Archive for September, 2012

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled & do not be afraid.” ~Jesus (in John 14:27 NIV)

  • Old worldly thinking: “Trouble Strikes = Fear”
  • NEW Christian thinking: “Trouble Strikes = FAITH in God”

Scare Tactics in my head: Do you ever worry about the future? How will I pay my bills? Will I ever get caught up with rent? Will my brothers and/or sister be safe? Will disaster strike? What’s next? Life is so much better when we have someone mighty & loving to lean on.

Will God ever abandon me? God’s word says: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” ~Jesus (in John 6:37)

Christians can have doubts. At times, one may question whether God actually exists or doubt some of the claims of the Christian faith. The Bible is full of questions! Jesus’ disciple Thomas was not present when Jesus 1st appeared to the other disciples after He rose from the dead. Thomas said that he would not believe unless he could see & touch the holes in Jesus’ hands & put his hand in Jesus’ side. Thomas might have had doubts about Jesus, but he kept his mind & heart open to the truth. When Jesus did appear to Thomas, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord & my God!” (John 20:28) It was his search for truth that led Thomas into a faith that he never had before that experience. (check it in John 20:19-28)

Having doubts & questions will motivate you to seek out answers, which can only bring you closer to God. In addition, beliveing something without checking the Bible may put you in spiritual danger. Doubts & questions help protect believers from being misled or becoming stagnant & inactive in the walk with Jesus.

And I will put my Spirit in you & move you to follow my decrees & be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:27 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit always bids us to be careful, never fearful.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1Peter 5:8

Satan’s Scare Tactics: We must never give into doubt, discouragement nor temptation. Doubt my brothers & sisters, then seek out truth from God & have your investigation then let it be settled. If we have unresolved doubt & give into any of these three & remain there.. it leaves room for the devil to creep in. Eve will tell you. Sin started and grew on earth with Satan’s seed of doubt when he told Eve (disguised as a snake), “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Gen. 3:1

the devil..was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” ~Jesus (in John 8:44)

Ever hear momma say, “the devil is a liar!” ? That’s been passed down for generations. The good news is the same tactic (doubt) used on Eve, failed to work on Jesus (see Matthew 4:3-6). Jesus is our example of how we ought to be… Say it with me, “Doubt, we can do without!”

Discouragement: When Israel had been feeling intimidated and overpowered by their enemies Joshua focused their attention on the miraculous victory God had just granted & said, “”Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong & of good courage, for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” Joshua 10:25 What that speaks to us today is to know that God always has our back in times when we are feeling discouraged.

 “..If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

 Discouragement will come at all of us from time to time. We’ll all face it, the question is how we deal with it. When we understand discouragement form a biblical perspective, & deal with it based on the Bible, the frequency & severity of discouragement will be greatly decreased. Whatever it may be, whatever challenge, God is for us, to accomplish what is best for us. He is leading the charge in the battle for our good and His glory. To be clear, the source of discouragement is the devil. So when it comes fight back! Discouragement is a choice. If you feel discouraged, it’s because you’ve chosen to feel that way. The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to chose different ways to feel. Hang in there! Keep your hands busy with God’s will & Christian service in spite of your feelings. Remember friend, no feeling lasts forever.

 “Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah 4:20

Duped into Temptation?: When the devil wants to use you like a puppet, he resorts to subtle and sometimes blatant temptation. Jesus understands what you are going through, He was there Himself, “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil…” Luke 4:1,2

 Jesus, fresh from His baptism, about to start His glorious Ministry… then in steps Satan. He temped Jesus with food, because Jesus was hungry. Tempted with power and wealth.. Finally fame. Yes, he tempted the God of the universe, creator of the earth with fame. God’s people stopped at Acacia Grove & were tempted with sexual sin (see Numbers 25:1-18). They did not fair as well as Jesus did. Since Jesus got victory by using God’s word as His weapon, what else does God’s word say about this topic that can help us?:

 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1Corinthians 10:13

 God has Satan on a leash here. The magnitude of the temptation & your God provided shield from it will be tailored to you and will not exceed your capability to withstand it. Those who are saved may pick up the power & wisdom of God’s word & use it as you would a sword or gun to defend against the devils suggestions. We must rely on God’s grace, & word & it is only then that we can have victory over Satan’s most subtle and compelling tricks. Jesus warns us, “”Watch & pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 Guard your hearts my fellow Christian soldiers! ~Pastor Pete ‘DJ one3’ Walker

 – Next up: Why do bad things happen? –

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Pslams 102:1 (NKJV) “…Hear my prayer, O LORD, & let my cry come to You.”

In your relationship with God, He does not want a silent partner. God wants you to sound off. In our last meeting we discussed repentance…so is this all that God wants to talk about? Of course not. God wants to have an awesome relationship with you and He wants to hear from you as often as you can. Prayer is the method.
Prayer, simply put is staying connected with your Father in Heaven by talking to Him. It does not matter if you are happy, mad, confused, hurt, in trouble, etc. you can talk about anything with God. Trust that God wants the best for you & is standing by waiting to hear from you. When you ask for things, God may say “yes,” or “no” or “wait.”

For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose. ” (Romans 8:26-28)

God cares about you & will listen to you when you talk to Him. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer & supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; & the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts & minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6,7

Where to pray? Jesus said you should find a secluded quiet place, & pray to God (Matthew 6:6). You can pray in your bedroom, car, or on a walk… anywhere. Try to set aside a special time early morning is the best time to pray because there are fewer distractions. Start by praying five or ten minutes and then increase the time you spend with God as your prayer life becomes more disciplined.

