Monday, March 10, 2014

The Devil is attacking me?

Ephesians 4:25-28 DRA

Wherefore putting away lying, speak ;ye the truth every man with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

I have been seeing a lot of posts by people who say, "The devil is attacking me." "The devil is doing... to me."

I just want to remind everyone that number 1: the devil has been defeated by Jesus. He knows that he lost. He knows the end of the book.

Number 2: he does not have the power that God does. God is Omnipotent,  Omniscient, Omnipresent, Etc., the devil is not.

The devil is a created being so, that means he is not God nor does he have the same power that God does. This may be one of the reasons Paul told the  Ephesian church not to give him power.

Remember that in the Book of Job, the devil approached God and challenged that Job only follows God because of what God does for him. God gave permission to the devil to prove a point. In other words, the devil could not bring affliction on Job unless he had permission.

Job 1:6-12 NKJV

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there  is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person. ” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord .

Now with that said, is it possible that a Christian could have a spiritual attack? Yes, the fact that we follow God makes us a target. In fact, Paul told the same church to be sure to put on "The Armor of God". This is a reminder that we will deal with attacks from the spiritual world even through others attacking our beliefs.

Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

I do want to point out that all the struggles we deal with is not necessarily a spiritual attack or affliction caused by the devil. To paraphrase what John was talking about in his first epistle, he said,  "When and if you sin, you need to repent and not stay in your sin. You need to seek forgiveness from God and who you sinned against. That means that a lot of times the afflictions we deal with is because of decisions we may have made that led us to poor results. If I jumped off a roof and broke my leg, is it because the devil was attacking me or is it because I made a bad choice?

I John 1:5-10 NKJV

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

I John 2:1-11 NKJV

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

We also need to be reminded that Jesus sent a Helper to us who are believers.

John 14:15-18 NKJV

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

So this means that not only does He help us to remember Scripture when we are being questioned about our Faith, but it also means that He is our Comforter and He will help us not to sin among other things.

Because He is our Helper, that also means that Christians cannot be demon possessed. When Christ comes into our lives, He fills is with His Spirit. When The Spirit fills us that means demons cannot enter into us, it's impossible for God to be near evil, The Spirit is part of The God Head so therfore, demons, who are evil, cannot be where He is too.

Habakkuk 1:13 NKJV

You  are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?

I Corinthians 12:3-6 NKJV

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

We also need to remember that even though God will allow trials in our lives, He will not tempt us. He doesn't want for harm to happen to us but allows the trials for us to grow.

James 1:12-15 NKJV

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Let me sum all of this up:

1. Don't pass blame to something or someone else when you're probably the reason for the trial that you may be going through. Take ownership of your wrong doings.

2. Don't think your important enough that all the trials you go through come from the devil.

3. If you are a Believer, remember that Christ will protect and help you through, especially if you ask Him to.

4. If you're not a Believer and struggle with problems, now may be the time for you to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

5. Without trials, we do not have challenges that we need to grow. If you're experiencing one or more now, see what you need to learn during this time and remember, it's only temporary.

Love you guys! Good Bless!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why I love my wife

Ephesians 5:25-29 (NKJV): Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.


Do you see what Paul says here? He is talking about loving your wife. I want to address that today, although, this is also referring to Christ coming back for His Church. We will talk about that another time.

Do you love your wife? Are you doing what we men are to be doing? Some of you maybe saying, “Mark, I do love my wife. Why are you asking me this?” Let me share with you what I think this means, especially for me.

First, I love my wife because I love God. I love God, because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19, and because He is Love, 1 John 4:8. Because He first loved us and because He is Love, then it stands to reason that He could teach me how to love.

I only knew how to love myself when I was doing my own thing. If I was dating someone, had a friend, or was helping someone, it usually was so that I would gain something. This meant that there were times that people did not get the help I could have provided if I didn’t get something in return. This also lead to me being depressed, angry, suspicious of others, and the list goes on. I do not want to have that life anymore.

I had to learn how to love others before I could marry my wife. Let’s face it, if we do not know how to love our spouse, how long do you think your relationship last? Am I telling you it is easy to do this or even to have a relationship after learning how to love? No, it is more meaningful.

Second, I love my wife because I believe God brought her as a helpmate/partner, Genesis 2:20-25. You see, while I was learning how to love others, I was praying that God would bring someone that would be a support to whatever ministry I was in. I wanted someone who would be like-minded in my beliefs, who would understand when I am involved in something for ministry, who would pray for me and others that God would reach through my ministry, and who would also be willing to roll up her sleeves, from time to time, to get dirty. My wife fits that to a tee. Am I saying that we are always in agreement whenever it deals with ministry? No, if that was the case, then I married a pushover and I certainly did not want a pushover in my life. I wanted someone who may be able to point things out to me that I would miss otherwise.

Third, I love my wife because she puts up with me. There’s not much I can say in this area except that she probably is the only one that could put up with me, I am certainly not perfect and can be difficult to live with from time to time. She also is good with tempering me when it comes to talking to or teaching the boys about something, as well as others. The best part of this is that she loves me.

Fourth, I love my wife because she is a good mom. When we married, she had two boys that she was raising. I also had two sons, that although one of them is not speaking to me at this time, she was willing to learn to love. My oldest, the one who is not on speaking terms with me, has reached out to her from time to time to ask for direction on different things. Their interactions have always seem to be positive ones. This is exciting because, she showed him love even though he is not hers. My youngest would come and visit us and eventually moved in with us. This meant she had to interact with him more consistently and definitely needed to learn how to love him. It certainly was not easy for her to do this. She really is a good mom with all the boys.

There is always a growing list of the reasons of why I love her but, all this to say, as a  Man of God, I need to live this example not only for her, but for the boys and for others. I did not have the best teacher growing up about how to show love. However, since God has worked on my heart and changed me, I need to pass a better legacy to my boys, and pray that I do not mess it up too much. Even if I do, I have to pray that they learn from my mistakes and chose to follow Him who is Love and not fall into those same mistakes.

So, again I ask, do you love your wife? Are you willing to make changes?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wow, has it been a year since I started this?

I started this over a year ago with the intent to share thoughts of everyday life in ministry. I have not at all done that. I am now going to try to do this and try to keep it up at least once a week.

I wanted to share somethings I am currently praying about and learning over time. It starts off with this:

Lately, I have been feeling a little disconnected. I have been praying but, I have not been feeling God speak to me like He was when I started this venture. I have been remembering that if it feels like God moved, then who did really? I have wanted to do what I could to get reconnected.

Last night, I was sitting in the church office and thinking about this. I had stopped by there on my way home from work because I needed to get some communications out via email and phone calls. I looked out over Central and felt sad that I was not doing more. What can I do to reach out more? What can I do to get the word out that we are here to help others see Him and develop a relationship.

I went home and felt like I was a failure. I felt like what we are doing has no purpose and that we are stuck in the water. I was afraid I disappointed Him again and wanted to stop doing this. We have been going for a year and it seems like it is not taking off like we are hoping it to do. It didn't seem to matter that God was using us to reach others and that at least 1 or 2 people a week are giving their lives to the Lord or rededicating their lives. (please, understand that I am not trying to discourage anyone nor am I saying I am giving up, these are some honest thoughts I have been having and just some of the struggles I have been dealing with)

This morning I woke up and starting my quiet time, at least I still did this as much as I can. In one of the devotions I read, "Pastor who is not praying, is playing...", great, that was some encouragement. It felt like more a kick to the teeth. I thought I am praying but probably not as much as I should. After all, He has placed some people under my guidance who I need to pray for.

As I get ready for work, I listen to some teachings to help encourage me and to be sure I get fed. One of the pastors I was listening to was talking about service. I wanted to be sure I listened to what he was talking about. It seems that he has dealt with some of the similar things I was feeling. He said "Yesterday, I came to the church to work on my message. When I got here, I saw a line of cars with people in them, ready to do service. I thought, 'I wish I could do some service instead of being locked up in an office for several hours preparing a message.' Then it dawned on me, 'You're doing service based on obedience'. We need to remember that our service needs to be in obedience rather than in being busy. There is many needs out there and if we respond to those needs rather than to the obedience of God, we can stay busy but not be effective."  He then talked about how the older men are to build the younger men up.

I then started thinking and praying. I was getting fired up again. I realized that God is using me to build up others to do service. I realized that we are all doing what we are supposed to do to be obedient to Him. He chose me to be the overseer of this ministry and that I do not always have to be the "hands on guy". I can get involved but I need to remember that I am to encourage those who He brought into our ministry and help them do the service.

Later on, as I ma spending more quiet time, I remember that there are others who have gone through this. I think of David, who, although he was a man after God's own heart, went through bouts of depression. I thought of Paul, who had divine intervention, went through physical ailments among other things. Then I thought about how they dealt with these things. They prayed. So, here I am again, back to being obedient and praying. Please, pray with me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Why have a blog? That's a question I have asked myself. This would be a good place to talk about things that are going on in my life and ministry. I think sometimes we, who are pastors, forget that sometimes people want to know who we are and the things we go through. The hope for this is for others to see that we are people too. To share personal intimate details here is not something that would be apropriate as these are things we should share with those in our inner circle. But to talk about things that happen in genral would hopefully give others some insight. I hope this will be helpful to many and will hopefully help me to see what God is doing. So welcome to my blog and let's enjoy this adventure together.