Pastor Lonnie Phillips
When we see Jesus face to face what do we want to hear Him say about our life?
As long as we have breath, we are being called to bring about much fruit that will glorify God our Father and thus prove that we are disciples of Jesus (John 15:8). Many Christians today don't talk about bearing fruit but are focused on trying hard and doing their best. Jesus never called us to try really hard and do our best. He never gave us a call to live in our own strength and lean on ourown understanding.
In fact, Jesus says that the kind of fruit that reveals that we belong to Him can only be produced by being connected to Him continually. Jesus says to us, "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.(John 15:5)" Are we a people that are being intentional about staying connected to Jesus who is the vine?
Staying connected to Jesus is not about you and me trying really hard to be good. Staying connected is not about always thinking positive thoughts as oppossed to negative thoughts. Secularism that has infiltrated the church is teaching a humanism that has nothing to do with faith in Jesus Christ.
Staying connected involves you and me walking by faith. In Hebrews 11:6 we read, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
If we are a people that are walking by faith in Jesus, then we are also a people who are continually drawing near to God and seeking Him and His righteousness first and foremost.
Do you believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord? If the answer is yes then the call is to draw close to Him by trusting that He is faithful to speak into your life and lead you day by day. As we come to Him by faith through prayer, digging into the word of God, fellowship within the Body of Christ and taking communion together, there Christ Jesus is, through the Holy Spirit, to lead us in bearing much fruit.
Then when our time comes to see Jesus face to face, we will realize that living by faith was worth it because we will hear our Savior and Lord's voice say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I wil set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.(Matthew 25:23)"
Come, let us Pursue Jesus first and foremost and stay connected to Him, day by day!!!
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
Jesus says to all of His disciples in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men."
I recently came off of an 8 day detox where I couldn't have any salt. My body groaned, and I must confess I grumbled a lot. I don't think I have ever been without salt until this detox.
When Jesus declares to His followers that we are the salt of the earth, he is declaring both identity and purpose over us. Salt was used as a purifying agent to preserve as well as to provide taste.
The only way we can walk as salt of the earth is if we are walking in the truth. Satan knows that if he can corrupt the church with lies and falsehood then the church stops walking in its purpose and calling.
The Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, is the agent by which God's people are made the salt of the earth. He is also the one who anchors us in the truth of God's word to lead us in holiness and righteousness.
When we stop depending on Him, who dwells in us and desires to fill us daily, we lose our taste and will become corruptible. When we completely surrender to His ways by declaring, "Not my will but your will be done." then we are purified and reflect Jesus to a lost world that needs Him desperately.
The fruit of the Spirit found in Galtatians 5 which is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we manfiest the fruit of the Spirit we are being the salt of the earth and are in essence declaring to the world, "Taste and see that the Lord is Good!"
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
Be careful not to mistaken the Social Justice Movement and Socialism that is gaining steam as being Christian.
This movement, I believe, is a form of counterfeit that is not lifting the name of Jesus high. It is a movement that loves to call for protests and resistance while embracing all kinds of sexual immorality and corruption. It is a movement that loves to hold the peace sign while hurling insults at their enemies. It is a movement that does not proclaim Jesus as being the way and the truth but a way and a truth (John 14:6).
When God called for His Tabernacle to be built, He was looking for people within the nation of Israel who were being stirred to give to take part. He continued to call for people, who were being stirred to do the work, to step forward. The Father was not looking to make all the people give and all the people work on the tabernacle but those who were being stirred to do so. (Exodus 35-36) He was after a freewill offering.
God does not demand and force the rich to give to the poor. Nor does He overlook the poor and side with the rich. The Church is the body of Christ and is to reflect the Father's heart to the world.
What makes God's love so incredible is that He gives us free will to choose whether we will be a generous and kind people or we choose to be greedy and sef-serving. To confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is to become a generous and kind people.
Socialism has the appearance of something good because it seeks to help out the little man or the person in need or being overlooked. However, underneath the veils of this ideology is that which forces a people to submit to the few who come to power. Be careful! Just because something sounds good for all the people can be something that actually will place all the people in a great bondage whereby Taskmasters are put in charge to enforce laws that are wicked, immoral and unmerciful.
The Church of Jesus Christ isn't a socialist institution and never was meant to be. I am hearing of more and more church leaders that are embracing socialism and this social justice movement. Be careful lest we be deceived and our love grows cold. Political ideologies are not the answer for our nation but hearts that are changed by the power of God through Jesus Christ.
Pastor Lonnie Phillips
Joshua has been on my mind this morning. God's call to lead and influence His people weighed heavy on him. Yet, the Lord spoke to Joshua saying, "Only Be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. (Joshua 1:7)"
Whatever your sphere of influence is whether at home or at work, there is a calling upon you to follow Christ and reflect Him in both your words and actions. This will be difficult because God knows that to walk in your calling is to come against the forces of darkness. To pray God's kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven is to recognize there will be conflict. The world will not cheer you on, that is a given, yet the Holy Spirit will give you power to stand in Jesus Name.
Do not allow the world to speak truth into you but stand in the truth of Jesus Christ and His word. Do not succomb to the morality of this world but let the Holiness of God and what is right in His sight permeate your innermost being. Do not allow the world's hatred, unkindness and complaining spirit to influence the way you live but let the Spirit lead and direct your steps in the midst of this darkness.
Therefore, as the Lord spoke to Joshua, He also says to each of His followers in Christ, "Be strong and very courageous." Meditate on God's word and obey His amazing and good commands (Joshua 1:8). There is victory in Christ Jesus to all who follow Him!
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.