Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prayer. Praise. Worship. Thankfulness

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18  "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." In Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." In Psalm 28:6-7 "Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."Read those verses a few times and let that sink in. Let it marinate on your mind and meditate on them. Read them slowly and savor the taste because the Lord is good. Then continue reading. It's okay, I will wait. 

I thank God for every hit and every person who has taken the time to read what I post. To be honest, when I use to look at the statistics for my blog and only see a few hits on what I just posted, it would bother me. I know the Lord is using me via this blog to edify, teach, correct and encourage the end times church. I would write what I thought was hot holy fire and only a few people are reading what I post. But the Lord is showing me to give thanks even for the few people who come to my blog. He is the one who draws them in. Not me. So thank God for the few who follow me and read my posts. You are all a blessing to me. I thank God for entrusting me with you. So what if my ministry isn't huge? So what of I have a few followers?  Jesus didn't do it for the numbers. Like the old saying goes, "It's not the quantity, it's the quality." My readers quality is like fine gold. What I post isn't for people who want their ears tickled. My blog isn't for the lukewarm. It's called 'MY BURNING HEART 4 JESUS' for a reason. My audience is for those who are on fire for the Lord. Perhaps that's why I don't have thousands or millions of followers and hits on my blog. This blog is dedicated to my Jesus and the true church of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. 

(Amazing...that wasn't even how I was going to start this post. Praise the Lord.)

The Lord is answering a prayer I prayed a while back. I asked the Lord to show me the authority that I have been given through Jesus and what is available to me through Jesus. I prayed for joy. I prayed to have more faith in Him. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.Disclaimer: I am not bragging or boasting on myself but boasting on the the Lord according to the scriptures. A couple months ago, at work things were tough. We were under staffed and had more work than we could handle. Customers were calling in angry. We couldn't win. I almost wanted to quit my job and when I would pray, I would just complain. Nothing changed at work and I just felt discouraged. I needed to change and what changed was this. When times got hard, when I felt discouraged, when I was mad instead of dwelling on that I began to dwell on my God. P.P.W.T. - Prayer, Praise, Worship, Thankfulness. I would start praying, praising the Lord and worshiping Him. I'd let Him know what I was feeling still. I let my petitions and supplication be presented to Him. I learned how to minister to the Lord through a prayer group I have been going to on Sunday evenings. The Lord began to change my discontent heart to a heart of contentment. 

The Lord also is showing me how to yield the sword of Spirit more effectively, which is the word of God, to combat my feelings. My feelings were real but they are not the truth. There is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ. Feelings make a great caboose on your train but makes a horrible engine to pull that train. As I prayed as loud as I could without distracting my colleagues, I'd quote verses to remind me that the Spirit that lives in me is greater than he who is in the world. In between calls (I work at a call center) I would read my Gideon Bible or I'd sing a praise song. The enemy tries to distract me though. Songs I haven't heard or thought of years would come to mind. I'd start reading about the news on The Lord would show me I was being distracted and I'd focus on Him again. It's a struggle but we were born into a war on the losing side. Now we switched sides to the winning team and our old team hates us even more. So be it. 

Another thing that the Lord has shown me that works fantastic is before I start work, I pray and I pray to the Lord to give me strength, that He would be glorified by my work, I'd pray that I work heartily for Him, and that work is an act of worship. I'd ask the Lord to help be slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen. I pray that I would bare good fruit and that it would all be for His glory. Work is much better now. Dedicate your work to the Lord. So what if my company is still under staffed, we still have angry people calling in, we still have too much work but my God is bigger then all of that and He is with me! 

Recently I saw a video where the Pastor was saying to have an attitude of gratitude. The Lord brings to my remembrance what my life was life like before I got born again. My eyes tear up not out of sadness but out of gratitude. God didn't have to save me and letting me fry in hell would've been right because I was sinful. But the Lord had mercy on me. The Lord drew me to Him and I had to make a choice and that choice was who I was going to serve. I had already lived it up and what the devil had to offer wasn't good. I was so unsatisfied and disappointed with my life. I am so glad now that I turned to Him and that He has been faithful with what I committed to Him which was my life. When I remember that and see how much I've grown I cant help but pray, praise, worship and be thankful. When I think about what is yet to come, I am excited and thankful to be a part of God's great plan. 

