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The Heart of David Ministries

Now Is The Time

Husbands and Wives

As I was studying this afternoon, I read a portion of Scripture that I had read several times before and had never really seen this particular part.  God has a way of revealing things within His Word to us when He wants us to see it.  We can read a passage every day and still get something different out of it.

The portion that I will discuss is found in 1 Peter 3:7, where Peter is talking to husbands.  “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives.  Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.  She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life.  Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (NLT)

There are many things that I can discuss from this verse alone, but there are just a couple that I want to point out.

Number 1: There are still many churches that teach that women are not equal with men and should not be allowed to do certain things in ministry.   This is even more evident within other religions such as Islam.  Women are treated as second-class people and are even seen as a man’s property in many cases.  They do not have a voice and are never allowed to speak up with a man in their presence.   Even within Christianity as it began to spread forgot the beginnings when Christ had women following Him and Paul had many women deacons of the churches that he planted.

When one gets married, they become ONE with their partner.   This verse states clearly “She is your EQUAL partner in God’s gift of new life.”  Being one in God’s eyes shows us that women have just as much power and ability to do for Christ within His Kingdom as men do.  When it comes to marriage both partners have equal say in all decisions.  If it comes to a point where one party is ruling and making all decisions, then there comes anger, bitterness, and sometimes even divorce.  Anyone knows in any kind of relationship that it is not healthy for one party to be more in control than another, and this is most true within marriage.

Number 2: Men are called to do more than women here.  Men are to live with understanding – and this can be very difficult a lot of the time.  Men are called to love their wives – when men love their wives the way that we are called to do, then women will naturally respect us and will be our biggest cheerleader.  The last line of this verse does give us a glimpse at reasons why our prayers go unanswered sometimes – “Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”  We, as men, are called to treat our wives with dignity, honor, respect, and love.  When we do this, our prayers will be answered.  If we do not treat our wives properly, our prayers may not be answered the way that we would like them to be.

The main takeaways from this: Men and women within marriage are EQUAL.  There is no distinction in God’s eyes (Galatians 3).  Men are to treat their wives with the love that Christ extends to us.

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New Season

It has been a while since I have posted on here.  I have been busy in different areas of my life, but I am now able to update on here much more often.

As most of you know I recently got married at the beginning of June and since then there has been a new time of adjustment and change in my personal life as I am getting used to having a wife and step-children.   Through this time of change, I have noticed a few things about myself that I have not wanted to acknowledge until now.

When I attended The Salvation Army in Norfolk, many people made comments that I was “stuck up” or did not want to talk to them.  I always held to the fact that if I did not talk to someone, I was usually busy doing something else and either did not see the person or had most of my attention on what I was doing.   It was not until I was married and living with my new family that I had to face the reality that perception was not always in someone else’s mind.   My wife pointed out that there are times that the children have tried talking to me and that I looked like I was ignoring them, when all along I was focused on something else the entire time.

I want to take this and apply this to our Christian walk.  How many times have we been extremely focused on our everyday life, our work, our family, our friends, facebook, etc, and missed the voice of God during this time?   God states it plainly: “Be STILL and know that I am God.”   We cannot be still when we have overcrowded our schedules and drowned Him out of our lives.

Our schedules need to be centered around Him and not ourselves.  We need to remember this more and more each day as we strive to grow closer to Him.

My next post I will go a little deeper on this subject than here – I just wanted to update here since I have not for a while and to get your palette wet again for what God has in store for you.

Christians – PLEASE WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

The church has been silent long enough. Many people have come out on both sides of the issues, but it is time to look at what Scripture says and not one’s personal or political beliefs. It is nauseating the amount of people that follow the “conservative” view of things that is against abortion, but would shoot and kill someone because they touch or harm their possessions. On the other side it is just as nauseating that the “liberals” that believe in killing babies in the form of abortion, are against having guns that could take someone’s life.

Christians – WAKE UP!!!!

This has nothing to do with guns. This has nothing to do with owning or not owning a gun. This has nothing to do with politics. This has everything to do with a heart issue and a sin issue. If one claims Christ and would be willing to take someone’s life because they touched a possession that we are called not to store up on earth, then we are not living for Christ. That person is no better than any of the ones that are killing in schools and in the streets.

Before pointing fingers at others, take a long look at yourself and why you believe what you believe. Is it because it is something you have heard so long from someone in a pulpit giving their own opinions and you haven’t, like the Bereans, checked it out for yourself? Is it because you can’t tell the difference between someone’s opinion on talk-radio from true, Bible-based teaching? Is it because the political party that you follow says one thing so you have to believe what they do or you feel like you’ve abandoned their beliefs? Or, are your beliefs totally in-line with Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life? If you believe that killing is ok, then what you believe is not in line with the Word of God – (Ten Commandments).

