Sunday, November 16, 2014


Philippians 1:3-11

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Reflection:

When we read the bible and meditate on it's words we should also consider the history, the geography, the demographics and the culture of the people which the Bible is addressing or revealing. The story of Paul and this wonderful letter (epistle) to the Church at Philippi begins not on a mountain top overseeing the see of Galilee, nor does it begin on the vast hills with newly born lambs running up and down a green pasture to meet their shepherd. No, it begins in a dark cave, as a man of God is imprisoned by a society who hates "Good News". You see the Romans didn't imprison Paul because of a heinous crime but rather for spreading the liberating news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you ever been around people or have participated in a culture of people who just hates "good news"? They have been so cultivated in bad news that just the mention of "good news" becomes a crime!

Paul found himself in a dungeon with his ankles chained awaiting his release, because after all he was innocent in the eyes of God, but guilty in the eyes of man. He didn't scream, he didn't cry, he didn't give up hope nor did he wave the white towel and surrender his faith to the overwhelming circumstances that can plague an individual facing prison time in the hands of an enemy. This Godly hero begins his letter thanking God for the people he has been able to serve. His mind was not on his circumstance, nor was it in a 5 by 10 cell with the damp smell of muddy water. No, he thanks God for every moment he had to serve the people of God. He learns the importance of prayer since he has no one to talk to, no one to sing with, no one to encourage him. You see his prayer is not the type of prayer of someone helpless nor hopeless but one who knows his God and says " I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel". He loses no confidence in the character and faithfulness of God because after all he clearly understood that his "apostolic call" would probably invite death to constantly knock on his door.

Paul was confident, he was determined, he was convinced and he was emotional about his God and the message that he had the privilege of sharing. He completes his dissertation similar to the way he began this letter - in prayer. Stating that the most important essence, and experience that anyone who suffers similar circumstances should seek and acquire is the divine love of Christ and the knowledge that produces the fruit of righteousness among the brethren.

You see I am convinced of this, that people who are afraid, imprisoned, confused, hurt, hopeless and angry just need one thing, a taste of the divine love that comes from the throne of God. If you find yourself in similar circumstances I challenge you to seek the face of Jesus and ask him for the anointing of his divine love that flows continually from his heart to yours!



Sunday, November 9, 2014


Luke 19:1-10

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Reflection:

The Lord wants you to know, he never saved you to leave you the same way he found you!

The wonderful message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the message found within holy scripture is not only words of faith, affirmation, promises, blessings, salvation and/or grace. But, it is a message about a father's love, a son's obedience, and the Holy Spirit and his desire to dwell in the life of  all believer's.

The "good news" is not bad news. It is not only for those faint hearted or broken hearted. You don't have to always be in misery to worship or serve God. The "good news" has been written for the rich and poor, the young and old, the short and tall, and even the big or small. God says in Proverb 22:2 "The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all".  Jesus wants all those listening to know that he is moved by faith. This young rich man named Zacchaeus was found in a city called Jericho, God has an incredible way of setting the stage for a miracle. You see Jericho was a city known for it's walls and God has always had an incredible ability to walk through walls, or tare them down. This city was not only the stage of Old Testament miracle, but the location of a New Testament revelation.

You see the Word of God makes clear that Zacchaeus even though being wealthy, strong, fast and wise he still had barriers or walls to climb or to break in his life. He is like many of us who don't find himself or herself in desperate need for God to manifest himself. He is not someone who is bankrupted or in his or her last leg of the race. But, one thing is clear he still has this innate eagerness to know Christ and the beauty of his bountiful mercy.  His "desire" was all he needed to move the heart of God. Amazed by his willingness to outrun, climb and position himself to meet his Savior, Jesus stop's and looks up at this man that the bible described "small in stature."

For the first time in his life, this young tax collector will not be known or remembered for his incredible ability to collect Roman taxes, but rather for the faith and his willingness to be changed by the presence of Jesus Christ. A simple but passionate invitation of Jesus was enough to change Zacchaeus life, bring him to his knees of conviction, and bring forth an action that will bring salvation to his house and to all who would read his story.

