Welcome to my daily thoughts!
My prayer is that these thoughts will challenge you in your daily walk with Christ. – Pastor James
 
June 24th, 2020
 
I believe that we could accurately say that the society we live in today do not like rules. They do not like laws that they are asked to abide by. As we watch the division that is currently gripping America, should we not stop and consider which laws are needed now more than ever?
 
God knew that in our sinful state, that we “needed” laws to live by. The Old Testament is filled with laws that men constantly failed in fulfilling. And God wanted to simplify these laws to a number that men should be able to follow. So He wrote down 10 laws – 10 commandments – on stone tablets and he gave them to Moses to give to the people. And still they (and we today) struggle to keep these ten! But what if we could simplify these 10 even further? 
 
I believe that most of the issues in this country and around the world could be fixed, if we could only learn to keep TWO laws! That is correct……We only need to keep TWO! And Jesus Himself was the one who suggested that we do such a thing:
 
Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV) 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
 
Imagine how much different our country would be currently…..if we loved the Lord first……and then we loved others as we do ourselves. Violence would end! Police interactions should cease. Racial division would be non-existent. Crime would dissipate. I truly believe that there would be so much positivity that would come into our lives…..if “we” could only keep these two laws; these two commandments.  LOVE THE LORD! LOVE OTHERS! 
 
I believe that one day I shall see this come to pass. It will happen when Christ returns and He establishes His rule and kingdom on this earth. Until then, the best I can hope for is the good in others will prevail……and the best I can pray for is His soon return! 
 
 
 
 
June 3rd, 2020
 
“I Love You!” ……….such a simple statement, yet how many really understand what that means. Sure, we have all experienced puppy love. Many understand the love we have for a friend (Phileo in the Greek). Some have experienced the love that we have for our spouses (Eros in the Greek). But how many of us understand what it is to love like Jesus loved? (Agape) 
 
We look at people and we tell them that we love them……but do we really love them with an agape love? A love that transcends all issues. A love that forgets the past pains. A love that comes from our the depth of our souls. 
 
1 John 4:7-11  (NKJV)  –  Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
 
Many of us have told others that we love them……only to allow them to walk away or for us to walk away from them. Many have left the church that the once loved over minor issues. Many have walked away from Christ after once proclaiming their love. But to what degree was our love? Was it just a Phileo (Brotherly love) perhaps. God is calling His children to have an agape love. One that resembles the love that Christ had for us while on the cross. One that forgives the sins of others. One that is willing to say “I messed up” and need your forgiveness.  You cannot tell people, the church, or even Christ that “You love them” ……. if you walk away from them. Christ never left us. In fact, He left Heaven for us! So the question you must answer is this: Are you sure what it means to say “I love you!”
 
 
 
4/1/20
Today’s Thought:

How strong is your prayer life? How committed are you to prayer for answers?…especially considering that our nation is looking for relief and answers in these uncertain times.

As I am reading through the book of Daniel for my current Seminary class, I found it challenging that Daniel was committed to prayer even when he knew the outcome of praying could be his own death. King Darius had signed into law that anyone petitioning their gods over a thirty day period would be put to death by the cruelty of hungry lions. Even in knowing the outcome…notice how Daniel responded:
 
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel 6:10 (NKJV)

Many today are worried about things we cannot control….as was the case with Daniel. He had no control over the law that was made….but he took control over what was controllable in his life. How he responded was in his control…and Daniel choose to respond in faith through prayer multiple times that day.

As Christians, we say we believe in prayer….but how are we controlling what is controllable on our part? Can we control this virus? NO! ….Can we control the economy? NO! …….Can we affect the outcome? YES! YES! YES! …..Committed Christians can affect the outcome with God’s help….and that starts with the power found in committed prayer. Daniel continued in his committed prayer life….and notice the outcome: The mouth of the hungry lions were closed by the faithfulness of Daniels committed God. Imagine how quickly this virus could come to an end….if God’s children were as committed to prayer as Daniel was in his day! Imagine how quickly the economy could rebound if we employed what we claim to believe.

When faced with an uncertain outcome…Daniel did not run in fear…he fell to his knees in faith. Perhaps rather than praying for the end of a deadly virus….what we need more than this…is to ask God to help us have a committed life of prayer and dedication to “our God” that has the ability to unleashes His power and protection for the whole world to see.

Something to consider……
 
 
3/30/20
Today’s Thought:……...Was reminded of this truth during my quiet time this morning:

I have read many social media post in the past two weeks about the churches inability to meet and worship. This is a lie that the devil is using folks! Notice what Paul told the Corinthians:

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. I Corinthians 3:9

Do you want to know who the church is? It is the people! Paul teaches that “you (we) are the building”. We are the church! Therefore it is an impossibility for the church NOT to meet…unless you chose to NOT do so.
 
STAY WITH ME HERE: While it is true that we cannot meet “together” currently….the church CAN and SHOULD meet with the Lord daily! Are you taking time to “spiritually isolate yourself” each day and worship God so that He can provide you peace you need in these uncertain times?

Think about it! If we are indeed the church…then consider “Who” is abiding in our tabernacle.

Something to consider……