“Carry God Correctly!”

dose

2 Samuel 6:3, “And they set the ark of God upon a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abindab, drove the new cart.” (AMP)                     

For those of you desiring to be a True Soul Winner for God, then the First Key you must remember is to Carry God Correctly!  

God cannot be sprayed on like cologne, used as a scent to cover up our sinful stench! Nor can He be used like a credit card, hidden, and taken out only when needed to be used! No, God Must Live IN You and Through You! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who LIVES WITHIN YOU, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him IN your body.” (AMP).

Truth is, it’s getting really hard for the people of God to be Effective in reaching out to the world because the world is starting to believe in their own Form of Righteousness and even though they have No Commitment to God, they believe that they are heaven bound! This is going to step on some Sanctified Toes, but the Truth of the Matter Is: This is the Churches Fault! 2 Timothy 3:5, For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].” (AMP).

Church, We have made So Many Excuses For Ourselves, And Them, going after Money Instead of Deliverance or Preaching Feel Good Messages Instead of Preaching the Total Truth, that Now, the World is Walking Alongside the Church As If They Are Okay! However, the Word of God Has Commanded Us: “So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor.” (2 Corinthians 6:17 AMP). 

When we Hide the Truth, We Give No Reason For Change To The World! We have to remember at all times, Believers Don’t Blend!

Again the Church Is Commanded: 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (AMP). 

Understand This: When We Are “Of” The World, Then We Promote It And Cause the World to Accept a Form of Godliness, Instead of a Godly Lifestyle! It’s All About How WE (THE CHURCH) Carry God In Our Daily Lives, PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY! The World Should See a Distinctive Difference Between Us and Them. Our Homes, Families, Character, Integrity, Work Ethics, Dress Attire, Habits, Lifestyle, Should All Send a Clear Message Between Light and Dark, Clean and Unclean, Holy and Unholy, Saved and Unsaved, Believer, and Unbeliever! Church, Let’s Come Out of Acting Like the World, So We Can Bring the World Into the Church! We Can’t Help Them When Our Behavior is No Different From Them.

Listen: In this passage of Scripture, we find a group of people that are Trying to Carry God’s Ark (Which Represents His Presence), BUT They Did Not Follow His Commandments!

Let me say it like this: These guys Decided to Put God on a Vehicle and Carry Him to a Certain Place. HOWEVER, God Commanded that They Carry Him By the Hands of the Sanctified Levites and that They Carry Him By the Handles that were Attached to it! BUT, They Came Up With the Bright Idea to Place Him On a Cart and Drive Him By Oxen! Well, when the cart hit a bump, the Ark Got Off Balance and Uzzah Reached Out to Stabilize it. When He Touched It, He Was Struck Dead On the Spot! But the Moral of This Story Is Not that Uzzah Touched the Ark of God, BUT the Whole PROCESS of Carrying the Ark was WRONG!

Church, in case you didn’t know, Disobedience Leads to Death and Dethroning! Just Ask Saul! Then Samuel said, Do you think all GOD wants are sacrifices—empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what GOD tells you is far worse than following around in the occult. Getting self-important around GOD is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to GOD’s command, he says No to your kingship.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23 MSG).

Amazing, You Can Either Have It All Or Lose It All And It All Simply Depends On Obedience!

God Did Not Want Them to Carry Him Like That! Uzzah reached out and tried to Help God, BUT He Shouldn’t Have Been Carrying God Like That In the First Place! Even Though Their Motives Were Good, the Process of Getting God to the People Was Wrong! And That’s What We Must Remember Today! If We Are Going to Reach the Lost, We Have to Carry God Correctly!

2 Corinthians 5:16-20, “Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s Representatives. God Uses Us to Persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re Speaking For Christ Himself Now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” (MSG).

In A Neat Little Nutshell: You Can’t Convert Them Into a Right Relationship With God, Carrying God Wrong!

Listen: As Christ’s Representatives, We Can’t Afford to Mix God Up in Our Selfish Agendas, BUT We Must Stick to the Bible and Understand How He Wants Us to Walk in This World!

“See then that ye Walk Circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” (Ephesians 5:15). The Word “Circumspectly” means to be “Cautious and Prudent” Its Latin Origin “Circumspectus”, from “Circumspicere” literally means to “Look Around”. In other words, whether it be in your thoughts, words, actions, motives, intentions, or attitude, Be Cautious and Prudent, Take the Time to Look Around You, there is a Whole World Watching How You Walk! And Many will either stay the same, change for the better, or change for the worse, Simply and Literally By Watching How You Walk!

“Prudent” means “Acting with or showing care and thought for the future”; Its Latin Origin “Prudens”, from “Providens” literally means “Forseeing” As a part of witnessing, it is our job as the church not to see people (unbelievers) as they are Currently, but as they Can Be In Christ! We have the ability to Forsee Them Being Saved, Sanctified, Healed, Delivered and Changed! Therefore, we walk in such a manner as not to foolishly hinder what could be a fruitful future for them in the Kingdom! Which means, we must take such care in our walk because they are watching and will thereby imitate…For Better Or For Worse!

Think of it this way: A small child learning how to put their shoes on needs assistance, teaching, direction and an example shown because of their lack of knowledge in how this is to be done. And looking to an adult, who they believe knows all about this stuff, obviously, they come to us to show them how to do it. Can you imagine if we told them the left shoe goes on the right foot, and the right shoe goes on the left foot? Sounds comical, but do you know that they’re going to do it! Why? Because they trust that what We Tell Them and Show Them Is Correct! After all, why would we, who supposedly love them, want to tell and show them something that is not only wrong, but painful, and which can eventually lead to a difficult walk and deformity?

However, the truth is, that’s exactly what we, the church, has been doing to the world! We’ve been telling them one thing and doing another! And in confusion, they’re doing both…what we say and what we do, and then we’re wondering why are they so screwed up and confused…BUT WE CAUSED IT!

And while we’re talking about teaching people to walk right, there’s another little thing to keep in mind. As parents, we often check our children’s feet and shoes as they grow older because we always want them to be in the Appropriate Size! Likewise, don’t just get the “glad glads” when someone comes to Christ and then just leave them at the altar! Babes in Christ are no different than Babies, to Children, To Teens, To Young Adults, To Adults. They need help throughout all their stages of life and growth! Teach them throughout each Transition! Listen, you can’t get mad when they’re 16 and still struggling trying to walk in the same size shoe as when they were 6, when you never helped them out of it! You see, the danger is that once a person does something consistently (be it right or wrong), it develops into a habit, and that habit (be it good or bad) will become their normal way of life. So, if we tell the world to put out their cigarettes, get rid of the bottle, flush the drugs, we better make sure those things have already been delivered from us first! Because when we compromise before the world, we compromise the eternity of the world. We can’t tell them to start a new way of life, when we haven’t stopped our old way of living. In addition, we can’t set low standards that say you can cuss (just not on Sundays); you can drink, get high, and smoke 2 packs a day (just not on Bible Study nights); you can fornicate, commit adultery, lie, steal, cheat, be unforgiving and spiteful (just not when you see other believers around). We have to stand out so distinctively it makes the world come to us asking questions! Which is why you don’t see an influx of unbelievers visiting churches. For what? When what’s going on within the 4 walls of the church is the same thing going on within the 4 walls of the club! Why would they come to church to learn how to live right, when we’re comfortable living wrong? Church, we have to do and be better. We have to set the bar as high as God’s character and integrity, especially since we’re going around using His Name (Christ) to describe ourselves (Christians)! My former pastor used to say, ‘bring no shame to the family name.’ Well, if you were charged for bringing shame to the Kingdom of God family name, would you be found innocent or guilty? And yes, that includes your public AND private life!

It’s our job to make sure that unbelievers come to Christ, and it’s our job to continue walking with them along their journey! However, that is difficult to do when we keep changing up the rules of Salvation depending on the Circumstance of Life we find ourselves in! We can’t call what they do sin on Saturday, when we do the same thing on Monday. We Can’t Compromise the Characteristics of Christ that Should Be Evident in Every Believers Life and Lifestyle. Remember This: Carrying Christ Requires Consistency!

We must learn to consistently walk in such a manner that our testimony is the same as Enoch’s: “And Enoch walked [in Habitual Fellowship] With God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him].” (Genesis 5:24 AMP).  And this isn’t a Sunday Walk either! Enoch’s Walk With God Was “Habitual”, meaning it was “Done Constantly as a Habit; It was his usual or his regular, daily, consistently unbroken routine”! Now that’s a walk, in the words of the Apostle Paul, that is “worthy to be imitated”!

Church, To Carry God Correctly, We Must Walk Circumspectly! God Wants Us to Walk With Him and Carry Him Within Ourselves So that He May Be Shown Mighty In Our Own Lives! God Wants Us So Full of Him that We Can Just Walk Up to a Sinner and he will See God’s Glory Shining Through Us!

After All, If We’re Really Spending Quality Time Walking With God, Talking With God and Carrying God, There Should Be Manifested Evidence of the Fact, Shouldn’t It? It was for Moses:When Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the two Tablets of The Testimony, he didn’t know that the SKIN OF HIS FACE GLOWED BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN SPEAKING WITH GOD. Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, SAW HIS RADIANT FACE, and held back, afraid to get close to him. Moses called out to them. Aaron and the leaders in the community came back and Moses talked with them. Later all the Israelites came up to him and he passed on the commands, everything that GOD had told him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face, but when he went into the Presence of GOD to Speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. When he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, THEY WOULD SEE MOSES’ FACE, ITS SKIN GLOWING, and then he would again put the veil on his face until he went back to Speak With GOD.” (Exodus 34:29-35 MSG). 

People of God, the World is looking to see the Glow of His Glory on Us, NOT the Form of Godliness Through Us! Therefore, Today Determine To Carry God And His Glory Correctly!

God Is Tired of Us Hiding In the Church or Using Our “Ministry” as a Cart to Carry Him Instead of Us Carrying Him Personally! The Day of Trying to Get Sinners to Church to get them Saved Is Over! We Must Be Full of God’s Spirit and Reach the Lost at Our Jobs, in our Homes, at the Supermarket, in the Laundromat, on line at the Bank, Walking through Park and our Neighborhoods, Just Because He Is Shown Mighty in Our Personal Lives! If We Walk Right Before Them, They Will Know the True and Living God! If Signs and Wonders Really Follow Us (Healing, Miracles, Deliverance, etc.) then They Will Know the Power of God and Desire It! Our Man-Made Schemes of Reaching the World are Not Important! God Will Reach the Lost If We Just Lend Him Our Members and Show Him In Our Daily Walk! Don’t Get Caught Up In a Man-Made Plan to Carry God in Any Method Other Than the Way the Word of God Tells Us To!

After all, what will it Profit the World to See Us Carrying God the Way They Do?

Saints, There Must Be a Difference Between Us and Them! A Clear Distinction! Exodus 8:20-23, “God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes down to the water. Tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you don’t release my people, I’ll release swarms of flies on you, your servants, your people, and your homes. The houses of the Egyptians and even the ground under their feet will be thick with flies. BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS, I’LL SET GOSHEN WHERE MY PEOPLE LIVE ASIDE AS A SANCTUARY – NO FLIES IN GOSHEN. THAT WILL SHOW YOU THAT I AM GOD IN THIS LAND. I’LL MAKE A SHARP DISTINCTION BETWEEN YOUR PEOPLE AND MINE. This sign will occur tomorrow.’” (MSG)

IT IS MY BELIEF THAT GOD STILL WANTS HIS PEOPLE DISTINCT FROM THE WORLD AROUND THEM! SO THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ASK AND ANSWER IS: “IS MY CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE DISTINCT FROM THE WORLD OR HARD TO DIFFERENTIATE FROM IT?!”

2 Samuel 6:6-7, “When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out [with his hand] to the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen [stumbled and] nearly overturned it.  And the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.” (AMP) Trying to help cost him his life. And all because he put his hands on the ark he wasn’t supposed to touch. An ark that was being carried incorrectly. Can you imagine if that was God’s response to us every time we carried Him incorrectly or represented Him in a manner inconsistent with His Character? How much of the Church would be left alive? Sadly, Uzzah would never have lost his life had the ark been carried correctly in the first place. Saints, we have to remember that there are always consequences to our choices. And if we choose to haphazardly carry God incorrectly, He will chastise the children in whom He loves. But who’s to say what that chastisement might be? And do you really want to compromise and chance it? Truthfully, we’ve all missed out on much due to our disobedience. Not to mention, this side of heaven, we’ll never know how many people we led astray by our contrary behavior.

We preach, teach and pray that these are the end times and the last days. Well, wouldn’t you say then that it’s vital that the church gets her act together? Lives and eternity are hanging in the balance. Our obedience can tip the scales in the Kingdom’s favor. People of God, We Must Stay Obedient to Him In Order to Win the Lost! For We Dare Not Carry God So Carelessly That the World Declares “…You ALMOST Persuaded Me…” (Acts 26:28) ‘Almost’ is defined as, ‘very nearly; borderline; partially; just about; within an inch of.’ And in these last days and end times, is that the report we intend to give to God? That our inconsistent lifestyles of straddling the fence, caused people to miss heaven by a borderline?! People who were very near to accepting You, they were partially there, just about, within an inch of making it in, until they saw how we act out! Listen, I can’t speak for you, but that is NOT the report I intend to give God!

Let’s not lose anymore Uzzahs!

Let’s Carry God the Way He’s Already Commanded Us to. Let’s be His clean, and honorable vessels that He can pour into and out of. Let’s make sure our habits, behavior, attitude, speech, attire, lifestyle choices all reflect a good representation of God. Let’s remember we’re created in His image and likeness, we’re His Ambassadors, we are Christians, called by His Name, we are Disciples of Christ, we are children of God, and representatives of heaven, we are the called out ones, we are the CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD! Now, let’s act like it!

Remember, the world is watching our walk, let’s make sure we don’t trip them up!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “13 Worst Foods in Your Fridge”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word: “GLEAN”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“POUR On the SALT, TURN On the LIGHT”

dose3

I’m such a lover of history! So today I invite you to take a little trip with me!

It was the early winter of 1994 – the one the Sanitation Department of New York City would not forget for a long while. Much of the East Coast got hit big time with this parade of snow and ice storms. At one point, they were coming about every other day. A hard freeze and frequent storms created layers of frozen precipitation on the ground. Kind of like geological strata except slippery. Olympic skaters could have practiced on Broadway or Fifth Avenue to give you a real good visual!

Needless to say, the sand and salt trucks were working around the clock, and drivers worked such long hours that I’m persuaded they had to wear name tags when they finally got home because they’d been gone so much and so long, it’s a wonder their families remembered who they were! But, ultimately, the slippery stuff wasn’t the biggest problem. No, the real crisis was a salt shortage. Now, snow and ice are bad. But no salt on the snow and ice? Well, that’s horrific! People were saying, “Hey, they ran out of salt!” However, one city official explained that was not the problem. He said, “There’s plenty of salt. The problem is we can’t get the salt from where it is to where it’s needed.

Read with me Matthew 5, beginning at verse 13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” God goes on to describe us, then, as “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” (vs. 14) And then He says, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (vss. 15-16).

