Archive for February, 2010

How to discern the “Spirit of Religion”

making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:13

Spirit of Religion

Spirit of Religion

Have you ever seen an evil spirit?  I can honestly say I have not seen anything with my natural eyes, but I believe the spirit of religion raised its ugly head around me twice last week.

You probably have never thought about what a spirit looks like, again I am not going around looking for angels or demons but in a two conversations this spirit came out of nowhere.  Here is how you can know it is not from God, this spirit gets offended when you step out in faith and start believing the word of God.

Paul’s words are so much better than anything I could write on dealing with this spirit, so here is what he is saying to you, as you begin to walk in the power of God’s word.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Philippians 3:12-16

There is a freedom in forgetting those things which are behind; failures, disappointments, loss, pain, suffering etc.  While you forget the bad, you will gain a peace that surpasses all understanding…You simply move on with what God has for you today.

Start each day in the word of God, finish each day in the word and the spirit of religion will not stick to you.  How can you know when you are dealing with the spirit of religion?  This spirit (as is true with most evil spirits) always brings up the past.  “You standing on that promise brother?”  “Well, sister so and so died from that, are you saying you are better than her?”

WHAT? Where did that come from?  I said, “I am going to believe God for healing”.  I am meditating on God’s word, reading when and how Jesus healed all manner of sickness and disease.  I also believe the promise of John 14:12 , I can do everything Jesus did.  Which by the way is, heal all manner of sickness and disease. (One of many promises)

The spirit of religion does not want anyone to actually meditate on the word of God, this spirit wants us to stay busy arguing, defending our position, holding on to “How we always have done it”.  The traditions and doctrines of men, is in a word…Religion.  As I study Jesus’ words in Mark 7 this is exactly what He was dealing with too.

I am choosing the word of God over the words of others, I am not called to argue or defend my position, Jesus has called me and you to heal.  God wants a complete healing, both physical and spiritual healing.

Salvation brings a spiritual healing that was accomplished at the Cross.

Before Jesus died, He took a beating, so when you look to those stripes in faith, physical bodies are healed.  I don’t have it all figured out, but using the name of Jesus, I have seen people healed.  Try it, if you are a disciple of Christ, you have been given the power to heal.  Trust me, it is in the Bible, all you have to do is believe.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Power in the Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

Greek alphabet

Have you ever wondered why Jesus calls Himself the alphabet?  Not how I would describe myself if I were God.  Jesus is the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

Words are made up of letters, so it makes sense that if Jesus is the Word, He would also be the alphabet.  Here is something about the alphabet you may have never thought about, you can use letters all you want, in as many words as you like and the letters never lose any of their “power”

Have you ever limited your prayers because you thought it would be a drain on God.  I thought when I was first saved, there was a limit on prayers God would answer before I would run out.  I think my reasoning was God was like my cereal when I was younger, Alphabets, I think they called it.  It was made up of sugary letters that you could play with, then eat.

 There is a limitless supply of letters for any words you want to create. (Unlike my Alphabets cereal)  Same goes for God, the lights in Heaven do not dim when cancer is healed in Jesus name.  In fact, it is my belief, God is waiting for someone to start using His name in faith, more, not less.  A miracle for God is no harder than you using a “t” in “the”.

Professional writers are bound by rules, the better the writer the more they use the rules for greater communication. (I am no professional so I am sure you have noticed I constantly break them.) God is also bound by His word, the more we learn His word, the more power we will have here on Earth.

Jesus worked perfectly in the word, mainly because He was the Word, (Kind of hurts my head when I start thinking about this) and He was God.  He gave us a promise in (John 14:12) if we believe in Jesus, the works He did we will do also. 

That is a powerful promise, believe the word and see great works happen in your life.  Forget about the second part of His promise “greater works” for now, wouldn’t it be cool if you did the works Jesus did while He was here on Earth?  If I am reading this right, you can, but only if you believe.  It all goes back to faith in God’s word, aka Jesus, or the Alpha and Omega.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Mardi Gras and Jesus (Part 2)

Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:25)
Crowd of people

Crowd of people

Have you ever wondered why Jesus was surrounded by a crowd of people?  It is Fat Tuesday here in Louisiana and I thought I would talk about the crowd.

Jesus gave the crowd great gifts. Teaching, preaching and healing was Jesus’ ministry.  He taught in their synagogues, He preached the gospel and He healed all manner of sickness and disease. (Matthew 4:23-25, Matthew 9:35)

I understand He came to die so that we might all live…I get that, but that is an accomplished work, we can receive all He did at the Cross by faith.  Our clothing company is all about salvation.  This post is about how we can draw the crowd.

If the church would imitate Christ, it is my opinion, people would be breaking down the doors to get what we have.  Jesus gave Himself away to the crowd.  He taught them, loved them and healed them.

Peter knew he had something special when he told a lame man at the gate Beautiful, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

Jesus said the world would know us because of the love we give one to another. Notice there is a delivery system, one to another. (John 13:34,35) Peter gave what he had, in the name of Jesus. 

Jesus did not tell His disciples in Matthew 10 to pray for the sick.  He told them to heal the sick…Big difference.  Peter didn’t  pray a prayer when the lame man was healed at the gate Beautiful.

Which is easier? Telling some lost soul you will pray for him or telling him Jesus loved him enough to heal him and by the way, Jesus is busy at the right hand of the Father so…He sent me.  The church, for the most part, is telling this sick and dying world we are praying for you.  If you are a disciple of Jesus, He has commanded you to heal them. (If the word of God is to be believed)

Different than what most of you have heard, I know, it hit me the same way, but it is in the Bible.  Jesus gave another example in the synagogue when He said to the paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven. (Matthew 9:2)

I find it ironic, many say this every service in church, your sins are forgiven. But read the whole story, Jesus read their hearts and said, which is easier to say your sins are forgiven or rise up and walk?  (That is a fair question, read Jesus’ answer.) But so that you know the Son of Man has the power on Earth to forgive sins, Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house. (Matthew 9:1-8)

I love that about Jesus, He cuts right to the chase.  Faced the problem head on, but here is the best part, He healed him and forgave the man’s sins…win, win.

Look at the Mardi Gras crowd again , which float has the most followers and enthusiasm?  It is the float with the best gifts.  Jesus gave us the power to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and raise the dead.  Those kind of gifts will draw a huge crowd and by the way…their sins have already been forgiven. (1 John 2:2)

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Global warming “Hits” Louisiana

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Snowman in Shreveport

Snowman in Shreveport

Ok, I know I am not suppose to talk about religion or politics…I can’t help it.  Satan is such a lying pig, I can not help but expose his work everywhere I see it. Notice the above verse does not say the mighty power of the devil. 

Global Warming…I mean Climate Change is a lie straight out of the pit of Hell.  The arrogance of man to think we can change the weather if we do what “they” say.  You know I would respect the theory more if there was not a “tax”, read Carbon Credits, associated with it.

So here we are, look at the absurdity of what is going on, record cold temperatures and snow fall in many areas of the world, still the planet is heating up?  This reminds me of another lie Satan used on me, it was called “Happy Hour”, this is where you go and dump depressants down your thoat for a reduced price…crazy.

Satan’s only power over us is the power we give him if you buy into the lie, he’s got you.  Look at the hysteria behind Global Warming, reminds me of religion; religion says, forget what the Bible says, this is what God meant to say. 

Satan got Eve with it, “You will not suely die.” (Genesis 3:4) He takes God’s words and twists them.  Conservation or taking care of the Earth is not wrong.  

I am not a “conservationist”, meaning the media would not interview me as an expert.  However, I do believe we are called to be good stewards of all God has given us.  We will give an account of everything God has given us, this includes the Earth and everything in it. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Global warming, climate change, world peace it’s all a bunch of nonsense.  You can control you, that includes; what you see, where you look, what you eat, what you touch, and what you smell.  In other words, you control your five senses.

It is amazing what people will believe.  Jesus had it right when He called us sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36) Sheep will follow someones voice, we need to make sure it is the voice of God.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Mardi Gras and Jesus

Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade

What is it about a parade that draws a crowd?  There are many reasons people go to a parade but a Mardi Gras parade draws people from all over the world.  The glitter, costumes, music, drinking are some of the reasons people come but the main reason people young and old line the streets are the “throws”.

If you have ever gone to a Mardi Gras parade you will get a basket full of plastic cups, beads, coins, stuffed animals, all kinds of different items.  All of these throws are your reward for standing on the side of the road waiting on the floats to go by.

The floats are colorful, unique, interesting and full of people throwing gifts.  Many of the people riding on the floats are dressed in a costume and some are wearing masks.  Their job is to have fun and throw gifts to the crowd.

Your only job is to have a good time with family and friends eating, drinking and hollering ,”Throw me something Mister”. Sounds like a great time doesn’t it?

Now let’s walk into a church, what do you see?  Probably a bunch of “clean cut”, well dressed people.  Physical masks are really not allowed here but masks are being worn.  People put on their best “happy faces”, they are told to be nice or good and most believers do their best to accomplish that command.  So as I look at the parade and the church I see at least one thing they have in common, “the mask”.

Jesus taught about this in Mark 7, (summary of His teaching) the traditions and doctrines of men have made the word of God of no effect.  Over and over I see Jesus combating this spirit of “religion”. The spirit of, “This is how we have always done it.” 

Jesus did it totally different than the Pharisees and Sadducees, He made them so uncomfortable they killed Him and thought they were doing the will of God.  Ironically, they were doing the will of God but with the religious leaders it was a heart issue.  They worshiped God with words but their heart was far from God.

God longs to give good gifts to His children, and I believe the world is waiting for the body of Christ to start “throwing” the gifts of God.  “What gifts from God are you talking about?”, you may ask. 

How about the fruit of the Spirit?  How does love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control sound?. As a side note, Against such there is no law. Fruit has to be grown before it can be harvested.

Jesus was full of the Spirit and was full of the fruit of the Spirit.  Funny thing about the fruit of the Spirit, it is grown for others.  The fruit growing through you, is not for you, it is for the people around you. If the body of Christ would start throwing the fruit of the Spirit to a lost and dying world, Satan’s hold on people would be destroyed. 

This is my opinion, if Jesus was given the choice of going to church or a Mardi Gras parade and could pick only one, He would go to the parade every time. Why, because He came to seek and save that which is lost.  

Jesus was accused many times of “partying” with the sinners.  The religious leaders in Jesus’ day did not get it, and I am afraid many today don’t get it.  I want to encourage you, go love on people, let them partake of your fruit.  It may be the only spiritual meal they have ever eaten.

This is going long and I need to hit send, look for part 2.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

What Makes Jesus Mighty Men Joyful?

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials James 1:2

Drew Brees calls the play

Drew Brees calls the play

Have you ever read a verse in the Bible and wished it hadn’t made the final draft?  (James 1:2-8)  are verses I struggled with…until today.  Most of you have probably already come to this conclusion but for the couple of us that have not, here is what I received today.

I was or might argue, that I am still today, an athlete.  I love the game, the feel, passion, competition, you name it, if it is in the game, I love it.  So this post will be written from that prospective.

Competitors love to be in the game, winners want the ball.  Many hate practice, in fact, some get “injured” so they don’t have to go through the agony of running plays, drills, sprints and conditioning. 

My question to you, do you think Sean Peyton came to work every day and told his players, ‘Don’t worry about practice, we are the New Orleans Saints, we are so good we don’t need to practice.  Sit down, eat these donuts, did you want more pancakes?”

No, I imagine they practiced hard all year. (Here is a side note, you do not become world champions at anything without practice.) I would bet they were still conditioning, and running plays right up to the Super Bowl.

Take that picture of what the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (Still like the sound of that) did, vs. what you do as a follower of Christ.  Do you dedicate yourself to be the best each day.  The Saints put on their pads.  You should be putting on the full armor of God each day.

Coach Peyton would be fired if he did not push his players in practice.  No one enjoys practice, but it necessary to build champions.  God uses trials like a good coach uses wind sprints.  Think of it as a conditioning exercise to get you ready for the “Big Game”. 

Satan has a team that is coming to steal everything you own, kill everyone you know, and destroy all you have ever been or will every become.  This is your “Big Game”, your life.  Whether you enter in or not, Satan hates you, he will not stop until he destroys you and yours.

God is your Father/Coach, He loves you and will train you with trials until you can defeat your enemy and walk in the “more than conquerors” scripture.  So the next time things get a little “tough”, count it all joy and let God do a work in you.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Praying for eyes to see

 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? Mark 8:18

Praying for eyes to see

Praying for eyes to see

For the last several weeks I have been praying for eyes to see and ears to hear. This post is specifically my prayer for the spiritual eyes to see, I have the natural eyes working every day.

While I was waiting for my answer I was imagining God was going to open up the spiritual realm like He did for Elisha’s servant and I would see the Host of Heaven all around me…Nope.  Our maybe I would see into Heaven… Nothing.

What I got was a simple thought that I would like to share with you.

I am a reader, and when I am reading, let’s say a fictional book, my house could be on fire and I would not know it. Why am I unaware of my surroundings? It is because I am not in my house, I am in the book.  I am the hero of the story or I am right there watching everything unfold.

Have you ever wondered why the book is so much better than the movie?  It is because of your imagination or what I believe Jesus was referring to as your spiritual eyes to see. (Mark 8:18)  Jesus was scolding His disciples for having a hardened heart and not being able to perceive the miracles of the feeding the five thousand. 

Today, we have the same problem, we have hardened our hearts.  I think it is worse today then with the disciples, because we have something the disciples didn’t have, the written word of God.

We can look into God’s word and see the miracles, imagine the dusty roads, see the faces as God heals all sickness and disease. (Matthew 9:35)  We can actually see Jesus when He tells His disciples, all these works and greater works will you do (John 14:12) if we will open our spiritual eyes and see.

Like the book is better than the movie, I believe the Bible is better than actually being there with Jesus.  Remember He is with you right where you are, God said, He would never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6,8)  

Pray that God will open your spiritual eyes, He has opened mine and He is not a respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34,35)  He will open yours if you ask Him.

God is good all the time, better than you can ever imagine.  Close your natural eyes and think about all the good God has done in your life. See Him as the perfect, kind, loving Father.  He wants to do so much more, talk to God today.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champions

New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champions

Again, since our company is here in Louisiana I think this is relevant.  Besides God is clear when He says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

I have placed God first in my life, this allows me to have other interests that do not consume me.  I did enjoy the game tonight with friends and family.  I am confident Jesus was happy to see me enjoy myself. I believe more of the body of Christ should try it.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Why clothes Lord?

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy,  because of Your truth. Psalm 115:1

Have you ever asked a question of God and waited for an answer?  That is where I have been for almost 7 years.  The funny thing about this “Christian Clothing Company thing”, is I have had absolutely no attraction to clothes.

That does not mean I am against people being dressed.  No, put me down as saying most people I see need to have on more clothes, not less.  The point I am trying to make is, I never cared about what I was wearing. (Much to the dismay of my wife)  There are many things I care about, things I am passionate about, clothes wasn’t one of them…until now.

Christian Clothing Line

Christian Clothing Line

Clothes were created by God to hide our nakedness. Satan has taken clothes and like everything else God created, he has distorted their purpose.  Instead of a covering, they are now a fashion statement. 

“Clothes make the man”, I am sure you have heard that before.  Do you think that saying can be found anywhere in the Bible?  Let me save you some time…it is not in there.  Satan is a liar, thief, murderer, a master deceiver and he has “owned” the clothing industry. 

I want to go on the record as saying I own the most powerful clothing line in the world.  In fact, when God finishes teaching me all He wants me to learn and releases me, Nike, Under ArmourRalph Lauren, etc. be forewarned, we will totally dominate the clothing industry.  How can I say that you may ask?  I say it because I believe taking back the clothing industry is something God wants to do.  Is anyone in this industry giving God the glory?  Some may give a token mention to God, but our company is being built upon the word of God, Jesus. 

The reason we have “struggled” in the past is not because of God, it is because of me.  I am no longer going to stand in the way of God.  No, I am praying to be released into this arena to do battle for the souls of men.

This company will give God glory (it already does) in everything we do  and accomplish.  It will display the love of Christ and here is the best part, it will help the church bring in the harvest of the lost sheep wandering around without a Savior.  What other clothing line has that as its primary mission? (Can you see why we are confident, God is going to bless us?) 

So here it is February 1, 2010, and we have not yet dominated in any area of the apparel industry, but we will, in Jesus name.  We are excited about what God is doing in our company and we believe you will be too.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11