Monday, December 29, 2014

When God Closes a Door, Look for the Other Door

Why do we who serve in ministry act like God is somehow against us when He closes one or two, or a few doors?  As if God does not want us to grow.  God all of His Great Commission oriented ministries to grow as He sees fit.  You may lead a "mega" ministry are a smaller ministry, just make sure you are leading a growing ministry as directed by the Holy Spirit versus a competition with others driven ministry.

God oftentimes closes one or more doors in ministry because He has another door open for us.

In Acts 16, we gain some invaluable principles regarding God opening and closing doors.

As God closes ministry opportunities, we need to look for the direction of the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6-8).  Notice Paul never got discouraged but continued to pursue kingdom expansion.

Recognize when the Holy Spirit is clearly speaking regarding the ministry (Acts 16:6; 10).  Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guild us into all truth (John 16:13).  Witnessing and seeing people's lives changed is a great indication that we are on the right track (Acts 16:14-15, 23-40).

Do not wait around when the Holy Spirit gives clear direction; get busy doing the work He called you to do where He called you to do the work (Acts 16:9-15).
Christians, I trust you do not write off dreams as an outdated mode of communication from God.  Pay attention to detailed dreams because The Holy Spirit can still speak through dreams.

Enjoy growing ministry governed by the Holy Spirit.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)













Sunday, December 28, 2014

Where is Your Level of Commitment?

On this last Sunday of the year, what is your level of commitment to kingdom work.
Surely you are committed to something and perhaps many things, but today check your level of commitment to The Work of Christ.

After Paul and Barnabas stopped a crowd from worshiping them becaused they healed a man, some men came in town and convinced the people to stone Paul (what a crazy outcome for healing someone and preaching a great message).
Paul did not die from the stoning, but got up went back into town, then left the next day to help people in another town and then returned to the city where he was stoned.  Look at Acts 14:21-22, and check out some serious commitment to the work:

21 After they had evangelized that town and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch,
22 strengthening the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them, “It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.”  

Christians, the work of Christ is not always convenient.  The work of Christ is not always a celebration.  Sometimes ministry gets tough, and we can be persecuted while doing the work, just as Paul and crew were persecuted.  

What will you do during your difficult days in ministry?

Will you quit and start questioning God when ministry gets tough, or will you remain faithful to our Lord, Who called us into service?

Remember what you say during to good times is easier to say than during the tough times.

Christians, make the right decision.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Give People Jesus

In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas and other believers served as missionaries and sailed to Antioch in Pisidia.

They attened the sabbath service and were invited to give some words of encouragement.  Paul motioned to the people and began to speak.

Christians, we must always be ready to speak for the Lord, and yet like Paul be creative in our approach by meeting the people where they are.  As we share we must work our way to the gospel message (the message about Jesus).  Before we sit down, or end our conversation, we must have introduced Jesus and given people an opportunity to personally come to know Jesus.

Look at the end of Paul's message in Acts 13:38-39: 
38 Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you,
39 and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses.

Christians, in the midst of a culture that is really hungry for the living Word, let us give people Jesus.  Yes some people are jealous and some are hostile, but the majority are hungry for the living Word.  Let us lift Him (Jesus) up for every man, woman, boy and girl to see.

Give people Jesus.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy, MZO



Friday, December 26, 2014

For Maximum Outcomes, Get Help

One of the great lessons we learn in Acts 11 is that we must avoid the "Lone Ranger" mentality.
After the stoning of Stephen, the early church grew beyond Jerusalem.  In Antioch the church needed support and the Apostles sent Barnabas.  Take a glimpse at his ministry and what he teaches us:

Acts 11:24-26:
24
 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.
25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;
26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Did Barnabas try to do all the ministry in Antioch alone?
We have no indication that Barnabas was a complainer, nor of him being a "glory hound" (a person who wants all the credit for group accomplishments).
Barnabas saw the great ministry opportunity in Antioch and sought out Saul (Paul to Apostle) to help him.

Together, and certainly with other helpers, Barnabas and Paul got much more done as a team than Barnabas could do alone.

Get some help and maximize your ministry opportunities.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mary Christmas

I simply want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and God's richest blessings upon you in 2015 year.

God Bless, 

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cross Cultural Ministry

On this Christmas Eve, is God moving you to encourage someone in another race, who does not look like you, and they have different practices, and may have a different belief about Jesus than yours (this might be different for you).

look at a few verses in Acts 10, and see what happened with Cornelius and the Apostle Peter:
This is what happened to Cornelius in a dream.  
Acts 10:4: Looking intently at him, he became afraid and said, “What is it, lord? ” The angel told him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity have come up as a memorial offering before God.

