Thursday, December 19, 2013

Renew Our Minds!

Jim Wolf a Grand Rapids homeless man recently underwent a physical transformation. There is a youtube video detailing the transformation. He got a hair cut, new clothes and looked great. The before and after pictures are incredible. Paul implores us Christians to under go a spiritual transformation, not unlike the physical transformation Jim Wolf under went. Paul tells us: “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) In other words: “Hey Christian now that you are in Christ, don’t go along with the world’s destructive ways. Don’t go along with the crowd just to fit in.  Don’t go along to get along.” You now have to be intentional about heading in the direction you in Christ committed to. You are now a Jesus follower, living by the book (God’s word).
It occurs to me that many of us are not intentionally setting out to conform to this world. Yet the movies, music, video games, magazines and things we entertain ourselves with are systematically programming our minds. Our minds are being anchored in this world’s system. We fail to see that there is no neutral ground on this one. The things we listen to, watch, play and read are having a profound influence on us. They are conforming our minds to the ways of this world and ultimately to the ways of the Devil-destruction of self and others. The clothes we wear, the way we wear them, the way we spend our time, the places we frequent, the way we spend our money, all speak to what and whom we are conforming to.
Many of us find it difficult to read through the Bible but can not miss an episode of (fill in the blank). We can not find time to participate in Bible study or accountability group, yet are spending hours playing video games. We find it difficult to sponsor God’s work, but do not think twice about blowing money on the premier of the latest movie or buying the latest gadget. Church attendance is diminishing but our time on facebook and other social media continues to go up. 
How can we stop conforming to the world standards?
The only way is to saturate our minds with the word of God. The transformation of our minds comes as we expose our minds to God’s truth through faithful study of God’s word. We want to renew our minds through reading, studying, meditating, singing, speaking and memorizing God’s word. Our arch enemy the Devil is well aware of this truth. So, he works hard to keep us from God’s word, fellowship and church attendance, personal and group Bible study, meditating and singing God’s word. Is it not true that making time for personal devotions is a constant battle? Many times you are “too busy” or interruptions seem to “pop up” from no where as we try to get into God’s word. We have an enemy that is working overtime to keep us from engaging God’s word.
Renewing our minds takes Holy Spirit power and obedient self discipline and there are no short cuts. We can not simply take a renewing of the mind pill and wake up with a completely renewed mind.
Pray to our Lord to give you a deep hunger and thirst for his word. Then set out to pump your mind full of God’s word. “Father renew our minds we pray!”                                                Pastor Cisco

Monday, October 28, 2013

Keeping God First

“And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-4)
How do we combat the temptation to be involved in modern day idol worship?
Here are some steps from  the local youth group (CHAOS came up with:
1.     Pray: pray for the Spirit of the living God to help us recognize when something or someone is taking the place of God in our life.
2.     Pray: pray for God to give us the strength to crush the idol. This prayer may involve praying for God to help us walk away from a relationship that is now consuming us and perhaps has us compromising our morals and Godly values. This prayer made involve asking God to help us spend less time with video games, watching sports, adding to our music library, shopping, etc.
3.     Pray: pray for God to help us spend more time with him and less time with the idol. REPLACEMENT: Do not just stop worshipping the idol. Replace the idol with Godly activity. Increase our prayer life, time worshipping, reading scripture, involvement at church and youth group, volunteering. Basically spend more time in kingdom work.
4.     Pray: pray for a Godly friend or love one to pray for us daily in this area and help hold us accountable. One example: parents that limit our daily use of video games.
Finally: Remember: We are JESUS followers. We are people of the BOOK (the LIVING word of God).  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LOVE Is An Action

God is LOVE
God does the action of LOVE
No where is God's LOVE action so clear than on the cross
God loves us so much he took action on Calvary's Cross to reunite us with himself

God is LOVE
God commands us to LOVE
God commands us to do the action of LOVE
What does the action of LOVE mean for you today?
What does the action of LOVE mean for you?
How is LOVE displayed in your life?
What does it mean to you?
How is God displaying LOVE in you?

LOVE is an action
God is LOVE
God is in action
God commands us to LOVE
God commands us to do the action of LOVE
Go LOVE God - LOVE your neighbor - LOVE The People in your life.
Action - LOVE

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Acts 16: 22-24
"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose."

This scripture reminds us that things are not always as they appear.  To the natural eye, Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown in prison.  So, they were in a hopeless situation with no hope of getting out, but God.  God intervenes in the middle of the night, opens the cell doors and loosens the chains.  So, the question is "Are you expecting to continue to live in your current prison?" or "Are you expecting for God to break the chains and open the doors?".  

Note: If you choose to breakout in prayer and praise are recommended.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
I have a childhood friend, we grew up together in the streets of New Jersey.  We have a relationship that goes back 40 years.  Over the years, I have called him in times of need and in times of heartache.  Vince has always had my back.  There have been times when my foolishness has gotten me in trouble.  Vince has been there for me.  In fact, if I am broke and Vince has a dollar, he would get change for his dollar and give me .50.  Vince has earned my trust over these years.   

Trust doesn't come naturally to any of us, trust must be earned over time.  In the same way, we learn to trust the people in our lives, we must also learn to trust our God.  As with my buddy Vince, we must remember what God has done for us.  For some of us, this is an easy process, we grew up in loving homes where trust was the order of the day.  However, for others growing up in abusive homes, trust is something methodically earned, not readily given. Those of us experiencing such trust issues need to deal with these issues before God.  It is not easy to trust a God we cannot see when the people we see and claim to love us, breed mistrust in us. 
So, we rush the throne room of our loving Father, in the hopes that he will have mercy and heal the wounds of mistrust in us and in those around us.  For we know that our mistrust is a ploy of the devil to get us to lean on our understanding. Leaning on our own understanding is against God's will.

So, pray with me that God will have mercy on us, and teach us to trust him with our all.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Storms Of Life

I continue to wrestle with my response to the storms of life. You will recall, we should have a three "W" response. The first response: God is WORKING IT OUT! Based on Romans 8:28. "...He works all things out for those who love him..." Second response: WALK TO JESUS! Based on Hebrews 12:3 " we will not grow weary or lose heart!". Third response: WORSHIP! In the midst of the storm worship! Job praised God in the midst of the storms he faced. Job 1:20-21 tell us: "20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." Are you going through trouble right now? Remember God is WORKING it out! WALK towards Jesus! Loose yourself in WORSHIP!

Are You Persevering?

Are you going through a storm? There is a common belief among believers that at any given time we are living in a storm, leaving a storm, or entering a storm. Regardless of where you find yourself, I want to share the second of three truths (three “W”s) that help us go through:  

“W” Walk towards/fix your eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1b-3  “…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

As we walk towards Jesus, and realized that he suffered beyond belief for us, we are filled with hope and we are not over taken by our circumstances.  

Years ago a woman was going through a difficult time and she was loosing hope. One day her six year old daughter brought home a present from school for her mom. She said to her mother: "I made this for you to look at when things get bad." The mom opened the box. In it was a cross made of sea shells. The mom was overwhelmed by the gift and promised to look at the sea shell cross whenever things got bad. Things did indeed get bad. And the mom was true to her word and looked at the cross. Each time she looked at the cross peace God fell over her and things did not seem so bad. So, are facing storm? WALK towards/fix your eyes on Jesus.