He is not Here, for He is Risen

The disciples may have lost hope when Jesus was crucified, but then the miraculous happened just as the Lord had promised. He rose up from the grave. I can only imagine the anticipation that the disciples felt when they heard the news. To see their master alive after three days was what they had hoped for.

It is only natural for us to be cautious when the Lord answers our prayers. Since we don’t want to be disappointed, our humanness keeps us grounded in reality. They had watched him when he was crucified, and they even placed his body in a tomb. So, it was only natural for them to have questions about his resurrection. Although the Lord had already prepared them for this event, it required their faith to believe it. Thomas was the only one who insisted on being sure that this was the Christ. He wanted to see the scars and once he was convinced, he believed it.

More people attend church on Easter and Christmas than any other time of the year. Thank you, Lord, for giving us a reason to rejoice. It is a day of celebration and reflection on the great price that Jesus paid for our salvation, and I am still in awe of how much he loves us.

In this week’s Lattereign we explore how Great is the Mystery of Godliness.

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Get Ready For The Promise

 

Even Jesus wasn’t exempt from waiting on the promise to be fulfilled in his life. He knew that he must go through a painful death, and die on a cross to purchase our salvation. There was no other way for this to happen. No one else qualified to take the place of Jesus Christ on the cross. The people followed him, and laid palm branches before him as he rode on a borrowed donkey through the streets of Jerusalem.

It was an honor to have this show of admiration. It was only one week later that everything changed. The very ones who gave their admiration, became a part of the mobs that screamed crucify him. They were implacable, yet he pressed on to fulfill the will of his father. How his heart must have ached seeing the very people that he loved and came to die for, turn on him; howver, nothing could have stopped him from fulfilling the will of the Father. He knew his purpose. Everyone must prepare for the future.

We must get ready for our promise, as well. No matter what comes against us, it is our duty to keep walking forward in Christ. Life isn’t easy for those who take a stand for right, and whoever said it had to be. Nothing that is worth anything is without a cost. The cost could be monetary value or a sacrifice of praise, but no matter what, there is a cost. Thankfully, our salvation is free. It has already been purchased by Jesus Christ at Calvary.

Hosanna in Greek, means to ““save now” or “save us, we pray,”  so the triumphal entry into Jerusalem recognized the savior of the world. It is time to celebrate Palm Sunday, and Jesus Christ. In this week’s Lattereign we shout Hosanna to the King.

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Be a Light in This World

“I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures” (Proverbs 8:20-21).

Our only hope to be successful in this life is to follow Christ. The bible promises us that he will guide us through the journey, even when we are surrounded by judgment. It is in his plan to bless us beyond what we could ask or think. It is important that we trust God to direct our steps. I, for one, have a tendency to grow impatient and jump before I know if there is a safety net in place in case I were to slip and fall. The Lord establishes boundaries to keep us safe, and our smartest move is to wait on the Lord to lead us through those times when we can’t see our way clear to the next part of our journey.

There is a road in Pigeon Forge, that makes you feel like you are going to fall off of the cliff. It is at such a steep angle that you can’t see the road ahead of you. It is truly a road that you must travel carefully, because you are not aware of what lies ahead.

Life is like that sometimes. We are faced with situations where we can’t see ahead for the next steps to take, so we must step out in faith. There is no where that you can safely turn around, so the only path is the one that is before you. Have faith in God.

So many times we have no clear path before us. Do we quit? Never. The Lord promises that he will go before us, and he has already made a way. We must learn to trust his leading. People are wandering around in the darkness, but we have the light to help them find their way to the Lord. Is your light shining brightly, so others can see? If not, why not?

Today, is a good day to decide that you want to live for the Lord. In this week’s Lattereign, we learn how to Be a Light in This World

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The Time to Praise the Lord is Now!

“It is impossible for God to lie.”

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love; which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 6:10-12).

You may think that nothing is impossible with God. The Bible even tells us that with God, all things are possible. But, that is simply not true. There are some things that even God can’t do.

Before you ban the blog and vow to never read it again, let me explain what God can’t do. God can’t lie, because if he told a lie, it would come to pass and be the truth. God can’t forsake us, because he is faithful. God can’t do “nothing” so, I guess doing nothing is impossible for God. On the other hand, nothing is possible without God.

