Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 19, 2018

Unusual People

A man of God is not a man who has his act together. Rather he is a man saved by the grace of his Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not whether or not we fall…all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It’s not how we handle success but how we handle the storms of life. We meet regularly with our band of brothers so that we can comfort one another in the love of God… So that we can edify and encourage one another. We’re here so that we can choke in the dust of other men who are in hot pursuit of their Lord Jesus Christ.

The spiritual battle rages on whether or not we’re aware of it or acknowledge it. God gives us weapons to battle the evil one in the midst of the battle. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of this world) but spiritual to the pulling down of spiritual strongholds.

Holiness means that we’re set apart for God’s purpose. It means that we’re unusual…that we’re outliers from a world of darkness. Jesus is at the “deep end of the pool.” He says, “come unto me.” We have to give up our fears and our own priorities when he bids us “come.” Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. The newness of life is the spirit of Christ in me the hope of glory.

The story of the Apostle Paul is a story of radical conversion through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts Chapter 4, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

The church has been through a period of catering to the goats of this world. These “seeker sensitive” churches forgot Jesus’ words, “my sheep hear my voice, and they know me and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life.” The sheep are called out from among the world. We who have been born again are a new creation. The question is, “Do you find your identity in Christ?”

The first and great commandment is “love God above all.” When we’re “in love,” the fist thing that comes out of our mouth is praise for the one we love. Love must be cultivated. It must be kept with all diligence. As Proverbs says, “keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation. For the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

A crisis will show whether we’re with Christ at the deep end of the pool. Oswald Chambers said, “when the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to be the reliable ones.” God expects us to saturate our hearts, Psalm 1 style. Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

When we’re different according to the purpose for which God’s called us, we’re uncomfortable with the things of the world. Suzan related that when she saw the change in Pete after he dedicated his life to the Lord, she immediately wanted to marry him before he changed his mind. She fell in love with the new man that God had made him in Christ.

God has set us within the body of Christ so that we can restore and correct one another in love. Biblical correction means to restore to an upright condition. The word says, humble thyself under the mighty hand of God so that in due time he may exalt you. For 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 of God. The Salt and light of the Word of God disinfects the darkness and corruption of sin.

Suzan often said, “Joy is not the absence of pain. Rather it is the presence of the Lord.” 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.

We have qaccess to the power of the Holy Spirt, having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God. When we’re filled with the spirit of life in Christ, we’re a new creation. The key is to let go and let God. Casting all your care on him for he careth for you. Freedom is in captivity to Christ…. For it is God who worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. According to 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 10, 2018

Shalom: Peace be Still

A sage is wise through reflection and experience. He is discerning, perceptive and prudent. A sage is a man of experience and wisdom and he has the scars to prove it. As a young man, he’s been through ordeals to understand the meaning of what it means to be a man. His experience as a youth has taught him that the world is a competitive place. As an adult, he has been through many battles and he has been wounded by the world. Although scarred by trials and tribulations, he has surrendered his life to be healed by the Great Physician.

Most men are stuck in woundedness inflicted by the world. Jesus Christ is the one who heals. For healing through Christ, men must come to the end of themselves. A humble and a contrite heart is the requirement to come to the throne of grace.

Men are in search of peace. When Jesus walked out of the garden of Gethsemane, he understood the meaning of perfect peace. When he went there to pray, his heart was unsettled. When we acknowledge that we need God, we can pray with an earnest and fervent heart. Jesus went to the garden distressed to the point of sweating great drops of blood. His prayer was “if there be any other way, let this cup of suffering, separation, and death pass from me.” Three times God told his son, “no.”

Henderson wrote a book, “Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man.” He had a six year old son who needed a bone marrow transplant. They had to take a sample of marrow from his hip bone. His son cried out, “It’s so painful. Daddy, can you make it stop?”
When his dad said no, he could only hold to his daddy’s neck in his pain.

God had to tell his son Jesus, there’s no other way than to drink the cup of suffering. God uses what the world considers a defeat and turns it into victory for his purpose. This is what God did with Joshua before the fall of the walls of Jericho. He did this with Gideon and his small army. God always culls the numbers so that the victory can be in His power alone.

If we grow faint with lesser trials, how shall we endure through the battles. Jeremiah, God’s prophet needed to be tested through trials.

