Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 25, 2016

The Declaration of Dependence


The distinctive about Christianity is that there is no discrimination according to God’s righteous standard. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. For the will of God is that all would be saved and come unto the knowledge of the Truth. Although there is discrimination and exclusion in the world, God is no respecter of persons. He is, however a respecter of his Word. The condition is that we approach the throne of grace on his terms, not ours. His terms are according to his word. We are Christ centered, faith-based and grace driven. The word of God is our sole source of truth and practice for Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the father but by me.

America was founded as a Christian nation. Our nation is unique in that it was formed not by a specific ethnic heritage or geographic territory, but upon an ideal enshrined in our nation’s founding document The Declaration of Independence… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness resulting from virtue. These are ideals based upon the Word of God. Freedom to worship God according to the dictates of the heart of Christ in us, is the foundation of our great nation. The Declaration of Independence was, actually our nation’s “Declaration of Dependence” on Almighty God. As the Founding Fathers signed with unwavering hand: “unto these ends, in firm reliance upon divine Providence, we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” The Founders understood the “Puritan” doctrine of divine Providence. It means that our Lord God Jehovah will provide… That all I have needed thy hand hath provided. They understood that “blessed is the nation whose strength the Lord is.”

Nations rise and fall. The vicious cycle of the rise and fall of worldly empires continues according to the Word. When the spirit of unbelief pervades a nation and the nation rebels against God’s righteous standard, the fall is inevitable. When a nation turns its heart against God’s prophets that speak on behalf of God, He will respect the standards of his Word, for God is no respecter of persons. Today we are engaged in a cultural war that has caused great division in our nation. America has been decoupled from her Christian heritage. The root cause is the spiritual warfare, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the powers of spiritual darkness, against spiritual wickedness from on high. Our prayer is not that God is on our side, but rather that we are on God’s side. The prayer of a righteous man is not God, take sides, but rather, God take over.

As Christians, Our times are in thy hands. We may be citizens of the United States. However, as sons of God we hold dual citizenship. According to Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” As citizens of heaven Peter said, we are an holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people for his own possession. As American citizens, we lament not because of the results of man’s election, rather we rejoice because we are the results of God’s election.

The tares have been sowed among the wheat. Though we may think that we are the wheat and not the tares, Christians may have a hard time praising God because of the nagging voice that reminds us that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing. To be in the presence of the Holy Spirit is to rest in his righteousness alone… not within our own righteousness, but within the righteousness of God in Christ in us. For Jesus Christ who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. For it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Joshua’s farewell address was, “choose ye this day whom ye shall serve…as for me and my house we shall serve the Lord.” As Paul said, That we may know him and the power of his resurrection being conformed to his death. We preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ and him crucified. God will take what we offer him and turn it around so that we ourselves will be blessed. The greatest blessing is to seek the Blessor and not the blessing. Our reward is not in what we receive, but rather in what we give.

Our confidence is not in ourselves…our confidence is only in him. For when we confess our sin, our broken fellowship, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The adversary and his minions will “tolerate” anything except the righteous standard of the Word of God. The freedoms that we have enjoyed as a Godly nation are conditional upon obedience to the righteous standard of the Word of God. Freedom isn’t free. Our freedom was bought with the priceless innocent blood of the righteous Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Our liberty is only in the liberation from the bondage of sin according to God’s righteous standard. Stand fast therefore in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage of sin and iniquity.

As men of God, we are Christ centered, faith based, and grace driven. Our Declaration of Independence from the powers of darkness is our Declaration of Dependence upon Almighty God. Our declaration of dependence says that even while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Not because we are worthy, but because Christ is worthy. Not because we are good, but because God is good.

Lord thank you for keeping us mindful of who you are and whose we are. As the psalmist said, “Be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations.”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 18, 2016

Faith-based, Part Two

A man of God is Christ centered, faith-based and grace driven. Faith must have an object of faith. Our faith is only in Him. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the Word of God? Jesus Christ is the true meaning of the Word. Life itself has no meaning apart from Jesus Christ. He is the object of faith… He is the word of God made flesh. In him we live and move and have our being. To approach God, we must present ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and wholly acceptable unto Him who is our reasonable act of worship. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. If any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away. All things are become new. Transformation means to be changed completely. It means to be totally unlike we were before…radically different today from what we were yesterday. We’re continually being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ by staying in close proximity with our Lord. In light of the gospel, the good news of our Lord, all other things will come to naught. A man of God who is on target presses toward the mark of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Transformation, mission, and an intimate relationship is what Jesus Christ wants for his disciples. If we’re on mission, he will transform us if we intentionally walk in close proximity with him. Our mission is to lift him up and to glorify our Father in heaven. As we walk in fellowship with him, he will lift up our lives and bless us exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. Our blessing is in seeking the Blessor. When we we walk in the light as he is in the light, the love of God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

To acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, our lives must be deliberate, intentional and purposeful. Our mission is to decrease that he may increase. As Paul said, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” A man of faith is not afraid of losing, for he has already given his life on the altar of service to his Lord. What is it that you value most? Are you willing to lay your children on the altar for God so that he can care of them? Faith based means, “all my trophies at last I lay down.” To be a man of faith means to “let go and let God.” God doesn’t ask for us to understand. He only asks for obedience to his Word with a loving and a willing heart. Wisdom and understanding will come with the doing of the Word. A man of Faith who makes faith based and not fear based decisions will receive God’s deliverance. Faith means to take believing action according the the Word of God.

God has given us certain “unalienable” rights as his children and as citizens of heaven according to his Word. The first is that “Jesus is Lord.” Our trust is in the Word of God and not in the word of man. We’re called to serve “at the pleasure of our Lord.” When we make his word our word, then his good pleasure is our good pleasure. When our will is his will, then it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. Our identity is not in our own accomplishments… Our identity is only in him.

Therefore, keep your eyes on the prize. As the apostle Paul said, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (of the faith of the believers who have gone before,) 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, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Therefore, I press toward the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. When we trust him with the burden we’re carrying, he will lift us up…for he said, “Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts from Pete’s Message November 11, 2016

Faith Based

God is still on the throne. He is still sovereign and his sovereign will shall come to pass. Despite the slow erosion of the culture around us because the Word of God has been marginalized in our land, the will of the Lord shall prevail. God is faithful to his word. In Nazi Germany Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that the German culture was sleepwalking toward a precipice and they didn’t even know it. The recent elections may have given us a brief reprieve for America to repent and to turn from her wicked ways.

What does it look like to be Christ centered, Faith based, and grace driven? Do you own these values? Are these values proven by your attitudes and your actions? It’s one thing to solute the flag, it’s another thing to be willing to give your life for your country. We as men of God have been called to link together as like minded men to give away the good news of the Gospel of Christ.

Either you are faith based or you are fear based. The default is fear based. However, there is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He who feareth is not made perfect in love. A faith-based man is Christ centered. Faith must have an object of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Jesus said that I am the object of your life… He is the message. He is the way the truth and the life. Jesus said, “no man cometh to the father but by me.” Faith is the experience of knowing Jesus. The knowledge is only through an intimate relationship with him. Faith is the assurance and the certainty of truth. We walk by faith and not by sight. We often don’t know the way… But he does. He may not show us the destination but he will show us the next step. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Upon the long and winding journey life, all God asks is that we do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “If there be any way, let this cup of suffering and death pass from me. Nevertheless not my will but thine be done.” Prayer is not aligning God’s heart with our heart, rather it is aligning our heart with God’s heart. In the midst of the tribulations of life, what is the object of your faith. As the Apostle Paul said, “I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The over riding goal is that others would come to Jesus Christ… That we may proclaim the excellency of him who has called us from darkness into light.

Through the dark times of trial and tribulation, God will force us to ask ourselves, “what is the purpose of my life.” Jesus said, “I have to leave so that the Comforter of the Holy Spirit shall come. The spirit will teach you all things pertaining to life.” He also said, “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.”

The question is, for whom do you live? Who takes first place in your heart? Jesus said that unless a man “hates” his family, he cannot follow me. Anything that comes between me and making Him Lord will take my heart away from the prince of Peace. Jesus said, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to be blessed. However, Jesus said to seek the Blessor and not the blessings. When Jesus is Lord, all these other blessings will flow. Life becomes meaningful when Jesus Christ is the meaning of life.