So I went to work and just started blessing God and doing what He said to do. My car isn't the nicest but thank you Lord my family has a car. My job doesn't pay what I would like and sometimes it sucks but thank you Lord for my job because I have a job. The devil tries to tempt me by glancing at women where ever I am at but I thank God for my wife because He gave her to me so that I may learn how to love like Jesus loves the church I thank God that my wife is a Godly woman. In all situations, circumstances, good times, and bad times God is worthy of all praise. He is still good, powerful, holy, righteous, wonderful, awesome and every praise there is! Even when things aren't going our way, they are going the way God wants. Don't let the enemy attack you and make you complain. Make those situations make you praise the Lord. I promise you whatever is attacking you won't attack anymore. Those feelings and thoughts will go away because it's driving you to worship and focus on God. That is not what the enemy wants us to do. Jesus is worthy of the highest praise even when life sucks. After having this attitude of gratitude,  joy that I haven't had in a long time began to bubble up. I was so happy. Pray for me that when times get hard that I would still seek the Lord's face. 

Anyways, praise God and thank you for reading this very long post. My prayer is that someone reads this post and they are encouraged. For a season I felt like I hit a plateau. If you hit a plateau,  seek the Lord with all your heart and He shall be found. I found the Lord afresh in prayer, worship, praise and having a thankful heart. I know that this seems really basic but the Lord breathed life into my prayer life and put a new meaning on many things. This is the last post of 2015. See you again in 2016 Lord willing.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Psalm 27:4 kind of year

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple

My prayer for 2016, and I hope it is yours too, is what is written in Psalm 27:4. As I was praying this morning the Lord brought to my remembrance this verse. I shared it recently on my Facebook page. But the Lord has given me much more understanding about this verse. 

The one thing we should ask for and seek after is to dwell in the presence of the Lord. His presence gives life, it gives wisdom, it gives peace, and a it gives us a whole lot of other things. If you had a transcript of your prayers, would seeking God's presence be amongst them? If not this could be the time to begin to ask the Lord for this. It's according to His will, so He will listen. In Jeremiah 29:13, the Lord says that when you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. Seek Him out in prayer, in worship and reading His word. 

Next David says what He will seek is to dwell in the house of the Lord for all the rest of his life. In Isaiah 56:7, the Lord says that His house is a house of prayer. God will not turn away anyone who desires to worship Him regardless of where they are from. His house is a place where everyone can come to pray. The Lord also says that He will make those who join themselves to the Lord, keep from defiling the Sabbath and hold fast to His covenants (verse 6), God will make them joyful. 

The last sentence says "to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and inquire in His temple." A man by the name of Don Stewart hit the nail right on the when he said this "The beauty of the Lord means that, in his nature, the Lord possesses everything that is desirable. His character is one of perfection. Consequently believers are to desire Him above all. If we delight ourselves in Him He promises to give us the desire of our heart. This desire will be the Lord himself. Believers are commanded to reflect God's beauty in their conduct." Wow, well said sir! 

To inquire in His temple always threw me off. So I looked up the meaning of the word "inquire". It means to seek information and to ask questions. So in other words, to seek wisdom and knowledge in the temple of the Lord. It's okay to ask questions. God has the answers. Nothing is too hard or impossible for Him. What an awesome God we worship!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Six days until the end of the year. Behold! 2016 is almost upon us. I can honestly say things changed for me this year. I turned 37 this year. 10 years ago I was in the US Army in Iraq on my final tour. I never would've guessed back then I would be where I am now. For instance, 10 years ago being a Christian was not on my to-do list. I wasn't even sure back then I would be married or have kids. I thought I would be a bachelor and alone forever. I had no hope. I digress..
So what changed for me? I am still working at the same job. I am still married. I am still living in the same place. I am still a Christ follower. Things changed in my inner man. The Lord is beginning to reveal to me what my purpose is. What my spiritual gifts are. How to fight the good fight. I learned on a grander scale how desperately I need Jesus every hour, minute and every second of my life. My wants and desires are more Godly. I am maturing in my faith. 10 years later after the Army, I have hope.
Can you say the same thing about yourself or are still in the same you were when you got born again? An infant in your faith. I am not bragging about myself because this transformation is all God's handy work. I am doing my part and God is doing His. Are you doing your part? Its so simple that people over think it or under achieve. Pray, read, worship, and repeat daily. Not just on Sunday. I finally understand this relationship with God. I am not religious because me personally I am not doing man made rituals to gain God's love and salvation. You don't have to either.
Salvation is a free gift given by God so that no one can boast about how good they were to get it. Salvation is a gift that nobody deserves but because God is merciful and loving, He offers it to anybody who is willing to take it. Salvation is free but it will cost you everything. What??? That doesn't make sense. To me it does and let me break it down. Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. Jesus took our place on the cross. That should have been me and you on the cross taking the brunt of God's holy wrath. Jesus willingly took our place. Tell me, did your god die for you because it loves you? Mine did and He can be yours too. The resurrection of Christ was a big deal. Jesus was too powerful to be defeated by death. It's like when you wait for a check to clear. Jesus payment was good enough for all the sins of the world.
I learned that Christmas is not really a Christian holiday. For one, it's not biblical. I am not taking away the glory from the fact that 2000 years ago our Savior was born. It just wasn't on December 25th. How do I know? Go to Luke and read about the birth of Jesus. When the angels appeared to the shepherds who were grazing their sheep, it could not have happened in the winter, it's too cold. Some people say that Jesus may have been born in the spring or summer. And another thing, we are not commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ. Am I right? Just go to the bible and look for a verse. I dare you. Is the birth of Jesus still a big deal? Yes of course but let's do what the Bible says to do. Nothing more and nothing less.
As time passes, the more and more I see prophecy coming true. Earthquakes in various places. Famines, pestilences, wars and rumors of wars. People are evil, lovers of themselves. Homosexuality is all over the place. Folks are raising up teachers and Pastors who tell then about phony grace, health, wealth and prosperity. They can't endure the sound doctrine. False prophets have infiltrated the church. You know what? We are still only in the beginning of birthing pains. There is still many prophecies in the Bible yet to be fulfilled. What an exciting time to be a follower of Christ! Why you might ask? Because for thousands of years folks have longed to see this time and we get to be a part of it and live through it.
In conclusion, if you really want things to change in 2016, start doing what we are suppose to do which is to fear the Lord and obey His commands. That is mankind's all. We know what needs to be done. Right now as I am writing this things are coming to mind. Feed and minister to the poor. Visit widows and orphans in their afflictions. Visit prisoners. Make disciples and teach them God's ways. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let's not abuse God's grace and let's not be lazy. People are going to hell.
My prayer for next year is and will be that God breaks my heart for the lost even more. To be honest, I still don't care enough. I want to be bold for the Lord, careless for the Lord and dangerous for the Lord. I ask anyone who reads this to pray for me. Ask the Lord to give me wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and discernment on how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Please pray for my ministry. I would really appreciate it very much.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Life breaks us, but God makes us stronger