Jesus said to his disciples, let’s get in the boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. He was fast asleep when a violent storm came up. The disciples were terrified that their boat would sink. They woke Jesus and he said, “O ye of little faith.” Then Jesus said, “Peace be still.” Immediately the wind and waves ceased and there was a great calm. The disciples said to themselves, “who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?”

The peace of God that passes all understanding is elusive in a world of doubt, worry and fear. The prerequisite to peace is in Philippians 4: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer, and supplication, and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Old Testament says, “Fear thou not for I am with thee: be not dismayed for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him for he careth for you.”

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus left with the peace that passes all understanding. You can’t have peace until you have the Prince of peace. Peace means that our heart is settled before God. Peace is the result of reconciling our will with God’s will. Jesus said, “nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”

To come to the Lord, we need to “Let go and let God.” We must learn to release our will to God’s will. When we come boldly before the throne of Grace in prayer, sometimes the answer is no. He has our best interest in mind even when we don’t. In Matthew 11 Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

In the trials of life, God will ask, “no matter the outcome of this trial, will you still honor, love, praise, and serve me? How much control do you have over this situation?” This is the question God asked Pete in the Father’s waiting room when his baby son was in distress. Pete had to answer, “God, you’re in control, not me.” Even though Pete lost his newborn son, through this trial, he came to understand Isaiah 55. God said, “my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. I’m working behind the scenes the way you can’t know now. All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. You’ll just have to trust me.”

For peace in our lives, we have to come to know him. Our prayer must be, “not my will but thine be done.” Is my knowledge of God such that I can trust him through this trial. Those who surrender to God, must come to him through total abandonment and absolute trust. 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.”

As a wise sage who has come to know and value the peace of God through experience, the question is “where’s your heart?” Those who have come to know the Lord know that our strength is not in our own power but in the Lord. Thy strength is made perfect in my weakness…thy grace is sufficient for me.

Shalom…peace be with you.

Your Brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 12, 2018

Peace be Still

Life is a struggle. Pain in life cannot be avoided. The promise of God is “in this world you will have tribulation.” However Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. Take courage for I have overcome the world.” According to Philippians 4 the encouragement is, “be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The kind of love that God has for us is not conditional on our response. He loves us in spite of ourselves. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

After seven weeks at the MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston, when the oncologist told Suzan that her cancer was terminal, they left the doctor’s office depressed and downcast. Pete suggested that Suzan go to the hair salon and have her hair done. When Pete came to pick up his wife, she had a smile on her face. Pete said, what happened to change your mood? Suzan said, “I prayed and God answered. He said, “I’ve got this.” Suzan reminds us that joy is not the absence of pain but rather the presence of the Lord.

The devil’s job is to steal our peace. It takes just one barb of a negative comment to burst our bubble of happiness. Oswald Chambers said, when the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to be the reliable ones. Those who rise to the occasion to trust in the Lord despite the storms of life.

Jesus said, “if you are required by law to go one mile, then gladly go the second mile.” The devil will go out of his way to discourage and disparage. To be committed to the great commission, what could be an opportunity to disturb our soul is really an opportunity to show God’s grace, mercy and peace.

After days of ministering to the multitudes, Jesus said to his disciples, “let’s get into the boat and go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A violent storm arose and the disciples were terrified that their boat would sink. In their panic, they woke Jesus. He said, “O ye of little faith.” Then he said, “Peace be still.” Immediately the winds and waves ceased. The disciples said to themselves, “Who is this that even the winds and waves obey him?”

Jesus suffered all things that we do as men yet without sin. When he went to the Garden of Gethsemane, his heart was troubled. His sweat was as if it were great drops of blood. He prayed to his father, “If there be any way, let this cup of sin, separation, pain, and death pass from me.” Jesus prayed this prayer three times and three times God’s answer was “no.”

Frank Khalil from Tulsa asks, “how do we come to understand the peace of God?” The answer is that it’s only by abiding with Him. Peace is available at the foot of the cross. You can’t have peace until you have the Prince of Peace. We can have peace only when we realize that there is no peace apart form the peace we have in Christ. In the midst of trials the question is “no matter the outcome this situation, will you still purpose in your heart to love, honor and serve me?” Peace is found in complete surrender to his will. Therefore as Jesus said, “Watch and Pray.”

When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done,” his prayer was answered. Prayer is aligning our heart with God’s heart and our will with his will. Peace reconciles our heart with God’s heart.

Understanding the peace that passes understanding is a process…to come to him with a heart of humility and meekness. When our heart’s desire is to praise, bless, and serve God from a heart of love no matter the circumstances of this life, then we can know the peace of God. Jesus 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.”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 3, 2018

Whose Fool?