This is what happened to Peter: 
Acts 4:15:
15 Again, a second time, a voice said to him, “What God has made clean, you must not call common.”

While men from Cornelius were knocking on Peters door God said: 
Acts 10:20: Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.”

When Peter arrived at Cornelius' home and was told why he was invited:

Acts 10:34:
 Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism,
35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.
36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ — He is Lord of all...

While Peter was preaching:

Acts 10:44:
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message....

Christians, the non-Jews received the gospel and became Christians through the message given by Peter (a Jew) in a home full of non-Jews (not the norm).
All this happened because a non-Jewish man and a Jewish man obeyed God.

Sometimes we do not know where God is ultimatemately leading us in doing cross cultural ministry so we must leave our hearts open, be available, and practice unquestioning obedience to God.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)



Friday, December 19, 2014

What do you keep doing?

Look at Acts 5:42:  And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

After being flogged (to strike or beat repeatedly), the Apostles and early Christians continued to teach and preach Jesus as the Christ.

I noticed several things that was included in their preaching and teaching ministry from Acts 1-5.

1) Authentic miracles were connected to their ministry.

2) They had boldness in carrying out the Great Commission.

3) They endured persecution with joy.

4) They preached the whole message of the Christian life (the Apostles doctrine).

5) They were on one accord (in unity).

6) They continued to fellowship.

7) They continued in prayer.

What are you consistently doing to build the kingdom of God?

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

What Do People See in You?

What should the church look for when picking leaders?
Look at Acts Acts 6:3:
 "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

The local church is a powerful representative of the entire body of believers around the world. Through the local church, Christians in a certain geographic area join together as one body and build one another up and fulfill the Great Commission.  
The local church needs solid leaders to carry out our assignment given by Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20).

The question for you today is, why would someone pick you to serve in a ministry in the local church?  What kind of life are you living?  Are you willing to serve the Lord by serving other people?  Are you even available to serve the Lord?

If you do not have the characteristics listed above from Acts 6, are you willing to get serious about attending bible study and corporate worship?  Are you serious about prayer, and fellowship with loyal followers of Christ?  Are you willing to grow and get ready for faithful service?

What will the people in local church pick you for?  What do people see in you that is of value for growing God's kingdom?

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)







Thursday, December 11, 2014

Give People Something From God

With so many vampire movies, and Hollywood producers portraying so many people returning from death, and from death blows, people are obviously thirsty for something beyond the human realm.

Spiritually hungry people want food just as physically hungry people.

In Acts 3, the man born unable to walk sat at the temple gate each day with expectations.  He expected financial support.  With the people of God going in and out of the temple, could the people give him something more permanent than silver and gold?

Look at Acts 3:4-6:

4
 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!"
5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
6 But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!"

We need to give people something from God that will last into eternity.  Yes the man was physically healed, but he also received the message of Christ.

As we see people on our way to church or wherever we are going, Christians, let us give people Jesus.

Get their attention and give them a powersful word from God.  Look at Acts 3:12-26, for the powerful message Peter gave to man who was healed and the people.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

When God's People Walk in Obedience

Before Jesus left the earth to return to heaven as the exalted (Lord and Christ - see Acts 2:36), He gave His disciples instructions to wait in Jerusalem for Holy Spirit power to carry the kingdom work forward (Luke 24:46-49).

When Jesus ascended back to heaven His disciple gathered together in the upper room and were in unity and in prayer (Acts 1:14). 
Peter also lead the group according to the Word of God as they replaced Judas, who betrayed Jesus and took his life according to the scripture.

When the church (the people of God), gather together in unity, prayer, and the scripture, we are in the perfect position for the Holy Spirit to work miracles in and through the church.

We all know what happened next.  The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and the church was born.
Although Satan tried to get people  to believe that God's work was his work (the accusation that the miracle they were witnessing was because the disciples were drunk from new wine is Satan's destructive work), God's people stood firm in their faith.  Peter preached and over 3,000 people got saved on the birthday of the church.

Look what the new church continued to practice in Acts 2:42:
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Christians wherever we are, we must continue to come together, lay aside our petty differences and practice the disciines that keeps the church strong and powerfully positioned to make a difference in the world around us with Holy Spirit power (see Acts 2:43 forward).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Remedy for Overconfidence

Peter's denial of Christ is a sobering lesson on depending on Jesus at every level even when we think we can handle something in our own strength.

Flash back to John 13:37-38: Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You."38 Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.

Now fast forward to John 19:17-27, where Jesus is on trial, and the bystanders are keeping themselves warm near a charcoal fire.  John was there and got Peter into the court.
While there Peter denied being a disciple of Christ three times and the rooster crowed just as Jesus prophesied.

