dedication

Think about your DEDICATION to the LORD

In Acts Chapter 20 verse 11, it tells us that the meeting continued throughout the entire night…… in verse 12, the young man lived, and the message for you is ” that wonderful miracles occur when we are 100% dedicated to the Lord”

Every week people rush out of churches and may become offended if the service is prolonged for just an hour or so…. is this right ? …… is Jesus the most important person in their lives ? …. I very much doubt it…. their actions and behavior tell us otherwise..

Acts 20:28 is for all church “authority”…. do the reverends, priests, pastors and elders realize the value of the sheep to Jesus ? …. the sheep belong to Jesus and are not there to serve your purposes or to make you rich…. WOE to those who preach the “seed” gospel and talk about nothing else but MONEY…. the sheep need to hear the WHOLE counsel of God…… but you focus on money, week after week, year after year, because you use their tithes and offerings to maintain your lavish lifestyle…. you are worse than Judas who betrayed the Lord (and money was all he cared about)…. notice verses 33 to 35…. read them for a witness against yourselves…. and multi-billionaire TELEVANGELISTS. !

Lord, help us to get back to the true Christian examples set before us in the Bible…. cause you must be weeping much for the state of your “church” today.

…. and what of all these different denominations who cant get along with each other ? ….. and each one thinking they are so “right” and they alone know the “truth” of God…. they alone “hear His voice”……

As Charles Spurgeon said years ago….  “It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others”

THINK about it….. all these people running around on the planet thinking that THEY have “all the truth… all the answers…. they UNDERSTAND God… and can fully EXPLAIN everything in the Bible” ….. Oooh the CONCEIT ! … in any human believing that they “understand” EVERYTHING about God…

NO HUMAN can fully “understand” GOD…. because then He would NOT be GOD at all …. can’t you see that ?

Our duty is not to analyze and rationalize God….. not to argue with other humans                                                                  to convince them of our perspectives on God or the Bible…. after all “who are we ?”

Our ONLY DUTY is OBEDIENCE and SACRIFICE…. our willingness to abandon “ourselves”… our ambitions, our ideas, our plans, our likes and our dislikes…. according to the revelation of the Holy Spirit working to make Jesus desires known to us.

It calls for surrender….. and it relies totally on FAITH…… an UNSHAKABLE TRUST IN GOD….. that HE WILL direct our thoughts and our affairs and that HE KNOWS and appreciates our sacrifice and surrender……

“TRUST IN THE LORD with ALL THY HEART and lean NOT to thine own understanding….. in ALL THY WAYS acknowledge HIM….. and HE SHALL direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5 – 6)

When you really get a hold of this verse….. and you really mean business with God… some “strange” things are going to happen in your life….. because He will reveal HIMSELF to you and it will be very personal and precious…. as long as the TRUSTING and OBEDIENCE remains in you…. He will lead you and guide you….. and you may well find that all the stuff you believed before was load of “rot”…. things you thought were “ever so important” don’t matter at all….. how come ? ….. you have been BORN AGAIN (John 3:7) ….. you are a different person with different mindset and different values  now….. OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY , behold everything is made new (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As you grow “in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) you will “KNOW the TRUTH (and the truth shall set you free)” (John 8:32) ….. what does this mean ? …. simply that the EVIDENCE of what has happened in your own life is a CONSTANT witness to the TRUTH and POWER of the Bible (which is the WORD OF GOD)….  the world says, “the Bible is just a book written by men… for various clever purposes of controlling the way people think…. and moreover it has lots of errors in it”…..  they think (and you might wonder yourself at some point)…. are you following a FABLE ?…. what if it’s not even true at all ? …. are you just a RELIGIOUS FANATIC ? …. maybe you need to “get a life”

THEN YOU THINK of all the wonderful things GOD has done for YOU….. the miracles you have seen… the answered prayers…. the experiences that you have gone through with Jesus…. and you realize that what has happened in YOUR OWN LIFE is a testimony to the TRUTH of it all…. it is a witness to the TRUTH of GOD and HIS WORD…… unlike the rest of the people of the world…. YOU now KNOW…. and it is this reality that has helped Christians before you face lions, gladiators and death…. it is this same TRUTH that enabled Jesus to go to the Cross.

Read John 10:25 – 30…. and next read John 18:37 – 38

Pilate said, “What is truth ?”  …. and he didn’t have a clue ! …. BUT he still realized that JESUS  was a righteous man !

….. and so it will be with the saints of God….. the world will not understand your speech…. but they will notice your RIGHTEOUSNESS… and that is what they will respond to, they will either seek after it themselves…. or else they will hate it and you along with it.

FLESH

The Bible says a lot about FLESH…..

“All flesh is like grass ….. the grass withereth, and its flower falleth away”  (1 Peter 1:24)

My friends this is not a very flattering  commentary on your body….. but if you walk a nudist beach you can certainly see it for yourself….. why is it that the OLDER folks, the ones with all the bags and sags are the ones most attracted to this fad ?? ….. while the YOUNGER examples of FLESHLY perfection, for the most part, have no interest in parading around in this manner ??

For several years I photographed “perfect” young naked bodies in exotic tropical scenery and the internet hits were phenomenal….. tremendous interest was shown in these beautiful bodies by  a (for the most part) much OLDER audience !

In some cases, SEXUAL LUST may have been the motivating interest….. but on a deeper level, for many of the audience, it is their own yearning for their own youth again… along with a distinct distaste for what they have become OLD, FAT and UNATTRACTIVE in their own eyes …. so they now live VICARIOUSLY through the lives of my cavorting youthful models in their idyllic setting.

What does this say about ME ? I was pre-occupied with the SAME “values”…. showing off my well-conditioned body along with my models…. pleased that I still LOOKED GOOD….. and THRIVING on the POPULARITY and ENVY that my photography created on the Flickr

But the bubble had to burst sooner or later….  the GRASS MUST WITHER EVENTUALLY…. and I ? …. WHAT will I do then ?….. my life will have been WASTED…. wasted in living a FANTASY…..

My pre-occupation with the FLESH was NOT GOOD for ME…… and more importantly, I was involving millions in the same IDOLATRY…. I was not only feeding myself, I was feeding millions others with the same addiction.

Initially, I stopped feeding others…. but eventually I had to stop feeding myself as well and make a clean break with the IDOL OF FLESH…. only then could I be liberated into what God had for me…. I went through a scary transition period that was not pleasant, in fact, had I sought the advice of men, I would have been diagnosed as “depressed” and given the devil’s drugs (SATAN is the ULTIMATE DRUG DEALER).

Instead, I sought after GOD…. and I clung to Psalm  103:4 – 5…..  instead of PILLS, I SWALLOWED Psalm 100 (it is a very short psalm only 5 verses)

and NOW…. after I have emerged from my time of testing…..  I look better, feel better than ever and enjoy terrific sex… some nights I stay hard all night (just like when I was a teenager)

I see the world differently now….. I feel so SORRY for all those people ….. the women buying l’oreal and Elizabeth Arden and going for various cosmetic surgeries…..  and the men  into Viagra and Cialis or else frequenting the Nature stores looking for  all kinds of herbs to give them a lift  (when they really need to be seeking after GOD).

So what have I lost  ? …… POPULARITY (but what will that matter a thousand years from now ?) ….. the “good feeling” that comes from “showing off” ? …. that sense of “control” over others ?…. a sense of superiority ?

I am sorry that my Flickr photostream gets practically no hits anymore…. I am sorry that very few people will ever see this posted message……  I am relegated to obscurity and insignificance….. I am a nobody….. Stephen Mendes…. who’s that ?…. never heard of him !

But I would rather be a nobody on this earth and have JESUS on my side….. than enjoy the pleasures of this world for a season according to my own self will.

It is a question of PRIORITY….. what is IMPORTANT to YOU ? …. think about it…..  think long and hard….

Jesus said that no man has made a sacrifice for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold MORE IN THIS PRESENT TIME, and in the age to come life everlasting   (Mark 10:29-30  Luke 18:29 -30 Matthew 19:29)…. it’s so important that it’s in 3 gospels !

Delight thyself in the LORD and HE shall give thee the desires of thy heart (Psalm 37:4)

….. it comes by FAITH…. because you first have to GIVE UP what you desire…… and TRUST that GOD will do what He says….  and it may not happen exactly when or how you expect (that is the testing of your faith) …… but when it happens it will be WONDERFUL

If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him ?  (Matthew 7:11)

But do YOU really BELIEVE this ?

homosexuality

Considerable effort is being put into trying to remove “homosexuality” from the category of SIN…. in order, I suppose, that churches may marry gay couples.

The problem is that with every passing year humans become more UNCLEAR about what constitutes a SIN and what does not……  their discernment of RIGHT and WRONG becomes muddled and confused…. why is this ?

The decay began many years ago with the “age of science and REASON”…..  humans began to QUESTION EVERYTHING… including the accuracy (authority) of the Bible…. the existence of God…. and the origin of the Universe…. children were raised is this “confusion” which was considered a good thing (have an “open mind”).

Fundamentally and INSTINCTIVELY humans just KNOW that  there is GOOD and there is EVIL….. basic “inbuilt” information… herein lies a dilemma…..  WHY ? …. how is this even POSSIBLE ?

Atheists and evolutionists have NO SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION for this !

Believers in GOD, however, quickly see that GOD who created humans …. put inside of them a “natural” tendency to recognize good and evil AND a “natural” tendency to worship Himself.

IF we accept that there is a GOD and that He has given us His “manual”  (the Bible) by which we are INSTRUCTED as to His character and the reason for our creation….  His intentions towards us and His purposes for us…. and the manner in which we are to conduct our affairs relative to Him, to each other and to ourselves…. then it is quite clear that the PRACTICE of homosexuality IS SIN….. along with many other things that humans just “accept” as “normal”.

You may READ Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 10 …. and after you have READ these passages….. it should be clear to you that homosexual acts are sin.

If you need more detailed explanation of these passages….. then please read
why homosexuality is a sin

You need to read Romans 1:21 – 32

The real issue is…. REBELLION…. we are saying to God that we approve REGARDLESS of what He thinks about it….. or else….. we “create” a god who approves of what we wish…. humans are really good at “creating their own gods after their own wishes”….. people do it all the time…. you hear them say “MY god is not like that” or “that’s not the god that I worship”.

Finally, removal of homosexual lifestyle from the category of sin…… ROBS HOMOSEXUALS OF HOPE for anything different ….. by saying “enjoy your lifestyle it’s OK”.

BUT, and if, you recognize that it IS WRONG…. then God who forgives sin and gives the VICTORY OVER SIN is well able to deliver you and bring you to a much happier life than you could possibly hope for as “a gay”.

I know…. I have been there… and this is not some “interesting theological discussion” it is reality…. victory over any sin calls for faith and dedicated determination but you are not expected to do it on your own…. God Himself brings about your deliverance from all evil…

but the first step is recognizing that it is evil….. and deciding that you do not wish to be part of it…. only then can any meaningful change come about.