Let’s look at these verses in the Amplified Bible: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery]. “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (AMP)

The first thing that struck me is this: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (PURPOSE)…” And what’s our “Purpose”? Simple: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20); “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:15-20); “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

In a nutshell: It is our responsibility to bring the Gospel to EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE! If we’re not sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we’ve lost our PURPOSE! And what happens when PURPOSE is lost? …It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on…” It’s dangerous to lose your PURPOSE! Sadly, the church has become so consumed with “Personal Purpose” that we’ve missed out on our “Corporate Purpose”! We’re so fixated on getting people to join our church, that in the end, all we’ll have is a long church roster on earth, but a short roster in heaven! The early church of Acts 2 was so powerful because it possessed a single-minded focus on Corporate Purpose! They were assembled together, of one mind, goal, and purpose. They worked together for all! And what happened? They got 3,000 souls in a day and we can’t get 3 visitors in a year! People of God, our Salty Purpose is to Work Together in Sharing the Good News With All We Come in Contact With! And not for the aim and goal of getting people to join our church, but getting people to have their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Think about this: When salt loses its purpose, it’s good for nothing but to be thrown out. Well, if we’re not sharing the Good News, which is our purpose, why would God allow us to continue living and breathing on the Earth, when we’re no longer good for anything since we’ve lost our purpose? When something has lost its purpose, why hold on to it? Why keep it around? It no longer serves a purpose! Let that be your days meditation thought…

Now let’s take a look at The Message Bible Translation:

 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)

 Let’s look at this in a few parts: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?…” I love Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” But again, Matthew says, “…If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?…” YOU my friend are the key ingredient! Your saltiness gives people a thirst for Living Water! But if you lose your salt, they lose a taste that would’ve led them to a Water in which they would never thirst again! It’s important to ALL that you never lose your saltiness! It’s vital to the salvation of others! You will lead them to Living Waters; You will lead them to Godliness; You will lead them to Experience the Goodness of the Lord; You will lead them to Trust Him! Don’t Lose Your Salt!

Matthew goes on to say, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a SECRET to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill…” (MSG) So, if God is not a secret to be kept, why do we, as believers, keep Him tucked away quietly within our church walls? The word “secret” is defined as “not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others”. Clearly, God Was Not Meant to Be the Churches Secret! The Scripture Declares, “…We’re going PUBLIC with this, as public as a city on a hill…” (MSG) And do you know what the word “public” means? It’s defined as “available to the people as a whole; involving the affairs of the community; in open view of everything and everybody”. In other words, God is Not a Secret to Be Kept, Nor Hidden or Confined! Which means we, the church, need to get out of the church! We’re preaching, teaching, praying, encouraging just Saved Folks! We’re so busy with protocol, programs, and positions that People are slipping through the cracks and sliding right into hell! Maybe we should stop sitting at the Dais table and go stand in the soup kitchen and serve. Maybe we should stop attempting to out-dress one another, and take those clothes to much needed clothes drives. Maybe we should stop gathering at the church, and gather at the shelters instead. Maybe we should stop having countless praise breaks, and take a break from superficial Christianity and actually live as Christians who really serve Christ.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, there are two things you need to know that your Savior says you are. You are salt and you are light. Now, it doesn’t take a lot of salt to change the environment. Think about it: you don’t need a pound of salt for a pound of meat, right? You don’t have to have as much salt as there is ice. But in order for salt to do any good, it has to be in contact with the thing it is needed to change; on the street or on the meat. It doesn’t do anything in a salt shaker or piled in a salt mountain somewhere in a big storage yard! There needs to be contact! But how can we as salt, season the earth, if we never come in contact?! We have to leave the pews and pulpits if we’re ever going to come into contact with the world!

God’s problem with getting Jesus to lost and dying people is the same as that winter emergency in New York; the salt wasn’t getting where it was needed! We – who know Christ – often are not in enough meaningful contact with the people who need us most. It’s as if there are these great mountains of spiritual salt in a very cold and frozen world. We salt people spend so much time in meetings with each other, doing programs for each other, having concerts with each other, serving on committees for each other, and doing books and music for each other. We’re disconnected from the people who are dying without our Jesus! If we’re to season the earth we need to come into contact with its inhabitants. And YES, that means we need to come into contact with the prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts, alcoholics, gangs, homeless and the like. We need to visit the sick and shut-in, the hospice, the nursing homes, the emergency rooms, shelters, soup kitchens, prisons, asylums, abortion clinics, dialysis and chemo centers. We need to share our salt in the laundromat, the supermarket, on the train, in the cab, or standing in line at the deli! We are constantly surrounded by people who need what we have, and yet we give them nothing, but give each other the same things week after week, behind the closed doors of the church!

Isn’t it time for the salt to get out where it’s needed? We need to leave the comfort of Salt Mountain and dare to risk getting involved in places where lost people are; to look at the unbelieving people around us and start building some bridges into their lives; building intentional rescue relationships. More than picketers, protestors, politickers, or promoters, God needs some of His people to just move close to some people who are not His people…YET!

Listen to Matthew again in The Amplified Translation and then The Message Bible:

You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (AMP);

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)

Can you imagine how odd it would look if you walked into a dark room, turned on the lamp, and then put the lit lamp in a closet and closed the door? Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that’s what we’ve been doing. We sing all these wonderful songs about the goodness and faithfulness of God, yet we sing in the church. We preach all these inspiring messages about the salvation, healing and delivering power of God, yet we preach in the church. We teach about the attributes of God, the fruit of the Spirit, the unconditional love of Jesus, yet we teach in the church. We pray until tumors dry up, cancer is cured, Aids no longer exists, the lame are walking, the deaf can hear, the mute can speak, the blind can see, the bound are free, and yet we pray this only in church. Why do we keep light surrounded by more light, when we live in such a dark world? We talk about sagging pants, rebellious youth, broken homes, tattoos, piercings, addictions, and the like, and yet all light does is talk to more light about it, instead of light going out into the world and fulfilling its purpose, “…it gives light to all who are in the house.  ” (AMP); I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!” (MSG) I love one of the definitions of the word “shine” it’s defined as “a torch used to give direction in the dark.” That’s what we’re assigned to do. Give a dark world some light, so that they may see our Jesus! And what happens when we do? “…they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (AMP). When we shine light, they see our Father, and find a path that leads them to Him. And once they find Him, they praise Him, honor Him, and glorify Him!

But I also love the way the Message Bible says it, “…By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG) When we go to where we’re needed, and share our salty testimonies about what God has done for us, we prompt them to do the same. Seek Him, Find Him, Follow and Trust Him. But we have to go to them first, and “open up”.

And an added bonus is this, “it gives light to all who are in the house…” When you share the Good News with just one person, you in fact share it with many more. You see, when you share it with that husband, you have to remember that he’s also a son, a brother, an uncle, a god-father, a teacher, a coach, a friend etc…what does that mean? When you share light with him, he in turn shares it with his wife, children, siblings, parents, nieces and nephews, god-children, students, athletes, friends etc… When you share with him, he shares with a whole host of others! Your light shines on his whole household! “it gives light to ALL who are in the HOUSE…”

Would you dare to ask God today to lay some lost person on your heart? Maybe He already has. Ask Him, “God, go ahead and break my heart for the people within my reach who do not have You.” And then invest yourself in what Jesus did. He came “to seek and to save those who are lost.” If you share your light, they’ll find Him too!

Listen: Too many people are slipping away, falling, and crashing because there is no salt making a difference where they are. Please, if you know Jesus, be where you are needed the most!

Luke 14:34, “Salt is excellent. But if the salt goes flat, it’s useless, good for nothing. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” (MSG)

Today Determine to Pour On the Salt, and Turn On the Light!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “How to Burn Off the Foods You Love”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word: “CLEANSE”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Keep SHINING, You’re Someone’s Way Out of DARKNESS!”

dose

Matthew 5:14-16, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)

There are two types of stories that pull at my heart-strings immediately. One is that of anyone who survives a life-devastating event; and two, anything concerning children. Well, what I’m about to share with you combines them both.

You see, she was only seven years old; the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed her parents, her sister, and her cousin. The sheriff said “she literally fell out of the sky into a dark hole.” He called her survival “a miracle.” This “miracle” survivor somehow crawled out of this upside-down wreckage of her dad’s plane dressed only in shorts and a t-shirt on a cold winter night. Shoe-less, through brambles and underbrush, this, who they called “remarkable” young girl, navigated two embankments, a hill, and a creek bed in the dark!

Then, much like the book of Genesis, “and then there was light”. Actually, it was just a single security light on a house. But when she knocked on that door, a kind, grandfatherly man brought her inside. Then she was safe. One report said this: “He thinks his security light may have been a beacon.I agree, a beacon of light for a little girl who had lost so much in the dark. Thank God for the light that saved her life.

This story got me to thinking about who I need to be for people who’ve lost so much (in the dark moments of life). Those who feel alone, depressed, disheartened…those whose world has suddenly crashed into darkness, who need someone to be a light – a “beacon” – to lead them to safety.

I love that word “beacon”, it’s defined as “a fire lit on the top of a hill as a signal; a light serving as a signal for ships or aircraft.” Its Old English Origin literally means “sign.” The word “signal” is defined as “a gesture, action or sound conveying information or an instruction.” Its Italian Origin “segnalato” means “distinguished”, from its root “segnale” which means “a signal.When we as believers become beacons of light for those lost in darkness, we serve as a signal conveying information about our Savior and instruction that He is the Light of the World to follow. And our signal is “distinguished”, which is defined as “having an identifying characteristic.” And what characteristics stand out for us as believers? “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [UNSELFISH CONCERN FOR OTHERS], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.  If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [WITH PERSONAL INTEGRITY, GODLY CHARACTER, AND MORAL COURAGE—OUR CONDUCT EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT].” (Galatians 5:22-25 AMP) That’s what distinguishes us. That’s what makes people who are walking around in darkness, look up and take notice of us. They see the light of an unselfish person with personal integrity, godly character and moral courage that conducts themselves according to the empowering Holy Spirit from within.

In other words, when people (whether saved or unsaved) see us, they should see light! They should see a way out. They should see encouragement, inspiration, empowerment, care, unconditional love and a non—judgmental attitude. They should see someone who simply wants to help guide them out of Gloom and into God. Those starving for help should see the Fruit of the Spirit in us. They should see love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. As believers, we are to be beacons of light in this dark world. Philippians 2:15, “so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, AMONG WHOM YOU ARE SEEN AS BRIGHT LIGHTS [BEACONS SHINING OUT CLEARLY] in the world [of darkness],” (AMP).

So, are you shining light, or throwing shade? Because you can’t do both!

In our text for today, Jesus says this in Matthew 5, beginning with verse 14, “You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.” (TLB) The word “glow” is defined as “to give out steady light; to have an intense color and a slight radiance.” And the word “steady” is defined as “firmly fixed, supported, or balanced, not faltering or wavering; reliable; regular; continuous; and frequent.” In other words, our lights are always on, they do not turn off! The Scripture commands us, “…DON’T HIDE YOUR LIGHT!” When something is “hidden” it means it’s “put or kept out of sight; concealed; and camouflaged”. Which is very descriptive of some of us, believers, when we’re anywhere else, outside of church! Oh, we’ll shine brightly within the 4 walls of the church, but somehow we manage to dim-down at work, the salons, the barbershop, supermarket, laundromat, the mall, and most certainly when we’re cut off by someone on the highway! And that word “dim” means “difficult to see, shady, and unclear.” It becomes difficult to see our light when we want to blend in and look and sound like everyone else. When we conform to the crowd, it’s difficult to see our individual light. And depending on where we are, what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with, we become real shady. Our integrity and character becomes unclear. We’re no longer distinguished but indistinguishable. And what’s the danger of that? “YOU ARE THE WORLD’S LIGHT…” The world will only see the light that we shine. But when we remain hidden, they remain in the dark. But we’re commanded, “LET IT SHINE FOR ALL…” People are depending on us church. And as the Scripture says, “…ALL…” people are depending on us. Every culture, nationality, gender, race, age, rich, poor, single, married, divorced, with kids, without kids, varying religions, they are all depending on us…whether they know it or not. Because despite the popular ideas of “higher powers”, there is only One Power, One Name and One God, that can save them from eternal darkness and His name is Jesus Christ. And we as His followers, named after His name (Christians) are to continuously be the road map that points them in His direction! John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, I AM THE [ONLY] WAY [TO GOD] and the [REAL] TRUTH and the [REAL] LIFE; NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.” (AMP); Philippians 2:9-11, “Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him FAR BEYOND ANYONE OR ANYTHING, EVER, so that ALL CREATED BEINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH—EVEN THOSE LONG AGO DEAD AND BURIED—WILL BOW IN WORSHIP BEFORE THIS JESUS CHRIST, and call out in praise that HE IS THE MASTER OF ALL, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” (MSG)

We are the Beacons of Light, in this Dark World, that will Lead ALL to Jesus! Saints, We Can’t Dim Our Light, They Need Us to Show Them the Way Out!

Speaking of being a beacon and light, I’ve been thinking what it means to be a beacon or light for people in my personal world. And I found out, in its simplicity, it means being one person they know who is all about their need, not about my own. One who has time to listen (and even when I don’t have time, making time anyhow). Being that one person who doesn’t just ask the obligatory “How you doing?” But one who asks that second and third question to see if that obligatory “I’m fine” answer they gave me is really how they’re doing. Being a light means being the one who refuses to hear or speak trash talk about anyone. Who protects a person’s name when they’re not in the room. Who builds a person up and never tears them down. Who says, “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong.” It’s being the person to call, leave a voicemail, text, email, or visit. It’s the person to mail a get well card. It’s the person giving more than a “church hug”, but being arms in which someone can fall into, cry freely and still feel unashamed. Its’ being a safe place for someone to strip off all their layers of initials, titles, positions, and the like, and simply being who they really are in the moment (hurt, confused, in pain, lonely, depressed, bitter, discouraged, angry). It’s being the person they can confide in knowing that their confidence will never be betrayed.

It’s always being the person who treats people, as the Bible says, “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). The Message Bible reads it like this, “If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, AND ALWAYS WITH THE UTMOST COURTESY. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad…” (vss. 13-18 MSG) People of God, this ought to be descriptive of us, no matter what or where. Christians ought to always be courteous, kind, generous, gentle, caring, and understanding. After all, how can we possibly be anything contrary to the Christ we’ve been called to represent in His Image and Likeness?

In a nutshell: We do not “turn off our light” no matter how dark a person may be that approaches us. We have not been called to judge, point fingers, assign blame, pronounce guilt, to condemn or put down. We are simply to be light that directs dark to Light. That’s our responsibility. We are to represent God, not attempt to replace Him, or try to “be Him”. Just do what He asked of you, and certainly I’ve found nowhere in Scripture where He’s asked of us to treat cruel with cruel or dark with dark. In fact, His Word admonishes us, “Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. THAT GOES FOR ALL OF YOU, NO EXCEPTIONS. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—THAT’S YOUR JOB, TO BLESS. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well TO WHAT HE’S ASKED; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.” (1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG). Did you read your job responsibility? “…BLESS – THAT’S YOUR JOB, TO BLESS…” Not to curse, but to bless! No matter who you’re dealing with, no matter their attitude or response, you are to bless. Whether you feel like it or not, you are to bless. Whether it’s morning, noon or night, you are to bless. Whether it’s family, friend or foe, you are to bless. Whether it’s at home, church, work, business, gas station, in traffic, or a PTA meeting, you are to bless!

