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Posts tagged ‘kingdom’

The Stale Church

Why has the Church become a place that is closed off to the world? Why do we lack passion? Why are we not bold in our faith?

While out with my mom, I was reminded of the lukewarm church. Jesus said in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit” (The Message).

The Church has become stale. We do just enough for those around us. We don’t care what happens to the lost; we are satisfied we are going to Heaven. We want to pad our pockets so that we can live a comfortable life.

We have gotten so far off track from the Church that Jesus had in mind. He said He’s coming back for a Church without spot or blemish. He said that His sons and daughters would be mature sons who equipped others to carry the vision.

As His sons and daughters, instead of valuing correction and rebuke, we seek out those who will tell us that everything is okay. I am going to say it again and again, “The Body of Christ is NOT okay!”

The Church today is full of people claiming to be working for God when in reality, they are just interested in making a name for themselves. The true Church laborers do it for no pay, no one knows their name, and they don’t preach what is popular.

Preaching isn’t a sacred profession anymore. Sacred means revered. It also means pure. God’s Word is pure. We are supposed to be pure. The church today isn’t pure. Christians have defiled God’s house. The Church today isn’t a refuge for sinners. The brokenhearted can’t come to be healed. We aren’t bold in our faith because we don’t know what we believe. We get a few Holy Ghost goose bumps and a few knee jerks and call that revival.

That’s not revival! That’s not the Church that God wants! He wants people who have a fire shut up in their bones, a word from deep in their spirits that can set people free from sickness, fear, or any other problem.

If you have become stale, repent! Turn away from the foolish things and seek God.

 

~Madison Sanders

Image Credit Stale Milk © Mike Savage via freeimages.com

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Catch the Fire

God is moving in His Body. When a fire is ignited, it is up to you whether or not you get near it.

Picture a fire burning. There is a circle of people around it. Some stand back, only wanting to feel a little warmth. Others come closer, extending their hands toward the flame.

Maybe at one time you were close to the fire. For whatever reason, you’ve drawn back. Now is the time to catch the fire. God has much work that He needs done and He can’t do it with passionless people.

To catch the fire of God, you have to desire it. It has to be a passion that never burns out. What are you doing to catch the fire? Are you praying more? Are you seeking His face?

I want the fire of God to burn in me so brightly that all distractions and cares of this life fall to the wayside. I am tired of seeing people bound up by sickness, self-loathing, and emotional pain.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew something about fire. Daniel Chapter 3 tells the story of these three men being thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not worship the gold idol. They were so passionate about God that they willingly went into the furnace confident that God would deliver them.

Not only did God deliver them, He was with them and not even a hair on their heads was touched. When you draw near to God, He draws near to you and does things that you never thought were possible. Catch the fire!

~Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Bonfire 1 © kasseckert via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/catch-fire#sthash.E7JP3oqu.dpuf

Wake Up Call

“What can the righteous do if the foundations be destroyed?” ~Psalms 11:3

Do you ever feel like the world is going to hell in a handbasket? Sometimes things seem so crazy and turned upside down. There is a lot of uncertainty and instability going on. There is government corruption, terrorism, protests, riots, and general unrest. Most people are aware something major is going to happen. We just don’t  know what is coming next. It’s like small earthquakes at the base of a giant volcano. We know it’s going to blow, but we don’t know when.

The world’s foundations are slowly crumbling. Nations are shaking and reeling, and are at a tipping point. Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying; “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” ~Psalms 2:1-3

We are living in a day of political correctness. Mankind is wanting to rule and govern without God’s interference. Most of our leaders are spineless and gutless, they have no moral values. God has been legislated out of our schools, government, and families. Our leaders are self-seeking, corrupt, and without restraint. When any society doesn’t believe in God or His laws they begin to crumble.

When they say,” Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.” In reality they are saying we don’t want any boundaries, restraints, bonds, or discipline. We are our own god, and we will rule the way we see it.

If you read Isaiah Chapter 5, Israel was in a state of apostacy. They were calling evil good, darkness light, and bitter sweet. They were justifying the wicked for bribes. Morality was turned upside down and confusion ruled the day. We know from Israel’s history it was destroyed and brought into captivity.

What are the righteous going to do? We are going to take a stand. If you don’t take a stand you will fall. Persecutions and adversity are coming to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is here now.

We are in a war against the enemies of our God. We as God’s sons and daughters must take a stand regardless of the consequences. We may have to lay down our very lives for His Kingdom. Fear not man, but walk in the fear of the Lord. We will be victorious throughout eternity, and His Kingdom will prevail. Even so come Lord Jesus.

~Ricky Robinson

Image Credit  Bugle call © Hector Landaeta via free image.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/wake-call#sthash.KlVwvbm2.dpuf

Character

My parents used to attend the church I did, but left. They tried for a very long time to get me to come and visit their church, now Gateway. I wouldn’t come because I did not want to leave and follow them.  For a while I had sensed something was missing at the church I was attending. I had no clue what it was. I had no clue about anything. I now know that I wasn’t being fed.

I had been going  to Gateway for several months and I can remember the day that sealed the deal for me. Apostle David came before the congregation one morning and spoke to us about God’s timing in everything. It is not enough to do good things. We need to do God things at God’s time and not ours. He apologized in front of the whole congregation for purchasing a van before God had told him to. I could not believe it! First of all, he was a man and he apologized for something. In all my years, I have never heard of a man apologizing for anything!

Second, he stood and admitted stepping out of God’s timing in front of EVERYONE! I thought to myself, there are a lot of preachers who could take a lesson or two from him. Most preachers I have met would NOT EVER DARE to CONFESS a fault they had to anyone! From that point on my boys and I attended Gateway and I have never looked back.

