The thing we call Religion

I’d like to take a second and hit on this thing we call religion
I’m going to do my best to explain it with precision
According to religion if I just show up to church that’s all I need
With religion if I just pay my tithes then I’ll succeed
With religion if I carry my bible then I know all is fine
Even though I’ve never opened it to read the first line
With religion if I just say I’m a Christian then that the norm
But outside the church walls to this world I conform
Religion is all about what your church can do for you
When you are religious you are just another number filling an empty pew
When Jesus came to earth it was the religion he fought so hard to break
It was more than about church it was a relationship he tried to make
So if we start getting rid of religion and start getting into relationship
Then we will find we are all called to be in the leadership
If we find relationship then we know the true meaning of grace
Cause he took you from the man you once was and stripped u of the waste
If it wasn’t for relationship then how could we know Christ at all
If we rely on religion to get us through than Christian will fall
Relationship is what it takes to get to hear God speak
Not how well your dressed the car you drive or being sleek
So try this relationship and see how your life starts to form
Cause if he’s reigning in all our life’s then we are about to see a storm
A storm of God flooding the people of the church today
If only we will let that one little word religion go away.
By Caleb Cook
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For my self and many other Christians, I hate the word Religion, when I think of religion, the first thought that comes to my mind is a false doctrine, created by man for man to please his very own pleasures and make it sound sweet so the rest of the congregation can eat on it and suffer the same consequences as the one who spoke of it. Answer me this one question, Christ came to wipe away religion, not to make it famous. The Pharisees and Sadducees were part of religion, making plots and tactics to benefit themselves, they were living by the law of Moses and they lived no other way. Law was their life. What Jesus offered would be Grace. Are you living under law or grace? Do you think the “good person” attitude will benefit you whenever you are standing before Him? ” For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

“So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” (Galatians 3:24,25)

We must be real with ourself and the relationship between us and Him. Is He outside of your heart knocking to come in? Or had He left because of the graffiti on the walls of your temple which is the body. We are called to be His, He has chosen us, so choose Him today to be Lord over your life. Take off the mask and admit, “I’ve been serving religion instead of God.” Grace covers a multitude of sin, but why make excuses so that we can abuse it? “

” What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
(Romans 6:1-2 ESV)

His kindness leads us to Repentance.

“… except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3

 

Unfailing Favor

” Seeing that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon Him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavor to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly father, who has never failed us, and who never will! We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where we could not find in our God all that we needed.” – Charles Spurgeon

” Lean not on your own understanding…” – Proverbs 3:5,6

~ We will never figure God out to the tee, He is a mystery, an all wonderous being, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame (confound) the wise; God chose what is
weak in the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Cor. 1:27 (ESV)

As I continue In my ministry, I have ton’s of questions like, “Why did you take me out of Aquinas”, “Why is my ministry on the web?”, & How on earth could I afford to have bought a house, and have gotten my dream car (Chrysler 300C) after buying a brand new car last year and not being upside down? Because of His unfailing favor, that is what you call that. Let’s face it, we all have questions, but He will reassure you that He will never leave you. Just REST IN HIM. Favor follows obedience, obedience follows blessings, that will bless your socks off!

Favor follows us, so undeserving we are, God chooses to bless those that are His. He chose us, so why do we decide not to choose Him as our foundation of trust when our lives become ship wrecked? The only One who can fix us?

Live for Today, Not Yesterday’s

God would not stop speaking this to me, and it goes for all my listeners as well. So I had to post this ASAP

“STOP remembering of what you killed yesterday, live for today”

 You’ve killed it! You laid it on the sacrifice, so don’t go back to it, like a dog returning to its own vomit. Meaning this. You’ve sinned! Ok, ask for forgiveness, and don’t do it again, but what if i do? I can’t get free from this thing, it’s become part of my life; are the thoughts that the enemy throws in our face. For 1. He should be under your foot, not in your face, speaking lies, rebuke that in Jesus name. 2. We look so much on our past that it defines our future (if we don’t let God handle it) ” Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” – Philippians 3:13

Which brings me to my next conclusion. We can’t beat this battle ourself, Mike Matheny the manager of the St.Louis Cardinals made a great quote a few days ago after the St. Louis Cardinals won the game, don’t ask who they were playing, I’m not a sports kinda guy. But Mike said this ” You can’t beat someone who won’t quit”. Did you get that? Spiritually speaking: Stop relying on self and trust in Him! “If you, O’Lord, should mark iniquities, O’Lord, wo could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” – Psalm 130:3,4

condemning your sin, feeling bad for yourself will not help out the situation. We must forgive others and also our self which is the hardest person to forgive. ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” – Proverbs 3:5

We have been stealing bases, trying everything in this spiritual warfare to outwit the enemy, friend, stop it. Remember IT IS FINISHED, repent, don’t quit, you are on the winning side.

