Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 27, 2015

In Everything Give Thanks

We will never be the men of God that we should be or could be unless we have other godly men in our lives. Men who will come along side and encourage us to make the right decisions, not based on emotions and fear, but rather based on wisdom from above. We are Christ centered, faith based, and grace driven. We as Men of God need to keep our eyes on the prize of the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and our hearts on his mission.

We have so much for which to be thankful. An attitude of gratitude is the key to keeping on mission.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 exhorts those called of God to “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you.“

The theme of Philippians is keeping a joyful heart. Joyfulness is a deliberate decision. Joy is not the result of worldly circumstances. Rather joy is the result of the work that God has already done in us and through us when we were born again of God’s spirit. We have joyfulness despite the bad news that the world throws at us. We can rejoice because God is working in us behind the scenes to will and to do of his good pleasure… For that which the adversary meant for evil, God meant for good. According to Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God… to those who are called according to his purpose.” Therefore Psalm 100 says that we can “enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise, be thankful unto him and bless his name… for the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations.”

We must deliberately decide to rejoice in his name. Then the other two commandments will flow from a joyful heart… pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks. To maintain the joy that he gave us when we were born again, we must offer ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and wholly acceptable unto him which is our reasonable service.

We must keep foremost in our minds that for which we are thankful. An attitude of gratitude will offset the things for which we are angry and resentful. Anger and resentment focus on the things and the people we perceive as having violated our “rights.” Chambers said, “any fool can claim his rights, and any demon will make sure he gets them.” We have two foundational documents that govern our rights as Citizens of the United States: The Bill of Rights and The Constitution. However, both documents are only as good as those who interpret it. As Americans, we are jealous of our “rights” documented in the law of the land. It’s a privilege to have rights. Americans think that rights are are worth fighting for. In our nation, we as dual citizens of America and of Heaven, must have a firm foundation of the Word of God from which to interpret our rights. This foundation starts with a joyful, prayerful, and a thankful heart before our heavenly Father.

When you ask someone, “Do you read your Bible?,” often the answer is, “yes but not enough.” God is not concerned so much with how much you read it, but whether you abide with him and within him. God is most concerned about your relation with him as your Heavenly Father. If I abide in him and he in me, when I’ve just sinned, the holy spirit will hold up the righteous standard of the Word of God before my eyes. Seeing according to the Word of God, allows God to work with me and through me to will and to do of his good pleasure in contrast to the good pleasure of my fallen sinful nature.

Give thanks always for everything and in everything. God loves a grateful heart. Sin springs from an ungrateful heart. The opposite of being grateful is to be upset, irritated, angry, impatient, and resentful. The devil knows that often only one barb of an unkind comment will burst our balloon of happiness. Therefore deliberately, intentionally and purposefully set your affections on things above and not on things of this world. According to Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” Our prayer is “not my will, but thine be done.” Paul wasn’t prepared for God to answer his prayer when he prayed twice, “Lord remove this thorn from my flesh.” If you don’t know the Word of God, you don’t know the will of God. The Word of God is the will of God. The Lord finally answered Paul the third time he prayed for God to remove his thorn in the flesh. God’s answer was, “my grace is sufficient for you.”

God’s will for our life is for us to be blessed. The beatitudes are about being blessed. Blessed are they… who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. The key to being blessed is to seek the Blessor and not the blessing. Seek the Lord, so shalt thou prosper and be of good success. This is the will of God for you in Christ. He has given us the power to rejoice in all things, to be prayerful in all things, and to be grateful in all things.

Don’t stop struggling. Can God count on us? When the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to be the reliable ones who are faithful to his will. We must remember that we are works in process… O Lord, mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.

There is nothing in life that God can’t handle. Thy grace is sufficient for me. Therefore, rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you.

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,


December 24, 2015

There are five things to be excited about walking with God: Forgiveness, Purpose, building Character in our lives, Peace, and Security.

