Tuesday, June 28, 2011
If God is calling you to say something, then say it!
In the LGBT community we have sat willingly in the back of the church; quiet, alone, and feeling like we weren't good enough to speak.
Well guess what my friends, Those days are over!
There is a thriving LGBT Christian Community that is growing rapidly every day because people like you are Using Their Voice!
There is a Great Awakening in our community and it is spreading like fire around the world.
People who once sat in silence as they were beat up from the pulpit, hearing messages describing how they were going to burn in hell, are now rising up.
They are studying and learning God's Word.
They are seeking Him directly for answers and He is giving them!
God is equipping them with a message of Hope for the LGBT community.
People are taking that message to bars and night clubs, coffee houses and bath houses, Pride Parades and Community Centers.
By using their voice they are evangelizing our community!
For those of you who need some encouragement tonight on the issue of salvation if you are a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgendered person let me remind you of John 3:16:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (KJV)
We are all "Whosoevers" saved by grace through the blood of Jesus.
Your salvation is not up for debate.
It was settled on Calvary 2000 years ago.
The promises for all Christians apply as much to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered Christians as they do for our straight brothers and sisters.
Now that you are reminded of this knowledge, when God impresses you to do something, don't think,
"But I'm gay!"
Claim the promises of who you are:
I am a Christian.
I am a Child of the Most High God!
I am Wonderfully and Beautifully made!
I Have A Destiny!
I CAN Pray for the Sick and They Will Recover.
I CAN Comfort the Hurting and Show Them Peace.
I CAN Preach!
I CAN Teach!
I CAN Do ALL Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me!
So many gifts from God lay dormant in the lgbt community because people feel like God would never use someone who is gay, or lesbian, or bi-sexual, or transgendered.
I am telling you now, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
"Therefore there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1 N.I.V.)
"But John, I've made mistakes. God only uses perfect people."
There was only one perfect man to walk this earth and He was crucified!
As a Christian we cannot depend on our righteousness.
Our Righteousness is of filthy rags! (See Isaiah 64:6)
We are made righteous through the blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross.
Paul tells us in Romans 10:4, "Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."
"But John, I am in a church that wont let me use my voice."
If you are in a church that won't allow you to use your voice then take it outside the church walls.
Use your voice in the streets. (See Matthew 22)
Use your voice in your circles of friends.
Use your voice at the homeless shelters while serving others.
Use your voice at work.
Use your voice on a blog, or a forum, or with your twitter account.
Don't let the enemy stop you from proclaiming the message of Hope, Grace, Mercy and Love!
"But John, in case you haven't noticed, it's not very popular within our own community to be a Christian."
That is very true.
It is difficult to tell a group of people who have been abused in the name of God that He is a loving Father.
He is a loving father though.
It isn't easy telling a group of people that Jesus died so that they might have life when they have been taught that they are an abomination destined for hell.
Jesus did die for us all though.
It is very hard to invite a group of people into our churches when so many were once kicked out of theirs.
The church body is for everyone though.
The only way to combat the message of non-hope that so many in our community have come to accept is with the message of Hope!
The only way to spread that message is to Use Your Voice!
I make no apologies for my sexual orientation and am finally at a point in my life where I am completely out of the closet, but my sexual identity is not where my confidence comes from.
It is not the fact that I am gay that affirms who I am.
The affirmation and confidence in who I am comes from Christ alone!
It is wonderful to march in and support pride parades around the world.
They are a symbol of our journey for equality and I am truly thankful for the pioneers who paved the way for the freedoms that I enjoy today.
But, as a community of LGBT believers, as we march the streets shouting,
"We're Here! We're Queer! Get Used To It!"
Let's be sure to use our voice and shout even louder,
"We're Here! We're Christians! God Loves You!"
No matter what you feel God leading you to do; whether it be as simple as praying for a distraught soul in Wal-mart, expressing your love for God through painting or music, or even leading tent revivals around the world; remember who you are and who's you are!
Use Your Voice!
Don't let anything the enemy throws in your way keep you from spreading the message of Hope, the Good News, to the rest of our community.
You may be the only one who reaches that soul for God.
Use your voice to lead them to the Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ so that they can use their voice to reach others.
If you aren't yet a Christian, aren't yet living the promises that God has for you, I encourage you to visit the "How to Become a Christian" link listed in the "Other Pages On This Blog" Section on the top right side of your screen.
Get to know the love of Christ today so that He can start changing Your Life and then you too can Use Your Voice!
As always remember:
God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts and Affirms You!
Until Next Time,
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Do you find yourself up against some pretty steep odds these days?
Maybe you have lost your job and you are wondering how you are going to pay your mortgage, or your car note, or maybe where your next meal is coming from.
Are you facing an illness that threatens to destroy you or a loved one?
Is there a mountain in front of you that seems impossible to climb?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then know this:
We serve a God that Defies the Odds!
You can look back all through scripture and see where, in man's wisdom, a child of God was finished before He even began!
In the last post, I AM, we looked at how God called Moses, a stuttering, murderous, sheep herding fugitive to lead the entire Jewish Nation out of captivity from Egypt.
What are the odds of that?!?
To convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites God had to send multiple plagues.
After they were released the Pharaoh had a change of heart and sent his army chasing after them.
You might have heard this story in Sunday School when you were a child but it is no less impressive today.
The Israelites were sandwiched between a blood thirsty army coming up from behind them and the Red Sea in front of them.
It was then that Moses held up His staff and relied on God to defy the odds!
God parted the Red Sea so that Moses and the 2 million Jewish followers could pass through to safety.
Then, after they were on the other side the sea came back together, drowning the Egyptian army that was chasing them!
In man's logic that is impossible.
It is against all odds!
We serve a God that specializes in turning the impossible situations of our lives into miraculous testimonies of His power!
What are the odds that twelve men would lay down their life's work and follow a carpenter's son who claimed to be the Messiah?
What are the odds that two fishes and five loaves of bread would feed thousands of hungry pilgrims? (Matthew 14:19)
What are the odds that a woman who suffered for years from an issue of blood would touch the hem of Jesus' garment and find healing? (Matthew 9:21, 22)
What are the odds that a man named Jairus would see his daughter raised from the dead just by believing? (Luke 8:50-55)
What are the odds that the creator of all things, the entire universe and all of it's galaxies, would send His Son to die as the ultimate sacrifice so that He could have oneness with you and I?
The odds of any of those things would be astounding but it doesn't matter.
God Defies the Odds!
Does God still heal today?
You bet He does, through the power of Jesus Christ!
Isaiah 53:5 tells us, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (K.J.V.)
Does God care if I can afford to keep a roof over my head or if I have food to eat?
Yes, He certainly does care and He promises to provide for you.
In Philippians 4:19 we read, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus."
Does God even see how tough life is for me right now?
God see's your trials and He promises to bring you through them.
Psalms 23:4 tells us, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
God isn't looking at the odds.
He isn't scared or anxious about the Red Sea that is blocking your path or the charging army that threatens you from behind.
No matter how bleak your situation looks, remember that we serve a Loving, Caring, Miracle Working God who takes pleasure in Defying the Odds!
He uses the simple things to confound the wise and promises you that He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! (Hebrews 13:5)
No matter how bad the odds are stacked against you remember that God is greater!
Completely trust and rely on Him today.
As Always Remember:
God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!
Until Next Time,
Monday, June 6, 2011
God said to Moses, "...This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you...This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.'" Exodus 3:14,15 (NIV)
There is so much power in the name of God, "I AM!"
The very words are timeless because God existed before time!
It's hard for us to wrap our minds around it, but the same God who lovingly created you and I, also created time.
Revelations 1:8 says,“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (NIV)
Let that sink in for a moment.
When a problem seems too huge for you to handle, remember that you have God, who is Greater then time itself, on YOUR side!
Now that'll preach! (For all you reading this who aren't from Alabama, that means "That's a good point!")
Okay, lets get back to the conversation between Moses and I AM.
What was God asking Moses to do when He revealed His name to him?
God appeared to Moses, speaking to him through a burning bush.
He told Moses to go to the Israelites and tell them that God was going to deliver them from the Egyptians who enslaved them.
So, was Moses some high priest or well respected orator to the Israelites?
Moses had fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian man.
The Pharaoh heard about this and wanted to kill him.
Moses was simply herding sheep for his father in law when God appeared to him.
In addition to being an ex con and a sheep herder, Moses also had slow speech.
Exodus 3:13 tells us,"Moses felt inadequate to deliver such a message from God Almighty so he asked God, 'Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?'"(NIV)
That is when God answered, "I AM" sends you!
God saw in Moses something that man cannot see.
He saw his destiny!
God was telling this stuttering fugitive shepherd to go and deliver an entire nation of people who were being held captive.
Even though Moses protested and asked God to send someone else, he finally obeyed.
Despite his fear, his past, and his short comings, I AM used Moses to deliver His people from slavery.
All that was required from Moses was obedience.
He trusted that it was God, I AM, who sent him.
A man who had murdered, who had fled the government, who's most useful skill was watching sheep, who could hardly speak, obeyed I AM.
Moses answered the calling on His life and lived out his destiny, changing the coarse of human kind in the process.
What is God asking you to do today?
Are you a simple man or woman without much higher education?
Are you gay, or a lesbian, or transgendered and think surely God wouldn't choose to send you?
Do you get nervous speaking in front of people?
Do you have a past that's sprinkled with bad decisions and actions you regret?
Are you simply too ordinary for God to use?
If God can use Moses, He will use you!
No matter what you think is holding you back, when those voices start telling you that,"God can't use you; God doesn't love you; God would never choose to send you" remind those voices who it is that IS Sending You!
"I AM" sends you!
There is a world that is dying, that is lost in absolute despair, that is broken from circumstances beyond their control and they need a close and real encounter with a close and real God.
Who will show them God?
"I AM" sends you!
There is an LGBT community who feels shunned from the Body of Christ.
They need to hear and see that there are true Christians, straight and gay, who act like Jesus and carry a true message of Hope.
Who will bring them the Good News?
"I AM" sends you!
There are hospitals filled with the sick and homeless missions packed with the hungry.
There are gutters where the forgotten souls of our society try to find sleep, peace, and healing.
There are crowded bars and darkened back rooms where people try to quench their pain with drinking, or drugs, or sex.
Instead of judgment, they need the unconditional love of Jesus.
Who will reach them with Christ's love?
"I AM" sends you!
God has forgotten No One and He Loves Every Soul!
Is He calling you now?
Has He been dealing with you about reaching out to those around you?
Those who may seem unreachable?
When circumstances make it look impossible for you to follow His calling, and a voice in your mind mocks you saying, "Who do you think you are to try and deliver these people from the slavery of sin, addiction, and oppression?"; declare with all that you have within you:
"I AM" SENDS ME!
Like Moses, all that is required of you is obedience.
Do what God is calling you to do.
Share with others what God is doing in your life.
God has a purpose and a plan for you.
He has a destiny for your life!
Only YOU can live out that destiny.
Consider this blog post your Burning Bush!
"I AM" sends you!
Trust in God and Rely on Him in Faith.
He will take the things that hold you back and make them vital parts of your testimony that will reach others.
I look forward to hearing from you about the ways God is using you.
As always remember:
I AM Loves You!
I AM Created You!
I AM Accepts You!
Until next time,