Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Get Involved in the Lives of Others

Don't snitch, don't get involved, stay out the way, etc. reflect a self-centered society.  The problem with the stand back and video tape, but don't get involved mentality, is people get hurt and all we do is help it "go viral" 
The other problem is, one day we will need help and do we really want people to stand back and video or just watch?

We need to have mercy on people and demonstrate our love by helping them (Gal. 6:9-10).

Pastor Kennedy, getting involved with other people is inconvenient, time consuming, and sometimes dangerous.  How far should I go?

Look at Deut. 22: 
4 "You shall not see your countryman's donkey or his ox fallen down on the way, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly help him to raise them up.

Also read Deut. 22:1-3.

With helping others on your heart as a way of life, use Gal. 6:10 as a meditation passage.  God will show you how far to go.

10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, March 27, 2015

When you are overwhelmed

Talking to God, Who is bigger than our circumstances, and Who cares about our well being, and Who can and will do something throughout our circumstances, puts being overwhelmed in check, and brings peace to our hearts (Phil. 4:6-7).

Peter faced a real life storm when he stepped out on faith and walked on the water at the command of Jesus.

What a great lesson for us today.  We ask Jesus for a sign to reveal Himself to us and Jesus in turn ask us to step out of our boat of security and put our total trust in Him (Matthew 14:25-29).

Walking by faith is not stormless; just take a few steps by faith and you will see.

The storms in life teach us to keep our eyes on Jesus in faith, and not on the storm.

Taking our eyes off Jesus because the storm is so intimidating can happen to all of us.  Peter was a loyal follower of Jesus, and was standing right in front of Jesus and the storm overwhelmed him.

Okay, the circumstances got to you and overwhelmed you.  What do you do now?
Do like Peter.  Cry out to Jesus: "Lord, save me!"

Jesus will rescue us while the storm is still raging, and will calm us down, teach us, and move us to a place of worship where we put our eyes back on Him (Matt. 14:30-33).

Saints, cry out to Jesus!

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What is Your Divine Appointment?

As I sat on a small jet, in Warwick, Rhode Island today, I was seated next to a lady who is struggling and just needed some encouragement.  Her response: thank you.  
Christians, this was a divine appointment.

By the way, I still got a "cat nap" on the short flight to New York.

Each day God gives us  opportunities to share the message of hope, and encourage the hearts of others.

The critical question is do you have an urgency to get to your divine appointment?

Jesus had an urgency to get to His divine appointment with the Samaritan women at the well in John 4:4:
4 "He had to travel through Samaria."

Although the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan included an honest look at sin, and religion, when the conversation ended, the lady went away excited and testifying about her experience with the Christ.

Christians, ask God to show you the divine appointment(s) He has for you each day. 

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Obedience to God Pays Great Dividends

In Deuteronomy 5, God uses Moses to restate the 10 Commandments to the Children of Israel followed by one of the many obedience to God statements.

Three key promises flow out of the many obedience to God statements.

1.  We will have life versus be destruction for disobedience.

2.  We will have God's favor or God's special smiling intervention in our lives.

3.  We will have long life in the land that God promised (blessings come when we live in a place God blesses).

Look at Deut. 5:33:

 "You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.

Our obedience to God is a personal choice that involves loyalty and reverence for God because of His loving actions in our lives (Deut. 5:6).

Once we live with a made-up mind and obedience is our way of life, then take notice of God's numerous blessing upon us.  Then notice how our intimacy with God becomes a great source of encouragement and reinforces our righteous behavior as Christians.

Christians, we obey God by reading, understanding, and applying God's Word, as our way of life.

Keep it simple: Obey God, and enjoy the refreshing benefits of obedience (cf. John 14:21).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Representing God's Interest

You remember Balak?  He was the King of Moab who tried to have Israel cursed so he could drive them out of his country.

King Balak's first plan did not work, so he came and hit the Children of Israel in their weak spot.  Look at Numbers 25:1-2: 
1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.
2 For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Playing the harlot involved the Children of Israel being unfaithful to God and engaging in illicit behavior including mixing with the Moabite women as in verse 6.

The children of Israel falling into immorality led to God's judgment and over 24,000.00 people were killed by God (v. 9.).

What stopped God from killing more people?

Phinehas, one of the priest killed Zimri for bringing Cozbi, the Moabite woman to his family in the camp and into his tent right in front of Moses and the entire congregation while they were crying before God (Numbers 25:6-8).

A righteous man stood up and demonstrated a strong passion for God's interest.

Num. 25:19-11:
 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
11 "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.

What is God looking for in a world full of people like Zimri and Cozbi, who deliberately live in sin before God?

God is looking for the righteous people who will stand and represent His interest.  Righteous people who will stand and speak and obey what God said in His Word with boldness and without hesitation (obviously we cannot go around killing people as they did in the Old Testament, but we can speak out and live for God).

Christians, let us refuse to get sucked into behavior that gets us into trouble with our Holy God, and let us stand for what is right. 
God will bless our nation as we stand for righteousness (Prov. 14:34).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Learning to Stick to What God Said First

What a powerful lesson on just sticking to what God said in the first place.

Numbers 22:9-12:

 Then God came to Balaam and said, "Who are these men with you?"
10 Balaam said to God, "Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me,
11 'Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.'"
12 God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

In this instant, Balaam obeyed God.  But, Balak, the king did not accept a no answer.  Balak, sent another group to get Balaam to come to his country to curse the children of Israel.

When the second delegation came, Baalam ask God if he should go.  God's response was one of those parent answers: sure, go ahead, although I already told you not to  go, you seem to want to go.  Go on down there, but don't forget you can only say what I tell you to say (Num. 22:19, and 22 shows Baalam's mindset and God's anger with him).

God tells us what He wants us to do the first time.  Instead of possessing a Balaam mindset of seeing if God will change His mind and tell us something different (Num. 22:19), we need to ask God to help us grasp what He said the first time and get God's wisdom and strength to obey God.

 Seeking God's permissive will, to do what we really want to do against what God clearly said, is a dangerous game (Num. 22:22-35).

In Numbers 22:37-24:25, Balaam went through a lot of unnecessary stuff because he did not listen to what God said in the first place (not obeying an insecure king could have led to imprisonment and even execution).

Christians, let us set our hearts on what God said the first time (Eph. 5:17).

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Before We Hit Our Breaking Point

I cannot begin to imagine the level of patience Moses had to display in leading over two million people freed from four hundred years of slavery.  Yet over and over Moses displayed enormous levels of patience.  Even when Korah and his crew challenged Moses' appointment to led the children of Israel, Moses displayed patience (Numbers 16).

What we learn in Numbers is that Moses took his attention off God for a few seconds and hit his breaking point.  Moses was tired of the people constantly complaining, disobeying God, and talking about returning to slavery in Egypt.

Look at numbers 20:10-11:
10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, "Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?"
11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.

God told Moses that his actions displayed disrespect for His (God's) holiness (Num 20:12).  Instead of following God's instructions to speak to the rock, Moses decided to do things his way by giving the people a piece of his mind and striking the rock.

Church, what a powerful lesson from the life of Moses.  We can be consistently obedient and let people or things get under our skin, and instead of falling on our face before God as we normally do, we blurt out something God did not tell us to say, and we strike the rock (disobey God).

Church, we all must consistently fall on our face before God before we hit our breaking point.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Fall on Your Face Before God

Moses is one of my heroes.  His walk with God in the midst of ministry is second to none.

Moses' love for and desire to lead the Children of Israel into to Land of Promise was second to none.  Moses knew his God ordained calling and he stayed focused on doing his job.

We often speak of "the patience of Job," but take a closer look at "the patience of Moses" as he dealt with over two million people, in a desert wilderness.

The people complained frequently and often stated their desire to return to bondage verses enjoy God's freedom.

In Numbers 16, Korah and several leaders went too far and challenged Moses' leadership.  Even after God publically punished these leaders, others stood up against Moses.

Notice a common response from Moses when the people challenged him:

Numbers 16:4, 22, and 43-45:
 When Moses heard this, he fell on his face;

22 But they fell on their faces and said, "O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?"

43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,
44 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
45 "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." Then they fell on their faces.

Falling on our face before God is a great response in the face of conflict, threats, criticism, persecution, and any other situation when we need to call on God.

Moses was consistent with falling on his face before God to get help, to pray, to restrain his anger, out of fear for the people, to intercede for the people, etc.

Whatever you are dealing with today, before you react and end up regretting your hastie action, fall on your face before God.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)

Monday, March 2, 2015

We Cannot Live in the Past

We cannot live off the glory days from our past.  This will only slow us down and cause us to miss strategic opportunities to move forward.

We cannot live in the regrets and pain from our past failures or victimization either.  This will only prepare us for future failure and we will miss strategic opportunities to move forward.

We learn invaluable lessons and get perspective from the past, but we cannot live in the past.

Christians, we can learn from a man with many glory days from his past (Phil. 3:4-6).  In his own words he said:
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ (Phil 3:7).

Despite your past, reach forward:

13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Christians, give a life time of faithful service to the Lord so that after we cross the finish line of service we will be called out of the winners box for
our reward in heaven.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy (MZO)