If you’re sick, believe God for a miracle. God performs miracles; the question is will you trust him enough to let him do it for you? If you doubt his word, you won’t receive the blessing, because Jesus is a gentleman. He never forces himself on us; on the other hand, he never turns down our open invitation either. He is able and willing to meet every need in our life if we’ll only believe. He cannot lie; and he cannot fail. We sometimes get in our own way of the miracle that we so desperately seek. When we think about the past, we bring judgment on ourselves. If we think that we’re unworthy to be healed, are we possibly saying that God can’t forgive or cleanse us from sin?

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I do have a lot of questions that cause me to think that sometimes I don’t get the promise because I don’t believe that God loves me enough to answer my prayers. Too often I relive my past. I know what God redeemed me from, and I was not worthy, so I have a tendency to condemn myself. I forget the price that was paid for my salvation and healing. Jesus has already paid the price.

Are we so lost that even God can’t save us? When I look through God’s eyes of love and forgiveness, I see a different picture. It was God who hung the stars and spoke the worlds into existence—Really now, when we put it into perspective—is there anything too hard for God to do?

We are as a speck in this mighty universe (one of many), and while we have a tendency to not be able to see beyond our own eyes, my prayer, today, is that God would take away the scales from my eyes and let me see my heart the way he sees it—through the Blood of Jesus Christ. His precious blood is pure and holy and all powerful. I am one of his precious jewels; I was chosen to serve him. He holds me in the palm of his hand.

Is there anything too hard for God? He takes care of my needs and desires. He is my beloved, and our relationship is built on trust and faith. Our unconditional love is eternal.

Is there anything too hard for my God? I think not. Thank him for your healing today, and you will be healed, in Jesus’ Name. It may not be instantaneous, it could happen over time, but the Lord still answers prayers.

In this week’s Lattereign, we find out that It’s Time to Praise Him.

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The Steps of a Good Man are Ordered

The bible says that we have not because we ask not. The Lord already knows what we have need of before we ask, but it is important to follow the plan for provision. You must ask, seek and then knock. Each of these words require you to act. It’s not enough to lament about how terrible your universe is, because we have all been in similar situations; what is more important is that we follow the plan the Lord has prepared for us to follow.

If you get the steps out of the order, it may not fit together properly. Many people rarely read directions, and prefer to figure things out on their own. This usually causes a bit of frustration when things do not turn out as planned. Usually it is a last resort to read the directions.

Do we take the time to read our directions? The bible sits on many shelves going to ruin because they are unread. We have the answers to any question that is posed to us in that holy book, but do we sit down and read it? Technology is the greatest and most terrible thing to happen to our lives in this century. It is great because we can reach out to others all around the world, and it’s the most terrible thing, because we may not even see the ones who are sitting beside us because of cell phone abuse.

Too many dreams have been deferred just to live life. It’s time to dust them off and revisit them. Planting seeds and reaping a harvest does not happen overnight. It requires a time of waiting. Have you ever complained to God about your answers taking too long? We get so impatient when we need to be thankful that the Lord is working all things out for our good in his time. If we saw what the Lord sees, we would fully understand when he causes us to wait it out. He sees the obstacles before us and those detours he causes us to take, could really be the Lord’s way of protecting us from danger.

Do not underestimate the love of God. He loved us enough to send his son to take our place at Calvary. Renew your vision, and let’s do our best to fulfill his purpose for our lives.

In this week’s Lattereign, we ask an important question: Are you prepared to speak it into existance?

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What Are You Afraid Of? I Choose to Walk in Faith.

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1-2).

“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord God  of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear,  O God of Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 84:4-8).

Stepping out in faith requires that you be willing to trust God to bring to pass the things that you can’t see. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Long before the Lord supplied the property for our church, we began to pray for a building. It has been a miraculous journey. When it seemed that all hope was lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, in 1999; the Lord reminded us who was in control. He wasn’t worried about the outcome: he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. When the Towers fell in 2001; the world watched events unfold: we turned to the Lord who is sovereign. When we learn how to trust him to lead us, he promises that he’ll lead us into all truth. We celebrated our first Sunday in the new building on March 7, 2004. Today, we just keep moving forward.