1 Corinthians 4 says, we are fools for Christ… According to the world’s standards Christians are nobodies. We are despised, reviled, and dishonored for the sake of our Lord. Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools to the world. 1 Corinthians says that there are not many wise men, not many noble called. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wisdom of this world. He has called the weak things of the world to overcome the powers of the world. That he might nullify the things that are, so that no man should boast before the power of God.

The foolish things of the world confound the wise. We’re all someone’s fool. Whose fool are you? Meekness and humility are the requirements to approach God’s throne of mercy and grace. To come to him we must acknowledge that He’s God and we’re not.

When God chose Joshua and Caleb to report back about the Promised Land, their report was that with God, we can take the land. The odds are always with the minority who stand with the strength of the Lord. God chooses men whom the world considers nobodies…those who are insignificant and of no consequence.

When Jesus ministered he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” They wanted to make him a political leader but he chose men and women who would follow him… those whom the world considered inconsequential nobodies.

Most men feel unworthy, especially on spiritual turf. They think that they’ll be asked something about the Bible that they don’t know. However, Jesus saw his men not as they were but what they would be when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. He saw them as men whose names were written in the book of life. Excellence is what God made us in Christ. Paul warned the Corinthians that they should not deal with the world on the world’s terms. There have been times in our “Christian culture” where “seeker sensitive” churches wanted to look like the world to cater to the lost souls of the world. However, when God sanctifies, he sets us apart from world’s purposes to dedicate our lives according to His purpose…according to His divine design.

The world tells men that they don’t matter…that they are insignificant and of no value. However, God chooses the weak and lowly things of the world to confound the wise. When Mother Theresa was on a world tour, one congressman looking for a photo-opportunity, handed her a check for her foundation Sisters of Mercy. She graciously declined the million dollar check and told him, “give your money to someone who needs it more. God has met all of our needs and will continue to provide. Go home and love the unloveable. God works best with nothing.”

Jesus said, when you go to a feast, take the seat in the back. If they want you up front, they’ll call you. True men of God are men of a humble and a contrite heart. They know from experience what Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.”

A missionary felt God’s call to minister in Africa. The mission was grueling and he ran out of support. When he left the mission field to return back to the States, President Teddy Roosevelt was on the ship returning from a hunting trip. When they returned to the dock, bands were there to welcome the president home. The missionary prayed, “Lord, I’m returning home but no one’s here to greet me.” That’s when God told the missionary, “You’re not home yet.”

Many churches in America are struggling to get by. The world looks at pastors and thinks that they are insignificant and don’t matter. However, to follow Jesus Christ means to “let go and let God.” He is the source of our sufficiency. The calling is to love the unloveable and to forgive the unforgivable. Paul said to the Corinthians, God has chosen the weak, dishonorable, and foolish of this world to confound the power, honor, and wisdom of this world….for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.

The book “In His Steps” is the true story of the pastor who started a movement by challenging his congregation to ask, “what would Jesus do?” We must die to the world’s sense of fairness and justice. Jesus said, “blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake… for great is your reward in heaven.” Others are looking at you, not to see how you handle success, but how you handle adversity. As men of God, our security is not in the things of this world. Our security is in Him alone. Our identity is not in our jobs, our wives, our worldly credentials, or our accomplishments. Our identity is in that which cannot be taken away. For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep which he’s committed to me against that day of righteous judgement. Our identity as a Man of God is in Jesus Christ. It’s not in who we are but in who he is. Our identity is not who we are, but whose we are.

Unworthy was I of the grace that he gave, Unworthy to hold to his hand.
But he made me worthy and now by his grace, His mercy has made me his own.

We’re worthy because he made us worthy. We were bought with a price. We’re valuable because of the priceless payment Jesus paid as a ransom for the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. For he who was without sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 5, 2018

Somebody’s Nobodies

When God does something to make an impact, he always does it with a select few. The battle is not ours but the Lords. God designed it so that victories are in his hands not ours. Without him, we’re nothing.