If you find yourself not in need of God because everything is swell, then I challenge you to rethink or consider the message of Zacchaeus. You don't have to be in misery to worship and serve God!





Wednesday, November 5, 2014


John 8:1-11

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Reflection:

Are you free from your past? Are you living out the full potential of Christ in your life? Or are there still things that echo through your mind when trying to live for Jesus that causes you to stumble?

The story of the adulterous women found in the scripture above really hits closer to home then you think. You see, the adulterous woman reflects all of us. She is a child of God who finds herself indulged in practices which she was never designed for. She is a fertile vessel, designed to be in covenant with God but because of past and present practices she has broke her "covenant" with her husband (Christ). You see this woman can be you, it could be the Church, it can anyone who is currently a "covenant breaker."

Because she was caught in her sin, she was presented to Jesus. But Jesus understands her, he forgives her, he knows her history, he knows her present, he knows what has made her indulge in a practice that violates her innocence and condemns her to shame. Jesus bends down and begins to write, like the one who wrote the "Ten Commandments" with his finger, or wrote the writings on the wall in the Book of Daniel. He writes, he writes because he is an author, he is the perfecter of our faith.

The story ends with forgiveness, with reconciliation, with purpose, and with freedom. You see the only way to live out your experience with Christ, and the salvation he offers is to understand that he will never condemn those who are found in him. Shame and condemnation is the fruit of the "fallen man" in the Garden of Eden, but Christ came to restore all things unto himself.

If you find yourself being a "covenant breaker" or indulging in sins that separate you from the love and protection of God, Jesus invites you to embrace his forgiveness no matter how shameful your sins are or were. He desires to cover your shame and condemnation with grace and forgiveness so that you may live a free life in him. There is only one final command though, “Go now and sin no more.”  

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Ephesians 5:15-20

15 Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection:

There is nothing more frustrating in life than wondering around, spending our time and energy without direction or purpose. To often we hunger for a clear picture of what our future looks like through the eyes of God, and what does he really want from us. The last time I took my son to the doctor, I sat on the edge of my chair hoping that the physician attending to my son would give me the right prescription so that my son's health will improve. I had no doubt that the hard work of the physician and the knowledge he possessed can quickly help resolve the problem with my son's ailing body. In the same way, God has a prescription for our lives to live with maximum purpose and direction. The Word of God is our compass, and our hope should be that if we apply the remedies prescribed in his Word we will see the outcome and evidence of his promises.

The will of God for your life is provided in Scripture as the following:

1. Rejoice Always, pray continually, give thanks in all

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - "16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

2. Have eternal life

John 6:40 "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

3. Good health, all goes well with you, and your soul

3 John 1:2 "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

4. Blessed, favor, abundance

Deuteronomy 28:3-6  "You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out."

5. Be Sanctified

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - "It is God’s will that you should be sanctified"

6. Keep doing good

1 Peter 2:15 "For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people."

7. To be sons of God

Ephesians 1:5 "He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."

8. That no one should perish

Matthew 18:14 "So it is the will of my Father who is in heaven that not one of these little ones should perish."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


There are ten very important questions that you should ask yourself before joining a Church. These ten questions and answers will determine whether you are a right fit for the Church or whether the Church is a right fit for you.

Question 1: Is it a Gospel Centered Church?

The will of God is that you find a place where your spiritual food will produce good spiritual fruit. In all dietary disciplines a person becomes what he or she eats.

Matthew 16:13-20   “Is Jesus Christ the Son of God?”

3 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

2 Timothy 4:1-5   -   “Itching ears”

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of your ministry.

2 Timothy 3:10-17   -   “All Scripture is God Breathed”

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Acts 20:25-28   -   “Full counsel (will) of God”

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Question 2: Is it a place you can call “home”?

It is the will of God that the place you will worship, fellowship and partake of God’s Word is a place that you feel at home. A place and fellowship that you feel acknowledged, appreciated and part of a spiritual family.

Psalms 84:1-12   -   “A place call home”

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young  a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. 9 Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Question 3: Do you believe and agree with the purpose or mission of the Church?

It is the will of God that you believe and agree with the purpose of the Church you will be attending and serving in. The purpose or mission of the church is the course of action and the steering by which the Church will strive to build the Kingdom of God personally, corporately, locally, and globally. If the course by which your Church is steering is different from the “course” or “beat of drum” which you are accustomed to, or looking to take, it is inevitable that your journey will experience many bumps and bruises along the way.  The Church of your choosing should be a place where your personal “mission” should be fulfilled through the corporate “mission” or “purpose” of the Church.

Our Church’s purpose statement:

I AM Ministries is a Gospel Centered Church that makes disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, teaching everyone to live a life in reverence and worship to God, and love through service to it's community locally and abroad.

John 14:1-7   -   “I AM the Way”

1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Acts 2:42-47   -   “Share a common purpose and vision”

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Question 4: Is there an opportunity to grow and mature spiritually (discipleship)?

The Lord’s will is that you grow and mature in the faith and grace, to fulfill the purpose for which he has saved you in Christ Jesus. Every individual has a “calling” and/or “purpose” for which he or she will give an account for, and that will require the necessary discipline to fulfill it.  Growing in discipleship is essential in attaining the necessary discipline to fulfill your call.

Matthew 28:16-20   -   “A Church that disciples”

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Philippians 3:7-16   -   “Press on toward the prize”

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Question 5: Does the Church practice and believe in the active presence of the Holy Spirit?

The Lord’s will is that each person in Christ Jesus be baptized in the Holy Spirit so that he or she may produce spiritual fruit and be effective in ministry and in testimony.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18   -   “Spirit filled”

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Question 6: Does the Church encourage and practice Worship

It is the will of God that each believer grows in his or her intimacy with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  All acts of ministry, song, service, fellowship, giving, and/or offering is the way we practice our spiritual act of worship. The more your intimacy in God grows, the more godliness and fruitfulness is found in the life of a believer.

John 4:19-26    “Encourages Worship”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Question 7: Does the Church have a local and global desire to evangelize and practice missions”?

It is the will of Jesus Christ that you tell and share the Good News of the Gospel with the world. For the bride of Christ is built locally but also engaged globally. Seeing and partaking of souls repenting and turning to the Lord for Salvation is the commission of every believer and Church, and for which heaven rejoices.

Acts 1: 4-9   “A Church that evangelizes & sends to missions”

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Question 8: Did Jesus call you there?

It is the will of God that you find a place where Christ has called you to grow and serve. A place where you are part of God’s spiritual family, and where you can use your spiritual gifts and talents to build the Kingdom of God.

John 10:22-30   “The Voice of your Pastor”

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.

Ephesians 4:11-16   -   “Joined and held together by supporting ligaments”

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Question 9: Does your Church have a Statement of Faith (What they believe)?

It is important when choosing a Church that you become familiar with their “purpose” and “what the Church believes”. This will help you identify denominational values, doctrinal differences, and ecclesiastical Church structure and governance. Please be sure to avoid any so called church that practices occultist, heresy, or apostasy practices.

Acts 20:25-35   -   “Savage Wolves”

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Question 10:  Does your Church practice and believe in Salvation through faith and grace in Jesus Christ?

It is the will of God that you come to know Christ through his saving grace on Calvary. Trying to earn your way to heaven, or build a personal relationship with God without believing in his saving grace (unmerited favor) will lead you down a religious path. It is the will of God that you be trained up and encouraged in the “divine grace” which is a free gift from God the father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 2:1-10   -   “Salvation through faith and grace”

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace you have been saved.

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
On 7/22/2014 by Rev. Andy Fernandez   No comments

Malachi 3:13-18
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.