The cataclysmic events of life will drive us to our knees. When we come to the point that we understand that “my life is in thy hands,” he will open our eyes to what is really important. Lessons learned in the fiery crucible of life are priceless. At these moments of desperation, “would you purpose in your heart to praise God, regardless of the outcome of this trial?” A man of faith says, “not my will but thine be done.” What is it that you value most. We must take the things we think are precious and lay them down at the foot of the cross… All my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.

O Lord, My times are in thy hands. Only you are loving gracious, kind and forgiving. Regardless of the selfish intentions of my feeble mind, your will shall come to pass. O gracious Father, take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts From Pete’s Message November 4, 2016

Jesus Is Lord

Christianity is not about religion, rather it’s about an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. A culture doesn’t suddenly become abased. The decline of a culture and of a people is a gradual erosion. However, our Lord still reigns. Though nations and governments rise and fall, The Word of the Lord liveth and abideth forever.

Christians are sons and daughters by birth, having been born again. We are born again not of corruptible seed, but by incorruptible seed by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. We have our Father’s DNA… His genetic code of the word of God is within us…it’s who we are and whose we are.

Mary and Martha, two sisters, had different priorities when they were in the presence of their Lord. Martha was busy serving but Mary sat at the master’s feet. Martha came to Jesus and complained that her sister wasn’t helping her. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, Mary has chosen that better thing.” Mary had chosen to sit at the Master’s feet and to rest in him. The commandment is “Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you.” The question is, “What is it that you value most?” Are you faith-based or works based?

As a man of God, there are five goals. First we are faith based and grace driven. Second, we are men of God under the authority of the word of God. The third is that the bible is the final authority. Our fourth goal is that we are men of prayer. Our prayer is that God will bring into our lives the fifth goal: that we link together with like minded men. The word of God is sometimes difficult to hear. A prophetic friend speaks the word of truth and tells us what God wants us to hear. Often the counsel is to turn the other cheek and to go the second mile… to Bless them that persecute you, and to pray for your enemies. The goal is to become Christ centered… Our prayer is not to align God’s will with my will but rather to align my will with his will.

Jesus said that a house built on the firm foundation of the Word of God will stand when the storms of life rage around us. Therefore, rest in and within the Word of God. Listen to the truth of the Word of the Lord. To turn to the Lord we must give up our insidious preoccupation with self. Our prayer is, “not my will but thine be done.” Jesus said, “He who holds on to his life shall lose it. But he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.”

The Lord said to Israel, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and shall turn from their wicked ways, then shall they hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” Sometimes the best thing that can happen to a nation is for God to withhold his hand of earthly material blessings from the land. This is so that the people can repent and turn their hearts back to the Lord. In the times of need, a people can understand what really matters… Fellowship with the Lord and a relationship with him. The kingdom of the Lord is a rescue mission from the king of kings. Becoming a citizen of the kingdom of heaven is the ultimate salvation from the tribulation of the world. Linking with likeminded believers and becoming a man of prayer unifies our fellowship with our Lord. The power is in the called-out… The church of the living God.

The battle is not against competing political platforms. The battle is against spiritual wickedness from on high. With whom shall we stand? Stand with Jesus Christ and with likeminded believers. Stand on the firm foundation of the truth of the Word of God. Stand therefore in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. Our responsibility is to stand for the values of the truth of the Word of God. God will bring a nation to its knees so that the nation can repent. Our freedom in Christ is to bring everything captive to the knowledge of Christ… Casting down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. God has not called us to stand against evil, rather he has called us to stand up for the righteousness of the Word of God. Though “political correctness” may attempt to force us to bow down to the things of this world, remember the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before they were cast into the fiery furnace, “our God will deliver us, and even if he doesn’t deliver us, we will not bow down to your idol.” According to 1 Timothy 2, God’s will is that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth… That every knee shall bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. According to the sermon “Do you know my King” by Dr. S. M. Lockridge, “His Word is enough, His grace is sufficient, His reign is righteous. Herod couldn’t kill him. Death could not contain him…the grave couldn’t hold him.” He is the resurrection, the truth and the life….that’s my King!

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,