The Bible does say that we are to be willing to die for our families. This does mean physical death. It also says that to live is Christ and to die is gain. So, why do our lives here matter so much to us? As Christians, we should know that when our lives end, our assignment here is over and we are present with Christ in Heaven.

As men, we are supposed to protect our families. This does include being willing to die doing so. However, this does not mean killing someone unless it’s the very last resort, not doing it as a first resort because we have a gun to “protect” ourselves.

Quoting my Pastor, Mark Bailey: “We say we are willing to die for our family. But, are we willing to live for them?” This is where we need to be focused on. Not on the gun “laws” in this country. Not on things that make us fearful. We should not fear if we know that God is in control. We need to be dying to ourselves and living for our family, guiding and leading them towards Christ and not in fear.

Christians, let us turn our focus off of political parties, off of our own opinions, off of ourselves, and back on Christ where it should have been all along. Let us keep our eyes focused on Christ and His will and call on our lives. We are to love each other, including our enemies. Maybe if we began to love each other the way Christ calls us to love again, then our value on life period would change.

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, who we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” 1 John 4:7-8,20-21 NLT

New Year, New You

At the beginning of every New Year many people make resolutions that they will attempt to keep to make themselves a new person.   Studies show that the vast majority of these resolutions are broken within a week of the date they are made.

Why do we make these resolutions?  Why do we feel that we have to wait until the beginning of the year on our calendars to begin making changes within us?  One reason why this is done is the same as the reason why we respond differently within different churches during the service.  Some churches are very loud and emotional, where others are laid back as a form of reverence to God.  Each of these things is cultural and not necessarily right or wrong.  The way that we are raised and the things we learn from those around us go a long way in determining how we act and react in almost every situation around us.

Do you have certain things you do on certain occasions and dates?   Think about why you do these things and sometimes think its strange when you see someone else not doing the same thing that you do.   Every one of us has been raised differently than the other.  Education standards and levels may have been different.  Home life was different for everyone.  One thing that we, as humans, are guilty of is: when we someone do or say something that we do not agree with or deem “stupid” or “ignorant” is to label the person as those things and not just their decisions.

One “resolution” that Christians should make every year, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to keep for life, is to learn to love everyone, despite our differences.  We need to take the necessary steps to live out our faith in Christ in such a way that everyone around us knows that there is something different within us, and that they may want to have a part to do in that.  We need to allow God to make the changes within us, regardless of what time of year it is.  We can become the men and women that God has called us to if we allow Him to work in our lives.

Our main “resolution” needs to be: to continue growing in our walk with Christ, to walk in obedience to His Word, to spend time in His Word daily, to spend time daily in prayer, to love others the way He has called us to live.

Thanksgiving in a World of Entitlement

“Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends.” -Steven Furtick

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 NLT

If one thinks about this generation, one can see that a good majority feel that they are entitled to everything they want and when they want it.  In a world with social media, comparisons with friends and/or celebrities, television and movies showing new and cool gadgets and clothes, video games coming out at a very high pace, when one has an entitlement mindset, they feel like all of that has to be theirs and will push and prod until they get it.

This is becoming more and more true for our children and teenagers today.  They see the latest, “greatest” thing, and will push and prod their parents until they finally give in and spend money that they do not have just so their children will get off of their backs, and sometimes feel that they are a good parent because they’re making their children happy.  Most of the time, within a week to a month, the newness of this thing has worn off and the children/teenager is wanting something more, never feeling gratitude for what they have and what their parents can comfortably afford to provide for them.

How do we, as Christian parents and leaders within the Church combat this sense of entitlement?  I believe this is a complex issue that does need to be addressed Biblically and situationally.  There are standards that God’s children should have.  One of the deepest, yet simplest things we can do as followers of Christ is to have an attitude of gratitude.  The first step in combating entitlement in our children and within the church is to live with a spirit of gratitude ourselves.  Let others see that no matter what your circumstances that you can remain grateful for everything you have, and sometimes do not have.

Another thing we as parents and/or leaders need to do to combat this sense of entitlement is to have solid boundaries and rules about asking for things.  (My personal thing would be if a child asks more than 3 times and your answer is either “no” or “I will think about it”, then it will be an automatic no regardless if I was going to eventually say yes or not).  We need to stand firm against entitlement and rebellion.  We need to show that whatever we have now, we can be grateful, and not expect more.

We give gifts and things because we love our children.  It should never be because they feel they can have everything they want, or because someone else has it, or because someone at school is picking on them for not having what they have (that is an entire blog itself there), or because they wear you down by their continual asking.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2017, as you sit as family and give thanks, sit and talk with each other and find at least 10 things (not material things) that each of you are grateful for.  See if anyone that feel within your family that has that entitlement mindset can name things they are truly grateful for.  This will be an eye-opening thing for everyone.

(And please be safe if you are going shopping today/ tomorrow.  Remember the why behind the what you are buying.  Is it for any of the reasons above?  If so, will you still spend money you do not have on it?)

Christians – Listen Up!!!

  • I will begin with a disclaimer that much of what I say here will not make me popular, and you may probably disagree with a lot of it, but, it needs to be said.

 

As we all know by now there is a great controversy going on within the NFL.  Players, mostly African American, kneel when the American National Anthem is played.  They have given their reasons, and they have fallen on deaf ears within the White American establishment, and, unfortunately within the church.

The President of the United States made a comment that has caused shock-waves throughout much of the country calling these players that kneel “sons-of-b*****s” and that they need to be fired.  He believes, and many of his supporters believe, that by their kneeling for the National Anthem, that they are disrespecting the flag and the men and women of the military that have given their lives for our freedoms.

Even those that claim Christ have chimed in to this controversy, and not all in a good way.  Just last night my roommate, a claiming Christian, and a staunch Trump supporter that believes he can do no wrong, yelled from the den as soon as I got off the phone that “All these m-f-ing black football players need to get their racist a**es fired and go back to the hood where they came from.”  This echoes what I have read on a lot of professing Christians social media, many without using profanity, but nonetheless, they are taking sides in a controversy that far outweighs them.

I’m going to take a stance here that I really want you all to think about.  IF these men were doing this to disrespect the flag and our nation, what does that have to do with us?  IF these men are doing this to bring awareness to the social injustices against African Americans as they claim they are, what are we doing about it?

First and foremost, all country’s have indued within it’s citizens what to do when the National Anthem is played.  Here in America it is to stand at attention with your hand on your heart and either sing along or stand in silent respect.   I have been to numerous sporting events where, yes people may stand, but they are anything but silent during this time.  And, how many people who condemn the ones kneeling are sitting on their couches or lazy-boys watching while the Anthem is being sung?

If you think Biblically on this, think back to Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.  The King had set a national standard that they were to bow down to an idol of him when the music played.  These three men would not do it because they saw it for what it was, idol worship, and would bow before no one but Jehovah God.  They took a stand for what they believed in.  We have gotten so caught up in what the flag and country means that we have made those things into an idol in and of themselves.

Christians – it is now time to “put up or shut-up” and to “put your money where your mouth is.”  Stop taking sides with either side of this.  The only side you should be taking is Christ’s.  His side is this – PRAY for the situation.  PRAY for all the ones kneeling.  PRAY for the leadership of this country.  PRAY for UNITY within the church and the country.  PRAY for everyone within the country.  PRAY for your ENEMIES.  STOP complaining.  STOP putting people down.  STOP thinking God is telling you to stand on one side of this or another.  STOP bring others down to immaturity.  Point others to Jesus and His Word, not your opinions of the situation.  Point others to PRAYER and show them that you are committed to doing the same. 

When the Church is UNITED in PRAYER and seeking HIS heart, that is the ONLY way things will change.  Your opinions will not change the situation.  Your bad-mouthing the situation will not change it.  Your boycotting games will not change it.  Your agreeing with the Presidents ill-comments will not change it.  ONLY Jesus can change it, but He has to first change each of us true believers first to His Image.

Should Christians want anyone dead?

I usually do not write about the subject that I am writing about today, but yesterday I was told something that really brought me to the point that it is warranted.

There is a pastor that is calling for all Christians to put a sticker on their cars stating that ISIS needs to be killed off and taken off of this planet.  When that statement was presented to me, I told the one making the statement that he was no better than ISIS is, because all they want is to kill Christians.  Then this person called me UnAmerican because I felt this way.

Is what ISIS doing horrible?  Yes.  Don’t misread me saying that it is not.  My personal feelings about anyone is straight from the Bible: “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)  Everyone should have the same opportunity presented them to come to Christ.  We should not want anyone dead but do anything possible to prevent that and to win them to Christ.  I also believe that if God did not want the Muslim people on this earth that He would not have allowed Ishmael to live in the wilderness.

If we as Christians continually talk that we want people dead, (1) we are no better than they are, (2) we are going back to how the early church did and that is by killing people that did not agree with our relationship with Christ.  Really think about these things.

