Pastor’s Blog

Do we sometimes display a Judas lifestyle or make Judas decisions.  Obviously, we don’t want to do this if we are true believers with a longing to please the Lord.  At our Men’s Ministry conference event called “Band of Brothers”, we heard a powerful message concerning this. So it got me thinking and I wanted to share some of the points that were made with all of you; men and women alike. So let us look first at the 5 characteristics of a “Judas” based on the Judas in the Bible: 

  1. A Judas mindset rejects change.  John 6:70 “Then Jesus said, ‘I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.’” At this point, Jesus had been working with His disciples for some time. Possibly for months or longer… All of these disciples were “little devils” when Jesus called them. They were some very messed up individuals. Some more than others…just like us, right. But after all this time, and while some were deserting Jesus (John 6:66 – hmm, that’s interesting). But the original 12 stayed with Jesus; Peter even declared, “to whom else will we go? You alone have the words of eternal life.”  (John 6:68).  So obviously these disciples had changed; EXCEPT JUDAS. 
    – God has called us to change.  He has called you to change.  What area in your life are you allowing the devil inside?  Is there an area where you refuse to change, even though the Holy Spirit is dealing with you? A complete surrender to an Almighty God will change you. Let us make sure we are surrendering to the Lord more as we grow in Him.
  2. Judas had a mindset of giving some things to Jesus, but NOT giving ALL to Jesus. John 12:3-6 Mary took a very expensive jar of perfume and poured the whole thing on Jesus feet; representing that she valued Jesus, far more than money or the worth of the jar of perfume.  Judas immediately felt, what a waste!  Judas cared more about the value of the jar of perfume than he did Jesus.  Judas felt that she should have poured some of the perfume on Jesus feet and then sale the rest of the oil for money to give to the poor.  But then the Bible says that Judas didn’t really care about the poor.  We should have an “ALL IN” mentality with Jesus!  We should value Him above all other things in life.  Half hearted Christians are the most miserable Christians.  We need to be all in with our Lord Jesus.
  3. Judas Knew about Jesus – but Judas did not KNOW Jesus. Matthew 26:21-25 Jesus said that one of the twelve would betray Him. The other disciples asked: “Is it I Lord?”  But Judas asked: “Is it I Rabbi?”  This reflects a level of intimacy that was missing in Judas.  The other disciples had learned to acknowledge Jesus as much more than just an instructor or teacher.  They acknowledged Jesus as their Lord. Judas had attended every meeting with Jesus, saw every miracle, and heard every teaching…but never became a doer.  We can be so close to Jesus, and still not know Him.  Don’t just have religion or a list of religious duties or dos and don’ts.  Have Jesus!  Have Life! Know Him.
  4. Judas encouraged others to grab Jesus – but he was not willing to grab hold of Jesus. Matthew 26:48-49 Judas had pre-arranged for the temple guards to grab Jesus, after Judas gave that betraying kiss. If Judas had ever grasped Jesus; who He was and what He was doing for him; Judas could have never made that deal or given that kiss…Judas would have been too busy grabbing all of Jesus he could get to betray Him like that.  This Judas mindset will offer others the chance to get close to Jesus, but will not themselves get close to Him.  If we have a deep enough relationship with Jesus, we will want to introduce others to Him because He is so wonderful to us!  Our desire to share Him comes from a place in us that overflows with a knowledge that we can’t live without Him.
  5. Judas allowed someone else to take his crown. Judas went out and hung himself.  He could not live with what he had done. This Judas mindset represents a need for instant gratification over ETERNAL Reward.  There was still forgiveness with Jesus.  There was still life in Jesus.  There was still anointing, freedom, healing, deliverance, and intimacy with God IN Christ…but Judas already suffered with too many of the above issues to yield to all Jesus had readily available to him.  Let us not miss all that Jesus has for us because of impatience, stubbornness or neglect.

  Because of these Characteristics: Judas lost 4 things:  

  1. Judas lost the personal presence of Jesus, even when he was right beside Jesus.
  2. Judas lost the fellowship of the apostles. Judas lost trust; from the other disciples and from Jesus.  When you loose trust, you loose it all.
  3. Judas lost the privileges of the ability to be useful in ministry.  It is always an honor to serve…especially to serve the Lord!  There is not higher calling or better feeling than to do a work that brings glory to God and blesses so many.  But not being able to serve God is very dishonorable. 
  4. Judas lost his reward in heaven. A real Christian will await their reward in heaven. This goes perfect with our theme verse for 2020: Romans 8:18 “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
 
Do Not Become Content Spiritually
 
The Bible states that the Devil is LIKE a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 
1 Peter 5:8.  I can hear the Amen’s…but wait.  That is not all it says: 1 Peter 5:8 also says: Be ALERT – Be Sober Minded. Other translation use the synonyms:  Be on your guard – Stay awake – Be Vigilant – Be serious – Be clear minded – Be reflective – Be of sober spirit… WHY?   Because your enemy is looking for every opportunity to mess you up!  To devour your confidence, your future, your destiny, your potential, your healthy mind, your resources, your faith, and most dangerous: Your Relationship with God Almighty.  Satan can’t stand it when you talk to the Lord as your best friend.  Satan can’t stand it when you go to an altar with faith in Jehovah!  Satan can’t stand it when your storms make you stronger because you trusted in the Lord despite the waves and the winds!  Satan is working everyday to initiate a domino effect in your life towards disaster.  The enemy, the Devil, will not be satisfied until your love for God begins to grow Cold; Until you begin to Rebel against the ways of the Lord and become disobedient and even Fall away from faith in God’s sufficiency! Until you as a Christian become Lukewarm; lazy, forsaking your calling, loosing value in prayer, God’s word and coming together in worship with other believers; Until you begin to forsake God’s house and stop assembling together for prayer!  The devils will not be satisfied until you have NO FAITH LEFT AT ALL!   Jesus even warned of these things.  He even assured us that it WOULD happen.  So Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says:  “Watch out, your adversary, the devil, prowls around LIKE a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  1 Peter 5:8  
But we can learn 3 things from this verse:  
 
1. We can choose to be Alert and win this thing!  We do not have to be the victim!  The devil loves to give church people an excuse to justify why they did or do what they do… To be a victim.  But we are not called to be victims!  WE are called to be MORE than Conquerors in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37)! Throughout the Bible, God always has a Remnant, a small number, among the masses, that BELIEVE Him, TRUST Him, stay TRUE to Him, even when the majority fail too.  We can resolve that we are not going to allow our Spiritual life be to be devoured by a stooge like satan! 
 
2. We CAN see the Devil for what he really is!   The devil is a player!  Satan is a good actor!  He is pretending to be a Lion. An intimidating lion who tries to make us feel we are about to loose at any minute.  But satan is not the lion!  The Bible says Jesus IS the Lion of the tribe of Judah!  That means Jesus is the true KING with POWER and MAJESTY!  So, if we are alert and careful, we can see the devil coming!  We can see through his tricks and strategies!  We CAN resist him and he will have to flee!  (James 4:7)
 
3. We CAN exercise Authority against the Devil!  You may not have caught it…but there is a little powerful word tucked inside of 1 Peter 5:8:  “…seeking whom he MAY devour.”  Now I am telling you what the Holy Spirit told me when I read that today:  “David, satan has no authority over you or your life. The devil has no authority over Grace Family Fellowship and this church body!  Satan can only do what we give him the authority to do.”  So satan “May” discourage you – if you let him.  Satan “May” defeat you, if you give place to him (Ephesian 4:27), Satan “May” tempt you, make you feel guilty, play mind tricks on you, distract you, play with your weaknesses etc…  AND HE “MAY” NOT in Jesus Name!  I choose to take authority in Christ and draw a bloodline!  I rebuke the devil and his influence over me or my family and you, my church family!  NO hE MAY NOT!!!  I stand, and THE LION of the Tribe of JUDAH Stands with me!  I will be victorious!  And the enemy MAY NOT have me!  
 
Okay, so let’s get sassy with satan right now!  I am not going to grow content with where I am spiritually!  I am not going to let my guard down, become careless spiritually, and loose out!  I am going to succeed!  In Jesus Name!  I resolve to continue to grow spiritually by strengthening my relationship with God!  Thank You Father, for Your Holy Spirit who will lead me, guide me, comfort me, advise me, and empower me to be MORE than a Conqueror!   
 
  At Grace Family Fellowship, a Pentecostal Holiness Church in Robersonville NC; we just closed out our “calendar year” (June-June) with the Theme:  (Taken from Deuteronomy 6:5) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” With the Theme Phrase: “LOVE GOD ENOUGH TO DO THINGS GOD’S WAY”.
This has become very UNPOPULAR in the modern American culture. People hate to do things God’s way if it cost them something. But we are called to do things God’s way, if we love HIM, regardless of the cost to oneself.  God instructed us and warned us in His word:
– “Count the Cost” Luke 14:28
– “Blessed are those who hear the word of God AND obey it”. Luke 11:28
– “Obey God rather than man” Acts 5:29
– “God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” Psalm 119:105
– “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21
– “Enter in at the straight gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction; and many there will be that go therein.” Matthew 7:13-14 – In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 The word of God warns of many things that will happen in the last days on earth; one such warning was:  “…people will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God…”. also:
– “…people will act religious but reject the power that could make them godly.” 2 Timothy 3:5
– “You will be hated by everyone in the world because of me, but those who endure to the end will be saved.” – Jesus Matthew 10:22
– Jesus also said in John 15:18-19 “Remember, when the world hates you, they hated Me (Jesus) first. If you were of the world, it would love you as it’s own. But instead the world hates you, because you are not of the world, I chose you to come out of the world.” 
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 warns us of many lifestyle choices that can lead to us not being allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “…Don’t fool yourselves…those who practice HOMOSEXUALITY…will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” 
 
And this is just one of many places in the Bible where God makes it clear that LGBTQ+  lifestyle sins are sinful and contrary to man-kind’s basic nature and the way God created us.  I will not use this forum to get into the debate of how people JUSTIFY their sins by claiming that God made them this way.  But the bottom line is, we were all BORN IN SIN. But at some point we have to LOVE GOD ENOUGH TO DO THINGS HIS WAY.  Whether your struggle is with heterosexual desires or homosexual desires. 
 
Make no mistake.  If Christians or the church belittle this struggle or make fun of the LGBTQ+ struggle, then we are sinning ourselves.  Like any sin, we must preach the word of God in Love and allow the Holy Spirit to convict individuals of their lifestyle choices.  And that is exactly what it is…a CHOICE. 
 
Some feel that their choice is not a sin, even though God’s word says it is, so they feel they should be able to serve in ministries and hold positions without repenting. Those in our nation today that feel this way are trying to pressure everyone to change in the direction of this new “sin inclusive” attitude, and if they don’t, they throw shade (or criticize) those churches and denominations.  Some denominations, that have seen drastic decline over the years, are becoming open to this idea, out of desperation to keep people, or attract people to come, or remain “relevant” in this day.  Some are even ordaining and licensing individuals living in open sin and transgressions.
The church must be patient and sympathetic to those struggling with any sin.  But we can never condone sin when the word of God has made God’s will perfectly clear. 
Even when the world is LOVING on the LGBTQ+ community and hating the Churches that stand with God’s word on this issue.  We must not compromise.  But we also must not fall into the temptation to get angry, hostile or act unloving toward those who are indeed deceived. For they are hurting and need deliverance and love.  
The Bible warns that as the end draws near and things begin to get worse: 
2 Timothy 3:13 “…evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
 
My parents taught me at a young age:  “David, be watchful when the world clamors around something, loves something and it become very popular…that can be a red flag that it is of the world and not of God.” 
 
So based on these scriptures that I have read today, I believe that those who are bending over backwards to justify the LGBTQ+ lifestyle, need only to look around.  See how much love the world is showing this choice.  And return to Holy Scriptures that are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  God’s word will never lead us astray.  But culture, our heart strings and even our pleasures will. 
 
What is happening is people are breaking the 2nd Commandment.  They are creating a false image of god to fit with their sin.  They have created a false god, that looks and sounds like Jesus and Jehovah, that does not condemn their lifestyle choices.  This is very dangerous.  Any church that is allowing people who live in open rebellion and sinful lifestyles to knowingly serve as leaders and minister at their church are playing a role in this sin.  NONE of us are perfect.  Church, as long as it is on this earth, will be made up of flawed and imperfect people. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GRACE AND MERCY.  But when the Holy Spirit reveals a sin in our life. When the Scriptures (GENESIS THROUGH REVELATION) reveals a sin in our life.  We MUST repent – turn from that sin – and turn to God’s mercy.  Thank you Father for being faithful!  “For if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
 
All are welcome at GRACE FAMILY FELLOWSHIP.  Come one and all.  Even with your sin – just as you are.  For there is deliverance for you in the power of Jesus name and the power of God’s word!  I still believe in the full inerrant (without errors) word of God!   The Power of Jesus Blood is still transforming lives!  But only when we come to Him willing to surrender and do things God’s way!   Let us continue to pray for the LGBTQ+ community.  
 
 
 
“Let Freedom Ring” use to be a common phrase and sentiment during this time of the year and any time there was a patriotic celebration. But it seems to me that we are in another season when people take freedom for grated.  Some politicians even seem to be dead set on pushing agendas that history has proven rob people of certain freedoms.  But all in all, how valuable is freedom to us?  To you? 
God’s word speaks a lot about freedom.  It is even a major thread that runs throughout the Bible; both Old and New Testaments. 
God sent Moses to set His people free from Egyptian bondage. God reminded His people of this miracle countless times and He was honored and worshiped for it and feared by pagan nations for His Act of power on display to deliver His people!  There are many other reports of God liberating people in the O.T.
God’s greatest act of deliverance was setting us free from the powers of Sin and spiritual Death.  In Luke 4:18, Jesus said the scriptures were speaking about Him in Isaiah 61:1 when Isaiah said “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me…” What did God anoint Jesus to do?  “…to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”
But the core question is: WHY did God set it His Mission to provide freedom for Mankind on so many levels?  The answer is found from God’s own voice in Exodus 9:1 “Go back to Pharaoh,” the LORD commanded Moses. “Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let My people go, so they can worship Me.”  
There is certainly freedom to be had in Christ.  Whether you live in a free country or not…whether you are locked up behind bars or not.  Freedom from Sin. Freedom from Spiritual Death. Freedom to have peace about where you will spend eternity (free from the fear of death).  Freedom from addictions. Freedom from the deceptions of the devil. Praise God! And for we Americans, on this 243rd birthday of America…Freedom to worship God publicly and privately!  
And on another note, I believe that there is freedom to have faith, regardless of what the environment around us says.  Faith in what God’s word says.  To stand on that Word the Lord has given you, when everyone else gives up, or all signs point the opposite direction.  We stand firm in knowing that “He who began a good work in us will one day carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)  Even when things go bad, I am free to put my faith in what God’s word says!  Pray for things to change!  Pray for the breakthrough!  Pray for God to save those we love!  Some may not even want us to pray that way…but in my personal prayer life to the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE WHO HEARS MY PRAYERS…I’m free to Pray and share anything I like with Him!  Thank you Father for answering our prayers! In Jesus Name!  Amen! May God’s Freedom He has provided, Ring and Reign in your life! 
 
 
God desires us to be encouraged in our walk with Him.  He also desires us to be encouraged TO walk with Him and walk CLOSE to Him.  He encourages us to SERVE Him.  To put first HIS Kingdom and His Righteousness (Matthew 6:33).  God did not make us, call us, or save us to then frustrate us.  Much of the things we face in life are a result of our own “free will” choices.Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (Deuteronomy 30:19)  But God offers to help us with our decisions.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (Philippians 2:13)
 
God never desires for us to feel that we are overwhelmed by life.  But when we do, He wants us to know HE IS THERE!  And He will make a way out of that situation; one way or the other. Where we are powerless, God is ALL POWERFUL.  The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
 
Sometimes life is not fair!  But in those season, we must hold on and not give up. 
God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as He rewards everyone who loves Him.” (James 1:12)
 
Remember, NONE of our suffering is forever… God promises:
 
He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” (Revelation 21:4) 
 
I know this sounds HARD:  But sometimes the best thing you can do when your discouraged and life is unfair… is to PRAISE GOD and REJOICE!

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

God’s power and presence will be released, in even greater magnitude and potency, when a true believer begins to Praise and Worship God even when we are broken, discouraged and feel hopeless.  Just because you are a Christian, does not make you immune to the perils of life. But God is faithful!  He will release an equal amount of His power and presence to help you and strengthen you! Believe that! 
 
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:19)
 
Wow, what a good God! It may not FEEL like it instantly, but things will turn around!  You will Feel better… but until you do, Let the other big “F” Word turn you around:  “FAITH”! 
Be blessed!  
Souls Ready for Work
 
We can’t save ANYONE. Yet, we desire Grace Family Fellowship to be a Soul Saving Station.  
There are more people LOST than there are people ADOPTED into GOD’S GRACE FAMILY.  So what do we do?  What role will you play? 
Do we really desire to Grow as a Church?  
Recently I heard a Pastor state that he felt most of our churches did not really truly want to grow.  That most churches are “content”, for the most part, with who attend their church and the way things are.  That GROWING would require too much WORK.  Too much CHANGE – Too aggressive of LEADERSHIP. Too much DISCOMFORT to self. 
We are living within the Laodicean Church here in America. We need a great awakening.  If this thinking is true in any way, we are ALL in danger. 
The truth is: Both the Believers SOUL and the Sinners SOUL is in danger. 
The Believers SOULS are in danger of becoming LUKEWARM and rendering the church USELESS.  
The Sinners SOULS are in danger of going to Hell.  
Wow – looks like a plan hatched from HELL to me.  Could Satan be more happy with that paradox? 
It is Time for some SOULS to get to work.  
But it MUST START with The Believers.  
The Only way for our church to grow BIBLICALLY – is to Win Souls – Make Disciples – Then put those SOULS to WORK helping us win SOULS.   
But here is another big ask:  Our SOULS must be willing to go to WORK FIRST.  Where do we begin? The following is a good start: 
 
 1.  Be the Royal Priesthood and Chosen Generation that God has anointed us to be. 
      (1 Peter 2:9) And begin to intercede for the LOST to be Found. Believe in GOD to            TRANSFORM their lives.  Saved – Freed – Restored – Fulfilled 
 
2. Have a Vision for success!  In short: 
 
R E A C H out to the lost with the Gospel. 
T E A C H them the Word of God. 
C O N N E C T them to other believers. 
R E L E A S E  them to do ministry.  
 
3. Jesus did not say go to church buildings and learn and learn and learn. Jesus said: “Go Make Disciples.”  (Matthew 28:19) We need systems in place within our church to     help believer’s SOULS be READY for WORK. KINGDOM WORK.  That means not             making church about us – but about the HEART of GOD.  God’s heart is to “SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH IS LOST”. (Luke 19:10)  God never stops searching for the lost souls. Aren’t you glad He never stopped searching for yours?  
 

2 Responses to “Pastor’s Blog”

  1. Libby Whitaker says:

    Oh how I enjoyed this sermon Brother. God is so good and He is working all of us. Love you so much Brother!

  2. Juantia R Cooke says:

    Wonderful words. i miss Gff so much.

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