Apostle David is a man of conviction, integrity, and compassion. He stands before the congregation each service feeding us the truth of God’s Word and not some watered down, feel good message. Sometimes his messages hurt because it is the truth and we do not want to admit to it. There were numerous times where I swear he has read my mail because he has hit the bulls eye! Personally, being raised military, I prefer the swift  kick in the pants so to speak, that will get me on the right track. I have never wanted fluff in my life.

Apostle David doesn’t beat around the bush and leave you wondering, “What in the heck was he talking about?” He tells you like it is and that is how I like it. Yes, it hurts but when a tree or bush is pruned, the plant goes into a type of shock but then they start to grow stronger and bear more fruit. You cannot grow unless you are pruned. Your character cannot be shaped unless you are pruned.

~Ronda Sullivan

Image Credit © Tammy Sanders

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/character#sthash.XMunIFpt.dpuf

Born to Die

Once upon a time some friends of mine bought a little piggy. This piggy had a specific purpose when he was bought. He was born to die. He came to live on a farm. He had a nice place to live and was given very good food to eat. Days and months passed by. Little piggy grew up into big piggy.

His big day was here. He was to be transferred to a new place. We built a chute out of pallets to drive him up into the truck so he could be taken to the butcher.

This is where the trouble began. He was poked and prodded. There was a small gap in the pallets and he charged through a barbed wire fence and came out unscathed. No matter what we did, he would find a hole and there he would go. On this day, big piggy didn’t go to market.

My friends ended up having to call for help to see what the best solution was for piggy. Come to find out, the chute made for piggy had holes in it. We found out if the pig could see a way out he would escape and plow right through it.

So, another plan had to be made. Our friend got another trailer lower to the ground and covered all sides so he couldn’t see a way out. The piggy went right up without a problem. His purpose was to die.

Jesus had a purpose also. He knew who He was from a young age. He was always about His father’s business. People misunderstood Him. They misunderstood His purpose, but He never wavered.

Look at John, Peter, and all the others. They were called by God to do the work of the ministry. Did they do it? I would say, “Yes.”

As Christians, we have a purpose. Just like the pig, many times we do look for a way out. Our purpose is to die not to look for a way out.

But don’t be disheartened!

Even Jesus was human. ~Matthew 26:39 says, “Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed. “My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Since we know what our purpose is, we should keep going up the chute. It hurts to go up, but like a good soldier we must keep marching.

~Tammy Sanders

Image Credit © smell thisBeate W via free image.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/born-die#sthash.0cnSxcMQ.dpuf

Inheritance

Most everybody has seen the bumper sticker which reads, ” I’m spending my children’s inheritance.”

As a parent and grandparent we want to see our children blessed. Our desire is for them to be successful and prosperous.

All of us have had to face some hard and challenging times. When my wife and I got married in 1970, the economy was pretty bad. I had just recently been discharged from the Marine Corps. The Vietnam war was winding down and jobs were scarce.

We set up house with only one hundred dollars and I was drawing unemployment. Money was tight. We were a young couple facing the challenges of life and marriage. The years have come and gone.

I had a career working for CSX Railroad. We raised two children and now have eight grandchildren. Forty- four years is a long time. Over the years there have been many ups and downs, storms and calms. Our foundation has always been our relationship with the Lord. Our ship would have sank a long time ago without Him in our lives.

We would love to leave our children and grandchildren with a nice inheritance.A godly inheritance is more valuable than all the silver and gold.

No matter how much money you have it sometimes is not a solution. It can’t buy you health, peace, wisdom, or contentment. Only a relationship with the Lord is the answer when facing life’s challenges. He is always there and faithful in every situation.

I encourage you to teach your children and grandchildren to have faith in God.

It’s the only foundation that will last for all generations to come. He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word He commanded to a thousand generations. ~Psalms 105:8

~ Ricky Robinson

Image Credit © Tammy Sanders

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/inheritance#sthash.RsdJs1rN.dpuf

Being Prepared

I have heard people say that they are not concerned with the challenges of the day. They said they do not watch bad news. At first, I thought they must be more spiritual than me. Then I thought about David and Goliath, You find them in 1st Samuel, the seventeeth chapter. David was a young boy who took care of sheep. That sounds like a peaceful job for the most part.

His father sent him to the battle field to take food to his brothers. He was to bring back news of what was happening in the battle. He was then to return to his five sheep. When he got to where his brothers were, he was told about the enemy’s plan. He could have said it wasn’t his concern. He was just there to deliver lunch, and be a news carrier. His father had not told him to go kill a nine foot tall giant and be home by dinner. After all, he had sheep to pet.

Instead he took five smooth stones and his sling shot. He defeated the giant. Things would have ended differently if not for his actions. He did not keep his eyes on the size of the giant. He knew the size of his God.

Let’s look at another example. She was an orphan girl names Esther. God used her cousin, Mordecai, to get her right where she was destined to be. She had become the wife of king Ahasuerus. She made it her business to be aware of the enemy. She was a queen. She could have easily turned her head. Instead, she fasted and prayed. Not only did she pray, but she had the others to pray also. God gave them the victory because of her faith.

We aren’t to live in fear. We also aren’t to fail to pray. We need to know the devices of the enemy. This helps us know better how to pray. We are to declare as David did. The same God who has delivered us many times will deliver us today. We are to pray until we see the victory. The shield of faith and the sword of the spirit are ours to use. We are to boldly approach our King as Esther did.

Who is to say that we didn’t come into the Kingdom for such a time as this?

~Connie Robinson

Image Credit © Construction Lotus Head via free image.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/being-prepared#sthash.y0IytY9v.dpuf

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