Whipped by Jesus???

As a child I received spankings, they did me good. I was never abused but I was disciplined thoroughly on numerous accounts. Honestly, no other form of discipline worked for me. And when I say discipline, I mean discipline and not punishment. There is a huge difference between the two. Discipline aims to correct behavior in order to bring out the best in someone. Punishment seeks to get even or levy revenge. Most punishment takes place when someone is angry and therefore the goal is destruction, not instruction.

 

The Bible says we are to be angry, but sin not. Anger is not a sin, but what we do with our anger can easily become sin. Jesus was angry once. Look at the story here in the Gospel of John:

 

John 2: 13 – 15 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. NKJV

 

Yep, Jesus got angry and went and gathered some cords and patiently crafted a whip to take to the synagogue! Can you imagine seeing Jesus buying supplies at the store and asking Him, “Jesus, what are you doing”? And Him answering, “I am making a whip for church tomorrow”. That picture just isn’t congruent with the picture most of us have about our Savior. But, it happened.

 

Jesus was angry that the god of mammon (the greedy pursuit of gain) had moved into the house of the Lord. He was angry that the moneychangers were profiting off of the people of God. He was angry that the religious crowd had put the extra burden of the Law on the people and had not done anything to help them with the burdens they already had.

 

Jesus exhibited anger towards injustice. And in His anger, we do not see anyone hurt or wounded, but we do see the system that brought bondage overturned.

 

Pray about how God might lead you to join others hoping to ‘overturn’ systems that have placed people in bondage or ways to help and offer help to those in need.

For more information, go to http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/are-you-color-blind.html

Has Your Sensor Gone Bad?

If we think for a minute about the lights on the dashboard of our car, we can get a picture of the warning systems that God has equipped us with. Each of the lights on our dashboard is tied to sensors under the hood that warn us when something is starting to malfunction. When the light comes on, there is a problem. But, rarely if ever is it the light bulb itself. It is either something legitimately wrong under the hood, or the sensor is going bad.

It is our job to protect and maintain our “sensor” from becoming overloaded and worn out. If your sensor is worn out, it cannot warn you about legitimate problems, and we can walk in deception.

I walked for a season in deception due to a bad sensor in two areas of my life.

The first was when someone took the liberty to criticize me about something. Of course, the criticism was unsolicited, but I listened anyway, because I want to be teachable. I want to grow even if I don’t like what is being said or I don’t like the person who is saying it. As I listened, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “You don’t have to listen to this”. I responded, “It is the mature thing to do. I need to know what I do not know, so that I can grow”. And then He reminded me, “Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. Criticism is not”. With conviction, comes the grace from God to change. Criticism does not bring grace with it. So, while we may have 10 areas that we need to grow in, if God isn’t dealing within an area, and releasing His grace for it, we cannot change.

The second way my sensor has malfunctioned in the past is in a season of euphoria. Have you ever seen someone fall in love and lose all common sense? Sometimes we can take one good thing that is happening in our life and ignore every other bad thing our sensor is trying to warn us about.

God gave us our sensors. Let’s take good care of them and listen to what God is trying to say to us through them. For more on this subject visit http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/does-your-warning-light-work.html

 

Have You Experienced the “Draw Back” Effect?

Recently, a friend asked me how I was doing. I told him to ask me the next week. I had just started a big project that was costing me more time and money than I had expected. I was overwhelmed with the slow progress. And it seemed at times we were going backwards more than forwards. But, the end result might end up being much better than I could have hoped for. It was just too early to know.

 

He then replied that I was in the “Draw Back” phase. “It’s like a bow and arrow. Anytime God wants to send you forward, He first has to draw you back”. Wow, I had never thought of it that way. But how many times had I started something new and positive in my life, only to face difficulties and challenges and wonder whether it was even worth it to continue?

 

When I have not been to the gym in a while, and I go to lift weights, I can lift a decent amount on my first trip. Over the next few days, my muscles become very sore. The next time I go to work out, I cannot lift the same amount that I did the first time. I am lifting much less AND it hurts! Remind me again why I am doing this? After a few weeks, the soreness is gone and I am able to not only lift the original amount but much more. That is the “Draw Back” effect.

 

When you feel called to start something new and are met with disappointment and failure, don’t stop. You’re just in the “Draw Back” effect. If you continue on, you will be launched into the new things you were called to do.

 

For more on this subject go to: http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/is-god-waiting-on-you.html

 

What is Lurking in the Distance

Something evil and sinister is lurking in the distance, hell bent on destroying you. Not only are we often clueless that this dangerous force exists and is stalking us, but we are unaware that we create the opportunity for it to exist in our lives.

This is how it happens.

In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the morning. One day, Adam and Eve sinned, and this created a distance between them and God. The next day, when God came looking for them, Adam and Eve were hiding from him because they were afraid. They had also made loin garments because they were naked and ashamed.

Their sin created a distance between them and God.

Like Adam and Eve, when we sin, we create a distance between us and God. Within this distance, all kinds of bad things live. This is where shame, fear, condemnation, guilt, regret, insecurity and anxiety live. We create the space for it to exist and we allow it to ravage our lives because we won’t close the distance.

A believer closes this distance between themselves and God by repenting of their sin, removing this sin from the enemy’s tool box, so it can no longer be used against us.

This “distance” concept doesn’t just apply to our relationship with God. It also affects our relationships with others. When we have an offense between ourselves and another, we create a distance. We avoid one another, hold back our true feelings, and we withdraw. And, what lives in that distance? Anger, condemnation, insecurity and all kinds of things we can fantasize or conjure up in our mind.

We must remove the distance so that these evil things cannot affect and live in our lives, stalking us, and sabotaging our relationships. Just like God came to Adam to close the distance, God sent Jesus to us. He is the great healer of relationships and the closer of the distance. And, since we have Jesus in us, He sends us to close the distance with those in our lives. Be godly. Find someone today that you can close the distance with and kill all those negative things that live there and are eating away at your relationships. For a deeper revelation on this subject, go to http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/slaves-of-righteousness.html

 

 

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