It’s a blessing, to be light! You know why? Because “light” people are those who remember a person’s birthday, who checks on them when they’re sick, who’s at the hospital, the wedding, and the funeral. Who drops what I’m doing when they’re hurting. Who offers to pray withnot just for – them when God is needed so much. “Light” people give you their precious time and undivided attention.

And so you don’t take this as a personal attack, I even asked MYSELF: do people around me see me as “safe“; the “go-to” person when it’s dark, when it’s cold and when it’s lonely? Have I so lived that when they hit a wall, they’ll think of me as a place to turn? Am I the light on the porch when people around me are feeling lost? Do people see Christ in me? Do they taste salt and see light? Am I compassionate, kind, enduring, patient, loving, understanding, pleasant to be around? Is my attitude a good one (or does it depend on the day, person and circumstance)? Do I murmur? Do I complain? Am I negative? Am I pessimistic? Am I confrontational? Am I critical? Am I the person someone would call in times of trouble? When someone has fallen into sin and needs restoration, am I a person they would call on to help them reconcile with God? As James admonishes us, am I a person they can confide in, trust, and confess to? In other words, this Word challenged me to re-exam my own life, lifestyle and walk with God, and His people. Now, I’ve discovered that I’m not a horrible person, however, I’ve also realized that I can certainly become a better person. I can be the light someone needs in their dark tunnel. I can help them navigate their way. And sometimes that’s not with speech, just with the gift of presence.

I can be that for one reason. Truth is, Jesus Christ has been that for me. And so have my brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether it was worry over my children, struggling in marriage, hardship in finances, discouraged with church, sleepless nights with school, the loss of my dad, the loss of my mom. I’ve had “Light” people that stepped into my dark path, and said, “lets walk this thing together.” And believe it or not, but there are people in your life that need your light. Oh, yeah, they have a smile on their face, and they know how to laugh on cue, and they’ve mastered, “I’m good, I’m fine, All is well, I’m blessed and highly favored.But truth is, in private, many are struggling just to wake up, get up, get dressed and keep going. For many, it’s a struggle just to put both feet on the floor in the morning. For many, their nights are so bad, they no longer want to face another day. YOU, my friend, can be their little piece of personal sunshine on a stormy day.

One thing that always warms my heart is passing by a person and they smile, which makes me smile. We never speak, we never exchange words at all. And yet, I feel instantly better. Likewise, you don’t have to be everything for everybody. Sometimes a little smile, a brief hug, a quick pat on the back, is all that’s needed to turn someone’s day around. In fact, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the rekindling of fire you can be to someone’s desire to live with just a few words, I believe in you, you can do this, you can be better, I see greatness in you, dream again, try again, don’t give up, keep pressing, you’ll make it.Everyone needs encouragement, even those that don’t admit it or ask for it. Everyone at one time or another experiences dark days and needs someone to shed a little light. Why not allow yourself to be that light?

Someone in your life needs to feel loved, important, significant, and cherished. Because someone in your life feels neglected, wounded, unforgiven, ashamed, guilty, and desperate. And all they need to make a difference in their darkness is just a little light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). The Message Bible says it like this, “Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” (MSG). If you could just help them direct their darkness to Him, He’ll provide them plenty of light to live in. However, that can’t happen, if you don’t help them get to The Light. If someone in my personal world is wandering in the dark today, I just pray they’ve seen the light in me so I can help them find the Light in Him.

I’ll close with this little story. I have pocketbooks! Lot’s of ‘em! Every color, style and size. My favorites however, are my big bags. But the down-side of them is that I always throw my keys in my bag, so when I get home and try to get in the house, I can’t! It’s dark when I get home at night, and I never think to take them out ahead of time or to place them in a better place of convenience. Well, I ended up attending a friends event and the giveaways were cute little keychain flashlights. I said “what in the world am I supposed to do with this little thing?” And a child (yes, a little kid) gave me the answer. She said, “well, maybe you can use the little light until you can get to a bigger one.” All I could think was: “And a child shall lead them!” That was one of those moments when I thought, “kids say the darndest things”. Sounds comical, but I think she nailed it. The little light, would help me get to the big Light. And upon using my little keychain flashlight to fish out my keys one night, I found it to be true. That little light helped to find my keys, unlock and open the door and the first thing I did was cut on the big light inside.

Today, that’s my prayer for US! That we’ll be just a little light that leads someone in darkness to the Big Light! Just think about the opening story, she walked away from so much tragedy, in the middle of a dark, cold and lonely night, and the only thing that saved her and her life, was a little light that was kept on.

My Admonishment to You Today: KEEP SHINING, YOU ARE SOMEONE’S WAY OUT OF DARKNESS!

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” (Dr. Maya Angelou)

“There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” (Edith Wharton)

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” (James Heller)

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” (Francis Bacon)

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” (Desmond Tutu)

“If you want to give light to others, you have to glow yourself.” (Thomas S. Monson)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

“Small lights have a way of being seen in a dark world.” (Neal A. Maxwell)

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” (Francis of Assisi)

“Within you is the light of a thousand suns.” (Robert Adams)

“If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining.” (Guy Finley)

“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.” (Benjamin Franklin)

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” (Aristotle Onassis)

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” (Helen Keller)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “How to Keep Your Gallbladder Happy”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word: “CONFESS”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“The Purpose of Ministry is to Equip, Not Entertain”

dose

John 6:30, “What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will You PERFORM then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to show what You can do]?” (AMP).

Okay, so try to picture this. Here’s a group of maybe a hundred teenagers in a seminar for two hours, sitting on concrete the whole time, taking notes the whole time, and asking for more when the seminar is dismissed! Naturally, your response would be, “What planet were you on?” But that was actually in Haiti when a Pastor friend (Pastor Toonee) was there a few years ago, teaching in a workshop in a gymnasium. You see, the only place to sit was in the balcony, and in the balcony of that gym it was all concrete. And yet they still told him to take two hours to teach! “Wow”! He said, “I could talk here all the time!” He thought, Okay, I could probably figure out something to say for two hours, and he did. Believe it or not, when he was finished, after two hours of teaching, they quickly ran to the next seminar to get some more! These students remind me of the mind-set of those in Acts 17:11, “Now these [Jews] were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (AMP).

If only the Church, as a Whole, would develop this same mind-set!

Unfortunately, for many of today’s churches, you’d better be done in 20 minutes or you’ll be talking to yourself! Unless, of course, you’re funny enough to be like a Christian comedian! I call it a Disease that’s been afflicted on the whole American church! And the name of it isEntertainitis.”

Our Scripture follows the feeding of the 5,000, where it says in John 6:14, “When the people saw the sign (miracle) that Jesus had performed, they began saying, Surely and beyond a doubt this is the Prophet Who is to come into the world.’” (AMP). Another translation says it like this: “The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” (MSG).

Well, they chased Him all the way across the lake of Galilee, and when they found Him on the other side of the lake, it says they asked Him, “‘Rabbi! When did You come here?’ Jesus answered, ‘I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs, but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied.’” (vss. 25-26 AMP).  Another translation states it like this: “When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.” (MSG).

Then, in verse 30 they asked Him, “What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will You PERFORM then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to SHOW what You can do]?” (AMP). Another translation reads: “…Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. SHOW us what you can do.” (MSG).

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

They Were Looking For Jesus to PERFORM and Give Them a SHOW! Mere Entertainment! But When Jesus Attempts to Equip Them Instead, Watch What Happens:

Finally, after Jesus begins to talk to them about the SHEDDING OF BLOOD AND A CROSS, verse 66 says, “AFTER THIS, MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES DREW BACK (RETURNED TO THEIR OLD ASSOCIATIONS) AND NO LONGER ACCOMPANIED HIM” (AMP). Another translation states: “AFTER THIS A LOT OF HIS DISCIPLES LEFT. THEY NO LONGER WANTED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM” (MSG).

Now, here’s a crowd, and they are ready to follow Jesus AS LONG AS THERE WAS A GOOD SHOW: Miracles, Excited Crowds, Cheers, Surprises, Songs, Good Feelings! BUT AS SOON AS IT GOT SERIOUS OR DEMANDING, AS SOON AS IT COST SOMETHING, AS SOON AS A HINT OF SACRIFICE WAS SMELT IN THE AIR, THEY CHECKED OUT – This Is The First Known Case of “Entertainitis”!

Interested In Spiritual Input AS LONG AS IT’S EASY TO TAKE!

And what does the Bible say about folks like this? “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” (Hebrews 5:12 NIV). Another translation reads like this:  “I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.” (MSG).

I didn’t realize how shallow our faith here (in the States) is until I met Christians in other countries! They Know How to Pray Powerfully, and Extensively! They’re Hungry, Not For Jokes and Stories, BUT For Solid, Biblical Teaching! They believe wholeheartedly in what the Word of God Commands: “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP).

Unlike many of us, they’re interested in the Substance of Christianity, NOT the Style of the Speaker! Therefore, while we’re having Church Gathering Socials, they’re having Revolutionized Revivals! While we Accept Ministry Mediocrity, they’re Expecting and Experiencing Miracles!

Unfortunate for today’s church, we’re a product of a Media Culture; kind of a Sesame Street, Internet Pop-Up Approach that changes the subject every 60 seconds! Compared to believers in the rest of the world, we have a Sesame Street faith! Many will follow as long as its ENTERTAINING, but as soon as it Gets SERIOUS, They Change the Topic, Bring out the Puppets, and Act a Fool all for the purpose of Keeping Church Folks ENTERTAINED!

Listen: Both Adults and Children can watch Sesame Street. But ONLY the Children should be Learning From It! As an Adult you may find portions that ENTERTAIN You, but there should be Absolutely No Moments Where You Seek It To Help You Grow! Why? BECAUSE IT’S A STAGE YOU SHOULD’VE OUTGROWN BY NOW!

Children learn their Basic Necessities there (abc’s, 123’s, colors, shapes, sizes etc.) You on the other hand should NOT be learning anything! It’s Basic, For Children, For Those Who Know No Better, For The Immature! It Can Only ENTERTAIN You!

Likewise, stop sitting under teachers and preachers, that LEAVE YOU ILL-EQUIPPED BUT WELL ENTERTAINED!

The Word of God has a Definite Purpose When It Goes Forth, and here it is: “Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and Profitable for Instruction, for Reproof and Conviction of Sin, for Correction of Error and Discipline in Obedience, [and] for Training in Righteousness (in Holy Living, in Conformity to God’s Will in Thought, Purpose, and Action), So that the Man of God May Be Complete and Proficient, Well Fitted and Thoroughly Equipped For Every Good Work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP).

No Where In That Long Laundry List of Purpose For the Word of God Do You Find, “TO ENTERTAIN THE SAINTS!”

The First Step toward the Cure of Entertainitis is to Recognize the Disease and to Want a Cure! We need to begin to Re-Train Our Hearts to Look for the Treasurable Truth in a Message, Not the ENTERTAINMENT Value; to Look for the Bible in a Song, Not the Beat; to Quit Expecting Preachers to Do All the Study Work For Us; to Pack the Congregation for a Concise Word From the Lord, Not Just For a Concert or Special Event; to Understand this is a War, Not a Walk Through the Park!

Most Important, we need to Commit Ourselves to the Spiritual Discipline of a Personal Bible Study Time With Jesus that starts Every Day! That’s the Anchor of an Authentic Christian Life!

Maybe it’s time we simply say, “Lord, I’m SICK of Suffering in a Shallow, Entertaining Faith. I want to Get Rid of this DISEASE of Entertainitis….NOW. DELIVER ME!”

Special Note: Preachers/Teachers, Don’t Be Discouraged When You Switch From Being ENTERTAINING to IMPACTING! Like Jesus, Many Will Walk Away And Leave You! But That’s Quite Alright!

Those Who Really Want The Substance Will Stay With The One Effectively Wielding The Sword of the Spirit!  “After this, many of His disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no longer accompanied Him. Jesus said to the Twelve, Will you also go away? [And do you too desire to leave Me?] SIMON PETER ANSWERED, LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? YOU HAVE THE WORDS (THE MESSAGE) OF ETERNAL LIFE. AND WE HAVE LEARNED TO BELIEVE AND TRUST, AND [MORE] WE HAVE COME TO KNOW [SURELY] THAT YOU ARE THE HOLY ONE OF GOD, THE CHRIST (THE ANOINTED ONE), THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD” (John 6:66-69 AMP).

Only A Fool Would Walk Away From the Hand That Feeds Them!

Listen: We are to be Ministry Gifts that EQUIP the Body of Christ, Not Ministry Puppets that merely ENTERTAIN It!

“And His GIFTS were [varied; He Himself Appointed and Gave Men to Us] Some to be Apostles (Special Messengers), Some Prophets (Inspired Preachers and Expounders), Some Evangelists (Preachers of the Gospel, Traveling Missionaries), Some Pastors (Shepherds of His Flock) and Teachers. HIS INTENTION WAS THE PERFECTING AND THE FULL EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS (HIS CONSECRATED PEOPLE), [THAT THEY SHOULD DO] THE WORK OF MINISTERING TOWARD BUILDING UP CHRIST’S BODY (THE CHURCH)” (Ephesians 4:11-12 AMP).

The word “intention” is defined as “an aim or plan”. Therefore, God’s aim and plan for the five-fold ministry is to serve for the purpose of, “…THE PERFECTING AND THE FULL EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS (HIS CONSECRATED PEOPLE), [THAT THEY SHOULD DO] THE WORK OF MINISTERING TOWARD BUILDING UP CHRIST’S BODY (THE CHURCH)”

That’s the aim and plan: Equipping, NOT Entertaining!

The word “equip” is defined as “to supply with the items needed for a purpose; to prepare someone for a task; to furnish for service or action by appropriate provisioning; to make ready.” Its Old French Origin “équiper”, is from a modification of the Anglo-French “eskiper, eschiper” meaning “to load on board a ship, to embark, to man a ship.It is in essence, to provide a ship with everything it needs to embark on its journey successfully and efficiently. That is our responsibility, to provide people with what they need to carry, to accomplish their purpose and calling in God. It is not, however, to hear as many amen’s as possible; it’s not to see people run, jump, leap, clap, yell, spin, dance and fallout. It’s not to proclaim houses, cars, land, spouses, promotions, possessions and money. It is to prepare people for purpose! Whether it’s preaching or teaching, to 2,000, 200 or 2, we are to prepare them with what they need to produce God’s purpose in their lives. That’s our responsibility. Not to hit the right key, the right note, perfect the perfect moan. No, it’s to Equip the people, not Entertain them!

The word “entertain” is defined as “to provide with amusement or enjoyment.” Its Middle English “entertinen”, from Middle French “entretenir”, means “to hold”. It serves as a purpose of holding a person’s attention for no other reason than to “DISPORT (‘enjoy oneself unrestrainedly’), DIVERT (‘cause to change course or take a different route; distract; entertain’), AMUSE (‘cause someone to laugh; to entertain’. Its Old French ‘amuser’ means ‘to entertain or deceive’ from ‘muser’ which means ‘to stare stupidly’), REGALE (‘to entertain with conversation’) or SOLACE (‘to comfort’).” And what does that mean? “It means to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly; to have one’s attention be engaged in humor; to distract the attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny.” And is that bad? No, not in and of itself. But when it comes to our responsibility of preaching, teaching, equipping and preparing people, yes, it is quite bad. Entertainment has its place, however, it is not our responsibility when it comes to the people, to ensure that they have a good laugh. No, we are to ensure that they have what they need to live a godly life.

