Location, Location, Location

“Location, Location, Location”

4/20/14

When God called Abraham to take his son Isaac on a three-day journey to sacrifice him on Mount Moriah, the place was a deserted region in the wilderness. Centuries later, the most important city in the world would be built on that very mountain—Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city where God has placed his name. The Temple that Solomon built for the Lord on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would become the holiest place on earth. It would be in the Holy of Holies where the presence of God would dwell. When God sent His only Son Jesus to pay for the sin of all mankind, it would be outside of the city of Jerusalem. Even to this very day, the most hotly contested piece of real estate on earth is the City of David—Jerusalem. The Bible predicts a global war will be fought over the city of Jerusalem. When Jesus returns and rules and reigns for a thousand years, His throne and capital will be in the city of Jerusalem.  Even at the very end of time when God destroys sin and creates a new heaven and a new earth, the Bible says, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelations 21:2)

God is more sovereignly in control of world events than we can even imagine. Jesus’ death and resurrection has created a refuge for His people to flee for safety. The location of safety for God’s children is found in our hearts where Jesus is Lord of our life. It is critically important for God to cleanse our hearts and for us to not let the devil have a foothold in our lives. The Church needs to go through a season of cleansing and refining so that God can pour out His Spirit on us in unprecedented ways. God’s cleansing will liberate us to fulfill our divine destiny, which is the Great Commission—to save multitudes of souls from perishing. Are you ready for God to do His work in your life?

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The Church’s 9-1-1 (Pastor Dan’s response to Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Bob Coy Resignation)

“The Church’s 9-1-1”                                                                                                                                                      

4/13/14

Last Sunday, I was heartbroken to hear of a local pastor’s “moral failure” that led to his resignation. It is sad that news like this doesn’t contain the shock value that it once did. One too many church leaders have fallen in the same way. Although the fall of Pastor Bob Coy may just be one more in a long list, I felt the Lord was speaking to me this week of a deeper meaning to it all. I believe it is an ominous warning

to the Body of Christ.

The Scriptures tell us that judgment begins with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). If God would not spare King David, a “man after God’s own heart,” or church leaders who are anointed and appointed by God, He will not spare those in the Body of Christ who are living with secret and besetting sins that are keeping them in bondage.

God’s heart and passion is to heal, save and cleanse us, not to judge us. But God may send His judgment to us first in order to restore us.

I believe God’s people have lost their first love. Because we don’t have intimacy with God and a passion to be in His presence, sin comes in and takes God’s place. We have been made to be the bride of Christ and to have a personal relationship with Him. Just as when a husband and wife lose their love and passion for each other and allow other things to take their place, we have done the same thing with our relationship with God. I believe we are at a crossroads as a church body in America. Either we rekindle our love and passion for God and experience His presence, power and glory, or God’s people will continue down the road of sin and heartache because they have lost their first love.

As a pastor and child of God, I want to restore my first love for Christ. I hope that is the cry of your heart, too.

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“The Details”

Genesis 22:1-15                                                                                   4/6/14

 

The most amazing thing to me is looking back on the details of my life and seeing the things that God has done and orchestrated that could not have happened on their own. A seemingly random event here or there can change the course and direction of our life. In the story of Abraham and Isaac we read about details that seem insignificant on the surface but in reality it’s more prophetic and profound than our minds can comprehend. Specific details throughout the narration of Abraham and Isaac that would mean little until you overlay the story with the crucifixion of Christ. Let me detail a few of these phrases in the two stories that take on a new dimension when you overlay it with the life and death of Christ: “Your only son”; “Whom you love”; “… the third day…”;”took the wood… placed it on his son”; “the lamb… a ram”; “Mountains of Moriah”.

Each phrase significantly details how Jesus offered himself up as a living sacrifice. Most people miss the details of the story just as they miss the same details that God is working in each of their lives. But when the profound nature of these details becomes evident as God works in our life, our life will take on a new meaning that will change our life. Life will no longer be random but has a rich substance that nothing in this world can come close to. The excitement of waking up each morning to see what new detail God might reveal to us will put meaning and purpose in the most mundane everyday chores of life. When Jesus promised his disciples “abundant life” (John 10:10), He did not over-state the promise. One of the great by-products of seeing God’s details working in our life is the incredible joy and peace it gives. Worry, fear, and anxiety will become things of the past. The things that once were raging storms in our life will be no more than a bump in the road. Each of our lives can be a masterpiece that will bring Glory to God when we see the details of His handiwork in our lives.