According to 1 Corinthians, God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and to nullify the things of the world so that no man can boast. God always works through the underdogs. He proved this when he chose men like you and me to be his disciples. He could have chosen the rich and powerful of this world. However, he chose a ragtag group of nobodies to change the world. God wants to take nobodies to make them into somebodies. A nobody is a person of no influence. If we’re influencers, we influence others not by the world’s ways but by allowing God to work in us and through us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

The world’s definition of success is those who accomplish great feats of influence and power and accomplishment. They are “gifted” in their own power. Jesus said, “seeketh thou great things for yourself? Seek them not.” Contrary to the world’s standards, God’s success code is what John the Baptist said, “I must decrease that he may increase.”

The world says, “those Christians, they’re nobodies, you can forget about them.” The Christian church does not consist of those whom the world holds in high esteem. God never chose his men to compete with the world on the world’s terms. According to Romans 12, “be not squeezed into the world’s mold…be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The heart’s desire of a man of God is to to learn to become just like his master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians in America, we’ve been conditioned to gravitate toward worldliness. The wisdom of this world is earthly sensual and devilish. However, when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Penticost, Christians were born again into a supernatural world. When a man comes to the Lord, how do you explain the change in a man’s life? Peter himself had been radically changed on the day of Penticost. The crowd took notice that he had been with Jesus. He was an unlearned Galilean and spoke not as others with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but with the power of God in manifestation.

In John 6, when Jesus said that you can’t follow me unless you partake of my flesh and blood, the crowds decided not to follow him. Jesus said to his disciples, will you also leave me? Peter answered, “where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Jesus said, “follow me.” We do not know the destination…but we can trust that he knows the way.

A fool is a person who is lacking reason and prudence, one without good sense and composure. One who takes no thought for the consequences of his actions. Everyone is someone’s fool. Whose fool are you?

As nobodies, the world thinks that we’re nothing. Great Christians are marked by humility. When Mother Theresa was touring Washington, a congressman looking for a photo-op approached her and gave her a million dollar check for her charity “sisters of mercy.” She said to the man, “Please give this donation to someone who needs it more that we do. God has always met our needs and he will provide. God works best with nothing.”

To change the world, God has called us as “fools for Christ.” He has used the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

According to 2 Corinthians 4:7, “For we have this treasure (the Holy Spirit) in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message January 3, 2018

Whose Fool?

1 Corinthians 4 says, we are fools for Christ… According to the world’s standards Christians are nobodies. We are despised, reviled, and dishonored for the sake of our Lord. Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools to the world. 1 Corinthians says that there are not many wise men, not many noble called. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wisdom of this world. He has called the weak things of the world to overcome the powers of the world. That he might nullify the things that are, so that no man should boast before the power of God.

The foolish things of the world confound the wise. We’re all someone’s fool. Whose fool are you? Meekness and humility are the requirements to approach God’s throne of mercy and grace. To come to him we must acknowledge that He’s God and we’re not.

When God chose Joshua and Caleb to report back about the Promised Land, their report was that with God, we can take the land. The odds are always with the minority who stand with the strength of the Lord. God chooses men whom the world considers nobodies…those who are insignificant and of no consequence.

When Jesus ministered he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” They wanted to make him a political leader but he chose men and women who would follow him… those whom the world considered inconsequential nobodies.

Most men feel unworthy, especially on spiritual turf. They think that they’ll be asked something about the Bible that they don’t know. However, Jesus saw his men not as they were but what they would be when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. He saw them as men whose names were written in the book of life. Excellence is what God made us in Christ. Paul warned the Corinthians that they should not deal with the world on the world’s terms. There have been times in our “Christian culture” where “seeker sensitive” churches wanted to look like the world to cater to the lost souls of the world. However, when God sanctifies, he sets us apart from world’s purposes to dedicate our lives according to His purpose…according to His divine design.

The world tells men that they don’t matter…that they are insignificant and of no value. However, God chooses the weak and lowly things of the world to confound the wise. When Mother Theresa was on a world tour, one congressman looking for a photo-opportunity, handed her a check for her foundation Sisters of Mercy. She graciously declined the million dollar check and told him, “give your money to someone who needs it more. God has met all of our needs and will continue to provide. Go home and love the unloveable. God works best with nothing.”

Jesus said, when you go to a feast, take the seat in the back. If they want you up front, they’ll call you. True men of God are men of a humble and a contrite heart. They know from experience what Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.”

A missionary felt God’s call to minister in Africa. The mission was grueling and he ran out of support. When he left the mission field to return back to the States, President Teddy Roosevelt was on the ship returning from a hunting trip. When they returned to the dock, bands were there to welcome the president home. The missionary prayed, “Lord, I’m returning home but no one’s here to greet me.” That’s when God told the missionary, “You’re not home yet.”

