Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Is There Any Word From The Lord?

Jeremiah 37:17 - "Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is..."

In this episode, Pastor Ron McKey shares what he feels God is speaking to the church right now.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Choices Part 4


Every good story has three things: a beginning, a middle, and an ending. In fact, the story has to have all three of these in order to be a story. Every decision has to have a beginning. That's the part where you actually CHOOSE (where you move out of just thinking about it and doing it). Every decision has to have a middle. That's what you do after your decision (where you "walk it out"). And, every story has to have an end - where it all comes to pass. So many people never make it to the end of their story or see the end results of their decision because they don't follow through, and they quit too soon. Deciding is important and making the choice is the starting point. However, it doesn't do any good to choose if you're not going to follow through.



Habakkuk 2:2-3, "And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon the tablets, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie." Taylor's translation says, "if it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue." If we don't write it down chances are it may not come to pass because we tend to forget it and we become distracted. If it's important to you, write it down! Do you know that God wrote down the entire plan of salvation with His own hand?

Writing down your prayer, your decision or your goal is a proclamation of your faith. Here are some examples:
  • BELSHAZZAR and the hand writing on the wall; "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" "you have been weighed in the balances or scales and found wanting."

  • JESUS kneeling and writing in the sand a message of forgiveness.

There is POWER when you put something in writing. Remember the part of the verse that said "if it seems slow, don't despair because it will come to pass." When I write it down, it keeps my eyes on the prize. When I write it down, I don't forget and I don't lose focus.

Each year, we have a special service at Cornerstone Church called "Stake Your Claim". Every person in attendance takes a wooden stake for themselves and for other family members. We encourage them to "write down" on their stakes what they are believing God for. The moment you write it down, FEAR shows up to taunt you and tell you "there is no way," "that's too big," you're setting yourself up for disappointment," or "why don't you just keep doing what you're doing." Let me answer that for you - the reason we don't keep doing what we're doing is because if you do what you've always done, then you will get what you've always had. The reason we are "writing it down" is because we want more! More answered prayers. More of God. More joy and more peace. The way to more in our lives is by seeing to it that we follow through.


I John 5 says, "This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith." Without faith you won't accomplish anything for God. You will never pray bigger prayers until you grow bigger faith. Would you like to know how to have greater faith? Then you have to know what faith is. Many people think they know and they think they are standing in faith, but they are not. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge." The people of God aren't defeated in life because the devil hasn't been conquered or because their circumstances are so bad, or because their storms are so severe. They are destroyed because of their lack of knowledge and they don't know how to deal with the storm. They don't know how to use their faith. I encourage you to become a student of FAITH. Choose to live every day by faith and start every day in faith. Psalm 118:24 says, "This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it." The Psalmist said "I WILL rejoice." I choose to be happy. If people get tired of me saying "Happiness is a choice", well good! That means it's starting to sink in!

Abraham Lincoln said, "I have determined that people are as happy as they choose to be." Here are a few reasons I believe people are unhappy in their lives:
  1. Guilt - They haven't dealt with their past, such as past mistakes or past sin.

  2. Anger - You can't be bitter and ever hope to get better.

  3. Selfishness - You will never be truly happy until you put others in front of yourself, and live for a greater cause than just yourself.

  4. Fatigue - You cannot burn the candle at both ends and have it never catch up with you.

Here's some great advice - keep faith filled people in your life and don't take advice from the ungodly. The ungodly are not just the psychics, drug dealers, liars, cheaters or child molesters - the ungodly are those who keep God out of their lives. The book of James talks about and compares earthly wisdom and Godly wisdom. Earthly wisdom looks and sounds like this: "Here is what I would do, I would say, I would tell them AND their life is already more messed up than yours." Earthly wisdom reflects the moral atmosphere of the current culture. Choose faith - walk by faith - talk faith - live by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is believing when I don't see it, obeying when I don't understand, giving when I don't have it, persisting when I don't feel like it and choosing to trust when it doesn't go the way I thought it should. How many of you know "all things do work together for my good?"


The Bible says that in the last days people's hearts will fail because of fear. Fear is a great paralyzer. Because of fear, people never reach their full potential. Fear robs you of God's best and robs you of what you have to offer others. Some of you need to believe in yourself and go ahead and be the blessing that God created you to be! Many people don't make decisions because of fear, more specifically, the fear of change. Ronald Reagen said "status quo is Latin for the mess we're in." Life is about choices and life is about change. I recently attended a conference where one thing we were assured of was this, there will be more changes happening in the churches in America in the next ten years than there have ever been. The older we get the greater the temptation to stay the same. We take fewer risks. We get comfortable in our little boxes. Boxes rob us of our lives; they limit us. They aren't what we live in. Boxes are what they bury us in.  II Timothy 1:7 tells us, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind." LOVE - perfect love casts out fear. POWER - spiritual authority. SOUND MIND - a mind that thinks in line with God's word.


We grow through our struggles. James 1:3 says, "The testing of our faith develops perseverance so that you may be mature and complete." I Peter 4:12 "Think it not strange when you face the fiery trial as though some strange thing has happened to you." Many people quit when they face a trial. They quit worshipping, they quit walking by faith, they quit going to church and they quit trusting God. But God's formula for success has always been - carry your cross then get your crown; fight your battle then win your victory, and go through the storm then enjoy the rainbow. Remember this: while we are waiting, God is working. Right now, behind the scenes, God is working on your behalf. This is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Some problems don't always go away easily. Moses had to bring all ten plagues before Pharaoh ever let one Israelite go. The widow woman with an unjust judge got what she wanted only because she would not give up. Let me remind you "no weapon formed against you can prosper," "hell can't defeat you" and "God is your Father." Be confident about yourself, be passionate about your choices and remember that there are no short cuts. Don't give up! If you've tried and failed - try again. If you've given up - try again. If you're frustrated - try again. You're not the only one going through a storm. On every single row of chairs in a church, there is someone fighting a battle bigger than the battle you're fighting. Everyone goes through trials, and everyone faces tests. Difficult times don't mean you made a wrong choice.


Expectation is probably one of the most underrated words in the English language. There is power in expectation. If you have it, you can soar with the eagles and climb to the top of mountains. But if you don't have it, you will stay grounded and common. Zechariah 9:12 says, "Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope; even today, I declare that I will restore double to you."

My hope and my expectations are in God, NOT my ability, but the potential He placed in me. Be a dealer of hope and help people see a brighter future!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Choices Pt 3 - You Choose

You choose a life of blessing and reward OR a life of mediocrity and defeat. We all know that a life of blessing and reward don't just happen automatically or by chance. There is no such thing as an auto pilot switch for your life. It all happens by CHOICE. One of the greatest mistakes anyone can ever make is when they fail to CHOOSE! Choosing to not choose is a bad choice. Many people assume that life just happens to them - randomly or haphazardly. They want a better life and they are just waiting for life to get better. They have this belief (which, by the way, is a wrong belief) that they have no power over their own lives. You don't get a better life; you create a better life by the choices you make. And then there are those who are just "comfortable" in believing that fate, chance or luck are what are controlling their lives. And then there are other who think/believe that "if God wants them to have something, then they will have it." In other words, "Let's just put the monkey on God's back for how my life turns out." Let me repeat, "The will of God is not automatic; you have to pray; you have to have faith; and you have to choose." The BLESSED life happens by CHOICE! The greatest power you have is your power to choose. The Bible says you can choose life or death, blessing or cursing, to be happy or sad. God DOES NOT make our choices for us. We do! We choose and we decide.

As I mentioned in PART TWO of this study on CHOICES - You have already made a good choice by being in church, but you don't stop there! You have to keep making good decisions. Good decisions create momentum for your life. Follow up good decisions with more good decisions. Here are some examples for choosing your level of participation in church:

WORSHIP - How am I going to worship today? With my whole heart or just half heartedly?

PRAYER - Are my prayers going to be ritualistic (meaning without passion) or faith filled? Are my prayers going to be powerful and anointed?

GIVING - I can choose to be an extravagant and cheerful giver. Is my giving going to be an act of worship or just another bill to pay?

HEARING - Jesus said, "It's important the amount of emphasis you place on mixing faith with the word you are hearing." In other words, am I just sitting through another church service OR am I allowing the word of God to change me and equip me?

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING - Into whose life can I be a blessing today? How can I let God use me to be a blessing?

Making good choices begins with your non-negotiable reality. Here's an example of Joseph: He was sold by his brothers into slavery (he had no choice). He was betrayed over and over (he had no choice). He was falsely accused (he had no choice), and he was falsely imprisoned (again, he had no choice). But, giving up or giving in were not options for Joseph. Even with all these things, Joseph still CHOSE his perspective, his attitude and his responses. And his CHOICES affected his outcome.

Victor Frankl, a prisoner/survivor of Nazi concentration camps, lost everything he had or had everything taken away. His wife died in a concentration camp. His mother and his brother died in a concentration camp. He himself was imprisoned in Auschwitz - one of the worst. But he had decided he was still in control of his attitude and he refused to be a victim or to submit to defeat. After being liberated, he continued his career as a successful psychiatrist, educator, author and teacher. His most famous book was "Saying Yes To Life In Spite of Everything." Here are a couple of quotes from this book: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." The point here is that circumstances cannot take away your power to choose! You can CHOOSE today to not be afraid. You can choose today to deal with the guilt that has consumed your life. You can choose today to not be lonely. You can choose today to not be angry. And you can choose today to not worry.

So many people struggle with worry. Let me remind you that worry is doubting God. You can choose to worry, or your can choose to live by faith. When you come to know Christ, and I mean REALLY know Christ, then that whiny attitude of yours becomes a thing of the past! When you walk by faith, it means you are not a crisis Christian and that you are not controlled by your crisis. Instead, you take the name of Jesus, the authority of that name, and you attack the crisis! I Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your cares (anxiety) onto the Lord because He cares for you." How many cares? All of them. Not some and not just the small ones, but ALL of them! The big ones, the scary ones and the mean ones. The Bible says, "But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Here's the point behind this verse - God has given you the victory - it's already yours!

VICTORY is a gift from God, just like salvation is a gift from God. Did you have to work for your salvation? NO - you just believed and received it. We need to CHOOSE victory over defeat every time. All good choices begin with right thinking. You can choose "stinking thinking" or "Jesus thinking." Thomas had stinking thinking - "I'll have to see it before I believe it, or touch it with my own hands." Now Paul on the other hand, was snake bitten, criticized, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned and here is what he said, "These are all but light affliction." WHAT?????? So you can see that one had "stinking thinking" and the other had "Jesus thinking."  You might ask "what is Jesus thinking?" Jesus thinking is when you choose to have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ means to have the same outlook on life that Jesus had. An outlook towards God and not blaming Him, but believing Him; not doubting Him, but trusting Him. An outlook towards man - to seek, save and restore. An outlook on life - no doom, gloom or pitiful me, but always focused on doing God's will.


RE-SURRENDER YOUR LIFE - Paul said to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. That means that every day we are to re-submit ourselves to God and re-align our thinking with His thinking. It's a daily decision to follow Christ and a daily decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life. DAILY DECISIONS DETERMINE DIRECTION.

REJOICE - Philippians 4:4 says, "rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." You can complain and remain or praise and be raised! It's a joy to serve God, not a burden. Delight yourself in the Lord. Love being a Christian and don't ever feel sorry for being a Christ follower.

REMEMBER - You and I are better with God than without Him. Remember everything God has done for you. Remember His word and what He has said. Remember His power and willingness to answer your prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to quicken you and remind you every time you start to slip - this will keep you from slipping back into self-destructive patterns.

REPLACE - Replace old worn out thoughts with new and better thoughts. You have to stop thinking one way and start thinking a new way. STOP thinking about your old boyfriend/girlfriend. STOP thinking about how your Ex treated you. STOP thinking about people who have made your life miserable. STOP thinking about all the times you were mistreated. STOP thinking about and digging up all those hurtful emotions.

How many of you need to CHOOSE between life and death? How many of you need to go from good to great? Let's all be ready to create the life we desire.