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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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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Is This It?

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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

The Ironic Paradox

PhotographHow do you convince, “believe in someone you can’t see”?  How is it understood?  Why is it easier for some and yet others find ‘having faith in God’ is like believing they could fly around the room.  God knew it would prove difficult, so He gave everyone, yes even you, a “measure of faith” to start life with.

God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3 KJV+)

A pastor once preached a faith message series titled, “Walking off the Edge of the Map”.  You wouldn’t dare take another step once you got to the edge if you didn’t know where you would land.  But what if someone else knew?  Would you trust them?

You look at a photograph, but your eyes have to stop at the borders of the photo.  But there is one who can see beyond the borders of a photograph.  We are limited by what we see and know, but God is not.  He can see beyond the edge of a map, and past the limits of a photograph, and even the boundaries of your eyes. He sees, He knows, and the truth is, He cares.

God wants us to have faith in Him, because of all of the above.  God is not limited; by anything!  It doesn’t make sense, but by believing in God, whom you can’t see you are able to see beyond your own understanding.  And it’s nice knowing in your heart that because He sees what’s coming He’s already preparing you to handle it, go through it, or go over it.  Faith in God is knowing, “He’s got this!”

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Stay With It to the End

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artist unknown

“Behold!  The coming of Jesus is so soon, it’s as if He is standing up now getting ready to go gather his church home!”  I was about 8 years old, when that word of prophesy sure got my attention.  I thought dang!  I had better tie my shoes!  I was ready then to stand before God and to give an account for how I had lived my life.  After serious soul searching and one more prayer asking God to forgive me of all of my sins I can say right now I am ready to stand before God.

In these last days, one has to be intentional about staying focused on the prize of eternal life.  Satan is working overtime, and with the help of the Russians putting out “fake” news to keep Americans stirred up (okay, kidding), but honestly, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a straight path toward heaven.

Mar 13:4-13  “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”  Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people.  When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end.  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.  “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth.  The Message has to be preached all across the world.  “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart–the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.  “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. (MSG)

All one has to do is read the above verses, and then turn on the world news.  Am I predicting a date of Jesus’ return?  NO WAY!  If you read further down chapter 13 it goes on to say that only God knows the exact day and hour.  Therefore, I beseech you, okay a little too much King James, but I urge you strongly to keep your focus on God, hold Jesus’ hand, and listen to the Holy Spirit, and you will make it home.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

The Key to Your Life

KeysCurrently, I only use two keys.  It feels good.  It means I am not responsible for much.  I do not unlock a church anymore or even a desk.  So, in a way, the keys on your key ring tell others about you, about your life.

Most will have a house key, but you could also have a key to a cabin.  A car key, or two.  A key to your company’s building, company’s vehicle, your office door, or just your desk.  You could have a boat key.  One for your gym locker, gun locker, school locker, or even a foot locker.  But what if your key ring had one to your lover’s apartment, or to a lock box that no one else knew about?  Are there secrets to your life that require a hidden key?

Jesus knows about every key you poses.  Hidden or otherwise.  Jesus has keys too.  Rev 1:18   “I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.” (MSG)  The only key that really matters in this life is the one that unlocks your heart.  Who, or what, have you given that key to?  I hope you have given it to Jesus.  Doing so, says you trust him with everything that is important to you.  Everything you value, even your very life.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Do You Trust Me?

Trust.  It’s hard to trust someone else, and sometimes even ourselves.  God, throughout the centuries has asked people to trust Him.  Some did, others didn’t, but most did so with some fear and trepidation.  Another thing that is difficult is change.  Either change a job, a living location, but the hardest thing to change is yourself.  Putting the two things together will just about overwhelm you!

Whenever God calls you to change an area of your life, take it from me, it is best to blindly believe, and then obey.  Will you know how it will all work out?  Probably not.  Will you know ahead of time how you will make it?  No!  But the point is; God does.  That is where the trust comes into play.

One thing I have learned, the hard way, is God loves obedience.  When you figure out a direction God wants you to go, and then you go when the time is right He blesses you like nothing you have experienced before.  So when God asks you that question, say, “Yes”.

copyright 2017 Mark Brady