When you look at the day and time we’re living in, you must agree that the times are dangerous and very serious. The devil is playing for keeps. He’s not playing with our lives, he’s looking to take our lives. And if we as the church, do not become more grounded in our responsibility, he won’t have to fight too hard to win. Our children need to know the importance of the Word of God, prayer, righteousness, holiness and proper leadership. How do they get that though, from perfecting praise breaks? No! We need to teach them how to feed their soul, not have fabulous fancy foot-work. We need to prepare the next generation to enter the government, heads of state, to make laws, to change laws, to serve in other areas, outside of the pulpit, if the world is to ever change for the better. And they will receive none of this equipping if we keep entertaining them, Sunday-after-Sunday. If marriages are to remain intact, we need to equip, not entertain. If singles are to remain holy, and set-apart, we need to equip, not entertain. If the disciples are to turn the world upside down, we need to equip, not entertain. If leadership is to be effective and efficient, we need to equip, not entertain. If the unbeliever is ever to become a believer, we need to equip, not entertain.

We are the Church, not Comedy Central. There has to be a distinction in what we do, say, believe and live. We are to be Salt and Light, not Sugar and a Dimmer.

People of God, we have to do better, and Leaders, it begins with us. 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God?” (AMPC)

Church, judgment will begin with US. Therefore, now, is the time to get this thing right. Remembering that we are Representatives of Heaven, Ambassadors of Christ, and Created in the Image and Likeness of the God-Head. Now, is the time to look like it, sound like it, act like it, and live like it.

Preachers, now is the time to follow the admonishment of the Apostle Paul: “And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel)” (Ephesians 6:19 AMPC)

Let the church-house resemble Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.” (AMPC)

Not song and movie titles; not the latest celebrity in the news; not the latest slang or cliché. But to preach the Word of God, with boldness, freedom and courage. Not jokes, just the Word. We are not a circus, we are not performing puppets. We’ve done more than enough ACTING, now let us ACT OUT THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

Leaders/Preachers/Teachers/Believers, Let’s Start Equipping and Stop Entertaining!

Now is the time to Soar towards being Fully Equipped instead of Foolishly Falling for being Merely Entertained!

“The Devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men afire.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

“If you were God’s children you would loathe the very thought of the world’s evil joys, and your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your one cry would be, “How far can we get away from the world? How much can we come out from it?” (Charles Spurgeon)

“The Word of God will be to you a bulwark and a high tower, a castle of defense against the foe. Oh, see to it that the Word of God is in you, in your very soul, permeating your thoughts, and so operating upon your outward life, that all may know you to be a true Bible-Christian, for they perceive it in your words and deeds.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“For the church to turn aside from its divine work to furnish amusement and recreation is to pervert its true mission. It is to degrade its mission. Amusement and recreation should stem from the home or individuals rather than the church. The church, like Nehemiah, has a great work to do; and it should not come down to the plains of Ono to amuse and entertain.” (Goodpasture, Gospel Advocate)

“If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

“A church is not a Fortune 500 company. It’s not simply another nonprofit organization, nor is it a social club. In fact, a healthy church is unlike any organization that man has ever devised, because man didn’t devise it.” (Mark Dever)

“God’s church is not a social club. It’s not a building, and it’s not an option. The church is life and death. The church is God’s strategy for reaching the world. What we do inside the church matters.” (Francis Chan)

“We have taken the command of Christ to go, baptize, and teach all nations, and mutated it into a comfortable call to come, be baptized, and sit in one location.” (David Platt)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Staying Active With Arthritis”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word: “HOSTS”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Winning Sides, But Losing Souls”

dose2

Now, those of us living in New York City especially, have heard of ‘turf wars’ at some time or another. And more often than not, it’s usually found to be most often between rival gangs. Many of us can say, ‘well, I can see that; or I can understand that; or I’ve heard of that.’ But what do you do when the turf war isn’t between the gangs, but instead it’s between the police department and the fire department? I know, sounds absolutely insane doesn’t it? But truth is, there was an incident when the two departments clashed over whose job was whose. And it caused major damage!

You see, a while back there was a commuter helicopter that crashed in the East River. I’ve never forgotten this incident, it was haunting. The passengers were trapped in that helicopter under water. And here’s what the news reported, “Some police divers arrived on the scene first, and they went right to work. Minutes later, nine divers arrived from the fire department all suited up ready to go, and the police supervisor said, ‘We got it covered. It’s our territory; don’t worry about it.’Well, five passengers were rescued that day, but one man died. He was strapped in under water for an hour and a half while nine possible rescuers stood on the dock and watched, apparently because of a turf battle!

Which immediately brings to mind 1 Corinthians chapter 1. The Apostle Paul says this in, 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, “I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—THAT YOU’RE FIGHTING AMONG YOURSELVES! I’ll tell you exactly what I was told: YOU’RE ALL PICKING SIDES, going around saying, “I’m on Paul’s side,” or “I’m for Apollos,” or “Peter is my man,” or “I’m in the Messiah group.” I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?” I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas’s family, but as far as I can recall, that’s it.) GOD DIDN’T SEND ME OUT TO COLLECT A FOLLOWING FOR MYSELF, BUT TO PREACH THE MESSAGE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE, COLLECTING A FOLLOWING FOR HIM. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—CHRIST ON THE CROSS—be trivialized into mere words.” (MSG)

The church sounds a lot like the turf war in the above story, doesn’t it? And sad to say, I’m afraid nothing has changed. Today our turf is denomination, or our organization, or committees, or auxiliaries, or my church. “We’re charismatic.” “We’re not. We’re against that.” Or even a personal empire that someone is building…in Jesus’ name. Or, “Who will get the credit?” “Is my name next to that in the bulletin?” “Are you going to announce who did this?” Much like the Corinthians, all we’re doing is fighting over turf and territory. Who will get the glory? Who will get the recognition? Whose name will be called and acknowledged? Who will receive praise and accolades? Just like the Corinthians, we’re fighting among ourselves and picking sides. Who gets to sit where? Who gets to carry the Pastors whatever? Who gets to oversee the project or ministry? And then we have the pettiness of “but I’ve been here longer; I’m more qualified; I did that before; I started that…I’m the Pastor’s wife…” and the list goes on and on! Then to make matters worse, we have our favorites. We’ll stand and clap for him, but not for him. We’ll support her, but not her. And yet, while all of this transpires, people are dying without the Message of Christ because Christians are too busy being Messy in Church! Why do you think Paul says this is an “urgent matter”? Because people’s lives are at stake. While we’re picking sides, we’re losing souls. We’re worrying about elections and elevations while people are lost for an eternity without Christ.

And I love the way Paul always handles his leadership with love and rebuke. This is an urgent matter indeed, and yet he still gives them encouragement. “…You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common…” But such a relationship is impossible with people who are too busy with being on top, out front, connected to the right people or fighting for the most following.

Paul also gives us some insight into a leader’s heart. He says he’s received “…a disturbing report…” Which makes me wonder, is the reason the church is in the poor state it’s in is because the leaders aren’t disturbed by the reports they receive? Has leadership become so complacent? Accepting? Tolerant? Passive? Lazy? Unaffected? Have we become so calloused that as long as it doesn’t personally affect us, it doesn’t personally affect us? Shouldn’t we as leaders be disturbed by all the discord, division, fighting, competing, comparing, and the like in the church? When cliques are formed shouldn’t this be disturbing? When leaders aren’t talking to leaders, shouldn’t this be disturbing? When preachers can sit next to preachers in the pulpit and not once part their lips to speak to one another all service long, shouldn’t this be disturbing? When you can smell the alcohol, weed and cigarettes on the breath of your leaders, shouldn’t this be disturbing? While leaders are sexting parishioners, shouldn’t this be disturbing? When fornication, adultery, lying, gossip, rumors, spite, hatred, vengefulness, jealousy, anger and malicious intent are sitting comfortable in the pulpit and the pews, shouldn’t this be disturbing? When our youth are living in such a way that they look ten years our senior, shouldn’t this be disturbing? To answer, yes, this should disturb us tremendously. And disturb us so much that it compels us to take a stand from where we’ve been sitting so acceptingly for all this time.

Well, the report of the fighting in the church disturbed Paul and it has certainly disturbed me.

And what was all the fighting about? The Bible says, “…I’ll tell you exactly what I was told: YOU’RE ALL PICKING SIDES, going around saying, “I’m on Paul’s side,” or “I’m for Apollos,” or “Peter is my man,” or “I’m in the Messiah group.” I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?”

Now, we have been saved, cleaned, justified, healed, delivered, and yet our focus after all of that is to pick sides of which leader to be found linked to? With all the gifts in this church, the fight was over who to be found in association with. Really? But truthfully, have we changed much from the Corinthian church? Certainly not. We’re still picking pastors, and churches, choirs, praise teams and praise breaks, to determine which we find most favorable. Oh, and the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we’ll get around to that once we’ve settled this (because clearly this is a matter of high importance in the Kingdom, in these last and evil days)!

Saints, this ought not to be so!

Sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ should always be our Primary Purpose. And one in which we carry out together, not divided. It’s not about who preaches or teaches or prays better. It’s not about us at all. We’ve simply been given an assignment to carry out and that is to carry the Cross of Christ to a world that needs to know what unconditional love and sacrifice really look like. It’s not for our vainglory, not for our popularity status, not for our Facebook ‘likes’ quota to be met, no it’s about Him not us, His Kingdom not our little ‘it’s all about me’ world!

Listen to what Paul says: “…GOD DIDN’T SEND ME OUT TO COLLECT A FOLLOWING FOR MYSELF, BUT TO PREACH THE MESSAGE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE, COLLECTING A FOLLOWING FOR HIM. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—CHRIST ON THE CROSS—be trivialized into mere words.” (MSG)

Paul says in essence, “Church, people are dying because they don’t understand what happened on the cross. How can you waste time arguing among yourselves?”

This is not about us personally! This is about HIM! His Message, His Cross, His Life, His Death, His Burial, His Resurrection, His Power, His Glory, His Name! NOT US! And so Paul lets them know there’s no need to fight among yourselves and pick sides, because this is not a popularity contest! I’m not running for office and this is not about who has the most votes! I’m not collecting followers for me, I’m collecting followers for Him! I’m not trying to be seen, I’m not shining my light so others can see me, but so they can see Him in me!

While the church is fighting for turf, the church is losing ground! Satan needs no new weapons, in fact he needs none at all since we’re handing souls to him freely! We’re so focused on who’s right up ahead, that we’re missing whose getting left behind!

Listen, a man died there in New York in the East River while the rescuers argued over territory. But don’t we do that? We’re so concerned about losing our members, or our contributions, or our credit, or our status. And all that really matters is that we’re losing the people around us to a Christ-less eternity. The two factors that really matter are number one, the lost-ness of our neighbors, and number two, the message of the cross whereby they can be found. Those two essentials are bigger than any of our differences, or any of our labels, positions, titles, degrees, initials, robes, rings, crosses, chairs, or any of our personal empires or egos! While we’re trying to find popularity, we’re losing people!

Maybe you and I have cared too much about our group, or our glory. And while we’re building our little kingdoms and our walls, people are dying. We need to get together to make a greater difference. It’s time for the church to stop acting like those officers who were sent to rescue people and save lives, but instead they were found standing on the dock arguing about turf, territory, and who was in charge. Saints, are we all in the river together, rescuing every person we can find, or are we too busy being distracted by turf and territory, fighting and picking sides? Because the truth is, time is running out! Turf is for now; lost is forever! And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be rerouted back to my place of purpose. Preaching and teaching about the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And doing so without fancy words to entice the educated with eloquence of speech.

Listen again to Paul: “The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It is written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in His wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb – preaching, of all things! To bring those who trust Him into the way of salvation.” (vss. 18-21 MSG)

This is what we’re called to do, preach the gospel, preach Jesus, preach the cross, preach salvation, and to do so without attempting to sound impressive. Remember, it’s not about us, it’s about Him!

2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.  We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown in our body.  For we who live are constantly [experiencing the threat of] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced in our mortal body [which is subject to death]. So physical death is [actively] at work in us, but [spiritual] life [is actively at work] in you.” (AMP)

Church, this is our assignment! Not attempting to look, seem or be grand, but just humble servants diverting the unsaved from hell, no matter how “hellbent” they are. We’re unworthy, earthen vessels of human frailty, nothing impressive, just available to be used by God. And even though we’ll suffer for sharing the Gospel, the suffering is worth it to snatch souls from the devils grasp. Isn’t this why we were saved in the first place?

1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” (MSG)

That’s our assignment! We were brought from dark to light to shine, but not for our own personal glow… but for His glory! People should be able to see the night-and-day difference He made for us, so they can desire the same thing and we can lead them into the salvation that makes it possible. And all of this can easily be accomplished if only we’d stop fighting for turf and losing ground.

People of God, this Journey with God is not about us, it’s about Him. And as soon as we can stop fighting in church we can get back to fighting for the Kingdom. Believe it or not, but there are still souls out there drowning that desperately need rescuing. So, are we going to help save them or watch them drown while we fight over differences on the dock?

Let’s refocus on what we’ve been called to do. Let’s go back to being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  And not so people can get a taste of our favor-flavored life, but that they can “Taste and See, (for themselves), that the Lord is Good.” Let us not shine so people can see us, but so they can see that in our dark lives “He’s still the Light of the World”, that has so graciously desired to live in us (and desires likewise to live in them. Let’s go back to the Great Commission and Fulfill it instead of wasting time becoming Full of ourselves.

Our Master is returning, and He’s going to want an account of what we’ve done. Question is, will we pass His audit or fail?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let’s determine today that we’ll stop fighting for turf so we can finally stop losing ground. Because according to Acts 1:8, as His Witnesses, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover in sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so, let’s not lose it to the devil through division and distraction.

Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the [consistently] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures and wins souls [for God – he gathers them for eternity].” (AMP);

Acts 13:47, “For that is what the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring [the message of eternal] salvation to the end of the earth.” (AMP);

Mark 16:15, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (AMP);

Acts 1:8, “But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (CEV);

Acts 20:24, “But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life].” (AMP);

Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (AMP);

2 Timothy 1:8-10, “So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.” (MSG)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Ways to Improve Your Balance”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “PREPARED”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Salt With No TOUCH Has No TASTE”

dose

Matthew 5:13, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (MSG)

If it’s one thing I love to do its cook! However, one thing I hate to cook with is salt! You see, having parents who both suffered with high blood pressure and heart disease definitely had a huge impact on how I prepared food. To my credit, in my last two decades of life, I became a master at seasoning, so you would have no idea that salt was ever missing from my meal preparation. But prior to that, was a whole different story! I remember cooking dinner for my daughters and my friend Laurie came over to join us. She took one bite and screamed, “where the heck is the salt!?” I reminded her I didn’t cook with salt (as I laughed hysterically at the faces she made!) Well, even though I don’t cook with salt, I always have my trusted salt shaker full and ready for use for those who prefer it. So Laurie, jumps up and heads to the kitchen for the flavorful seasoning and comes back with the comment, “now we’re in business!” She did a few shakes then tasted the food again. She repeated the action three times! And yet, her facial expression let me know she was still not happy. By now, I’m a bit discouraged thinking, “I know I know how to cook, it can’t be that bad!” Laurie, always the candid one responded, “I’m telling you I don’t taste a difference.” Now I’m stressed because the amount of shakes she did with that salt will give her a heart-attack before dessert! But then my eldest daughter in all her wisdom, whom we all call grandma, because as my older relatives would say, ‘she’s been here before’, decided to enlighten us. Her comment, ‘are you sure the salt is coming out?’ Sure enough, we looked at the salt shaker, and as fancy as it was, you needed to move a little button from closed to open on the bottom of the salt shaker! Laurie was shaking her little heart out, and nothing changed, because nothing came out! Without TOUCH, there was no change to the TASTE!