Now fast forward again to a post resurrection scene in John 21:15-17.
Jesus set the scene for Peter by having a charcoal fire.  After breakfast, Jesus ask Peter three times if he loved Him.  "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" 

After the third time Peter did not have such a quick off the cuff response.  Peter was grieved (his emotions kicked in), and he recognize the omniscience of Christ.  Perhaps Peter took Jesus' prophecy about him denying him three times too lightly and learned an invaluable lesson when he actually denied Jesus three times and Jesus' prophecy came true.

Peter was more humble and seemed to have a more dependent on Jesus spirit, in his third response to Jesus.

Instead of answering without thinking which is one indicator or overconfidence, let us first prayerfully consider the issue at hand, and be more dependent upon Christ before we give an answer (Prov. 3:5-6).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy, (MZO)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Replace "I" with "Him"

As Jesus' earthly ministry started growing, and John's disciples were concered about large crowds of people flocking to Jesus,  John's response to them is found in John 3:30: "He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Are you building ministry around your name, and around the system you put in place, and around your accomplishments?

Here is a great test to determine where you really are today.  Just let someone describe your work and forget to give you credit, or they acknowledge everyone else but you.  Do you become angry?  Do you  immediately correct the person and correct their comments so the crowd knows what role you played?
How you handle your ego when it wants center stage?
Every Christian needs learn how to take our ego temperature with the 
John 3:30 ego thermometer.

What is the antidote for an over active ego, or how do we lower our high ego temperate?  
I the "I am the true vine" teaching of Jesus, Jesus said this in John 15:16:
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.

Jesus provides the existence and sustenance for our spiritual life.  With Him we can do nothing of spiritual value (John 15:5).

Christians on today let us remove the "I" statements that causes our ego temperature to rise, and replace our "me, myself, and "I" statements with plenty of "Him" and "He must increase" statements.
Then watch how He (Jesus) will grow us and the ministry when "He" is center stage.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Do Something to Show How Thankful You Really Are

Celebrating Thanksgiving moves a Christian beyond eating good food, or sitting around to be served, or looking around to see whose thanksgiving dinner we can crash and get free food.

For instance, today Christian's can see the hurting, angry, and frustrated people in Ferguson, Missouri.

After the opportunist destroy all they can, where will the Seniors and other community members go to get food and services?  What will the children do about school?  What will the community based business owners and employees do now that there businesses are burned up.  Now that jobs are burned up and destroyed, will the criminal prostesters come back and rebuild the local economy?  Will they pay the bills of the people already struggling to make ends meet?

In the midst of all the senseless destruction, Christians are praying for the Brown Family, and The Wilson Family.

In all the turmoil, two families are hurting deeply, injustices in the criminal justice system still need to be fixed, the Ferguson Police Department still needs to hire more officers of color to reflect the community they are supposed to serve, and this nation still needs healing from our deeply imbedded sin of racial hatred.

Christians today cannot eat all day and forget the needs around us.  Yes, we stop and thank God for all our blessings, but today is not all about us.  We are sober, and we realize that God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.

At the heart of Thanksgiving for the Christian, is God blessing us so that we can move outside of ourselves and bless others through our service.

In John 12:24-26, Jesus said:

24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
26 "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

Die to yourself (total focus on you must die) today and thankfully serve someone else.  Help someone today, stop and pray for someone else, share your resources with others, do something to show how thankful you really are!

God Bless,

Pastorbkennedy (MZO)



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Do You Say About Your Experience With Jesus

25 He answered, “Whether or not He’s a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see! ” 
(John 9:25).

A man born blind was healed by Jesus and the critics of Jesus could not give Jesus the credit.  The critics said Jesus was not from God, or a sinner (John 9:16), and put people out of the synagogue for believing in Jesus.

I love the healed man's confession.  You can say whatever you want about Jesus, but I must testify about my personal experience: "I once was blind, but now I see"!!!

Today people still refuse to give Jesus credit for His work on earth to restore humankind back to God.  Some of them are violent and will kill us for expressing our belief in Jesus.
We must be like the healed blind man and boldly share with others what Jesus did for us.
Just tell the truth and watch God touch people through your testimony.

Hopefully you made plans to stop on Thanksgiving Day to reflect on God's numerous blessing in your life.

You are invited to Mt. Zion's annual Thanksgiving Service 10:00 to 12:00 noon).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What is Your Basis for Truth?

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.
32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).

Everybody has thoughts or something to say about life and the things that pertain to life.

Christians, whatever you are discussing today, Jesus is our source, or basis of trust.  In our conversations we are to remember what Jesus specifically taught on the issue, or something in the scriptures (Jesus is the perfect embodiment of the scriptures and is the Living Word).

