Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When God Blows up in da house!

When God Blows up in da house! I was reading in Acts 2 today as part of my Bible reading plan. I was struck by the flow of events. There was the group of Christians praying, waiting for the Promised Holy Spirit and power. When that moment came there was great happiness and rejoicing. They were enjoying the gift they had been given...so much so that people thought they were drunk! Awesome!! :)

But there is an almost immediate and I believer very important transition. All of a sudden the Christians that are enjoying God's Presence are aware of those who are not. Peter stands and begins to preach. He begins to preach the good news. He begins to direct people to God's Word. He directs people to Jesus. He tells people that their sin has crucified Jesus, but that He is now risen from the dead. He tells them that they can experience forgiveness through repenting of their sins. That day 3000 people became Christians...an instant mega-church. Awesome!! :)

While it is certainly true that a person can live an Acts 2 life everyday, there are also special moments in history where God who is already extravagant in His grace and love towards us, enjoys pouring out even more of Himself. I think it is SO important that moves of God have these two elements. We should enjoy God's Spirit. We should drink deeply and lose ourselves in worship and proclamation of Him. But as Peter and the others remembered...there was a purpose for the power. They had been waiting for this at the command of Jesus before setting off to fulfill the Great Commission. In other words..the people in the street who didn't know what was happening; they were the purpose of God's richness that day. When people caught up in a move of God forget the people on the street...the move moves on.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Read this testimony from someone who just graduated from our Basic Training discipleship class.

"I came to West Shore with a broken spirit and totally FAITHLESS. Then came Basic Training Discipleship Class; through this I developed knowledge of what God did for me, has for me and where to go to find it. During these lessons I developed faith, hope and a sense of determination of discovering my PURPOSE IN LIFE." - Denise Knight

That my friends is what it is all about...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Need and Power

Need and Power. I was spending some time in Luke chapter nine this morning. As I was reading about how Jesus gave the disciples authority for deliverance, power for healing and command for preaching, the command for taking nothing with them stood out to me. They were told to take nothing with them for comfort or their own provision.

Think about that. How often do we wait to act until we feel we've prepared enough, trained enough, saved enough? They were sent out in such a way that they were completely at the mercy of the provision of the Lord directly and through other people. I have never been an advocate of asceticism (the belief that you need to be completely poor to follow Jesus), but it makes me wonder if there is a connection between need and power. God is always leading us to a place of trusting Him more. He wants us to trust Him with our emotions, trust Him with our future, trust Him with our children, trust Him with our careers.

If the disciples had been sent out with the normal travel provisions, they would have been looking for the normal things to happen. Instead they walked expecting the supernatural...looking for it to happen. And if it didn't happen, they would be hungry, cold and hurting.

Perhaps with our finances being blown up the last few years, God is again trying to get us to trust Him with more. So I guess the end result will be based on: are we simply looking to get our old broken ways back, or are we looking for the supernatural breakthrough of the Kingdom of God in our lives? What is your "more" that you need to trust Him with? Do you believe that God can meet you there? Is it ok to let go of the old to make room for the new?

What was the result of the disciples obedience and trust?
Luke 9:6 (TNIV) So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.


Luke 10:17 (TNIV) The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Those things that you think you have no power over, those things that you say "oh that's just how I am" or "I can't help how I feel" all of a sudden the power of those things is broken off of you as the Kingdom of God comes in power through His Spirit.

Trust Him with more today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Does the Lord hate?

Does the Lord hate? Surely not, right? After all, "God is love" is one of our favorite verses. Plus, the idea of God hating anything or anyone would totally go against our picture of a kind grandpa in the sky... Well I was curious, so I did a quick study to see what the answer was...

Let me say briefly that I am not trying to be negative or say that God hates a bunch of people. This was just sparked by the trend to create a made up God based on our cultural values of tolerance, being "nice", never saying anything is wrong, etc. Certainly God is love, and He showed that He loves all of us by dying for us while we still were doing the things that He hates (Ro. 5.8) And you must ask the question of "Why?" while going over these things. Why does God hate them? Perhaps His hatred of these things is rooted in love?

Idolatry/False Gods (well known ones today - Allah, Greek/Roman Pantheon, Gaia (aka "Mother Nature"), Variety of religions that present Jesus as anything other than fully God AND fully man, ancestor worship, various spiritual philosophies) - Deut. 1.27; 7.25; 9.18; 12.31; I Ki. 11

Giving God your scraps and leftovers as offerings - Deut 17.1

Sorcery/Witchcraft/Divination/Tarot/Spiritual Mediums - Deut 18.9

Churches who just play church and go through the motions - Is. 1.14

Divorce - Malachi 2.16

Prostitution - Deut 23.18

Dishonest/Shady Business Practices - Deut 25.14; Prov. 11.1

Injustice in the Courts - Prov. 17.15

Sexual immorality/the practice of homosexuality - Rev. 2.14-15; Lev. 18 ("detests")

When people are arrogant
when people lie
hands that shed innocent blood
When people come up with wicked/perverse plans
When a person is quick to run to evil
people who stir up trouble in church/community/families

Proverbs 6:16-19 (TNIV) There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up dissension in the community.

This is in no way exhaustive, but just a quick look at some of the things the Lord has strong feelings against.