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“A Tale of Two Sons”

Genesis 22:2                                                                                     3/16/14

God has tailor-made a life for each of us. Our life is not a one-size-fits-all plan off of God’s clothes’ rack. Each life will have its share of tests and temptations, trials and tragedies, along with glorious triumphs. As we walk with God, the vision expands along with the trials and tests. For the devoted follower of God, He saves the best wine for last. However, the path that leads us there is always the toughest. When God gave Abraham the promised son, Isaac, Abraham may have thought his job was done—the race almost completed. But God’s biggest trial and triumph for Abraham was yet to come. God said to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (Genesis 22:2)  There was a reason for this request that only God Himself knew. There was no human reasoning that Abraham could rationalize that could justify such a request. Abraham would have to trust and believe in the God whom he served. God had brought Abraham this far; surely, there must be a greater purpose at the end of this. The full revelation of this request would not come to fruition for several thousand years when God would sacrifice His very own Son, whom He loved. Isaac would be the foreshadowing of Jesus, God’s one and only Son. God would do what He would not make His most devoted follower do… sacrifice His one and only Son. Abraham would have to believe by faith, just as we do, that our heavenly Father is good and loving and that in the end we will be blessed for following Him. There may be a trial in your life that just does not make sense and everything inside of you may point an accusing finger towards God. But if we truly know God, we know better. Even if the answer is long in coming or does not come at all, we can say as Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.”

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“A God-Sized Test”

Genesis 22:1                                                                                                                                              3/9/14

“Some time later, God tested Abraham.” (Genesis 22:1)

When God works in our lives, He may be doing a multitude of things simultaneously. We may not even begin to perceive what God is doing or why. The scripture tells us that God was going to test Abraham.

Why does God test us? For what reason?

Whenever God tests His children, it is always to reward us– to open the door to an even greater blessing. A teacher will test her students to find out what they know or do not know, whether the desired training has been achieved or more learning and training needs to be done.

With God, it is not that way because He already knows the outcome. So the test for Abraham was not for God to know what was in Abraham’s heart, but to show Abraham his own heart– the depth of his great faith and obedience that God had been working into him– and then after showing him, rewarding Abraham as one of the greatest men to walk the face of the earth.

Life is full of tests by God to reward us and temptations by the evil one to destroy us. God will allow them both to show us what is in our heart. Do we trust God? Do we love Him more than the things of earth? Can we be trusted with the secret things of the kingdom of God, which are the true riches?

God has even challenged us to test Him in a specific way.

God told us to take the tangible things that we have been given and give back a portion as a tithe. “Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)

The God-sized test for you and me is all about our heart.

Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

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“Family Feud”

Genesis 16                                                                                                                                                                                      2/9/14

After God makes a covenant with Abram there is a period of waiting before the Lord. Ten years has passed and the promise that God would make Abram into a great nation has not yet materialized. So, Abram and his wife Sarai take matters into their own hands. Sarai said, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go sleep with my maidservant (Hagar); perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said,” (Genesis 16:2).

            This decision that seems so innocent will be one of the most costly decisions in human history. This dividing line would grow into a chasm that would set up end time prophecy and Armageddon itself. The closer we get to God’s perfect will for our life, the greater the spiritual warfare by the enemy. God promised Abram a son who would be part of a great nation. So Sarai, in an act of desperation, took matters into her own hands and out of God’s hands. Sarai’s plan worked; “He (Abram) slept with Hagar and she conceived,” (Genesis 16:4). At this point the wheels come off the cart. The Bible says, “When she (Hagar) knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” A family feud broke out and it has escalated out of control ever since. Because the child of promise was so central to Abram’s calling, the enemy provided a cheap substitute as God’s answer. Ishmael, the son Hagar bore to Abram, became a source of constant hostility towards all his brothers. As the scriptures prophesy, “He will be a wild donkey of a man: his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12). Isaac would be a child of promise who was born in a different way, with a different spirit. This child would make all who hear it laugh with joy. All of God’s promises bring joy and laughter to the heart.

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“The Spirit-Filled Life” Luke 2:21-38

“The Spirit Filled Life”

Luke 2:21-38                                                                                                     12/29/13

Revelation is the word of God that we live on in our life. As it is written, “Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Simeon was a man of God “waiting for the consolation of Israel… It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25-26).

Simeon and Anna, another prayer warrior, played a critical role in ushering in the kingdom of God. We, in the body of Christ, have a similar role today- to pray in Christ’s return. Simeon may have thought that he was wasting his time praying and waiting all those years because the promise was given thousands of years before his time on earth. Yet Simeon and Anna were faithful to their call and they were not disappointed. Prayer and God’s Word bring revelation to our heart to see things that other people can’t see, to know things that other people don’t know and to do things and go places that other people can’t go. If we want to make the most of this up-coming year it will take the same path and process of prayer. God knows His plans that He has for us, but do we know the plans God has for us? As Simeon endured faithfully to his call of intercession the Bible says that he was “moved by the Spirit” that led him to Jesus Christ. And in His presence the revelation began to flow in prophetic utterances about Jesus’ life. Simeon and Anna were filled with joy that satisfied the deepest longings in their heart. They didn’t leave planet earth until their job was finished. Our soul and spirit will not be satisfied unless the Word of God is fulfilled in our life. Our own flesh (carnal nature) the world, and the devil will try everything in their power to keep us from fulfilling God’s plan for our life. God will not force His Will on us so we must be determined not to deceive ourselves or be deceived from fulfilling the greatest joy for our life- Fulfilling God’s plan for our life.

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