Does God Go to Your Church?

Church 1You might be asking, “How would I know?”

Are people accepting God, and His message?  Are people getting healed?  Are there words of prophecy, or of knowledge being spoken?  Are people walking away touched by God and filled spiritually from hearing God’s word?  I once quit going to a church because I left hungrier for God then when I went in.

Or is your church more of a social club?  Maybe your church is popular and therefore has large numbers attending and people think, “Now that’s a good church, because so many people go there.”  But is it good?  Does God go there?  A good church should not be measured by the number of attendees.

If you leave church hungry, or wanting more, then perhaps it’s time to start looking for a church that God goes to.  Don’t just go to the same church, because that is what you have always done, unless of course you can say God goes there.  I know, it’s hard to change, but go to a church that you can get excited about, and you want everyone you know, or meet, to experience God in the ways you have.

As times get harder, and they will, the only ones to make it will be those who know God.  Go to a church where you can meet him and get to know him.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Descending Order of Predominance

Can Label 1According to our government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food packages have to list the ingredients, but in a particular order.  Here is the rule:

INGREDIENT LISTS 1. The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance.

Great!  So, what does that mean?  It means all of the ingredients, in that container of food, has to be listed in order of which ingredient’s total weight is the most to the least.  I would put it this way: the predominant ingredient is listed first.  I actually looked this information up.  (I know.  I need a life!)

If someone was to list the ingredients in your life what would be the predominant one?  Greed?  Lust?  Power?  I hope not, but looking at how some people, whose lives are lived out in front of us these days, I know it is true their predominant ingredient would not be good.

I strive, to live my life in such a way, so the first ingredient would be God.  It’s hard!  My flesh’s sinful nature keeps trying to reduce the amount of God in my life.  Knowing this, I purpose my life, in a way, that focuses on God as much as possible.  I talk to him throughout my day, and read his word.  (I enjoy reading “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson.  It’s a modern English Bible translation.)  I also spend time with others who believe as I do.

If this is your desire as well, then go for it.  Don’t get weary from trying your best.  God knows your heart’s desire, and remember this, his grace is sufficient, and new every morning.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Call of Duty

A hurt soul needs a mender.
One rejected needs acceptance.
A depressed one needs to be encouraged.
One feeling like a waste needs to know their value.
A person struggling with an addiction needs a cheerleader.
Someone down and out needs a break.
One near the edge needs hope.
A person ill needs healing.
Someone lonely needs a friend.

peopleThe list, could go on.  The truth is, these individuals need Jesus.  Most do not think to turn to him, because they can’t see him, but they can see you.  In a time, when our world is in so much pain, those who know Jesus, and has the hope he provides, needs to answer the call of duty.

God has placed you where he needs you.  You’re the one, who can take the time, speak a word, or give a hug.  You may never know the impact of taking a risk of faith to say, go or do, but one day you will.  “Do not be afraid,” the angel of the Lord would say to you.  The more you reach out, the more you say, and the more you come along side someone, you will find it strengthens you, encourages you, and increases your faith to do more. God will lead you, as you are his servant, saving lives.

Keep one thing in mind; there was someone, just like you, who took the time to be there for you, and shared the love of Jesus with you.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

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The Storm Whisperer

sailing-in-a-storm-frank-botello

Sailing in a Storm by Frank Botello

“Son, let’s take the boat out for a nice afternoon of sailing.”

“Okay, Father.”

They boarded, pushed off, and stated enjoying their time together.  Then, as if out of nowhere, the skies darkened, and a violent storm was upon them. The family boat was tossed around as if it was a canoe.  The father struggled to steer in the mighty wind.

I’m a captain of large ships!  I have sailed the oceans and have faced many storms.  This one shouldn’t be a problem he thought.

Then a huge wave slammed the side of the boat knocking the father to the left where he hit his head and became unconscious.  His son watched in disbelief while coward up in the bottom.

“Father! Father!  What do I do?  I’m scared!”  He yelled, not knowing if his father could even hear him over the roar of the ferocious wind.

Many hours later the father lifted his head.  He saw the seas were calm, and the sun was about to set.  He also recognized the shore line, and realized they were close to home.

My son!  Where’s my son?  He got to his knees and then staggered to his feet.  He turned to survey the boat looking for his son.  Then he turned and found him in the last place he expected.

“Son!  I can’t believe it.  How?”

“Father, when you were knocked out, so was my hope of surviving.  Then I crawled to the wheel, and used it to pull myself up.  I gripped it tighter than I had ever hung on to anything before.  I was so scared.  You had taught me how to sail, but not how to survive a storm.  Then, I recalled the story in the Bible where Jesus calmed the storm after the disciples woke him up.  So I prayed.  Well, more like yelled for his help, and he answered.  It wasn’t immediately, and I wasn’t even sure he had heard me, but eventually Jesus got us through the storm.”

 

I assure you, 2018 will present its own set of storms.  I have started giving mine names like they do hurricanes!  The true story is found in Mark 4:35-41.  Jesus had told His disciples, “Let’s go to the other side.”  If Jesus wants to take you to the other side then guess what?  You will make it!  Have faith.  And when Jesus answers your cry for help, in the midst of a storm, he will cause the wind to run out of breath!  Don’t try to get to the other side on your own, no matter how many storms you have been through before.  You still need the Storm Whisperer.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

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EVOL

LOVE 105Would you recognize LOVE if you saw it?  Are you sure?

Joh 3:20  Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.
Joh 3:19  “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.
Joh 3:18  Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Joh 3:17  God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

If you could only see God’s LOVE for you.  His LOVE for you, cannot be measured, for there is no unit of measurement adequate.  His LOVE is so vast one cannot see from one side of it to the other.  His LOVE for you is so powerful.  His LOVE can conquer all!  His LOVE never fails.