Do not shoot from the hip, pray and ask God for His truth and lovingly share truth with others.  Then check out the sense of joy that fills your heart.  Why?  The truth found in Jesus is what will free the human-centered (secularised) hearts of people today.  You might get pushback but truth penetrates the heart (Heb. 4:12).  Through belief in Jesus, we become children of the Living God and get abundant life (full and meaningful life) - John 1:12; 10:10; 14:6.

Truth about and from Jesus is the great gift to give this Thansgiving and Christmas season.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are You Increasing of Decreasing Yourself?

John the Baptist is one of the heroes of the faith.  Jesus said no one born of a woman was greater than John the Baptist, yet the one least in the kingdom is greater than John (Matt. 11:11).

After all his great ministry service in preaching a message of repentance and baptizing countless people and even baptizing Jesus, The Messiah, and preparing the way for Messiah, John stood in a class all by himself.

Yet this is what John said about himself in John 3:30:
 "He must increase, but I must decrease.

As you accomplish more in ministry, and increase your knowledge of and personal experience with God, are you elevating yourself, or are you fighting to stay humble before God?

Perhaps John's short but profound statement to his disciples after they reported how Jesus' ministry was increasing, should become our constant prayer: "He must increase, but I must decrease."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Happens When You Hear The Word of God?

Luke 24:32 They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?"

At first these two disciples were disappointed in their experience with Jesus.  Why?

1.  They thought Jesus would free Israel from Roman Oppression (Luke 24:21).
2.  It was the third day and they had not seen Jesus.  The ladies shared their experience at the empty tomb and the Angels declaration that he was risen.  They even heard the testimony from the other disciples who saw the empty tomb.  But they had not seen Jesus and their dreams were shattered so they decided to leave town (Luke 24:1-24).

When Jeaus came alongside of them on their journey to Emmaus and revealed Himself in scripture starting with Moses, a fire was lite in the hearts that led them to a life of preaching and teaching, and living out the message of Christ.

What happens in your heart when you hear the message of Christ?
If you only have a small spark in your heart, spend more time praying and meditating on God's word.

Read one  chapter per day in the New Testament.  Read a Proverb, or some other passage in the Bible, and meditate, and ask the question:  what is God saying to me in this passage?

Our hearts should overflow with Joy as we connect our minds and hearts to what God is saying to us in His Word.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)



Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Should Christians Do About Taxes?

In Luke 20:21, the Chief Priest, The Scribes, and The Elders ask Jesus about paying taxes to Ceasar.

Jesus was very clear in His response.  Jesus, first had them acknowledge the established government.  The coin had Ceasar's inscription, as the emperor over the Roman government (similar to our President here in America).

After the Jewish leaders acknowledged Ceasar's image on the coin, as an acknowledgment of the Roman government, Jesus said:

25
 And He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Christians, we need to align how we look at government and paying taxes with God's Word.  Look at what God says about taxes in Rom. 13:7:
7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

As we near the end of another calendar year, talk to a tax specialist regarding several tax savings strategies.  For instance, giving large sums of money as a charitable gift to your local church.  Please do not overlook your local church in charitable giving.  
At Mt Zion, in Ontario California, I am honored to say that our Trustees are honest and manage our finances well.  Hence, feel free to give a generous donation to churches such as Mt. Zion.  Again, do not overlook giving a large year end donation to the church in which you attend and serve.

God Bless,


Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Mind of the Servant

Why do servants demand service?
What is going on inside a person who is called to serve, but he or she expects someone to pick up their bible and carry it to the podium?  What is so difficult about a minister carrying his own Bible or IPad?
Why would we expect an applause or some recognition after we complete three hospital visits?
Why do we expect the sympathy line: "you must be really tired after doing a class, visiting the sick, and helping others."  
Guess what?  Doctors get up early and do surgeries for several hours.  Police, fire, and teachers, etc., work hard all day.  Athletes work hard. Why are we complaining about the work God has called us to do and expecting sympathy?

Christians, we must cut the drama and serve Jesus with everything you have; and when you are done serving, maintain the Christ-centered servant attitude Luke 17:10:

10
 "So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have 
done.'"

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Discipline of Not Worrying

As I observe all the strategic distractions, and legitimate matters that need attention in my world, I realize my need to practice the discipline of not worrying.
I mean, I must read and meditate upon passages such as Luke 12: 22-31.
The Luke 12, "do not worry" passage is sandwiched between two extreme practices and gives us the proper balance in life: 1) spend your life storing up stuff you cannot take with you when you die; and 2) sell everything and focus on the return of the Lord.