Matthew 11:28 - 30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifice of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am a broken vessel.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 

Have you ever looked back at your life and realized it God who kept you alive? When I think about it and remember the times that I should been dead I know now it was not coincidence, or by chance or by luck. It was all God! What He has ordained to live, cannot die. In the book of John, there were many times when the people wanted to arrest, stone or kill Jesus but it was not His time. As long as God has a plan for your life, you cannot die. When God says YES, nobody can say no. 

There times when I've had knives put to my side and threatened to be killed right on the spot. I've been shot at. I grew up in a rough neighborhood full of gangs, drugs and violence. I lived in literal war zones. I use to be in the US Army and I was stationed in South Korea on two occasions. The Korean War never officially ended because there was no peace treaty singed, only an armistice. Both times I was there the North wanted to start something. The troops who are there are only a speed bump to slow down the North while reinforcements come. So my life expectancy was short. I was also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. Both times I was put in some situations that threatened my life. But God had a plan for me. I consumed things that could've and should've killed me. I put myself in situations and surroundings that could've been the death of me. I use to live recklessly and putting myself in danger because I didn't want to live anymore. I had enough of what this world had to offer. But God!

But God had a plan and purpose for my life and He wasn't done with me yet. He said that He could use a guy like me in His ranks. The world had chewed me up and spit me out but God saw potential in me. I don't live for this world anymore because I now live for God.  I am far from being perfected and I still do have some rough spots. I am a mess, but I am His mess now. I kid you not, I hit rock bottom back in 2013. I had to be broken down in order to be built up a new. I gave my life to Christ and my life was radically transformed. I am not the same person I use to be. I can not take any credit for change that has happened because in the past I had tried to change and I failed miserably. I tried counseling, going cold turkey, more counseling, medications, recreational drugs, hobbies, etc. Nothing else worked only Jesus worked. If it weren't true I would not write about it and try to tell the world about it. 

My prayer is that somebody who reads this would give their broken life to Jesus and He will put it all together and also give somebody a new purpose. Come with all your baggage, come dirty, and come with all your brokenness. Jesus will remove the heavy yoke and place His light yoke on you and carry it with you. Jesus will clean you up from all your filthy sins and get down in the deep parts of you that need cleaning. Jesus will put you back together into something beautiful and useful for His purpose. Just like a kintsukuroi pottery. It is the art of repairing a broken pot and repairing with gold or sliver lacquer and understanding it is more beautiful because it has been broken. I will use myself as an example. Before the Lord could use me, He had to break me. It was not pleasant at the time and I did not understand what was going on. I look back on it now and I am glad that it happened because I am better for it. I had to be stripped of everything and I had to land on the Rock so that I could be broken. Once broken, the Lord began to put me back together and mend me. He mended my relationship with Him by forgiving my sins, mended my soul, my mind, my spirit, my life, and my marriage, etc. I can go on. In the eyes of God, I am much more beautiful now that I have been broken and mended by Him. He can do the same for you if you allow Him. He is just a prayer away.