Thoughts on Pete’s Message March 27,2015

To Whom Do You Pledge Allegiance?

In today’s culture, there is no shortage of devotion and loyalty… to ourselves. The culture teaches us to look out for “number one.” Looking out for number one is the same lie that the devil used to seduce Eve in the garden: God’s not God, you are… you shall be as God, knowing good from evil. Ever since Eve bought the devil’s lie, men have been under the bondage of the sin of self-centeredness. The world’s definition of humility says, “I may not be much, but I’m all I think about.” There is nothing new under the sun.. today we are in the midst of a spiritual battle… for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness from on high. Our fight is not against the culture and against the doctrines of this world, rather our fight is against the powers of darkness and against the rulers of the darkness in high places. The battle is for the hearts and souls of mankind.

Even we as Christians after having been born again, are in a constant battle against the sin nature that we inherited from Adam, for in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. The question is, to whom are you devoted? Is devotion, loyalty, and commitment to God an infringement of your personal right of freedom? If you buy into this doctrine of self, you are part of the atomization and disintegration of our culture, where devotion to self is preeminent.

When the crisis comes, God expects his men to overcome the darkness of this world… totally devoted not to self centeredness, but totally devoted to him. This commitment comes only by allowing the holy spirit to move within our hearts. For in him we live and move and have our being. In Revelation Chapter 3, God commanded the Apostle John: “to the churches at Laodicea write, I know your deeds, that thy works are neither cold nor hot: I would that thou were cold or hot. So then because that thou art neither cold nor hot: I will spew you out of my mouth.” Laodicea had no springs so they built an aqueduct to send water to the city. Because the city was so far from the springs, the water was tepid and bitter. Laodicea was a rich city, and the wealth and prosperity of the city dazzled and blinded its citizens. Because they were rich in material things, they did not realize that they were poor, blind, naked and wretched in spiritual things. In contrast to the riches of this world, Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Humility is the prerequisite for turning to the Lord. Therefore humble thyself under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time.

According to Psalm 1, Blessed is the man who sitteth not in the seat of the scornful. The man who is in the deepest darkness is the one who thinks he is in the light but sits in spiritual darkness. John 3: 20 says, “He that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” David said in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” 1 John 1:6-7 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we live in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” Righteousness is not in the eyes of man. Righteous judgement is according to the righteous standard of the Word of God… The robes of my flesh are filthy rags. However, God’s righteousness is imputed to those who are covered with the righteous robes of Jesus Christ.

The book of James says, “he who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” The devil willl shame us into wallowing in the depth of sin and depravity… he reminds us that in the flesh dwelleth no good thing. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this dead body? We may deceive ourselves, but Jesus will reveal our hearts when we come to him with a humble and a contrite heart. For when we walk in fellowship with him, according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, “we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed from the glory (of the flesh) to the glory (of the spirit,) even by the spirit of God.”

The story of the prodigal son is the story of the forgiving father. Like the prodigal son, in the midst of the pig pen of this world, when we “come to ourselves” and realize that of myself I am nothing,” only then can we say to ourselves, “I will arise and go unto my father.” This is the point of repentance.. to turn from the darkness of this world and toward the light of the word, the son of God.

Wealth is not in the riches of this world, rather it is in the riches of the spirit. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father but by me.” He also said, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will enter in and will sup with him and he with me…” We will eat together as friends in fellowship.

God has called his men for such a time as this… to live in the light as he is in the light. One committed man is all it takes: only one man speaking by the spirit of the living God. For it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. God has called us to be good stewards of that which he has entrusted to our keeping… the gospel of repentance, forgiveness, salvation, and freedom from the bondage of sin.

Where is your allegiance? To whom are you devoted? Who is number one in your life? Do you value your human rights above your righteousness in Christ? Who is your commander in chief? The question is not who we are, but rather, whose we are. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life that I now live I live by the faith of Jesus Christ who loved me and gave himself for me. Therefore, chose ye this day whom ye shall serve… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Let your light so shine before men, and in the midst of the darkness of this fallen world… Give ’em heaven!

Your brother in Christ,


Thoughts on Pete’s Message March 20, 2015

This is Amazing Grace, This is Unfailing Love.

The love of God surpasses understanding. It’s better to be loving than to be right. When we meditate on the love of God, we understand that there is no fear in love… Perfect love casteth out fear for fear has torment… he that feareth is not made perfect in love.

The love of this world is a conditional love… it is reciprocal and requires love in return. Real love is unconditional. This is the Love that God had for us… in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. The twelve apostles were called to witness up close and personally the greatest life ever lived. Jesus’ disciples were “disciplined followers” trained to follow in their Master’s footsteps. As their role model, Jesus gave them a new commandment that ushered in a new way of life… The new commandment Jesus gave them was this: “love one another even as I have loved you.”

Religion honors God with its lips, but not with its heart. In Matthew 15:17 Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Religion is devoid of the love of God. However, Love is full of grace, it begets love unconditionally… Love is patient, love is kind. It is never envious, never boastful or proud, never promotes itself, is never haughty or rude. It never demands its own way. It is never unreasonable or touchy and sensitive about what others say. Love is the opposite of pride. Love has no pride… it seeks only to live for the object of love. It never notices when others go wrong. Love thinks no evil… it only thinks the best of others. Love forgives and sets the prisoner free… only to find that the prisoner was me.

According to 2 Timothy 3, those who are lovers of their own selves rather than lovers of God will accuse you falsely so that they look right to others while making you look wrong. They are traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God… Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof… ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth… from such turn away.

If you’re only friendly to your friends, you’re no different from the rest of the world. Even evil men are good to them who treat them well. However, true followers of Christ love when others treat them unjustly and despitefully use them. Love does not recompense evil for evil, but recompenses evil with good.

Therefore let this mind be in you which was also in Christ… who humbled himself and took upon himself the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This is the ultimate act of love. Even though Christ’s love is unconditional, our initial response to his love is reciprocal… We love him because he first loved us. To learn to follow Jesus Christ unconditionally we must acknowledge that our righteous justification is not in our own flesh, but in his strength alone. For he who knew no sin, became the perfect sinless sacrifice for sin on our behalf, that we who were dead in trespasses and sin, may become the righteousness of God in him.

Humility is the prerequisite for love. We must come to God with a broken and a contrite spirit, so that he can reconcile us back to him… Humility is the key to receiving the love of God. We as Men of God must be humbled. Only then can we love our enemies, bless them that persecute us, and pray for them that despitefully use us, knowing that our reward is not of this world, but great is our reward in heaven.

1 John 4:7-11

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

In the immortal words of the poem “The Love of God” penned in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai:

Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the Love of God above,
Would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky…

Beloved of God, May God richly bless you, Your brother in Christ, Michael

Thoughts on Pete’s Message March 13, 2015

God is in the business of changing men’s lives. Change is wrapped up in the the spiritual truths of salvation, repentance, and transformation. For it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. When we accepted salvation in Christ, God created within us a new creation… his gift of holy spirit. Therefore, behold old things are passed away, all things are become new. When God changes us, it doesn’t look like the changes that the world inflicts upon us…. the world puts us through mental, emotional and physical changes, sort of like a Waring blender. However transformation in Christ means to put off the old man of the flesh and put on the new man of the spirit. Jesus said, any man that follows me must take up his cross and follow me… for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. As we turn to him and away from the world and as we turn from sin and unto the righteousness in Christ, we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the lord are changed from the glory of the flesh to the glory of the spirit.

In Romans chapter 7, Paul laments, “in the flesh… I do I don’t do what I want to do, but what I don’t want to do, that I do… O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver from this dead body?” However, in the very next chapter, Romans 8, the scripture says we’re doing better than we deserve: There is therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. For the spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.

Ambition is from the word “ambivalence.” It means to be torn between conflicting desires: to walk according to the flesh or according to the spirit. James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ” Therefore turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of the world will become strangely dim in the light of his glorious grace. Galatians 6:8 says, He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he who soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. Walking in the spirit of God in Christ strikes a fine balance between living in both reason and passion according to the spirit. When we set our affections on things above… when we delight ourselves in the Lord, when make his desire our desire, when we align our heart with his heart, only then will he give us the desires of our heart.

God uses the path of death to lead us to the fork in the road. He uses addiction, self centeredness, strife, contention, bitterness, envy, discouragement, and disappointment to get us to the point that we need to take the alternate path. This is the definition of repentance. Repentance means to turn from the pride of self, to surrender the right to my self and my carnal desires and to turn my eyes upon Jesus. The point of repentance is the inflection point: to change direction. To turn away from the wretched man that I am and toward the one who is faithful and just to forgive our sins. For God sent not his son to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Did we in our own strength confide our battle would be loosing, were not the right man on our side, the an of God’s own Choosing. Doth ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is he, and he must win the battle. The “come to Jesus” moments in life are precious moments where we turn from darkness unto the light.

Every moment of this life is a moment of decision. We have been given the ability to choose our direction moment by moment. God always gives us the choice to choose either life or death… life is only through Christ. Each moment is a “come to Jesus moment.” Therefore, come to Jesus… and live!

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,


Thoughts on Pete’s Message March 6, 2015

No Time for Business as Usual

In the midst of a crisis, we respond as we have been trained. These are the days that try men’s hearts. Crisis situations are characterized by an attack causing acute pain in the midst of an emotionally significant event or life changing situation. In a crisis situation there is a distinct possibility of an undesirable outcome. A crisis is a situation that has reached critical mass. Today there is a crisis in our culture where the politically correct call evil good and good evil. When the crisis comes, God expects his men to respond as they have been trained as disciples of Christ. The Adversary’s goal is to take the culture captive and hold it against its will.

Business as usual is to carry out normal activities as if there is no crisis. However, a crisis requires immediate corrective action. William Bennet writes that men in our culture have been marginalized and relegated to a position of dishonor and insignificance in our politically correct culture. The danger is that men aspire to succeed in things that do not matter in the light of eternity. According to George Gallop in “The Search for Faith in America,” never before has the gospel of Christ made such inroads yet at the same time making so little affect in the lives of men…. with no requirement that men repent, turn around, and turn from their wicked ways. A time when men think they are in the light yet living in the dark. This was the same situation in Leviticus chapter 33. The people came before God and listened to the word of God and the songs of praise and worship, but did not put them into practice.

Jesus, during an urgent time in Matthew 26 just before his crucifixion, asked his disciples to watch while he prayed. Jesus prayed, “If it be possible, allow this cup to be passed from me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Though he had asked his disciples three times to watch and pray, he found them sleeping in the crisis of the spiritual battle.

The story of Noah is the warning about the flood of God’s judgement. The Ark was a symbol of God’s way of deliverance. However, the people disregarded God’s way of salvation and perished in the face of the flood of the judgement of God. They performed their business as usual and did not understand the urgency of the crisis situation. The times are similar today. The warning signs are all around us as the culture is imploding into the darkness of political correctness. Jesus himself cried over Jerusalem… he lamented that only if Jerusalem had known the things that God had meant for peace. He came to minister unto his own… the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus had said, my peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.

A disciplined soldier performs as he has been trained in the crisis of the battle. The freedom and the joy in the midst of the crisis is to turn your eyes upon Jesus and not on the things of the world. The training of a disciple is to walk in fellowship with Christ. A disciple is a disciplined follower, walking in his master’s footsteps. The disciple’s heart’s desire is to “eat his master’s dust”… to walk in the dust of the Rabi. Casual Christians are casualties of war in the crisis of the spiritual battle. A disciple is disciplined to follow his commander in chief intentionally, deliberately, purposefully and whole heartedly. Therefore set your affections on things above, not on the things of the world. Our battle cry is David’s battle cry when he confronted Goliath: “Who art thou to defy the armies of the Living God.”

We have not been called to “business as usual.” Jesus has called us to watch and pray. Though Peter, James, and John fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were empowered by the holy spirit. The spirit is the power of God in manifestation. We have this same power as men of God. Therefore be strong in the Lord in the power of his might. For it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. When we live in the light as he is in the light, we shall have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness. God has called us to be his photomultipliers: Therefore, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.

In the midst of the crisis of the spiritual battle, God has called his men for such a time as this…

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,