I love the word of comfort that Jesus gives me in Luke 12:31-32:

31 "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

When life takes a unexpected turn, I must choose to operate in my own strength and start stressing, or run to Jesus and practice the discipline of not worrying.

I practiced running to Jesus during my short time away this week and discovered what a cool way to relax.  I was reminded that the location is not the key to relaxing, but choosing to run to Jesus when stress wants to walk in my house uninvited.

Today is a good day for you to decide what you are going to do.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Killer of Creativity and Progress

Anxiety will kill your creativity and progress quicker than quick.  You can't move forward because you are too stressed with your current circumstances.  The constant worrying over the now, and the unknown, has you paralyzed.

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha.  What an honor to have Jesus as a guest.  Certainly getting everything in order and serving the King of Kings at the highest level was in order.
But to stress out and become blinded toward the real need and what Jesus really expected is the lesson for us today.

Many of us are like Martha and too few of us are like Mary.

The Mary/Martha senerio is a powersful reminder of the need to sit at the feet of Jeaus and hear from Him versus stressing out.

Despite what is on your plate for each day, stop and sit at the feet of Jesus .

Jeaus is not asking you to read and pray all day when He knows you work and have things to do.  Just include Him and watch work and things to do, get done with more joy than stress.

Resist the temptation to rush into the day stressed or solving problems.  Stop and sit at the feet of Jesus and get some direction first.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (mzo)


Monday, November 3, 2014

"I Will Follow You Wherever You go"


Jesus and His disciples were together dong ministry in Samaria.  As they walked along a road, someone cried out:
 "I will follow You wherever You go"
(Luke 9:57).

Jesus responded to the unidentified person with a description of the struggle in following Him ("the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head").

Then Jesus commanded another person to follow Him.

The person quickly responded with an excuse delaying his immediate action: I need to plan a funeral.

Another person made a declaration of followship, but included his excuse for delaying immediate action: I need to throw a going away party with my family.

In each case the people who claimed they would follow Jesus did not have a heart commitment attached to their declaration of followship.  They were not willing to replace their personal agenda, with the Jesus agenda.

What excuse is keeping you from immediately and wholeheartedly following Jesus.

Make up your mind today to follow Jesus in everything you do.  No excuses!

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)


Friday, October 31, 2014

After you try in your strength, let Jesus work

I want to function at my maximum potential, and fulfill my dreams, and be in the middle of God's will for my life.

Does this sound like you?

After you do everything you know to be successful, and yet you know there is more to accomplish, try launching out into the deep waters for the more.  Yes, right where you just worked overtime on the more, and did not get the more.

Listen to what Peter, the wise and experienced fisherman, who worked all night, said to Jesus, after Jesus told him to go back out and fish some more for what you did not catch last night: 
Luke 5:5:
5 Simon answered and said, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets."

Christian's go back and revisit what you did in good faith, and with sound reasoning, and with proven and tested methods, but did not get all you expected.  This time go back with deeper connection to Jesus.  Go back with deeper faith in Jesus, and most of all, go back upon the command of Jesus (one night too soon, will get you nothing despite hard work).
Go back when Jesus says you are really ready, and go back with the power and blessings of Jesus upon what you are doing.

Take the human stress and struggle out of your efforts, and let Jesus add to your sincere efforts, divine power, His favor, and His perfect timing.

What can you expect?  
Look at Luke 5:6-7.

How should you respond?  
Look at Luke 5:8-10.

What should you do next?  
Look at Luke 5:10-11.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stop making excuses and produce

John the Baptist was a bold and fearless brother.  John's handling of the Pharasees, Sadducees, and even Herod, the king, was bold, insightful and provides a simple message for us today.
When the religious leaders came out to get baptized by John, look at what John said to them in Luke 2:8:

8
 "Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Christians, since we claim to identify with the message of Christ today, let us simply bear fruits (live our lives) that reflect the Christian life.

People should not wonder about our motives or who we are.  People should not walk away with more questions than answers when they see our lives.  Nor should people see us as big hypocrites as John saw the religious leaders of his day.

Take a hard look at your life right now and choose to bear fruits in keeping with the Christian life.

God Bless,


Pastor Kennedy (MZO)


Monday, October 27, 2014

What is God doing to build your faith?

When God clearly speaks and we doubt, God will proceed to build our faith.

Look at what happened to a righteous Priest in Isreal around the miraculous birth and ministry of his son, John the Baptist in Luke 1:20:

20
 "And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."

What has God promised you that you are finding hard to believe?  What are you going through right now as a faith builder.

Christians, despite what you can or cannot see in your life, God is faithful.
Rest assured that God will always do just what he promised.