Also, God uses His people, all around the world, to show you His LOVE for you the best they can.  Know God’s LOVE, for it is perfect.  Seek it out as if it’s the greatest treasure on earth…for it is!  Ask God to help you recognize it.  Start now, for tis the season.  For God’s LOVE, Jesus, came to you in Bethlehem.  Born in a manger.

Look for God’s LOVE as if your life depends on it, for it does.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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Do You Know the Jesus of Christmas?

Christmas Card 1After Jesus was born to Mary, Satan used King Herod to kill all the boys in the land under the age of two.  It was a shotgun attempt to kill Jesus, the Son of God.  For Satan heard the same stories and rumors others did, but he didn’t know for sure who, or where Jesus was.

In the movie, The Young Messiah there is a line spoken by young Jesus.  Jesus looked at Satan and said, “You don’t know who I am do you?”  I’m sure Satan saw glimpses of Jesus, but probably too, couldn’t believe that God would send His son, to earth, as a child.

Satan didn’t know who Jesus was until Jesus was baptized.  For when Jesus came up out of the water there was a loud voice from heaven saying, “…this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mat. 3:17)  Afterwards, Jesus went into the dessert to fast and pray for 40 days, then Satan tried to tempt Him.  If Jesus had given in, God’s plan would have been killed.

Your whole life, God has been trying to reveal His Son to you.  Do you believe it?  Have you accepted God’s plan?  Your whole life Satan has been trying to kill God’s plan for you.  It’s true.

Please, take a moment this Christmas.  Get quiet, and look at the Christmas cards around you.  It’s more than a holiday.  It’s more than a story.  And it’s definitely more than a time to go into debt!  It’s the beginning of a love story.  God’s love for you.  Accept the Jesus of Christmas.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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The Right Wood, Nails, and Man, Became the Perfect Savior

20171209_162330Jesus, being the son of a carpenter, learned all about wood.  How to pick out the right kind perfect for its intended use.  He was shown by his father how to cut it, sand it, and assemble it so it could serve its purpose.  Jesus also became acquainted with nails.  Where to put them, and what size was needed.

When Jesus grew up, he didn’t continue in his earthly father’s business, but being the Son of God, changed over to his Heavenly Father’s business.  He didn’t get away from wood, or nails.  In fact, He needed them.  When he saw the cross, on which he would soon die, he recognized it was perfect for its intended purpose.  Then he saw the nails, “They’ll hold.”

In the process of dying, Jesus returned to being a carpenter.  In his death, he became the Savior.  Through the use of wood and nails, he built a connection, between God and man that would hold for eternity.  Jesus did that for you, out of LOVE.

Col 1:22  But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. (MSG)

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Accidently on Purpose

Know God

Your coworker took time to listen to your struggles.
You found an envelope with cash and an anonymous  note, “To help you out.”
A man pulled over and changed your tire not asking for anything in return.
A woman, at the light, handed you five dollars.
They stopped and helped you pick up items that had fallen through your bag and then carried them to your destination.
A person shared their umbrella, which was made for one, but they made sure you stayed dry.
They stopped to hold the door, they gave you directions with a smile, they paid for your coffee in the drive thru.

Random acts of kindness?
Perhaps.

Or were they actually people, just like you,

who have fallen in love with God?

And so desperately wanted you to know Him,

that they went out of their way to show you what He would do in that same moment?

 

They didn’t preach.

They didn’t judge.

They didn’t condemn.

They LOVED!

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Is This It?

20171122_144820

The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

A Better Way to Live

sin

NOUN

  1. an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law:
    “a sin in the eyes of God” ·

synonyms: immoral act · wrong · wrongdoing · act of evil/wickedness · transgression · crime · offense · misdeed · misdemeanor
· trespass · wickedness · wrongdoing · wrong · evil · evildoing · sinfulness
· immorality · iniquity · vice · crime

In a time where one’s, thought to be hidden sins, are being exposed like an uncontrollable leak in a dam.  In a time where an accusation brings quick judgement and sentencing handed down before all the facts are known.  You would think realizing that everything done in darkness will be exposed, would spur one to find a better way to live.

The truth though is we are sold a big fat lie by the devil.  That lie is: You won’t be the one that will get caught.  Guess what?  The devil is probably the one that will tell on you.  Why?  Because he wants to hurt you beyond belief.  I write about it often:  John 10:10 – Satan comes to kill steal and destroy!  Satan HATES you!  He can’t stand you, because YOU are made in the image of God, and he hates God.

A better way to live?  Sure.  Don’t sin.  It’s that simple.  Okay, it’s not, but you can actually learn, or train yourself to sin less.

  1. Capture every thought and bring it into captivity.  In other words, if a thought is about doing something wrong (sin) then realize it, and choose not to.  Love instead.  Do the right thing.  Say the right thing.
  2. Put on God’s bullet proof vest. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  Imagine a policeman these days not wearing his bullet proof vest.

Eph 6:11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.
Eph 6:12  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Eph 6:13  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Eph 6:14  Truth, righteousness,
Eph 6:15  peace,
Eph 6:16  faith,
Eph 6:17  and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
Eph 6:18  In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (MSG)

These are just a couple of purposeful things to do to live a better life.  Here are a few more:  Turn away wrath with love.  When one speaks out against you, smile and love them anyway.  When someone proclaims they are living a life you know is not pleasing to God, please don’t judge and sentence them, but accept them, and love them.  That is not the same as accepting their wrong doing.  Calling out sin on Facebook isn’t going to show anyone there is a better way to live either.  The world needs to see Love.  Jesus is Love.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved