Saturday, July 29, 2017

Standing in the Gap

30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)
            We look around and the problems we see in our society and maybe even in our own family or workplace see so enormous that we think a single individual could not make much of a difference. The opposite, however, is the truth. The best and momentous advances in our history occurred when one person stood up against the indifference of their time.
            In Ezekiel 22, God identifies four ways that the culture in Judah should have been faithful but were not. The people including priests, princes, and prophets were very dishonest and extremely corrupt. God finally said, “I sought for a man…” This one life, this one individual could have been a wall of protection for a city headed for doomsday. The Bible is replete with individuals who “stood in the gap” and changed the world around them. There are those today who still provide this type of godly influence to those around them.
            In the 1980s, the late David Wilkerson was walking through Times Square in New York City where prostitution, drugs, and crime ran rampant. The famous author and preacher was praying that God would raise up a witness in the city. He said he sensed the Lord saying, “You do it.” So Wilkerson started the Times Square Church. Now, a little over 30 years later, the church reaches several thousand each week in worship and ministry.

            In the beginning it looked like a nearly impossible dream, yet today it is a strong witness in a part of NYC not known for vibrant churches. Moreover, when Wilkerson started the church, he was 55 years old – not even in the ballpark of the average age for a church planter. Yet, one man with God is a majority against the tidal wave of sin and compromise that can destroy an entire culture. It is not too late for you to “stand in the gap,” interceding on behalf of your family, your workplace, and your nation. Go and be the one standing in the gap for the Lord.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Confession 7/23/17 Service

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
            Every true believer desires to be used by God in powerful, life-changing ways. We all have different abilities, talents, and spiritual gifts, but God will use anyone who is available to Him. Often it is not the size of the gift you have but the willingness in your to be used that makes a difference. He is not impressed with what we can do of our own volition. No lack of talent or physical handicap renders a child of God useless. The biggest thing that cause us to be put on the shelf or taken out of the game and made to sit on the sidelines is this: Sin! God is always using broken and messed up vessels for His purposes, but He rarely uses dirty ones.
            You can declare, “But we are all sinners!” And that is very true. The Bible even declares it for us, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are sinners by birth and later by our choices. When you are washed by the blood of the Lamb, He forgives you of all of the sins you’ve committed. He wrote your name in the Book of Life and set your feet on a righteous path toward heaven. But, if you are reading this, you and I are not there yet. We still have to live in this world and deal with all of its pain, suffering, and sin. But when we refuse to repent of our sins it hinders our usefulness to God. We are to be as iron sharpening iron.

            So how do we deal with our own sin? Our first task is to see it as God see it. He views it as unrighteousness and rebellion. He sees is as wrong! Our second task is to confess our sins. Confess means to agree with one another. We must not only see it as He see it but also agree with Him that it is wrong. We cannot hide it; we must bring it into the light and admit it is wrong. Third, we must ask Him in all earnestness to forgive us. When we honestly ask for forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive us, remove it as far as the east is from the west, and He cleanses our hearts. He purifies us and makes us useful again. Do your best to a useful vessel in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father!!