Our challenge today is to simple "have faith in God."
Faith is believing that God's promise, God's Word, is enough evidence to support our complete trust in Him (you can review passages like Heb. 11:1-6 and Mark 11:22).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Faith builders for today and the future

As you see the hand of Jesus at work around you, what are you learning.  Do you remember the miracles done in your life?  Is your faith in God growing as a result of you seeing Jesus specifically works on your behalf?
This is what was said about the disciples of Jesus during their training with Jesus in Mark 6:52:

"for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened."

Remember the disciples just worked many miracles among the people, and they just saw Jesus take 5 loaves and 2 fish and feed over 5,000 people.  Then in Mark 5:45-51, they panicked in the boat when storm started, they thought Jesus was a ghost when He walked on the sea, and they were amazed that Jesus spoke and calmed the sea, as if they forgot when He calmed the sea in Mark 4:39-41.  

The disciples of Jesus turned out to be mighty men of God.  But along the way, they had to be reminded to draw upon their past experience with Jesus.

Praise Him for what He has already done as a faith builder for what you can expect from Him today and in the future.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just Touch Jesus


The Mark 5 Account of the woman who touched Jesus for healing describes much of or current reality.

Mark 5:25:  A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—

Notice her extreme efforts to get relief, and the abuse she endured at the hands of people who seemed to take advantage of her while in he state of desperation.
Twelve years is a long time to suffer.

What is nice to see is the woman's turn around.  Once this desperate woman heard about Jesus, she did not wait around to see if what she heard was true.  Against all odds, and with the social outcast label attached to her, and with great faith, this woman immediately focused on touching Jesus with the belief that if she just touched the hem of His garment (hoping He would not even notice), she would be made well.

She did it!  She touched Jesus in faith and was healed.  She was also pointed out, and commended by Jesus because of her great faith in Jesus.

Look at what Jesus said to her in Mark 5:34:
And He said to her,"Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

Today, Jesus will say the same words of comfort to us.  Stop spinning your wheels and touch Jesus in faith and get relief!  Get peace and healing from Jesus.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)










Saturday, October 18, 2014

In the Face of Difficulty, How Do You Pray?

When faced with arrest, injustice in the criminal justice system, cruelty and harsh beatings, insults, conviction, and being sentenced to death, how did Jesus pray?

We often ask, "what would Jesus do"?
The real question is, are we willing to do what Jesus did?

We see how Jesus prayed in the face of difficulty in Matt. 26:36-45.  After Jesus went to one of His favorite praying spots, look at what He prayed in Matt. 26:39:
39 Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Jesus prayed for God's will to be done in His life.  Do you trust God's will for your life?  Do you trust God to have your best interest at heart?  Or are you caught up in what human teachers are saying against what Jesus did in the garden in prayer?  Do you think that Jesus would model something inferior?

Make no mistake about the matter.  When God commands us in Phil. 2:5, to take upon ourselves the mind of Christ, that also includes His prayer life.

Instead of trying to get our own way, let us try God's will for our lives.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)



Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Most Important Thing in the World

Jesus answerd a much debated question throughout human history.

What is the most important thing in the world?

In Mark 12:28-30, Jesus answers this question by taking us back to what God said in Deut. 6.  Look at what Jesus said in Mark 12:28-30:

28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?"
29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;
30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'

What is the most important thing in the world for you right now?

Anything other than your love relationship with God, must be immediately changed to your live relationship with God.

Christians, on this day make loving God in everything you do your top priority, and watch God balance your world.  You can double check with what Jesus said in Matt. 6:33 (put the things of God first, and reap the promise of God providing everything you need).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Search and Rescue

Are you a part of the Lord's search and rescue team?

Look at Matt. 18:12-13:

12
 "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?
13 "If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.

Perhaps you know a fellow brother or sister in Christ, who is out of church and drifting away from The Lord.
Why sit around and watch them self-destruct?  Go after them with the love of Jesus Christ.  Be diligent and text, call, visit, or whatever it takes to listen to their heart and encourage them to return back to The Lord.  When they return to church, sit with them.  Call them during the week to reassure them that they made a good choice to return back to The Lord.  Encourage them to get in Bible Study and get into service for The Lord.  Yes, walk with them until they regain their strength.
Then as you go after another person, guess what you will have?  You will have the person you just helped helping Someone else.
We can get a lot of drifting Christians restored if we will simply take time to care.

God Bless,


Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, October 13, 2014

What Do you Believe about Jesus?

In Matt 16:15, Jesus ask His disciples a defining question: "But who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered the question correctly and Jesus told Him that the Father revealed the answer to Him (Matt. 16:17).

What did Peter say?  "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16).

Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah (God's suffering servant in Isaiah 55), the Son of the Living God, Who came to the earth through the Virgin Mary, and died for the sins of the world on the cross, was buried, rose again from the dead, ascended back to heaven, is our advocate, and is coming back for His Church to establish the eternal state in the new heaven and the new earth for all who believe?

Is Jesus the Ruler over your heart and do you love Him as evidenced by your obedience to Him (John 14:21)?

Christians, we must refuse the watered down view of Jesus coming from the  world (the system headed up by Satan and operated by demons and evil people to rebell against God) and hold on tight to the Biblical view of our Lord.

God Bless,


Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Progress, Defeat, deliverance

In Matt. 14:15-21, Peter and the disciples witnessed Jesus work the miracle of feeding over 5,000 people.  Then they found themselves in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus appeared in the midst of the storm.
Peter having been commanded by Jesus to come to Him, stepped out on faith and walked on the water toward Jesus (all the disciples knew Jesus could calm the storm based on Matt. 8:23-27).
With total confidence in Jesus, Peter walked on water (people criticize Peter in this story, but Peter did something the rest if us have never experienced.  Peter walked on water).

As Peter made progress in the storm by walking toward Jesus, the existing storm distracted Peter and he became afraid.  Fear is a killer of faith and progress and sends us sinking in defeat.  Peter started to sink in defeat, but to Peter's credit, he knew to call on Jesus for his deliverance (see Matt. 14:22-33 for full account).

Our journey through the storms in life are similar to Peter's story.  We start off full of faith with our eyes on Jesus, and we make good progress.  As the storm rages on, as storms in life rage on, and on, and on, we look at our circumstances in fear, and fear kills our faith.  Hence, we start sinking into defeat.
When you see fear and defeat trying to take you down, cry out to Jesus before you are destroyed and get delivered.
Jesus will immediately respond to you while the storm is still raging and stabalize you.  In His own time, Jesus will calm the storm.  
Jesus does not need to calm the storm before He helps us, He simply needs to hear us cry out to Him for help.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Where is Your Heart?

In Matt. 13:18-23, Jesus described four different responses to God's Word.  Each response describes a heart condition that obviously results in a certain lifestyle.

1.  A heart where God's Word goes in one ear and out the other.  This is a person who has no intentions of obeying God's Word.  They might even attend church, but ignore what God clearly says to them.

2.  A heart full of emotion but no substance.  This person will jump up and volunteer quick, this person will make a commitment in the heat of emotion, and will cry as they claim a new change in their life.  But just as soon as they hit a bump in the road, they quit.  They stop attending church and drop out of accountability groups, and will not return calls.  They are shallow and easily discouraged.

3.  A heart that is divided and easily distracted away from God.  This person hears God's Word, and initially responds well, but the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches chock the Word and they get off track.
Work and accumulating stuff becomes the priority for this person.  This person will get up with only 15 minutes left in worshipping God to make an extra $15.00 dollars.

4.  A heart sold out to God and His Word.  This person hears God's Word and they understand with a mind to obey.  The evidence is their fruitfulness.  Jesus describes this person as doing good works based on their understanding of God's Word.  This person loves God through obedience to God's Word.

Question: Where are you today?

Be honest before God and pursue a life of obedience before God so that you are fruitful before God, and a source of blessing to someone each day (Gal. 6:10).

A life of obedience to God's Word makes our departure time easier because when our time comes to leave this life and be with our Lord, we will hear those famous words: "well done you good and faithful servant."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Give the Invitation

What should Christians do in the face of increasing intolerance and hostility in America?

It seems like a representative in the NFL was intolerant toward Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, by making him turn his "Know Jesus, Know Peace," tee shirt inside out for an interview regarding his dislocated ankle in September 2014.

What we need to do as Christians is continue to invite people, who are clearly tired and burdened down, to come to Jesus and get rest for their souls.

We cannot let people, and systems, and organizations, intimidate us from inviting people to enjoy soul satisfaction and rest.
Since we are a peaceful people (Col. 3:15), we do not return hostility for hostility, but we pray and ask God for another opportunity.

Each time I review "The Great Invitation," given by Jesus, in Matt. 11:28-30, I am emboldened and encouraged to invite non-Christians to enjoy rest for their souls.

28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light"  (Matt. 11:28-30).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Not a Popularity Contest

Christianity is liberating because of all that God does inside of us to change us on the outside (II Cor. 5:17--21; Eph 2:10).  Moreover, we get great joy in helping others and bringing good to a very mean and cruel society (Gal. 6:10) because our reward comes from God.

With all the good we do as Christians, we serve in a very hostile world.  Christians in America are beginning to feel what the persecuted church in Africa has felt for hundreds of years.  Christians in Asia, and Russia, the Arab Nations, and even in Germany, have also felt the persecution of evil men.

The reality is that Jesus told us we would not win a popularity contest because of our connection to Him.

On this beautiful Lords day when the gospel is preached more than any other day all around the world, I submit this sobering, yet instructional word from our Risen Savior:

16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 "But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;
18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
19 "But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.
20 "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sweet Sleep

Getting enough sleep is critical for good health.
When you get into bed for sleep, do you truly rest or do you lay there, or do you toss and turn?  Do you spend half the night worrying about things you have no control over?   

In Prov. 3:13, God said how blessed is the man who finds wisdom and gains understanding.  In Prov. 3:21, we are told to keep sound wisdom.  In the same Prov. 3 context, God describes numerous blessing for using His wisdom in our daily lives.
One of those many blessings is sweet sleep.  Look at Prov. 3:23:
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Read about how to get God's wisdom in Prov. 2:1-6, and pursue wisdom like the most precious treasure you can imagine.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy(MZO)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our Storm Navigator

A death in the family, car problems, relationship problems, job problems, financial problems, health problems, etc., all make up storms in life.  
Some storms are more severe than others, but every storm knocks us off balance.

Jesus is the Christians source to successfully navigate through the storms in life.

In Matthew 8:23-27, the disciples were in a boat with Jesus, and a big storm arose on the sea.   Although the disciples panicked, they knew where to get help.
They knew to call on Jesus.
They knew Jesus would save them.
They knew they were safe with Jesus.
They knew their survival depended on Jesus.
In their terror, they called on Jesus.

Jesus got on their case for being afraid, which was a lack of faith.  Then Jesus calmed the storm.  This was a personal growth opportunity for the disciples (just call on Jesus and skip the panic attack).

This is a great lesson on how to deal with our storms, and learn more about the trustworthyness of Jesus.

Mr. Christian or Ms. Christian, even if you panic, and even if you respond with fear because of your human nature, be like the disciples and still call on Jesus.

Let Jesus speak to the issues in your storms and bring you calm and confidence in your storm.  You will be amazed at His power in calming you and your storm (Matt. 8:23-27).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Built to Last

Today the men of Mt Zion woke up to a beautiful sunrise as we are surrounded by the magestic mountains in San Bernardino County.



We retreated to hear from The Lord and obey His word.

Jesus said in so doing we are built to last.

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 

God Bless, 

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Judging?????

How often do you hear the expression, "don't judge me."  Usually people who say this have a bit of intolerance in their tone.
People will also say, Jesus said don't judge (Matt. 7:1).

What did Jesus really teach in Matt. 7?

In the so-called "judge not" passage in Matt. 7:1, Jesus teaches that if we are not to judge with harsh and cruel judgement because that is how people will judge us.  We will get back what we put out (Matt. 7:1-2).
Then in Matt. 7:5, Jesus teaches us how to properly judge.  To judge simply means to consider a situation or the actions of others and form an opinion.  

Jesus says, first look at you own problem (the log in your eye), then you will have a more balanced view when you see another persons problem (the speck in their eye).

Notice that both parties have a problem that can be addressed by properly judging the situation.

In Matt 7:16-20, Jesus teaches that by properly judging we will know wolves in sheeps clothing; we will know good people from bad people based on what we see in their lives (their good or bad practices).  This is judging.

In John 7:24, Jesus challenged the religious leaders to judge with righteous judgement.

We judge all the time.  We look at a persons good actions and thank them for doing good.  That is judging.

What do people really mean today by: "don't judge me"!!!   Perhaps if you take a closer look you will notice that they do not want you to hold them accountable for what they are doing or not doing.

Despite popular expressions based on a lack of careful biblical consideration, "judge with righteous judgment."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy(MZO)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Credibility

The truth about credibility is you can spend years building a good name, and then get caught up in one of Satan's many traps and lose your credibility.

In the greatest sermon ever preached, by the worlds greatest preacher, Jesus said:  "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil" (Matt. 5:37).

Our word, what we say about doing good, must be matched with the good we do. When we say yes, or no, people should be able to believe us because we are credible.

In His sermon, Jesus also taught about His followers being salt and light in this dark world so that people will see our good works and glorify God (Matt. 5:13-16).

Since yesterday is past, all we can do about our mistakes is confess our sin before God and the people we hurt, and walk away and never turn back.  Do not turn back because if you do, you will return right back into yesterdays sin.

Start rebuilding your credibility afresh today, or continue building on the credibility you have.

As one highly respected Mt Zion Elder reminded me a few weeks ago: "my word is all I have."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy