Is there an American Value that must be renounced if we are to walk in victory as Jesus-followers?
If, by separation of Church and State, we mean that we do not proclaim Christ in areas that are run for public use which would be businesses, school districts, governement facilities, then yes we are to renounce this belief system.
When the Lord has placed us in areas of influence where we engage the public then our main responsibility becomes to lift Jesus high through both our actions and words.
The prince of the power of the air which moves in our land, would have us compartmentalize our faith in Christ and confine us to the church and home (Epesians 2:2). If the church be the church of Jesus Christ then disciples are being equipped and sent out every Sunday to go and make disciples in all nations, which includes your place of influence (Matthew 28:18-19).
If you have ever felt intimidated or fearful to speak up and share Christ, that fear is demonic. The desire to speak up is Holy Spirit driven. That desire to pray for someone who is hurting or to share Jesus with the broken is not coming from you but the Spirit of God who dwells in you. He wants to use you as an instrument of grace and truth to share God's love.
When the spirit of fear or intimidation comes knocking at your door remember in that moment that greater is He that lives in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
May every follower of Jesus pray for boldness by being empowered by the Holy Spirit to live and proclaim Jesus to a lost world.
Do you realize that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you were made to bear not just fruit but much fruit?
Belonging to Jesus means that we have been made branches that are connected to the Vine, Jesus. Within this intimate connection with Christ there is nutrition, growth and ultimately fruit. Because Christ's aim with you and me is to bear much fruit and not just some, there will also be seasons of pruning which can be quiet painful.
Christ's aim is not that we become comfortable Christians but that we are children being called to glorify and honor our Father in Heaven. If you find yourself under conviction for words you have uttered or behavior that is not becoming His child then as you confess these sins and receive forgiveness, also give thanks for the pruning He is doing.
We, as Christ's branches, can resist this pruning instead of yield to it. When we we resist Him, we miss the Father's hand upon our lives cutting away at the areas that He knows needs to go. When we yield to Him, we behold His presence and touch on us which will produce much fruit and bring glory to Him who loves us with an everlasting love.(John 15:1-11)
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
My wife went into a Walmart store and asked three different people where she could find a nativity scene. None of the three knew what a nativity scene was let alone where to find one.
I walked into a Walgreens store yesterday looking for any signs that this season is about the birth of Jesus. The only thing I found was reindeer and santa trinkets.
We can get upset and disappointed that the message is being lost or we can recognize it was never the world's responsibility to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, that privilege belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ.
May every day be a day where we look for opportunities to share Jesus with a lost and dying world. Great conversations can take place as we share why our hope and faith rests in One whose birth was in a manger while angels announced His coming to shepherds tending their sheep.
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
The question that needs to be answered today is not whether or not you are a Christian but whether or not you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?
The first time the word, "Christian" is used is in Acts 11:26 when we read, "And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."
The disciples of Jesus Christ were called Christians because their behavior, conduct and speech were like Jesus Christ.
Every believer of Jesus Christ is called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ because Jesus has placed His Spirit within us so that we will reflect Him (Romans 8:9).
Labelling ourselves "Christian" does not make us Christian but it is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, empowering us to behave like Chirst Jesus, Speek like Christ Jesus and conduct ourselves like Christ Jesus, that testify to the world that we are Christian and that Jesus is the Son of God.
Isaiah 50:4 says, "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple."
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
John 14:16-17 - Jesus speaking, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because he abides with you and will be in you."
If there is any confusion in your life today and you need clarity, the Spirit of truth has been given to every believer in Jesus Christ so that you never have to buy in to the notion that you have to figure it out on your own. Thank you Father for sending the Holy Spirit who is with and dwells in every Child of God through Christ Jesus. Amen!