You can’t have peace until you have the Prince of Peace. Peace is the result of reconciliation. To reconcile is to bring back together that which has been separated. We were reconciled to God because of the sacrifice Jesus made when he offered himself as the sacrificial lamb of God. What was the price Jesus paid to reconcile the scale of God’s righteous justice? He was beaten with rods and whipped with a scourge; a cat-o-nine tails that ripped his flesh from his body. He bore his cross. He was nailed to the torture stake. For he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “If there be any other way, let this cup (of suffering, humiliation, and death) pass from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” To realize the worth of our reconciliation to God, we must realize the value that God placed on our atonement… the price of the innocent sinless blood of his only begotten Son.

We have peace with God because we have been reconciled to God. When we were born the first time, the sin nature that we inherited from Adam separated us from God. The scale of God’s righteous justice was reconciled because Jesus Christ shed his innocent blood as full payment for our sin. At the crucifixion, the Roman soldiers did not take his life. Rather, Jesus willingly laid down his life… According to Romans 5: But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (For) where sin abounded grace abounded much more. So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.”

According to Colossians 1:20-22, And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself… And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

When we practice the presence of God, when we meditate on his Word day and night, we will walk in fellowship with God, his son Jesus Christ, and one another in the household of faith. In John 16 Jesus said, “I have told you these things that even though you will have tribulation in this world, take heart, for I have overcome the world.” According to Hebrews “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and is set down upon the right hand of God.”

Because of the payment he made on our behalf Jesus 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.” In Romans 8 Paul exhorts us: there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. For what the (Old Testament) law could not do in that it was weak in the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin 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.

Because of the priceless payment of the innocent blood of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we have been reconciled to God. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,

Influencers, Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 20, 2015

By Divine Design

In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus how they could recognize the signs of his second coming. When we look back through the perspective of human history, we must keep in mind His Story, the story of Jesus Christ from the heavenly perspective of the Word of God. The first point of the Gospel is that the nature of man is sinful, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We were born with the sinful nature that we inherited from Adam. God originally designed Adam according to his own spiritual nature. Adam’s spirit of God died the day that he disobeyed God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fallen nature of the flesh that we inherited from Adam is opposed to God’s spiritual nature. However, when we were born again, God created within us a new spiritual nature. The new nature of the spirit that we inherited when we were born again allows us to see heaven and to perceive the contrast between the sinful nature of the flesh and the righteous nature of the spirit of God in Christ in us. If we, having been born again, don’t have eternity in our hearts by setting our affections on things above, we cannot understand God’s eternal perspective.

According to Ephesians Chapter 2: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

When the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to have such confidence in Him that they will be the dependable ones. They will have the peace that passes all understanding and the joy that cannot be stolen. They are the ones who are willing to sacrifice for the good of others. This is the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who looked evil in the face and acknowledged his mission that he came not to condemn the world but rather to shed his innocent blood that the world through him might be saved.

When Saint Thomas Moore was sentenced to death for his faithful stand, he said to his executioner, “thank you for sending me to my father.” He understood the purpose for which God designed him. As the Apostle Paul said,” I press toward the mark of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” According to Micah 6:8, “But what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

The devil’s purpose is the exact opposite of God’s design for our lives. Jesus said, “the Thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Our adversary the devil was a murderer and a liar from the beginning. This is the nature of the adversary and the fallen nature that we inherited from Adam. The natural man cannot help but sin… it’s hard wired into the fallen nature of the flesh. Before we were born again, we were slaves to sin because we had no choice. We were held captive to the flesh and to the adversary’s destructive purpose.

Having been born again, when Jesus asks us if we are willing to follow him, our answer like Peter’s is, “where else can we go.” Since we were born again, how can we who are dead to sin live any longer therein? I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back… no turning back. We have been called to the body of Christ and into the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Jesus Christ has called us to be his dependable ones for such a time as this. According to Ephesians 4, we have been called as fittings within the body of Christ fitly framed together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth according to the effectual working of every part to the edifying of the body in love. We need Godly men in our life to see us through the tribulations of life… men who put Jesus first despite the confusion and disillusionment of this world of Vanity Faire. As we look back over the years, we need to appreciate those whom God has called to surround us and to influence our lives. Talk is cheap. You can fake caring but you can’t fake showing up. Disappointment is the result of failing to meet God and those he has called at the appointed time.

You teach what you know but you reproduce who you are. Who are you in Christ? Jesus has called men whose heart’s desire is to be just like their master… his hands behind our hands, his feet behind our feet, his eyes behind our eyes, his heart behind our heart. Jesus answered the rich young ruler who asked, “what must I do to be saved?” He said you have a problem with materialism. You need to go and sell everything that you have, give the proceeds to the poor, and come and follow me.” The first and greatest commandment is “thou shall have no other gods between your face and my face.” What comes between me and God? To approach the throne of God I must forsake myself, and approach the holy of holies with a humble, broken and contrite heart.

To be excited about following Christ, we need to understand that God is doing everything to build Christ’s character into our life. Seek and ye shall find… when the student is ready the teacher will come. We can come to him the hard way or the easy way. We can be brought to our knees by the trials and the tribulations of this world or we can come willingly with personal abandonment and absolute trust. This is the essence of faith. Can you trust God with your career, your spouse, your children, your worldly possessions? What must God do to teach us that all I have is thine… Jesus said that he who loses his life for my sake shall find it. The last beattitude says, “blessed are they when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for my sake for great is your reward in heaven.”

The world’s way is diametrically opposed to the Word’s way. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve… as for me and my house, we will serve the lord. As long as we can pray, we will always have strength to shine as lights in this world of darkness. Our prayer must be, Lord not my will but thine be done.

What is the purpose for which God designed me? It is he who has made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Be thankful unto him and bless his name… For he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf, that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him. God has designed us according to his Divine purpose… to the praise of the glory of his grace wherein he has made us acceptable in the beloved.

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 6, 2015

A Christian’s Character

Forgiveness starts with grace… that undeserved undeniable gift of grace given by God because of the payment made by Jesus Christ on our behalf. To know forgiveness is to know that we were convicted and pronounced guilty before a righteous judge. However, the payment for our guilt was paid by the innocent blood of the lamb of God who taketh away our sin. For God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. How much did God value your forgiveness? The value God places on our forgiveness from the penalty of death is the inestimable worth of the innocent blood of Jesus Christ, his only begotten son.

As a Christian, what is it that you value most? A Christian’s Value defines his character. Value means weight. What is most weighty in your life? God is committed to develop his character in me. Character according to his Word is that we may be conformed to the image of his son, Jesus Christ. If my prayer is “God help me to be the man that you created me to be,” God will develop my character to be just like Jesus. For it is God who works in you to will and to do of his good pleasure… Christ’s heart behind my heart, his eyes behind my eyes, his hands behind my hands, and his feet behind my feet.

At Gethsemane, Jesus knew his mission: to continue when everything on earth said to give up. Jesus prayed, “Lord, if there be any way, please let this cup pass from me… nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Jesus had made the commitment to only do his Father’s will. Prayer is not to align God’s will with my will, but to align my will with God’s will. To finish well, we need the encouragement of our big brother our Lord Jesus Christ along the way. Jesus was willing to suffer a humiliating death and take upon himself the sin of the world as the perfect sacrifice for sin… he for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and is set down on the right hand of God. For he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

There is a narrow gate that leads to the narrow way and few there be that find it. The journey of life proceeds through a long and winding road that God has prepared for us to walk with him. There are many pitfalls along the way. The pitfalls in life show us that we cannot make it on our own. We cannot be crucified apart from him. For those who live for the things of this world are unworthy to be his disciples, his disciplined followers. The first of the ten commandments is “thou shalt have no other gods between God’s face and my face.” Those who live intimately in God’s presence are those who come to him with total abandonment and absolute trust. We must give up the rights to our selfish self that we may be made the righteousness of God in Christ. As the apostle Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. After Paul had prayed three times for God to remove Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” God finally said to Paul, “my grace is sufficient for thee.”

Success in God’s eyes is the exact opposite of success in the world’s eyes. Jesus said, he who finds his life shall lose it for my sake. He also said blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Only when men of God have the heart attitudes of the “beatitudes” can they rejoice and be exceeding glad… for great is their reward in heaven. Jesus said, “a new commandment give I you, that ye love one another.” Like Jesus, who washed his disciples’ feet, we need to wash each other’s feet to cleanse ourselves as we walk upon the journey of this life.

Our culture has lost its value founded upon the Word of God and the original intent of the Constitution. In losing its value, America has lost her character. God has called us as his remnant, who are worthy (valuable) to be called his sons because of the righteous worthy payment (value) of his dear son. He has called us to shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Therefore let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven… for it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,


Thoughts from Pete’s Message October 30, 2015

Oh For a Closer Walk

We’re as close to Jesus Christ as we want to be. He has given us every opportunity to walk in fellowship with him. But what doth the Lord require of thee, than to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

There are many reasons for staying excited to walk with him. The first is forgiveness. Not that we were worthy by our own works, but that he died for us… for he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we who were dead in trespasses and sins may be made the righteousness of God in him. For God commended his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Unworthy was I of the grace that he gave… but he made me worthy and now by his grace, his mercy has made me his own. Where sin abounded grace abounded all the more. I was crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

From what have we been forgiven? The world stands convicted before a righteous God because of man’s sinful nature passed down from Adam’s original sin. We inherited our sin nature through Adam’s bloodline. Before salvation, we were slaves to sin… we had no choice because of our sin nature. There is none righteous (in the flesh,) no not one, for the wages of sin is death… death is the default condition. Ultimately sin must be judged by a righteous judge. To be able to know what it means to be a follower of Christ, we must first know the depth of the depravity of sin from which he has forgiven us. Salvation from the penalty of sin is available, not because we repented, but because Jesus died in our stead and accepted the penalty for our sin on our behalf.

After we were born again, if our prayer is, “God, I know that I’m not the man I knew to be, God make me that man,” this is a prayer that God is longing to answer. How we battle the flesh between now and heaven will determine whether he says at the judgment seat of rewards, “well done, my good and faithful servant.” How close to Jesus do you want to be? If your desire is to be close to him, you need to know him intimately. To live the Christian life, we need to spend time in his presence and in his Word… we need to be committed to the gospel of Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father but by him. The gospel of Christ is the message of salvation to those who were born in sin. Is your heart’s desire to become just like Jesus? To walk in fellowship with him, we need to experience the reality that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Those who are not close to God ask God the wrong questions. “Why” questions are the wrong questions. Who am I to question God’s motives? The right question is, “God, what are you teaching me through this trial?” The man of God who is settled in his heart that Jesus is Lord of his life, approaches God from a heart of meekness and humility… not my will, but thine be done. If this is the heart of the man of God, his story will be a witness of His Story.

To walk with God, we must know the importance of forgiving others. God has already forgiven us for the purpose of salvation. After we have been saved, in order to walk in fellowship with him, our heart must be in the right place with respect to those whom God brings across our path. Our example is Jesus Christ himself. While he was being crucified Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If any man has anything against his brother, before bringing a gift to God’s altar, Jesus said, “first forgive your brother, and then come back and present your gift to God.” Forgiving others is not for God, but for me… I forgave and set the prisoner free, only to find that the prisoner was me. Unforgiveness resulting in resentment is the greatest burden. It’s hard to forgive until we know that for which we have been forgiven. When we, like the apostle Paul, understand that unto me who am the least of all saints is this grace given, it’s easy to forgive others. Grace is amazing when we know by experience that he “saved a wretch like me.”
Although we were unworthy, now by his grace, his mercy has made us his own. If you know Jesus Christ, you’re clean all over. However as we walk in this world, we must allow Jesus to wash our feet daily. This is our daily cleansing along the journey of life: If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus Christ has called us to serve others as he has served us. Those who share their faith are those who are thankful for the grace of God. A thankful heart is the key to living in the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is contagious… Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. He has called us to deliver the message and to be the message. Therefore, preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.

May God richly bless you,
Your brother in Christ,