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No Corners Cut, No Pacifying, No Round-About Way

“Get Off Your High Horse!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Listen; if you want to get off to a good start, you need to begin in the right place.  And it begins with a very frank admission. “Not that I have already obtained all this…” You see, the Word of God in Proverbs 16:18 tell us that, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” That tells me that in and of ourselves we have absolutely nothing to brag or be prideful about. Now if there was anyone who had reason to brag about his accomplishments, I would think it would have been the Apostle Paul. But he doesn’t do that. Despite having met the Lord on the Damascus Road, despite having preached across the eastern Mediterranean region, despite being an apostle called by God, despite writing letters inspired by the Holy Spirit, despite all that he had endured, he did not brag about anything he said or did. None of that mattered to him. He knew that he was a sinner saved by grace. In fact in 1Timothy 1:15, he even called himself the “Chief of sinners.” He made no claim of being perfect or having arrived in his own spiritual journey. Now Simon Peter, that’s a whole different story. Simon Peter had made an assumption, and it’s the same assumption that we all make from time to time. He assumed that he had reached a place in his relationship with Jesus where he would never forsake Jesus and would never fail in his faithfulness to God again. I tell you, we must never assume that we can’t miss the mark, for the moment we do, we are headed for a fall. Paul said, although we are perfect through sanctification, through our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, many of us – in fact all of us – still have a long way to go.

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing that bothers me more than someone trying to claim to be all that when the Bible says that, “There is none good, no not one!” But some folks believe that they are the exception. My message to all of us today is this: Like it or not, whether we want to believe it or not, we’re not as good as we think we are. We’re not as smart as we think we are. We’re not as clever as we think we are. We’re not as wise as we think we are; and we are not as strong as we think we are. The only thing that keeps us going is Jesus our wonderful Savior, and He is everything we are not. Don’t get it twisted! It has never been about us and it is not about us! It is about Him; the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and End; the First and Last; the Wonderful Counselor. We have absolutely nothing to boast about, other than Jesus Christ… Throwing ourselves a party! Self-congratulations! Boasting! This is human temptation and human tendency; and a dangerous one at that. Careful! You are threading on dangerous grounds! Boasting is a growing cancer, an infectious disease, an intoxicating behavior.

Sadly, we live in a very proud and egotistical generation where it is now considered acceptable and even normal for people to promote themselves, to praise themselves, and to put themselves first. Pride is considered a virtue by many. Humility, on the other hand, is considered a weakness. Everyone, it seems, is screaming for his or her own rights and seeking to be recognized as someone important. The preoccupation with self-esteem, self-love, and self-glory is destroying the very foundations upon which our society was built. What’s worst of all, the preoccupation with self has found its way into the Church.  Jesus repeatedly taught against pride, and with His life and teaching He constantly exalted the virtue of humility. Nowhere is that more clear than in John 13. I tell you, there is no better garment to clothe yourself with than to be clothed with humility. A humble person is a child of God; but a proud and haughty person is a child of Satan. Who’s your daddy? Pride should not be a problem to us; for according to God’s Word even our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Is 64:6). Get off your High Horse!

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not wrong to brag. It’s wrong to brag about trivial things. When you brag and you should brag, brag on the Lord, that’s all I’m saying. Besides, if it had not been for the Lord… Hello somebody! The message is simply: Pride is the sin that made the devil the devil, pride makes us like the devil, and pride can prevent us from entering heaven and lead us to hell. Clothe yourself with humility –Boast only in the Cross!

 

 

 

 

 

“Let’s Be Honest…. Sometimes…!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Sometimes, God seems inattentive, like He can’t hear us, like He’s not listening, like He doesn’t care. Sometimes, God seems uncooperative. Sometimes, it seems He is actually fighting against us and making it impossible for us to do what we think He is calling us to do. Sometimes, we feel helpless in grief, struggles and failures. Sometimes, we feel that God has abandoned us. So what do we do in times like these? What do we do in our lonely moments? Should we give up on God and go our own way? Should we let our emotions take over? Should we plunge into despair? Well, in Scripture, God gives us some directions for the waiting room. (1) Trust the one who is in charge! “Though the Lord slay me, still will I trust him. (2) Stay close… Don’t desert the waiting room. That is where you are most likely to hear from God. (3) Pray…  Get alone with God for a time of reflection, evaluation, correction, and dedication. (4) Be still… and wait!  (5) Anticipate God’s response, Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

I tell you everybody goes through something and at times feel like God has abandoned them. John’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus and three of his friends: Lazarus, his sisters Mary and Martha. There came a time when this family had a need. Lazarus was sick. He was so sick, in fact, that his sisters sent messengers to Jesus and asked him to come right away to help Lazarus. Lazarus was dying. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, He stayed, where he was, to begin with, for two days {John 11:5-6}. What a curious statement – Jesus loved them, so He decided NOT to go help them right away. When Jesus finally did arrive, both Martha and Mary confronted him. “Lord, if only You had been here! You could have saved our brother!” What they were saying was, “Jesus, why did you delay? Why didn’t you come on time? Why are you late? Why didn’t you come when you could have done something to save our family? “If only you had been here!”

Sometimes I struggle to remember that it’s good to wait for the Lord. It isn’t easy. It goes against the grain of our quick-fix society. From our perspective, we have everything figured out and we want God to move within our timeframe. But can I tell you that God rarely does things according to our timeframe; matter of fact, in Isaiah 55:8, God lets us know that “His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways.” So with that in mind, let us be persuaded that God is in control of the timing and intensity of our trials. Let us realize that He has a specific purpose for each trial in life. Let us understand that each trial is designed to meet a specific need that God sees in our lives. Let us accept that our waiting period is going to result in our own good if we respond in faith. Let us discover how each trial can strengthen our faith by proving that we can depend on the Lord for all of our needs. We must be convinced that God will walk us through every step of our trial. We must have faith that by His grace and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, we will not only survive, but we will also conquer in our trials.