“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Have we forgotten the God that we serve? There is nothing impossible with God. No situation is out of his control. When the storms come, we must learn to trust him. Maybe you have forgotten or you are so overwhelmed with the pain and frustration that you can’t see God at work through the turmoil. When I face the storm, I find him in my prayers. Sometimes, I don’t even know how to pray I am so consumed with the problem, but if I’ll remember to worship him he begins to work out his perfect plan in my life. Keep moving towards the light of his presence.

In the still of my night, I find him embracing me. I shall not fear the darkness. Although every sign tells me that it’s hopeless, I still hold on to hope that he is sovereign and he has already answered my prayer even before I speak the problem in prayer. It takes time. When I feel so impatient waiting for your promise, Lord, calm me down enough that I enjoy the day that you have prepared. Take me back to simplicity, life before schedules and deadlines, when we’d catch lightening bugs in the backyard and put them in mason jars. I miss it, and yet, I thank you for today.

We have not been promised tomorrow, and yesterday is just a memory, but the only thing that I desire from you is another today. A moment in time, now. In my now, let me not miss opportunities to share about your goodness. Jesus Christ: His mercy endureth forever. Life is too short to spend lamenting over what might have been. Let me live in the now.

I am thankful that the Lord chose us to be different than the world: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Obedience is better than Sacrifice.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39).

In this week’s Lattereign, my desire is to be a light: Let Me Be a Light.

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God Will Make You a New Heart

The Lord will establish you

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ”  (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye” (Ezekiel 18:31-32).

We have some control over our heart. Ezekiel tells us to make a new heart and a new spirit. The Lord is a gentleman, and he’ll never impose himself on unwilling vessels. We must actively invite his presence into our lives. We are blessed in that God allows us to worship him with our whole heart. He has never forced anyone to worship him. It’s always been a free choice.

How can we make ourselves a new heart and a right spirit?

David asked the Lord to create in him a clean heart and to renew in him a right spirit; while the Israelites were commanded to make themselves a new heart and a new spirit. David had a relationship with the Lord that included prayer, worship, and commitment. He wasn’t a haphazard Christian barely getting by with the leftover blessings from other saints who happen to worship. He initiated worship, and because it pleased God; David danced with all of his might.” When it was time to pray, David was in his place. He knew how to yield his own spirit to the Lord. He allowed God to do as he willed in his ministry. God himself shaped David into a vessel worthy to be used.

The Israelites, on the other hand, had time and again complained bitterly about the hard trials in their lives. It was just too hard to live for God. If only they had listened to the prophet and obeyed God; but they didn’t heed the warnings, and they were ushered back into captivity. If they didn’t learn their lesson while they were in captivity; they wouldn’t learn to be satisfied with God’s provision of manna on the road to the Promised Land. They were so out of touch with God that they played with the world through idol worship. It was necessary for God to command them to make new hearts and spirits before the Israelites would be allowed to carry God’s Spirit. We must never handle the Anointing frivolously, but in total reverence.

It’s necessary for our walk with God to cost us something if it’s going to have lasting value. Obtaining a new heart and a new spirit doesn’t just happen with prayer and church attendance. It takes commitment and sacrifice to make a new heart. Today, invite God into your heart and begin to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn about the privilege of prayer. Privilege of prayer

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Courageous and Consistent Faith

“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swore unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou  mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:3, 5-7).

The Lord delivered all the enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:44-45).

Why do I continue to doubt God’s promises? Every time I become confident in where God leads me; I lose my direction because I take my eyes off of my destination. “Joshua had assisted Moses for many years and when Moses died he was responsible for leading over two million people into a strange new land and conquering it.”  Out of 12 spies, he and Caleb were the only two who believed that God could help them conquer the land. Instead of trusting God and following God’s plan, the rest of the spies doubted God could give them the promise.

Time and again, God gave Joshua the words to give to the people to be strong and of good courage; he repeated his promise to be with them, and his command for them to be strong, four times in chapter 1 alone. I counted! If you read it once in God’s word it’s important; when you read it twice in God’s word, it’s doubly important; how many times does it take to realize that the Lord will do as he says? He can’t lie, nor is he slack concerning his promises. It’s not enough that he commanded us to be strong and to not be afraid; no, the Lord didn’t stop there; he said that he would go with us no matter where his will takes us. It’s up to us to follow the plan—not try to figure out God. His ways are much higher than our ways, he knows the beginning from the ending and his will is unquestionable.

“Just do it and stop worrying,” I tell myself. God has given us an opportunity of a lifetime; much like the opportunities given to the Israelites—a land of promise that’s flowing with milk and honey and everywhere that the sole of our foot treads, belongs to us—yet, we still question who, what, when, where, why, how, and should we follow the plan? I believe that the Lord is telling me to follow his will and to leave the rest of the details in his hands.

If I’ll release the control, God will work out his perfect will in my life. It all belongs to him anyway so why am I trying to get ahead of God instead of just following the plan? He said he wouldn’t fail me or forsake me and he’s commanded me to be strong and of good courage. He said if I’d do all according to the law that I’d prosper. I can’t be effective if I’m not courageous because God commanded it for me, it’s part of the plan. I must be courageous and consistent in my faith if I desire to see results.

In this week’s Lattereign we realize that we can gain our power by just believing in the Promise. The Power of Believing the Promise

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“We are More Than Conquerors”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37).

The world may disappoint us and turn their backs when we struggle, but we can always be assured that the Lord will never leave us, nor forsake us. He is always fighting for us as we trust in him to lead us through his will. We must prepare for the battle that we will face and in Ephesians he details how we can protect ourselves:

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 5:13-19).

When we set goals in life, and follow through on a consistent basis to try to reach those goals; we can reach a level of peace that can’t be matched by any other means. If we will simply do God’s will and do what’s right, then, we can trust God even when our circumstances look bleak. People try to do the best that they can. In the church, we maintain an Apostolic lifestyle on a daily basis, and sometimes we are faced with obstacles that we can’t avoid. In these times, the Lord calls us to prayer. It is only through prayer and confidence in Jesus Christ that we are able to overcome the obstacles. They may seem like boulders in our thinking, but the Lord knows the plans that he has for us; and when the boulders come, we have a God who can break them apart, or give us the knowledge to climb over, or work our way through them.

When we are faced with dire circumstances, he is wise enough to let us work through it on our own; then, he helps us along the way. When we weep before him out of troubled frustration, we are learning how to lean on a God who understands and is faithful to us. Do not be discouraged when trying times come. It is a reminder to us, that God is able to deliver us. There is nothing that we need that he won’t supply, if we will only believe. Not everything that we go through will be pleasant, but it is so necessary to build our confidence that the Lord can and it will provide everything that we need. He gives us compassion for others. For when we overcome discouraging times, we also are able to build enough faith to touch God when we pray for others.

If we can stay true and faithful to God and to ourselves, we will be more than conquerors through his Word. We must pray and seek his will for our lives until he chooses to deliver us from the obstacles that block our path. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. May the peace of God restore you to spiritual health.

In this week’s Lattereign we are urged to not give up on God. Don’t Give Up on God!

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Trust God’s Plan for Your Life

The world is so uncertain, today, that people may be losing their confidence. It would be easy to just give up hope of ever having a better life than the one you are struggling with now; however, the Lord admonishes us to trust his plan for our future. We may not understand how it will work out, but if we will let God direct us, it will work out in his will.

There have been times that life throws situations in our path that seem impossible. It requires our total trust in the Lord to work out the details. I admit that I am not great at following the plan because often I want to see what’s ahead and by always stretching to see what is in the distance, I forget to see how God’s hand is at work in the present.

The Lord has given us an open door and our directions are to walk through it. That does require our faith to walk through the door into the unknown, but isn’t it worth it to follow Christ?

It’s time that we pay attention to the very things that truly matter: love, hope, trust. I know what it’s like to be lost, and thankfully, I know what it’s like to be a child of God, safely in his arms. Daily I learn to lean on the Lord, and I found out a long time ago that I’m nothing without the Lord. He is my strength, my fortress, my high tower, my prince of peace, and he is everything to me.

When the chaos of the world tries to overshadow your confidence in Christ, always remember that God is a very present help in the time of trouble and that he will never leave us or forsake us.

 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

In this week’s LattereignHe Promises Us Strength if we Wait.

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