Many churches in America are struggling to get by. The world looks at pastors and thinks that they are insignificant and don’t matter. However, to follow Jesus Christ means to “let go and let God.” He is the source of our sufficiency. The calling is to love the unloveable and to forgive the unforgivable. Paul said to the Corinthians, God has chosen the weak, dishonorable, and foolish of this world to confound the power, honor, and wisdom of this world….for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.

The book “In His Steps” is the true story of the pastor who started a movement by challenging his congregation to ask, “what would Jesus do?” We must die to the world’s sense of fairness and justice. Jesus said, “blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake… for great is your reward in heaven.” Others are looking at you, not to see how you handle success, but how you handle adversity. As men of God, our security is not in the things of this world. Our security is in Him alone. Our identity is not in our jobs, our wives, our worldly credentials, or our accomplishments. Our identity is in that which cannot be taken away. For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep which he’s committed to me against that day of righteous judgement. Our identity as a Man of God is in Jesus Christ. It’s not in who we are but in who he is. Our identity is not who we are, but whose we are.

Unworthy was I of the grace that he gave, Unworthy to hold to his hand.
But he made me worthy and now by his grace, His mercy has made me his own.

We’re worthy because he made us worthy. We were bought with a price. We’re valuable because of the priceless payment Jesus paid as a ransom for the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. For he who was without sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete McKenzie’s Message December 27, 2017

Man of God?

Men want to belong to a band of brothers. However, many men are afraid of the commitment and the sacrifice. How do we find other men who are safe…men who can relate to our life’s story…men with whom we can share the details of our life? To commit to a band of brothers requires vulnerability. Men will never be the men that God intended us to be unless we fellowship with likeminded men. Humility and meekness is the requirement to approach God’s throne of grace. These are also the qualities of the heart that are required to fellowship with our brothers in Christ.

One wife in a counseling session said, “my husband is an island. I keep circling the Island but never find a port that I can land.” Our male culture teaches a man-code that says that I can’t be vulnerable. If I say “I love you,” then I’m weak. If I say, “I don’t know,” then I’m not the man I’m supposed to be. Getting in touch with our own selves is a challenge because we need to acknowledge that we’re insufficient in ourselves.

Many churches don’t have men’s ministries. Most churches have a thriving women’s ministry but only about 10 percent have a ministry to men. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. There is a spiritual battle to take men off the spiritual battlefield. Men’s camraderie is easy on sports teams, especially in a winning locker room. However, as Bonhoffer said in Germany before the Second World War, “they were sleepwalking toward a precipice.” There’s a need for men to act like men when the need arises. To stand firm in the faith, do everything in love… be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. When the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to have such confidence in him that they will be the reliable ones.” A crisis is an unstable state of affairs. It is a crucial time of uncertainty and difficulty when action is required to avoid complete breakdown.

If the church is to reach its maximum potential, men must find their place in God’s economy. In a “man on the street interview” the men who were interviewed did not know their place in culture. Men won’t compete with women. Women are caring compassionate, relational, and expressive. However, men are action-oriented. Men are God’s method to will and to do of his good pleasure… Men whom God can use…men who are empowered by the Holy Spirit…Men of prayer aligned according to the will of God.

According to a Barnum Group study, When a mom comes to Christ, 17 percent of children follow their mother in the faith. However, when a man comes to faith, 93 percent of his children will come to faith. Influencers starts with men of God in whom the spirit of the Lord is.

In Christ there is always the opportunity for a fresh new start. If we’re saved by grace through faith, then church needs to give us grace. Women in the church also need to give their husbands grace. Men need to “man up” in Christ…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 the one who loved me and gave himself for me.

In our culture young boys are asking “what is a man?” Most men don’t understand what “man of God” means. What are the requirements? The first is what Jesus said to Peter, “do you love me with the love of God?” Peter said, “Yes Lord, you know I love you like a brother.” Peter didn’t yet understand the meaning of the unconditional love of God. If love is the motivation, then it’s not difficult to serve because faith works by love. When love is the motivation, then the effort is not difficult. Grace through faith will make us free when we confess Jesus as Lord. The second question is, “do you find your identity in Jesus Christ?” Our identity is not who we are but rather whose we are. It’s not about me, it’s about Him. Grace reminds me that in my flesh dwells good thing. Without the grace of God, we’re destined to crash and burn. However, thy strength is made perfect in my weakness, thy grace is sufficient for me. He will change us from the inside out when we press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The third thing is that a man of God wants to spend the rest of his life becoming just like Jesus. Jesus said, If you abide in me and I abide in you then you shall bear much fruit. For the fruit of the spirit of Christ in me is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

In Christ we’re men of God. A man of God is God’s man. This is the “genitive of possession.” It’s not who we are, it’s whose we are. He blots out my iniquity, not because of who I am but because of who He is. The Holy Spirit is the one who comes alongside to encourage, to comfort and to edify. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Jesus said, if you continue in my word, then shall you be my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. The question is “Are you a man of God?” The answer is “absolutely!”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael

Thoughts from Pete’s Message December 29, 2017

Man of God?

Men want to belong to a band of brothers. However, many men are afraid of the commitment and the sacrifice. How do we find other men who are safe…men who can relate to our life’s story…men with whom we can share the details of our life? To commit to a band of brothers requires vulnerability. Men will never be the men that God intended us to be unless we fellowship with likeminded men. Humility and meekness is the requirement to approach God’s throne of grace. These are also the qualities of the heart that are required to fellowship with our brothers in Christ.

One wife in a counseling session said, “my husband is an island. I keep circling the Island but never find a port that I can land.” Our male culture teaches a man-code that says that I can’t be vulnerable. If I say “I love you,” then I’m weak. If I say, “I don’t know,” then I’m not the man I’m supposed to be. Getting in touch with our own selves is a challenge because we need to acknowledge that we’re insufficient in ourselves.

Many churches don’t have men’s ministries. Most churches have a thriving women’s ministry but only about 10 percent have a ministry to men. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. There is a spiritual battle to take men off the spiritual battlefield. Men’s camraderie is easy on sports teams, especially in a winning locker room. However, as Bonhoffer said in Germany before the Second World War, “they were sleepwalking toward a precipice.” There’s a need for men to act like men when the need arises. To stand firm in the faith, do everything in love… be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. When the crisis comes and courage is required, God expects his men to have such confidence in him that they will be the reliable ones.” A crisis is an unstable state of affairs. It is a crucial time of uncertainty and difficulty when action is required to avoid complete breakdown.

If the church is to reach its maximum potential, men must find their place in God’s economy. In a “man on the street interview” the men who were interviewed did not know their place in culture. Men won’t compete with women. Women are caring compassionate, relational, and expressive. However, men are action-oriented. Men are God’s method to will and to do of his good pleasure… Men whom God can use…men who are empowered by the Holy Spirit…Men of prayer aligned according to the will of God.

According to a Barnum Group study, When a mom comes to Christ, 17 percent of children follow their mother in the faith. However, when a man comes to faith, 93 percent of his children will come to faith. Influencers starts with men of God in whom the spirit of the Lord is.

In Christ there is always the opportunity for a fresh new start. If we’re saved by grace through faith, then church needs to give us grace. Women in the church also need to give their husbands grace. Men need to “man up” in Christ…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 the one who loved me and gave himself for me.

In our culture young boys are asking “what is a man?” Most men don’t understand what “man of God” means. What are the requirements? The first is what Jesus said to Peter, “do you love me with the love of God?” Peter said, “Yes Lord, you know I love you like a brother.” Peter didn’t yet understand the meaning of the unconditional love of God. If love is the motivation, then it’s not difficult to serve because faith works by love. When love is the motivation, then the effort is not difficult. Grace through faith will make us free when we confess Jesus as Lord. The second question is, “do you find your identity in Jesus Christ?” Our identity is not who we are but rather whose we are. It’s not about me, it’s about Him. Grace reminds me that in my flesh dwells good thing. Without the grace of God, we’re destined to crash and burn. However, thy strength is made perfect in my weakness, thy grace is sufficient for me. He will change us from the inside out when we press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The third thing is that a man of God wants to spend the rest of his life becoming just like Jesus. Jesus said, If you abide in me and I abide in you then you shall bear much fruit. For the fruit of the spirit of Christ in me is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

In Christ we’re men of God. A man of God is God’s man. This is the “genitive of possession.” It’s not who we are, it’s whose we are. He blots out my iniquity, not because of who I am but because of who He is. The Holy Spirit is the one who comes alongside to encourage, to comfort and to edify. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Jesus said, if you continue in my word, then shall you be my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. The question is “Are you a man of God?” The answer is “absolutely!”

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael