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


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


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

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Triune God

The teaching of the Triune God is a difficult reality for the human mind to graspe, but is seen and taught in scripture.
God the Father, God the Son (Jesus, the Christ), and God the Holy Spirit, are coequal, coeternal, and coexistent.

At the Baptism of Jesus we can see the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit at work (Matt. 3:16-17).

Did Jesus teach the Trinity?  Not only do we see Jesus praying to His Heavenly Father in all Gospel accounts (see John 17 for an example), but we hear Jesus teaching about the Holy Spirit in scriptures such as John 14:16-18; 16:7-14.

Jesus taught that we are baptize believers in name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I realize the thinking of three distinct persons who function as one perfect unity is beyond our finiteness.  But God is not limited to our finite state.  God's thoughts and behaviors are beyond our comprehension.  God will not change Who He is just because we do not understand Him.

Sometimes we believe that God owes us an explanation, and He needs to prove things.  The reality is, God is sovereign and is not accountable to us, but we are accountable to God.

We would do well to meditate on passages like Deut. 29:29; Isaiah 55:8-9; II Cor. 5:7; James 2:23.

Enjoy your relationship and experience with the Triune God, versus getting stuck on trying to detail something we only know in general.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Unquestioning Obedience

Just when you get settled with one "walk by faith" situation, your walk is not over.
What you will find is that as you walk by faith, you will function with stronger faith for the next "walk by faith action."

After Jesus was born, God told Joseph to do something else.  Gather your wife and newborn and escape to Egypt, and stay there until further notice.  What did Joseph do?  Joseph immediately acted in faith and moved his wife and newborn son to Egypt (Matt. 2:13).

 We can discuss numerous aspects of such a move, but the "stand out" action was Joseph's unquestioning obedience to God.

Are you questioning God about something told He told you to do?

Where is your faith in God's faithfulness to operate in your best interest despite what He is leading you to do (Rom. 8:28)?

Try to simply act as God speaks to you today (no questions, just obey) and watch your faith grow.  You will enjoy a special sense of recognizing God's voice and trusting Him as normally and naturally as saying your name.  

Although we do not know much about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, we know he had unquestioning obedience toward God.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Acts of Simple Faith

Check out this response in a break-up level issue in Mary and Joseph's relationship:  24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.  (Matt. 1:24-25).

Your girl comes up pregnant and you know you did not sleep with her, and the only explanation you get is the Holy Spirit did a miracle, and the baby cannot have your name.

Joseph had to be a praying man to recognize the voice of God's angel.
Joseph had to be a reading man to recognize Old Testament Prophecy could happen to his virgin fiancé.
Joseph had to be a faithful man to not question God, or go off on Mary, and simply obey God in a potentially explosive situation.

Today, let us look at ourselves and answer the question: How am I doing with simple acts of faith in difficult situations?

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation is encouraging, and challenging at the same time.

The encouragement is God is always in control despite how the enemy seems to keep mess going in the world around us. God has an eternal plan and will vindicate the righteous.  God repeatedly reassures us that our receiving Christ will pay eternal dividends.  

We are challenged by the punishment that will come upon the ungodly and unbelieving as described in the book on Revelation, to work harder at leading people to Christ.

We are also challenged to rest in the assurance that we are saved from God's wrath (Rom. 5:9; I Thess. 5:9-11; II Thess.1:6-12).

Despite our varied views on eschatology, we are assured that we are saved from the wrath of God through Christ (Rom 5:9)

For the Christian fear need not grip our soul when reading Revelation, but the blessing promised to everyone who reads and takes heed.

Rev 1:3: Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Rev. 22:7: "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Be Intentional

In this Saturday night and Sunday morning worship services, our missions  team members will report on our intentional efforts to connect people to Jesus in St Vincent, Tchula Mississippi, and Africa.
This Sunday at 4:00 pm our Sanctuary Choir will kick off our celebrating 92 years of Mt. Zion, connecting people to Jesus.

Christians, these are examples of our efforts to be intentional as we carry out the Great Commission.  

All of us must make up our minds, and prayfully engage people for Christ.  Invite someone to church, give someone a gospel tract, ask someone if they have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Do good works and explain that you are just showing the love of Jesus, and even travel away from home on a missions trip.

Prayerfully think about what God is calling you to do.  No need to compete with others.  Yes, learn from others, but do what God is calling you to do.  

In the local church, learn to work as a team.  For instance this Sunday, many people from the Mt. Zion Sunday School will gather and go into the community to show the love of Jesus (they will pass out brochures with the gospel message, or water with a message, etc.).

Christians, we cannot afford sit and wait for others to do our work.  Nor can we wait for another national crisis and then operate in a temporary reaction mode.

Review Matt. 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8, pray, and then get busy doing your part as a valuable member of the body of Christ.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jesus is Watching His Church

In the book of Revelation chapters one and two, Jesus addressed seven churches.

The stand out principle as I read these powerful insights, words of encouragement, rebuke, and correction again is, Jesus is totally tuned into every local church.  Jesus is watching how we behave individually and collectively.

Every time I read the words in Rev. 2:4:
"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love," I must stop and check my level of love.  Brian, do you love God with everything you have?  Brian, do you still have increasing zeal for God?

Just check where you are today.  Jesus is watching you and more than willing to help you get back on track:

Rev. 2:5a:  "Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first..."

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, September 8, 2014

God's Keeping Power

Reading passages like Jude 1:24-25, encourages me to stop looking so much at what I got into in my past, but what God kept me from, and what God is keeping me from right now, and what God will keep me from in the future.

For instance, when praying with my wife, I lead us in thanking God from keeping us true to our marriage vows.  We both could easily fall into sin like anyone else, but God kept us.  I could have quit in ministry after seeing some heart breaking things in the church, but God kept me.  God constantly reminds me that the church is full of imperfect people just like me and He promised to complete His work in our lives until the day of Christ (Phil. 1:6).

Jude 1:24-25:
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Chriatians, each day we walk in the confidence that God is keeping us for the day we stand in the presence of His glory.  I cannot comprehend what that looks like now, but while faithfully serve down here, I eagerly await my personal experience of standing in the presence of God's glory up there.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Praying According to God's Will

One of the great recurring themes in the Bible is, God hears and answers our prayers.

I John 5:14-15: contains a guarantee for answered prayer.

14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

Instead of telling God what to do, or what we prefer, how often do we simply ask God to have His way in our lives?

Praying for God's will requires courage and total trust in God.  We must believe that God has our best interest at heart. We must believe that our Father who is in heaven will give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matt. 7:11).

Jesus, our perfect example in every aspect of our lives. Jesus prayed for God's will to be done in His life prior to His crucifixion (Matt. 26:39-44).

God guarantees that He will hear us and grant our prayer request when we pray for His will in our lives.

Try it and you will get closer to God and your trust level will go deeper than you ever imagined.  

If you are single and prayerfully searching for a mate, try this one: Lord, I want to marry --------(enter their name), but not my will but your will be done.
Lord, if you want me to remain single for now, help me to find my satisfaction in You.
If you are struggling in your marriage, try this prayer: Lord, I really want out of this marriage full of constant arguing, a lack of romance, and selfishness. Help me to stay close to You, and Lord, have Your way in our marriage (please immediately get help if you are physically abused, or dealing with on-going adultery). 

I trust you get the point regarding opening your heart and praying for God to have His way in every area of your life.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Two Distinguishing Marks of the Christian

Two distinguishing marks of Christianity is what we believe about Jesus and how we treat others according to God's Word.

God is clear regarding who is a Christian and who is often hiding behind the name Christian to trick unsuspecting people into joining their man-centered and works based religion. Jesus is the deciding factor on who is who.

I John 4:2-3:
 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

The Old Testament describes Christ as God (Isaiah 9:6).  Hence, God coming to humanity in the person of Jesus, the Christ is the Apostle Johns point, versus Jesus starting as a human and some how through good works attaining to the level of God.

As we continue reading I John 4, we learn that our loving actions toward others is also a clarifying mark of the Christian.

Our Christianity is evident by what we believe about Jesus, and by how we lovingly treat other people.

The cruelty and hatred for humanity shown by Islamic State, other terrorist groups, and people in general who hurt others, is clearly from an evil spirit, versus the Spirit of of the Living God.  

Christian's our love toward a hurting world is meaningful today.

Show someone genuine care and concern today.  Despite what they did or did not do, show the love of Jesus, the Christ (I John 4:7-8).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Daily Cleansing

Why do we find coming clean and admitting our wrong doing so hard?

Adam and Eve must have set the tone for us because we are constantly putting on fig leaves and hiding behind trees instead of recognizing that God already knows we are guilty and simply coming clean (Gen. 3:6-13).

Instead of going through the day in trouble with God and others as blatant liars and deceivers of ourselves (I John 1:8), let us practice I John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Not only will God clean us up, but we will feel relief from the release of the guilt and shame that accompanies our sinful behavior.  People will also have more respect for us being honest.  Who wants to work around and live around a liar.  No one can trust a liar because liars lie and deceive all the time.

Make the decision today to get clean before God and by confessing your known and unknown sin to God.  You may also have to admit your wrongdoing to the people you offended and ask them to forgive you.

Once you get rid of the ankle weights of sin in your life, check out the reduction in your stress levels, and check out the extra pep in your step.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Because We Know

As we move toward the day The Lord returns, and we live in our eternal state, God says our behavior is to be holy.  The behavior of the people around us does not determine how we live.

With the push in our culture to eliminate absolute truth found in the Bible, and establish truth based on one experience, feelings, and desire, God say be on "your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (II Peter 3:17- 18).

Instead of becoming frustrated with, or being turned out by the world, grow in your walk with God.

Just grow!

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)