In reading today’s Scripture for my morning devotional, the above memory is what immediately came to mind. Laurie had the salt in her hand, what she needed to put it on was right in front of her, within reach, and she even put in tremendous effort to get the salt out, and yet, because it stayed contained in its little bottle, nothing was affected, nothing was changed. Sounds a lot like Matthew 5:13 doesn’t it?

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (MSG)

The whole reason we’re here is to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. But if the salt never touches anything, how does it change anything? Which makes me think of the evangelism that has so greatly halted in our churches. Oh, we go to church week-after-week, Sunday School; Sunday worship; prayer; bible study; meetings; rehearsals; revivals; special services and the like, and we’re quite comfortable sitting in our sanctuaries (aka “salt shakers”), well contained! Problem? Salt is touching salt, but touching nothing else! Selah…

In order for you to TASTE salt, it has to TOUCH something! In order for salt to change something, it has to touch something. In order for us salty Christians to change something, or someone, we’ve got to touch it and them! We can’t remain in the salt-shaker, where we’re useless because we’re touchless and tasteless.

Therefore, we can’t sit in our churches and complain about the world and the way it is, while we sit in the salt-shaker sanctuary touching nothing and no one. Just imagine if we actually left the salt-shaker sanctuary and went to shake some salt in the nursing homes, in the hospitals, in the prisons, in the homeless shelters, at the soup kitchens. What change might we bring about if only we’d leave the salt-shaker sanctuary? If we shook some salt while standing in the grocery aisle, in the barbershop, or at the nail and hair salon? What if we shook some salt at our jobs, in our families and in our communities? What if we shook some salt on that drug-infested park, or gang-infested territory? What if we shook some salt as we walk the streets from day-to-day, passing countless ‘tasteless’ individuals on the way? I mean after all, the Bible says that’s what we’re here for, right? Isn’t that our purpose? Isn’t that our charge? Isn’t that our call?

Is it possible that people haven’t tasted God, because we haven’t touched them with Him? With His unconditional love, His sufficient grace and new mercies. With His forgiveness, kindness, compassion and encouragement. With His protection, provision, and presence. With His unspeakable joy and reassuring peace. I reiterate, is it possible that people haven’t tasted God, because we haven’t touched them with Him?

Psalm 34:8, “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him.” (MSG)

How can people “taste” how good God is, if we’re His salt, but we never leave the salt-shaker?

I’m sure God would love to hear the sounds of His salt getting out of the shaker more often! After all, the work salt is supposed to do is not inside the salt shaker, all clustered together with the other salt. It’s supposed to get out and change the flavor of something!

The Scripture says, “Open your mouth and taste…”, now, can you imagine feeding your baby, and yet every time they open their mouth, you bring the spoon close enough, but then you pull it away. Do you know the noise that little rascal would make, especially if he/she is already hungry! But that’s what we do as a church. We have programs and services, and we invite “whosoever will let him come”, and then when they don’t come in, we don’t go out. And of course it’s not our fault, after all, we invited, we held the service, we put on the program…but honestly, all we’re doing is bringing the food on a spoon close enough for them to see it, but then we pull it away before they can taste it. Truth is, most unbelievers are not going to simply walk in the church on Sunday morning, cry out “how can I be saved”, and then shout to a praise break! Believe it or not, but that’s like being a police officer and waiting at the precinct for someone who is guilty to stroll in and ask to be held accountable for their wrong! Not gonna happen! Officers go out to bring them in! Someone did it for us, so why are we not doing it for others?

Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (AMP)

Now, how are we to make disciples OF ALL NATIONS, if we never leave the pulpit or the pew? How is it God said GO, but we’ve YIELDED to the point that we’ve STOPPED? How can we MAKE something without ever touching it? How are people to LEARN of our God if we’re the TEACHERS who are never in CLASS with our STUDENTS? How can they BELIEVE Him if we don’t tell them ABOUT Him? How can they be expected to OBEY HIS WORD, when they haven’t HEARD HIS WORD?

Romans 10:14, “But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)?” (AMP)

Furthermore, how are they to be BAPTIZED, without us touching them?

And how do we use anything as an excuse, when God Himself said, “…AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS [REMAINING WITH YOU PERPETUALLY – REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCE, AND ON EVERY OCCASION], EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.” What can we possibly use as an excuse for why we have not done what He “COMMANDED”?

According to Jesus, “You are the salt of the earth…“, not of the sanctuary! But of the entire Earth! Which means we have to leave from within the church walls. We have to operate outside of our comfort zones, our pulpits and pews. We have to leave the meeting and the auxiliaries. We have to leave the Fellowship to go Fellow-Ship, before they all Drown!

Can you imagine the horror on the face of an individual who’s fighting with all their might, absolutely terrified that they may die any minute while trying to stay afloat in the troubling waters of life…and yet, we, the church, Jesus’ Life-Guards, are standing on the shore, watching…equipped to help…but just watching…knowing how to save…but choosing to just watch…having the Word that will deliver from destruction…and yet we remain, just watching.

People are struggling at sea, because the saints are only concerned with their safety on shore. This should not be!

You don’t keep salt stored up together in the shaker any more than you stand as a lifeguard on shore and watch someone drown. No, you scatter salt around so it will be in contact with the things that need their flavor changed. No lifeguard just stands on the shore and yells, “see if you can make it over here to me, then I can help you”. No, it’s the lifeguard’s job to look out for those who may need him, and he goes out to them, he does not wait and hope they will come to him. And unfortunately, that’s what we’ve been doing as a church. We see people struggling to stay afloat in the troubling waters of life, and instead of going out to help them, we’re standing on shore, yelling, “see if you can make it over here to my church, my service, my program, then I can help you.” That’s not how this is supposed to work saints.

Listen, Jesus left Heaven to get to us, Satan left Hell to get to us, and yet we won’t even leave the church to make disciples?

As Christians we were never meant to be all clustered together in a spiritual salt shaker, just salting each other and soaking up more blessings, miracles and the like for ourselves. The salt’s got to be in direct contact with the meat or the vegetables that need it. So guess what? You and I have to be in meaningful contact with the people who really, really need our Jesus. We’re not supposed to be hiding out, playing defense all the time, trying to keep from being contaminated by avoiding the world that Jesus left us here to change! We need to have the world testify about us as they did about some of Jesus’ more effective disciples:

Acts 17:6, “But when they did not find them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the Lord’s followers. They took them to the city authorities and shouted, “PAUL AND SILAS HAVE BEEN UPSETTING THINGS EVERYWHERE. NOW THEY HAVE COME HERE.” (CEV). They took the gospel message “EVERYWHERE”! And we can’t get folks to leave the sanctuary or the community!

Listen to a few other translations:

“…THESE MEN HAVE MADE TROUBLE EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD…” (ERV);

“…THESE MEN WHO HAVE TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN HAVE COME HERE ALSO.” (ESV);

“…PAUL AND SILAS HAVE TURNED THE REST OF THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN, AND NOW THEY ARE HERE DISTURBING OUR CITY,” THEY SHOUTED.” (TLB) – Now, when is the last time you touched the world, and unbelievers, in such a way that you disturbed them? Disturbed their sin, their wickedness, their unbelief, their habits and addictions. When is the last time you disturbed the devil? When is the last time you turned the city upside down? When is the last time you gave someone a taste of God by giving them a touch from God?

The Message Bible says it like this, “…YELLING HYSTERICALLY, “THESE PEOPLE ARE OUT TO DESTROY THE WORLD, AND NOW THEY’VE SHOWN UP ON OUR DOORSTEP, ATTACKING EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR! AND JASON IS HIDING THEM, THESE TRAITORS AND TURNCOATS WHO SAY JESUS IS KING AND CAESAR IS NOTHING!” (MSG) When is the last time we’ve made an impact like this on the world as the church?! When is the last time we went door-to-door letting them know Jesus is King? When is the last time we’ve attacked sin, the very thing the unbeliever holds dear? When is the last time we touched the world in such a manner that they couldn’t deny the taste of God?!

People of God, we have to do more than rub shoulders with each other in the salt shaker sanctuary! Think about it, salt on top of salt is dangerous and deadly to our physical health…could be just as dangerous and deadly to our spiritual health as well?!

Saints, if the last days are really upon us, what are we doing sitting in salt shakers?

2 Timothy 4:3-5, “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you – keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.” (MSG)

This is what we should be doing in these last and evil days. Preaching the gospel truth message to the masses as God’s servants! Not to each other! But to others! If we don’t touch, they don’t taste, they’ll just settle for tickling! Do you really want to be held responsible for that?

Like it or not, but if your time is pretty much spent with Christians, well you’re missing your mission! We’ll do that in heaven! We’ll hang out together all the time, for all eternity! But right now we’ve got to be involved with some people who aren’t going to heaven yet! It’s time for you to take all that you’ve been storing up spiritually and start taking it to places and people where it’s really needed.

It’s time to be intentional about building relationships with that neighbor of yours, you know that lost co-worker, with some of your fellow students who need Jesus. It’s time to look around your community and find some human needs that you can be involved in meeting in Jesus’ name; to build some bridges into lives. They’re all around us waiting for a touch and a taste, let’s not let them down!

It’s time to look around your community for a place to volunteer so you can be in contact with some unreached people with some really deep needs. You need a community connection, not just a church connection; something that will put the salt of your life in contact with some of the lives that really need the flavor of Jesus! Remember: “…if you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?They can’t taste godliness without first touching your saltiness. So, are you within reach? Are you salty? Are you in use? Are you available? Are you touchable?

We need to be actively involved in the life of our church no doubt. God wants that. Hebrews 10:22-25, “So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His Word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” (MSG) See, we are to spend some time in the salt shaker together, but we can’t stay there indefinitely! There are people waiting to get a taste of God from a touch of us, we have to come out!

You need time together, but not to the exclusion of connecting with the world that God so loves. You are the spiritual salt where you live. Get out of that salt shaker! And what’s the danger if we don’t?

“… You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (MSG)

Surely you don’t want the testimony that you went from the Gospel to the Garbage…do you? I think not.

Luke 10:1-2, “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every city and place where He was about to go. He was saying to them, “The harvest is abundant [for there are many who need to hear the good news about salvation], but the workers [those available to proclaim the message of salvation] are few. Therefore, [prayerfully] ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (AMP)

Let today be the day that you challenge yourself, your family and friends, your community and certainly your church to come out the salt shaker and touch the world with a taste of God! Many are waiting, be counted in the number with the few, who are in fact available to proclaim the message of salvation to the masses!

Remember: Salt With No Touch Has No Taste! Reach Them Today!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #BeSalty #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “How to Feel Better in Less Than 15 Minutes”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “LEAVEN”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Don’t Let OLD Destroy NEW”

dose

Mark 2:21-22, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk (new) cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the wineskins. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (AMP)

I absolutely love documentaries and history, simply because I love finding out the origin of things, where they began, why and how. But more importantly, I love to see if there’s been any change from the start of the thing to the present. Sometimes it’s good to see that things are now, just as they were when they began. However, that’s not in all cases.

I watched a documentary on the Revolution, and I learned something I didn’t know before. Question: Why did the American colonists win the Revolution? Well, it wouldn’t surprise you if you saw how the redcoats fought. You see, they fought battles in the OLD FASHIONED European way. They lined up in straight rows. The front row shoots. The next row rotates in while the others reload. Now, the colonists on the other hand, didn’t believe in lining up. They just came from everywhere! So those red uniforms all lined up in a rigid row…well, that’s like target practice, don’t you think? In other words, they were easy to see, easy to aim for, and easy to hit! Their old, outdated, rigid, well-organized, structurally sound way of fighting, didn’t work…any longer! But even though the colonists looked like they were disorganized, their NEW WAY of fighting won the battle!

Let’s listen in on Matthew 5:29-30. This is where the religious leaders are criticizing how Jesus is going about reaching people. The Pharisees and the people who followed them, they’re complaining to Jesus’ disciples: “Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?” (MSG). Then the Bible goes on to say, “And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” (vss. 31-32 AMP).

Then later the Bible goes on to further say, “He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old one; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined.  But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.  And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’” (vss. 36-39 AMP)

See, Jesus broke out of the religious mold to reach people that no one else was touching – in a nutshell, new wine skins. Now, in those days the bottles in Palestine were really animal skins. And the wine would ferment and it would give off this gas. And if the bottle was new and it had elasticity in the skin, then it gave with the pressure. If it was an old wine skin, it was dry and hard, and of course it burst. And such is the issue with the church! We keep attempting to reach new believers with old behaviors, and it’s no wonder, it’s not working! New wine needs a new bottle to be poured into. If poured into the old, the old is no longer designed to handle the growth of expansion (that’s why it bursts!). It’s become hardened over the years, predictable, unyielding, unbending. It no longer handles the challenge of stress and pressure. So it bursts! And the result? The old is destroyed and the new is wasted!

Sometimes you have to replace an old idea with a new idea if you want God to do a new thing; if you want to reach people no one’s been reaching you have to let go of the old and get a good grip on something new. Like those Revolutionary War soldiers. The redcoats? They were rigid and they lost. The ones who were flexible won the battle. If we want new believers, we have to stop trying to reach them with old, outdated, rigid ways, that clearly no longer work!

Isaiah 43:16-21, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands…I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.” (MSG)

First things first, “FORGET ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENED…It doesn’t matter how your grandma did it, your mama or your daddy, your first church or your third pastor. You will always get the same old results, doing things the same old way. Forget about it! That was then, this is now. We have an entirely different generation in 2020, and the only reason we can’t reach them is because we won’t leave the methods of 1960, in 1960! It doesn’t make the old bad, but we have an opportunity for new, and we need to embrace the necessary change in order to get them.

Secondly, “…DON’T KEEP GOING OVER OLD HISTORY…It’s irrelevant how your Sunday school was taught in 1960; or how the ushers marched in 1970; or how the outreach witnessed in 1980; or how the choir sang in 1990; or how the anointing flowed in 2010! It’s even irrelevant how many souls were added to the kingdom in January, 2016! It’s May, 2020, and we need to constantly be evolving as a church! There’s bigger, better and greater waiting for us, as soon as we finally make the deliberate decision to leave the same, old, comfort zones alone!

Thought: Maybe God is trying to do a new thing in your life, in your church, in your ministry. But could it be that you’re unwilling to go with His flow? Maybe God is trying to do something new in your marriage, on your job, in your career, in your health, in your children, with your finances, in your family…but He can’t, because you can’t let go of what it was before! Which is why I bring the Word to you today, and admonish you, “FORGET ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENED…”; “…DON’T KEEP GOING OVER OLD HISTORY…

Let God Do Something Brand New!