Trust that God has a reason for your waiting, and submits yourself to whatever He desires to teach you.”  For in the waiting room, God gave Job a new perspective, one he would never have had if he had abandoned the waiting room. The waiting room drove Job to the very feet of God where he discovered a new nearness, a new intimacy, a new dimension of his relationship with God he would have never known otherwise.  So if you find yourself in God’s waiting room… Trust Him, Stay Close, Pray, Be Still, and get ready for some wonderful discoveries. Start declaring: what a God! For right around the corner is another day. A day when you’ll be surprised! A day when you’ll be awe-struck… A day when you’ll realize – when you’ll know, that you know, that you know that God’s waiting room is a means of experiencing His peace, His prosperity, and His power. Keep hoping, trusting, believing in God and wait for that appointed time in faith patiently. There‘s a hidden benefit in waiting. The soul is revived and the Spirit is renewed. (Is. 40:31) “I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower. I will watch to see what He will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint. The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies bout the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.” {Habakkuk 2:1-3}

May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him are the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen!

Some Bible Verses about God’s Timing: Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 27:14; Ecclesiastes 3:1; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 37:3-4; Lamentations 3:25-26; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Genesis 18:14; Psalm 46:10; Micah 7:7; Acts 1:7; Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 55:8-9; John 14:18; Psalm 121:7-8; Phil 4:19…

“I’m Starting With… The Man in the Mirror!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Man, I love that song… The songwriter said, I’m gonna make a change for once in my life, it’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right…..I see the kids in the street with not enough to eat, who am I to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs… they got nowhere to go, that’s why I want you to know I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways, and no message could have been any clearer, if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change. I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love…. I’m asking him to change his ways … you gotta get it right; while you got the time, you can’t close your mind… you’ve got to stop it, yourself! Yeah! The man in the mirror I’m asking him to make that change…!”

I think it would be safe to say that the reason Michael Jackson decided to sing this song was because he “Understood it!” He understood the purpose of life. The exact purpose that you and I were created for…to be our Brother’s Keeper! Jesus says, by our love for our brothers and sisters – a love that forgets self to think of others – All will know that we are His disciples. Support Brother Keeper Mission Project. The testimony of Scripture affirms that helping hurting people is the right thing to do. In Deuteronomy 15:11; 6 we are COMMANDED by God to be openhanded toward our fellow man that is poor and needy. David declares, “Blessed are those who have regard for the weak.” {Psalm 41:1}. Proverbs teachers, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord.” {Proverbs 19:17}. Jesus fed the hungry. He ministered to the sick. He comforted the bereaved. He welcomed the marginalized. We are to do the same. It is what we were created for. It is our intended purpose. And the good thing is there is no shortage of opportunities for us to help the hurting because there are so many of them. It is imperative that we understand the seriousness of what God has COMMANDED us to do… “To love our neighbor as He has loved us.”

Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all your getting get understanding. James 1:5 says “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him….I tell you the most important thing for us as Christians is to have Spiritual Understanding. When we want to evaluate something, we should ask the Lord to help us understand whatever it is that we are evaluating. Unless we can fully understand it, we might disregard it when we should take its message to heart, or we might take something to heart that we should disregard. Ephesians 5:17 tell us, Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Do yourself a favor: Get Understanding! And when you understand, understand that in the beginning when God made the world there were no needy people. Everyone had sufficiency. But then sin entered the world and it brought ignorance, injustice and inequity. Ever since then there have been people who don’t have enough to eat, who don’t have a place to live, and who don’t have clean water. I cannot emphasize enough that God’s people are called to change that lack by addressing their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Yes, one day Jesus will return and all injustice and poverty and homelessness and illness will be removed. But until that time the church of Christ should be working tirelessly to help those who are in need. This is the outworking of the Cross.

The message is clear. Giving to the needy is right. It pleases God, it helps others, and it is an integral part of the Christian faith. God has charged us with taking care of them. If we don’t, then our discipleship is unbalanced. Support Brother’s Keeper Mission Project,” and remember, nothing matters except that which we do for the Lord. And God says, “The least we do for one of them, we do unto Him.” So in all your getting, get understanding, please! Because when we stand before the Lord to be judged we will be commended or chastised for a series of six (6) activities, those we did or did not perform. One, providing food for one who is hungry. Two, giving drink to a person who is thirsty. Three, providing shelter for another who is a stranger. Four, giving clothes to the person who is naked. Five, looking after the sick and Six, comforting those in prison {Matt: 25:31-46}.  You must know that the determining factor in determining our final destiny will be; was we are Brother’s Keeper.

My prayer and plea is for each of us to become the Good Samaritan who was willing to walk the walk and was not willing to just talk the talk. Support “Brother’s Keeper Mission Project” by visiting www.gofundme.com/99b30w and making a donation or send a check payable to: Brother’s Keeper Mission Project, 390 West 5th Street, #408, San Bernardino, CA 92402.  The simplest of acts can have impacts far beyond our wildest dreams.

If you would like to join Ministry of Declaration/Truth; The Beautiful Gate Church/Ghana, Africa; Church of the Living God, Temple 208; 2 God Be All The Glory Community; Conduit of Grace Church; Ultimate Worship Church International, and Youth Hope, Inc., as we continue doing the work of Jesus and Greater works, please call (909) 649-8148 or send a message via email to colemanlou@hotmail.com.  We are a community sent on a mission together: to keep on doing the ministry of Jesus so that all people and all creation might experience the reconciliation of God. Brother’s Keeper Mission Project – Called and empowered t