The other point I want to make here is that just because someone doesn’t quite agree with your ideals and opinions does not make them UnAmerican.  Unlike many people, my hope is not in America.  My hope is not in any part of our government.  If anyone has placed their hope in their country or government – they are far away from what God wants.  (Should we be glad we live in a free country?  Of course, but hoping in our country and government is misplaced.)  MY HOPE is in CHRIST ALONE.  ONLY HE can heal this nation and this world.  ONLY HE can truly do anything about the problems within the church.  ONLY HE can save.

So, if me placing my hope in Christ and not in the country makes me UnAmerican, then I guess I am.  If me not agreeing with the statement that we need to wipe a people off of the planet based on their beliefs is UnAmerican, then I guess I am.  It is not a matter of being UnAmerican or not.  It is a matter of where our heart is with Christ and if we are living in obedience to His Word.

What we say matters

There is a saying that everyone has heard, especially as children, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  How wrong this statement has proven to be to many people.  Yes, there are some people that have hardened themselves to anything and nothing that is said will ever “hurt” them, but, for the majority of us, someone who is close to us or we looked up to in some form or fashion has said something that has really cut us deep to the core.  Rather it have been said on purpose to see you brought down and hurt, or it said unknowing that it would hurt, the words had been said.

Some people thrive on saying things that cut people around them down.  These same people will find as many faults in you as possible just to find something that can destroy you and some form or fashion make themselves look good (to themselves) in the process.  I personally have been through this for many years.  Not only did I grow up with this to an extent, I have had someone who claims to be a believer in Christ do nothing but try to find fault in anything I do and think they are perfect.  This is something that should never be, especially from someone who claims Christ as their Lord and Savior.

As followers of Jesus, our words are to be lifting each other up, for encouraging, for pointing people to Christ.  Our words should never be putting anyone down – regardless of what our personal feelings may be.  If we have negative feelings toward anyone, we need to bring those to God in prayer and move on.  (We see this too often in our churches today, especially when it comes to anything political.  Our job is to pray for our leaders.  Period.  Not hold grudges or put them down because we do not agree with what they do or say.)  We should not be going around trying to find fault in anyone, but look for the good and positive and draw that out of them.

The world has too much negativity and back-biting for people who claim Christ to be joining in with them.  As I look at people I know that have left the church, I see some of the things that they say have driven them away.  This is one of the main reason that they point to.

We are called to be set apart from this world.  We are called to be holy in all that we say and do.  How can anyone claim to be living this life when they are obviously not following to what Scripture says about the matter?

Speak life – reap life

Speak evil or hate – reap evil or hate

Our words matter so much more than we think they do.  Relationships can be destroyed or relationships can be mended depending on our words.

(One word of advice though – If your words and actions do not line up, check your actions, get your mind and actions in alignment with the Word of God.  Let Him lead your every step and thought. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.”)

Can You Hear Me Now?

As I was sitting meditating on Scripture that God had led me to, there came to my mind several things that I had struggled with in the past.  Through talking with a close friend, I realized it was Satan trying to pull me back into his trap because he knows that God has a plan for my life.  As I let those thoughts go, God began to speak to me in a still small voice.  He began revealing to me things that I need to let go of and give completely to Him.  He showed me that certain people are in my life as a lesson in how I will need to interact with people of the same kind.

God confirmed within me a few things that I have been questioning to an extent.  One, He has called me to be a Preacher and a Teacher of His Word.  He has been working in my mind, my heart, and my life the past few months pointing me towards this direction.  The more I pray, the more I study, and the more I surrender and obey, the more I am able to hear His Voice and guidance.

Sometimes people that claim Christ never hear from Him because they do not spend enough time with Him alone.  They do not spend time in His Word outside of the little they are taught within the Church walls.  They do not live a life of obedience and true worship.  They may pray at meals, at bedtime, or when things get tough.  But, they never experience the fullness of all that Christ has for them.

Christians, we need to spend more time with Jesus.  More time in His Word.  More time living a life of worship and obedience to His Word.  We need to be constantly seeking Him in everything we do.  We need to cultivate a lifestyle of prayer – which includes listening for His Voice and following that Voice.

The Holy Spirit dwells within us once we surrender our lives to His Lordship and accept Him as our Savior.  True Worship is complete obedience to the Spirit’s guidance every step of the day.  That is what Jesus is alluding to in John 4:23-24.

If we will quiet ourselves long enough – we will be able to hear God’s Voice and be able to discern His Voice from our own thoughts and the things that Satan may try to throw our way.

Who of you are with me?  Who will quiet themselves long enough to hear God’s still, small voice?  And, who will obey that voice in true Worship?

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