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:

 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:

 "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 

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)