Thirdly, “…BE ALERT, BE PRESENT…” Maybe today’s relationship would work out a bit better for you if you’d finally stop treating Paul like he’s Peter, and Tina like she’s Tracy! Stop reliving your past, and dragging your present into old bondage. You need to be PRESENTLY ALERT! Maybe that’s why you keep missing so much, because you’re focus is so ill-placed. All you see is the past, and God is already done there. Listen to what He says next: 

“…I’M ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING BRAND-NEW. IT’S BURSTING OUT! DON’T YOU SEE IT? THERE IT IS!…” How is it even possible for you not to see something BRAND-NEW, that’s BURSTING OUT?! That’s like standing right next to an erupting volcano, but not being able to see the lava! How can you miss it?! God is screaming, “…THERE IT IS!” But if you’re still stuck on THAT, you most certainly will never see THIS when it comes! And please hear me, you can’t afford to miss THIS!

He then says, “…I’M MAKING A ROAD THROUGH THE DESERT, RIVERS IN THE BADLANDS…” God is now telling you that He’s Providing For You and Making New Ways For You!

But, He even goes further, “…I PROVIDED WATER IN THE DESERT, RIVERS THROUGH THE SUN-BAKED EARTH…” That new thing He’s doing for you, is literally Brand-New! He’s doing things unseen and unheard of! 1 Corinthians 2:9 says it best, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” He’s doing things that don’t even make sense! And all of these things He’s doing just for you, if only you’d stop focusing on the old, you’ll finally see the new!

Isaiah goes on to say: “…DRINKING WATER FOR THE PEOPLE I CHOSE, THE PEOPLE I MADE ESPECIALLY FOR MYSELF, A PEOPLE CUSTOM-MADE TO PRAISE ME.” (MSG) The term “custom-made” is defined as “made to fit the needs or requirements of a particular person.” God has customized all of us, neither of us (even identical twins) are the same. God is constantly doing something new, and something different, and something out the box. And if we are indeed His children, why are we so opposite our Father? Why are we stuck, complacent, ordinary, the same, comfortable? If the God we serve can make a donkey talk, have a coin found in the mouth of a fish, have a man sit (alive) inside of a great fish, raise a dead man back to life (after 4 days), and birth His son through a virgin woman, why are we trying so hard to be ordinary? Why are we doing the same things, getting the same ineffective results? We are a custom-made people, and we need to start acting like the priceless, designer originals we are! 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Why do you think people go to these annual fashion week shows? They can’t wait to see what’s NEW and what’s NEXT! And I am fully persuaded that the world is looking to the church for the same things! Something different, something new, something next!

Now, as a disclaimer, there are some things that never change and must never change; the product so to speak, which is the Gospel, the Message, the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. That must never change! It must never be watered-down, altered, customized, changed, added to or taken away from! But the packaging of it? That can change! Never the message, but often the method can and will change. After all, God went from the 12 He selected Himself to preach His Gospel, to someone like Paul! The Message Never Changes, But the Messengers Can and So Can Their Delivery!

If you think about it: The world of lost people and the world of the church have never been so far apart. I call them the new unbelievers, America’s first post-Christians. They’re biblically illiterate. They don’t ever plan to go to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject. It takes new things to reach them. Or else we could just leave them lost like we have been.

In other words saints, we’ve got to leave the church building! We’ll never find the lost, hanging around those who are already found! Truth is, they’re probably not going to come in, so we need to take the initiative and go out! We need to have our outreaches on neutral ground. Am I telling you to go into the crack house, in the club or in the bar? Absolutely not! But we can’t keep sitting at the altar, in the pulpit, in the pews, in Sunday school, bible study, prayer and rehearsals, waiting for them to come in! We have to learn to express Christ without all our religious language, in our religious location. Remember, it’s the language of the natives we’re trying to reach. And all missionaries know that you do it in the language of the person you’re trying to reach. Can you imagine trying to reach the lost in China talking Russian? Can you imagine trying to reach the lost in Africa while speaking Chinese? Can you imagine trying to reach the lost in a homeless shelter, when you arrive in a BMW and dressed in a fur and diamonds? You have to meet on neutral grounds, at their level and in their language, and as hard as it will be for some to do, that has to be done with new ways, not old!

Maybe we need to learn to wrap this gospel that is unfamiliar to so many people in a familiar need that they do know about. We talk about marriage, or parenting, or handling stress, or sex, or singleness. And you move from those things that they do know about into the story of Jesus to show the difference that a Savior like Jesus can make in those areas and others.

In Jesus’ day the religious people totally missed what God was doing because they could not accept a new approach. The British soldiers in Revolutionary War times lost because they were rigid. We’re in a battle for our town, our neighbors, the ever-living, never-dying souls of people. Their eternities are at stake. Therefore, if God says, “I’m doing a new thing”, let’s not lose the battle by insisting on the same old formation!

Listen: I never cared much for seafood as a kid or adult for that matter. I didn’t eat any of it for the majority of my life. I love chicken, steak, hamburgers, ribs and the like. But I could certainly pass on the seafood side of any menu. But then it happened! Somewhere along the way, someone encouraged me to try some fish (Tilapia), and I don’t know why I took the risk, but I tried it, and I liked it. After all those years I could have been eating it and I didn’t know. Now you can’t get me to stop eating it. Then, someone encouraged me to try shrimp (Fried and Grilled). I had avoided seafood for so long, but now, I love them! I could eat grilled shrimp every-day of the week! Then a friend really pushed me to branch out, and they took me to a restaurant and for the very first time, I tried a California Roll! I couldn’t believe what I was missing all those years because I was sure food meant chicken, steak, hamburgers, and ribs. I can’t believe what I missed because I was such a creature of habit. That term “creature of habit” is defined as “a person who follows an unvarying routine; someone who always wants to do the same things in the same way”. Sounds a lot like us church folks, in our old, set ways, that we refuse to alter…even if it means something new, exciting, different, and great! Let’s listen to our text:

Mark 2:21-22, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk (new) cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the wineskins. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (AMP)

Here, Jesus is talking to religious folks; Pharisees, scribes, people who had ways in which they thought God would always work. They couldn’t accept the fact that there might be some new things God wanted to try. Now, Jesus came along and blew the walls off the narrow box that they had God in. He wasn’t working in any of the ways that they were used to, they were in essence saying,I don’t know about this, God never did it this way before. I’m not sure this is even God.” But Jesus had a whole new way of doing things, and like it or not, but they were about to experience it!

And that’s exactly what we need to do with our churches, ministries, families, workplaces, we need to be open for new things! Ineffectiveness becomes our casualty, because we’re too comfortable to change. Methods and approaches that once were the new wine skins are now brittle, tired and irrelevant. It’s time we uproot the old, and sow seeds in the new. However, you must be prepared, because most often the gift of new is presented in a surprisingly new package! Don’t become so focused on the formula, that you mess up the fruit! Don’t let your religious habits inhibit the exciting new thing God wants to do in every area and aspect of your life.

You’ll never taste God’s Gourmet Meals if you keep limiting God to the same old Fast-Food Choices on the same old menu.

In this new month, challenge yourself to try something new. Whether it’s a new outfit, new color, new witnessing technique, new food, new activity, new route to work etc… And please know that it doesn’t have to be big and grand. But it does have to be different, if you’re tired of the same!

Matthew 9:17, “Nor is new wine put into old wineskins [that have lost their elasticity]; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the [fermenting] wine spills and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, so both are preserved.” (AMP)

“After a while, the same old song and dance gets a little off key and a little out of step.” (Susan Gale)

“Life is full and overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.” (Eileen Caddy)

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” (Socrates)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “How to Keep Your Lungs Healthy, According to Pulmonologist”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “INSTRUCTED”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

 

“Selfless Living in a Selfie World”

dose

Romans 12:3, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” (AMPC)

The Oxford Dictionary defines “Selfie” as: “A photograph one has taken of oneself typically one taken with a smartphone or a webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Facebook, for instance, has afforded us the wonderful privilege of knowing more about our family and friends than we ever really wanted to. “I just blew my nose. Thought you all should know it, better yet, see it.” Or, “Current Status: mad at everybody!” Best of all, we can share our “selfies“; pictures of ME, taken by ME. Because it’s all about ME, right? After all it is called Social MEdia! So clearly, it’s all about ME! NO! At least it’s not supposed to be.

Our text says in part: “…I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance]…”

One TV documentary said, “Despite the Social MEdia attention, there’s still an epidemic of loneliness today.” It’s true. Even in a world that, in one way, is more connected than ever before, so many are still publicly social and yet privately lonely. Superficially, but strangely lacking in the kind of deep human connection that satisfies our love-starved hearts. In essence, life was never meant to be a “selfie” existence.

Think about it this way: Even in the beginning, God didn’t say let ME make man in MY OWN image and in MY OWN likeness. No, He said, …LET US (FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT) make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 AMP). Even God Himself focused more on US, OUR and WE, than ME, MYSELF AND I! If only WE’D learn to follow HIS example!

The selfie mentality is where it’s all about how I look, what I’m doing, what I’m feeling, what I want to talk about, what I’m hearing, what I need etc. The problem is that a world that’s only as big as me, is a world that’s too small for anybody else to live in. Or in today’s language, “Status: lonely”.

Years ago a young man wrote to Mother Teresa with a pretty compelling question. This woman who had buried her life in the needs of the most broken in Calcutta’s slums was clearly the one who would know the answer. He asked, “What can I do to have a significant life like you have?” Mother Teresa’s postcard reply was only four words: “Find your own Calcutta.” Or in a different translation: “Find some people who need you and be there to help them.

Now, before you feel the need to get a passport and hop on a plane, understand that you don’t have to go to Calcutta to find people who need you. Truth is, they’re in the local senior citizens’ facility, the hospital, hospice, they’re laid up in cancer centers, they’re receiving chemotherapy, radiation or dialysis, they’re sick and shut-in, they’re disabled and handicapped, they’re laid up in the VA hospital, they’re riding the train to stay warm, they’re digging through the garbage can for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they have a gun to their head, a razor to their wrist, a rope around their throat, or some pills in their hand in hopes that somebody, somewhere will intervene in the midst of their desperation, despair, dysfunction, and distress, they’re sleeping in a cardboard box under the bridge by your house, they’re pushing their entire life in a shopping cart, or they may be kids struggling in school who could flourish if someone took time to tutor them. “Calcutta” is anybody, anywhere that needs help!

In fact, you may not have to look any farther than the people you work with or play with or go to school with. On any given day, someone in your world needs a smile, a hug, a compliment, a word of encouragement, a listening ear, a helping hand, or just to be noticed or included. It’s a matter of recalibrating your radar to see the people for whom you could make a difference.

And if we are to really be honest, your “Calcutta” may be in your very own home. Your son may need to tell you what he’s really been doing after school; your daughter may need to tell you where she’s been going instead of school; your husband may need to tell you how he’s been feeling as he’s getting older; your wife may need to tell you what she’s been thinking about the job she hates so much. And it may stretch out a little further, where your niece or nephew may need an ear besides their mom and dad; your in-law may be struggling in his or her marriage and you may be able to provide some encouragement and support. Your next-door neighbor who you wave at in passing and say good morning or good night, may just need you to ask “how have you been doing? Or how are you feeling?” And then have you intentionally sit there and listen to their response.

The bottom line is, with an approximate 7.53 billion people  in the world (in 2017 alone), you should not be the center of your own little world today!

Your life’s photo album should not be made up of “selfies”. Can you imagine your friend Ted, who’s married with 3 kids, a dog, cat and a fish, inviting you over to their home for dinner. And then during dessert, he breaks out the family photo albums, yep all 999 of them, but page after page, it’s only “selfies” of himself? How does a wife feel who shares her life with a husband who only shares “selfies” of himself? How do their children feel after cheerleading try-out’s, football championships and track and field medals, to look in the family photo album to see only “selfies” of him?

Believe it or not, but the world is a lot bigger than YOU!

I’ve learned how to wake up and ask the “make a difference” question: “Who needs me today?” It’s a deliberate decision to be a giver today instead of a taker. Luke 6:37-38, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (MSG)

There’s more important things, and especially people, than just you! Stop giving people your ‘selfie’s’ and give them yourself!

Matthew 7:1-5, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” (MSG)

Get the focus off of you, and put it on others where it belongs! After all, that’s what Jesus did! And as a Christian, aren’t you to be Like Christ?!

Self-sacrifice is not without personal benefit, because the fastest way to get out of your pit is to pull someone else out of theirs! And the best antidote for being lonely is to be there for someone else. So, turn your camera lens the other way to make your life a “you-ie” instead of a “selfie” where the other person is the big-picture, instead of your selfish starring role. Sounds comical I know, but how about we live in such a way that our life’s mission is simple: make each person feel like they matter, because they do.

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, God says, “He died for all so that all who live – having received eternal life from Him – might live no longer for themselves, to please themselves, but to spend their lives pleasing Christ who died and rose again for them.(TLB). See, we’re not supposed to live for ourselves anymore. In a nutshell: Believers don’t do “selfies”! That’s just not our mentality! It’s always about others because we are servants who serve!

George Martin (NY Giants), is a great football player, yes – Super Bowl ring and all. But an even greater man, because he always made other people the big deal instead of himself. He spoke one year for a local high school football team. He had just been named the NFL’s Man of the Year for his work with sick and dying children along with many other charitable causes. It wasn’t the only award he received for “finding his own Calcutta.” He told the players, “You need to know the real reason I’m doing these things that people give me awards for. I’m just copying my hero. My hero is Jesus Christ.” He went on to explain how Jesus forgot about Himself to give us a chance to go to heaven someday. To have a relationship with the God whose love we were made for. For that to happen, the wall between us and God had to come down. It’s a wall I suspect many of us know is there without anyone telling us. And it could only come down if the penalty for us running our own life was paid; a death penalty. As the Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). I’m dead meat if that Bible verse ends there. But thank God, it doesn’t. It goes on to say, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Living forever instead of punishment forever; heaven instead of hell. Or in The Message Bible translation: “But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” (Romans 6:22-23 MSG).

Because as the Bible says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Or better yet, in The Message Bible: “What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.” (Galatians 2:19-21 MSG)

That’s a love you need to experience for yourself if you never have. It’s a relationship you’ve looked for your whole life, and you could begin today. Life is never the same once you have experienced for yourself the transforming love of Jesus Christ. And once you receive it for you, you don’t take a “selfie” and keep it to yourself, you share that with the world!

Can you imagine how many people you pass by on any given day? Especially when you include in that number people on buses, trains, cabs, walking, subways, or in traffic? So many people, and some grant it have heard the good news, but many have not. What are you waiting for? Shift the camera lens from pointing at you, and refocus on those around you. Someone needs to hear the love of Christ, and many more than that need to SEE, HEAR, TASTE, SMELL AND FEEL it. Someone needs to SEE you give help to a child struggling with their grades in school; someone needs to HEAR you compliment the teenage girl with a face full of acne; someone needs to TASTE a good meal prepared by your hands because they haven’t eaten in the last 3 days; someone needs to SMELL a hot cup of coffee as they try not to fall asleep after working triple shifts to keep a roof over their families head; and someone needs to FEEL the embrace of someone who is not offended by their body odor because being homeless doesn’t always offer you the opportunity of a nightly shower.

In other words, the world needs to see the God in you, not just YOU! People need to see a self-portrait of Jesus, instead of just a “selfie” of you.

Today, in some small way, find your “Calcutta”. Find someone who needs you even if it’s just a cup of coffee, a smile, carrying someone’s groceries or helping someone’s grandma get safely across the street. Somewhere, Somebody Needs YOU! Capture The Moment By Showing You Care!

“Do not hurt someone who has hurt you. Do not keep on hating the sons of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18 NLV).

“Do the right thing for the weak and those without a father. Stand up for the rights of those who are suffering and in need” (Psalm 82:3 NLV).

“So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).” (Galatians 6:10 AMP)

“He who makes it hard for the poor brings shame to his Maker, but he who shows loving-favor to those in need honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31 NLV).

“He who shows kindness to a poor man gives to the Lord and He will pay him in return for his good act” (Proverbs 19:17 NLV).

“He who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13 NLV).

“He who gives much will be honored, for he gives some of his food to the poor” (Proverbs 22:9 NLV)

“If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].” (1 Timothy 5:8 AMP)

“He who gives to the poor will never want, but many bad things will happen to the man who shuts his eyes to the poor” (Proverbs 28:27 NLV).

“Religion that is pure and good before God the Father is to help children who have no parents and to care for women whose husbands have died who have troubles. Pure religion is also to keep yourself clean from the sinful things of the world” (James 1:27 NLV)

“because I helped the poor man when he cried for help and the child without parents who had no one to help him” (Job 29:12 NLV)

“If you could take a selfie of your soul would you find it attractive enough to post?” Selah…

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Annihilate Anxiety”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “HOPE”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!

Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com

Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Drowning Christians in a Thirsty World”

dose

Psalm 42:1-3, “ A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’M THIRSTY for God-alive. I wonder, “Will I ever make it—arrive and drink in God’s presence?” I’m on a diet of tears—tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, “Where is this God of yours?” (MSG)           

You know, after about a week of rain, you start to forget what the sun looks like. And we experienced something just like that a few Spring seasons ago, that we had no other choice but to endure! I mean it got to the point where you didn’t even have to listen for the weather forecast any longer; I think they just had “duh, it’s going to be rainy today” on repeat tape! After a consistent rainy forecast day-after-day, you simply knew what it was going to be like the very next day.  

Well, I glanced at these stretch of hotels that were along the road on the way home. And what to my wondering eye should appear, but Sprinklers! Yeah, all their lawn sprinklers were out and going Full Blast, Watering a NOT so Thirsty Lawn! I couldn’t believe it, after a week of torrential rain, and on a day when the rain was still pouring down, these companies had the Sprinklers On Full Blast! In essence, they were Saturating What Was Already Saturated!

According to the Powerful Word of God: “Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who Needs a Doctor: the Healthy or the Sick? Go figure out what the Scripture means: “I’m After Mercy, Not Religion.’ I’m Here to Invite OUTSIDERS, Not Coddle Insiders.” (Matthew 9:12 MSG). In other words, I came as the Living Water for those who are Spiritually and Eternally Dying of Thirst, not those who Already Have a Well of Water Bubbling Up On the Inside! There’s no need to water a lawn that’s already drowning in water! What then is a better use of the water? To water what’s dry and dying of thirst!              

In Romans chapter 15, we read about the Magnificent Obsession of the Apostle Paul. Beginning with the 17th verse, Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I’d even say proud, but only in that context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, Only the Wondrously Powerful and Transformingly Present Words and Deeds of Christ in Me that Triggered a Believing Response AMONG THE OUTSIDERS. In Such Ways I Have Trailblazed a Preaching of the Message of Jesus All the Way From Jerusalem Far Into Northwestern Greece. This Has All Been Pioneer Work, Bringing the Message Only Into Those Places WHERE JESUS WAS NOT YET KNOWN AND WORSHIPED. My Text Has Been, THOSE WHO WERE NEVER TOLD OF HIM—They’ll See Him! THOSE WHO’VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM—They’ll Get the Message!” (vss. 17-21 MSG).  

Paul Obviously here has a Magnet Inside of Him that is Drawing Him to a Particular People. It’s Pulling Him Toward a People Who Do Not Yet Know His Christ! You see, he’s not traveling from church to church to only preach the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to church folk! He’s going where the people have not known nor heard of Jesus! These are the people who need to hear the message! Which is why the Bible reads: “But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One Who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?” (Romans 10:14-17 MSG). Church, we are the Sent Ones with a message to deliver to those who have yet to hear that our Jesus is still alive and is still saving, healing, delivering, forgiving, restoring and redeeming! Saints, we’re spending far too much time feeding the Word to those who eat it daily already! But what about those who have never had a Crumb from the Master’s Table?! Man cannot LIVE by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God! But how can we expect a people to live for God who are dying because of the church?! They don’t know to trust Him, unless we tell them. They don’t know who to call for help, unless we tell them. They will never hear, unless we tell me! But the problem is, unfortunately, we’re only talking to those who have already heard and believed! 

Paul continues to not only be called to a people who don’t yet Know Jesus, but also to PLACES where Christ is not yet Known! The Bible says, “He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What You’ll Get Is the Holy Spirit. And When the Holy Spirit Comes On You, You Will Be Able to Be My Witnesses In Jerusalem, All Over Judea and Samaria, Even To the Ends of the World.” (Acts 1:8 MSG). The disciples were sent as far as to the ends of the world with the message of Jesus Christ, and we can’t get folks to go into their own neighborhoods! Listen, Jesus is not expecting us to hop on a plane and travel to every city, state and country, but He does expect us to share the message where we can! Believe it or not, but there’s people in the supermarket you go to that don’t know your Jesus; when you dropped off your car to the mechanic, there are people there who don’t know your Jesus; when you go to the doctor’s office, there are people there who don’t know your Jesus; when you go to work and spend some 8-12 hours daily, there are people there who don’t know your Jesus; when you go to the gym and talk to everybody about everything except your Jesus, you do know that there are people there who don’t know your Jesus; when you get in the cab, board the plane, hop on the bus or train, you do know that they are filled with people who don’t know your Jesus; in the prisons, at the hospitals, in the nursing homes, sitting at the dialysis center, laying in chemo therapy, struggling in rehab, waiting in line at the unemployment office, social services office, the homeless shelter, the soup kitchens, in the mall, at the movies, in the deli, at the cleaners, are all places filled with people who do not yet know your Jesus, how then can you afford to be silent…until Sunday…in Church…with people who Already know your Jesus!              

You know, these days you don’t have to go very far to find the places where Christ Is Not Known: the dry places, the un-rained on places, the un-watered places, the unsaturated places. I mean, our society has basically been divided like a river over recent years. On one side of that river, are Christians Who’ve Got More Christian Stuff Than Christians Have Ever Had: Christian TV, Radio, and Internet, Books, Blogs, Seminars, Magazines and Concerts! There’s so much going on Spiritually! In a way we’re the Most Spiritually Saturated Believers In All of History!              

But now, far across that river, On the Opposite Bank, Are People Who Don’t Know Christ – which in honesty is the Majority of People Around Us! There Have Probably Never Been So Many Lost People In This Country Who Have Known So Little About Jesus As People Today; Who’ve Cared So Little About the Bible, Who’ve Lived So Totally Oblivious to God! In a sense, They Are Dying of Spiritual Thirst! The Bibles says, “Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again. But Whoever Takes a Drink of the Water that I Will Give Him Shall Never, No Never, Be Thirsty Any More. But the Water that I Will Give Him Shall Become a Spring of Water Welling Up (Flowing, Bubbling) [Continually] Within Him Unto (Into, For) Eternal Life. The Woman said to Him, Sir, Give Me This Water, So That I May Never Get Thirsty…” (John 4:13-15 AMP).              

So, the people with the water, and the people with the thirst, Have Unfortunately Never Been Farther Apart! And what I love about the text in John is the woman is not resistant but ready to receive! How many people are around us day-to-day, ready to receive Jesus, the living water, yet our sprinklers are only turned on, on Sunday, to saturate the already saturated, as others die of thirst! 

Martin Marty, the church historian, said in the Wall Street Journal, If you’re part of the evangelical subculture, it’s your whole life. You go to church, buy the religious books, watch the television programs.But he says,If You’re Not Part of the Subculture, You Don’t Even Know it Exists.              

Well, one reason is that All The Sprinklers Are Being Aimed At The Already Saturated!  

Which is Why Our Great Commission was not to SIT (in the pews and pulpit) but it was to GO (to the people and places)! “Jesus, Undeterred, Went Right Ahead and Gave His Charge: God Authorized and Commanded me to Commission You: GO Out and Train Everyone You Meet, Far and Near, In This Way of Life, Marking Them By Baptism in the Threefold Name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then Instruct Them In the Practice of All I Have Commanded You. I’ll Be With You As You Do This, Day After Day After Day, Right Up to the End of the Age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 MSG). You do realize that we are Charged, Commanded and Commissioned to GO?! It was not an idea, it was not negotiable, it was not a suggestion! We are Charged (which is a Demand); We are Commanded (which is to be given an Authoritative Order); and We are Commissioned (which is to be Issued and Entrusted to Fulfill a Duty)! Does any of that sound like, do this if you feel like it; do this when you feel like it; do this if you should have a little spare time? NO! This is GO RIGHT NOW! Why? Because people’s eternal lives are hanging in the balance, and if we reach them with the message of life, it will tip the scale in the favor of Heaven on their behalf! I mean do you really want someone to lift their eyes in Hell because you were too focused on getting Only You and Yours to Heaven?! No, we are Called to Combat, not Comfort! There’s Thirsty Souls That are Waiting for Us to Show Up With the Living Water, Will We Be Present or Absent?!              

Listen, we can sit in the comfort of our Sunday School Sessions, Bible Study Lessons, and our Christian Websites, and Recordings, and Videos, and Drink It All In and Feel Like We’re Winning the Battle! But the People We’re Next To Every Day Are Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes! All We’ve Soaked Up Just Drowns Us Unless We Lay It On The Line, Take Some Risks, And Get Involved With Lost People Where They Are, Like Our Lord Did! “Indeed, the Son of Man Has Come to Seek and to Save People Who Are Lost.” (Luke 19:10 GWT). What good does it do the Kingdom for all those who have been Found already, to only Find themselves in church every Sunday, while the Lost wanders their way to Hell all week long! 

Imagine you’re at the mall with your son or daughter and they get lost. How would that make you feel? I know as a parent I would be scared, terrified, worried, telling everybody to help me find them, I would be calling 911, trying to locate the mall security officers so they can review the cameras, the doors, the stores. I would more than likely be in tears and praying and screaming out for them, and God! A million thoughts would attack my mind, did someone take them, are they scared, are they crying, are they hurt. You know why all of this would be happening? Because they’re my children and I love them and want them to always be safe. That’s the kind of unconditional love we need to have for the lost. Because truth is, many of them have no idea of the dangerous games the devil plays. They have no idea that their eternity is at stake. They may yell at people to ‘go to hell’, but do they really know what Hell holds for them? Do they know that Satan is waiting for another notch on his belt? No, but we know! And we didn’t escape his grasp because we’re perfect and wonderful and good, it was only by grace and mercy that we got by and got out! Someone, somewhere, at some point in time told us about Jesus and saved our lives! How can we not love the lost the same way and help save theirs?              

Where are the Christians who will say with Jesus and Paul Alike, I’m Here For Lost People, Not Just to Sit In My Comfort Zone Among Those Who are Already Found?Where are the Churches who will Not Just Aim Their Resources at Watering God’s People, But Who Will Risk Their Buildings and Their Reputations, and Even Their Budgets and Lives to Build a Bridge to Their Lost Community? Not Just to be a Place to Take Care of the Already Rescued, But To Be a Life Saving Station For Their Community!  

It’s Time to Stop Beautifying Our Buildings and Take Our “Beautiful Feet” (Isaiah 52:7), to the Homeless Shelters and Give Them a Makeover With the Message of Love From Our Savior Who Has Promised to “Beautify the Meek With Salvation” (Psalm 149:4).  

Instead of Fish/Chicken Dinners to Purchase a Church Van, why not take the Dinners free of charge to the Park Bench where a man sleeps on an empty stomach because there’s nowhere else to go?!  

Instead of Another Fashion Show, why not a Coat Drive?!  

Instead of praising God for the Healing that has taken place In Your House of Worship, why not take that Testimony to the Hospital and Hospice where all Hope has Vanished that God can still Heal?!   

Instead of rejoicing over God curbing your shoe shopping fetish, why not take the deliverance testimony to the  ones who have no strength left to continue the battle against their addictions?!               

People of God, let’s move past the Sprinklers We Receive from Within Our Local Assemblies, and Go Out Into the Desert Places Where Many Are Both Naturally and Spiritually Dying!  Let’s Supply Natural Food and Quench Spiritual Thirst at the Same Time! After All, It’s the Expectation Our Savior Has for His Sheep! 

When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will Sort The People Out, much as a Shepherd Sorts Out Sheep and Goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, “Enter, You Who Are Blessed By My Father! Take What’s Coming to You in this kingdom. It’s Been Ready For You Since the World’s Foundation. And here’s why: I Was Hungry and You Fed Me, I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me a Drink, I Was Homeless and You Gave Me a Room, I Was Shivering and You Gave me Clothes, I Was Sick and You Stopped to Visit, I Was In Prison and You Came to Me.’ “Then those ‘Sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, What Are You Talking About? When Did We Ever See You Hungry and Feed You, Thirsty and Give You a Drink? And When did We Ever See You Sick or in Prison and Come to You?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m Telling the Solemn Truth: Whenever You Did One of These Things to Someone Overlooked or Ignored, That Was Me—You Did It To me.’ “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get Out, Worthless Goats! You’re Good For Nothing But the Fires of Hell. And why? Because—I Was Hungry and You Gave Me NO Meal, I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me NO Drink, I Was Homeless and You Gave Me NO Bed, I Was Shivering and You Gave me No Clothes, Sick and in Prison, and You NEVER Visited.’ “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, “Master, What Are You Talking About? When Did We Ever See You Hungry or Thirsty or Homeless or Shivering or Sick or in Prison and Didn’t Help?’ “He will answer them, “I’m Telling the Solemn Truth: Whenever You Failed To Do One of These Things to Someone Who Was Being Overlooked or Ignored, That Was Me.’ “Then Those ‘Goats’ Will Be Herded To Their Eternal Doom, But the ‘Sheep’ To Their Eternal Reward.” (Matthew 25:31-46 MSG).               

Saints, We’ve Saturated Ourselves Long Enough! Today Let’s Determine to Leave From Within the Four-Walls of the Church, and Saturate the Dry Places of a Dying People in the Four-Corners of the Earth!  

I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.” (John 10:16 CEV). 

Enough of Drowning Christians in a Thirsty World! Let’s go find the rest of our Shepherd’s sheep and bring them into the safety of the family fold. 

John 3:16-18, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (MSG) 

Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the [consistently] righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise captures and wins souls [for God—he gathers them for eternity].” (AMP)

Acts 13:46-47, “But Paul and Barnabas didn’t back down. Standing their ground they said, “It was required that God’s Word be spoken first of all to you, the Jews. But seeing that you want no part of it—you’ve made it quite clear that you have no taste or inclination for eternal life—the door is open to all the outsiders. And we’re on our way through it, following orders, doing what God commanded when he said, I’ve set you up as light to all nations. You’ll proclaim salvation to the four winds and seven seas!” (MSG)

1 Corinthians 9:19-23, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (MSG) 

Acts 3:19-23, “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be. Moses, for instance, said, ‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.’” (MSG)

Matthew 9:35-38, “Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (MSG)

Luke 10:1-2, “Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge: “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.” (MSG)

“The mark of a great church is not its Seating Capacity, but its Sending Capacity.” (Mike Stachura)

“If you are more concerned about politics than saving souls, then you may be a Citizen of the wrong Kingdom.” (Joby Martin)

“At the end of the day, the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians who don’t share the Gospel.” (Albert Mohler)

“Whatever we do, we must not treat the Great Commission like it’s the Great Suggestion.” (Charles R. Swindoll)

“Evangelism is not so much about reminding people about how lost they are. But how loved they are.” (Randall Worley)

“Emergency vehicles demand access because human lives are at stake. Evangelism demands the same priority, for the same reason.” (Ray Comfort)

“Everyone has a pulpit to speak from. A pulpit is your sphere of influence. Your platform. Use it and proclaim Jesus.” (Greg Laurie)

“We Christians sometimes think we need a plan for evangelism. I don’t think Jesus had an evangelism plan. I think He just interacted with the people He came in contact with.” (Matt Diaz)

“If you had the cure to cancer wouldn’t you share it? You have the cure to death, get out there and share it.” (Kirk Cameron)

“The way you store up treasure in heaven is by investing in getting people there.” (Rick Warren)

“Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” (D.T. Niles)

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” (John Stott)

“I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unravel all the mysteries of the divine Word, for salvation is the one thing we are to live for.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.” (D. Elton Trueblood)

“Evangelism is hard, but watching people you love go to Hell is harder!” (Author Unknown)

“Discipleship is a lifestyle filled with relationships; a life of pouring yourself out for others.” (Author Unknown)

“Any method of evangelism will work – if God is in it.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

“Someone asked will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we…who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not…can be saved.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Effective Evangelism depends on faithful proclamation of the Word. God will prepare the soil and bring forth the fruit. We must be faithful to plant the seed.” (John MacArthur)

“Every Christian is either a Missionary or an Imposter.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Our responsibility is to get God’s Word to their ears. Only God can get the Word from their ears to their heart.” (Albert Mohler)

“We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.” (Billy Graham)

“I have never known a man who received Christ and ever regretted it.” (Billy Graham)

“Evangelism is not an option for the Christian life.” (Luis Palau)

“Evangelism is not salesmanship. It is not urging people, pressing them, coercing them, overwhelming them, or subduing them. Evangelism is telling a message. Evangelism is reporting good news.” (Richard Halverson)

“It is clear you don’t like my way of doing evangelism. You raise some good points. Frankly, I sometimes do not like my way of doing evangelism. But I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” (D.L. Moody)

“Spend more time in study and prayer. That’s the secret of successful evangelism.” (Billy Graham)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “12 Strange, But True Health Tips”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “IN VAIN”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!
Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com
Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders

“Church, Let’s Go Fishing!”

dose2 (2)

Luke 5:10, “And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon (Peter). And Jesus said to Simon, Have no fear; from now on you will be CATCHING MEN!” (AMPC)

I assure you I was not your typical young girl! I didn’t dream of the most beautiful wedding, the most expensive wedding gown with the long train that took 5 people to carry it. I was more of the tom-boy who was climbing up trees and jumping out of them; learning to work on engines since my dad was a mechanic; walking the dogs; chopping wood since I wanted to do everything my dad did, because if you haven’t guessed it, I was indeed the typical daddies’ girl! And one of my dad’s absolute favorite things to do in all the world was to go fishing! So once again you guessed right, I just had to learn how to fish! And it wasn’t a struggle for me either. Before you knew it, I was digging for worms, and baiting hooks, casting my line, and catching some fish!

Now, as for me, catching the fish was fun. Eating them was fun. But, in between, there was this one step that was a lot less fun – cleaning them! But for that fish to realize its culinary destiny, it had to be cleaned.

If you’re a fisherman, you’re apparently Jesus’ kind of person. Four of the twelve disciples He called were fishermen by trade. When He summoned them to His service, He said, “…Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17 AMP). He told Simon Peter, “…Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:10 NKJV).

So the business of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus Christ apparently has some things in common with fishing. For example, you don’t try to attract the fish with what you’re interested in, but what they’re interested in. For example, I like pizza. I don’t like worms. But if I put pizza on my hook, I’m going home with an empty bucket. I’ve got to offer what will be interesting to the fish that I’m trying to attract. And so it is church, with reaching people for Jesus Christ, especially MEN! Think about it, if all you offer is religious bait, coming to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject in a religious place, you probably won’t attract many of the lost men who need Christ so desperately. But if you’re talking about needs they care about in a place where they feel comfortable, in words they can understand, you have a far better chance of getting them within hearing distance of the Gospel. Now, does that mean if they enjoy the strip club, you go to the strip club to win them to Christ? Uh, No! Your convictions, character and calling should never be compromised! But will an unsaved man be more likely to talk to you over a game of bowling, than an hour of bible study, yes sir! Remember, your bait is not supposed to catch your interest, but theirs.

Now, there’s another very important fishing principle we need to keep in mind as we present Jesus to the people around us. It’s a principle it seems many believers have never thought about. And church, here it is: FISH AREN’T CLEANED UNTIL THEY’RE CAUGHT FIRST! Now that’s pretty deep and profound don’t you think? Nope! Just common sense, that has become way too uncommon in the church!

You see, far too many times, lost people feel judged by us rather than loved by us, because we attack the things they do. But they do those things because they’re lost, which is why instead of judging their lost ways, we should be leading them to the One who will take them from lost to found! However, that’s hard to do because we’re too busy trying to get them in “proper church attire”; trying to change their habits; their mindset; their way of life; their behaviors; and their speech. We’re too busy trying to take out their piercings; cover their tattoos; restyle their hair; and put sheets over their splits, and safety pins to close up their cleavage. Before they get in the church good, we have 5 auxiliaries to put them on; and want to cram tithes and offerings down their throat. Now, let’s be real, how would you feel about a group of people telling you Jesus loves you, now all you have to do is give Him 10% of the paycheck you worked hard to earn, and the one that barely covers your bills as it is? As church folks, we have a tendency of going too far, too soon!

Think about this: No fishermen goes to the water, immediately sticks his hand in the water, snatches out a fish, cleans it, cooks it and eats it. No, there is a process to fishing, and one of the greatest parts to that process is waiting! It doesn’t happen in an instant. And most men, in particular, aren’t going to just pour into the church like a floodgate has opened either. A fishermen knows that he can sit out there for hours and catch absolutely nothing; or just one or two. If only we could learn to be that patient with catching men!

Women have a stronger tendency to fill the church pews, men not so much, not so many, and not so quickly! So, if you’re attempting to grow the men’s ministry, you will need patience and better bait!

And more importantly, it’s vital that you remember: You catch them, then JESUS cleans them!

Take a brief walk with me through Luke 19 beginning with verse 5. The whole town is shocked when Jesus says to Zacchaeus, of all people – the town crook, “I must stay at your house today.” As stunned as anyone, the Bible says Zacchaeus “welcomed him gladly. The people started muttering, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” But after meeting Jesus and experiencing His unconditional love, Zacchaeus can’t stand his sin anymore. He announces he’s going to make right the dishonest wrongs he has done, “If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus announced, “Today salvation has come to this house.

Zacchaeus Got Clean, But He Got Caught First!

The problem with the lost people you know is not their profanity or their dishonesty or their immorality – truth of the matter, they’re lost and they’re living like it! So why are we as the church, mad at the world because they behave like the world? That’s like being mad at a dog because he barks; a cat because he purrs; a fish because he swims; or a lion because he roars! It’s the same as being mad at an elephant because he has a trunk; or a giraffe because he’s tall; or a bear because he’s big! You can’t be mad at something or someone that does what it’s purposed to do! And guess what, sinners…SIN! I know, who knew! 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago YOU were on that list. SINCE, THEN, YOU’VE BEEN CLEANED UP AND GIVEN A FRESH START BY JESUS, OUR MASTER, OUR MESSIAH, AND BY OUR GOD PRESENT IN US, THE SPIRIT.” (MSG) So, we can’t be mad at sinners who sin. However, I love the way we, the church, conveniently forget that text also says, “…A number of YOU know from EXPERIENCE what I’m talking about, for not so long ago YOU were on that list. SINCE, THEN, YOU’VE BEEN CLEANED UP AND GIVEN A FRESH START BY JESUS, OUR MASTER, OUR MESSIAH, AND BY OUR GOD PRESENT IN US, THE SPIRIT.” (MSG) Don’t forget, you weren’t born saved! And some of your best sinning even came, AFTER salvation! Therefore, we need not be mad at the world for acting like the world, but we should be mad that the church acts like the world! But dare we address such a controversial matter?! You were just as bad off as they are, but the Godhead was merciful! Jesus  cleaned you up with the Father and the Holy Ghost! And pay close attention to WHO did the cleaning! It was the Godhead! Not the Bishop, Pastor, Overseer, Elder, Evangelist, Deacons, Missionaries; Ushers; Trustees; Mother Board; Music Ministry and the like, no it was the Godhead Alone! Try to remember that the next time you go Man Fishing! You Catch, God Cleans!

You see, sinner’s real problem is that they need a Savior! Yes, they must repent, but that’s part of being rescued by Jesus from their sin! Don’t make their lifestyle the main issue. Make Jesus the main issue, and say with the great spiritual fisherman, Paul, “You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 MSG). See church, simple is still best! One righteous man (Jesus) went to an unrighteous man (Zacchaeus) and his life was made the better because of being in the company of a man who didn’t judge him, didn’t try to change him, didn’t bring up his past, his mistakes, his failures, his sins, his habits. No, you simply had one short, unrighteous man that went to great lengths to see Jesus. Jesus looked up, saw him, and talked to him (not about him). The man (Jesus) let’s Zacchaeus know I’m your uninvited guest today, and Zacchaeus was delighted to have Him.

Now, I must note this, as soon as the righteous starts talking to the unrighteous, the so-calledrighteous’ start gossiping! Luke 19:7, “And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner.” (AMP) Now, you would think the “church folks” would be happy to see someone unrighteous come into contact with someone righteous. And not to simply visit a church service, but to receive salvation! You would think this was a good thing! Sad as it is to say, you will experience some of the very same behavior. But remember, you have to catch them, before He can clean them. So, if that means going to their house, instead of the House of Worship, just to have a conversation that may bring about salvation, is worth it, don’t you think? Even if it is done in the midst of muttering church folks!

Well, in spite of those who should have been spreading the gospel, and not the gossip, neither Jesus nor Zacchaeus pays them any attention, nor verbally responds to them! Take note church: There will be some folks who don’t think you should be around such people, even if you are trying to win them to Christ. But don’t you get distracted, you have the right bait available and over the process of time, they will be caught by you, and cleaned by Him, and the naysayers can do nothing about it! After all, is their soul about them, or Him? Remember Paul’s words: “You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 MSG). People of God, if you want the same results, follow the same regime: Keep it simple, meet them on their terms, use the right bait, and once they’ve been caught, let Jesus clean them (after all, if you had the power to clean them, you would’ve been able to clean YOU years ago!) #Selah

But just as you needed someone to reach out to you, and you needed time to come to Him, and more time to let Him clean you after you were caught, give your brothers and sisters the same courtesy. Don’t get caught up in protocols, programs, and positions. There simply needs to be one brother/sister telling another brother/sister how they can become family. Don’t complicate the matter about rules, regulations, laws, do’s and don’ts. Do your part, and let God do His. You catch, let Him clean!

Psalm 51:1-2, “Have mercy upon me, O GOD, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. WASH ME THOROUGHLY [AND REPEATEDLY] from my iniquity and guilt and CLEANSE ME AND MAKE ME WHOLLY PURE FROM MY SINS!” (AMPC);

Psalm 51:7, “PURIFY ME WITH HYSSOP, AND I SHALL BE CLEAN [CEREMONIALLY]; WASH ME, AND I SHALL [IN REALITY] BE WHITER THAN SNOW.” (AMPC);

Psalm 51:10, “CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.” (AMPC)

In all of that WASHING; CLEANSING; and PURIFYING, did you note that the ONE who was doing it was: “…O GOD…”! Not, “O James, Jasmine, Edward, Esther, Jeffrey, Juanita, Joseph, Julia, Dwayne, Dorothy, Douglas, Diana, Derrick or Deidra”! Nor was it, “O Apostle, Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Evangelist, Minister, Deacon, Missionary, Brother or Sister”! NO, It Was, “…O GOD…”! Because that’s the Only One Who Can!

It’s simple directives, you catch, He cleans! And as soon as you stop playing God and stay in character with the only role you were cast in, the sooner we can fill the pews with more than just women and babies, but we will see a great catch of men filling the House of God as redeemed Men of God! Church, don’t let any more men and women be left out floating aimlessly in this world, when you have the bait to catch them, and you have the means of getting them to your God so He can clean them! Don’t complicate such a simple process by attempting to be grand. The goal is to make sure your Name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life, not your Accomplishments or Head Count!

Saints, today is a good day to go fishing! And unlike my dad who had his favorite spot to fish in. God has sent us into all the world to fish! Meaning, you need to be casting your line with bait attached to doctors, lawyers, teachers, janitors, bank tellers, cashiers, CEO’s, police officers, fire fighters, and nurses. You need to be casting your line at the supermarket, at the bank, at the laundromat, at school, at work, at home, at the homeless shelter, at the soup kitchen, in the prisons, in the nursing homes, at the hospital, in the emergency rooms, at the rehab, at the dialysis and chemo centers. You need to be casting your line among those married with three children and those divorced with 5; among the unwed mother; the identity and gender confused; among those with 10 piercings and 20 tattoos; among those in Ivy League colleges; among those in community college. Cast your line walking down the street, boarding the bus, train or plane. Cast your line as you share that cab ride. Cast your line as you wait in line at the social services office; while you’re standing in the unemployment line; while you’re getting ready to perform at Madison Square Garden! Are you getting this? Sinners are everywhere, therefore the church needs to be casting her line everywhere! After all, it is what we’ve been commissioned to do, right?

Acts 1:8, “He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” (MSG)

Mark 16:14-20, “Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned. “These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.” Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.]” (MSG)

Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (MSG)

Church, we have work to do! So, Let’s Go Fishing!

Matthew 4:19, “Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.” (MSG)

 “We’ve Strayed From Being Fishers of Men to Being Keepers of the Aquarium.” (Paul Harvey)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord

Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “25 Breast Cancer Myths Busted”

Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “GREAT”

LETS STAY CONNECTED!
Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com
Facebook:  DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders
Instagram: dr_sys
LinkedIn:  Linkedin.com/in/dr-shermaine-y-franklin-sanders910019142/
Twitter: Dr_Shermaine
Pinterest: drsys321
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrShermaineYFranklinSanders