"Where Salvation Makes You A Member"

Words of Encouragement

 

A Call to Worship

God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

 John 4:24

My heart has been burdened with whether or not we really worship God when we go to the house of worship. Not that it’s the only place to worship him but, do we truly worship him in a place where he inhabits our praise and worship.

Are we consumed by our tests and trials, with our plans and ambitions, what we’re going to eat after service, how our hair looks, who’s going to pray, if my nails are snagging, or what song we’re going to request?  We sing songs of praise and we give him glory and honor for this and that but do we worship him as we should? Do I even know how to worship?

We sing a song that begins, “We have come into this house to gather in His name and worship Him. We have come into this house to gather in His name and worship Christ our Lord, worship Him, Christ our Lord”.  When I worship, I close my mind to my present and future problems, trials and tribulations, and I reflect on how someone could’ve left a perfect place and come down to a sinful world and willingly die for such unworthy creatures. I reflect on what he went through, how he went through, and why he went through. Greater love hath no man than this is what the scriptures declare. He carried the cross and died on it that we might be free; that we might have life more abundantly, without sin. His precious blood was shed for our atonement, healing, and redemption.

I think about what he must’ve felt and yet he uttered not a word in his own defense. His love for us compelled him to stay there, though he could’ve come down, just to pay the price for our sins. As my eyes are opened or closed, my head bowed or lifted, hands, raised or not; my heart IS humbled. I don’t think of what I’m going through or why I’m going through but I think of how wretched and messed up I was when he found me and how he saved me from a miserable life of sin. I then reflect on where I could be had he not found me and just how lost I was; how deep he had to reach to pull me out of the muck and mire.

As the song is still being sung the next verse says, “Forget about yourself and concentrate on him and worship Him. So forget about yourself and concentrate on Him and worship Christ, our Lord, worship Him, Christ, our Lord. It is then that my heart and soul begins to overflow with gratefulness and appreciation as I ponder my unworthiness and how he was beaten and wounded for our iniquity. I remember that it was His blood that saved me and has kept me through good and bad times. There is an unspeakable joy that springs up within as I think about His goodness as the next verse says, “He is all our righteousness, I stand complete in Him and worship Him. He is ALL OUR righteousness, I stand complete in Him and worship Him, worship Him, Christ, our Lord”.  If we’ve surrendered all to Him, then we are complete in Him and we can sing from a pure heart without holding back a part. Praise God! His blood is perfect and all cleansing! There’s not one stain of sin that it can’t fully cleanse or depth too low that it can’t reach. I am filled with reverence, awe and admiration for Him. My cup runs over and my heart is filled with love, praise, glory and honor to God for loving me so much that he would send his only son to die for a people who wouldn’t love him half as much as he loved.

What does worship mean to you?      

Sis Cherree      

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God...

Mark 11:22

 

The Pastor brought out a really good message on Sunday about truly believing God, having faith in him. It was very challenging, enlightening, and encouraging. We’ve got to have faith in God for without it, it is impossible to please him and without it we won’t be able to ward off the attacks of the enemy. He is constantly aiming after our confidence, our faith, and our peace with his fiery darts.

  

Fiery darts can never penetrate a shield of armor and so it should be with our faith. Ephesians 6:16 declares that, above all, or especially, primarily, principally, in particular, or most of all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. All is what it said, not some but all. All of the fiery darts of the wicked can be quenched, extinguished, smothered, stifled, or put out if we will but exercise our faith in God. If we will believe that He is just who He said He is. I AM.   

 

This is something that we must do; we have to use the shield of faith. We have to lift it up in order to be protected, we have to believe the word; believe God. When the devil comes at us with a thought, an idea, an accusation, or whatever it may be, we have to raise the shield of faith. If we’re simply saying that we’ve got a shield but aren’t raising it when trials come then it is no use to us. Naturally, when a soldier sees a dart aiming towards him he will lift his shield to cover and protect him from the affects of it and so must we when tests and trials come. When the devil is aiming at us we must raise that shield high; we have to put the scriptures on him. We have to remember what we’ve read and been taught; ultimately, we have to obey God. He tells us what to do in his word and if we really want to make it we will use the weapons that he has given us.

 

The fiery darts are flying thick and fast and the only way to quench them is to be on guard and raise the shield of faith. The song says when the shield of faith he sees, then he always quickly flees. Another says that we shall not be wounded in the hottest fight, if WE raise the shield of faith in Jesus might! Not in our might but in his might because our sufficiency is in him. We are more than conquerors through him!

 

Be encouraged!

Sister Cherree 

Beloved, Let Us Love One Another

I John 4:7

Life is an uphill battle that never ends unless, of course, you die. There are so many things you have to face. Some are easy and some are hard but, the most important thing is how you recover from each battle. You can never give up or give in; only the strong will survive and win. And I'm not talking about physical strength. It's emotional, spiritual, and mental. Our human minds can only take so much so we MUST DEPEND on GOD knowing HE WILL help us through but, you must first want to be helped.

At times, I look back and wonder why I must face the things that come my way but, opposition only comes to make you a stronger person. It also comes so you can see how weak you really are and how much more you really need to work. It's easy sometimes to look at someone else and clearly see their shortcomings. The more you look at one person, use that eagle eye to search yourself.  It's very easy to overlook your own shortcomings because the other person's looks so crystal clear. Before we destroy one's confidence, let's build it up and add to the good that they already have instead of tearing them down, and they end up with nothing.

Someone once told me that "if you don't have any good to say, don't say anything at all." The way that the devil comes and presses each of us, we should all have good things to say to each other. Put each person in your shoes. You know what you've been going through! Just think, they may be going through your test and then some. So let's do our best to help one another. As one person said, "don't be so heavenly that you're no earthly good" because, before you get there we need you down here first. And guess what? That's why you're still here! To help me get there. 

Jesus gave his all when he was born, lived, died, and rose again and he expects nothing short of our best to our brothers and sisters down here. Beloved, let us love one another. I John 4:7.        

Brother Calvin C. McCranie, Jr.

We attended the youth fellowship jubilee this weekend that was really a blessing but the highlight of the weekend was on yesterday. We had a tag team from God and the Holy Spirit as we received two messages sent directly from the throne of God. The messages were very challenging and my soul was blessed beyond measure.

As I ponder the thoughts of the message I feel obliged to share a few thoughts with you guys. First consider the fact that if you still sin, you are not saved. When you are saved from sin you don't sin more or less every day, a little here and a little there. God has grace to keep you from sinning. Salvation produces freedom from sin. Church going, church membership, and church positions do not constitute salvation, that is make you saved. My pastor always uses this analogy, you can go in the garage all day long and you'll never come out a car. So the saying goes just because you go to church doesn't make you a Christian. Christian means Christlike. There is no middle ground, either you're a saint or you ain't! If you still curse, fornicate, lie, cheat, hate, are envious and covetous, are a busybody in others business, drink, smoke, gamble, lust, have pride and greed, are mean spirited, flirty, loose and dress provocative, are lukewarm in your salvation, etc., then you need to REPENT!!!

God is coming back for people who are living right, or free from sin. Those who are denying themselves and not just doing whatever they feel like doing saying, going, etc. Jesus said that the first thing that one needed to do to come to him was to deny themselves, that is surrender your will and submit to his whether it means suffering wrong for righteous sake or going without certain fleshly amusements and pleasures, etc. Some think that we can't live free from sin but Jesus wouldn't tell us to do something that we couldn't do. Read Ezekiel 18:4, John 5:14, John 8:11, and 1 John 3:8. There is no sin that we HAVE to do. We have all sinned, (past tense) and if we say that have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. We all had sin and therefore need to repent but once we repent and turn from our sins we are no longer sinners unless we go back into sin. Lets stop fooling ourselves because I have a newsflash, we aren't fooling GOD!!!!!!!

Next, consider this. Some of us saints are being pressed by the devil to give in and all we want is for God to get us out of certain situations without realizing that we are in them for a reason. He is trying to work something out of us for our own good. What we really need to do is to ask for strength to come through the test or the trial, not let the spirit of depression or discouragement overtake us and we wallow in pity city hoping for sympathy when all we need is an honest soul to tell you the truth. The trumpet is being sounded.

We need to realize that God can speak life into dead situations and he is just waiting to strengthen us if we ask for help and grace and allow him to work HIS WAY!!!!!

Arise! or Awake! Awake! Put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments (salvation, righteousness, goodness, faith, meekness, gentleness, temperance, love, long-suffering, and joy and peace) Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. (Get up and repent of thy sins, let God free you from whatever it is that has you bound, and run for your life for you have been redeemed!) The price has already been paid. Jesus paid it all! Don't forfeit your right!

Someone made a comment about how we have had several messages about Samson and Delilah and as I thought about it, we have. Two or three weeks ago we had one from our pastor's wife and then on yesterday there was reference made by two different brothers. My take is this, it's a warning from God letting us know that the devil is trying to press us to find our real weakness. Notice how Delilah kept pressing Samson to tell him what made him weak or where his strength lay. The enemy is doing the same to us. He is pressing us with different situations to see wherein he can get in and weaken us to put out our spiritual eyes. What will have us looking at the situation instead of up at God!? For some it may be afflictions in their body, others may be in having an operable automobile, extra money, a steady paycheck, a companion, debt, etc.

He started with me to see wherein my weakness was with my hair. That was pressure when it started to fall out in patches but, it didn't break me, it pushed me closer to God. He went to my weight, OUCH! But, that didn't break me! He then went to my finances, that was a lot of pressure because I had prided myself on having good credit and always having extra money. That was really deep but it didn't break me! I stayed before God, am still struggling but it's for my good. We shouldn't depend on riches and money anyway but God. He then went to the unsaved husband and caused him to act worse than he ever had!!! He began to act out in such a way and even started in on my son! Now that was the boiling point for me, but not my breaking point!!!! Glory to God! He has grace!! I'm still here in spite of it all. God has grace for any situation you are confronted with if we stop and realize our helplessness and give the problems to the only one who can solve them. We are trying to fight battles that DO NOT belong to us. We are not casting all of our cares on him. We are holding on to some of them and sticking our hands in and asking him to put his little rubber stamp of approval on the things that we are doing. We are justifying our acting out saying, well, you don't know how they treat me, or what they said to me, or how I'm going without, or you don't know that I don't have any money for gas or food, or oh I'm lonely, I want this, I need that. Remember Jesus!! He was tempted in ALL points as we are yet without sin. Consider that before you start complaining.

Don't let the pressures of this world wear you down. Keep looking up! Wherefore, lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet! Jesus has promised to give rest to all who labor and are heavy laden. Don't stay in the situation you are in any longer! Whatever it is, you can be free for he that the son sets free is free INDEED! Loosen yourselves and look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith! Look and live!!!!

Stop complaining about the high gas prices, the food, the utility bill, the children, the husband, the wife, the coworkers, the boss, the sickness, the affliction, the mother, father, sister, brother, etc. Be ye lift up and let the king of glory come in. Who you ask? The Lord, strong and mighty!!!! He is the King of Glory!!!!! (paraphrased) Allow him entrance into your heart that he may abide there.

We sing a song that says "Jesus, there's just something about that name." At the sound of that name EVERY demon HAS to flee for to that name ALL POWER is given to set the helpless captives free (YOU and ME). EVERY sin, disease and sickness MUST bow down to that name and forever more surrender ...... If we believe that then we will be calling on that precious name for help instead of murmuring and complaining and wallowing in pity city. God help me!

I just wanted to share that with you all and to let you know that I love you all and if you don't hear from me in a while, I have no regrets in the way we are living right now. Some might not understand why we live the way that we do or dress the way that we do and don't do certain things that we used to do but we KNOW that God is well pleased with us.

To those of you who are living right (free from sin) pray that I will embrace my new little life with joy and gladness. May God pour out a special blessing to each one of his saints for getting under a burden for me and my family.  I love you all!

Sis Cherree
July 14, 2008, 05:19 PM (UTC -4)