When people think of you...what might they write about you? Do people see us as a man or woman of God?

Vintage message from May 7, 2000.

When people think of you…what might they write about you? Do people see us as a man or woman of God?…

Are you a thorn in the side of someone? Does your life represent God in such a way that there are people in the world who are angry and would prefer you not to be part of their life, so much so that they would even attack you because of what you represent?… The other question that I have to ask myself, that I have to ask you: when God speaks, do we respond the way God wants us to respond to Him, or do we put God on hold? “Not now, Lord. I’ve got other things I’m doing. I’m busy, God. Don’t You know I’m trying to make a life for myself? Don’t You know I’m here working hard so that I can have a comfortable living, a nice home to live in, good transportation?”…

If you are struggling to keep the things that you have, if you are having to work fifty and sixty and seventy hours a week to keep the things that you have, if you are breaking your back to keep the things that you have, then I believe you need to ask yourself, am I seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Is that the concern in my heart? Or, are the fancy clothes, the home, the job, is that the concern of my heart? God will give you the things you need. And God, I can guarantee you, will give you abundantly more than you need. He has proven Himself throughout history to be a God Who loves to bless His children, but when He blesses, you don’t have to break your back to receive it. And, if you are killing yourself to make a place in society, then let me tell you, you are not seeking first the kingdom of God.

God, my children are Your children. I want my children to be what You want them to be.

Vintage message from Mother’s Day on May 14, 2000.

The best moms, the very best moms, are the ones who accept God’s responsibility that’s laid on them, regardless of the recognition they receive, and they raise their [children], and then turn them free and allow those children to become what God has called them to be… The best moms are the ones who allow for their children to be handed over to the care of God; to be raised, then, by the love and strength and character of God…

I have to ask the question: where is your heart? Where is my heart? How are we going to raise our children? Might our children be the next prophet that stands up in the face of a wicked king, in the face of a godless nation, and say it is time to turn your hearts back to God? Might our children be the ones that face a persecution from a godless nation that might even take their lives, as we know is now happening all over the world? It takes great character to step back and say, “God, my children are Your children. I want my children to be what You want them to be.” Have you ever said that of your children? Do you spend time in prayer, “I want my children, Lord, to be what You want them to be.”

It’s far more important that we understand and learn and live within the power of God’s Word, and that we raise our children to know and live within the power of God’s Word…

Are you willing to raise your kids to know and love God, and are you willing, then, to step back and say, “God, they now belong to You. I want no recognition. I want no pat on the back. Lord, You take my child and You make them to be what You want them to be.” And I believe that, if you will do that, we will see a lot more Elijahs and Elishas in our nation. We will see men and women who are willing to stand up and proclaim the power through the Word of God, to reveal God for Who He is and the love that He has, even if it means their death…

How will our children respond when they meet godly people? And, how will people respond when they meet our godly children? I think these are important questions that we should ask ourselves. Are we prepared as parents, are you prepared as moms, to allow for your children, even if it is unpopular, even if it is difficult, even if it breaks your heart, are you willing to allow your children to grow up to know and love and be used by the God Who created them? Are we willing to turn our children over to the Lord Jesus Christ just as we have turned our lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ, to allow the power of His Holy Spirit and transform us and conform us into His will and use us as He would?

A good day is one that you have faced the challenge, that you have walked headlong into adversity and have stood firm, still loving Jesus Christ, saying..."The Lord has brought me through. Today was a good day."

Vintage message from May 21, 2000. (Original message was cut of at the end.)

The one thing I see in life that we pursue within this nation is our own selfish comfort, and it has infiltrated the church in a very major way; that we within the church want to be comfortable. Understand, we are not called to comfort; that the blessing is for the ability that we would be able to love life and see good days, not to be “comfortable.” Do you understand that? There’s a difference between “comfort” and “good days”? A good day is one that you have faced the challenge, that you have walked headlong into adversity and have stood firm, still loving Jesus Christ, saying that, “My relationship with the Lord is stronger now than it was twelve hours ago. The Lord has brought me through. Today was a good day. It wasn’t comfortable by any means, but it was a good day…”

One of the things that I have observed as a believer, that oftentimes, the world, the people in the world, because they are struggling with something in their life, when they begin to struggle, who do they turn to? They turn to the believer. They turn to those that know and trust God, and they try to bring you into their problem…

What we see in our society today, there are fewer and fewer and fewer people who truly will stand up for the name of the Lord, that will stand on the clear teaching of God’s Word. We’ve diluted God’s Word so that it does not mean what it actually says. We’ve changed His Word so that it fits into our lifestyle. It makes us feel comfortable. We rip out whole pages, whole chapters, whole books, because they say the things we don’t want to hear. And so, by the time the world holds up its Bible, the Bible is meaningless…

We need to be in prayer. As believers, we need to be in prayer because remember, the ear of the Lord is attentive to the one who’s right with the Lord… Do you want the Lord to hear? Do you want the Lord to be part of what you’re doing? Pray first, and He will hear you, and He will be attentive to you…

Are we the kind of people that spend our time praying for our friends, praying for our family, and praying for our nation? Are we believers in such a way that God can call on us at any moment, even if it means sacrificing our life, sacrificing our home, sacrificing our pleasure, to be where God would have us to be, so that if He needs us, God can then perform a miracle through us?…

I hear people often ask, “You know, I pray. Why doesn’t God ever answer my prayer?” What is our heart attitudes when we pray? Our heart attitude oftentimes is, “God, do for me. Do for me.” Our attitude isn’t one of, “God, I want to be in Your presence. God, You do what You want to do. Say what You want to say.”

I will be in a right heart attitude. When I approach God, when I pray, I’m going to have my heart right before Him, and whatever He says, He says. If I like it or not, what He says goes. And that takes a right attitude before the Lord. And we don’t find that right attitude until we have spent time worshipping before the Lord. We do not spend near enough time before the Lord worshipping, calming our hearts, calming our minds, waiting for the Lord to say what He wants to say.

When was the last time that we were able to go to God and say, "You know what, God? I'm content. I'm home. Other than being with You, there is no where else I would rather be." You know, there is no better place in life than knowing that God has met your every need.

Vintage message from May 28, 2000.

When was the last time that we were able to go to God and say, “You know what, God? I’m content. I’m home. Other than being with You, there is no where else I would rather be.” You know, there is no better place in life than knowing that God has met your every need…

Sometimes when we serve God, we just have to do what needs to be done, even if it means sacrificing ourself… Love is selfless. Love means considering others more important than us, better than us, and even if, from time to time, we have to get dirty to help the ones around us that God loves… You know, it’s not just our lives that we are concerned about…

When we interact with people in life, when we interact with our neighbors, when we interact with our co-workers, when we interact with our husbands and wives and our children, are we interacting with them out of our own selfish ambition? Are we doing what we’re doing simply so we can gain what we want to gain? Or, are we doing it selflessly because we know that the other person has need? These are questions I believe we need to be asking ourself all the time. If we’re going to have the mind of Christ in us, if we are going to take these stories that God gives us in the Old Testament, looking at the lives of the prophets that He raised up, understanding the significance of what these men represented, the power and the authority of God that they had, and yet, in that power and authority they gave compassionately, selflessly, lovingly to the people around them.

God desires and loves to give His children the things that they need, but He also wants us to seek Him with right motives. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness -- first -- and then the things that you need will be added to you.

Vintage message from June 4, 2000. (There is a gap in the recording where the cassette had to be turned over during the message.)

I wonder, how many people within the church today…have no clue what God is doing right under their very nose. The God that they espouse to know, the God that the espouse to honor, the God that blesses them, the God that they tell the world that they turn to, they have no clue what this God is actually doing. They have no clue the power, the strength, and the authority of our God, but yet, they show up to “do church” when it’s convenient for them…

Men, in their superstition, expect God to perform “magic” rather that trusting God to do what God does best: to simply love and care and heal and meet the needs of those who He loves. Do you understand that? That God loves us. He created us. He created us for a purpose; that He wants to interact with us. He went to great lengths [so] that we might have relationship with Him. There’s nothing magical about it. You don’t have to pray a certain way… Do you realize you don’t have to get down on your knees. You don’t have to fall on your face. You don’t have to read a verse ten times and spin around in circles. You don’t have to go lock yourself in a dark room. How many other things have I heard that these great men of God will write in books that if you do “this” [then] you will be more spiritual! …But God simply asks of us to ask Him. Plain and simple. He is the God Who created. He is the God Who is in control. But, we are so used to begging and pleading, expecting “magic,” expecting incantations, that we have lost sight of how simple God’s love truly is. We make it so difficult. Oftentimes so difficult that we fail to see the miracles when they happen around us, and oftentimes, even fail to allow God to do the miracle because it wasn’t done with some kind of magic incantation. It wasn’t prayed right. It wasn’t said right. It wasn’t offered right… And it has nothing to do with these things. It has everything to do with the fact that the God Who created us loves us and wants to interact with us…

“If I can’t have the miracle my way, if God is not going to do it the way I want Him to do it, well, I’m going home!” And you know, I know a lot of Christians who are like that. “If I can’t have it my way, God, well, I’m going to go home. Oh yeah, God, I believe in You, but I believe You are there for my beck and call; that You are to do things the way I want them done. Sure, I don’t believe in Santa Claus because, God, You’re the One Who’s supposed to give me everything I ask for. You’re the One Who’s supposed to do it the way I want it done, and if You’re not going to do it, I’m going to stomp off in a huff.” I see Christians time and time again stomp off in a huff because they have not gotten what they want, the way they want it…

And this is where, I believe, the church today needs to sit up and take notice. How much has God done in our lives? How much has the Holy Spirit of God done for us? But yet, we…, after seeing all that God can do, [after we] experience the love of God, still have selfish motives. We still seek and serve God not for the caring of others… We have, as the church, as those who should be believing and trusting in God so much that we love those around us, we have become…a very selfish people living with wrong motives. And God goes to great lengths to show us His love, to show us His power, to show us His authority, but yet we ignore it…

And [this] is another major, major error, I believe, we make in the church: we either think that God doesn’t see what we’re doing, or we have come to the conclusion that He doesn’t care, but God does care, and He will expose us for who we are… Do you realize that the things that you do, the things you say, who you are today, will affect not only your children, but possibly your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, and maybe many, many generations beyond that?…

God will give you all you need. God desires and loves to give His children the things that they need, but He also wants us to seek Him with right motives. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. First. And then the things that you need will be added to you. But understand, when you’re seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, when you’re asked to walk away from those very same things that He has blessed you with, you’re able to look beyond the things and see God and move away from the things into the kingdom of God, if you’re seeking first that kingdom… We need to be a church of people who are different from the world, not looking out for number one, but looking out for everybody else around us.

We can have a great influence on our society simply by standing firm in our faith in Jesus Christ; seeking God to open the eyes of those around us.

Vintage message from June 11, 2000.

When you’re in a dilemma — and we will all face dilemmas, we will face those times that we just do not have the answer — do not be afraid to turn to a brother or sister around you and seek the answers from God. God has the answers, and He has given us the body around us, to be part of and to use to see God’s miracles performed. Do you realize there is nothing that we should go through as believers by ourself? Nothing. You say, “Oh, but I’ve got some personal issues!” If you’re part of the body…if you have a dilemma, if you have a struggle, you need to share it so that someone can pray with you, so that someone can be part of the miracle that God wants to perform in your life. It serves you no good to hide. It serves you no good to keep it to yourself. And understand, it is not bravery to keep it to yourself. There is nothing brave about withholding from the body of Christ when God wants to do a miracle. Nothing brave. We need to be about sharing who we are and what God is doing and allow God to use others in our lives and see the miracles happen…

Do you realize that when you are serving and trusting God that God’s protection is about you? That God will protect those who will seek after Him?… But so often, we run the race, we serve God, we try and we try and we try, and things don’t seem to go our way. We don’t get our way. We don’t get what we want when we want it, but yet we serve God, and after a while, we get tired of serving God, and…we end up having to walk away, and then the miracle happens, and we miss out. We miss out on having our eyes opened…

Do you know that when you preserve life, when you seek to bring peace to a conflict, when you step out in faith even though it might cost you your life, and you preserve life, that you have performed a miracle through the hand of God? We don’t have to fight. We don’t have to prove ourselves… We can have a great influence on our society simply by standing firm in our faith in Jesus Christ; seeking God to open the eyes of those around us. But understand, we run a great risk if we have wrong motives in our heart, [if] we seek God with wrong motives, if we think we can get something out of it or take advantage of God, understand…we may end up missing the miracle of having our own eyes opened at a time that’s vital in our life. I would prefer that we, as believers, trust God to use us to be part of opening the eyes of those in the world, sharing His love, sharing the faith that we have, not panicking every time we get into a hard situation, but simply trusting God to do the miracle through us.

If you are a believer, if you believe in God, you better be standing up and standing out. It does no good to hide your faith, because a hidden faith is no faith at all. If you believe in God, people should know it.

Vintage message from June 18, 2000.

Isn’t it amazing that we believe more in the sin we want to commit, we trust more in our own selves than the God Who created us? But yet, when we find ourselves in the depths of trouble, when our sin has so corrupted our flesh that now we’re suffering desperately because of our own sin, then all of a sudden we want to trust in God? We want to turn to Him and say, “God, now bail me out”? And you know, for most people that’s all it is, is a bail out. It is not, “God, I love You. Thank You for loving me.” It’s, “Wow, You’re God. I’ve heard You’re powerful, and I’m in trouble. Now, get me out of my trouble. That will prove to me that You’re a powerful God.” And that’s what it becomes for so many people. God is just a token in their life that they give lip service to only when it’s convenient for them, when it gets them out of trouble…

This is the power of God but, because of our human nature, I don’t care how many miracles God does, let me tell you something, miracles do not give you relationship with the Lord. Just because a miracle happens in your life, just because God takes you out of one sin or frees you from a sin, just because He cleans your life up in one area, does not mean you have relationship with Him. God loves those Whom He’s created. God will go out of His way even for the vilest of sinner in order to convince the sinner of His love, but it does not mean they have relationship…

If you are a believer, if you believe in God, you better be standing up and standing out. It does no good to hide your faith, because a hidden faith is no faith at all. If you believe in God, people should know it. We are told to be witnesses, we are told to be examples, and if you believe in God today but you’re hiding it and not letting anybody know that you love and trust in God, how can God use you or work through you to make a difference in anybody’s life?…

How many times have you found yourself praying for something, desiring something, and then not getting it, and then finding yourself mad at God? “Well, I prayed, and God did nothing!” I have to say a number of times in my life I’ve found myself in that place, where all of a sudden I’ve become angry at God because He did not give me or do for me what I wanted, when I wanted it, how I wanted it, simply because I wanted it… Let me tell you, oftentimes when you’re in a disaster or when you’re struggling, that struggle and that hard time is from the Lord. I won’t deny it; that God does, from time to time, use disaster to get our attention. He’s not picking on us, and He’s not mean to us. He does what He does because He loves us, and if our flesh has to become uncomfortable for a short time in order to get our attention, He will make our flesh uncomfortable…

God is merciful. God will go out of His way to be merciful, especially after He’s gone out of His way to get our attention and He knows that we’ve been in pain. When we’ve suffered some, He will go out of His way to show us His mercy and His love. How dare we then turn and question Him, “Can it really happen?” And especially for us who say we believe in God, and it happens far too often in our lives. And this is where we have to check our hearts. How many times have we told people that we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we believe in the God Who created heaven and earth, we believe in the power and the strength of our God, but yet when God wants to do something in our lives we question Him. “God, how can You do this? You have all the power in the world to work in that man’s life, but not in this man’s life. Yeah, You may be able to perform a miracle in those peoples’ lives, but how can you ever perform a miracle in my life?” Our arrogance and our stupidity oftentimes overrides the common sense that shows us that God has performed the miracle so many times in the past that He is able to perform the miracle again. He wants to perform the miracle again… If we will trust God, we will see the miracle happen. There is nothing, nothing in our lives that is too great for God to handle. There is no disaster, no hardship, no hard time that we face that God can not deal with.

When God says that He's going to do something, we can know for sure...that He will do it. But how do you what God is going to do unless you're studying and spending time in His Word?

Vintage message from June 25, 2000. (Original cassette tape had extreme low volume for the first minute or two.)

How many miracles does God have to do before man is convinced that God truly loves them? That God is truly for them? That God will meet their needs and bless them? How many times does God have to speak to us? How many times does God have to speak to me?…

That was my understanding all week long. Almost my every thought as I went to work, I went to work saying, I am amazed at how much God loves me. Can you guys say that? Do you know that? Do you express that as you go to work? Do you stand in awe of the God Who created you, because He meets your needs, He blesses you every day, and you find yourself in awe saying, “Wow! God loves me…”

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” And if you’re not in God’s Word, then you don’t know that. It’s just a nursery rhyme. But it’s more than a nursery rhyme. For as silly as it sounds for adults to be saying it, it’s the truth, and we need to live by it and receive it and understand it. God loves us, and when we question, we show our lack of faith in our belief in God…

When God says that He’s going to do something, we can know for sure, we can trust that He will do it. But how do you know what God is going to do unless you’re studying and spending time in His Word? How do you know if you’re not spending time praying, studying and reading? If you’re not entering into relationship and developing this relationship with the God Who created you, how can you know what God’s Word is? How can you know what He’s going to do? How can you know what miracle it is that He wants to perform? It takes us entering into relationship. If we will not enter into the relationship, we…will find ourself in a place of starvation, and starvation that brings us to a place of decadence and uncleanness before God… And understand, you and I are not exempt from spiritual starvation. Even those who have said, “Lord Jesus, come into my life,” though we may have salvation, we can still starve and die from the sin and the issues of sin and the consequences of sin. We need to be on our toes, we need to be in God’s Word, and we need to be the ones telling the people around us, “This is what the Lord says. If you have any doubt that God is powerful, let me tell you how powerful God is. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.” Each one of us should be able to say that with full conviction and power and authority from the God Who created us. “I have seen the miracle of God.”

As you study God's Word, consider starting your study each day by prefacing it with this statement. God is love. And if there's something there that you don't understand...dwell on the love of God...and He will begin to show you His loving response to a people.

Vintage message from July 9, 2000.

I always try to see God from the perspective of “God is love.” …If you will read your Bible, if you will interpret everything you see in the Bible with placing the statement first, God is love so there is a loving explanation for all that God is doing, even if it doesn’t seem that way… God is love, and we don’t always know the answer, but God always reveals that love, even in the worst of circumstances, God will reveal the love that He has for the men that He’s created…

Have you ever felt like trouble was happening in your life to the place, to the extent that not even God could help you? I know many people, I’ve been there from time to time, where I’ve said, “I don’t even believe God can help me in this one.” That is the worst form of godlessness. After God has shown you the miracles time and again, after God has gone out of His way to get your attention when God has gone out of His way to love you and not destroy you… I’ve come to realize in y own life there are a lot of times I do not deserve God’s blessing, but yet He pours it out… The information that God gives us, though, is: God is love, and He wants us to know that, and He went out of His way to display that…

If you will take an honest look into your heart and you think of the things that, when you compare them to God’s Word are sin, and if you’re willing to call sin “sin” (and each of us have in our lives those places that we need to be calling sin), if you will look at those places, you know what? You will find yourself saying not, “Oh my God, I’m a sinner,” but “Gosh, how can I accomplish this without getting caught?” Now, of course, we don’t like to put it in those words. I never like to say that about the things I do. I call it, “Oh, I was weak! How could I know that was going to happen.” You know, I find that most of the things that we do that’s sin against God are well planned thought out, desired. We’re just seeking the right opportunity to be able to accomplish it because we are not convinced yet in our heart that God is really serious when He said that that was sin. And after all, I’ve done it before and God didn’t zap me with lightning, so that must mean it’s okay. Don’t mistake God’s mercy and God’s compassion for leniency. God does come to the place where He will call us to an account for the sin in our life…

Once again, as you study God’s Word, consider starting your study each day by prefacing it with this statement, “God is love,” and if there’s something there that you don’t understand, if something’s happening in God’s Word that just seems out of character, dwell on the love of God, and He will begin to make clear to you, He will begin to show you, His loving response to a people… If God is love and God is merciful and God is compassionate, we begin to see that when we have the hardships in our life, it’s not because God is hateful and spiteful, it’s because we are hateful and spiteful toward God, and God is simply trying to get our attention.

I believe that everything God does, God does because He loves us, and He knows what's the very best for us, even if He has to allow for hard things to happen to our flesh.

Vintage message from July 16, 2000.

I believe that everything God does, God does because He loves us, and He knows what’s the very best for us, even if He has to allow for hard things to happen to our flesh. And sometimes, sometimes it’s this flesh who is our greatest enemy. It’s this flesh that gets in the way. The devil doesn’t make me do it! And you know, we want to blame him for everything. The devil doesn’t make me do the things that I do. I choose to do them. I can choose to say no to the devil just as I choose to say no to God. And it’s this flesh of mine that gets in the way so often that I end up falling away from God, and I become this double-minded, tossed-about Christian. And so God says, “Okay, I will do what’s best for you. I will make that flesh that is causing you to make wrong choices [to] suffer a little bit. I’ll get its attention.” Because, you know, one day this flesh will be stripped away. We will be given new bodies. Bodies that are not corrupted as this flesh is corrupted. And the only thing that matters to God is what choice do we make while we’re in this flesh to have relationship with Him…

We make all kinds of excuses for why it’s okay for us to live those moments of godlessness that we live, but understand, God loves us so much that He is willing even to inflict pain on our flesh to get our attention…. Every time you study, every time you read, if you will preface that study with, “God is love…,” and everything God does is out of loving response for the people that He’s created. And if we suffer, it’s not because God hates us. It’s not because God is vengeful. It’s not because God enjoys standing up there zapping us with lightning… He’s simply saying, “I want relationship with you. I love you, and I’m the only God there is, and to seek after these other “gods” is useless for you so, therefore, I will get your attention.”

When was the last time you were on fire to see God's Word fulfilled in your life?

Vintage message from July 23, 2000. (Cassette tape broke near the end.)

When was the last time you were on fire to see God’s Word fulfilled in your life? When was the last time you were excited about serving God and seeing what God wanted to happen, happen in your life?… This is exciting stuff when people can see God’s Word fulfilled in their lives. When they know beyond a doubt that this is God’s doing; that this is the power of God Who created us; the power of God that loves us; the power of God Who seeks to have relationship with us…

God has made it plain to us that He is the Only One. He created all that there is, and He desires to be in relationship that that He’s created. And yet, we as people, still seek after the things of this world.

We have to begin to ask ourselves: are we living the life that God would call us too? Are we being responsible to what His Word has asked us to do?... Examine your heart. Examine who you are and the direction you're going.

Vintage message from July 30, 2000. (Cassette tape broke near the end.)

Just because you run in a race does not mean you’ll win the race. Just because you think you’re strong does not mean that you’re going to finish the race. Just because you do good things does not mean you’re going to finish the race. Paul lays it out for us. He says that we run to win the prize. We don’t run just to run. If you’re not running to win, if you’re not running to cross the finish line, you shouldn’t be running. Giving your life to the Lord, trusting God, comes with a cost. Even though salvation is free — let me tell you, God’s salvation is for everyone and is free — but it is not so free. It comes, actually, at the cost of us giving up our will to the Father. Once we say, “Yes, Lord Jesus, I want salvation; I want to be with you for eternity,” He simply asks, “Then let Me have your life.” He doesn’t want part of our life. He doesn’t want half of our life, three quarters of our life. He wants all of our life. He wants us to give our lives to Him to live for Him; to let Him live in and through us so that we, because of Him, can make a difference in this world…

And people will ask us, why do we not fellowship with the world? Why do we not spend time doing the [same] things? Why do we not want to be like everybody else? Why do we have to be different?… Understand, that lifestyle does begin to have an effect on you. If you do not leave the things that bring corruption in your life behind, your life becomes corrupt, even as a person that wants to be godly…

We, now, are the influence on society. We…are the ones that need to be standing up, and even though people don’t like it, and even though people may call us censors and call us bigots and call us whatever they want because we love the Lord Jesus Christ, let them call us the names that they want, but we are influencing the society around us… We have a great responsibility…and I look at the church today. I look at the…faith of those who are in the church, not just this church, the church nationwide, world wide, and I believe…we have stepped on a slippery slope; that the church today has begun to adopt the philosophies of the world. They are opening their doors to every philosophy that’s out there, and saying, “Come in and be part of us. If we can’t beat you, we’ll join you.” …And I have to ask, what will God raise up to destroy the church if the church fails to continue in godliness. It’s something that we need to be taking seriously. [It’s] something we need to be praying about, corporately and individually…

We have to begin to ask ourselves: are we living the life that God would call us to? Are we being responsible to what His Word has asked us to do?… Examine your heart. Examine who you are and the direction you’re going. Do you truly want to live a godly life?

How much time do we spend worshipping before the things that we can see and the things that we can touch rather than the God that is sometimes feeling distant from us? He is only distant from us because we don't reach out our hand and grab hold of His.

Vintage message from August 13, 2000.

What defenses do you have in your life that need to be torn down, that need to be taken away? What is it that you hide behind rather than trusting God?… It’s easy for the church, it’s easy for those that are supposed to be righteous, to stand in judgment and look at…the world, those who are living in sin, and say, “They’re living in sin,” but we oftentimes forget to look back at ourself as the church and say, “How am I living? What am I doing? What distractions are there in my life that cause me to live the way I’m living?”…

I hear people say to me all the time, “My relationship with God seems dry… I don’t get excited about reading God’s Word anymore. I don’t get excited about talking to people about the Lord anymore. I have a hard time praying anymore. My life is dry.” And I ask myself, why in the world, with a God such as we have, with the power that He displays, with the Holy Spirit that He has shared with us, how in the world can we become dry inside? Especially as believers. And I believe God gave me a glimpse of what happens in our life, what causes us to dry up, even though the Holy Spirit is indwelling us and living inside of us… We find ourselves at the altars of busy-ness… How much time do we give to Him and how much time do we give to these other altars?… How much time do we spend worshipping before the things that we can see and the things that we can touch rather than the God that is sometimes feeling distant from us? He is only distant from us because we don’t reach out our hand and grab hold of His. Not because He has become distant from us, but we have become distant from Him…

Why are we dry inside? Why do we not feel strong spiritually? What is it that causes us to not grow closer to God? …We fill our lives with so many things other than the worship of the God Who created us that we become distracted…and we start to wither up inside, and we start to feel dead inside. Then we blame God or we blame the church or we blame the Bible. “Well, I can’t understand the Bible anyway! If God had made it a little more understandable maybe then I would be able to read it.” It has nothing to do with the version of the Bible you have. It has nothing to do with how God gave it to us. It has nothing to do with the person sitting next to you; whether or not they love God or not. It has to do simply with the fact that we are distracted… We have distraction in our lives. We dry up because we are not truly giving God our attention…

True peace, true contentment, comes when you are in relationship with the Father, and you can not get to the Father unless you are understanding Who Jesus is and what relationship He wants to have with you. We become so distracted in our lives that we seek after everything else and Jesus becomes secondary.

God has called us to be a light to a nation. God has called us to be an example to the people around us.

Vintage message from August 13, 2000.

Are we worshipping God in our own way or are we worshipping God the way God has asked us to worship Him? …When you step outside of honoring God the way God has asked to be honored, let me tell you, God has a set standard even for us today. He tells us to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and how will we know what the truth is unless we dig into His Word to find the truth?…

Is there anything that we as a people, who say we trust God, can do that God does not see in us? One of the things that I find within the church in this nation is there are a lot of Christians who are secretly sinning and living against God. They are hoping that their lives are hidden enough that the people around them won’t see so, therefore, they’re safe. Understand, we do not need to worry about the judgement of the church, and I realize that the church can be awful judgmental at times but, believe me, God has set a standard, and regardless of the hypocrisy (and I hear people say all the time, “Well, the people in the church, the people around me, are just hypocrites — yes, in fact, we are hypocrites because we all have sin in our life that God is trying to deal with). But understand, nothing, nothing is hidden from God. He knows the secret things that we do. He knows the secrets we try to keep…

God has called us to be a light to a nation. God has called us to be an example to the people around us. And if our hearts are not given over to God, understand, we will become worthless to God, and we do not want to be a worthless people…

God does remember when we are faithful to Him. God knows how we are faithful to Him. God knows when our hearts are wholly devoted to Him, and He looks at that… And I have to ask today, how many times has God proven Himself to us as a people, has proven Himself to us as a church, has proven Himself to us as a nation? He has shown Himself faithful time and again, but we as a people and a nation have been unfaithful to God… It’s very important that we understand that God honors faithfulness even in a few. We do not have to be unfaithful to God. We do not have to live in secret sin… We today have no excuse because when Jesus left us, He left us the promise of God’s Holy Spirit… We have an advantage… We are equipped to live whole-heartedly for the Lord… We can bring ourselves before the Lord and get rid of the secret things that we would worship.

We may be a church that has men and women who truly love the Lord but, understand, we still have the flesh to deal with. We still have areas in our life that God wants to break through and take control of.

Vintage message from August 20, 2000.

How many times do we study God’s Word and our hearts are never even moved? I study God’s Word daily, but you know what? I still have those areas in my flesh that I struggle with, and I dwell more on my problems and on my flesh than I do God’s Word at times…

We may be a church filled with godly people. We may be a church that has men and women who truly love the Lord but, understand, we still have the flesh to deal with. We still have areas in our life that God wants to break through and take control of. And I would venture to guess that for most of us that area in our life that has to be dealt with the most is pride; that we begin to look at ourself as being something more or better than what maybe we really are. Pride comes in all types of shapes and forms, and will consume our life if we let it, no matter how godly we are… And this would be my encouragement and my warning to us today as the church. We are godly people filled with the Holy Spirit, and I would hope our pursuit would be for knowledge within God’s Word and…that we would weep over the warnings that we get from God’s Word and the reprimand from God’s Word and that we would laugh and be filled with joy because of the love that God shows us in His Word, that we would truly be moved because we have been in God’s Word. But understand, just because you have God’s Word does not mean that pride is not lurking, ready to pounce and take over our life…