Jesus’ prayer: The Lord’s Prayer is where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. It gives a good prayer structure for us to follow. You can check it out in Matthew 6:9-13 … His prayer has four parts:

    • Praise  Recognize that God is great & in charge. Remember, God loves you and knows what’s best for you.
    • Provide  Ask God to provide for you, your family, & friends. Ask for healing, courage, & wisdom for the problems you might have.
    • Pardon  Confess your sins & ask others for forgiveness. Remember to forgive people who have wronged you. Let God know that you are sorry for disobeying Him & wronging other people. Ask for forgiveness; God promises to forgive you.
    • Protection  We are constantly faced with temptation. Ask for God’s protection & strength to do what is right.

But it’s hard for me to pray because I need to see the person I’m talking to. If you are at home or in your room just pull up a chair & imagine (you have to use your God given imagination for this one) that Jesus is there, sitting in that chair listening.  If you are driving, picture Jesus in the passenger seat. Just know, by faith that He is really listening.  This is a good way to start a healthy prayer life, ..this is how I got started.

Paul said it best when he wrote, “pray without ceasing,in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 ~Pastor Pete ‘DJ one3’ Walker

-Next Up: 05 Dealing with Fears & Doubts

4give is always the right choice

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Matthew 18:35 NKJV

“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother  his trespasses.” ~Jesus

Be a Transformer!

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Romans 12:2 “..do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good & acceptable & perfect will of God.”

In part 3 of my series, “I’m Saved.. Now what?!” we are getting you the answers for your questions regarding sin and how it effects your relationship with Jesus. What happens, how does it effect me & how to cope. Let’s dive in friend:

Don’t be discouraged by your struggles. Every Christian has them. God’s word says, “for all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..” Romans 3:23, 24

Every follower of Jesus Christ has their own vulnerabilities, whether it is losing your cool, materialism, porn, gossip, angry words, lies or envy. People may fool you into disobeying God, or you may find yourself trapped in the midst of temptation. The Bible says that before you accept Jesus, it is very difficult for you to resist temptation. Even after deciding to follow Jesus, people still struggle with temptation. You are not alone in this conflict. The good news is, once you decide to follow Jesus the Holy Spirit gives you a desire to please God daily & God will continues to help you resist temptation (see Romans 7:21-25).

Everyone sins: If they say they don’t sin, this is a sin called a lie. Lies were the first sin, invented by Satan himself (see John 8:44). When you choose sin, it’s not the end of your relationship with God. Sin separates us from God (see Isaiah 59:2) however, the good news is we have repentance to reconnect(see 1John 1:9).

What’s REPENT mean? In the Bible, the book of Luke.. the author indicates that the very purpose of Jesus mission on earth was to refocus our lives on God. “”I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” ~Jesus in Luke 5:32 .. His last words to His disciples were “..repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” ~Jesus in Luke 24:47 Just a few examples from the book of Luke. It mattered to Jesus who gave His life so that we would have this privilege of re-connecting with God. With that said, the word Repent (Metanoeo in Greek) translated means – to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins. It is more than that for the Christian because we are renewing our thoughts after God washes us clean. Repentance is not only sorrow for sin. It is not only turning toward God. Repentance is also a turning away from sin.

How do I repent? Repenting is as easy as one, two, three: (1) We feel remorse for sinning (see 2Cor. 7:10). If we only feel bad and do nothing with it this eventually can produce death or at the least health issues or unwanted life drama. (2) Come boldly to God, in prayer asking for Him to forgive you (see 1John 1:9). It’s important to not hold back anything, God sees everything & can not be fooled (see Psalms 33:13-15). (3) Turn away from that sin & accept that God has forgiven (see Psalms 130:4) & forgotten (see Hebrews 8:12 & Jeremiah 31:34) your trespass . It’s not about being sinless, it’s getting to the place of sinning less. That is true Christian growth.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent..” Acts 17:30

Final Thought: No matter what happens, God promises you a way to escape any spiritual danger. No temptation has you prisoner. By repentance God has forgiven you so now we have power to make better choices. God is faithful to your commitment and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. He will provide you a way out so that you can stand under it (see 1Cor. 10:13)

Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” ~Jesus

~Pastor Pete ‘DJ one3’ Walker

Next up… “How do I Pray?”

A pause to remember 9-11

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today we pause & pray for the victims & the families & friends & our nation on this 9-11.  Won’t u please do so as well? ~Pastor Pete

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

The answer is YES! God can forgive any sin, no matter how terrible – cheating, murder, lying, infidelity, gossip, theft, selfishness, etc. We all fail and disobey God. No one measures up. In fact the Bible says no one can please God by good deeds. Good deeds aren’t good enough.

God promises that He will forgive you!  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Jesus once told a story to His disciples, warning them that ‘good people’ who think they are good enough for God are in more spiritual danger than humble people who recognize that they are unworthy & ask for forgiveness (see Luke 18:9-14).

Confess your sins & forgive others. Though God has forgiven you, you’ll still have struggles. Some consequences & scars from your past may remain. If you’ve wronged others, ask for their forgiveness and try to make amends (make right what was done wrong). You may want to seek council from mature believers as a first step so you approach doing this correctly. When others wrong you, God asks that you forgive them-not because they deserve it, but out of gratitude for the great gift you received from God.

“…if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:13

A person once asked me, “Pastor, who should say I’m sorry & make it right? The person in the right or the person in the wrong?” I replied, “the person in the right.” The idea here is making it right is much more important in God’s eye than making your point. Keep a friend, lose the agenda. God’s forgiveness toward us should flow out of us naturally to our fellow man.

Know, this today and never forget it, God forgives you, loves you and has a hope & future for you. So let the guilt go.. God says to you today my friend,

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.” Isaiah 43:25-26
~ Pastor Pete ‘DJ one3’ Walker

– on deck.. 03 What if I sin? –