done upon the Cross is foolishness and reflects the faulty wisdom of man, and according to Paul, is worthy of damnation.

Is it odd that there is not as much preaching of the Cross as there used to be?

Not odd at all considering the state and condition of many corners of the Church today.

In fact, there are efforts to NOT preach the Cross as many have deemed it no longer "user friendly" to today's seeker. 

Any church, Christian organization, and individual PERSON for that matter, is going to be in a weakened or compromised condition if they are not adhering to Jesus and the message of the Cross.

I don't care how many programs you have going, how many books you have written, how popular your radio or TV program is. Inside it is rotten at the core.

Once the devil successfully infiltrated the Church with false teachers and doctrines, he was able to deteriorate, or water down, the strong message of Christ.

If we are not adhering to the Cross, then we are not seeing ourselves as being crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). If that is the case then we are still operating as individual and separate entities apart from the will of God. In other words, the strongly corrupted message today consists more of what we think we can accomplish, than what Christ can accomplish in and through us by His work on the Cross.

Today it is "God wants to give you more stuff!" More stuff? We think we own our stuff? More often it owns us.

That's because when Christ is not the owner of our soul (which He bought at a great price upon the Cross (1 Cor. 6:20) something or someone else will step in to claim ownership.

You would be surprised at how many Christians would sell their own soul to the highest bidder for the physical comforts the world has to offer.

Beware my friends. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (those who acknowledge their own moral and spiritual bankruptcy and abdicate their throne to the Lordship of Jesus) for they shall inherit the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).

You can't do it yourself. You are weak and inept in your own physical, mental, and moral strength. Only Lord Jesus can prosper you in all areas.

He is waiting for you to make that decision today. There is no other gospel. There is no other way.

I'm just...

...Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Renegade" - 1 : a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another.

People are branded as renegades all the time. Their accusers generally use less inflammatory labels.

Concerning the gospel, Paul said there is only one, but people who desert it act as if there are others.

In other words, when people desert the one true gospel of Jesus Christ, which is steadfastly rooted in the Cross and what Jesus accomplished at Calvary, they are essentially deserting Jesus Himself.

Galatians 1:6 - "I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel."

A "different", and even worse, an "opposing" gospel.

What constitutes an opposing gospel?

Certainly joining a cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses would qualify. They most definitely teach an opposing doctrine because they misrepresent the Person of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes within the confines of the Church there are different gospels taught. Some churches are considered "Christian" yet they teach regeneration by works and sacraments such as baptism. That is a different gospel than what the Bible teaches.

An example of an opposing gospel that is subtle, yet no less dangerous, is the message of the get rich quick schemers that have taken over much of Christian television broadcasting. They are mixing the biblical truth of God's prosperity and blessing, and making false formulas on how to achieve it. One can plainly see that since the only ones who are "getting rich quickly" are those who are picking the pockets of good but ignorant believers.

Friends, keep one thing in mind. You NEVER have to pay for grace. Any blessing or prosperity you will ever enjoy flows directly to the believer from the Cross of Jesus Christ. All you ever have to do is steadfastly believe in Christ.

Paul says:

"...but we preach Christ crucified..." 1 Corinthians 1:23

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" Galatians 6:14

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" 1 Corinthians 2:2.

Seeking riches or to be rich is the way of the flesh, NOT the way of the gospel. Seeking anything other than to become more conformed to Jesus Christ and His will and way would be to follow a different gospel.

Cherrypicking particular verses from the Word and formulating new doctrines is the earmark of a false teacher and should be condemned, not commended.

Do not become like Ephesus and make Jesus your jilted lover! Even denouncing the false apostles was not enough! They had to return to Jesus!

Examine yourself today. What has captivated you and led you away from the truth?

Paul says in Chapter 5, "Who (what) has hindered you? You were doing so well."

Is it the need to gather material things? Is it dependency on alcohol or drugs? Is it a forbidden relationship? The listed "works of the flesh" (sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies)?

Have you transferred your time and interests into other "things"?

Some obviously evil, but some may creep in innocently. ALL are designed to rip you away from Jesus.

The good news in all of this is it can be turned around before it becomes too late. Don't forget, one of the biggest lies ever perpetrated upon the gospel is the false notion that it can never become too late.

Return to the gospel that saved your soul. Denounce anything that has gotten between you and Jesus and...


That my friends is...

...Keepin it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><