You Pursue me

Pursue

A fugitive, Criminal, thief, culprit, etc. are all wanted persons of breaking the law for a certain crime. They are pursued, but they avoid the pursuer. They are watched, but don’t realize. They are caught, and cannot escape. They now have a ransom that they cannot pay.

Here is my story of the One who has pursued me. Once I was lost, but He found me in my ruins. Paid my debt with His blood, so that i could be set free to tell other fugitives that are caught in the enemies snare; blinded of the Truth, of His hope, love, and mercy. I cannot escape His presence…and neither can the redeemed.

Many are in the pursuit of happiness, but cannot find it. Many are looking in other areas to find a way to take away the pain that they thought happiness would bring. The cars, money, the perfect girl and house; some are not looking at all and for some its a chasing game with God, so they think until they get caught and realize what they had been running from.

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I was 10, I live a normal life with normal parents, church every time the doors were open, and every chicken dinner as well. I accepted Jesus as i went to my bedroom and prayed the sinner’s prayer. And i so thought every one else did too, but i found out that they don’t. To be normal i thought was to have Jesus in your heart, so I thought as I went to school the next day and told others what i just did. Some knew of Him and some not. Confused, that they didn’t know Him I had more questions.

I was 14 when we moved to the church where I am attending now. A church that is spirit filled, God-fearing, Holy Ghost hungry & a pastor who preaches the Word the way it should be preached, nothing held back. No 60,000 attend, why? Because the Truth is preached, that anyone doesn’t want to hear. But in a spirit filled church where God is not put in a box, there is correction, re-proof that every believer needs to hear and act on. What’s happened? a New Age movement, that is secret-sensitive is happening. Pastor’s who would rather preach what they want, a “make me feel good” (scripture 2 Timothy 4:4 “They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn to myths” Not preaching what needs to be preached; the Truth.) The Church, a hospital for the broken and a power house for the believer. Not a museum for people who are missing the very heart beat of God, a dying congregation that has no fire, no drive for the lost. Just stale, bored, contained believer’s who have lost sight of a God that yearns to be sought for His Glory.

His Pursuit

I knew right from wrong and if I didn’t do right I was made very well-known about it by my parents, many will say that I was sheltered. If that’s what it was that helped me get to where I am now, so be it.  I was a shy, timid little boy who stood up for nothing to no one. With a low self-esteem and a drive to be somebody, I just did not know what was really out there in the real World. I wanted to break out of my “shell” but couldn’t.

I take a lot in; I have always payed attention to the little things in life that everyone else seems to pass by, the details. Some teachers said that I have photographic memory, I once passed a test from remembering the 6 different graphs that he had drawn on the board the 2 day’s prior of passing the test! But I even payed more attention to people around me; Their behaviors and why they did what they did. I seen that they needed help. With the burden for the lost that God gave me at a young age, I knew something that most did not know that would change their life forever. I wanted so bad to tell others about Christ, but like I said, it felt like I had a shell that I couldn’t bust out of. No boldness to proclaim Him. God was beginning to work from the inside out, but like everyone else, we set the boundaries that allow Him to be distant or to be as close as we allow Him. And I decided to be distant because I was scared of what He might have me do, sounds silly but that’s how i thought back then, and what we would have to give up is the reason that most people will not come to Christ. They want to keep their pet sin and think that God overlooks it.

Exodus 4:11-13

I remember praying one time when I was 12, “God what is your Will?” I seen the The scripture Exodus 4:11-13 as it flashed like a picture inside my mind. Amazed, I rushed to find a Bible and there it read: “But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”

 I believe this was the first invitation to step into His will for the ministry that I later accepted at the age of 22 .  Scared like Moses I made excuses. I clearly remember one Sunday when the pastor had called the youth group to the pulpit to tell the congregation of what God had done in their life. I was so nervous, cold sweats, clammy feeling and pasty white; as the pastor looked at me, he continued on to the next person, was I glad! I was running from Him, but He never stopped running after me. I thought to my self, there is no way I can stand here and preach when I feel like this. It takes an encounter for Him to change you, but I ran from every encounter that I could.

I was now 16.  like many, the driver’s license. The 6 month’s of having one of your parents teaching you was over, the yelling, mis understanding of road signs and close accidents were over. I was an adult, so I thought. The curfew seemed to still exist but in my own little World, I was happy. But still not satisfied. I began to think that God had forgotten what He had told me a few year’s back. Only that He was waiting on me.

There are many things in life that fill in those gaps but are only temporary. Temporary happiness, excitement, pleasure, all feeling’s that have no permanent place, there is no other substitute than having Jesus, a reoccurring, never-ending, always fulfilling your every need that this World will never offer.

2008 of November, I could no longer sit on the side lines of being “lost” it was my time. A few trials came my way that year and I finally gave into Him on a Sunday night, to declare Him Lord over my life. We sometimes miss the concept of the word “Lord.” Meaning full control, to give Him all of you in every part of your life. After that night, my life not only changed but transformed into what His will is for everyone in this World, a Believer, a Disciple of Christ.

My Pursuit

God had it all planned out, in the month of October of 2008 on a Thursday night Revival in the little town of Irondale, MO. I got filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Sad to think that most churches do not believe in Him, let’s face it, it’s part of the Trinity, so why not have all of God? It’s not a buffet where you should pick and choose what you want. In this World you need the Holy Spirit, to edify you as you take on this journey of this corrupt World.

At the age of 22, on March 25, 2009 on a Wednesday night. I had become who He wanted me to be. A consecrated vessel, apart from this World, to do His service in this lost and dying World, a generation who has lost the sense of His fragrance, His love, and mercy to overcome any addiction in any type of circumstance. As one of my brothers in Christ that i think of highly as a man of God and very anointed, God had directed him to where i was at, the altar that was being stained by my tears that were earnestly seeking Him for what He wanted me to do.  God began to speak through Him, He began to say ” You have a heart for the lost, and I Am going to use you, whenever you stand in front of My congregation, you will not be nervous, boldness will come upon you to speak Truth.”

April 19th, 2009 would be my first time preaching at SMCTC Southeast Missouri  Community Treatment Center otherwise known as Aquinas. Located in Farmington; would by first temporary position of evangelizing. Today I preach when I can mostly at Harvest Christian Centre, who has Catalyst (College & Career)

I have met so many awesome people as I continue on this journey that He has called me to be on and will meet many others as the years pass by.

“My passion and desire is evangelize to all the AA Clinics in the USA to preach the Truth that needs to be heard to the afflicted, broken-hearted. Until then God Bless each and every one of you.”

Hiding Place

COME OUT FROM WHERE YOU ARE HIDING

If i were to ask you where your hiding place would be, what would you say? When I was a child, my secret hiding place when I was hiding from my mom, or my sister would be behind the couch, I was so skinny I just slid right behind it, I would probably still fit if i tried that today! Hide and go seek was a favorite game of mine, it was easy, you just hid and hope that they would not find you. For me i would always win, being smashed up against the wall, besides my heavy breathing of near suffocation, I would come out a winner! With getting older and having the wisdom of God in my life, I’ve out grown that phase of my life, but at times I find my self, spiritually speaking, hiding from Him. Without noticing it my fleshly man gets in the way and starts to head behind the couch. Admitting your faults is the first step at an AA clinic will teach you, with a year and a half ministering to the clients of Aquanis, I have come to the reality that the 12 steps are man-made. We get the idea of “I got this” ” I can do this”, when really we should have the mentality of “I can’t do this” “I need help”. We carry a burden most times that don’t need to be carried, the whole time He is speaking to us, lay it down, but we get overwhelmed of how BIG it is. Your outlook will be outcome, we can’t hide from it, give it to Jesus. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and i will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

YOU CAN’T BE A WINNER FROM HIDING

Certainty of Israel’s desolation

Amos 9:1-10

 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:
“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape.
“If they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
from there I will search them out and take them;
and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
and I will fix my eyes upon them
for evil and not for good.”
The Lord GOD of hosts,
he who touches the earth and it melts,
and all who dwell in it mourn,
and all of it rises like the Nile,
and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the LORD is his name.
“Are you not like the Cushites to me,
O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares the LORD.
“For behold, I will command,
and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’

COME OUT

– It is impossible to hide from God, the flood that had drowned the Earth, people were climbing to the highest peak on mountains, but still were not high enough to escape the judgment of God. Noah, who preached everyday to the surrounding people telling of the coming judgment, turned an ear and kept on with their content life of pride and selfishness that said there will never be judgment, for i am good. Those who run from God, a fugitive in His eyes of the grace in which Christ offers; will not give in for the cost of their life being served to the King and for the Kingdom. Would rather wait to chance their life with momentary pleasures on the World. When we have spent our life fulfilling the temptations of the flesh, where does that take us? No where, a lost and dying soul that needs to be re-kindled by the purifying fire of God’s spirit. Have we lost sight of the prize? Of what Truth is? We put Him in a box while we search for momentary pleasures only to find nothing. Instead of breaking our alabaster box, we pour ourselves into worthless activities, and complacency which fades out the heart beat of God. Restless, that is what we become when we choose to not wait upon the Lord, for His strength to carry you away into the place where He wants you. In His time He will appoint you to where you need to be in Him. Your spread out, ready to fly, but you choose to go ahead and make the move, your spent from all the energy that it took for you to do it on your own. Wait for His gust, He will come.

– Wherever sinners flee from God’s justice, it will overtake them. Those whom God brings to Heaven by His grace, shall never be cast down; but those who seek to climb thither by vain confidence in themselves, will be cast down and filled with shame. That which makes escape impossible and ruin sure, is that God will set His eyes upon them for evil, not for good. Wretched must those be on whom the Lord looks for evil, and not for good. – Matthew Henry’s commentary